Previous Folio / Yebamoth Directory / Tractate List

Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth

Folio 97a

that a traditional statement may be reported in my name in this world'; for R. Johanan1  stated in the name of R. Simeon b. Yohai: The lips of a [deceased] scholar, in whose name a traditional statement is reported in this world, move gently in the grave. Said R. Isaac b. Ze'ira, or it might be said, Simeon the Nazirite: What is the Scriptural proof of this? And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine that glideth down smoothly for my beloved, moving gently the lips of those who are asleep,2  like a heated mass of grapes. As a heated mass of grapes, as soon as a man places his finger upon it, exudes3  immediately so with the scholars as soon as a traditional statement is made in their name in this world, their lips move gently4  in the grave.

WHETHER HE IS OF THE AGE OF NINE YEARS etc. A contradiction was pointed out: If at the age of twenty he5  did not produce two [pubic] hairs,6  they7  must bring evidence that he is twenty years of age, and he [is then confirmed as a] saris;8  he may neither submit to halizah nor may he perform the levirate marriage. If a woman9  at the age of twenty did not produce two [pubic] hairs, they10  must bring evidence that she is twenty years of age, and she [is then confirmed as a] woman who is incapable of procreation; she may neither perform halizah nor contract levirate marriage!11  — Surely in connection with this Mishnah it was stated: R. Samuel b. Isaac said in the name of Rab that this12  applies only to the case where [other] symptoms13  of a saris also appeared on him.14

Said Raba: This15  may also be arrived at by deduction. For it was taught, 'And he [is confirmed as a] saris',16  from which this15  may well be deduced.

And where no symptoms of a saris developed, how long [is one regarded as a minor]?17  — It was taught at the school of R. Hiyya: Until he has passed middle age.18

Whenever people came [with such a case]19  before Raba,20  he used to tell them, if [the youth was] emaciated, 'Let him first be fattened'; and if he was stout, he used to tell them, 'Let him first be made to lose weight'; for these symptoms disappear21  sometimes as a result of emaciation and sometimes they disappear21  as a result of stoutness.



GEMARA. Here24  we learn what the Rabbis taught: 'A man who has outraged a woman25  is permitted to marry her daughter; if, however, he married the woman, he is forbidden to marry her daughter'. A contradiction, however, may be pointed out: A man who is suspected of intercourse with a woman is forbidden to marry her mother, her daughter and her sister!26  — This [prohibition27  is only] Rabbinical.28

Would it be stated, however, where a Rabbinical prohibition exists, that A MAN IS PERMITTED TO MARRY even from the outset! — Our Mishnah refers only to [a marriage] after [the suspected woman's] death.29

Whence is this ruling deduced? — From what the Rabbis taught: In the case of all those [illicit relationships]30  Scripture used the expression of 'lying',31  but here32  it made use of the expression of 'taking',33  in order to tell you [that only when intercourse with a woman was in] the manner of 'taking'34  did the Torah forbid [marriage with her relatives].35

Said R. Papa to Abaye: If that is so,36  then in respect of one's sister, concerning whom it is written, And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter;37  is [intercourse] here also forbidden only [if it is in] the manner of 'taking',34  but permitted [if it is in] the manner of 'lying'!38  — The other replied: The word 'taking' is used in the Torah without being defined, [so that a text] to which 'taking' is applicable,39  [signifies] 'taking'40  while one to which only 'lying' is applicable,41  [signifies] 'lying'.42

Raba stated: [That a man who] outraged a woman is permitted to marry her daughter, [is deduced] from here: It is written, The nakedness of thy son's daughter, or of thy daughter's daughter, thou shalt not uncover;43  from which it follows44  that the daughter of her45  son and the daughter of her45  daughter may be uncovered; but it is also written in Scripture, Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter; thou shalt not take her son's daughter, or her daughter's daughter!46  How then [are these to be reconciled]? The former47  refers to cases of outrage and the latter to those of marriage. Might not [the application]48  be reversed? — In respect of forbidden relatives the expression kin49  is written, and kinship exists only by means of marriage; but no kinship exists by means of outrage.

