is an instruction as to what it is the proper thing to do.1 Let him reply that it2 was a preventive measure against the possibility of the levir's participating first in the halizah of the first!3 — It was stated, BUT MAY NOT BE TAKEN IN LEVIRATE MARRIAGE, i.e., the law of the levirate marriage is not applicable here at all.4 Let him, then, reply that it5 was a preventive measure in case he6 might die,7 it being forbidden to annul the precept of levirate marriage!8 — R. Johanan makes no provision against possible death.9 Then let him reply that it5 is the ruling of R. Eleazar10 who said that so long as she remained forbidden to him for one moment she is forbidden to him for ever!11 — Since the latter clause [represents the view of] R. Eleazar,12 the first clause cannot represent his view. Then let him reply that it13 is a case where they14 fell under the obligation15 at the same time, and that it represents the opinion of R. Jose the Galilean who maintains that it is possible to ascertain simultaneity!16 — The Tanna would not have recorded an anonymous Mishnah in agreement with the view of R. Jose the Galilean. Let him reply [that it13 is a case] where it is not known which17 came under the obligation15 first!18 — If that were the case19 how could it have been stated,20 EVEN IF THEY HAD ALREADY MARRIED THEM THEY MUST DISMISS THEM! In the case of the first,21 at least, one can understand [the reason].22 since he can be told, 'Who permitted her to you'?23 In the case, however, of the second,24 the levir25 could surely claim, 'My friend26 has taken the second in levirate marriage27 and I take the first '28 This, then,29 is the reason why he30 said to him,31 'I do not know who was the author of the statement concerning the sisters'.32
We learned: IF ONE OF THE SISTERS WAS FORBIDDEN TO ONE [OF THE BROTHERS] UNDER THE PROHIBITION OF INCEST,33 HE IS FORBIDDEN TO MARRY HER BUT MAY MARRY HER SISTER, WHILE TO THE SECOND BROTHER BOTH ARE FORBIDDEN. It was now assumed that his mother-in-law34 came under the obligation35 first.36 Now, why [should both sisters be forbidden]?37 Let the son-in-law undertake the duty of marrying first that sister who is not his mother-in-law,38 and his mother-in-law, in relation to the other levir, would thereby come into the same category as a sister-in-law that was permitted,39 then forbidden,40 and then permitted again,41 who returns to her former state of permissibility! R. Papa replied: [They are forbidden] in a case where she who was not his mother-in-law came under the obligation42 first.43
R. ELIEZER SAID: BETH SHAMMAI HOLD etc. The following was taught: R. Eliezer said: Beth Shammai hold that they may retain them, and Beth Hillel hold that they must dismiss them. R. Simeon said: They may retain them. Abba Saul said: Beth Hillel uphold in this matter the milder rule, for it was Beth Shammai who said that the women must be dismissed while Beth Hillel said they may be retained.44
Whose view does R. Simeon represent?45 If that of Beth Shammai,46 he is merely repeating R. Eliezer; if that of Beth Hillel,46 he is repeating Abba Saul! It was this that he meant: In this matter there is no dispute at all between Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel.
IF ONE OF THE SISTERS etc. But we have learned this already: When her sister is her sister-in-law she may either perform halizah or be taken in levirate marriage!47 — [Both are] necessary. For had the law been stated there48 it might have been assumed [to apply to that case alone],49 because there is no need to enact a preventive measure against a second brother,50 but not [to the case] here where it might be advisable to issue a preventive measure against a second brother.50 And had the law been stated here,51 it might have been assumed [to apply to this case alone] because there is a second brother who proves it52 but not [to that case] where no second brother exists.53 [Hence were both] required.
BY VIRTUE OF A COMMANDMENT etc. But we have [already] learned this also:
Original footnotes renumbered.
- And not as to what is to be done in certain eventualities. Lit., 'for as at the beginning, it was taught'.
- The provision that both widows are to perform halizah and that none may be taken in levirate marriage.
- And then he would marry the second, in his erroneous assumption that, as he may participate in the halizah of the second and marry the first, so he may participate in the halizah of the first and marry the second. This, however, does not imply that if he already did participate in the halizah of the second he may not, after her death, marry the first. In this latter case the reason for the marriage with the first would be obvious and would leave no room for erroneous conclusions.
- Even if halizah was first performed by the second.
