ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Yevamos 79
YEVAMOS 79, 80 - The first two of four Dafim dedicated in honor of Dr.
Charles and Rosalind Neustein, whose retirement to Florida allows them to
spend even more time engaging in Torah study!
(a) When David offered the Giv'onim to name their compensation - they chose
revenge in the form of the hanging of seven descendants of King Shaul.
(b) King David rejected them because of the three basic Midos that
distinguish Yisrael from the other nations, and which they did not posses -
mercy, shame and kindness.
(c) He derived *mercy* from the Pasuk in Re'ei "ve'Nasan Lecha Rachamim
ve'Richamcha ve'Hirbecha" - and from the Pasuk (said at Matan Torah)
"Lema'an Tihyeh Yir'aso al Peneichem", *shame* (which is really a form of
fear of G-d [the opposite of brazenness]).
(d) And the Midah of *kindness* - he derived from the Pasuk in Vayeira
"Lema'an Asher Yetzaveh es Banav ... *ve'Shamru Derech Hashem*" (see Agados
(a) Seven sons of Ritzpah bas Ayah - a wife of Shaul, were hanged.
(b) The other five were sons of Michal bas Shaul (they were really the sons
of her sister Meirav - see Rashi in Shmuel 2\ 21:8). He chose them - by
passing them in front of the Aron.
(a) David took pity on Mefivoshes, Yehonasan's son. We first suggest that
the Aron chose him, and that, following David's Tefilah, it rejected him. We
refute that suggestion however - on the grounds that it is inconceivable
that David should have displayed favoritism towards one of Shaul's
descendants, at the expense of another.
(b) So we conclude that he must have Davened for him before passing them in
front of the Aron - praying that he should not be one of those to be picked.
1. Rebbi Chiya bar Aba Amar Rebbi Yochanan explains that in spite of the
Pasuk in Ki Seitzei "Lo Yumsu Avos al Banim" - it is better that one letter
in the Torah be erased than Hashem's Name should be desecrated (in other
words, Chilul Hashem overrides even the commands of the Torah).
Consequently, it was necessary to hang seven innocent men to avoid Chilul
(b) Passers-by would now sing the praises of that wonderful nation who
avenged even secondary converts with the lives of princes - and they would
want to join their ranks.
2. And for a similar reason, says Rebbi Yochanan Amar Rebbi Shimon ben
Yehotzadak, it was necessary to leave their corpses hanging for half a year,
in spite of the Pasuk in Ki- Seitzei "Lo Salin es Nivlaso al ha'Eitz" - so
that Hashem's Name should be *publicly* sanctified.
(c) One hundred and fifty thousand Nochrim joined the ranks of K'lal Yisrael
as a result of the great Kidush Hashem.
(a) We know that the seventy thousand porters and eighty thousand miners
were not born Jews - because the Navi there (in Melachim 1) specifically
writes that Shlomoh did not utilize any born Jews for this type of work.
(b) We refute the proof from there that the hundred and eighty thousand
workers must have been the converts mentioned above - on the grounds that
they could just as well have been hired workers from other countries.
(c) In fact, we know that a hundred and fifty thousand gentiles converted at
that time - because the Pasuk in Divrei Hayamim says so.
(a) The "Chotev Eitzecha ad Sho'eiv Meimecha" (in Nitzavim) - were the very
same Giv'onim as those whom we are discussing. They first came to Moshe and
attempted to trick him in the same way as they tricked Yehoshua later. Their
attempt failed however, and Moshe decreed that they should chop wood and
draw water for the congregation and for the Mizbei'ach.
(b) Moshe's decree was confined to that generation only - whereas Rav Chana
bar Ada, who said on the previous Amud, that David was the one to decree on
the Nesinim, was referring to all generations.
(c) The Pasuk in Yehoshua, which explicitly states that Yehoshua decreed on
them - is confined to the period during which the Beis Hamikdash stood,
whereas David's decree was forever.
(a) When they made plans to remove the decree from the Nesinim - Rebbi
stopped them on the grounds that David had appointed them slaves of both the
people and the Mizbei'ach. Consequently, if they had the authority to forego
their own rights over them (see Tosfos DH 'bi'Yemei'), who gave them the
authority to forego the rights of the Mizbei'ach?
(b) Rebbi Chiya bar Aba quoting Rebbi Yochanan disagrees. When he said that
the portion that belongs to the community is always forbidden, he meant -
until they permitted it (in the form of releasing a vow).
(c) The decree pertaining to the portion of the Mizbei'ach, he argues - was
only intended to remain in force as long as the Beis Hamikdash stood, but
was automatically lifted once it was destroyed.
(a) Rebbi Yehoshua did not know how to reconcile the two seemingly
contradictory statements: on the one hand, that a Saris needs to perform
Chalitzah when his brother dies, and that his wife requires Chalitzah after
his death; on the other, that in neither case, is Chalitzah required. Both
Rebbi Akiva and Rebbi Eliezer differentiate between a S'ris Adam and a S'ris
Chamah. Rebbi Akiva maintains that a S'ris Adam requires Chalitzah, a S'ris
Chamah does not - because the former (unlike the latter) had a time when he
(b) Rebbi Eliezer says the opposite - that a S'ris Chamah requires Chalitzah
(because he is curable), whereas a S'ris Adam (who is not), is exempt. And
the same distinction applies (according to both Tana'im), by the wife of a
(c) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Beseira testified (in support of the opinion of Rebbi
Akiva) that - when ben Megusas, a S'ris Adam who lived in Yerushalayim,
died, his brother performed Yibum with her.