R. JUDAH FORBIDS MARRIAGE WITH THE WOMAN WHOM ONE'S FATHER HAD OUTRAGED etc. R. Giddal stated in the name of Rab: What is R. Judah's reason? Because it is written, A man shall not take his father's wife, and shall not uncover his father's skirt:50  the skirt which his father saw51  he shall not uncover. Whence, however, is it inferred that Scripture speaks of an outraged woman? — From the preceding section of the text where it is written, Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsels father fifty shekels of silver.52  And the Rabbis?53  — If one text had occurred in close proximity to the other your exposition would have been justified;54  now, however, that it does not occur in close proximity, the text is required for [an exposition] like that of R. Anan. For R. Anan stated in the name of Samuel that the Scriptural text50  speaks of a woman awaiting the levirate decision of his father; and the meaning of55  his father's skirt50  is: He56  shall not uncover the skirt which is designated for his father.57

[This prohibition,58  however], might be deduced from the fact that she is his aunt!59  — [The text50  was necessary] to make him60  guilty of the transgression of two negative commandments.61  [The prohibition,62  however] might be inferred from the fact [that the widow as a] sister-in-law63  [is forbidden] to marry any stranger!64  — [The text50  was necessary] to make him guilty of the transgression of three negative commandments.65  And if you prefer I might say:66  After [his father's] death.67

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Or Jehozadak (cf. Sanh. 90b).
  2. Cant. VII. 10. [H] moving gently.
  3. [H].
  4. V. supra n. 5. The rt. [H] signifies both 'to exude' and 'to whisper'.
  5. A levir whose brother died without issue and whose duty it is to marry the widow of the deceased or to submit to her halizah.
  6. The legal signs of maturity.
  7. The relatives of the widow, who are desirous of procuring her exemption from the levirate marriage and the halizah.
  8. One incapable of procreation. V. Glos. He is no longer regarded as a minor for whose maturity the widow must wait.
  9. A widow whose husband died childless. Cf. supra p. 661, n. 8.
  10. The levir's relatives, cf. supra p. 661, n. 10 mutatis mutandis.
  11. Supra 80a, Ned. 57b, Cf, B.B. 155b. From this (cf. p. 661, n. 11) it follows that at the age of twenty a person is considered to have attained legal majority, though his body has not developed any signs of maturity, contrary to our Mishnah which gives such a person the status of a minor.
  12. The law that he is regarded as a saris,
  13. Described supra 80b.
  14. If, however, these additional symptoms of a saris did not appear, he is as stated in our Mishnah regarded as a minor so long as he has not produced two pubic hairs.
  15. That a boy is not regarded as a saris unless apart from the absence of pubic hairs, he has developed also other symptoms of a saris.
  16. Implying that he had already other symptoms of a saris.
  17. If two pubic hairs did not appear.
  18. Lit., 'most of his years', i.e., until he is thirty-six years of age. Man's span of life is taken to be seventy years (cf. Ps. XC, 10).
  19. Of one who reached the age of twenty without having produced two hairs.
  20. Or,'R. Hiyya'. Cf. B.B. 155b and Nid. 47b.
  21. [H] (rt. [H] Pi'el, 'to fall off'). MS.M. reads, [H] (rt. [H] 'come', 'appear') a reading adopted by Tosaf. in B.B. 155b, s.v. [H].
  22. Only relatives of a married wife are subject to the law of incest.
  23. And must suffer the prescribed penalties.
  24. In our Mishnah.
  25. By immoral intercourse, whether without, or with her consent.
  26. Tosef. Yeb. IV and supra 262 q.v. for notes.
  27. In the Tosefta cited.
  28. In order that illicit intercourse with the suspected woman may not be facilitated through a marriage with one of her near relatives.
  29. If the woman outraged or seduced is dead the marriage with any one of her relatives would obviously provide no further facilities for illicit intercourse with her (cf. supra n. 7). Hence no preventive measure was instituted.
  30. Such as, e.g., a father's wife, a daughter-in-law and an aunt (v. Lev. XX, 11ff).
  31. E.g., lieth (Lev. XX, 11), lie (ibid. 12).
  32. In respect of a woman and her mother, and similar relatives that are forbidden through one's wife.
  33. E.g., take (lev. XVIII, 17, 18, ibid. XX, 14, 17).
  34. I.e., when the man contracted with her a lawful marriage; cf. Deut. XXIV, 1: 'When a man taketh a wife'.
  35. The relatives of a woman with whom he had illicit intercourse are, therefore permitted.
  36. Lit., 'but now'.
  37. Lev. XX, 17 emphasis on take. Cf. supra n. 6.
  38. This would be absurd.
  39. As in the case of a woman and her mother or two sisters, where marriage with the first is lawful.
  40. Lawful marriage. Only when legal marriage took place with the first is marriage with the second forbidden.
  41. Intercourse, for instance, with one's sister.
  42. Even illicit intercourse.
  43. Lev. XVIII, 10.
  44. Lit., 'thus'.
  45. A wife's.
  46. Lev. XVIII, 17.
  47. Lit., 'here'.
  48. I.e., applying the first text to cases of marriage and the second to those of outrage.
  49. V. Lev. XVIII, 6.
  50. Deut. XXIII, 1.
  51. Even through outrage.
  52. Deut. XXII, 29. a case of outrage.
  53. How can they maintain their view in our Mishnah against the Scriptural text.
  54. Lit., 'as you said'.
  55. Lit., 'and what'.
  56. A son.
  57. Such a woman, unless she has performed halizah with his father, is permitted to marry no one but his father.
  58. To marry the widow who was subject to his father's Ievirate marriage. Cf. supra n. 9.
  59. Having been the wife of his father's brother. V. Lev. XX, 20. What need then was there for the additional text of Deut. XXIII, 1?
  60. The son. v.. supra note 10.
  61. Prescribed in (1) Lev. XX, 20 and (2) Deut. XXIII, 1.
  62. V. supra note 10.
  63. Cf. supra note 9.
  64. Lit., 'to the market', i.e., any man other than the levir. Cf. supra n. 11 second clause.
  65. The two referred to supra p. 665, n. 13 as well as the one last mentioned.
  66. In reply to the last objection.
  67. When marriage with the widow is not subject to the last mentioned prohibition (that of a sister-in-law to a stranger) and only two prohibitions (v. supra p. 665, n. 13) remain.
Tractate List