- The provision in our Mishnah that both widows must perform halizah and none of them may be taken in levirate marriage.
- One of the surviving brothers who intended to marry one of the widowed sisters.
- After the second brother had married the second widow and had thus become disqualified from marrying or participating in the halizah of the other — who is now forbidden to him as the sister of his wife.
- And this only is the reason for the prohibition of the levirate marriage with either of the sisters. Had this prohibition been due to the levirate bond, as suggested, the first would certainly have been permitted to marry the levir after halizah with the second, which had severed the levirate bond, had taken place. Consequently, in the case discussed by R. Johanan, where the second died, and the preventive measure is not applicable. the first may indeed be taken in levirate marriage!
- The ruling in our Mishnah could not, therefore, be due to a preventive measure.
- BaH a.l. reads, 'Eliezer' throughout the context.
- Infra 1092; while R. Johanan, agreeing with the Rabbis, may disregard this individual opinion.
- His authorship being specifically stated there.
- V. note 2, supra
- Both sisters.
- Of the levirate marriage.
- supra 19a, Bek. 92a
- Of the two widowed sisters.
- So that there is no known 'second' widow with whom to participate in the halizah
- That the prohibition in our Mishnah to marry the two widowed sisters is entirely due to the fact that it is not known which of them was the first to become a widow and which was second; and that, had the fact been known, the first would have been permitted to be taken in the levirate marriage.
- Lit., '(is it) that why it was stated'!
- I.e., the levir who married first, Cf. BaH a.l. Cur. edd. read, [H] for [H]
- Why the woman must be dismissed.
- Before the marital bond between him and her sister was severed she was forbidden to him as the sister of his zekukah. Hence he must rightly dismiss her.
- Levir (v. BaH) who married after his brother had married one of the widows. Cur. edd. [H] for [H].
- When he is ordered to divorce the woman.
- The levir who married first.
- I.e., the sister who became widow second; and naturally no one could disprove his contention.
- Who became permitted to him owing to the previous marriage of her sister who, he claims, was the second widow. The marriage of the second severs the marital bond between the sister and the levirs, and thus liberates the first from the prohibition of 'the sister of one's zekukah' and brings her under the category of 'permitted, forbidden and permitted again'.
- Since this last suggested answer is also untenable.
- R. Johanan, supra 27b.
- R. Jose.
- Cf. supra p. 170. n. 3'
- If she was, for instance, his mother-in-law.
- V. previous note. 'Mother-in-law' is taken as an instance of any forbidden relative.
- Of the levirate marriage.
- I.e., her husband died before the other brother.
- To marry the other levir.
- That widow is permitted to him, because she is neither his forbidden relative nor the sister of his zekukah, since a forbidden relative is not a zekukah.
- Since at the time she became subject to the levirate marriage she was not the sister of a zekukah.
- When her sister became the zekukah of the surviving levirs by the death of her husband.
- 'When his brother had contracted with her the levirate marriage.
- Of the Ievirate marriage.
- So that his mother-in-law who came under the obligation next was never for one moment permitted even to the other levir.
- Tosef. v.
- Lit., 'R. Simeon like whom'. He could not possibly advance a view of his own, since he is not sufficiently great to disagree either with Beth Shammai or with Beth Hillel.
- I.e., if he maintains that what he said was their view.
- Supra 20a, which Implies the law here stated, viz, that he is forbidden to marry the forbidden relative but may marry her sister.
- And not here.
- Where one brother only is involved.
- Who might marry a sister of his zekukah by mistaking the reason for the levirate marriage of his brother.
- And not there.
- That there is a special reason why his brother may marry one of the sisters. The fact that he himself does not marry either of the sisters is sufficient proof that the sister of a zekukah is forbidden.
- And people might erroneously infer that the sister of a zekukah is always permitted.
If she is forbidden by virtue of a commandment or by virtue of holiness she must perform halizah and may not be taken in levirate marriage!1 -There1 it is a question of one forbidden by virtue of a commandment alone,2 but here [it is a case of one] forbidden by virtue of a commandment and [by virtue of] her sister.3 Since it might have been assumed that the prohibition by virtue of a commandment shall take the same rank as the prohibition by the law of incest4 and [her sister] should, therefore, be taken in levirate marriage, hence we were taught [that the law is not so].
