MISHNAH. FIFTEEN [CATEGORIES OF] WOMEN EXEMPT THEIR RIVALS1 AND THE RIVALS OF THEIR RIVALS2 AND SO ON, AD INFINITUM,3 FROM THE HALIZAH4 AND FROM THE LEVIRATE MARRIAGE;5 AND THESE ARE THEY: HIS DAUGHTER,6 THE DAUGHTER OF HIS DAUGHTER7 AND THE DAUGHTER OF HIS SON;7 THE DAUGHTER OF HIS WIFE,8 THE DAUGHTER OF HER SON AND THE DAUGHTER OF HER DAUGHTER; HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW,9 HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW'S MOTHER,10 AND HIS FATHER-IN-LAW'S MOTHER;10 HIS MATERNAL SISTER,11 HIS MOTHER'S SISTER,11 HIS WIFE'S SISTER AND HIS MATERNAL BROTHER'S WIFE;12
Original footnotes renumbered.
- Heb., zarah, [H] 'rival'. Where a husband has more than one wife, each woman is a zarah in relation to the other. The term is derived from [H] which signifies oppression, hence 'rival', 'adversary', as in I Sam. I, 6 (cf. Kimhi a.l.), or 'to tie up', 'to bind', hence 'associate', 'co-wife'.
- The co-wives of a rival through a second marriage.
- [H] lit., 'to the end of the world'.
- [H] (rt. [H] 'to take off' or 'to loosen'), the ceremony of drawing off the shoe of the brother of her husband who died without issue. According to Biblical law (v. Deut. XXV, 5-9) the brother-in-law must either marry the widow (v. following note) or be subjected to halizah.
- [H] 'to marry the levir'. Any woman coming under the fifteen categories enumerated below is not only herself exempt from halizah and yibbum but exempts also her own rivals as well as the rivals of her rivals, ad infinitum, as explained anon.
- Who had been married to his brother who subsequently died childless. Since he is forbidden to marry his daughter he is thereby also forbidden to marry any of her rivals, the widows of his deceased childless brother. 'HIS DAUGHTER' includes even one born to him as a result of outrage, v. infra.
- Cf. previous note. All the fifteen categories enumerated are among the near relatives whom a man is forbidden to marry in accordance with the explicit and implicit prohibitions in Lev. XVIII, 6ff.
- From a former husband.
- Who, after the death of her husband, had married his brother who subsequently died childless.
- The prohibition to marry in this case is derived in Sanhedrin 75a from Lev. XVIII, 17.
- Who was married to his paternal brother. The laws of the levirate marriage and halizah are applicable to a paternal, but not to a maternal brother.
- Who, after the death of her husband, had married his paternal brother.
THE WIFE OF HIS BROTHER WHO WAS NOT HIS CONTEMPORARY,1 AND HIS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW.2 ALL THESE EXEMPT THEIR RIVALS AND THE RIVALS OF THEIR RIVALS, AND SO ON, AD INFINITUM, FROM THE HALIZAH AND FROM THE LEVIRATE MARRIAGE. IF, HOWEVER, ANY AMONG THESE3 DIED,4 OR MADE A DECLARATION OF REFUSAL,5 OR WERE DIVORCED, OR WERE FOUND INCAPABLE OF PROCREATION, THEIR RIVALS ARE PERMITTED;6 THOUGH, OF COURSE, ONE CANNOT SAY OF A MAN'S MOTHER-IN-LAW, OF THE MOTHER OF HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW AND OF THE MOTHER OF HIS FATHER-IN-LAW THAT THEY WERE FOUND INCAPABLE OF PROCREATION OR THAT THEY MADE A DECLARATION OF REFUSAL.7
HOW IS THE EXEMPTION OF THEIR RIVALS [BY THE WOMEN MENTIONED], TO BE UNDERSTOOD? IF A MAN'S DAUGHTER OR ANY OTHER OF THESE FORBIDDEN RELATIVES WAS MARRIED TO HIS BROTHER WHO HAD ALSO ANOTHER WIFE [AT THE TIME] WHEN HE DIED, THEN AS HIS DAUGHTER IS EXEMPT SO IS HER RIVAL EXEMPT. IF HIS DAUGHTER'S RIVAL WENT AND MARRIED A SECOND BROTHER OF HIS,8 WHO ALSO HAD YET ANOTHER WIFE WHEN HE DIED, THEN AS THE RIVAL OF HIS DAUGHTER IS EXEMPT SO IS ALSO HIS DAUGHTER'S RIVAL'S RIVAL EXEMPT, EVEN IF THERE WERE A HUNDRED [BROTHERS].9
