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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth
Those two which resemble one another1 are reckoned as one, and thus [the total is] sixteen.' 'But, after all, I saw that these were written down as forbidden!'2 The other said to him: 'Granted that this is so, would you have relied upon that list, if the cases had been written down as permitted? "Has Mar the son of Rabana signed them?" [you would have argued]. Now then that they have been written down as forbidden, [you might also argue]. "Mar the son of Rabana has not signed them".
It was taught at the School of R. Hiyya: The third generation of his son,3 of his daughter.4 of the son of his wife5 or of the daughter of his wife6 [is forbidden as incest of the] second degree; the fourth generation7 through his father-in-law8 or his mother-in-law9 [is forbidden as incest of the] second degree.
Said Rabina to R. Ashi: Why is the wife included in the ascending line10 and not included in the descending line?11 -In the case of the ascending line, where the prohibition is due to his wife, she is included; in the descending line, where the prohibition is not due to his wife,12 she is not included. But, surely, there is the case of the son of his wife and the daughter of his wife whose prohibition is due to his wife who is, nevertheless, not included! — As he enumerated three generations in the descending line on his side13 and did not include her, he also enumerated three generations in the descending line on her side14 and did not include her.
Said R. Ashi to R. Kahana: Are the second degrees of incest of the School of R. Hiyya subject to the limitation15 or not? Come and hear what Rab said: 'Four [categories of forbidden] women are subject to a limitation',16 but no more. But is it not possible that Rab was only referring to that Baraitha!17
Come and hear: 'The third' and 'the fourth',18 which implies the third and fourth generations only but no further. But is it not possible [that this meant] from the third generation onwards19 and from the fourth generation onwards!19
Raba said to R. Nahman, 'Has the Master seen the young scholar who came from the West20 and stated: The question was raised in the West whether the second degrees of incest were forbidden as a preventive measure among proselytes or not'? — The other replied: Seeing that even in respect of actual incest, but for the fear that they might be said to have exchanged a [religion of] stricter for [one of] more easy-going sanctity, the Rabbis would not have imposed upon them any preventive measures,21 is there any question [that they should have done so in respect of] the second degrees?
Said R. Nahman: As the subject of proselytes has come up,22 let us say something about them: Maternal brothers may not tender evidence;23 if, however, they did, their evidence is valid.24 Paternal brothers may tender evidence without challenge.25
Amemar said: Even maternal brothers may tender evidence without challenge. And why is this case different from incest?26 — Matters of incest lie in everybody's hands;27 evidence is entrusted to Beth din, and [they know that] one who has become a proselyte is like a child newly born.28
MISHNAH. IF ONE HAS ANY KIND OF BROTHER,29 [THAT BROTHER] IMPOSES UPON HIS BROTHER'S WIFE THE OBLIGATION OF THE LEVIRATE MARRIAGE AND IS DEEMED TO BE HIS BROTHER IN EVERY RESPECT. FROM THIS IS EXCLUDED A BROTHER BORN FROM A SLAVE OR A HEATHEN.30
IF ONE HAS ANY KIND OF SON, [THAT SON] EXEMPTS HIS FATHER'S WIFE FROM THE LEVIRATE MARRIAGE, IS LIABLE TO PUNISHMENT FOR STRIKING OR CURSING [HIS FATHER]. AND IS DEEMED TO BE HIS SON IN EVERY RESPECT. FROM THIS IS EXCLUDED THE SON OF A SLAVE OR A HEATHEN.31
GEMARA. What does the expression ANY KIND include? Rab Judah said: It includes a bastard. Is not this obvious? Surely, he is his brother! — It might have been assumed that 'brotherhood'32 here should be deduced from 'brotherhood' in the case of the sons of Jacob;33 as there they were all legitimate and untainted, so here also [the brothers must be] legitimate and untainted; hence we were taught [that it is not so]. [Might we still suggest that it is so?] — Since he34 has at any rate the power to confer exemption from the levirate marriage35
he also has the power to impose the obligation of the levirate marriage.1
AND IS DEEMED TO BE HIS BROTHER IN EVERY RESPECT. In respect of what, in actual practice? — That he is to be his heir and that he2 may defile himself for him. Is not this obvious, he being his brother! — Whereas it is written, Except for his kin, that is near unto him,3 and a Master had said that 'his kin' refers to his wife, while [on the other hand] it is written, A husband among his people shall not defile himself, to profane himself,4 [which verses taken together mean],5 some kind of husband may defile himself and some kind of husband may not, and how [is this to be understood]? He may defile himself for his lawful wife but may not defile himself for his unlawful wife; and so here it might have been assumed that he may defile himself for a legitimate brother but may not defile himself for an illegitimate brother; hence it was taught [that it is hot so]. Might we still suggest that it is so? In that case she is liable at any moment to be sent away,6 but here he is his brother.
