R. Zebid, however, stated: No children are possible prior to the appearance of the marks of puberty.1 Then let an examination be held!2 — There is the possibility that they might have fallen off.3 This reply is perfectly satisfactory according to him who holds that such a possibility is taken into consideration;4 what, however, can be said according to him who holds that no such contingency need be considered? — Even according to him who holds that no such contingency need be considered, the possibility must be taken into consideration in this case on account of the pains of birth.5
HOW IS THE EXEMPTION OF THEIR RIVALS [BY THE WOMEN MENTIONED] TO BE UNDERSTOOD? Etc. Whence is this law6 deduced? — Rab Judah replied: [From] Scripture which stated, li-zeror,7 [implying that] the Torah included many rivals.8 R. Ashi replied. 'It9 is arrived at by reasoning: Why is a rival forbidden? Surely because she takes the place of the forbidden relative; the rival's rival also takes the place of the forbidden relative'.
HOW [IS ONE TO UNDERSTAND THE STATEMENT THAT] IF THEY HAD DIED etc. Even if he10 married11 first and then divorced?12 This, then, would be contradictory [to the following Mishnah]: '[The case of] three brothers two of whom were married to two sisters and the third was married to a stranger, and one of the husbands of the sisters divorced his wife while the one who married the stranger died, and he who had divorced his wife then married the widow13 and died, is one concerning which it has been said, that if they died or were divorced, their rivals are permitted'.14 The reason, then,15 is because the divorce16 took place first and the marriage17 was subsequent to it, but had the marriage17 taken place first and the divorce16 after it, [the rival would] not [have been permitted]!18 — R. Jeremiah replied: Break it up:19 He who taught the one did not teach the other. The one Tanna20 is of the opinion that it is the death21 which subjects the widow to the levirate marriage22 while the other23 holds the opinion that it is the original marriage that subjects her to the levirate marriage.24 Raba said: [Both statements] may, in fact, represent the views of [one Tanna,] it25 being a case of 'this; and there is no need to state that'.26
WHOSOEVER IS ENTITLED TO MAKE A DECLARATION OF REFUSAL [etc.]. Then let her27 declare her refusal now28 and thus enable [her rival] to be married to the levir!29 May it then30 be suggested that this supports R. Oshaiah? For R. Oshaiah said: She31 may annul [the levir's] ma'amar32 by her declaration of refusal,33 but may not sever by such a declaration the levirate bond!34 — No;35 the case of the rival of a forbidden relative is different;36 for Rami b. Ezekiel learnt: If a minor made a declaration of refusal against her husband she is permitted to marry his father.37 If, however, she made her declaration of refusal against the levir38 she is forbidden to marry his father.39 From this it clearly follows that from the moment she becomes subject to the levirate marriage40 she is looked upon as his41 daughter-in-law; similarly here also42 she is looked upon as the rival of his daughter from the moment she becomes subject to the levirate marriage.43
MISHNAH. [IN THE CASE OF THE FOLLOWING] SIX RELATIVES, MARRIAGE WITH WHOM IS MORE RESTRICTED THAN WITH THESE,44 IN THAT THEY MAY ONLY BE MARRIED TO STRANGERS,45 MARRIAGE WITH THEIR RIVALS IS PERMITTED:46 HIS MOTHER.47 HIS FATHER'S WIFE,48 HIS FATHER'S SISTER,48 HIS PATERNAL SISTER.48 HIS FATHER'S BROTHER'S WIFE48 AND HIS PATERNAL BROTHER'S WIFE.48
BETH SHAMMAI PERMIT THE RIVALS49 TO THE SURVIVING BROTHERS, AND BETH HILLEL PROHIBIT THEM.
Original footnotes renumbered.
- Should an apparent minor, whatever her age, ever give birth to a child it must be taken for granted that the marks of puberty had already appeared, and the age of minority had passed.
- Why should the existence of the marks be left to conjecture when an examination would definitely determine the facts?