HOW [IS ONE TO UNDERSTAND THE STATEMENT THAT] IF THEY HAD DIED, THEIR RIVALS ARE PERMITTED?10 IF A MAN'S DAUGHTER OR ANY OTHER OF THESE FORBIDDEN RELATIVES WAS MARRIED TO HIS BROTHER WHO HAD ALSO ANOTHER WIFE, THEN, IF HIS DAUGHTER DIED OR WAS DIVORCED, AND HIS BROTHER DIED SUBSEQUENTLY, HER RIVAL IS PERMITTED.10
THE RIVAL OF ANY ONE WHO IS ENTITLED TO MAKE A DECLARATION OF REFUSAL11 BUT DID NOT EXERCISE HER RIGHT, MUST PERFORM HALIZAH [IF HER HUSBAND DIED CHILDLESS], AND MAY NOT CONTRACT LEVIRATE MARRIAGE.12
GEMARA. Consider: All these13 are deduced from the [exemption of] a wife's sister.14 Why then was not HIS WIFE'S SISTER mentioned15 first?16 And if it be replied that the Tanna enumerated17 [the forbidden relatives] in the order of the degrees of their respective severity,18 and that it [our Mishnah] represents the view of R. Simeon who regards burning19 as the severest,20 [it may be retorted that], if that is the case,21 HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW should have been mentioned16 first, since [Scripture] enunciated the principle of burning in the case of a mother-in-law.22 And, furthermore, HIS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW should have come15 immediately after HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW, since, next to burning, stoning23 is the severest penalty! — But [this in fact is the proper reply]: Since [the prohibition of intercourse with] 'HIS DAUGHTER'24 has been arrived at by exposition25 it is given preference.26
Original footnotes renumbered.
- Lit., 'in his world', i.e., who died before he was born. Such a brother's widow and her rivals etc. are exempt. If, for instance, C was born after his brother A had died childless, so that his widow, N married (in accordance with the laws of the levirate marriage) a contemporary brother of his, B, who had another wife, or wives, and B also died childless, all B's widows are exempt from halizah and yibbum as far as C is concerned on account of N who is forbidden to him.
- Who married his brother after the death of his son. The marriage of a daughter-in-law is forbidden for ever, even after the death of one's son.
- Lit., '(in the case of) all of them'.
- Prior to the death of her husband who subsequently died childless.
- Such a declaration, mi'un [H], may be made against her husband (without any further necessity for a divorce) by a wife, while she is a minor, or as soon as she becomes of age, prior to cohabitation, in cases where she was betrothed either (a) as an orphan, by her mother or brothers or (b) even in the lifetime of her father (v. infra 109a) if she was once divorced (after her father had contracted for her a betrothal) and was betrothed again while still a minor.
- I.e., levirate marriage may be contracted, or halizah must be performed.
- For, having given birth they must be of age.
- Whenever one of the surviving brothers is not related to either of the widows, but another brother is, it is his duty to perform the levirate marriage or to submit to halizah.
- Everyone of whom had also another wife or wives and the rival's rival married them in turn, ad infinitum.
- V. p. 2, n. 7.
- A minor (V. supra, p. 2, n. 6).
- V. Gemara infra.
- Exemptions enumerated in our Mishnah.
- V. infra.
- Lit., 'let him teach'.
- In the list.
- Lit., 'took'.
- The degree of the severity of the penalty incurred by sexual intercourse with one of these relatives.
- The death penalty incurred for sexual intercourse with one of the first eight categories enumerated in our Mishnah. V. Sanh. 75a.
- Of the four death penalties. V. Sanh. 49b.
- Lit., 'if so'.
- Lev. XX, 14.
- The penalty for intercourse with one's daughter-in-law. V. Sanh. 53a.
- I.e., born as a result of outrage. V. supra p. 1, n. 6.
- V. infra.
- Lit., 'beloved to him'.