THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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YEVAMOS 46-55 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the Dafyomi
publications for these Dafim for the benefit of Klal Yisrael.
1) AGADAH: FILLING ONE'S LIFESPAN, OR ADDING TO IT
QUESTION: The Gemara records a Machlokes Tana'im regarding the meaning of
Hashem's blessing to His people, "The number of your days I shall fill"
(Shemos 23:26). The Beraisa says that it is referring to the days of a
person's lifespan. Rebbi Akiva says that if a person is worthy, then Hashem
lets the person live his entire allotted time. If a person is unworthy, then
Hashem reduces his allotted time. The Chachamim argue and say that if a
person is worthy, then Hashem *adds* to his allotted time, and not that
Hashem merely keeps the person alive for his allotted time.
RAV YAKOV D. HOMNICK uses this Gemara to explain an odd incident that is
recorded in the Gemara in Megilah (28a). The Gemara there relates a number
of incidents wherein the Talmidim of a Tana or Amora asked their teacher how
he merited to live such a long life. In each case, the Tana or Amora
answered by relating an act or acts of especially upright conduct which he
practiced. In the middle of the Sugya, the Gemara relates that Rebbi Akiva
once asked Rebbi Nechunya ha'Gadol how he merited to live so long. Rebbi
Nechunya's attendants thought that Rebbi Akiva was asking in a derogatory
fashion, as if he was upset that Rebbi Nechunya had lived so long, and they
began to hit him. Rebbi Akiva escaped to the top of a tree, from where he
called to Rebbi Nechunya, "If the Torah says, '[You shall prepare] a lamb'
(Bamidbar 28:4), then why does it add the word '*one* lamb (Keves
From Rebbi Akiva's question, Rebbi Nechunya saw that Rebbi Akiva was a
genuine Talmid Chacham, and he ordered his attendants to leave him. Rebbi
Akiva then answered his own question -- the Torah adds the word "Echad" to
teach that the lamb must be the one which is the most special of its flock.
Rebbi Nechunya then told Rebbi Akiva why he merited to live so long. "I
never accepted any presents, I never stood up for my due (to get back at
someone who had pained me), and I was forgoing with my money."
Why were the attendants so upset with Rebbi Akiva's question to Rebbi
Nechunya, and what did Rebbi Nechunya see that changed his viewpoint about
Rebbi Akiva's question?
ANSWER: RAV HOMNICK explains as follows. Our Gemara records the Machlokes
between Rebbi Akiva and the Chachamim about how Hashem allots to a person
years to his life. Rebbi Akiva says that if a person merits, then Hashem
*fills* his allotted lifespan, while the Chachamim say that He *adds* to it.
Since Rebbi Akiva is the minority opinion, the Halachah should follow the
For this reason, the attendants of Rebbi Nechunya were upset with Rebbi
Akiva for asking how their master lived so long. Since his extra years were
a blessing of *addition* to the time he had been allotted to live, it is not
proper to speak about it openly, for a "blessing [of addition] exists only
upon something which is hidden from the eye" (Bava Metzia 42a). They feared
that by revealing the extra years granted to Rebbi Nechunya and discussing
why he was blessed with those extra years, it would become something that
was no longer hidden, and the blessing would not continue.
Rebbi Akiva, though, was acting according to this own opinion in Yevamos,
that when a person lives for a very long time, it is not an *addition* to
his allotted life, but rather Hashem has granted him the ability to live out
his allotted time (which, in Rebbi Nechunya's case, happened to be a long
time). Therefore, Rebbi Akiva was searching for the proper manner of conduct
which would merit living out one's fully allotted time. Since that does not
involve a blessing of *extra*, additional years, it is not subject to the
requirement that it remain "hidden from the eye!"
Rebbi Akiva conveyed his intention by hinting to the lamb of the Korban
Tamid. If one uses each day of his life to fulfill Hashem's will, such as by
fulfilling a daily obligation like the Korban Tamid, then he will merit
living out all of his days.
This is also evident in Rebbi Nechunya's response to Rebbi Akiva. When Rebbi
Nechunya understood that Rebbi Akiva was asking how he managed to live out
his fully allotted time (and not how he merited to have additional years
added to his lifespan), he answered, "I never accepted any presents,"
meaning that he felt full and satisfied with his portion in life and needed
nothing else. Measure for measure, he was awarded with the full portion of
his lifespan. Similarly, "I never stood up for my due, and I was forgoing
with my money" -- but rather he trusted in Hashem to repay his due in full
measure, for which he was rewarded with fully living out his allotted years!
