Previous Folio / Yebamoth Directory / Tractate List / Navigate Site
Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth
No regard need be paid to a rumour that originated after marriage!1 — It might have been assumed that since she was to appear before the Beth din to obtain the authorization2 [for her marriage].3 the rumour is regarded as one [that arose] before marriage4 and she should in consequence he forbidden,5 we were, therefore, taught [that even in such circumstances a rumour is disregarded].
IF SHE MARRIED WITH THE AUTHORIZATION OF THE BETH DIN SHE MUST LEAVE etc. Ze'iri said: Our Mishnah cannot be authentic6 owing to a Baraitha that was recited at the academy. For it was recited at the academy: If the Beth din ruled7 that the sun had set,8 and later it appeared, [such a decision] is no ruling9 but a mere error.10
R. Nahman. however, stated: [Such an authorization]11 is [to be regarded as] a ruling.12 Said R. Nahman: You can have proof13 that it [is to be regarded as] a ruling. For throughout the Torah a single witness is never believed while in this case he is believed. But why? Obviously14 because [such an authorization is regarded as] a ruling.15 Raba said: You can have proof13 that it11 is [to be regarded as a mere] error.16 For were Beth din to issue a ruling in a case of some forbidden fat or blood that it is permitted, and then find a [strong] reason for forbidding it, [their subsequent ruling], should they retract and rule again that it is permitted,17 would be completely disregarded;18 whereas here,19 it should one witness present himself,20 the woman would be permitted to marry again,21 and should two witnesses [afterwards] appear22 the woman would be forbidden to marry again,23 but should another witness subsequently appear24 the woman would again be permitted to marry. But why?25 Obviously26 because it19 [is regarded as a mere] error.27
R. Eliezer also is of the opinion that it19 is [to be regarded as a mere] error. For it was taught: R. Eliezer said: Let the law pierce through the mountain28 and let her29 bring a fat sin-offering.30 Now, if it be granted that it19 is [to be treated as] an error one can well see the reason why she is to bring an offering.31 If, however, it be contended that it19 is [to be regarded as] a ruling, why should she bring an offering!32 But is it not possible that R. Eliezer holds the opinion that an individual who committed a sin in reliance on a ruling of the Beth din is liable?33 — If so, what [could have been meant by] 'Let the law pierce through the mountain'!34
IF THE BETH DIN DECIDED THAT SHE MAY MARRY AGAIN etc. What is meant by DISGRACED HERSELF? — R. Eliezer35 replied: She played the harlot. R. Johanan replied: [If being] a widow [she was married] to a High Priest, [or if] a divorcee or a haluzah [she was married] to a common priest. He who stated,'She played the harlot'36 would, even more so, [subject the woman to a sin-offering. if as] a widow [she was married] to a High Priest.37 He, however, who stated, '[If being] a widow [she was married] to a High Priest' does not38 [subject her to a sin-offering if] she played the harlot. What is the reason? — Because she might plead, 'It is you who granted me the status of an unmarried woman'.39
It was taught in agreement with the opinion of R. Johanan: If Beth din directed that she may be married again. and she went and disgraced herself, so that, for instance, [being] a widow [she was married] to a High Priest.[or being] a divorcee or a haluzah [she was married] to a common priest. she is liable to bring an offering for every single act of cohabitation;40 so R. Eleazar. But the Sages said: One offering for all. The Sages, however, agree with R. Eleazar that, If she was married to five men, she is liable to bring an offering for every one, since [here it is a case of] separate bodies.
MISHNAH. IF A WOMAN WHOSE HUSBAND AND SON WENT TO COUNTRY BEYOND THE SEA WAS TOLD,41 'YOUR HUSBAND DIED AND YOUR SON DIED AFTERWARDS',42 AND SHE MARRIED AGAIN,43 AND LATER SHE WAS TOLD,' IT WAS OTHERWISE'.44 SHE MUST DEPART;45 AND ANY CHILD BORN BEFORE OR AFTER46 IS A BASTARD.47 IF SHE WAS TOLD. 'YOUR SON DIED AND YOUR HUSBAND DIED AFTERWARDS',48 AND SHE CONTRACTED THE LEVIRATE MARRIAGE, AND AFTERWARDS SHE WAS TOLD, 'IT WAS OTHERWISE'49 SHE MUST DEPART;50 AND ANY CHILD BORN BEFORE OR AFTER46 IS A BASTARD.47
IF SHE WAS TOLD, 'YOUR HUSBAND IS DEAD, AND SHE MARRIED, AND AFTERWARDS SHE WAS TOLD, 'HE WAS ALIVE51 BUT IS NOW DEAD', SHE MUST DEPART,52 AND ANY CHILD BORN BEFORE [THE DEATH OF HER FIRST HUSBAND]53 IS A BASTARD, BUT ONE BORN AFTER IT54 IS NO BASTARD. IF SHE WAS TOLD, 'YOUR HUSBAND IS DEAD AND SHE WAS BETROTHED, AND AFTERWARDS HER HUSBAND APPEARED, SHE IS PERMITTED TO RETURN TO HIM. ALTHOUGH THE OTHER55 GAVE HER A LETTER OF DIVORCE HE HAS NOT THEREBY DISQUALIFIED HER FROM MARRYING A PRIEST. THIS R. ELEAZAR B. MATHIA DERIVED BY MEANS OF THE FOLLOWING EXPOSITION: NEITHER [SHALL THEY56 TAKE] A WOMAN PUT AWAY FROM HER HUSBAND,57 EXCLUDES ONE PUT AWAY58 FROM A MAN WHO IS NOT HER HUSBAND.59
GEMARA. What is meant by BEFORE60 and what is meant by AFTER?61 If it be suggested that BEFORE means before the [second] report and that AFTER means after that report, it should have been stated: The child is a bastard!62 Because it was desired to state in the final clause, IF SHE WAS TOLD, 'YOUR HUSBAND IS DEAD', AND SHE MARRIED, AND AFTERWARDS SHE WAS TOLD, 'HE WAS ALIVE BUT IS NOW DEAD … ANY CHILD BORN BEFORE63 [THE DEATH OF HER FIRST HUSBAND] IS A BASTARD, BUT ONE BORN AFTER IT64 IS NO BASTARD, the expressions BORN BEFORE OR AFTER IS A BASTARD were used in the first clause also.
