ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Yevamos 119
YEVAMOS 116-119 - have been sponsored through the generous contribution of
Mr. Uri Wolfson and family
(a) If they told a woman whose husband and Tzarah went overseas, that her
husband had died - she would need to ascertain that her Tzarah was not
pregnant or that she had a child, before being permitted to marry or to
(b) She would not however, be similarly obligated to desist from marrying if
her mother-in-law too, went overseas, on the basis of the possibility that
she had born a son, and that she (the daughter-in-law) was therefore now
obligated to perform Yibum - because even if she did have a child, her
daughter-in-law would be permitted to marry, since the child may have died,
and even if it survived, it may have been a girl (this issue will be
discussed further in the Gemara).
(c) If however, her mother-in-law left pregnant, then ,according to Rebbi
Eliezer, she must wait until she discovers whether she is now Chayav Yibum
or not. According to Rebbi Yehoshua - it makes no difference. She is
permitted to marry anyway.
(d) In the Reisha of the Mishnah, the Tana uses the expression 'ad she'Teida
Shema Me'uberes *Hi* Tzarasah' - that we are only concerned about the Tzarah
of whose existence we are aware, but not about the possibility that her
husband may have married another Tzarah overseas.
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that a woman whose husband and Tzarah went
overseas, and who was informed that her husband had died, is forbidden to
marry or to perform Yibum. The latter is forbidden, in case her Tzarah had
born a baby. The problem with the prohibition to marry is - why not? Why do
not assume that (like most women) her Tzarah probably did have a baby, and
permit her to marry after nine months?
(b) We therefore establish our Mishnah like Rebbi Meir - who contends with
the minority (le'Chumra. We know this from his opinion with regard to
Chalitzah [which will be quoted shortly], and it is not clear why Rashi
needs to refer to a Mishnah in Nidah).
(c) We try to establish the Mishnah even like the Rabbanan, who follow the
Rov (majority), but not *that* sort of Rov - which is a Ruba de'Leisa Kaman
(an invisible Rov, which is really based on a Chazakah ['most women have
children']). The Rov that they do follow is a Rov which is visible, such as
nine shops selling Kasher meat against one shop selling meat that is not
Kasher, or a majority of Dayanim in Beis-Din.
(a) We refute the contention that the Rabbanan make a distinction between
the two above-mentioned types of Rov, on the basis of a Beraisa regarding a
Katan and Ketanah. Rebbi Meir says there - that a Katan and a Ketanah may
not perform Chalitzah or Yibum.
(b) The Rabbanan concede to Rebbi Meir that a Katan cannot perform
Chalitzah - because the Torah writes "Ish".
(c) A Ketanah cannot perform Chalitzah either - because the Torah compares a
Ketanah to a Katan with regard to Chalitzah.
(d) Rebbi Meir forbids a Katan and a Ketanah to perform Yibum - in case the
Yavam turns out to be a S'ris, and the Yevamah, an Aylonis. The Rabbanan
disagree, because they do not contend with the minority (even le'Chumra).
(a) So we establish Rebbi Meir as the author of our Mishnah. The problem
with the Seifa, which permits the woman to marry, in the case when her
mother-in-law too, went overseas - is why the Tana does not also contend
with the possibility that she may have born a son (a Yavam). This is not a
Mi'uta de'Mi'uta (because of the added possibility that maybe she did not
bear a child at all) - since, due to the Rov, we take for granted that she
did in fact, bear a child.
(b) We try to answer, that, according to Rebbi Meir, the Chazakah that she
is permitted le'Shuk will override the fact that she may have born a boy (a
Mi'ut). But we refute that answer on the grounds that - if so, we should
have permitted her to perform Yibum in the Reisha, because of the Chazakah
that she is Chayav Yibum.
(c) Rabah bar Rav Huna replies that in the Reisha, which is an Isur Kareis
(Eishes Ish), Chazal were strict; whereas in the Seifa, where it is only a
La'av, they were lenient. Rava reject this answer however - on the grounds
that, seeing as this is not just a Chumra de'Rabbanan (like it was on Daf
82a., where we accepted a similar answer), but a Safek Isur d'Oraysa, why
should we be any more lenient by a La'av than by an Isur Kareis?
