Thursday, June 14, 2007

Daf Yomi - Yevamos 41 - Highlights

The Mishna states: If one of the brothers (Shimon) performed a chalitzah with his yevamah and a different brother (Levi) married her sister and subsequently died, Shimon can perform chalitzah, but not yibum (since she is the sister of his chalutzah – a Rabbinical prohibition).

Similarly, if a man divorces his wife and his brother marries her sister and subsequently died, she is exempt from yibum and chalitzah (since she is his wife’s sister).

A woman was awaiting the decision of the yavam, and his brother (who is also a yavam) betrothed the yevamah’s sister; it was said in the name of Rabbi Yehudah ben Beseira that we should tell him (the one who married the sister) to wait (from consummating the marriage) until his brother performs a yibum or chalitzah with the yevamah. (This ruling is based on the concept of zikah; the brother is forbidden to consummate the marriage with the sister of the yevamah because she is prohibited to him on account of her being the sister of his zekukah.) If the brother performed a chalitzah or yibum, the other brother can now consummate his marriage. If the yevamah died (prior to any chalitzah or yibum), the other brother can consummate his marriage (since even a wife’s sister is permitted after the wife dies, certainly by the zekukah’s sister). If the yavam dies (prior to any chalitzah or yibum), he is required to divorce his wife, and he must perform a chalitzah with the yevamah. (41a)

The Gemora asks on the first two rulings of the Mishna: Why does the Mishna use the term “Similarly,” when in fact the two rulings are opposite of each other?

The Gemora emends the Mishna; it should say “However.”

Rish Lakish said: Here is where Rebbe stated: The prohibition of taking a divorcee’s sister is Biblical, whereas the prohibition of taking a chalutzah’s sister is merely Rabbinical. (41a)

The Mishna had stated a case regarding A woman was awaiting the decision of the yavam, and his brother (who is also a yavam) betrothed the yevamah’s sister. The Gemora inquires: What would be the halacha if his wife died (can he now perform a yibum with the yevamah)?

Rav and Rabbi Chanina maintain that he is permitted to take the yevamah. Shmuel and Rav Assi hold that he is prohibited from taking the yevamah.

Rava explains the reasoning for Rav: This yevamah was originally permitted (when she first fell for yibum), she then became forbidden (when the brother married her sister), and then she became permitted again (when his wife died); she should return to her original permitted state. (41a)

Rav Hamnuna asks on Rav from the following braisa: There were three brothers, two of whom were married two sisters, and one is unmarried. If one of the husbands of the sisters died, and the bachelor performed a ma'amar, and afterwards his second brother died. (Beis Hillel rules that he must release his ma’amar-wife with a get (bill of divorce) and with chalitzah, and his brother's wife with chalitzah. This is what they said, “Woe unto him because of his wife and woe unto him because of his brother's wife.”) If then, the wife of the second brother died, the first yevamah requires a chalitzah, but cannot be taken in yibum (since she was forbidden to the third brother after the second brother died). Rav Hamnuna asks: According to Rav, she should be permitted since she was originally permitted (when she first fell for yibum), she then became forbidden (when the other brother died), and then she became permitted again (when the second brother’s wife died); why can’t he perform a yibum?

Rav was initially quiet and then after Rav Hamnuna left, he said: Why didn’t I say that the braisa is following the opinion of Rabbi Elozar who states that if the woman is prohibited even for one moment, she is forbidden forever?

Rav subsequently said: This would not be an answer since perhaps Rabbi Elozar only holds in this manner when the yevamah was forbidden at the time that she fell for yibum; however, in our case, she was permitted at that time, and therefore she would be permitted later even according to Rabbi Elozar.

Rav concludes that the braisa can in fact be following Rabbi Elozar’s opinion for we find that he rules explicitly that the yevamah remains forbidden even in a case where she was permitted at the time that she fell for yibum. (41a)

The Mishna states: The yavam does not perform a chalitzah or a yibum with the yevamah until she has three months (since her husband’s death). (This is in order to determine if the yevamah is pregnant.) And similarly, all other previously married women may not be betrothed (erusin), or wed (nisuin) until they have three months, whether they are virgins or not, whether divorced or widows, whether wed or betrothed. Rabbi Yehudah said: Women who had nisuin may enter into erusin (without waiting), and women who had erusin may enter into nisuin (without waiting), except for the women in who had erusin in Judea, for the groom is presumptuous with her (and we are concerned that they might have had relations during the erusin). Rabbi Yosi says, all women may enter into erusin except for the widow, because of the mourning (for thirty days). (41a – 41b)

The Gemora asks: It is understandable why the yavam does not perform a yibum with the yevamah until she has three months because she might have a viable child, and by cohabitating with her, he would have violated the prohibition against taking his brother’s wife (since there is no obligation for yibum); however, why can’t he perform a chalitzah with her?

Perhaps this would be a refutation of Rabbi Yochanan’s opinion who maintains that one who performed chalitzah with his pregnant yevamah and subsequently she miscarries, she is not required to have a chalitzah from the brothers (the chalitzah has been retroactively determined to be valid). Our Mishna would be ruling that the chalitzah is not valid.

The Gemora answers: Perhaps the Mishna holds that the chalitzah is valid, but we instruct them to wait for a different reason. If she is pregnant and the child is viable, we will require an announcement that she is permitted to marry a Kohen (since the chalitzah was unnecessary).

The Gemora asks: So, why don’t we make the announcement?

The Gemora answers: Perhaps someone will be present by the chalitzah and will not hear of the announcement; he will be under the false impression that a chalutzah is permitted to a Kohen.

The Gemora asks: This answer is satisfactory regarding a woman who is a widow (for she is in fact still permitted to a Kohen), but why should we delay the chalitzah by a divorcee (she is forbidden to a Kohen anyway)?

The Gemora asks: This answer would not explain why we delay the chalitzah by a case where the divorcee was only married with erusin; she will not be supported from his estate anyway?

The Gemora offers an entirely different explanation for why the chalitzah is delayed: It is based on rabbi Yosi who said: Whoever is subject to yibum is subject to chalitzah and whoever is not subject to yibum is not subject to chalitzah. (41b)