- And the examination would prove nothing.
- This is a question in dispute in Nid. 46a.
- Which may have caused the falling off of the hair.
- Lit., 'these words'. That a rival's rival is also exempt.
- Lev. XVIII, 18, to be a rival. V. supra 3b.
- For explanation, v. p. 12, n. 8.
- The exemption of a rival's rival.
- The brother now deceased.
- The rival.
- His first wife, the forbidden relative. In such a case, is the rival, though the two were rivals prior to the divorce, permitted to the levir wherever the forbidden relative was dead or divorced at the time their husband died and the question of the levirate marriage arose?
- Lit., 'her',
- Infra 30a.
- Why the rival in this case is permitted.
- Of one of the sisters.
- Of the widow.
- How, then, could this be reconciled with our Mishnah from which it has been inferred that 'even if he married first and then divorced' the rival is permitted?
- [H] rt. [H] Heb. [H] 'break', 'divide'.
- Of our Mishnah.
- Of the husband.
- And if at that time the women were no longer rivals it matters little whether marriage or divorce (cf. supra nn. 5 and 4) took place first.
- The Tanna of the Mishnah cited from 30a infra.
- Consequently, if the marriage of the second took place after the divorce of the first, levirate marriage is permitted since the two have never been real rivals. If, however, the marriage preceded the divorce, even if only by a fraction of time, the two have become rivals, and the rival of a forbidden relative is forbidden for ever, even after the rivalry had ceased.
- The statements and arrangement of our Mishnah and that cited from 30a infra
- [H], one of the systems adopted in arranging legal statements. Our Mishnah permits 'this', the case of the rival whose marriage preceded the divorce of the forbidden relative, and consequently 'there is no need to state that', the case (infra 30a) of a rival whose marriage followed the divorce of the forbidden relative. (Cf. supra n. 12).
- The forbidden relative who is still a minor.
- And thus annul the original marriage.
- Since as a result of the annulment of the marriage the other would no more be the rival of a forbidden relative.
- As such a declaration is not allowed.
- A minor.
- V. Glos. Since the actual marriage had not yet taken place.
- She has only to perform the halizah; but there is no need for a divorce which would have been required had she been of age (v. infra 50b).
- I.e., she has no power to annul the original marriage in order to be exempt thereby from halizah also. Similarly here (v. note 4) the declaration of the minor has no force to annul the original marriage and thus (v. supra note 3) to enable her rival to marry the levir.
- The inference from our Mishnah provides no support for R. Oshaia.
- The prohibition of a minor's declaration in this case is not Biblical, but a Rabbinical enactment made in order to prevent laxity in the law of rivals of forbidden relatives (cf. infra n. 17).
- The refusal having completely annulled the marriage, the minor and her former father-in-law are now mere strangers.
- I.e., after the death of her husband, when she became subject to the levirate marriage of his brother.
- Her former father-in-law who is also the father of the levir whom she refused.
- Lit., 'falling'.
- The levir's father's.
- The case of a rival of one's daughter.
- Had the original marriage been allowed to be annulled by the daughter's present declaration, and had her rival in consequence been permitted to marry the minor's father, any rival of one's daughter might similarly be allowed and thus an important restriction against incest would be broken down. (V. supra n. 10 and cf. text and notes, supra 12a).
- The fifteen enumerated in the previous Mishnah, supra 2af.
- But never to one's paternal brothers.
- Though they themselves ate forbidden. Their husbands having been strangers, the law prohibiting the marriage of rivals, which is only applicable in connection with the levirate marriage, does not apply. Should one's brother unlawfully marry one of these six relatives his marriage would be regarded as null and void and the law relating to the rivals would still be inapplicable. (Cf. Maimonides, Commentary on the Mishnah a.l.).
- Who is also forbidden to his paternal brother as 'his father's wife'.
- Who obviously stands in the same relationship to his paternal brother.
