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Yevamos, 37

YEVAMOS 36 & 37 - sponsored by Hagaon Rav Yosef Pearlman of London, a living demonstration of love for and adoration of the Torah.


QUESTION: The Gemara relates that Rav and Rav Nachman (and presumably other Amora'im), when traveling to distant towns, would marry another wife in their destination town in order to prevent any nocturnal mishaps from occurring.

The Gemara then asks that it will not help to marry a wife in the new town, because she would not be permitted to him for at least seven days, for the excitement of the marriage causes the woman to see "Dam Chimud" and become a Nidah right away. The Gemara answers that either the Rabanan informed the women they intended to marry seven days ahead of time, or that indeed, they did not actually marry them, but were only "Misyached" (did Yichud) with them. Even though they were not actually married, nevertheless she was "Pas b'Salo" ("bread available in his basket") which has a psychological effect such that it prevents any nocturnal mishaps from occurring.

According to this final answer of the Gemara, what sort of "Pas b'Salo" was it if the woman was forbidden to him because of Dam Chimud? (TOSFOS DH Yechudi)


(a) RASHI (as explained by Tosfos in Yoma 18b) and the RAMBAM (Isurei Bi'ah 11:10) explain that the Gemara means "Pas b'Salo *l'Achar Zeman*," for she becomes permitted to him after seven days. That is called "Pas b'Salo" since he knows that she will be permitted to him in a matter of days. (That is, she is "available" to him as far as the Isur of being with an unmarried woman is concerned, even though she is not available to him as far as the Isur of Nidah is concerned. Since it is natural for a Nidah to eventually become permitted, she is called Pas b'Salo.)

(b) TOSFOS (DH Yechudei, and in Yoma 18b) and other Rishonim answer that the Amora'im were only "Tove'a l'Yichud" -- they asked the women only to marry them in order to be *Misyached* with them after marriage, but not to have marital relations. Since the women were not expecting intimacy, they would not see Dam Chimud. (On the other hand, if the Amora later decided to have relations, there would still be no Dam Chimud, since the women were already married to them. Dam Chimud is only seen when a proposal is made to a woman who is *not* married. Tosfos here adds that since the Amora did not always have relations with this new wife, she did not have any expectations and therefore there was no problem of Dam Chimud.)

This also answers the previous question of the Gemara, which asked that it is not permitted to have two wives in two different places lest it lead to Mamzerus. Since he was normally only Misyached with the second woman, there is no fear of Mamzerus occurring; if he would have relations with her, he would bring her to his home town.

(c) The RI HA'LAVAN in Yoma and RA'AVAD (Isurei Bi'ah 11:10) explain that the word "Yichud" in this Sugya does not mean "isolate themselves." It means "set aside for themselves;" that is, the Chachamim would ask a woman not to marry them, but to be "on call" for marriage. This was considered Pas b'Salo since at any moment, the woman would be ready to marry him and move in with him.

For reasons similar to those suggested by Tosfos, there is no problem of Dam Chimud in such a situation. When he asks her to "be ready" for him, he has not made a formal marriage proposal, so there is no Dam Chimud. When he later proposes to her and marries her, she will not have Dam Chimud since the proposal was, in a sense, expected and did not "catch her by surprise." (According to this approach too, the first question of the Gemara is answered, as described above in (b).)

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