FROM THIS IS EXCLUDED A BROTHER BORN FROM A SLAVE OR A HEATHEN. What is the reason? Scripture stated, The wife and her children shall be the master's.7
IF ONE HAS ANY KIND OF SON, [THAT SON] EXEMPTS etc. What does ANY KIND include? — Rab Judah said: It includes a bastard. What is the reason? — Because Scripture stated, And have no [en lo] child8 which implies 'hold an inquiry9 concerning him.'10
AND IS LIABLE TO PUNISHMENT FOR STRIKING [HIM]. But why? One should apply here the Scriptural text, Nor curse a ruler of thy people.11 only when he practises the deeds of thy people!12 — As R. Phinehas in the name of R. Papa said [elsewhere] 'When he repented', so here also it is a case where he repented. Is such a persona however, capable of penitence? Surely we learnt: Simeon b. Menasya said, That which is crooked cannot be made straight.13 refers to him who had intercourse with a forbidden relative and begot from her a bastard! — Now, at any rate. he is practising 'the deeds of thy people'.14
Our Rabbis taught: He who has intercourse with his sister who is also the daughter of his father's wife15 is guilty16 on account of both his sister and his father's wife's daughter. R. Jose son of R. Judah said: He is only guilty on account of his sister but not of the daughter of his father's wife.
What is the Rabbis' reason? Observe, they would say, it is written, The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or the daughter of thy mother,17 what need was there for The nakedness of thy father's wife's daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister?18 In order to intimate that he is guilty on account of both his sister and his father's wife's daughter. And R. Jose son of R. Judah? — Scripture stated, She is thy sister,19 you can hold him guilty on account of his sister, but you cannot hold him guilty for his father's wife's daughter. And to what do the Rabbis apply the expression, 'She is thy sister'? — They require it [for the deduction] that a man is guilty on account of his sister who is the daughter of his father and the daughter of his mother,20 thus indicating that no prohibition21 may be deduced by logical argument.22 And R. Jose son of R. Judah?23 -If so, the All Merciful should have written 'thy sister', what need was there for 'she is'? To indicate that you may hold him guilty on account of 'thy sister' but you cannot hold him guilty on account of 'his father's wife's daughter'. And the Rabbis? Although 'thy sister' was written, It was also necessary to write 'she is'; in order that no one should suggest that elsewhere a prohibition may be deduced by logical argument and that the All Merciful has written here, 'thy sister24 because Scripture takes the trouble to write down any law that may be deduced a minori ad majus; hence did the All Merciful write 'she is'.25
And R. Jose son of R. Judah? — If so, the All Merciful should have written [the expression], 'She is 'thy sister' in the other verse.26
And to what does R. Jose son of R. Judah apply the phrase Thy father's wife's daughter?27 — He requires it for [the deduction]: Only she with whom your father can enter Into marital relationship, but a sister born from a slave or a heathen28 is excluded, since your father cannot enter with her into marital relationship.29
Might it not be said to exclude a sister born from one whom his father had outraged? — You cannot say this owing to Raba's statement. For Raba pointed out a contradiction: It is written In Scripture, The nakedness of thy son's daughter, or of thy daughter's daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover,30 thus it follows that her31 son's daughter and her daughter's daughter are permitted; but [below] it is written, 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.32 How then [are these to be reconciled]? The one33 refers to a case of outrage,34 the other32 to that of lawful marriage.
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