This is the only incident in that Sugya which discusses the ways to deserve
fully living one's allotted time, since it is Rebbi Akiva asking the
question. The other cases are in accordance with the Chachamim in Yevamos,
and thus they discuss how to *add* to one's lifespan.
A remarkable support for this is what the MESILAS YESHARIM writes about the
Sugya. The Mesilas Yesharim (ch. 19) writes that these stories teach how to
act with Chasidus, adding to the requirement of the law, for which one will
be rewarded measure for measure by Hashem *adding* to one's allotted
lifespan. The Mesilas Yesharim cites a number of the stories in the Gemara
in Megilah *before* the one with Rebbi Akiva, and he also cites the story of
Rebbi Zeira that *follows* the one with Rebbi Akiva, and he omits the story
of Rebbi Akiva! The reason for this, says Rav Homnick, is that the story of
Rebbi Akiva does not demonstrate how to *add* to one's lifespan, but rather
how to merit completing one's allotted time!
This explains why, when Rebbi Nechunya said that he never accepted any
presents, the Gemara brings an example for this attribute from the conduct
of Rebbi Zeira, who never accepted presents. In the very next case of the
Gemara, though, Rebbi Zeira was asked how he merited to live so long. He
answered with six reasons, but he did not mention that he never accepted
presents! It must be that the conduct of not accepting presents is a reason
for one to have his allotted time completed, but not to have more years
added, while Rebbi Zeira was explaining why extra years were added to his
life! (From SEFER MARBEH SIMCHAH on Maseches Megilah)
2) "EIN ACHAREHA KLUM" AND THE PROCEDURES DONE WITH A YEVAMAH
QUESTION: The Mishnah details the different combinations of procedures that
one could do with his Yevamah. The Mishnah says that the Halachos are the
same for one Yavam with two Yevamos, and for two Yevamim with one Yevamah.
In the end of the Mishnah, the Mishnah re-lists the combinations of
procedures with Chalitzah that it listed in the beginning of the Mishnah,
"Chalatz -- v'Asah Ma'amar, Nasan Get, u'Ba'al," and says, "Ein Achar
Chalitzah Klum..." -- "Nothing takes effect after Chalitzah was done,
whether it was done at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end."
3) THE ISUR OF "ESHES ACH" WHEN LIVING WITH A SECOND YEVAMAH
RASHI (DH Chalatz v'Asah) says that the Mishnah here is repeating the
Halachah of one Yavam with one Yevamah, and it is not a continuation of the
Halachos of one Yavam with two Yevamos that the Mishnah was discussing until
However, in his very next comment (DH Bein b'Techilah Bein b'Emtza),
referring to the statement of the Mishnah that nothing takes effect when it
follows Chalitzah no matter when the Chalitzah was done, Rashi explains that
the case of "b'Emtza" (when Chalitzah was done in the middle) is referring
to a case of one Yavam with *two* Yevamos, where the Yavam gave a Get to the
first Yevamah and did Chalitzah with the second Yevamah, and then he did
Ma'amar to one of them (in which case the Ma'amar is not effective and no
Get is necessary, since Chalitzah was already done).
Then (DH ha'Bi'ah b'Emtza) Rashi explains that the case of Bi'ah b'Emtza is
where there are *three* Yevamos!
Why does Rashi explain the cases as referring to multiple Yevamos, when just
before he explained that the Mishnah is referring to a case of one Yavam
with one Yevamah? (MAHARSHA)
ANSWER: The MAHARSHA answers that Rashi does not mean that the Mishnah now
is addressing specifically a case of one Yavam with one Yevamah. He means
that the Mishnah is not continuing the previous discussion, and is referring
back to what was written at the beginning of the Mishnah. The Mishnah
already mentioned that this Halachah applies also to two Yevamos, and that
is why, when describing the cases of Chalitzah and Bi'ah b'Emtza, Rashi sets
up the case as referring to multiple Yevamos.
Why, though, did Rashi mention at all that the Mishnah is referring back to
"one Yavam and one Yevamah?" He should just have said that the Mishnah is
referring to all of the cases mentioned earlier in the Mishnah!
