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Yevamos, 50

YEVAMOS 46-55 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the Dafyomi publications for these Dafim for the benefit of Klal Yisrael.


QUESTION: The Gemara records a Machlokes Tana'im regarding the meaning of Hashem's blessing to His people, "The number of your days I shall fill" (Shemos 23:26). The Beraisa says that it is referring to the days of a person's lifespan. Rebbi Akiva says that if a person is worthy, then Hashem lets the person live his entire allotted time. If a person is unworthy, then Hashem reduces his allotted time. The Chachamim argue and say that if a person is worthy, then Hashem *adds* to his allotted time, and not that Hashem merely keeps the person alive for his allotted time.

RAV YAKOV D. HOMNICK uses this Gemara to explain an odd incident that is recorded in the Gemara in Megilah (28a). The Gemara there relates a number of incidents wherein the Talmidim of a Tana or Amora asked their teacher how he merited to live such a long life. In each case, the Tana or Amora answered by relating an act or acts of especially upright conduct which he practiced. In the middle of the Sugya, the Gemara relates that Rebbi Akiva once asked Rebbi Nechunya ha'Gadol how he merited to live so long. Rebbi Nechunya's attendants thought that Rebbi Akiva was asking in a derogatory fashion, as if he was upset that Rebbi Nechunya had lived so long, and they began to hit him. Rebbi Akiva escaped to the top of a tree, from where he called to Rebbi Nechunya, "If the Torah says, '[You shall prepare] a lamb' (Bamidbar 28:4), then why does it add the word '*one* lamb (Keves *Echad*)'?"

From Rebbi Akiva's question, Rebbi Nechunya saw that Rebbi Akiva was a genuine Talmid Chacham, and he ordered his attendants to leave him. Rebbi Akiva then answered his own question -- the Torah adds the word "Echad" to teach that the lamb must be the one which is the most special of its flock.

Rebbi Nechunya then told Rebbi Akiva why he merited to live so long. "I never accepted any presents, I never stood up for my due (to get back at someone who had pained me), and I was forgoing with my money."

Why were the attendants so upset with Rebbi Akiva's question to Rebbi Nechunya, and what did Rebbi Nechunya see that changed his viewpoint about Rebbi Akiva's question?

ANSWER: RAV HOMNICK explains as follows. Our Gemara records the Machlokes between Rebbi Akiva and the Chachamim about how Hashem allots to a person years to his life. Rebbi Akiva says that if a person merits, then Hashem *fills* his allotted lifespan, while the Chachamim say that He *adds* to it. Since Rebbi Akiva is the minority opinion, the Halachah should follow the Chachamim.

For this reason, the attendants of Rebbi Nechunya were upset with Rebbi Akiva for asking how their master lived so long. Since his extra years were a blessing of *addition* to the time he had been allotted to live, it is not proper to speak about it openly, for a "blessing [of addition] exists only upon something which is hidden from the eye" (Bava Metzia 42a). They feared that by revealing the extra years granted to Rebbi Nechunya and discussing why he was blessed with those extra years, it would become something that was no longer hidden, and the blessing would not continue.

Rebbi Akiva, though, was acting according to this own opinion in Yevamos, that when a person lives for a very long time, it is not an *addition* to his allotted life, but rather Hashem has granted him the ability to live out his allotted time (which, in Rebbi Nechunya's case, happened to be a long time). Therefore, Rebbi Akiva was searching for the proper manner of conduct which would merit living out one's fully allotted time. Since that does not involve a blessing of *extra*, additional years, it is not subject to the requirement that it remain "hidden from the eye!"

Rebbi Akiva conveyed his intention by hinting to the lamb of the Korban Tamid. If one uses each day of his life to fulfill Hashem's will, such as by fulfilling a daily obligation like the Korban Tamid, then he will merit living out all of his days.

This is also evident in Rebbi Nechunya's response to Rebbi Akiva. When Rebbi Nechunya understood that Rebbi Akiva was asking how he managed to live out his fully allotted time (and not how he merited to have additional years added to his lifespan), he answered, "I never accepted any presents," meaning that he felt full and satisfied with his portion in life and needed nothing else. Measure for measure, he was awarded with the full portion of his lifespan. Similarly, "I never stood up for my due, and I was forgoing with my money" -- but rather he trusted in Hashem to repay his due in full measure, for which he was rewarded with fully living out his allotted years!

