Friday, August 03, 2007

Daf Yomi - Yevamos 93 - Highlights


The Gemora proves that Rabbi Akiva holds Adam Makneh Davar Shelo Ba La’Olam (meaning that a person can effect transactions regarding things that have not yet materialized) from his position in the Mishna in Nedarim (85a). The Mishna there discusses a case where a woman swore that her earnings should be forbidden to her husband. The Tanna Kama states that her husband does not have to be Meifer (Torah process of a husband nullifying his wife’s vows) the vow, as she has no right to make such a vow. Being that when she married her husband, she essentially gave over the rights to her earnings to her husband, her vow is meaningless, as it contradicts her prior commitment.

However, Rebbi Akiva argues that a husband should make sure to be Meifer the vow. Being that the Mishna in Kesuvos (64b) states that there is a limit to the amount of earnings that must be given to one’s husband, and any amount over that limit can be kept by the wife, the vow is valid, as it can be assumed to relate to future earnings above that amount. This shows that Rebbi Akiva even considers monies that do not currently exist to effect vows. It therefore follows that Rabbi Akiva holds Adam Makneh Davar Shelo Ba La’Olam.

Rav Huna, however, understands the case of the Mishna in Nedarim (85a) differently. He understands that the case is where the woman states her hands should be considered holy to the One Who made them. This would take away our proof regarding Rebbi Akiva’s position, as the hands that are the topic of her vow are clearly extant when she makes the vow. Whatever the reason for the argument between Rebbi Akiva and the Tanna Kama, it would not seem to involve Davar Shelo Ba La’Olam. (93a)


The Gemara explains that Rav Huna’s way of understanding the Mishna argues with Rav Nachman. Rav Nachman lists many Amoraim and Tanaim who have the opinion that Adam Makneh Davar Shelo Ba La’Olam, with the earliest opinion being that of Rebbi Akiva, which he deduces from this Mishna. The Gemara now starts to provide the sources for every Amora and Tana on Rav Nachman’s list, proving Rav Nachman’s words that they indeed hold Adam Makneh Davar Shelo Ba La’Olam.

It is clear that Rav Huna, the first Amora on the list, holds this way. This is apparent from his ruling in a case where a person, during the rainy season, sold the dates that would (hopefully) grow on his palm tree to his friend, before the fruit even appeared on the tree. Rav Huna states that the deal can be retracted before the fruits appear. Once the fruit appear, the transaction is automatically ruled to be valid. This is despite the fact that the transaction was clearly made at a time when there was no fruit on the tree. This shows that Rav Huna holds Adam Makneh etc. Rav Nachman indeed argues on this principle, and therefore states that even when the fruit appears on the tree the deal is nonbinding, as the sale was done at a time when the goods were not extant. Rav Nachman agrees that if the two appear to stick to their deal and the buyer starts eating the fruit, we don’t take the fruit away from him.

We can prove that Rav, the second Amora on Rav Nachman’s list, holds Adam Makneh etc. from a statement which is attributed to him by Rav Huna. Rav Huna states in the name of Rav that someone told his friend he was about to purchase a field. He then proceeded to say that when he purchases the field, he wants his friend to own it retroactive to this very moment. This clearly doesn’t mean that his friend will literally own it retroactively, as someone else currently owns the field. The actual meaning of his words is that he (the purchaser) will not be able to retract his decision to give this gift to his friend once he has purchased the field. Rav states that the gift is valid, and he cannot retract. This shows that he also holds Adam Makneh etc.

It is apparent that Rebbi Yanai and Rebbi Chiya hold this way from the following story. Rebbi Yanai used to have a sharecropper that would bring a basket of fruit every Erev Shabbos. One Erev Shabbos, the sharecropper did not arrive on time. Rebbi Yanai relied on the fruit that he knew the sharecropper would eventually bring, and counted them in his taking of Terumos and Ma’asros. Rebbi Chiya endorsed his action by citing the following verse: “In order that you should learn to fear Hashem all of the days,” and stating that the verse indicates that this includes Shabbos and Yom Tov.

The Gemara asks, what is the Halachic question that Rebbi Yanai discussed with Rebbi Chiya, and that Rebbi Chiya endorsed? If it was a question of whether or not he was allowed to take off Ma’asros on Shabbos, Rebbi Chiya’s Passuk does not seem relevant to the topic. Being that taking off Ma’aser is only a Rabbinic prohibition, and was never discussed by the Pesukim, it would not seem that a Passuk would shed light on whether or not this is a permitted action. It must be that Rebbi Chiya was hinting to him, by using a Passuk discussing future Shabbasos that one can even take Ma’asros for the purpose of Oneg Shabbos on fruit that he does not have in his possession, but he knows that he will eventually receive.

