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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Yevamos 79

YEVAMOS 79, 80 - The first two of four Dafim dedicated in honor of Dr. Charles and Rosalind Neustein, whose retirement to Florida allows them to spend even more time engaging in Torah study!


(a) David reasoned - Shaul died 13 years ago, it is abnormal to eulogize him now; but we can appease the Givonim.
1. David: "What can we do for you, to atone?"
2. Givonim: "We don't want silver or gold ... give us 7 of Shaul's children, and we will hang them."
3. David tried appeasing them; they refused.
4. David: There are 3 signs of Yisrael: they are merciful, have a sense of shame, and bestow Chesed.
i. They are merciful - "He will give you mercy, and make you merciful".
ii. They have a sense of shame - "In order that fear of Hash-m should be on your faces".
iii. They bestow Chesed - "That he will command his children..."
5. Whoever has these 3 signs is fitting to cling to Yisrael.
(b) Question: "The king took ... Armon and Mefiboshes and 5 sons of Michal" - why these?
(c) Answer (Rav Huna): He passed them in front of the Aron; whom the Aron absorbed would be killed; whom the Aron expelled, would live.
1. Objection (Rav Chana Bar Ketina): "The king had mercy on Mefiboshes Ben Yehonason"!
2. Answer: He did not pass him in front of the Aron.
3. Objection: Did he show favoritism?
4. Answer: Rather, he passed him in front of the Aron; the Aron absorbed him, and David requested mercy, and the Aron expelled him.
5. Objection: Still, this is favoritism!
6. Answer: Rather, he prayed that the Aron should not absorb him.
(d) Objection: But it says, "Fathers will not die on account of sons..."!
(e) Answer (R. Chiya Bar Aba): It is better to uproot a letter of the Torah than to publicly desecrate Hash-m's name.
(f) Question: "From the beginning of the harvest ... until the rain (the bodies were hanging)" - but "You may not let him hang overnight"!
(g) Answer (R. Yochanan): It is better to uproot a letter of the Torah in order to publicly sanctify Hash-m's name.
1. Passersby: Who are these people hanging?
2. Answer: Sons of kings.
3. Passersby: What did they do?
4. Answer: They harmed converts.
5. Passersby: There is no nation as fit to cling to as this! If sons of kings are punished thusly - all the more so, commoners! If for harming converts thusly - for harming Yisrael, all the more so!
(h) Immediately, there were 150,000 new converts - "Shlomo had 70,000 workers carrying on the shoulder, and 80,000 quarrying in the mountain.
1. Question: Perhaps these workers were Yisraelim!
2. Rejection: This cannot be - "Shlomo did not give a slave from Yisrael".
3. Question: Maybe they were just hired workers?
(i) Rather, we learn from "And Shlomo counted ... 150,000 ... 70,000 carrying".
(j) Question: David did not decree on the Nesinim - Moshe did - "From the woodchopper...."!
(k) Answer: Moshe only decreed on his generation; David decreed for all generations.
(l) Question: Still, Yehoshua decreed on them - "Yehoshua made them woodchoppers and water drawers for the congregation and the Altar."
(m) Answer: Yehoshua only decreed for when there is a Mikdash; David decreed for even when there is no Mikdash.

1. In Rebbi's day, they wanted to permit the Nesinim.
2. Rebbi: We can permit our share - but who will permit the share of the Altar?
3. This argues on R. Chiya Bar Aba.
i. R. Chiya Bar Aba: The share of the congregation is always forbidden; the share of the Altar is only forbidden when there is a Mikdash.
(a) (Mishnah - R. Yehoshua): I heard that a Seris does Chalitzah, and one does Chalitzah to his widow; and a Seris does not do Chalitzah, and one does not do Chalitzah to his widow, and I cannot explain these;
1. R. Akiva: I will explain! A Seris Adam (caused by man) does Chalitzah, and one does Chalitzah to his widow, because he was once able to have children; a Seris Chamah (from birth) does not do Chalitzah, and one does not do Chalitzah to his widow, since he was always sterile;
2. R. Eliezer: No - rather, A Seris Chamah does Chalitzah, and one does Chalitzah to his widow, because he can be cured; a Seris Adam does not do Chalitzah, and one does not do Chalitzah to his widow, since he cannot be cured.
3. R. Yehudah Ben Besira: Ben Megoses was a Seris Adam in Yerushalayim; his widow did Yibum, fulfilling the words of R. Akiva.
(b) A Seris does not do Chalitzah nor Yibum, nor does an Ailonis;
(c) A Seris that did Chalitzah, he did not disqualify her; if he had relations with her, he disqualified her (since he is her brother's wife, without the Mitzvah of Yibum).
(d) Similarly, an Ailonis that did Chalitzah is not disqualified; if she had relations with the Yavam, she is disqualified.
(e) (Gemara) Question: We know that R. Akiva says that Chaivei Lavin are as Chaivei Krisus, and Chaivei Krisus do not do Chalitzah or Yibum!
(f) Answer #1 (R. Ami): The case is, she is a convert; R. Akiva holds as R. Yosi, who says that converts are not considered as part of the congregation of Hash-m (and are permitted to a Seris).
1. Question: If so, they should be allowed to do Yibum!
2. Answer: Indeed, they can! Since R. Yehoshua mentioned Chalitzah, R. Akiva also spoke of Chalitzah.
i. We can prove this from the Mishnah - R. Yehudah Ben Besira testified about a Seris Adam whose widow did Yibum, to fulfill the words of R. Akiva.
(g) Question (Rabah - Beraisa): Reuven is a Petzu'a Daka, Crus Shafchah, Seris Adam, or is too old to have children: he does Chalitzah or Yibum.
1. If Reuven died leaving a widow, and a brother gave a Ma'amar, Get or did Chalitzah, it takes effect; if a brother did Yibum, he acquires her;
2. If Reuven's brother died leaving a widow, and Reuven gave a Ma'amar, Get or did Chalitzah, it takes effect; if he did Yibum, he acquires her, but may not stay married - "A Petzu'a Daka or Crus Shafchah will not enter the congregation of Hash-m".
3. We see, the case is that the widow is a Bas Yisrael!
(h) Answer #2 (Rabah): Rather, the case is, he became a Petzu'a Daka after she fell to Yibum.
(i) Question (Abaye): The prohibition of Petzu'a Daka should push off the Mitzvah of Yibum!
1. (Mishnah - R. Gamliel): (A woman fell to Yibum to a man married mi'Derabanan to her sister, a minor). If the sister does Mi'un, she may do Yibum; if not, she waits until her sister grows up, and she is exempt, because she is the sister of the Yavam's wife.
2. We see, the prohibition of a wife's sister pushes off the Mitzvah of Yibum - we should say the same by Petzu'a Daka!
(j) Answer (Rav Yosef): The Tana holds, according to R. Akiva that Mamzerim come only from Chaivei Lavin of Sher (kin), not from other Chaivei Lavin.
(k) Question: It says, "To establish a name for his brother", and such men cannot do this!
(l) Counter-question (Rava): If you say, it is not enough that he was once able to have children - Yibum never applies, since the husband always became a Seris Chamah right before he dies!
1. Rava's reasoning poses a difficulty on R. Eliezer!
2. Answer: No - a man does not become a Seris Chamah before death, he is just weak.
(m) Question: What is a Seris Chamah?
(n) Answer (R. Yitzchak Bar Yosef): One who was a Seris from birth.
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