Sunday, June 10, 2007

PILEGESH - Yevamos 37 - Daf Yomi

Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov ruled that one should not marry a woman in one place and marry another somewhere else. This might result in the children from these two marriages to encounter one another, and a brother could end up marrying a sister (since they are unaware that they are related).

The Gemora asks: But Rav, when he would arrive in the city of Dardeshir, he would announce, “Who wants to marry me for one day?” (This was done in order to protect him from sinning.) Rav Nachman, when he would arrive in the city of Shechantziv, he would announce, “Who wants to marry me for one day?”

The Gemora answers: The Rabbis are different because their names are famous (and the children will know who their father was).

The Gemora asks: But didn’t Rava say: If one proposed to marry a woman and she has consented, she is required to wait seven clean days prior to the consummation of the marriage?

The Gemora answers: The Rabbis informed them before by sending their emissaries seven days prior to their arrival.

Alternatively, you can answer that they would only seclude themselves with the women. This protected them from sin because of the saying, “You cannot compare one who has bread in his basket with one who doesn’t have bread in his basket.”

Rabbi Yaakov Emden in Shailos Ya’avetz (2:15) cites this Gemora as support for his opinion that it is permitted for a man to have a pilegesh (a woman designated for this man, but without a kesuvah or kiddushin).

The Rambam in Hilchos Melochim (4:4) and in Hilchos Isus (1:4) rules that only a king is permitted to have a pilegesh, but a common person would be prohibited from taking a pilegesh. In Sefer HaMitzvos (213), he writes that every man is commanded to marry a woman with a kesuvah and kiddushin, and one is forbidden from cohabitating with a woman without a kesuvah and kiddushin.

The Rashba in a teshuva (4:314) and Rabbeinu Yonah in Shaarei Teshuva (3: 94,95) concur with the Rambam that a pilegesh is Biblically forbidden on account of the passuk: lo sihye kedeisha.

The Ra’avad, Ramban and the Ran disagree and maintain that it is permitted to take a pilegesh. They cite proof from Calev and Gideon and many others throughout Tanach, who had pilagshim.

The Peri Chadash says that the Rambam would concede that a pilegesh is indeed permitted if his intent is to designate her to be exclusively for him.

Reb Yaakov Emden concludes his teshuva that although he holds that one is permitted to take a pilegesh, one should only do so if it is endorsed by other scholars of his generation and they should arrange the relationship that it should be done in a manner which is permissible. He then lists the guidelines and restrictions regarding this relationship. (The teshuva goes on to say how having a pilegesh will rectify many social problems. It is quoted in the name of Reb Chaim Brisker that this is an example of a novol b’rshus haftorah, one who is vile, but nevertheless, it is within the confines of halacha.)

The Rema rules that it is forbidden to take a pilegesh nowadays.

6 comments:

Bas Melech said...

OK, I find this whole thing very puzzling -- to marry someone for one day?! Yikes, who would agree to that?! And the whole bread basket thing... I mean, didn't they have any smoother strategies for overcoming desire?

Sorry, I just don't get this...

Avromi said...

It obviously was a different culture then, but I will look into (time providing) someone who addresses the issue head on. As far as the marriage for one day, there might have been many women who would want the opportunity to be married to the gadol hador. Some say that it was for more than one day.

Rav Chaim said...

Quote "Alternatively, you can answer that they would only seclude themselves with the women. This protected them from sin because of the saying, “You cannot compare one who has bread in his basket with one who doesn't have bread in his basket.”

Rabbi Yaakov Emden in Shailos Ya’avetz (2:15) cites this Gemora as support for his opinion that it is permitted for a man to have a pilegesh (a woman designated for this man, but without a kesuvah or kiddushin)."

How does this prove permitting Pelegesh. Pashut the Gemara is saying that he married them completely on condition not to have Biya with them and divorce them the next day if they didn't have Biya (see Tosfos) but where does it infer how the marriage was set up (with Kiddushin or without Kiddushin. With Kesuva or without Kesuva)?

Avromi said...

Reb Yaakov Emden understands the Gemora that Rav and Rav Nachman were not offering kiddushin and kesubah to these women who were involved in these brief relationships. Rather, the relationship must have been one of pilagshus in which the critical constraint is simply that for the designated period, the relationship should be an exclusive one for the woman. By demonstrating this post-biblical example of permitted pilagshus, Reb Yaakov Emden defuses a possibility raised by the Rivash (Teshuvos HaRivash 395) and the Radvaz (Teshuvos HaRadbaz 1296) that (almost) all biblical cases of pilagshim preceded the decree of Dovid HaMelech on yichud penuya and that from that time forward pilagshim were forbidden as well. Here is a case which transpired afterwards and nevertheless, it was mutar (in his opinion). [with assistance from Ben Chorin]

Rav Chaim said...

Quote "Reb Yaakov Emden understands the Gemora that Rav and Rav Nachman were not offering kiddushin and kesubah to these women who were involved in these brief relationships."

IMHO this is a big assumption. If they needed the wife, why wouldn't they go all the way with Kiddushin in order to Mikayaim it properly. He's assuming that if there would be no Din of Pilagshim, they wouldn't have married them for one night. What would they have done if there was no other option and Pelagshim where Assur?

Avromi said...

You are right, but that is what he says - I don't believe he has more of a proof to this from the sugya