This is the only incident in that Sugya which discusses the ways to deserve fully living one's allotted time, since it is Rebbi Akiva asking the question. The other cases are in accordance with the Chachamim in Yevamos, and thus they discuss how to *add* to one's lifespan.

A remarkable support for this is what the MESILAS YESHARIM writes about the Sugya. The Mesilas Yesharim (ch. 19) writes that these stories teach how to act with Chasidus, adding to the requirement of the law, for which one will be rewarded measure for measure by Hashem *adding* to one's allotted lifespan. The Mesilas Yesharim cites a number of the stories in the Gemara in Megilah *before* the one with Rebbi Akiva, and he also cites the story of Rebbi Zeira that *follows* the one with Rebbi Akiva, and he omits the story of Rebbi Akiva! The reason for this, says Rav Homnick, is that the story of Rebbi Akiva does not demonstrate how to *add* to one's lifespan, but rather how to merit completing one's allotted time!

This explains why, when Rebbi Nechunya said that he never accepted any presents, the Gemara brings an example for this attribute from the conduct of Rebbi Zeira, who never accepted presents. In the very next case of the Gemara, though, Rebbi Zeira was asked how he merited to live so long. He answered with six reasons, but he did not mention that he never accepted presents! It must be that the conduct of not accepting presents is a reason for one to have his allotted time completed, but not to have more years added, while Rebbi Zeira was explaining why extra years were added to his life! (From SEFER MARBEH SIMCHAH on Maseches Megilah)


QUESTION: The Mishnah details the different combinations of procedures that one could do with his Yevamah. The Mishnah says that the Halachos are the same for one Yavam with two Yevamos, and for two Yevamim with one Yevamah. In the end of the Mishnah, the Mishnah re-lists the combinations of procedures with Chalitzah that it listed in the beginning of the Mishnah, "Chalatz -- v'Asah Ma'amar, Nasan Get, u'Ba'al," and says, "Ein Achar Chalitzah Klum..." -- "Nothing takes effect after Chalitzah was done, whether it was done at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end."

RASHI (DH Chalatz v'Asah) says that the Mishnah here is repeating the Halachah of one Yavam with one Yevamah, and it is not a continuation of the Halachos of one Yavam with two Yevamos that the Mishnah was discussing until now.

However, in his very next comment (DH Bein b'Techilah Bein b'Emtza), referring to the statement of the Mishnah that nothing takes effect when it follows Chalitzah no matter when the Chalitzah was done, Rashi explains that the case of "b'Emtza" (when Chalitzah was done in the middle) is referring to a case of one Yavam with *two* Yevamos, where the Yavam gave a Get to the first Yevamah and did Chalitzah with the second Yevamah, and then he did Ma'amar to one of them (in which case the Ma'amar is not effective and no Get is necessary, since Chalitzah was already done).

Then (DH ha'Bi'ah b'Emtza) Rashi explains that the case of Bi'ah b'Emtza is where there are *three* Yevamos!

Why does Rashi explain the cases as referring to multiple Yevamos, when just before he explained that the Mishnah is referring to a case of one Yavam with one Yevamah? (MAHARSHA)

ANSWER: The MAHARSHA answers that Rashi does not mean that the Mishnah now is addressing specifically a case of one Yavam with one Yevamah. He means that the Mishnah is not continuing the previous discussion, and is referring back to what was written at the beginning of the Mishnah. The Mishnah already mentioned that this Halachah applies also to two Yevamos, and that is why, when describing the cases of Chalitzah and Bi'ah b'Emtza, Rashi sets up the case as referring to multiple Yevamos.

Why, though, did Rashi mention at all that the Mishnah is referring back to "one Yavam and one Yevamah?" He should just have said that the Mishnah is referring to all of the cases mentioned earlier in the Mishnah!

