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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Yevamos 26

YEVAMOS 26 - dedicated by Lee and Marsha Weinblatt of Teaneck, N.J. May they be blessed with health and happiness, and see their children and grandchildren ever grow in Torah and Yiras Shamayim!


(a) We see, we do not make him divorce her, lest people talk; the same applies in our case.
(b) (Mishnah): In all these cases (when a man who permitted a woman to marry may not marry her), if he had a wife, and she died, he may marry the woman;
(c) If the woman married someone else, and was widowed or divorced, he may then marry her;
(d) In all cases, the woman is permitted to his children and brothers.
(e) (Gemara): We infer, only if the man's wife died, but not if he divorced her.
(f) Contradiction (Rav Hillel): But a Beraisa teaches, even if he divorced her!
(g) Answer #1(Rav Ashi): If he previously had quarreled with his wife, he may marry the woman; if not, no.
(h) Answer #2: In both cases, there was no previous quarrel.
1. If the man (later) started the quarrel, he may not marry her; if his wife started it, he may.
(i) (Mishnah): If they married ...
(j) We are thinking, the Mishnah speaks even when a widowed woman remarried and was widowed again, and a divorced woman was divorced again.
(k) Suggestion: Our Mishnah is not as Rebbi, who says that a Chazakah is established after 2 occurrences (and a woman that is widowed twice may not remarry).
(l) Rejection: It can be as Rebbi; the Mishnah permits a widowed woman that was later divorced, and a divorced woman that was later widowed.
(m) (Mishnah): They are all permitted to his children and brothers.
(n) Question: A Mishnah teaches, a man suspected of relations with a woman may not marry her mother, daughter or sister - why is our case different?
(o) Answer #1: Women frequently visit each other (if he marries the relative of the woman he was suspected of, he may come to have relations with that woman, and this is Chayavei Kerisus)!
1. Men do not frequently visit each other.
(p) Answer #2: Women do not make each other forbidden if they have extramarital relations, so they are not concerned if their husbands have relations with their relatives;
1. Men do make each other forbidden (if a man's wife has relations with his relative (or any other man), she becomes forbidden to him), and will distance his wife from his relatives.
2. Question: If so, the woman should be permitted even to his father!
3. Answer: She is! The Mishnah teaches even more!
i. Not only the father may marry the woman, in which case the man who permitted her is ashamed to sin with his father's wife;
ii. Even his son may marry her; even though his father is not ashamed to be with his son's wife, we are not concerned.


(a) (Mishnah): There are 4 brothers; 2 of them are married to sisters, and they die. The widows do Chalitzah, not Yibum; if they did Yibum, they must be divorced;
(b) R. Eliezer says, Beis Shamai says that they may stay married, Beis Hillel says that they must be divorced.
(c) If one of the sisters was an Ervah to a brother, he is forbidden to her but permitted to her sister; his brother is forbidden to both;
(d) If a sister is forbidden to a brother because of Mitzvah or Kedushah, she does Chalitzah but not Yibum;
(e) If one sister is an Ervah to 1 brother, and her sister is an Ervah to the other, each is permitted to the other brother;
1. This is as they said, when her sister is her Yevamah, she does Chalitzah or Yibum.
(f) (Gemara): Our Mishnah shows that there is Zikah.
1. If not, since the sisters fall from different brothers, each Yavam could do Yibum with one of them!
(g) Rejection: Our Mishnah could hold that there is not Zikah; rather, it is forbidden to cause the Mitzvah of Yibum to be lost.
1. Perhaps, by the time 1 brother does Yibum, his brother will die, and the other Yevamah (who is now Ervah on the surviving brother) will not do Yibum nor Chalitzah.
(h) Question: If so, even by 3 brothers, the sisters must do Chalitzah, not Yibum!
(i) Answer: True! The Tana taught even more.
1. If there are 3 brothers, if the surviving brother does Yibum, the Mitzvah of Yibum is perforce nullified regarding her sister.
2. When there are 4 brothers, one might think that we are not concerned that 1 may die, and the Mitzvah will be lost - we see that this is not so.

(j) Question: If so, even by 5 brothers, Yibum should not be allowed!
(k) Answer: We are not concerned that 2 brothers will die.
(a) (Rav): 3 sisters fall to Yibum to 2 brothers. 1 does Chalitzah with 1 brother, 1 sister does Chalitzah with the other brother, and the 3rd sister needs Chalitzah from both of them.
(b) (Rabah): By saying that 1 sister needs Chalitzah from both, he must hold that there is Zikah, and the Chalitzah of the 3rd sister is invalid (since the Yavam was forbidden to do Yibum), and a woman that does an invalid Chalitzah must do Chalitzah with all the brothers.
(c) Question: If so, the first two should also need Chalitzah from all brothers!
(d) Answer: If they fell simultaneously, that would be true.
1. The case is, they fell at different times.
2. One sister fell, and Reuven did Chalitzah with her; another sister fell, and Shimon did Chalitzah with her;
3. When the 3rd falls, each does Chalitzah to remove his Zikah to her.
(e) Question: But Rav holds, there is not Zikah!
(f) Answer: He said this teaching according to the opinion that there is Zikah.
(g) (Shmuel): one brother may do Chalitzah to all of them.
(h) Question: But Shmuel holds, a fully proper Chalitzah is required!
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