But how could she5 possibly be taken in levirate marriage? Since Pentateuchally she6 is to submit to him,7 he would come in contact with the sister of his zekukah8 -It might have been thought that such provision9 was made by the Rabbis for the sake of the precept,10 hence we were taught [that it was not so].
IF ONE OF THE SISTERS etc. What need was there again for this statement? Surely, it is precisely identical [with the one before]!11 For what difference is there whether [a woman is forbidden] to one or to two? — [Both are] required. For had the former only12 been stated, it might have been assumed [that the law was applicable there only] because there exists a second brother to indicate the cause,13 but not here where there is no second brother to indicate it.14 And if the statement had been made here only it might have been assumed on the contrary that both brothers afford proof in regard to each other,15 but not in the other case;16 [hence both were] required.
THIS IS THE CASE CONCERNING WHICH IT HAS BEEN SAID etc. What is the expression, THIS IS intended to exclude?17 -To exclude the case [where one sister was forbidden by] Virtue of a commandment to the one [brother]. and [the other sister was forbidden] by virtue of a commandment to the other. But what need was there for this [additional statement]? Surely it is precisely identical [with that mentioned before];18 for what difference is there whether it relates to one or to two! — It might have been thought that only where there is the necessity of providing for a preventive measure against a second brother do we not say that the prohibition by a commandment takes the same rank as a prohibition by the law of incest,19 but that where there is no necessity to provide against a second brother we do say that in the case of the one brother the prohibition by a commandment is to be given the same force as the prohibition by the law of incest, and that also in the case of the other brother the prohibition by a commandment is to be given the same force as the prohibition by the law of incest, and that the sisters may consequently be taken in levirate marriage; hence we were taught [that such an assumption is not to be made].
Rab Judah said in the name of Rab and so did R. Hiyya teach: In the case of all these20 it may happen that she who is forbidden to one brother21 may be permitted to the other,22 and that her sister who is her sister-in-law may either perform the halizah or be taken in the levirate marriage;23 and Rab Judah interpreted it24 [as referring to those]25 from one's mother-in-law onward but not to the first six categories. What is the reason? Because this26 is only possible in the case of a daughter born from a woman who had been outraged.27 but not in that of a daughter born from a legal marriage.28 [and the author of that Mishnah]29 deals only with cases of legal matrimony and not with those of outraged women.30
Abaye, however, interprets it24 as referring also to a daughter from a woman that had been outraged. because, since [the application of Rab's statement]31 is quite possible in her case, it matters not whether she was born from a woman who was legally married or from one that had been outraged; but not to the 'wife of a brother who was not his contemporary' since this31 is possible only according to the view of R. Simeon32 and not according to that of the Rabbis and he33 does not deal with any matter which is a subject of controversy. But R. Safra interprets [it34 as referring] also to the 'wife of a brother who was not his contemporary', and this34 is possible in the case of six brothers in accordance with the view of R. Simeon.35 And your mnemonic is, 'died, born, and performed the levirate marriage; died, born, and performed the levirate marriage'.36 [Suppose. for instance]. Reuben and Simeon37 were married to two sisters, and Levi and Judah were married to two strangers. When Reuben died, Issachar was born and Levi took the widow in levirate marriage. When Simeon died, Zebulun was born and Judah took [the second widow] in levirate marriage. When Levi and Judah subsequently died without issue and their widows fell under the obligation of the levirate marriage before Issachar and Zebulun, she38 who is forbidden to the one39 is permitted to the other40 while she41 who is forbidden to the other42 is permitted to the first.43
In the example of 'her sister who is her sister-in-law',44 what need was there45 for Judah to contract the levirate marriage? Even if Judah did not contract any levirate marriage it is also possible!46 — Owing to the rival.47 This48 satisfactorily explains the case of the rival; what can be said, however, in respect of the rival's rival?49 — If, for instance, Gad and Asher also subsequently married them.50
MISHNAH. IF TWO OF THREE BROTHERS WERE MARRIED TO TWO SISTERS, OR TO A WOMAN AND HER DAUGHTER, OR TO A WOMAN AND HER DAUGHTER'S DAUGHTER, OR TO A WOMAN AND HER SON'S DAUGHTER, BEHOLD, THESE51 MUST52 PERFORM THE HALIZAH53 BUT MAY NOT BE TAKEN IN LEVIRATE MARRIAGE.54 R. SIMEON, HOWEVER, EXEMPTS THEM.55
IF ONE OF THEM56 WAS FORBIDDEN TO HIM BY THE LAW OF INCEST, HE IS FORBIDDEN TO MARRY HER BUT IS PERMITTED TO MARRY HER SISTER. IF, HOWEVER, THE PROHIBITION IS DUE TO A COMMANDMENT OR TO HOLINESS, THEY MUST PERFORM THE HALIZAH BUT MAY NOT BE TAKEN IN LEVIRATE MARRIAGE.
