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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth
May it be suggested that the following supports his view: 'If his deceased brother's wife died, the Ievir is permitted to marry her sister', which implies her sister Only but not her mother?3 — The same law may apply even to her mother; but because he taught in the earlier clause, 'if his wife died he is permitted to marry her sister', in which case her sister only is permitted and not her mother, the latter being forbidden Biblically, he also taught in the latter clause, 'he is permitted to marry her sister'.
R. Huna b. Hiyya raised an objection: IF HE ADDRESSED THE MA'AMAR TO HER AND DIED, THE SECOND MUST PERFORM HALIZAH BUT MAY NOT ENTER INTO THE LEVIRATE MARRIAGE.4 The reason then5 is because he addressed to her6 the ma' amar, but had he not addressed a ma'amar to her,5 the second also would have been permitted to enter into the levirate marriage with him. Now, if it be maintained that the levirate bond does exist,7 the second, owing to this bond, would be the rival of the 'wife of his brother who was not his contemporary'!8 — Rabbah replied: The same law, that the second must perform the halizah with, but may not be married to the levir, applies even to the case where no ma'amar was addressed to her;6 and the ma'amar was mentioned only in order to exclude the view of Beth Shammai. Since they maintain that the ma'amar effects a perfect contract,9 he teaches us [that it was not so].
Abaye pointed out the following objection to him:10 In the case of two [contemporary] brothers one of whom died without Issue, and the second determined11 to address a ma'amar to his deceased brother's wife12 but before he managed to address a ma amar to her a third13 brother was born and he himself died, the first14 is exempt15 as 'the wife of his brother who was not his contemporary' while the second16 either performs the halizah or enters into the levirate marriage.17 Now, if it be maintained that a levirate bond does exist,18 the second, owing to this bond, would be the rival of 'the wife19 of his brother who was not his contemporary'!20 Whose view is this? It is that of R. Meir, who holds that no levirate bond exists.
Does R. Meir, however, maintain that no Ievirate bond exists?18 Surely we have learned: In the case of four brothers two of whom were married to two sisters, if those who were married to the sisters died, behold their widows perform the halizah but may not be taken in levirate marriage [by either of the levirs].21 Now, if R. Meir is of the opinion that no levirate bond exists,22 these would come from two different houses,23 and one brother could marry the one while the other could marry the other! — The fact is that [R. Meir maintains that] no levirate bond exists; [but the levirate marriage is nevertheless forbidden] because he is of the opinion that it is forbidden to annul the precept of levirate marriages, it being possible that while one of the brothers married [one of the widowed sisters] the other brother would die,24 and thus the precept of levirate marriages would be annulled.25
If, however, no Ievirate bond exists, let [also the precept of the levirate marriage] be annulled! For R. Gamaliel who holds that no levirate bond exists26 also [maintains that] the precept of the levirate marriage may be annulled; as we learned; R. Gamaliel said, 'If she27 made a declaration of refusal28 well and good;29 if she did not make a declaration of refusal let [the elder sister] wait until [the minor] grows up30 and this one31 is then exempt as his wife's sister'!32 -The other33 said to him: Are you pointing out a contradiction between the opinion of R. Meir and that of R. Gamaliel?34 No [replied Abaye]; we mean to say this: Does R. Meir provide even against a doubtful annulment35 and R. Gamaliel does not provide even against a certainty!36 — It is quite possible that he who does not provide37 makes no provision even against a certain annulment, while he who does provide37 makes provision even against a doubtful annulment.38
If the brother of the levir had betrothed the sister of the widow who was awaiting the levir's decision,1 he is told, so it has been stated in the name of R. Judah b. Bathyra, 'Wait2 until your brother has taken action;'3 and Samuel said, 'The halachah is in accordance with the ruling of R. Judah b. Bathyra'.4 The other5 asked him: 'What [objection could there be] if the statement6 be attributed to Rab?7 Is it the contradiction between the two statements of Rab?8 Surely it is possible that these Amoraim9 are in dispute as to what was the opinion of Rab!' — Since this ruling was stated with certainty in the name of Samuel, while as to Rab's view [on the matter] Amoraim differ, we do not ignore10 the statement attributing it with certainty to Samuel in favour of the one11 which involves Amoraim In a dispute as to the opinion of Rab.