- In respect of the levirate marriage.
IF THEY1 PERFORM THE HALIZAH,2 BETH SHAMMAI DECLARE THEM INELIGIBLE TO MARRY A PRIEST,3 AND BETH HILLEL DECLARE THEM TO BE ELIGIBLE.4 IF THEY WERE MARRIED TO THE LEVIRS, BETH SHAMMAI DECLARE THEM ELIGIBLE [TO MARRY A PRIEST],5 AND BETH HILLEL DECLARE THEM INELIGIBLE.6 THOUGH THESE FORBADE WHAT THE OTHERS PERMITTED, AND THESE REGARDED AS INELIGIBLE WHAT THE OTHERS DECLARED ELIGIBLE, BETH SHAMMAI, NEVERTHELESS, DID NOT REFRAIN FROM MARRYING WOMEN FROM [THE FAMILIES OF] BETH HILLEL, NOR DID BETH HILLEL [REFRAIN FROM MARRYING WOMEN] FROM [THE FAMILIES OF] BETH SHAMMAI. [SIMILARLY, IN RESPECT OF] ALL [QUESTIONS OF RITUAL] CLEANNESS AND UNCLEANNESS, WHICH THESE DECLARED CLEAN WHERE THE OTHERS DECLARED UNCLEAN, NEITHER OF THEM ABSTAINED FROM USING THE UTENSILS OF THE OTHERS FOR THE PREPARATION OF FOOD THAT WAS RITUALLY CLEAN.7
GEMARA. R. Simeon b. Pazzi said: What is Beth Shammai's reason?8 — Because it is written, The outside9 wife of the dead shall not be married unto one not of his kin;10 'outside'11 implies that there is also an internal,12 and the All Merciful said, She shall not marry [unto one not of his kin].13 And Beth Hillel?14 — They require the text for the exposition which Rab Judah reported in the name of Rab. For Rab Judah stated in the name of Rab: Whence is it deduced that betrothal [by a stranger] is of no validity in the case of a sister-in-law?15 For it is said in the Scriptures, The wife of the dead shall not be married16 outside17 unto one not of his kin;18 there shall be no validity in any marriage of a stranger with her.19 And Beth Shammai? — Is it written 'la-huz'?20 Surely 'huzah'21 was written. And Beth Hillel? — Since the expression used was huzah22 it is just the same as if la-huz had been written; as it was taught: R. Nehemiah said, 'In the case of every word which requires a 'lamed' at the beginning23 Scripture has placed a 'he'24 at the end; and at the School of R. Ishmael the following examples were given:25 Elim, Elimah;26 Mahanayim, Mahanayimah;27 Mizrayim, Mizraimah;28 Dibelathaimah;29 Yerushalaimah;30 midbarah.31
Whence do Beth Shammai derive the deduction made by Rab Judah in the name of Rab? — It is derived from Unto one not of his kin.32 Then let Beth Hillel also derive it from 'Unto one not of his kin'! — This is so indeed. What need, then, was there for 'huzah'? — To include one who was only betrothed.33 And the others? — They derive it from the use of ha-huzah where huzah could have been used.34 And the others? — A deduction from huzah ha-huzah does not appeal to them.