The TOSFOS YOM TOV (who also answers like the Maharasha) explains that Rashi
understood that this part of the Mishnah is referring to a case of one Yavam
with one Yevamah, because the Mishnah uses the same wording that it used
earlier when referring to a case of one Yavam with one Yevamah. If the
Mishnah here was referring to cases of more than one Yavam or one Yevamah,
it would have added an additional possible case, not just "Chalatz v'Asah
Ma'amar..." but rather "Chalatz *v'Chalatz*, v'Asah Ma'amar...." Since the
Mishnah does not give the possibility of doing two Chalitzos or two Yibums,
it must be referring only to a case of one Yavam with one Yevamah.
Why did Rashi explain the case of Chalitzah b'Emtza as referring to a case
of two Yevamos? The answer is that the case of Chalitzah b'Emtza is possible
only with two Yevamos, because in order to have the Chalitzah in the middle,
the Yavam must have given a Get to one Yevamah, and then did Chalitzah, and
then did Ma'amar. If the case is referring to only one Yevamah, the
Chalitzah is not "b'Emtza" but is a proper Chalitzah, because it is supposed
to follow a Get with the same woman! In such a case the Chalitzah is not a
Chalitzah Pesulah and it is certainly valid (and the Mishnah here is
discussing the difference between a Chalitzah Pesulah and a Bi'ah Pesulah).
Why, though, did Rashi not explain the case as referring to one Yevamah, and
that the Yavam did *Ma'amar* first and then Chalitzah and then gave her a
Get, in which case the Chalitzah is indeed a Chalitzah Pesulah? Rashi could
not have explained like that, because in such a case there is no Chidush
that "Ein Achar Chalitzah Klum," because nothing else is needed -- a Get was
given for the Ma'amar, and the woman was permitted to remarry by the
Chalitzah. It must be that there was a Ma'amar given after the Chalitzah,
and the Mishnah's Chidush is that one does not have to give a Get for that
Why, though, did Rashi not explain the case as referring to one Yevamah, and
there was Ma'amar both before and after the Chalitzah, and the Mishnah is
teaching that the Ma'amar after the Chalitzah does not require a Get? The
answer is that the Mishnah lists only cases in which each procedure is used
only once. Therefore, the only case in which the Mishnah would be telling us
a Chidush of "Ein Achar Chalitzah Klum" while using only one of each
possible procedure is a case of two Yevamos, where the Yavam gave a Get to
one, Chalitzah to the other, and then Ma'amar to one of them.
The same question, though, applies for the case of Bi'ah b'Emtza, which
Rashi says is referring to three Yevamos. There, the Yavam gave a Get to the
first Yevamah, then did Bi'ah with the second, and then did Ma'amar with the
third, in which case he needs to give a Get for the Ma'amar and he must do
Chalitzah with one of them to release them (since the Bi'ah was a Bi'ah
Pesulah, due to the Get that he gave to the first Yevamah). Why, though,
does Rashi not explain the case to be referring to *two* Yevamos, where the
Yavam gave a Get to the first Yevamah, and then did Bi'ah with the same one,
and then did Ma'amar with the second Yevamah? Alternatively, the case could
be where the Yavam gave a Get to the first Yevamah, did Bi'ah with the
second, and then did Ma'amar with the first one. Why does Rashi have to
explain the case as referring to *three* Yevamos?
The TOSFOS YOM TOV (see also ARUCH LA'NER) says that indeed Rashi could have
explained that two of the procedures were done with one Yevamah, but Rashi
wanted to give an example of a case where there would be a consequence with
regard to the Isur to marry the Yevamah's relatives, and in the case of two
Yevamos, their relatives are already Asur to the Yavam (either because of
the Get that he gave to one, or because of the Bi'ah he did with the other).
This answer, however, needs further elucidation. First of all, it does not
explain why Rashi did not suggest scenario where the Yavam gave a Get and
then Bi'ah to the same Yevamah. Second, we can identify three practical
ramifications for the Halachah of "Yesh Achareha Klum:" 1. the Bi'ah itself
does not consummate a full Yibum, but rather it requires Chalitzah to break
the Zikah entirely; 2. if the Yavam does Ma'amar after doing Bi'ah with a
Yevamah, that Ma'amar takes effect and he will need to give that Yevamah a
Get; 3. if he does Ma'amar after the Bi'ah and then divorces her with a Get,
he becomes Asur to her relatives, since the Ma'amar and Get took effect.