GEMARA. It was taught: R. Simeon exempts both from the halizah and the levirate marriage. for it is said in the Scriptures, And thou shalt not take a woman to her sister, to be a rival to her:57 when they become rivals to one another,58 you may not marry even one of them.
IF ONE OF THEM WAS etc. What need was there again for this statement? Surely it is the same!59 -It was necessary because of the opinion of R. Simeon: As it might have been assumed that, since R. Simeon had said that two sisters were neither to perform halizah nor to be taken in levirate marriage. A preventive measure should be enacted60 against two sisters generally.61 hence we were taught62 [that it was not so].63
IF, HOWEVER, THE PROHIBITION IS DUE TO A COMMANDMENT etc.
Original footnotes renumbered.
- Supra 202, Sanh. 532.
- Only one sister-in-law being concerned.
- Since two sisters, the widows of the two brothers, are here involved, and one of them is forbidden not only as the sister of his zekukah but also by virtue of a commandment.
- As the one is not regarded as a zekukah so neither is the other.
- The sister of one forbidden by virtue of a commandment.
- The sister-in-law forbidden by virtue of a commandment.
- To levirate marriage; her prohibition being only Rabbinical.
- Which cannot obviously be permitted. What need, then. was there for a law that is so obvious.
- The permission to marry the sister of his zekukah.
- Of the levirate marriage. In order that this precept may be fulfilled they may have removed the prohibition of the marital bond, which is only Rabbinical, in cases where the woman is not forbidden by the law of incest but by virtue of a commandment only.
- Where one sister-in-law is similarly forbidden to one levir, and he is permitted to marry her sister.
- Lit., 'there'.
- Since one brother is forbidden to marry either sister it will be obvious that the brother was permitted to marry one of the sisters for a special reason.
- Since both brothers marry respectively the two sisters, it might be assumed that any levir may marry the sister of his zekukah.
- Since each brother is permitted to marry only one particular sister and not the other, it is obvious that the other is forbidden to him. The law of zekukah could not consequently be mistaken.
- Where there is only one brother, and no other brother to indicate that there is a special reason why the sister of his apparent zekukah. should be permitted to be taken in Ievirate marriage.
- THIS IS implies this and no other.
- In our Mishnah: [IF ONE SISTER] WAS FORBIDDEN BY VIRTUE OF A COMMANDMENT … SHE MUST PERFORM THE HALIZAH AND MAY NOT BE TAKEN IN LEVIRATE MARRIAGE.
- V. supra p. 174. n. 6.
- The fifteen forbidden categories enumerated in the Mishnah, supra 2af.
- As a forbidden relative under the law of incest.
- With whom she is not so closely related.
- The prohibition of the one under the law of incest removes the marital bond, and her sister who, in consequence, is no longer the 'sister of a zekukah', may, therefore, be married to, or perform the halizah with the levir to whom the former is forbidden.
- Rab's statement.
- Of the fifteen relatives enumerated in the Mishnah mentioned.
- That two sisters shall be the daughters of two brothers, and that the one forbidden to one brother shall be permitted to the other brother. V. n. 8.
- If, of four brothers, A, B, C and D, A had a daughter from a woman he had outraged. and B had a daughter from the same woman whom he outraged after A, and these daughters of A and B, who are maternal sisters, married their father's brothers, C and D, who subsequently died without issue, A's daughter is permitted to B (who is her brother-in-law but otherwise a complete stranger) and is forbidden to A her father. For similar reasons A's daughter is permitted to A and forbidden to B. Thus it is possible for two sisters to marry the two levirs respectively because each one of them is a daughter of the other levir to whom she is forbidden by the law of incest.
- Since the mother of such a daughter would be forbidden to marry her husband's brother, even though she had been divorced by her husband after the birth of that daughter.
- Supra 2a, which is now under discussion.
- And since the case of a daughter could not be included (v. supra nn. 8 and 9), the other five cases which also bear on a daughter had equally to be excluded.