Raba said: Beth Shammai's reason35 is that one prohibition36 cannot take effect on another prohibition.37 This explanation is satisfactory in the case where the deceased had married first and the surviving brother married38 afterwards, since the prohibition of marrying a wife's sister39 could not come and take effect on the prohibition of marrying a brother's wife;40 where, however, the surviving brother had married first41 and the deceased married later,42 the prohibition of 'wife's sister' was, surely, first!43 — Since the prohibition of a 'brother's wife' cannot take effect on the prohibition of 'wife's sister', [any of the other widows] is the rival of a forbidden relative to whom44 the precept of the levirate marriage is inapplicable, and is consequently permitted.45
IF THEY HAD PERFORMED THE HALIZAH, BETH SHAMMAI DECLARE THEM INELIGIBLE etc. Is not this obvious?46 — [It had to be stated] in order to exclude [the instruction] of R. Johanan b. Nuri who said: Come and let us issue an ordinance that the rivals47 perform the halizah but do not marry the levir.48 Hence it was taught that Beth Hillel declare them eligible.49
IF THEY WERE MARRIED TO THE LEVIRS etc. BETH HILLEL DECLARE THEM INELIGIBLE. What need again was there for this? — Because it was taught, IF THEY PERFORM THE HALIZAH50 it was also taught, IF THEY WERE MARRIED TO THE LEVIRS.51
We learned elsewhere: The Scroll of Esther52 is read on the eleventh, the twelfth, the thirteenth, the fourteenth or the fifteenth [of Adar].53 but not earlier54 or later.55 Said Resh Lakish to R. Johanan: Apply here the text of Lo tithgodedu,56 you shall not form separate sects!57 (Is not Lo tithgodedu required for its own context, the All Merciful having said, 'You shall not inflict upon yourselves any bruise for the dead'?58 — If so, Scripture should have said, Lo tithgodedu,59 why did it say 'Lo tithgodedu'?60 hence it must be inferred that its object was this.61 Might it not then be suggested that the entire text refers to this only?62 — If so, Scripture should have said, Lo thagodu;63 why did it say 'Lo tithgodedu'? Hence the two deductions.)64 — The former answered: Have you not yet learned,65 'Wherever it is customary to do manual labour on the Passover Eve until midday it may be done; wherever it is customary not to do any work it may not be done'?66 The first said to him: I am speaking to you of a prohibition, for R. Shaman b. Abba said in the name of R. Johanan: 'Scripture having said, To confirm these days of Purim in their appointed times,67 the Sages have ordained for them different times,68 and you speak to me of a custom!69 But is there no prohibition there?70 Surely we learned, 'Beth Shammai prohibit work during the night71 and Beth Hillel permit it'!72 — The other said to him: In that case,73 anyone seeing [a man abstaining from work] would suppose him to be out of work.74 But do not BETH SHAMMAI PERMIT THE RIVALS TO THE OTHER BROTHERS AND BETH HILLEL FORBID THEM!75
Original footnotes renumbered.
- The rivals.
- With the brothers.
- In the opinion of Beth Shammai the halizah is legal and any woman who performed legal halizah is, like one divorced, forbidden to marry a priest.
- In their opinion the halizah was unnecessary and may, therefore, be treated as if it had never taken place.
- When their husbands die.
- Because having married persons to whom they are forbidden they are regarded as harlots who are ineligible ever to marry a priest.
- Lit., 'do clean things, these upon these'.
- For permitting the rivals to marry the other brothers.
- [H] is rendered, 'the one who is the outside one', the word being regarded as an adjective fem. with the relative. E.V., 'abroad'.
- Deut. XXV, 5.
- I.e., the one who is not otherwise related to the levir.
- Related to the levir.
- But only unto her husband's brother (Deut. XXV, 5), which shews that a rival is permitted to the other brothers.
- Who prohibit the rival to the brothers, how do they explain this text?
- Before halizah had been performed.
- Lit., 'she shall not be', [H] (rt. [H]).
- Cf. E.V. for [H], supra note 3.
- Deut. XXV, 5.
- Lit., 'a stranger shall have no being ([H] of the root [H]) in her'.
- [H], lit., 'to the outside'.
- [H], v. supra note 3.
- To indicate direction.
- The he being the he local.
- Lit., 'he recited' or 'taught'.
- 'To [H] appears as [H] (Ex. XV, 27) instead of [H].
- 'To [H] appears as [H] (II Sam. XVII, 24) instead of [H].
- 'To [H], Gen. XII, 10.
- 'To [H] (Num. XXXIII, 47).
- 'To [H] (Jerusalem) [H] (Ezek. VIII, 3).
