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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 perform Yibum.

(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 Rishonim).

(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 witnesses.

(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.
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 remains forbidden.
(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.

(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 witnesses.

(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 Tzarah.

(b) The difference between the two explanations will be - in a case where the Tzarah testified but has not yet married herself.

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