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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth
According to R. Meir who holds that the betrothal causes ineligibility, the bridal chamber1 also causes ineligibility, while according to R. Eleazar and R. Simeon who maintain that betrothal causes no ineligibility the bridal chamber also causes no ineligibility. But whence [is this proved]? Is it not possible that R. Meir advanced his view only there, in respect of betrothal, whereby kinyan is effected, but not in respect of the bridal chamber whereby no kinyan is effected!2 Or else: R. Eleazar and R. Simeon may have advanced their view there only, in respect of betrothal, since it is not close to the act of intercourse; but the bridal chamber which is close to the act of intercourse, may well cause ineligibility.
But if anything can be said3 [it is, that the question4 depends] on the dispute between the following Tannaim: For it was taught, 'This class or that, [viz.,] eligible or ineligible women, who were married [to a priest], or who only entered [with him] into the bridal chamber without any intercourse having taken place, are entitled to sustenance from his estate and are also permitted to eat terumah'. 'Who only entered [etc.]' implies that 'were married' means that they were actually married!5 Must it not [consequently be concluded that the meaning is], 'as, for instance,6 when they entered the bridal chamber without any intercourse having taken place'? And yet it was stated that 'they are entitled to sustenance from his estate and are also permitted to eat terumah'.7 R. Ishmael son of R. Johanan b. Beroka said: Any woman whose cohabitation entitles her to the eating of terumah is also entitled to the eating of it through her entry into the bridal chamber, and any woman upon whom cohabitation does not confer the right to eat terumah is not entitled through her entry into the bridal chamber also to the eating of it.8
Whence, [however, the proof]? Is it not possible that R. Ishmael son of R. Johanan b. Beroka is of the same opinion as R. Meir, who maintains that through betrothal alone a woman is not entitled to eat! — Instead, then, of the statement 'Any woman upon whom cohabitation does not confer the right to eat terumah is not entitled through her entry into the bridal chamber also to the eating of it', the statement should have run, 'Any woman upon whom cohabitation does not confer the right to eat terumah, is not entitled through her money9 also to the eating of terumah'. But is it not possible that as the first Tanna spoke of the bridal chamber he also spoke of the bridal chamber!
R. Amram stated, The following ruling was given to us by R. Shesheth and he threw light on the subject10 from a Mishnah: The bridal chamber constitutes kinyan with ineligible women.11 And the following Tanna taught the same thing:12 'Amen13 that I14 have not gone aside15 as a betrothed, as a married woman, as one awaiting the decision of the levir or as one taken [by the levir]'.16 Now, how is one to imagine the case of the 'betrothed'? If it be suggested that she was one who was warned17 while she was betrothed, and then she secluded herself18 and is now made to drink19 while she is still only betrothed; is a betrothed [it may be asked] subject to the drinking? Surely we learned: A betrothed or one awaiting the decision of a levir neither drinks20 nor receives a kethubah!21 Should it, however, [be suggested that she is one] who was warned while she was betrothed, and then she secluded herself,22 and is now made to drink when she is already married; do the waters [it may be asked] test her? Surely it was taught: And the man shall be clear from iniquity,23 only when the man is 'clear from iniquity' do the waters test his wife; when, however, the man is not 'clear from iniquity'24 the waters do not test his wife!25 Consequently [she26 must be one] who was warned while she was betrothed and then she secluded herself,22 and subsequently entered the bridal chamber but there was no cohabitation. Thus27 it may be inferred that the bridal chamber alone constitutes kinyan28 with ineligible women.29 Said Raba: Do you think that this30 is an authenticated statement?31 Surely when R. Aha b. Hanina32 arrived from the South, he came and brought a Baraitha with him: Besides thy husband,33 only when the cohabitation of the husband preceded that of the adulterer, but not when the cohabitation of the adulterer preceded that of the husband! Rami b. Hama replied: This34 is possible where, for instance, he35 cohabited with her while she was only betrothed and still in the house of her father. Similarly in respect of the woman awaiting the decision of the levir36 [it must obviously be a case] where the man cohabited with her in the house of her father-in-law!37
Why then, do you call her 'a woman awaiting the decision of the levir' [when such a woman] is in fact his proper wife, since Rab had stated, 'kinyan is constituted in all respects'?1 — [The Mishnah is] in accordance with the view of Samuel who stated, 'Kinyan is constituted only in respect of the things specified in the section'.2
Is not this3 adduced only as a reason and support for the opinion of Rab?4 And Rab, surely, had said that 'Kinyan is constituted in all respects'!5 — Here we are concerned with a case where for instance he6 addressed to her a ma'amar,7 and it3 represents the view of Beth Shammai who maintain that a ma'amar constitutes a perfect kinyan.8 If so, she would be identical with the 'betrothed woman'!9 — And according to your view, has not a 'married woman' and 'one taken [by the levir]' the same status?10 But [the explanation must be that] 'a married woman' refers to one's own wife, and 'one taken [by the levir]' refers to that of another man.11 So here also 'betrothed' means his own and 'a woman awaiting the decision of the levir', that of another.11
R. Papa said: It12 represents the view of the following Tanna.13 For it was taught: It is not permissible to warn a betrothed woman in order that she may be made to drink14 while she is betrothed. She may, however, be warned in order that she may be made to drink when she is already married.15 R. Nahman b. Isaac explained: By implication.16
R. Hanina sent [an instruction] in the name of R. Johanan: A levir who addressed a ma'amar to his yebamah, while he has a living brother, causes her disqualification from the eating of terumah17 even if he is a priest and she the daughter of a priest.18 According to whom?19 If it be suggested, according to R. Meir, it is possible [it might be objected that] R. Meir said that one that is subject to an illegitimate cohabitation20 is not permitted to eat terumah [only when the cohabitation is] Pentateuchally forbidden;21 did he, however, say [that the same law holds when the prohibition is only] Rabbinical? [Is it], however, [suggested that it was made] according to R. Eleazar and R. Simeon? [It may be objected]: If the eating of terumah is permitted to one who is subject to a cohabitation which is pentateuchally forbidden, is there any need to speak of one which is only Rabbinically forbidden! When Rabin, however, came22 he stated: Where a levir addressed a ma'amar to his yebamah, all23 agree that she is permitted to eat terumah. If he has a profaned brother,24 all23 agree that she is not permitted to eat.25 They only differ where he26 gave her27 a letter of divorce:28 R. Johanan maintains that she may eat, and Resh Lakish maintains that she may not eat. 'R. Johanan maintains that she may eat', for even the statement of R. Meir who holds that she may not eat applies only to one subject of a Pentateuchally forbidden cohabitation; where, however, it is only Rabbinically forbidden she may eat. 'And Resh Lakish maintains that she may not eat' for even the statement of R. Eleazar and R. Simeon, who hold that she may eat, applies only to one who has elsewhere the right29 to confer the privilege of eating, but not in this case,30 since he has no right31 to confer the privilege elsewhere. And should you suggest that here also he has the right31 to confer the privilege of eating in the case where she returns,32 [it may be retorted that] one who returns32 severs her connection with him and resumes her relationship with her father's house;33 but this woman34 remains bound to him.35
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