Rebbi Yanai later asked Rebbi Chiya, if my actions were proper, why then did I have a dream where I was read a Passuk with the words “Kanah Ratzutz” -- “a reed that is stuck?” Rebbi Chiya understood his question, and explained that he should not think that his dream referred to the Passuk in Melachim Beis (18:21) where the King of Ashur asked King Chizkiyahu if he was relying on the Egyptians, whom he degradingly called a “Kanah Ratzutz.” Rather, Rebbi Chiya explained, your dream referred to the Passuk in Yeshaya (42:3) which states that a “Kanah Ratzutz” will not break. This shows, Rebbi Chiya reassured Rebbi Yanai, that your actions were correct.

Rebbi, next on Rav Nachman’s list, clearly holds Adam Makneh etc. as well. This is apparent from Rebbi’s statement (as interpreted by Rav Nachman) that if a person buys an Eved Kenani on the condition that when he buys the slave, the slave will immediately be set free, he is indeed not allowed to use him for any labor after the purchase. According to Rebbi, this is the meaning of the prohibition “Lo Sasgir Eved El Adonav” -- “do not close a servant unto his master” (Devarim 23:16, meaning that a master cannot work his slave once he has already been freed). This shows Rebbi must hold Adam Makneh etc., as otherwise the condition would not be valid.

Rebbi Meir, next on Rav Nachman’s list, also clearly holds Adam Makneh etc. This is apparent from his ruling that if a person states to a woman that he is betrothing her now for when she will convert, become freed from slavery, after her husband or sister (whom he is married to) dies, or after you receive Chalitzah, the Kidushin is valid (he also gives the same cases from the man’s perspective, i.e. “the Kidushin should be valid after I convert” etc.). The Tana Kama indeed argues that the Kidushin is invalid, as he holds Ain Adam Makneh etc.

Rebbi Eliezer Ben Yaakov, next on the list, clearly holds this way from the fact that he allows one to separate Terumos and Ma’asros now while using some fruits and vegetables that are not yet obligated in Terumos and Ma’asros (i.e. they are still connected to the ground, not grown enough, etc.) though they will be in the near future. Although he agrees that the separation only actually takes effect when all of the fruits and vegetables are eligible for separation, he holds that the verbal separation can occur earlier. This also shows that he holds Adam Makneh etc.

As stated above, Rav Nachman then proves that Rebbi Akiva, the last Tana on his list, holds Adam Makneh etc. based on his simple interpretation of the Mishna in Nedarim (85a), as explained at length in the beginning of this Daf. (93a – 93b)


Rav Sheishes was asked: Can one witness enable a woman to fall to Yibum? Do we say that the reason a single witness is normally believed to allow a woman to remarry is because we assume the witness is telling the truth about a person, who, if alive, would clearly turn the witness into a liar (and the witness therefore would not lie)? Or do we say that one witness is usually believed because we know that the woman herself is careful to ascertain that her husband is really dead before she would remarry? If this is the case, we might not accept one witness to allow Yibum, as it is possible that the widow likes her brother-in-law and won’t carefully ascertain her husband is dead before Yibum?

Rav Sheishes answered the question by citing the Mishna (92a). A woman was told that her son died, and then her husband died, which meant she should have Yibum. She proceeded to have Yibum done to her. Later, it was revealed that the opposite had been true: her husband had died when the son was still alive, meaning that she was not supposed to fall to Yibum. She therefore must leave her current husband, and her children from the Yavam are Mamzerim.

What was the case? If the original testimony was from two witnesses, and the second testimony was also from two witnesses, why should we rely on the latter more than the former? Additionally, this would only make her children at most Safek Mamzerim (possible Mamzerim), not definite Mamzerim. One cannot suggest that the Mishna is not being didactic in its ruling about the Mamzerim,. as the latter part of the Mishna (in a similar case) clearly defines which children are Mamzerim and which are not. It must therefore be, concludes Rav Sheishes that the first testimony was from one witness, and his testimony was overturned by two witnesses. From the fact that the testimony of the first witness was accepted, we see that one witness is also permitted to enable a woman to undergo Yibum. (93b)



Anonymous said...

Davar Shelo Ba La’Olam seems to have expanded in this gemurah to Davar Shelo Ba Brishuso?

Avromi said...

Initially, I didn't understand your comment; but looking it over, i think I do now. In short, some of the cases the Gemora cites are also not b'rshuso, but the reason he cannot render the "chalos" at that specific time is because to him, the object is not ba'olam. Please provide the case which you think is more "eino brishuso" than "eino ba'olam." Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I just thought it was literal it does not exist hence you cant do anything with it