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of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Yevamos 120


1. The difference between these answers is whether the Tzarah may marry before the wife that testified.
i. If Leah's testimony helps for her Tzarah - the Tzarah may marry first.
ii. If it only helps because Leah would not ruin herself - the Tzarah may not marry until Leah gets married.
(b) Answer #1 (Mishnah): R. Elazar says, since they were permitted to the Yevamim, they are permitted to others.
1. We understand if the reason is because Leah would not ruin herself - after Leah marries, the Tzarah may marry.
2. Question: If Leah's testimony helps for her Tzarah - it should help even if Leah didn't marry!
i. It must be, the reason is because Leah would not ruin herself.
3. Rejection: No - we can say, R. Elazar addresses Chachamim according to their opinion.
i. I hold, Leah's testimony helps for her Tzarah, even if Leah didn't marry.
ii. You should at least admit, if Leah married, her Tzarah may marry, since Leah would not ruin herself!
iii. Chachamim: A woman would ruin herself to ruin her Tzarah.
(c) Answer #2 (Mishnah): A woman went overseas with her husband; she returned and said that her husband died - she may get married and receives her Kesuvah, and her Tzarah is forbidden;
1. (Beraisa): R. Elazar says, since she was permitted, her Tzarah is also permitted.
2. Rejection: We can explain R. Elazar to say, since she was permitted and got married, her Tzarah is permitted.
3. Question: We should be concerned, perhaps she got married because she was divorced, but her (ex-)husband is still alive, and she lies to ruin her Tzarah!
4. Answer: The Tzarah is only permitted if Leah married a Kohen, which she would not do if she was divorced.
(a) (Mishnah): Witnesses can only testify if they saw face, including the nose; even if there are signs on his body and clothing;
(b) They can only testify if they saw him die - even if they saw him cut up, hanging, and a wild animal eating him;
(c) They can only testify if they saw the body within 3 days of death; R. Yehudah Ben Bava says, it depends on the deceased, the place and the time.
(d) (Gemara - Beraisa): If they only saw the forehead, not the face; the face, but not the forehead - they cannot testify until they see both, including the nose.
1. (Abaye): This is learned from "Recognition of their faces proved who they were".
(e) Aba Bar Marsa owed money to the Exilarch; he stuck remnants of garments on his forehead, and was not recognized.
(f) (Mishnah): Even if there are signs ...
(g) Suggestion: This says that mid'Oraisa, we may not rely on signs.
1. Contradiction (Mishnah): (A messenger to give a Get lost the Get.) If it was found tied to his wallet or ring, or if it was found among his clothes, even after a long time, the Get may be used.
2. Answer (Abaye): Tana'im argue whether mid'Oraisa we may rely on signs.
i. (Beraisa): We may not identify a dead man based on a wart to permit his wife to marry; R. Eliezer Ben Mahavoy permits this.
ii. Suggestion: Chachamim hold, we may rely on signs mid'Oraisa; R. Eliezer says, only mid'Rabanan.
3. Version #1 - Rejection (Rava): All hold that signs are mid'Oraisa - they argue whether we are concerned that someone born at the same time would have an identical wart,
i. Version #2: They argue whether warts are prone to change after death.
4. Version #3 - Rejection (Rava): All hold that signs are mid'Rabanan - they argue whether a wart is a telltale sign (which is mid'Oraisa, even though regular signs are mid'Rabanan).

(h) Question: How can Rava say in the 1st version that signs are mid'Oraisa - the Mishnah says, even though there are signs on his body and clothes!
(i) Answer: The signs on his body are vague and unreliable, e.g. he is tall or short;
(j) Answer #1 (regarding clothing): We cannot rely on signs on his clothing, we are concerned that someone borrowed his clothing.
1. Question: If we are concerned that someone borrowed his clothing, how can we return a donkey based on a sign on the Ukaf (wood placed above the saddle) - we should be concerned that the Ukaf was borrowed!
2. Answer: One does not borrow an Ukaf, it would wound the donkey.
3. Question: If the Get was found tied to his wallet or ring, we should be concerned that these were borrowed!
4. Answer: People do not lend (signet) rings, lest the borrower forge with it; people do not lend wallets, lest it harm their Mazel.
(k) Answer #2 (regarding clothing): The signs on his clothes are vague and unreliable, e.g. they are white or black.
(a) (Mishnah): Even if they saw that he was cut up ...
(b) This implies, a cut up person may live.
(c) Contradiction (Mishnah): A person is not Tamei until he dies; even if he is cut up, even Goses (about to die).
1. He is not dead - but we infer, he will not live.
(d) Answer #1 (Abaye): Tana'im argue whether he can survive.
1. (Beraisa): We can testify that a cut up person died, but not one hanging; R. Shimon Ben Elazar says, even a cut up person we may not testify about, since he may be cauterized and live.
(e) Objection: We cannot establish the Mishnah as R. Shimon Ben Elazar - the continuation of the Mishnah is not as him!
1. (Mishnah): There was a case in Asya of a man lowered into water; when they lifted him, only his leg came up. Chachamim ruled - if more than the knee came up, his wife may marry; if not, she may not.
(f) Answer: That is different - water aggravates the wound.
(g) Question: Rabah Bar Bar Chanah saw a man cut up his camel - it died while still neighing!
(h) Answer #1 (Abaye): That was a weak camel.
(i) Answer #2 (Rava): The Mishnah speaks of one cut with a burning-hot knife - all agree, in such a case, he can live.
(j) (Mishnah): A wild animal was eating from him ...
(k) (Rav Yehudah): This is only if it was eating from a place where a person does not die - but if was eating from a place from where a person dies, we may testify.
(l) (Rav Yehudah): If a man's foodpipe and windpipe were both cut, or the majority of both, and he fled, we may testify that he died.
(m) Question: But Rav Yehudah said, if such a man authorized to divorce his wife, we write and give the Get!
(n) Answer: He is living, but will die.
(o) Question: If so, one who mistakenly cuts these signs on a person should be exiled - but a Beraisa says, he is not exiled!
(p) Answer (R. Oshiya): We are concerned that the wind precipitated his death, or he himself did.
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