Yebamoth 97b

'My1  paternal, but not my maternal brother; and he is the husband of my mother and I am the daughter of his wife'!2  — Rami b. Hama said: Such [a relationship is] not [legally possible] according to the ruling of R. Judah in our Mishnah.3

'He4  whom I carry on my shoulder is my brother and my son and I am his sister'? — This is possible when an idolater cohabited with his daughter'.5

'Greetings4  to you my son; I am the daughter of your sister'? — This is possible where an idolater cohabited with his daughter's daughter.6

'Ye4  water-drawers,7  we shall ask you8  a riddle that defies solution: He whom I carry is my son and I am the daughter of his brother'? — This is possible where an idolater cohabited with the daughter of his son.9

'Woe,4  woe, for my brother who is my father; he is my husband and the son of my husband; he is the husband of my mother and I am the daughter of his wife; and he provides no food for his orphan brothers, the children of his daughter'? — This is possible when an idolater cohabited with his mother and begot from her a daughter; then he cohabited with that daughter; and then the grandfather10  cohabited with her11  and begot from her sons.12

'I13  and you are brother and sister,14  I and your father are brother and sister, and I and your mother are sisters'? — This is possible where an idolater cohabited with his mother and from her begot two daughters, and then he cohabited with one of these and begot from her a son. When the sons's mother's sister15  carries16  him17  she addresses him thus.18

'I13  and you are the children of sisters,14  I and your father are the children of brothers, and I and your mother are the children of brothers'? — This indeed is possible also in the case of a lawful marriage; where, for instance, Reuben had two daughters, and Simeon19  came and married one of them, and then came the son of Levi19  and married the other.