Our Rabbis taught: This65 is the view of R. Akiba who stated: Betrothal with those who are subject [on intercourse] to the penalties of a negative commandment is invalid.66 The Sages, however, said that [the child] of a sister-in-law67 is no bastard.68 Let it be said: The child of a union between those who are subject [on intercourse] to the penalties of a negative precept is no bastard!69 — This Tanna70 is the following Tanna of the school of R. Akiba, who stated that [only a child] of a union that is subject to the penalties of a negative precept owing to consanguinity is a bastard, but one born from a union that is subject to the penalties of a mere negative precept71 is no bastard.
Rab Judah stated
in the name of Rab: Whence is it deduced that betrothal with a sister-in-law1 is of no validity?2 — From the Scriptural text,3 The wife of the dead shall not be married4 outside unto one who is not of his kin,5 there shall be no validity in the betrothal6 of her by a stranger.7 Samuel, however, stated: Owing to our [intellectual] poverty8 it is necessary [that she be given] a letter of divorce; Samuel having been in doubt as to whether the expression,9 The wife of the dead shall not be,10 served the purpose of11 a negative precept12 or rather indicated11 that betrothal with such a woman is invalid.
R. Mari b. Rachel said to R. Ashi: Thus said Amemar, 'The law is in agreement with Samuel'. Said R. Ashi: Now that Amemar has said that the law is in agreement with Samuel, her levir,13 if he was a priest,14 submits to her halizah and she is permitted to her second husband.15 He16 surely benefits17 thereby.18 and thus the sinner19 is at an advantage!20 — Rather [this is the reading]: If her levir21 was an Israelite, the other22 gives her a letter of divorce and she is permitted to the levir.23
R. Giddal stated in the name of R. Hiyya b. Joseph in the name of Rab: While betrothal with a sister-in-law24 is invalid, marriage with her is valid.25 If betrothal, however, is invalid, marriage also should be invalid! — Read: Both betrothal and marriage with her are invalid. And if you prefer I might say. What is meant by 'marriage with her is valid'? — It constitutes an act of26 harlotry27 in accordance with the ruling of R. Hamnuna.For R. Hamnuna stated: A woman who, while awaiting the decision of the levir, played the harlot, is forbidden to marry the levir. And if you prefer I might say: [The reading is]. in fact, as has been originally stated, that betrothal with her is invalid but marriage with her is valid,28 since her case might be mistaken for that of a woman whose husband went to a country beyond the sea.29
R. Jannai said: A vote was taken at the college and it was decided that betrothal with a sister-in-law30 has no validity. Said R. Johanan to him: O Master, is not this [law contained in] a31 Mishnah? For we have learnt: If a man said to a woman, 'Be thou32 betrothed unto me after I shall have become a proselyte'. 'after thou shalt have been a proselyte'. 'after I shall have been emancipated'. 'after thou shalt have been emancipated'. 'after thy husband shall have died', 'after thy sister shall have died' or 'after thy brother-in-law shall have submitted to thy halizah', the betrothal is invalid!33 — The other replied: Had I not lifted up the sherd, would you have found the pearl beneath it?34
Resh Lakish said to him:35 Had not a great man praised you. I would have told you that the Mishnah [you cited represents the view] of R. Akiba who maintains that betrothal with those who are subject to the penalties of a negative precept is invalid.36
If [this Mishnah, however, represents the view of] R. Akiba, betrothal [with the sister-in-law]37 should be valid where [the stranger] said to her, 'after thy brother-in-law shall have submitted to thy halizah', since R. Akiba has been heard to state that one may transfer possession of that which is not yet in existence;38 for we learned:
- To Next Folio -