(a) Our Tana rules that a Saris and an Aylonis - perform neither Yibum nor
(b) A Yevamah with whom the Yavam, who was a Saris, performed Chalitzah (or
an Aylonis with whom the brothers performed Chalitzah) *do not become
invalidated* (since the Chalitzah is meaningless); whereas if the Yavam who
was a Saris performed Yibum (or the brother of a Saris who performed Yibum
with his brother's wife) - *do* (because he has committed adultery with his
(c) The problem with Rebbi Akiva (specifically) requiring a S'ris Adam to
make Chalitzah - is that he is the one who holds that Chayvei La'avin have
the same severity as Chayvei K'risus ('Yesh Mamzer me'Chayvei K'risus').
That being the case, why should a S'ris Adam require Chalitzah?
(a) So Rebbi Ami establishes Rebbi Akiva when the brother of the Saris
married a Giyores - which, bearing in mind that Rebbi Akiva holds like Rebbi
Yossi (that 'Kehal Geirim Lo Ikri Kahal'), eliminates the La'av (seeing as a
Saris is permitted to marry a Giyores).
(b) Rebbi Akiva really permits even Yibum, as we go on to say; he only says
'Choltzin' - because Rebbi Yehoshua said 'Choltzin'.
(c) And Rebbi Yehoshua said 'Choltzin' (and not 'Meyabmin') - because he
holds 'Kehal Geirim Ikri Kahal' (like Rebbi Yehudah).
(d) We prove that Rebbi Akiva does indeed permit even Yibum - from the
testimony of Rebbi Yehoshua ben Beseira, who specifically states that ben
Megusas' brother performed Yibum.
(a) The author of the Beraisa which permits a P'tzu'a Daka ... a *S'ris
Adam* and a Zakein to perform Yibum - is Rebbi Akiva.
(b) It makes no difference whether *he* dies and his brothers perform
Chalitzah or Yibum with *his* wife, or whether *his brothers* die and *he*
performs Chalitzah or Yibum with *their* wives.
(c) When the Beraisa concludes 've'Asur le'Kayman Mishum she'Ne'emar "Lo
Yavo P'tzu'a Daka ... bi'K'hal Hashem" - it does not include the case of
Zakein (who is only listed together with the other cases, because of its
similarity with them (inasmuch as, like them, he was previously able to
perform Yibum and have children).
(d) Rabah use this Beraisa to prove Rebbi Ami's interpretation of Rebbi
Akiva (in 10a.) wrong - because we see clearly from the Beraisa that Rebbi
Akiva is referring even to a S'ris Adam who is Kasher, and not exclusively
to one who is Pasul, as Rebbi Ami explained.
(a) So Rabah establishes Rebbi Akiva when the Yevamah fell to Yibum before
the brother became a Saris, in which case the Mitzvah of Yibum remains even
after he becomes a Saris. Rav Yosef objects to this explanation however,
based on a ruling of Raban Gamliel in Perek Beis Shamai, where he says that
if two brothers were married to two sisters who were Ketanos, and one of
them died, the Yavam should wait until his wife grows up, and the Yevamah
then goes out because of Achos Ishto. So we see - that the Isur of Achos
Ishto overrules the Mitzvah of Yibum (even when the Mitzvah of Yibum came
first). Similarly, let the Isur of P'tzu'a Daka overrules the Mitzvah of
Yibum, in which case, like in the case of Raban Gamliel, there should be no
Chiyuv Chalitzah either.
(b) Rav Yosef therefore establishes Rebbi Akiva, even when his brother did
not marry a Giyores and even if he became a S'ris Adam before his brother
died - according to that Tana de'Bei Rebbi Akiva, who holds that it is only
Chayvei La'avin of *relationship* that are like Chayvei Kareis, but not
La'avin that are *not* (such as P'tzu'a Daka). Consequently, Kidushin with
them is effective, and they will also require Chalitzah.
(c) Rava deals with the problem (that even if a S'ris Adam was fit to have
children beforehand, seeing as now he is not, we ought to apply the Pasuk
"le'Hakim le'Achiv Sheim") - by pointing out that if the fact that he is now
unfit to have children would disqualify him, then no man would ever be able
to perform Yibum, because the moments before his brother's death, he is
unfit to have children, rendering his wife Patur from Yibum. Consequently,
we are forced to say that as long as he *was* once fit to have children,
this is called "le'Hakim le'Achiv Sheim". And the same will apply to a S'ris
(d) Rebbi Eliezer, who does not contend with the fact that the Saris was
previously fit to have children, explains that everyone does not die a
Saris - because it is the pangs of death that cause a man to become weak
before his death, and not because he is a Saris.