- 'To [H] (wilderness or place-name) [H] (I Chron. V, 9).
- Deut. XXV, 5.
- To the deceased brother. Such a widow also is subject to the levirate marriage as if she had been actually married. 'Huzah' implies (cf. supra p. 68, n. 3) 'outside', i.e., one who is not within the marriage bond.
- The addition of the 'he' in [H] where [H] would have conveyed the same meaning implies the inclusion of the betrothed. (V. n. 6.)
- V. p. 68, n. 2, supra.
- That, e.g., of marrying a brother's wife.
- That of marrying a forbidden relative (e.g., a daughter). Since the latter prohibition takes no effect in such a case, the forbidden relative whom the levirate bond does not consequently affect may be regarded as non-existent, so far as her levirate obligations are concerned. Her rivals, therefore, come under the category of complete strangers and are consequently permitted to the brothers.
- A sister of his brother's wife.
- Which arose later.
- As legally the widow is only 'his brother's wife' but not 'his wife's sister', her rivals may justly be regarded as strangers who are permitted.
- And his wife's sister has in consequence become forbidden to him.
- When the prohibition of a brother's wife arose.
- And consequently had taken effect; why then are her rivals permitted? This objection is based on the assumption that Raba, in stating the prohibition of marrying a forbidden relative cannot take effect owing to the prohibition of 'brother's wife', was referring only to such prohibitions as are due to a marriage contract, e.g., a wife's sister.
- Lit., 'in the place'.
- V. supra p. 69, n. 10.
- What need then was there for stating it.
- Of forbidden relatives.
- And being subject to halizah, even though on account of a Rabbinical ordinance only, it might have been assumed that they are ineligible for marriage with a priest. (Cf. supra p. 67, n. 9.)
- Indicating that the rivals in such a case are not even Rabbinically subject to the halizah.
- For the reason given supra. V. previous note.
- [H] Halizah and marriage usually being the only alternatives.
- [H] 'scroll', always signifies in Rabbinical literature the Scroll of Esther, unless the context explicitly or implicitly points to any other scroll.
- According to whether the readers live in a village, a town, or a town that had been walled in the days of Joshua, and according to the day of the week on which the feast of Purim occurs.
- Than the eleventh.
- Than the fifteenth. Meg. 2a.
- [H] (Deut. XIV, 1), rendered by E.V. Ye shall not cut yourselves, is here taken as a form of the root [H], 'to bind', implying the formation of separate groups, sects, factions.
- Why, then, was the Scroll allowed to be read on different days by different classes of people?
- Cf. supra n. 13 for the rendering of E.V.
- Which would have implied the prohibition of cutting or bruising the body. (V. p. 70, n. 13.)
- The longer form, the Hithpael.
- Lit., 'for this it came', to imply both 'cutting the body for the dead', and 'the formation of sects'.
- The formation of sects.
- Which would have been understood to refer to the undesirable formation of sects.
- It has thus been shewn that the formation of sects is undesirable; why then was it allowed to form separate groups to read the Scroll of Esther on different dates?
- Or 'You should have replied' (Rashi).
- Which shews that, despite the undesirability of forming separate groups, different customs are allowed.
- Esth. IX, 31, emphasis on 'appointed times', [H].
- I.e., a group who were ordained to read the Scroll on a particular date must not read it on any other date.
- Manual labour on the Passover Eve is universally permitted, and its prohibition in certain places is not a matter of law but merely a question of custom.
- In the case of work on the Passover Eve. (Both the day and the night preceding the Passover are designated [H] Passover Eve).
- Preceding the first Passover night.
- Which shews, since some would be acting in accordance with the ruling of Beth Shammai while others would follow Beth Hillel, that even in the case of a prohibition the formation of sects is allowed.
- Lit., 'there', where some people do no work though permitted.
- The question of sects does not arise in such a case.
- A dispute which creates faction, some following the ruling of the one authority and others that of the other.