Thursday, May 17, 2007

Daf Yomi - Yevamos 12 - Highlights

Rav Lili bar Mammal said in the name of Mar Ukvah, who said in the name of Shmuel: The co-wife of a wife who refused the yavam is forbidden. (A girl whose father had died could be given in marriage while still a minor (under the age of twelve) by her mother or older brother. This marriage is only valid Rabbinically. As long as she has not attained the age of twelve, she may nullify the marriage by refusing to live with her husband. This act of refusal, referred to as mi’un nullifies the marriage retroactively. Our Gemora follows the opinion cited later (107a) that a minor, whose husband had died childless, may refuse the yavam, as well, which retroactively nullifies the original brother’s marriage.)

The Gemora explains: Although the wife who refused the yavam is not prohibited to the other brothers, her co-wife is forbidden to the one who refused. This is because we are concerned that this co-wife might be confused with the co-wife of one’s own daughter who refused him. (12a)

Rav Assi rules: The co-wife of an aylonis (an adult woman who did not develop any signs of female puberty and is incapable of bearing children) is forbidden to be taken in yibum. It is written regarding yibum [Devarim 25:6]: It shall be the firstborn – if she can bear. This excludes an aylonis since she cannot bear children.

Rav Sheishes asks: The Mishna (31b) states: There were three brothers who were married to three unrelated women, and one of them, Reuven died. The second brother, Shimon married the yevamah by ma'amar (Biblically, the yavam cohabits with the yevamah, thus acquiring her. The Rabbis established ma’amar, the betrothal of a yevamah as a prelude to yibum.), and he died. Reuven’s original wife falls for yibum to the third remaining brother, Levi. Levi must perform chalitzah, but he cannot perform a yibum. This is derived from a Scriptural verse which states that a yevamah can be taken in yibum only if there was a zikah (an attachment on the account of yibum) from one brother; not when there is a zikah from two brothers. (The yevamah is doubly subject to yibum, on account of her Biblical marriage with Reuven and her Rabbinical marriage with Shimon.)

Rav Yosef said: This is a case where the co-wife of a paternal brother’s wife is exempt from yibum only because the wife fell to yibum and we do not find anything similar to this in the entire Torah. What is this coming to exclude? Is it not excluding the case of a co-wife of an aylonis that she will be permitted to the yavam? (These are both examples where a yevamah is forbidden because of her falling to yibum and not on account of being an ervah.)

The Gemora states that the inference is slightly different. It is excluding the case of a co-wife of an aylonis but the distinction between the two cases is as follows: The co-wife of the double widow requires a chalitzah, whereas the co-wife of an aylonis does not even require chalitzah. This is because an aylonis is Biblically prohibited, whereas the double widow is only Rabbinically prohibited. (12a)

Ravin said in the name of Rabbi Yochanan: The co-wife of a wife who refused the yavam, the co-wife of an aylonis and the co-wife of an illegally remarried divorcee are all permitted to the yavam. (12b)

Rav Bibi cites the following braisa in front of Rav Nachman: Three types of women are permitted to insert a wad into their bodies prior to engaging in marital relations in order to prevent conception. They are: A minor, a pregnant woman and a nursing woman. A minor is permitted because otherwise, she may become pregnant and die. A pregnant woman is permitted because otherwise, she might become pregnant again, and the second fetus will crush the first one. A nursing woman is permitted because otherwise, she might be compelled to wean her child, resulting in his death.

The braisa continues: What age minor are we referring to? We are concerned when the minor is between eleven and twelve years old. If she is younger or older than that, she is not permitted to cohabit in that manner; these are the words of Rabbi Meir. The Chachamim disagree with the entire ruling and state that these women should cohabit in the regular manner and Heaven will have compassion on them (becoming pregnant in these situations is highly unusual and therefore we prohibit them from utilizing and type of contraceptive measures) as it is written [Tehillim 116:6]: Hashem protects the fools.

The Gemora asks on our Mishna from the braisa: The braisa stated: A minor is permitted because otherwise, she may become pregnant and die. We can infer that a minor can become pregnant and not die. This would be inconsistent with our Mishna which stated that you cannot say of his mother-in-law or his mother-in-law's mother or his father-in-law's mother that they refused (since only a minor can refuse). Perhaps she is a minor and nevertheless, she can be a mother-in-law because it can happen that a minor will give birth and live?

The Gemora attempts to answer that a minor will certainly die if she becomes pregnant; however the Gemora proves from a different braisa that this cannot be correct.

Rav Safra answers that having children is similar to the signs of puberty. Just as a girl with two pubic hairs after twelve years old indicates that she is an adult, so too, conceiving a child at any age signifies that she is an adult. This is why the Mishna stated that a mother-in-law cannot refuse her husband any longer. Although a minor can give birth and survive, she cannot refuse her husband since she is regarded as an adult.

Rav Zevid answers: We assume that a woman who gives birth developed the signs of puberty. We cannot examine her for the two pubic hairs because there is a legitimate possibility that the hairs fell out due to the pains of childbirth. (12b – 13a)