Said R. Kahana: I reported the statement12 in the presence of R. Zebid of Nehardea, when he said: You teach it thus;13 our version is explicit:14 'Rab Judah stated in the name of Samuel, "If a woman awaiting the decision of the levir died, [the levir] is forbidden to marry her mother", from which it naturally follows that he is of the opinion that a levirate bond exists'.15 Samuel is here consistent; for Samuel said, 'The halachah is in accordance with the view of R. Judah b. Bathyra'.
Said [both statements16 are] necessary. For had he only stated, 'A levirate bond exists', it might have been assumed to refer to the case of one levir only17 but not to that of two,18 hence we are taught19 [that the Same law applies also to two]. And if it had only been stated, 'The halachah is in accordance with the opinion of R. Judah b. Bathyra', it might have been assumed [that the levirate bond is in force] while the widow20 is alive but that after her death the bond is dissolved, hence we are taught21 that the levirate bond Is not dissolved automatically.22
MISHNAH. IF THERE WERE TWO BROTHERS AND ONE OF THEM DIED,23 AND THE SECOND PERFORMED THE LEVIRATE MARRIAGE WITH HIS [DECEASED] BROTHER'S WIFE, AND AFTER A [THIRD] BROTHER WAS BORN THE SECOND DIED,23 THE FIRST24 IS EXEMPT25 ON ACCOUNT OF HER BEING THE WIFE OF HIS BROTHER WHO WAS NOT HIS CONTEMPORARY', WHILE THE SECOND IS EXEMPT AS HER RIVAL.26 IF HE27 ADDRESSED TO HER28 A MA'AMAR AND DIED,29 THE SECOND MUST PERFORM THE HALIZAH30 BUT SHE MAY NOT BE TAKEN IN LEVIRATE MARRIAGE. R. SIMEON SAID:31 HE32 MAY EITHER TAKE IN LEVIRATE MARRIAGE WHICHEVER OF THEM HE DESIRES33 OR HE MAY PARTICIPATE IN THE HALIZAH WITH WHICHEVER OF THEM HE DESIRES.33
GEMARA. R. Oshaia said: R. Simeon disputed the first case also34 Whence is this inferred? From the existence of35 a superfluous Mishnah. For in accordance with whose view was it necessary to teach the clause of the first [Mishnah]? If it be suggested, [according to that] of the Rabbis, [it may be retorted]: If when the levirate marriage had taken place first and the birth36 occurred afterwards, in which case he,37 found her38 permitted,39 the Rabbis nevertheless forbade her,40 is there any need [for them to specify prohibition in the case where] the birth36 occurred first and the marriage took place afterwards!41 Consequently42 it must have been required [in connection with the view] of R. Simeon; and the first [Mishnah] was taught in order to point out to you how far R. Simeon43 is prepared to go44 while the last Mishnah was taught in order to show you how far the Rabbis45 are prepared to go. It would, indeed, have been logical for R. Simeon to express his dissent in the first case, but he waited for the Rabbis to conclude their statement and then he expressed his dissent with their entire statement.46
How, in view of what has been said,47 is it possible according to R. Simeon to find a case of 'a wife of his brother who was not his contemporary'?48 — In the case of one brother who died and a second brother was subsequently49 born;50 or also in the case of two brothers51 where the second has neither taken the widow in the levirate marriage nor died.52
One can well understand [R. Simeon's reason]53 where the levirate marriage54 took place first and the birth55 afterwards, for in this case he found her permitted;56 where, however, the birth occurred first and the levirate marriage took place afterwards,57 what [reason [could be advanced]?58 -He holds the opinion that a levirate bond exists59 and that such a bond is like actual marriage.60
R. Joseph demurred: If R. Simeon is in doubt as to whether in the case of a 'levirate bond' and a 'ma amar' combined the widow should or should not be regarded as married, need there be any [doubt in the case of] a 'levirate bond' alone?61 Whence is this known?62 — We have learned: In the case where three brothers were married to three women who were strangers [to one another] and, one of the brothers having died, the second brother addressed to her,63 a ma'amar and died, behold these64 must perform halizah with, but may not marry the [surviving] levir; for it is said in the Scriptures, And one of then die [etc.], her husband's brother shall go in unto her,65 only she66 who is tied to one levir,67 but not she who is tied to two levirs.68 R. Simeon said: He69 may take in levirate marriage whichever of them he pleases70 and submits to the halizah of the other.71 He must not take both widows in levirate marriage since it is possible that a levirate bond exists72 and thus the two sisters-in-law73 would be coming
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