The TOSFOS YOM TOV (who also answers like the Maharasha) explains that Rashi understood that this part of the Mishnah is referring to a case of one Yavam with one Yevamah, because the Mishnah uses the same wording that it used earlier when referring to a case of one Yavam with one Yevamah. If the Mishnah here was referring to cases of more than one Yavam or one Yevamah, it would have added an additional possible case, not just "Chalatz v'Asah Ma'amar..." but rather "Chalatz *v'Chalatz*, v'Asah Ma'amar...." Since the Mishnah does not give the possibility of doing two Chalitzos or two Yibums, it must be referring only to a case of one Yavam with one Yevamah.

Why did Rashi explain the case of Chalitzah b'Emtza as referring to a case of two Yevamos? The answer is that the case of Chalitzah b'Emtza is possible only with two Yevamos, because in order to have the Chalitzah in the middle, the Yavam must have given a Get to one Yevamah, and then did Chalitzah, and then did Ma'amar. If the case is referring to only one Yevamah, the Chalitzah is not "b'Emtza" but is a proper Chalitzah, because it is supposed to follow a Get with the same woman! In such a case the Chalitzah is not a Chalitzah Pesulah and it is certainly valid (and the Mishnah here is discussing the difference between a Chalitzah Pesulah and a Bi'ah Pesulah).

Why, though, did Rashi not explain the case as referring to one Yevamah, and that the Yavam did *Ma'amar* first and then Chalitzah and then gave her a Get, in which case the Chalitzah is indeed a Chalitzah Pesulah? Rashi could not have explained like that, because in such a case there is no Chidush that "Ein Achar Chalitzah Klum," because nothing else is needed -- a Get was given for the Ma'amar, and the woman was permitted to remarry by the Chalitzah. It must be that there was a Ma'amar given after the Chalitzah, and the Mishnah's Chidush is that one does not have to give a Get for that Ma'amar.

Why, though, did Rashi not explain the case as referring to one Yevamah, and there was Ma'amar both before and after the Chalitzah, and the Mishnah is teaching that the Ma'amar after the Chalitzah does not require a Get? The answer is that the Mishnah lists only cases in which each procedure is used only once. Therefore, the only case in which the Mishnah would be telling us a Chidush of "Ein Achar Chalitzah Klum" while using only one of each possible procedure is a case of two Yevamos, where the Yavam gave a Get to one, Chalitzah to the other, and then Ma'amar to one of them.

The same question, though, applies for the case of Bi'ah b'Emtza, which Rashi says is referring to three Yevamos. There, the Yavam gave a Get to the first Yevamah, then did Bi'ah with the second, and then did Ma'amar with the third, in which case he needs to give a Get for the Ma'amar and he must do Chalitzah with one of them to release them (since the Bi'ah was a Bi'ah Pesulah, due to the Get that he gave to the first Yevamah). Why, though, does Rashi not explain the case to be referring to *two* Yevamos, where the Yavam gave a Get to the first Yevamah, and then did Bi'ah with the same one, and then did Ma'amar with the second Yevamah? Alternatively, the case could be where the Yavam gave a Get to the first Yevamah, did Bi'ah with the second, and then did Ma'amar with the first one. Why does Rashi have to explain the case as referring to *three* Yevamos?

The TOSFOS YOM TOV (see also ARUCH LA'NER) says that indeed Rashi could have explained that two of the procedures were done with one Yevamah, but Rashi wanted to give an example of a case where there would be a consequence with regard to the Isur to marry the Yevamah's relatives, and in the case of two Yevamos, their relatives are already Asur to the Yavam (either because of the Get that he gave to one, or because of the Bi'ah he did with the other).

This answer, however, needs further elucidation. First of all, it does not explain why Rashi did not suggest scenario where the Yavam gave a Get and then Bi'ah to the same Yevamah. Second, we can identify three practical ramifications for the Halachah of "Yesh Achareha Klum:" 1. the Bi'ah itself does not consummate a full Yibum, but rather it requires Chalitzah to break the Zikah entirely; 2. if the Yavam does Ma'amar after doing Bi'ah with a Yevamah, that Ma'amar takes effect and he will need to give that Yevamah a Get; 3. if he does Ma'amar after the Bi'ah and then divorces her with a Get, he becomes Asur to her relatives, since the Ma'amar and Get took effect.

