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ב"ה

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Yibbum vChalitzah - Chapter Six, Yibbum vChalitzah - Chapter Seven, Yibbum vChalitzah - Chapter Eight

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Yibbum vChalitzah - Chapter Six

1

There are brothers who are fit to perform either the rite of yibbum or the rite of chalitzah. There are brothers who are not fit to perform either the rite of yibbum or the rite of chalitzah. [The deceased's wives] are under no obligation to them at all; they may marry another man. There are brothers who are fit to perform the rite of chalitzah but not the rite of yibbum, and there are brothers who are fit to perform the rite of yibbum but not the rite of chalitzah.1

א

יֵשׁ אַחִין שֶׁרְאוּיִין לְיִבּוּם אוֹ לַחֲלִיצָה. וְיֵשׁ אַחִין שֶׁאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לֹא לְיִבּוּם וְלֹא לַחֲלִיצָה וְאֵין לָהֶן זִקָּה כְּלָל אֶלָּא יְבִמְתּוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת לְזָר. וְיֵשׁ אַחִין שֶׁרְאוּיִין לַחֲלִיצָה וְאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לְיִבּוּם. וְיֵשׁ אַחִין שֶׁהֵן רְאוּיִין לְיִבּוּם וְאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לַחֲלִיצָה:

2

With regard to the following, [the deceased's wives] have no obligation at all: a saris chamah2 and an androgynous,3 for they are not fit to father children, nor had they been at any time.4

ב

וְאֵלּוּ הֵם שֶׁאֵין לָהֶן זִקָּה כְּלָל. סְרִיס חַמָּה וְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לֵילֵד וְלֹא הָיָה לָהֶן שְׁעַת הַכּשֶׁר:

3

These are [the brothers] who are fit to perform the rite of yibbum,5 but not the rite of chalitzah: a deaf-mute, a mentally incompetent man and a minor. [The rationale is that] they lack the mental competence to perform chalitzah.

When a deaf-mute performs yibbum, he may never divorce [his yevamah]. For by entering into relations with her, he establishes a marriage bond that is completely binding, and he is incapable of divorcing a woman in a completely effective manner.6

[When a yavam who is below the age of majority but more than] nine years and one day old performs yibbum, [he acquires his yevamah as a wife]. He may not, however, divorce [her] until he attains majority, as we have explained.7

ג

וְאֵלּוּ מְיַבְּמִין וְלֹא חוֹלְצִין. הַחֵרֵשׁ וְהַשּׁוֹטֶה וְהַקָּטָן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶן דַּעַת לַחֲלֹץ. וּכְשֶׁיִּבֵּם הַחֵרֵשׁ אֵינוֹ מוֹצִיא לְעוֹלָם שֶׁבְּעִילָתוֹ עוֹשָׂה אוֹתָהּ אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ גְּמוּרָה וְאֵין גֵּרוּשָׁיו גֵּרוּשִׁין גְּמוּרִין. וּבֶן תֵּשַׁע שָׁנִים וְיוֹם אֶחָד שֶׁיִּבֵּם אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְגָרֵשׁ עַד שֶׁיַּגְדִּיל כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

4

These are [the brothers] who are fit to perform the rite of chalitzah, but not the rite of yibbum: those whose status is in doubt - e.g., there is a doubt whether a yevamah is forbidden to [the deceased's] brother,8 a man with crushed testicles, or a crushed member, or who has been castrated in any other way,9 and an elderly man whose virility has been weakened and he is incapable.

If [a yavam] who has been castrated enters into relations [with his yevamah], he acquires [her as a wife], for there was a time when he was sexually potent. He must, however, divorce her with a get, because he is forbidden to marry [a native-born Jewess].

A tumtum10 should perform chalitzah, but not yibbum, because his status is one of doubt. If an operation is performed, and it is revealed that he is a male, he may perform either chalitzah or yibbum, as he desires.11

Brothers [of the deceased who are not in any of the categories listed above] may perform either chalitzah or yibbum.

ד

וְאֵלּוּ חוֹלְצִין וְלֹא מְיַבְּמִין. הַסְּפֵקוֹת כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיְתָה סְפֵק עֶרְוָה עַל אָחִיו. וּפְצוּעַ דַּכָּא וּכְרוּת שָׁפְכָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן מִמִּינֵי הַסֵּרוּס. וְהַזָּקֵן בְּיוֹתֵר שֶׁתָּשַׁשׁ כֹּחוֹ וְכָשַׁל. וְאִם בָּעַל סְרִיס אָדָם קָנָה שֶׁהֲרֵי הָיְתָה לוֹ שְׁעַת הַכּשֶׁר וּמוֹצִיא בְּגֵט מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא אָסוּר לָבוֹא בַּקָּהָל. וְהַטֻּמְטוּם חוֹלֵץ וְלֹא מְיַבֵּם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא סָפֵק. וְאִם נִקְרַע וְנִמְצָא זָכָר רָצָה חוֹלֵץ רָצָה מְיַבֵּם. וּשְׁאָר הָאַחִין אוֹ חוֹלְצִין אוֹ מְיַבְּמִין:

