Blog Yomi – Yevmaos #49

The ArtScroll Daf Yomi Edition gives a very nice introduction to פֶּרֶק חַמִישִׁי, which is eponymously titled רבן גמליאל. It notes that the chapter deals with laws that pertain when the יָבָם performs מַאַמַר which is held to be קִידוּשִׁין with regard to his יְבָמָה, or when he gives her a גֶט to divorce to sever their zikah attachment, the bond between a brother-in-law and his widowed sister-in-law. According to the Torah the validity of marriage is only sealed through יִבּוּם (intercourse/בִּיאָה, as opposed to monetary/כֶּסֶף or contractual/שְׁטַר acquisition), and the severing of zikah is only recognized through חַלִיצָה. However, the Rabbis decreed that מַאַמַר can serve as a limited license for marriage and גֶט can serve as a proxy for חַלִיצָה.

Since מַאַמַר is Rabbinically considered a valid act of קִידוּשִׁין, the יָבָם is forbidden to marry any close relative of his מַאַמַר-wife, and she is forbidden to marry any of his relatives, even if he and she subsequently divorce. This is equivalent to the prohibition of of a man and a woman not being allowed to marry the close relatives of Biblical-law spouses after the are divorced. The same parallels hold true for גֶט and חַלִיצָה.

Here comes a key concept in the conjugal validity of Rabbinic מַאַמַר and גֶט that ties together alot of these threads: If after performing מַאַמַר but before performing יִבּוּם, the יָבָם decides to call things off, the יְבָמָה requires a גֶט to dissolve מַאַמַר and also requires חַלִיצָה to dissolve the זִיקָה bond between them.

Here is another ramification of the conjugal validity of Rabbinic מַאַמַר and גֶט when multiple players are involved. The law is that if the deceased brother was survived by several brothers and widows, יִבּוּם or חַלִיצָה is performed by only one יָבָם and יְבָמָה. Once one of the brothers takes on one of the widows in יִבּוּם, he and the other brothers are Biblically forbidden to take a second widow. And once one of the brothers performs חַלִיצָה with one widow, he and the other brothers are Biblically forbidden to take any of the widows in יִבּוּם.

Appreciating the nuances of the dissolving the זִיקָה bond speaks to the heart of chemistry between the various elements, and you can think of the rulings that we will encounter below as a Rabbinic version of the Law of Multiple Proportions.

The conventional case of יִבּוּם is when one woman falls in front of one man. The Law of Multiples will take a look at what happens in the event of two women falling in front of one man or one woman falling in front of two men. Multiple proportions influence הַלָכָה depending on the mix-and-match variables when both brothers give מַאַמַר, vs. one gives מַאַמַר and the other gives יִבּוּם, vs. one gives מַאַמַר and the other gives גֶט, vs. one gives מַאַמַר and the other gives חַלִיצָה.

We begin on page 226 of our graphic companion (picture book), ציורים למסכת יבמות:

A. Regarding the validity of a second גֶט, in the case of two yevamos and one man:

  1. There are two brothers.
  2. One of the brothers marries two women.
  3. The married brother dies.
  4. The two sisters fall in front of the unmarried brother.
  5. Rabban Gamliel holds אין גט אחר גט, therefore once you give a גֶט to the first widow, giving a גֶט to the second widow would do nothing. The brother would therefore be allowed to marry relatives of the second widow.
  6. The חַכָמִים disagree and hold יש גט אחר גט, therefore he would not be allowed to marry relatives of the second widow.

B. Page 227 is the case of two yevamim and one yevama:

  1. There are three brothers.
  2. One of them marries a woman, and then dies.
  3. The widow falls in front of both brothers.
  4. The elder brother (ראשון) gives the widow a גט.
  5. The second brother (אחרון) also gives her a גט.
  6. Rabban Gamliel holds אין גט אחר גט, therefore the אחרון is allowed to marry the widow’s relatives while the ראשון cannot.
  7. The חַכָמִים, who hold יש גט אחר גט, say that neither brother can marry the widow’s relatives.

