Wednesday, August 08, 2007


The Aruch Lener asks on this from the principle that one prohibition cannot take effect upon another prohibition. The father’s brother’s wife was initially forbidden to the son on account of being an aunt; how can the second prohibition of the father’s yevamah take effect?

The Yashreish Yaakov answers that this is an exception to the rule derived from this verse that the second prohibition can in fact take effect, and the son will be liable for both prohibitions.

The Aruch Lener answers that the Gemora does not mean to say that the son will be liable for two prohibitions and he will incur lashes twice. Rather, the Gemora means that he will have violated two transgressions and when he dies, he will be buried among the truly wicked (like the Gemora above 32a stated).

The Mishna L’melech in Perashas Derochim inquires as to what the halacha would be if an idolater cohabits with a woman that is forbidden to him on account of being a close relative, and he has intention to acquire her as his wife. Does the idolater in fact acquire her as a wife, and she will be regarded as a married woman, or perhaps the kiddushin does not take effect, in the same manner that it has no validity by a Jew? He quotes from the Ashkenaz Scholars that the idolater does not acquire her.

The Minchas Chinuch disagrees and maintains that she will be regarded as a married woman. He explains: A verse is required to teach us that kiddushin cannot take effect with a woman who is an ervah; the verse is relevant to a Jew, not to an idolater, and therefore, there is no Scriptural source that will invalidate the kiddushin of an idolater, even if it is with a woman that he is forbidden to have relations with.

The Aruch Lener proves from our Gemora that there is validity to the kiddushin. The Gemora cited the following riddle: A woman says: Woe, woe! For my brother who is my father, who is my husband, who is the son of my husband; he is the husband of my mother and I am the daughter of his wife; and he provides no food for his orphan brothers, the children of his daughter. This is possible when an idolater cohabited with his mother and had a daughter from her. He then cohabited with that daughter (becoming her husband).Then the idolater’s father cohabited with her (thus becoming the grandfather’s husband as well) and had children from her. (The idolater is the daughter’s brother; he is her father; he is her husband; he is the son of her (second) husband; he is the husband of her mother; she is the daughter of his wife.)

It is evident that even though the idolater cohabited with his mother, which he is prohibited from doing, he is nevertheless regarded as her husband. The Aruch Lener concludes that it is quite possible that this novel ruling is precisely what the Gemora is intending to teach us with this obscure riddle.