Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Second Wife - Yevamos 26 - Daf Yomi

The Mishna states: And all of them (an agent who brings a bill of divorce from overseas, one who testifies about a wife that her husband had died and the sage who did not release the wife from her vow causing the husband to divorce her); if they had wives at that time and subsequently they died, they are permitted to marry those women (since they were married at the time, people will not suspect that they acted in order to marry them).

Why should them having a wife prevent people from suspecting that they acted in that way in order to marry those women; wasn't taking a second wife permitted in the times of the Mishna? (As a member of my Daf Yomi shiur said: The Mishnayos in Yevamos would be much easier if they were only permitted one wife.)

The Maharshal in Yam shel Shlomo answers: Since he is presently married, we apply the chazaka that a man does not place his eyes on another man's wife because he has "bread in his basket."

3 comments:

David G. said...

Even with that chazaka though we still wouldn't allow him to marry her unless his current wife died. (I think that's obvious but just wanted to make sure it's clear)

Avromi said...

Yes - one hundred percent!

Pilpul said...

How much bread should be in a basket? If it was extremely common to have multiple wives, perhaps being married didn't prevent a man from looking elsewhere.