C. Page 228 is a case of מַאַמַר after מַאַמַר involving two yevamos and one yavam:

  1. There are two brothers.
  2. One of them marries two women, and then dies.
  3. The two widows fall in front of the brother.
  4. He gives מַאַמַר to one (ראשׁונה), followed by מַאַמַר to the other (שניה).
  5. Rabban Gamliel holds לא מאמר אחר מאמר; since מַאַמַר has no effect on the שניה, she does not need a גֶט to go free, nor is he forbidden to marry her relatives.
  6. The חַכָמִים, who hold יש מאמר אחר מאמר, would say the שניה does need a גֶט to go free, and he forbidden to marry her relatives.

D. Page 230 is a case of יִבּוּם after יִבּוּם involving two yevamos and one yavam:

  1. There are two brothers.
  2. One of them marries two women, and then dies.
  3. The two widows fall in front of the brother.
  4. He gives יִבּוּם to one (ראשׁונה), followed by יִבּוּם to the other (שניה). to one (ראשׁונה), followed by יִבּוּם to the other (שניה).
  5. Rabban Gamliel holds לא בעילה אחר בעילה; since בעילה has no effect on the שניה, she does not need a גֶט to go free, nor is he forbidden to marry her relatives.
  6. The חַכָמִים, who hold יש בעילה אחר בעילה, would say the שניה does need a גֶט to go free, and he is forbidden to marry her relatives.

E. Page 232 is a case of חַלִיצָה after חַלִיצָה involving two yevamos and one yavam:

  1. There are two brothers.
  2. One of them marries two women, and then dies.
  3. The two widows fall in front of the brother.
  4. He gives חַלִיצָה to one (ראשׁונה), followed by חַלִיצָה to the other (שניה). to one (ראשׁונה), followed by חַלִיצָה to the other (שניה).
  5. All agree that this is permitted, and that he is not forbidden to marry her relatives. Note that the חַכָמִים only disagree with Raban Gamliel on prohibitions that are מִדְרַבָּנָן, Regarding מִדְאוֹרַיְתא, they agree.

Now we head into “The Diamond Club” of cases.

F. Pages 234 and 235 involve one yevama falling to one yavam:

  1. מַאַמַר followed by גֶט requires חַלִיצָה.
  2. מַאַמַר followed by חַלִיצָה requires גֶט.
  3. מַאַמַר followed by בִּיאָה requires no further action, since that was the appropriate sequence.
  4. גֶט followed by מַאַמַר requires גֶט to sever the מַאַמַר and חַלִיצָה to break the זִיקָה.
  5. גֶט followed by בִּיאָה requires גֶט to בִּיאָתוֹ and חַלִיצָה to break the זִיקָה.
  6. גֶט followed by חַלִיצָה requires no further action.
  7. חַלִיצָה followed by anything requires no further action.
  8. בִּיאָה followed by anything requires no further action.

G. Pages 236 involves two yevamos falling to one yavam (Reuven is married to two women and he dies, so both wives fall in front of his brother Shimon):

  1. He gives מַאַמַר to one (ראשׁונה), followed by מַאַמַר to the other (שניה). They both require a גֶט and Shimon is אָסוּר to the קְרוֹבִים. To sever the zikah, חַלִיצָה is required.
  2. He gives מַאַמַר to one (ראשׁונה), followed by גֶט to the other (שניה). Same outcome as #1.
  3. He gives מַאַמַר to one (ראשׁונה), does בִּיאָה with the other (שניה). You need a גֶט for both and חַלִיצָה to either one to break the זִיקָה.
  4. He gives גֶט to one (ראשׁונה), followed by חַלִיצָה to the other (שניה). No further action is required.

More series of cases follow, but time is short on my end and the patterns should start becoming apparent now, so please follow along with Rabbi Stern’s video:

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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