ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Yevamos 39
Rava disagrees with Abaye. If the Yevamah inherited the property whilst she
was married, Rava maintains - Beis Hillel will hold that the heirs of her
husband will share it, because, in his opinion, her husband's hand is
stronger than her's, and the Yavam's, equal.
(a) Rava therefore establishes even the Seifa of our Mishnah when the
Yevamah inherited the property when she was a Shomeres Yavam, and Beis
Shamai rule 'Yachloku' - because the Mishnah speaks when the Yavam made
Ma'amar, and, in this regard, Rava holds, Ma'amar makes her a Safek Nesu'ah.
(b) Rava hold that, according to Beis Shamai, Ma'amar makes a Yevamah a
Vaday Arusah - to push away the Tzarah (who is the Ba'alas Ma'amar's sister)
completely because of Achos Ishto, allowing her to marry le'Shuk.
(c) Rebbi Elazar was quoted as learning like Rava, and Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi
Chanina, like Abaye (though they lived long before them). Initially, in
order to conform with Rebbi Elazar above (29b.), who said that Ma'amar is
only Koneh to push away the Tzarah - we amend this pairing, to say that it
is Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina who learns like Rava, and Rebbi Elazar, like
(d) We finally pair Rebbi Elazar with Rava - by restricting the implication
of his earlier statement. All he really meant to say was that Ma'amar is not
sufficiently strong to exempt the Yevamah from Chalitzah, but not that the
Yavam is not Koneh the woman's inheritance.
(a) Rav Papa supports Abaye's interpretation of our Mishnah from the Lashon
of 'Nechasim ha'Nichnasim ve'ha'Yotz'in Imah' - which he interprets to mean
that it enters the possession of her husband and then leaves it when she
dies, to enter the father's possession, implying that she inherited the
property when she was married (not like Rava).
(b) He does concede however, that a Kashya remains on Abaye's explanation
from 'Meisah' - the same Kashya that Rabah asked above on Ula ('Why do Beis
Shamai and Beis Hillel argue over the property, when she is dead, and not
over the fruit whilst she is still alive')?
(c) 've'Su Lo Midi' means - that this is the last word on the matter (that
Abaye is vindicated).
(a) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina explains that, when the Tana of our Mishnah
says that, after Yibum, the Yevamah becomes the Yavam's wife in all regards,
he means that he sends her away by means of a Get, and that he is even
permitted to take her back. It is not so obvious that if he wishes ...
1. ... to send her away, he must give her a Get - because the Torah writes
"u'Lekachah Lo le'Ishah ve'Yibmah", which we might have interpreted to mean
that the original Yibumin remains with her, and he can only send her away
(b) We know that, having performed the Mitzvah of Yibum, once he divorces
her, she is not forbidden to him because of Eishes Ach - because the Torah
writes "u'Lekachah Lo le'Ishah", from which we learn that, once he performs
Yibum with her, she becomes his wife, in the full sense of the word.
2. ... to take her back, he may - because, having performed the Mitzvah, we
might have thought that, once he divorces her, the initial Isur of Eishes
(c) When the Tana says that the Yevamah's Kesubah is paid entirely by her
first husband - he means that the Yavam's property is not mortgaged for her
Kesubah, in which case he is permitted to sell it, when and as he wishes.
This is because Hashem granted him a wife without the financial obligations
connected with a Kesubah.
(d) The Rabbanan nevertheless instituted that, if her first husband left no
property, she receives a Kesubah from the second one - in order to safeguard
her, because a woman without a Kesubah is that much easier to divorce.
(a) We learn from the Pasuk "ve'Hayah ha'Bechor" - that the prime Mitzvah of
Yibum lies on the B'chor.
(b) Should he refuse, one goes to the other brothers. If they too, refuse -
one places the Mitzvah at the doorstep of the B'chor.
(c) If the oldest brother ...
1. ... says to wait for a brother who is a Katan and who wants to perform
Yibum - we decline to do so.
(d) If the oldest brother pushes her on to a brother who is a Cheresh or a
Shoteh (who want to perform Yibum) - we do not force her to accept this
against her will.
2. ... says to wait for another brother to return from overseas - we decline
3. ... at home says to wait for the return of the first-born who is
overseas - we still decline, because we do not delay a Mitzvah.
(a) Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi argue over which takes
precedence, the Yibum of a Katan or the Chalitzah of a Gadol. Katan in this
context - means a younger brother. It cannot mean a minor, either because
their Yibum and Chalitzah are not valid or because the Sugya later implies
that it means a younger brother, and not a minor.
(b) One holds that Yibum (even of a younger brother) takes precedence over
Chalitzah, whereas according to the other, when there is a Gadol, the
Chalitzah of a Katan is invalid.
(c) We try to resolve the She'eilah from the Reisha of our Mishnah 'Lo
Ratzah, Machzirin al Kol ha'Achin' - which we initially interpret to mean
that the B'chor does not want to perform Yibum, only Chalitzah (from which
we see that the Yibum of a Katan takes precedence).
(d) We refute this, by explaining 'Lo Ratzah' to mean that he does not want
to make Chalitzah either. This creates a problem with the continuation of
the Mishnah, however: 'Lo Ratzu, Chozrin Eitzel Gadol'. If the Mishnah
speaks when none of the brothers want to perform Yibum or Chalitzah - what
is the point of throwing the ball back into the B'chor's court, just to
perform Chalitzah? What difference does it make by which brother Chalitzah
(a) We answer the previous Kashya by saying that since, when all's said and
done, the Mitzvah begins with the oldest brother, it also ends with him. We
do not want to say this initially - because we thought that for that, it is
not worthwhile troubling the Beis-Din to reconvene.
