The most famous “אֵיזֶהוּ” is the opening of the third perek of Pirkei Avos which begins:
בֶּן זוֹמָא אוֹמֵר: אֵיזֶהוּ חָכָם, הַלּוֹמֵד מִכָּל אָדָם – Ben Zoma said, who is wise? Someone who learns from all men.
The most famous “אֵי זוֹ הִיא” is the opening of today’s Daf, a Mishnah toward the bottom of דף ק״ז עמוּד ב which begins with:
אֵי זוֹ הִיא קְטַנָּה שֶׁצְּרִיכָה לְמָאֵן — כֹּל שֶׁהִשִּׂיאוּהָ אִמָּהּ וְאַחֶיהָ לְדַעְתָּהּ – Who is a minor girl who needs to perform מִאוּן in order to annul her marriage? Any minor whose mother or brother married her off with her consent. הִשִּׂיאוּהָ שֶׁלֹּא לְדַעְתָּהּ — אֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה לְמָאֵן – But if they married her off without her consent, there is no necessity for מִאוּן or formal refusal because she can walk away of her own volition at any time.
At what age is a girl old enough to perform מִאוּן? When she reaches the age of understanding when can perceive the need or ability to keep documents for safekeeping, or mature enough to safeguard objects of קִידוּשִׁין such as a ring. If she does not yet have that level of understanding, she need not go through formal refusal to walk away:
רַבִּי חֲנִינָא בֶּן אַנְטִיגְנוֹס אוֹמֵר: כּל תִּינוֹקֶת שֶׁאֵינָהּ יְכוֹלָה לִשְׁמוֹר קִידּוּשֶׁיהָ — אֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה לְמָאֵן
The ArtScroll notes cite the Rambam who provides a more specific framework for the age requirement here regarding an arranged marriage. Under age six, מִאוּן is never required for the child to walk away regardless of the intellect of the child. Over age ten, מִאוּן is always required even if the girl if of poor intellect. Between the ages of six and ten the Rabbis assess her level of understanding, as noted above.
The Mishnah finishes with a series of statements that will explained further in the Gemara. Therefore, let’s jump right in.
אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה, וְאָמְרִי לַהּ בְּמַתְנִיתָא תָּנָא: בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה הָיוּ כּוֹתְבִין גֵּט מֵיאוּן: ״לָא רָעֵינָא בֵּיהּ וְלָא צָבֵינָא בֵּיהּ וְלֵית אֲנָא בָּעֲיָא לְהִתְנַסְבָא לֵיהּ״. כֵּיוָן דַּחֲזוֹ דִּנְפִישׁ דִּיבּוּרָא, אָמְרִי
Rav Yehuda said, and some say it was taught in a baraisa: At first, they would write a bill of refusal (גֵּט of מִאוּן) in this manner: I do not desire him, I do not want him, and I do not wish to be married to him. Once they saw that the text was too long, the Sages said let’s have a simpler document which stated: On Date X, Girl Y performed מֵיאוּן in our presence – ״בְּיוֹם פְּלוֹנִי מֵיאֲנָה פְּלוֹנִית בַּת פְּלוֹנִי בְּאַנְפַּנָא״
What was the standard declaration made for מֵיאוּן?
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן: אֵי זֶהוּ מֵיאוּן? אָמְרָה: ״אִי אֶפְשִׁי בִּפְלוֹנִי בַּעְלִי״, ״אִי אֶפְשִׁי בְּקִידּוּשִׁין שֶׁקִּידְּשׁוּנִי אִמִּי וְאַחַי״
If she said: I do not want so-and-so as my husband, or: I do not want the קִידּוּשִׁין in which my mother and brothers had me betrothed.
Beyond the standard declaration, there are three other circumstances under which מֵיאוּן is valid, even though it might be counter-intuitive. This the Gemara refers to as “יָתֵר עַל כֵּן”, which literally means “even more than that”.
Once upon a time, in Brooklyn, there was a wedding hall named “The Aperion Manor” on Kings Highway. How did the hall get its name?
יָתֵר עַל כֵּן אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה: אֲפִילּוּ יוֹשֶׁבֶת בְּאַפִּרְיוֹן וְהוֹלֶכֶת מִבֵּית אָבִיהָ לְבֵית בַּעְלָהּ, וְאָמְרָה: ״אִי אֶפְשִׁי בִּפְלוֹנִי בַּעְלִי״ — זֶהוּ מֵיאוּן
Rabbi Yehuda said : Even if she is sitting in a bridal chair [aperion] going from her father’s house to her husband’s house and said along the way: I do not want so-and-so as my husband, this constitutes a refusal. As ArtScroll notes, the custom was that when a bride was led from her father’s home to her husband’s house, she was carried in a bridal litter or aperion, which was a covered couch carried by shafts.
יָתֵר עַל כֵּן אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה: אֲפִילּוּ הָיוּ אוֹרְחִין מְסוּבִּין בְּבֵית בַּעְלָהּ וְהִיא עוֹמֶדֶת וּמַשְׁקָה עֲלֵיהֶם, וְאָמְרָה לָהֶם: ״אִי אֶפְשִׁי בִּפְלוֹנִי בַּעְלִי״ — הֲרֵי הוּא מֵיאוּן
Even if she’s serving guests in her husband’s house and says: “I don’t want this man to be my husband”, we accept that as מֵיאוּן.
יָתֵר עַל כֵּן אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בַּר יְהוּדָה: אֲפִילּוּ שִׁיגְּרָהּ בַּעְלָהּ אֵצֶל חֶנְוָנִי לְהָבִיא לוֹ חֵפֶץ מִשֶּׁלּוֹ, וְאָמְרָה: ״אִי אֶפְשִׁי בִּפְלוֹנִי בַּעְלִי״ — אֵין לְךָ מֵיאוּן גָּדוֹל מִזֶּה
If her husband has her go to the store on an errand for him, and she says to the shopkeeper that she doesn’t want to remain married to her husband, good enough for מֵיאוּן.
Next the Gemara cites a case in which מֵיאוּן is recognized even though the girl didn’t say anything. Basically, actions are louder than words:
אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל: הֲלָכָה כְּרַבִּי חֲנִינָא בֶּן אַנְטִיגְנוֹס. תָּנָא: קְטַנָּה שֶׁלֹּא מֵיאֲנָה, וְעָמְדָה וְנִשֵּׂאת, מִשּׁוּם רַבִּי יְהוּדָה בֶּן בְּתִירָה אָמְרוּ: נִישּׂוּאֶיהָ הֵן הֵן מֵיאוּנֶיהָ
Perhaps there’s no better indication that she doesn’t want to be married to Husband A is that she walked off and married Husband B!
The Gemara continues with further considerations about מֵיאוּן, discussions that ensue regarding the status of the קְטַנָה, whether or not she can eat תְּרוּמָה (the ultimate filter), and of course when this could lead to mixed dancing.