(a) A Rov is stronger than a Chazakah.
(b) This helps us to establish the Reisha (where the Tzarah went overseas
together with her husband), which forbids her to the Yavam in spite of the
Chazakah - because there is a Rov that permits her to the Shuk (maybe the
baby with which the Tzarah was pregnant died, and even if it lived, maybe it
was a girl).
(c) In spite of the Rov, she is forbidden to get married - because Rebbi
Meir contends with the Mi'ut (Rashi). Note: The Gemara puts it like this:
that if we add the Mi'ut Mapilos (who give birth to a still-born baby) to
the Chazakah, we will end up with an equal Safek (fifty-fifty), allowing
neither marriage nor Yibum (see also Nimukei Yosef, who explains this even
according to the Rabbanan of Rebbi Meir; and this is the opinion of many
(d) Still using Rov and Chazakah, we can understand why, in the Seifa (where
his mother-in-law went overseas too), she is permitted to marry le'Shuk -
because the Rov le'Shuk works in conjunction with the Chazakah le'Shuk,
permitting her to marry even according to Rebbi Meir, because the
possibility of her having given birth to a boy is a Mi'uta de'Mi'uta.
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that if her Tzarah went overseas too, she is
forbidden both to marry and to perform Yibum. If she heard that her husband
had died, she would not be permitted to marry immediately, even if her
Tzarah had not gone overseas - because as we learned above (42b.), every
woman is obligated to wait thirty days before marrying.
(b) According to Ze'iri, when her Tzarah did go overseas, she has to wait
nine months before performing Chalitzah - in case the Tzarah is pregnant and
the baby eventually lives, and, as we learned in ha'Choletz, a baby only
exempts from Yibum from the time it is born.
(a) Rebbi Chanina maintains that she is forbidden forever (i.e. until she
discovers whether the Tzarah had a baby or not.
(b) She should be permitted to perform Chalitzah after nine months and get
married, and then, when they discover that her Tzarah did have a baby that
survived, Beis-Din announce that her Chalitzah is invalid. We issue a decree
forbidding it however - because of those people who may have been present at
the Chalitzah, but not at the announcement, and who will now think that a
Chalutzah is permitted to a Kohen.
(c) We learned in the previous Mishnah, that if a woman returns from
overseas with the news that she had a baby there, and that her husband died
first and then her son, she requires Chalitzah, after which she may remarry.
According to Rebbi Chanina - why do we not decree there too, in case
witnesses come and corroborate her testimony, in which case, there too,
Beis-Din will need to announce that the Chalitzah was invalid (and we ought
to decree like we decree here)?
(d) Rav Papa establishes that Mishnah by a woman who is divorced anyway. Rav
Chiya B'rei de'Rav Huna establish it - when, in her testimony, the woman
added that she and her husband were hiding in a cave, where there were no
(a) The Tana of our Mishnah states that if two sisters are married to two
brothers, and each one testifies that her husband died - both women are
forbidden to marry, because of her sister's husband.
(b) If, in addition to the two testimonies ..
1. ... witnesses testify, that one of the husbands did indeed die - then the
other sister is permitted to marry due to the testimony of the witnesses,
but not the wife of the man on whom they are testifying.
(c) According to the Tana Kama, if they performed Yibum (with two other
brothers who had not gone overseas), and the Yevamin subsequently died, the
original prohibition to marry le'Shuk remains in full force (until adequate
proof of both deaths is established). Rebbi Elazar says - that since they
became permitted to the Yevamin, they are also permitted to the Shuk.
2. ... one of the two women has children - then the sister who has children
(which exempt her from Yibum) is permitted to marry, whereas her sister
(d) If one of the women has children in addition to the witnesses who
testify that her husband died - then both of them are permitted to marry:
she, on account of her children; and her sister, on account of the
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that Rebbi Elazar permits the two women to
marry, if they performed Yibum, and the two Yevamin subsequently died.
However, we are uncertain of his reason. It might be because the Yibum that
each one performed constitutes sufficient evidence that her husband really
did die (because otherwise, they would cause themselves harm by their
testimony). Or it might be because he holds that a woman may testify for her
(b) The difference between the two explanations will be - in a case where
the Tzarah testified but has not yet married herself.