Here, in the case of Bi'ah b'Emtza, Rashi explains that the practical ramification of "Yesh Achareha Klum" is that the Yavam is Asur to her relatives (the third consequence). However, when explaining the consequences of Chalitzah b'Emtza, Rashi writes that the *Ma'amar* does not take effect after the Chalitzah (the second consequence)! When he discusses Bi'ah b'Sof, he says that the practical consequence is that the Yavam must do *Chalitzah* after the Bi'ah since the Bi'ah did not break the Zikah entirely (the first consequence)! Why does Rashi mention these different consequences in each case? This question requires further elucidation.

QUESTION: The Gemara explains that the Chachamim required Chalitzah when Bi'as Yibum follows Ma'amar as a Gezeirah, lest people think that Bi'ah after *Bi'ah* is valid. RASHI (DH v'Iy Bi'ah Achar Ma'amar) explains that if only a Get was required (for the Ma'amar done before the Bi'ah), people might think that since the Bi'ah was an effective Yibum even though it followed Ma'amar, then it is also acceptable to do Bi'ah after doing *Bi'ah*. They will mistakenly assume that if one did Bi'ah with one Yevamah, that it is proper to do Bi'ah with the second Yevamah as well, and they will then transgress the Isur of "Eshes Ach" by doing Bi'ah with the second Yevamah.

Why does Rashi say that the problem is that one might transgress the Isur of "Eshes Ach?" What Isur "Eshes Ach" is there in this case? The Gemara earlier (10b) says that according to Rebbi Yochanan, once one brother does Yibum with one Yevamah, all of the other brothers and Tzaros also lose the Isur "Eshes Ach." Hence there should be no Isur "Eshes Ach" in this case! Moreover, in the case that Rashi is discussing, which is when there is one Yavam doing Bi'ah with two Yevamos one after the other, then even Reish Lakish (10b) agrees that the Yavam is Asur to the second Yevamah only with an Isur Aseh, but not with a Lo Ta'aseh or with an Isur Kares! (YASHRESH YAKOV)


(a) The ARUCH LA'NER explains that Rashi does not mean the Isur of "Eshes Ach," but rather he means an Isur that *stems from* the Isur of "Eshes Ach." In this case, it is the Isur Aseh of living with a Yevamah with whom one's brother already did Yibum ("Keivan sh'Banah Shuv Lo Yivneh"). He finds proof for this interpretation in the words of Rashi, who writes that the brother will be "*Paga* (touch) b'Isur Eshes Ach," and not simply "Chayav (or Avar) b'Isur Eshes Ach."

The HAGAHOS ON THE ME'IRI (Daf 11a #12) adds that this shows that Rashi held like those Rishonim who write that the Isur of "Lo Yivneh" is not a new Isur Lav, but it is the Torah revealing to us that the Isur of "Eshes Ach" in this situation is only Asur with a Lav and not with Kares.

However, it is not clear why Rashi should decide to express the Isur Aseh in such terms here. He could have simply written that there is an Isur d'Oraisa, like he wrote earlier (DH Mishum d'Mehani).

(b) The RASHASH suggests that Rashi at this point is not referring to a case of one Yavam with two Yevamos, but rather to a case of two Yavams with one Yevamah. In that case, according to Reish Lakish, the second Yavam to live with the Yevamah has an Isur of "Eshes Ach." (That is indeed the way the NIMUKEI YOSEF records the case here; with either two Yevamos and one Yavam or with two Yavam's and one Yevamah.)

Why, though, should Rashi mention specifically the Isur of "Eshes Ach," which applies only according to Reish Lakish? The Gemara, which is explaining the Mishnah, must work out according to both Reish Lakish and Rebbi Yochanan; why would Rashi explain it specifically according to the view of Reish Lakish? Moreover, if two Yavams live with one Yevamah one after the other, there will not merely be an Isur of Eshes Ach, but an Isur of Eshes Ish!

Perhaps the Rashash means that the Gezeirah is that one Yavam will take the other Yavam's wife *after he divorces her* (or after he dies and leaves behind children), and then there will be an Isur Kares of "Eshes Ach" (because of the *second* brother) according to everyone.

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