- V. supra p. 176. n. 7.
- Supra 18b. V. also R. Safra's interpretation and notes, Infra.
- Rab or R. Hiyya.
- Rab's statement.
- Who in certain circumstances permits the marriage of the 'widow of a brother who was not his contemporary'. V. supra 18b.
- v. infra, when (a) death, (b) birth and (c) marriage occurred in this order in the case of both groups of brothers.
- Jacob's sons, the sequence of whose births is known (v. Gen. XXIX, 32 - XXX, 20), are taken here as an illustration of the possibility of the application of Rab's statement in certain circumstances of birth, death and marriage.
- The widow of Levi.
- To Issachar, because he was born before the marriage of Levi had removed the levirate bond between Reuben's widow and the other brothers, and thus came under the prohibition of marrying 'the wife of his brother who was not his contemporary'.
- To Zebulun who was born after she had married Levi and the levirate bond between her and the other brothers had been removed.
- The wife of Judah.
- To Zebulun, to whom the widow of Simeon stands in the same relation as the widow of Reuben to Issachar. (V. supra note 9).
- Issachar who was Simeon's contemporary.
- In R. Safra's interpretation.
- For one sister to be forbidden to one brother and permitted to the other, and vice versa. Suppose Reuben died, and then Issachar was born, and Levi married the widow; then Simeon died, Zebulun was born, and Levi died; and the widows of Simeon and Levi came under the obligation of the levirate marriage with Issachar and Zebulun. Levi's widow is forbidden to Issachar owing to the levirate bond originating from her first husband, Reuben, (v. supra p. 177, n. 9) and is permitted to Zebulun (v. p. 177, n. 10), while Simeon's widow is forbidden to Zebulun (v. p. 177, n. 12) and permitted to Issachar (v. p. 177. n. 13). Now, since the point may be illustrated by five brothers, why was it necessary to bring in six?
- As the Mishnah under discussion (supra 2af) speaks of the rivals it was desired to give an illustration which may be applicable to rivals as well as to the forbidden relatives, and this could only be done by assuming that Judah married Simeon's widow. Had he not married her, the rival would have had to be not Judah's but Simeon's wife who would thus be forbidden to Zebulun not as 'rival' but as 'the wife of his brother who was not his contemporary'.
- The illustration with the six brothers.
- How is it possible that one rival's rival shall be forbidden to one brother and permitted to the other while the other rival's rival should be forbidden to the other brother and permitted to the first?
- The first wives of Levi and Judah (the rivals of their second wives, the widows of Reuben and Simeon). If Gad who married, say. the widow of Judah, and Asher who married, say. the widow of Levi died subsequently without issue and were survived by their wives who are now subject to the levirate marriage with Issachar and Zebulun the surviving brothers, Gad's first wife, the rival of his second wife (the widow of Judah) who was the rival of Simeon's wife, is forbidden to Zebulun as the rival's rival of the wife of Simeon who was not his contemporary, but is permitted to Issachar. Similarly Asher's first wife is forbidden to Issachar and permitted to Zebulun.
- The women enumerated.
- If their husbands, the two brothers, died without issue.
- With the third surviving brother.
- By that brother; since both are related to him by the 'levirate bond' and each is forbidden to him as the consanguineous relative of the woman connected with him by such bond.
- Even from the halizah. V. Gemara infra.
- The sisters.
- Lev. XVIII, 18.
- The Ievirate bond which subjects both to the same levir causing them to be rivals.
- As that which had been taught in an earlier Mishnah in the case of four brothers, supra 26a.
- Forbidding levirate marriage even where the prohibition of one is due to the law of incest.
- Lit., 'of the world'. If permission to marry one of the sisters were given where one is forbidden by the law of incest, it might be mistakenly concluded that levirate marriage is allowed even when none was forbidden by the law of incest.
- By the statement in our Mishnah that one IS PERMITTED TO MARRY HER SISTER.
- The similar statement in the earlier Mishnah (supra 262) does not prove this point as far as R. Simeon is concerned, since it refers to the view of the Rabbis according to whom the marriage of the sister of a zekukah is only Rabbinically forbidden and no preventive measure is obviously required against a possible infringement of such a prohibition. According to R. Simeon, however, who regards the marriage of a sister of a stekukab as incest, a preventive measure might have been expected had not our Mishnah proved the contrary.