Blog Yomi – Yevamos #14

Our Daf Yomi today embarks from דף י״ד עמוּד ב, five lines from the bottom.

תָּא שְׁמַע דְּאָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בֶּן נוּרִי: הֵיאַךְ הֲלָכָה זוֹ רוֹוַחַת בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל? נַעֲשֶׂה כְּדִבְרֵי בֵּית שַׁמַּאי — הַוָּלָד מַמְזֵר לְדִבְרֵי בֵּית הִלֵּל, נַעֲשֶׂה כְּדִבְרֵי בֵּית הִלֵּל — הַוָּלָד פָּגוּם לְדִבְרֵי בֵּית שַׁמַּאי. בּוֹאוּ וּנְתַקֵּן לָהֶן לַצָּרוֹת

שֶׁיְּהוּ חוֹלְצוֹת וְלֹא מִתְיַיבְּמוֹת. לֹא הִסְפִּיקוּ לִגְמוֹר אֶת הַדָּבָר עַד שֶׁנִּטְרְפָה הַשָּׁעָה

So here’s the idea that רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בֶּן נוּרִי came up with: Just give חַלִיצָה, and you’ll cover both schools of thought. According to בֵּית שַׁמַּאי, you need חַלִיצָה to פַּטֵר the צָרָה. And according to בֵּית הִלֵּל you don’t need to do anything, but what harm can a shoe ceremony do if it’s insurance against מַמְזֵרוּת?

Rabbi Stern points out. at the 4:45 mark of the video, that if you Zoom ahead to the bottom of דף כ״ז עמוּד א, you’ll see in fact that this is a strategy that was adopted ( give חַלִיצָה to everyone):

כְּרַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בֶּן נוּרִי, דְּאָמַר: בּוֹאוּ וּנְתַקֵּן לָהֶן לַצָּרוֹת שֶׁיְּהוּ חוֹלְצוֹת וְלֹא מִתְיַיבְּמוֹת. וְהָאָמַר מָר: לָא הִסְפִּיקוּ לִגְמוֹר אֶת הַדָּבָר עַד שֶׁנִּטְרְפָה הַשָּׁעָה! אָמַר רַב נַחְמָן בַּר יִצְחָק: אַחֲרָיו חָזְרוּ וְתִקְּנוּ

Now on to דף ט״ו עמוּד א, and a problem that troubled רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל if we adopt the strategy of רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בֶּן נוּרִי:

אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל: מָה נַעֲשֶׂה לָהֶם לַצָּרוֹת הָרִאשׁוֹנוֹת מֵעַתָּה

As Rabbi Stern explains, if we now require all husbands going forward to give חַלִיצָה to פַּטֵר the צָרָה, it’s going to cause שָׁלוֹם בַּיִת problems in the sense that those who were married previously didn’t have a חַלִיצָה that was subsequently required. It’s almost as if one has the feeling that strings were attached without knowing the basis for why at the time. And we want to preserve שָׁלוֹם as the Gemara states:

לִיחְלְצוּ — מִימַּאֲסִי אַגַּבְרַיְיהוּ. וְכִי תֵּימָא לִימַּאֲסָן — ״דְּרָכֶיהָ דַרְכֵי נוֹעַם וְכל נְתִיבוֹתֶיהָ שָׁלוֹם״

We’ll now turn to a case that actualizes some of the theoretical discussion to this point. It involves רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל, for whom these considerations became personal rather than speculative.

תָּא שְׁמַע: מַעֲשֶׂה בְּבִתּוֹ שֶׁל רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל שֶׁהָיְתָה נְשׂוּאָה לְאַבָּא אָחִיו, וּמֵת בְּלֹא בָּנִים, וְיִיבֵּם רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אֶת צָרָתָהּ. וְתִסְבְּרָא, רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל מִתַּלְמִידֵי בֵּית שַׁמַּאי הוּא

The daughter of רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל married his brother, Abba, who died without children, and רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל was מְיַבֵּם the צָרָה. So it appears on the surface that he is following the guideline of בֵית שַׁמַּאי. Whoa! That’s like a Montague siding with a Capulet! After all, רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל was a direct descendant of הִלֵל! The Gemara answers:

אֶלָּא שָׁאנֵי בִּתּוֹ שֶׁל רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל, דְּאַיְלוֹנִית הֲוַאי. הָא מִדְּקָתָנֵי סֵיפָא: אֲחֵרִים אוֹמְרִים בִּתּוֹ שֶׁל רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אַיְלוֹנִית הָיְתָה, מִכְּלָל דְּתַנָּא קַמָּא סָבַר לָאו אַיְלוֹנִית הָיְתָה

This is an exceptional case. It is because his daughter was an אַיְלוֹנִית (we expounded on that individual at length previously) that he permitted himself to be מְיַבֵּם the צָרָה. And as the Gemara notes, there are several answers as to how to make the different schools of thought between the Tanna Kama and אֵחֵרִים congruent.

As we head into דף ט״ו עמוּד ב the Gemara proceeds to give finite examples of disputes between בֵית שַׁמַאי and בֵית הִלֵל. These range from esrog to sukah to mikvah to olives. At this juncture you may be feeling like רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, who said that when it comes to understanding the battles between בֵּית שַׁמַּאי וּבֵית הִלֵּל, he feels like his head being inserted between two mountains crushing his skull!

תָּא שְׁמַע: שָׁאֲלוּ אֶת רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, צָרַת הַבַּת מַהוּ? אָמַר לָהֶם: מַחְלוֹקֶת בֵּית שַׁמַּאי וּבֵית הִלֵּל. וַהֲלָכָה כְּדִבְרֵי מִי? אָמַר לָהֶם: מִפְּנֵי מָה אַתֶּם מַכְנִיסִין רֹאשִׁי בֵּין שְׁנֵי הָרִים גְּדוֹלִים, בֵּין שְׁתֵּי מַחְלוֹקוֹת גְּדוֹלוֹת, בֵּין בֵּית שַׁמַּאי וּבֵין בֵּית הִלֵּל. מִתְיָירֵא אֲנִי שֶׁמָּא יָרוֹצּוּ גֻּלְגּלְתִּי

And after that comes a long and extended discussion in the Gemara involving צָרוֹת, literally and figuratively.

About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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4 Responses to Blog Yomi – Yevamos #14

  1. Ruthi says:

    Although i don’t learn Gemara at all, and mesechta “yevamos” is called the mesechta that separates the “men from the boys” (& in my opinion definitely the men from the women lol) I can’t help but to comment about your erudition of the daf on your blog: it is simply amazing! May Hashem continue to give you the time (!) and cheshek to delve into the depths of this highest plane, & to go over, & give over, & explain so beautifully
    the holy words of our mesorah! Continuous hatzlacha!!!

    • Always appreciate your comments, Ruthi. I find myself continually seeking middle ground, and the ground in our lives is continually shifting. In that regard I know I have lost some readers of the blog who won’t follow what I am doing, while having acquired other readers who grasp its significance and relevance. Thank you again for your encouragement.

  2. doctuhdon says:

    This expression is gold:

    מִפְּנֵי מָה אַתֶּם מַכְנִיסִין רֹאשִׁי בֵּין שְׁנֵי הָרִים גְּדוֹלִים

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