Thursday, June 14, 2007

A SAYING OF OUR RABBIS - Yevamos 41 - Daf Yomi

Why is the betrothal of a yavam called ma’amar and not kiddushin like the marriage of any woman?

The Beis Aharon of Karlin answered this question at a siyum on Maseches Yevamos.

Firstly, we must explain why marrying a woman is referred to as a kiddushin. It is derived from the word ‘hekdesh,’ a consecration. The concept of consecrating an object is that something that was permitted to the entire world now becomes forbidden. This is true by kiddushin, as well. A woman is permitted to everyone until a man performs a kiddushin with her; she now becomes forbidden to the entire world.

A yevamah is different. She was married to a man and prohibited to marry anyone else. When her husband died childless, she is a yevamah awaiting either a yibum or chalitzah. She is still forbidden to marry anyone else. When the yavam betroths her, this cannot be referred to as a kiddushin because she was forbidden to everyone beforehand.

Why is the betrothal called ma’amar? The essence of yibum is to perpetuate the name of the deceased. Yibum is actually a resurrection for the deceased brother. Ma’amar is the word of Hashem that brings the dead back to life as it is written: mechaye meisim b’ma’amoro, He resurrects the dead with His words. This explains why the betrothal of a yevamah is called ma’amar.

It is well known that Shabbos is a sampling of the World to Come. This is why we say in the zemiros of Shabbos: tehorim yiroshua vikadshua b’ma’amar kol asher asah vayechal Elokim bayom hashivii.

An alternative explanation is cited in Shulchan Aruch (E.H. 170:1). The expression ma’amar means a “saying” of our Rabbis. Biblically, only cohabitation can secure a yibum. The Rabbis established a form of betrothal, which they called ma’amar.

This explanation fits according to Beis Hillel, who maintains that ma’amar is only Rabbinically valid; however, according to Beis Shamai, who holds that ma’amar has Biblical ramifications, we must use the first explanation.


Anonymous said...

Chassidish Torah on gemurah Intresting?