The son of Simeon can thus20  address the son of the son of Levi.21


GEMARA. When the sons of the bondwoman Yudan were emancipated. R. Aha b. Jacob permitted them to marry one another's wives.25  Said Raba to him: But R. Shesheth forbade [such marriages]. The other replied: He forbade, but I allow.

[In respect of proselyte brothers] from the same father and not from the same mother, there is no difference of opinion26  that this27  is permitted;28  [in respect of brothers] from the same mother and not from the same father, there is no difference of opinion26  that this27  is forbidden.29  They differ only [in respect of proselytes whose brotherhood is] both paternal and maternal. He30  who permits it27  [does so because children are] ascribed to their father, since they are spoken of as 'the children of such and such a man'.31  R. Shesheth, however, [holds that they] are also spoken of as 'the children of such and such a woman'.29

Another reading: R. Aha b. Jacob disputed [the illegality of marriage]27  even in respect of maternal brothers. And what is his reason? — Because a man who has become a proselyte is like a child newly born.32

We learned, THE SONS OF A FEMALE PROSELYTE WHO BECAME PROSELYTES TOGETHER WITH HER NEITHER PARTICIPATE IN HALIZAH NOR CONTRACT THE LEVIRATE MARRIAGE, is not the reason33  because they are forbidden [to marry a brother's wife]!34  — No; it is because [the widow] is not subject to the law of halizah and levirate marriage.35  She is permitted, however, to strangers.36  and the brothers also are permitted[to marry her]. But, surely, it was stated EVEN! Now were you to admit that [the brothers] are forbidden.37  one could well justify the expression of EVEN: EVEN IF THE ONE WAS NOT CONCEIVED IN HOLINESS BUT WAS BORN IN HOLINESS. AND THE OTHER WAS BOTH CONCEIVED AND BORN IN HOLINESS, [so that the two might well be regarded] as [the sons of] two mothers,38  they are nevertheless forbidden; if you maintain, however, that they are permitted,39  what [can be the purport of] EVEN!40  — Even though the birth of both was in holiness, and people might mistake41  them for Israelites,42  [the widow] is nevertheless permitted [to marry a stranger].43

Others read: Logical reasoning also supports the view that they are permitted,39  since the expression EVEN was used. For, if you grant that they are permitted39  it is quite correct to say EVEN: Even though the birth of both was in holiness and people might mistake41  them for Israelites.42  they are nevertheless permitted;43  if, however, you maintain that they are for bidden44  what [can be the purport of] EVEN!45  — EVEN IF THE ONE WAS NOT CONCEIVED IN HOLINESS BUT WAS BORN IN HOLINESS, AND THE OTHER WAS BOTH CONCEIVED AND BORN IN HOLINESS [so that they might well be regarded] as [the sons of] two mothers,46  they are nevertheless forbidden.

Come and hear: Twin brothers who were proselytes, and similarly if they were emancipated slaves,47  may neither participate in halizah nor contract levirate marriage, nor are they guilty [of a punishable offence] for [marrying] a brother's wife.48  If however, they were not conceived in holiness but were born in holiness, they neither participate in halizah nor contract levirate marriage49  but are guilty [of a punishable offence]50  for [marrying] a brother's wife.51  If they were both conceived and born in holiness, they are regarded as Israelites in all respects. At all events, it was stated that they are not 'guilty [of a punishable offence] for [marrying] a brother's wife'; [from which it follows that] no punishable offence is incurred