(b) There is no proof (that Chalitzas Gadol is preferable) from the fact
that we do not wait for the Katan to grow up (in case he performs Yibum) -
because the reason that we do not wait is in order not to delay a Mitzvah,
as we said earlier.
(c) We prove this from the Seifa 'u've'Gadol ad she'Yavo mi'Medinas ha'Yam,
Ein Shom'in Lo' - because here, we should certainly wait for the B'chor to
return, to perform either Yibum or Chalitzah (seeing as the prime Mitzvah
lies with the B'chor).
(a) According to the second Lashon, both Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Yehoshua
ben Levi agree that the Yibum of a Katan is preferable to the Chalitzah of a
Gadol - their dispute is whether the Chalitzah of the Gadol is preferable to
that of a younger brother or not.
(b) One of them holds that the Chalitzah of a Gadol is preferable to that of
a Katan, because 'Mitzvah be'Gadol ... ' - the other, that it is only his
*Yibum* that takes precedence, but when it comes to Chalitzah, there is no
difference which brother performs it.
(c) We try to resolve this She'eilah from our Mishnah 'Lo Ratzu, Chozrin
Eitzel Gadol', which we think means that they did not want to perform Yibum,
only Chalitzah - nevertheless, we place the obligation to perform Chalitzah
at the door of the B'chor (proving that the Chalitzah of a Gadol is
preferable to that of a Katan).
(d) We refute this proof by explaining 'Lo Ratzu' to mean that they want to
perform neither Yibum nor Chalitzah. Assuming that the Chalitzah of a Gadol
is preferable, we not wait for the Gadol to come from overseas to perform
Chalitzah - because we do not delay a Mitzvah, as we have already explained.
(a) The Mishnah later in the Perek states that the Mitzvah of Yibum takes
priority over that of Chalitzah. Chazal later switched the order of
priorities to give Chalitzah precedence - because, whereas originally,
people used to perform the Mitzvah of Yibum for the sake of the Mitzvah
(like Aba Shaul), they then began to perform it for other motives (which,
according to Aba Shaul, invalidates the Mitzvah, leaving the sin of Eishes
(b) Rav maintains that, nevertheless, one does not forbid the Yavam to
perform Yibum should he so wish - provided the Yevamah agrees, (because we
have a number of Gemaros which explicitly state that we do not force her to
perform a Yibum that is unpleasant for her. See also Tosfos DH 'Amar Rav').
(c) When a Yavam and Yevamah came before Rav, he would quote them the Pasuk
"Im Lo Yachpotz ha'Ish" - which implies that the Yavam has the choice of
performing either Yibum or Chalitzah (forbidding Beis-Din to force them to
perform Chalitzah against their will), and indeed, Rav would offer each
Yavam the choice of Yibum or Chalitzah.
(a) Rav Yehudah inserted in the Lashon of the Sh'tar Chalitzah 'I Tzavis
le'Yabeim, Yabeim, ve'I Lo, Itla Lah Raglech de'Yamina ... ' - demonstrating
that, he too, holds like Rav.
(b) Rebbi Chiya bar Ivya in the name of Rav Yehudah added to the Sh'tar -
ve'Akrinhu (and we read out) Mah di'Ch'siv be'Seifer Oraysa'.
(c) 've'Ishtemod'inhu de'Achuha de'Misna me'Aba Nihu' means - that it was
known to the Beis-Din that the Yavam was the paternal brother of the
deceased, either through two Kasher witnesses, or even through a single
witness (even if he is a relative or a woman).
(d) Rav Acha and Ravina dispute this point. In fact - the latter
interpretation is the correct one, because this information requires no more
than a revelation, and is not considered real testimony.
(a) Rami bar Chama Amar Rav Yitzchak says that nowadays, the Mitzvah of
Yibum takes precedence over that of Chalitzah, not because of 'Achshur
Dari', as Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak suggested (with tongue in cheek) - but
because whereas initially they ruled like Aba Shaul, they later changed
their minds to rule like the Rabbanan, who validate Yibum, whatever the
(b) Aba Shaul - invalidates Yibum that is performed for any motive other
than Lishmah (for the sake of the Mitzvah).
(a) When the Tana of the Beraisa says that initially, the Yevamah was
permitted, then she became forbidden - he means that before the Yavam's
brother married her, she was permitted to him, to become forbidden after he
(b) The Beraisa concludes 'Yachol Tachzor le'Heteirah ha'Rishon, Talmud
Lomar "Yevamah Yavo Alehah", Mitzvah' which Rav Yitzchak bar Avdimi
establishes according to Aba Shaul - by amending 'Mitzvah' to 'le'Mitzvah',
meaning that now, he must perform the Mitzvah Lishmah.
(c) Rava establishes the Beraisa even like the Chachamim (without needing to
amend 'Mitzvah' to 'le'Mitzvah') - because 'Mitzvah' means that he does not
have the equal choice of performing either Yibum or Chalitzah, because it is
a Mitzvah to perform Yibum (rather than Chalitzah).
(d) We refute the Gemara's initial contention (that 'Mitzvah' comes to
preclude from 'Ratzah Konsah, Raztah Eino Konsah', like it was before she
married his brother) - since that implies that he has a choice of not
performing Yibum and of leaving her, which is impossible, because he is tied
to her with a Zikah. (So we amend it to 'Ratzah Konsah, Ratzah Choletz