BACKGROUND ON THE DAILY DAF
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YEVAMOS 2 - dedicated by Rabbi Ari and Esther Maryles of Chicago in memory
of her grandfather, Rav Chaim Mauer zt'l whose life was dedicated to helping
people both physically and spiritually.
1) [line 3] CHALITZAH / YIBUM
(a) If a married man dies childless, his widow may not marry whomever she
pleases. She first must undergo Yibum (levirate marriage, that is, she must
marry her dead husband's brother), as the Torah states in Devarim 25:5-10.
If the deceased had more than one brother, there is a preference for the
oldest brother to perform Yibum (Yevamos 24a).
(b) If the brother chooses not to marry her, he must perform Chalitzah (a
procedure in Beis Din that absolves her of the Mitzvah of Yibum). He appears
before a Beis Din of three and states, "I do not want to marry her," after
which his sister-in-law approaches him before the elders, takes off his
right sandal and spits in front of him. She then declares, "This is what
shall be done to the man who will not build up a family for his brother,"
and she is then free to marry whomever she wants.
(c) The nebulous state of the widow until a brother performs with her Yibum
or Chalitzah is termed "Zikah". If she accepts Kidushin from someone during
this period, despite the fact that it is forbidden to do so, the Amora'im
argue as to whether the Kidushin is legally binding or not(Yevamos 92b).
2) [line 4] MI'ANU (MI'UN)
(a) The Torah gives a father the right to marry off his daughter at any age
before she is twelve years old.
(b) If she was divorced or widowed or her father died without marrying her
off, the Chachamim gave the girl's mother and/or oldest brother the right to
marry her off. In these cases the marriage is only mid'Rabanan and she must
be at least ten years old, or at least six years old if she has an
understanding of the concept of marriage.
(c) According to the RAMBAM and RA'AVAD, in the above circumstances, the
Chachamim also gave *her* the right to get married by herself. This marriage
is also mid'Rabanan. According to the Rambam, she must be at least ten years
old, or at least six years old if she has an understanding of the concept of
marriage. According to the Ra'avad, however, her Kidushin is valid even if
she has enough sense to guard the object given to her for her Kidushin (and
she realizes that it was given to her for Kidushin).
(d) In the instances of marriage mid'Rabanan, before she reaches Halachic
puberty and becomes a Na'arah (through the growth of two pubic hairs), she
has the option of annulling the marriage through a procedure known as Mi'un
(refusal). She says before two witnesses, "I do not want him," and the
marriage is annulled retroactively. There is no need for her to receive a
Get (a bill of divorce). A girl who is married off by her father cannot
annul the marriage through Mi'un. (RAMBAM Hilchos Ishus 4:7-8)
3) [line 5] AILONIS - a woman who is incapable of conception. This word is
derived from the word "Ayil", a ram, which is a male and does not have a
womb (Kesuvos 11a)
4) [line 21] SEREIFAH
A person who commits incest with his daughter (or her son or daughter)
receives the capital punishment of Sereifah (burning). He is placed into
refuse up to his knees. A hard scarf is placed within a soft scarf and is
wrapped around his neck. The witnesses to his crime then pull on the ends of
the scarf until the sinner opens his mouth. Molten lead is then poured down
his throat, which burns his intestines. (Sefer ha'Chinuch #261)
5) [line 21] SEREIFAH CHAMURAH
(a) The four death penalties administered by Beis Din, in their order of
(b) According to the Rebbi Shimon, the order of their stringency is
Sefreifah, Sekilah, Hereg and Chenek.
- Sekilah (stoning)
- Sereifah (burning with molten lead, which is poured down the throat)
- Hereg (killing with a sword) (Sefer ha'Chinuch #50)
- Chenek (strangulation) (Sefer ha'Chinuch #47)
(c) If a person commits two capital offences, he is put to death with the
more stringent of the two. If a number of people were sentenced to die
through different death penalties, and it is not know which sentence was
passed upon which person, Beis Din administers to all of them the least
stringent of the death penalties to which they were sentenced.
6) [line 24] SEKILAH
A person sentenced to the capital punishment of Sekilah (stoning), is pushed
off a two-story building by one of the witnesses to his crime. If he does
not die from the fall, the witnesses lift a very heavy stone, which only two
people can lift, and place it on his heart. If the sinner still does not
die, all of those assembled stone him until he dies. (Sefer ha'Chinuch #555)