- To Next Folio -

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. This and the following unlikely propositions are merely riddles on the possible complications of consanguinity.
  2. Such a riddle may be put by a daughter who was born as a result of outrage by his father where the son of the man by another wife has subsequently married her mother.
  3. Since, according to R. Judah, marriage is forbidden with a woman one's father had outraged.
  4. V. supra n. 4.
  5. And a son was born from the union. The mother of the child might put such a riddle.
  6. The son born from such a union, since he is the paternal brother of his mother's mother, might be addressed by his mother in the terms of this riddle.
  7. Lit., 'drawers who draw the bucket'. Men engaged in the irrigation of fields (cf. Rashi and last.); scholars drawing from the fountains of wisdom (cf. Aruk. and Tosaf. s.v. [H].
  8. So Aruk. Cur. edd., 'let it fall among you'.
  9. The son born from this union is the paternal brother of his mother's father.
  10. The idolater's father.
  11. The daughter.
  12. The daughter may describe the idolater as her maternal brother, her natural father and her actual husband. Owing to her cohabitation with his father (the grandfather) he is the son of her husband, while through his cohabitation with her mother he is her mother's husband and she is, of course, the daughter of his wife. The children resulting from the union between her and the grandfather are his (the idolater's) paternal brothers and, of course, the children of his daughter.
  13. V. supra p. 666, n. 4.
  14. [H] may be rendered 'brothers', 'brother and sister' and 'sisters'. It sometimes signifies 'relatives' or mere 'friends'.
  15. [MS.M. 'when his sister'].
  16. So MS.M. Cur. edd., 'calls'.
  17. The son.
  18. She and the son are brother and sister, being the offspring of the same father. She and his father are brother and sister from the same mother, while she and his mother are sisters both paternally and maternally.
  19. His brother, Reuben, Simeon and Levi, the sons of Jacob and Leah (v. Gen. XXIX, 32ff) are chosen as an illustration of brotherly relationship.
  20. So BaH a.l. wanting in cur. edd.
  21. He and Levi's grandson are the children of two sisters (Reuben's daughters); he and Levi's son (the grandson's father) are children of two brothers (Simeon and Levi), while he and the grandson's mother are children of the two brothers Reuben and Simeon.
  22. Should one of the brothers die without issue.
  23. I.e., before his mother became a proselyte.
  24. After his mother became a proselyte.
  25. A proselyte having the status of a newly born child, all his previous family relationships are dissolved. The prohibition against marriage with a brother's wife does not, therefore, apply.
  26. Between R. Aba and R. Shesheth.
  27. Marriage of a brother's wife in the case of proselytes.
  28. It is well known that their father was no Israelite, and that it is for this reason that the marriage was permitted. No one would assume that they were the sons of the same father, since idolaters' wives were known to be faithless, and, consequently, no one would erroneously infer that proper Israelites may also marry their brother's wives.
  29. Their mother being known, they might he assumed to be lawful brothers and, should marriage of a brother's wife he permitted in their case, an erroneous conclusion (v. supra note 6) might he formed.
  30. R. Aba.
  31. Cf. supra note 6.
  32. V. supra 22a and cf supra note 3.
  33. Of the prohibition. Lit., 'what is the reason'.
  34. The law of the levirate marriage being inapplicable in their case, the prohibition against marrying a brother's wife remains in force. An objection against R. Aha
  35. The Mishnah implying that the brothers are not obliged to perform the religious rites.
  36. Lit., 'to the world'.
  37. Marriage of a brother's wife in the case of proselytes.
  38. Who may marry one another's wives.
  39. To marry each other's wives.
  40. On the contrary; this should be an additional reason for permissibility.
  41. Lit., 'exchange'.
  42. And so permit a deceased brother's wife to marry a stranger without previous halizah.
  43. Because (cf. Rashi) it is known that the duty of levirate marriage and halizah is determined by paternal brotherhood which is inapplicable in the case of a father who was an idolater (cf. supra p. 668, n. 6.) [They, themselves, would however be forbidden to marry each other's widows where they were both born in holiness. It is only with reference to the first clause of our Mishnah that R. Aha stated supra that they were permitted (Rashi)].
  44. To marry each other's wives.
  45. The fact that they were both born in holiness should be an additional reason for the prohibition.
  46. Who may marry one another's wives.
  47. Though, in the case of twins, paternal brotherhood is certain (cf. infra 89a).
  48. V. supra p. 668, n. 3.
  49. Since the duty of levirate marriage and halizah is dependent on paternal brotherhood. Cf. supra p. 669, n. 3.
  50. Kareth.
  51. Whom even a maternal brother is forbidden to marry.
Tractate List