Here, in the case of Bi'ah b'Emtza, Rashi explains that the practical
ramification of "Yesh Achareha Klum" is that the Yavam is Asur to her
relatives (the third consequence). However, when explaining the consequences
of Chalitzah b'Emtza, Rashi writes that the *Ma'amar* does not take effect
after the Chalitzah (the second consequence)! When he discusses Bi'ah b'Sof,
he says that the practical consequence is that the Yavam must do *Chalitzah*
after the Bi'ah since the Bi'ah did not break the Zikah entirely (the first
consequence)! Why does Rashi mention these different consequences in each
case? This question requires further elucidation.
QUESTION: The Gemara explains that the Chachamim required Chalitzah when
Bi'as Yibum follows Ma'amar as a Gezeirah, lest people think that Bi'ah
after *Bi'ah* is valid. RASHI (DH v'Iy Bi'ah Achar Ma'amar) explains that if
only a Get was required (for the Ma'amar done before the Bi'ah), people
might think that since the Bi'ah was an effective Yibum even though it
followed Ma'amar, then it is also acceptable to do Bi'ah after doing
*Bi'ah*. They will mistakenly assume that if one did Bi'ah with one Yevamah,
that it is proper to do Bi'ah with the second Yevamah as well, and they will
then transgress the Isur of "Eshes Ach" by doing Bi'ah with the second
Why does Rashi say that the problem is that one might transgress the Isur of
"Eshes Ach?" What Isur "Eshes Ach" is there in this case? The Gemara earlier
(10b) says that according to Rebbi Yochanan, once one brother does Yibum
with one Yevamah, all of the other brothers and Tzaros also lose the Isur
"Eshes Ach." Hence there should be no Isur "Eshes Ach" in this case!
Moreover, in the case that Rashi is discussing, which is when there is one
Yavam doing Bi'ah with two Yevamos one after the other, then even Reish
Lakish (10b) agrees that the Yavam is Asur to the second Yevamah only with
an Isur Aseh, but not with a Lo Ta'aseh or with an Isur Kares! (YASHRESH
(a) The ARUCH LA'NER explains that Rashi does not mean the Isur of "Eshes
Ach," but rather he means an Isur that *stems from* the Isur of "Eshes Ach."
In this case, it is the Isur Aseh of living with a Yevamah with whom one's
brother already did Yibum ("Keivan sh'Banah Shuv Lo Yivneh"). He finds proof
for this interpretation in the words of Rashi, who writes that the brother
will be "*Paga* (touch) b'Isur Eshes Ach," and not simply "Chayav (or Avar)
b'Isur Eshes Ach."
The HAGAHOS ON THE ME'IRI (Daf 11a #12) adds that this shows that Rashi held
like those Rishonim who write that the Isur of "Lo Yivneh" is not a new Isur
Lav, but it is the Torah revealing to us that the Isur of "Eshes Ach" in
this situation is only Asur with a Lav and not with Kares.
However, it is not clear why Rashi should decide to express the Isur Aseh in
such terms here. He could have simply written that there is an Isur
d'Oraisa, like he wrote earlier (DH Mishum d'Mehani).
(b) The RASHASH suggests that Rashi at this point is not referring to a case
of one Yavam with two Yevamos, but rather to a case of two Yavams with one
Yevamah. In that case, according to Reish Lakish, the second Yavam to live
with the Yevamah has an Isur of "Eshes Ach." (That is indeed the way the
NIMUKEI YOSEF records the case here; with either two Yevamos and one Yavam
or with two Yavam's and one Yevamah.)
Why, though, should Rashi mention specifically the Isur of "Eshes Ach,"
which applies only according to Reish Lakish? The Gemara, which is
explaining the Mishnah, must work out according to both Reish Lakish and
Rebbi Yochanan; why would Rashi explain it specifically according to the
view of Reish Lakish? Moreover, if two Yavams live with one Yevamah one
after the other, there will not merely be an Isur of Eshes Ach, but an Isur
of Eshes Ish!
Perhaps the Rashash means that the Gezeirah is that one Yavam will take the
other Yavam's wife *after he divorces her* (or after he dies and leaves
behind children), and then there will be an Isur Kares of "Eshes Ach"
(because of the *second* brother) according to everyone.