5

There are yevamot who are fit to perform either the rite of chalitzah or the rite of yibbum. There are yevamot who are not fit to perform either the rite of yibbum or the rite of chalitzah. They are under no obligation to [the deceased's brothers] at all, and they may marry another man. There are yevamot who are fit to perform the rite of chalitzah, but not the rite of yibbum, and there are yevamot who are fit to perform the rite of yibbum but not the rite of chalitzah.12

ה

יֵשׁ יְבָמוֹת שֶׁהֵן רְאוּיוֹת לַחֲלִיצָה אוֹ לְיִבּוּם. וְיֵשׁ יְבָמוֹת שֶׁאֵינָן רְאוּיוֹת לֹא לַחֲלִיצָה וְלֹא לְיִבּוּם וְאֵין עֲלֵיהֶן זִקָּה כְּלָל וּמֻתָּרוֹת לְהִנָּשֵׂא לְזָר. וְיֵשׁ יְבָמוֹת שֶׁהֵן רְאוּיוֹת לַחֲלִיצָה אֲבָל לֹא לְיִבּוּם. וְיֵשׁ יְבָמוֹת שֶׁהֵן רְאוּיוֹת לְיִבּוּם אֲבָל לֹא לַחֲלִיצָה:

6

These are [the yevamot] who may perform the rite of yibbum, but not the rite of chalitzah: a deaf-mute, a mentally incompetent woman and a minor.13

[The rationale why they cannot perform chalitzah is that] they lack the mental competence to read and to understand. If the yavam desires to divorce the deaf-mute with a get after he engages in relations with her, he may.14

ו

וְאֵלּוּ שֶׁמִּתְיַבְּמוֹת וְלֹא חוֹלְצוֹת. הַחֵרֶשֶׁת וְהַשּׁוֹטָה וְהַקְּטַנָּה לְפִי שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶן דַּעַת לִקְרוֹת וּלְהָבִין. וְאִם רָצָה הַיָּבָם לְגָרֵשׁ הַחֵרֶשֶׁת בְּגֵט אַחַר שֶׁיִּבְעל אוֹתָהּ הֲרֵי זֶה מְגָרֵשׁ:

7

These are [the yevamot] who may perform the rite of chalitzah, but not the rite of yibbum: [Women who are] forbidden [to the yavam] because of a negative commandment, [because of a Rabbinic ordinance - i.e.,] sh'niyot, or because of a positive commandment, as will be explained.15

Whenever there is a doubt whether or not a woman was divorced [by the deceased], she should perform chalitzah and not yibbum, lest the yavam violate a prohibition. For a brother's wife who was divorced is forbidden as an ervah.16 If, however, there was a doubt regarding whether a woman was consecrated to one's [deceased] brother, her status is like that of another yevamah, and she may perform either chalitzah or yibbum. For there is no possibility of [a prohibition being involved].17

Similarly, the wife of a deaf-mute,18 an elderly woman or a woman who has become barren are like other yevamot. The yavam may perform either chalitzah or yibbum, as he desires. [The rationale is that] the elderly woman and the woman who has become barren were once fit [to bear children].

ז

וְאֵלּוּ שֶׁחוֹלְצוֹת וְלֹא מִתְיַבְּמוֹת. אִסּוּרֵי לָאוִין וְהַשְּׁנִיּוֹת וְאִסּוּרֵי עֲשֵׂה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר. וְכָל אִשָּׁה שֶׁהִיא סְפֵק מְגֹרֶשֶׁת חוֹלֶצֶת וְלֹא מִתְיַבֶּמֶת שֶׁמָּא יִפְגַּע בְּעֶרְוָה. שֶׁאֵשֶׁת אָחִיו שֶׁגֵּרְשָׁהּ אֲסוּרָה עָלָיו מִשּׁוּם עֶרְוָה. אֲבָל מִי שֶׁהִיא מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לְאָחִיו בִּסְפֵק קִדּוּשִׁין הֲרֵי הִיא כִּשְׁאָר כָּל הַיְבָמוֹת וְחוֹלֶצֶת אוֹ מִתְיַבֶּמֶת שֶׁאֵין כָּאן דָּבָר לָחוּשׁ לוֹ. וְכֵן אֵשֶׁת הַחֵרֵשׁ וּזְקֵנָה וַעֲקָרָה הֲרֵי הֵן כִּשְׁאָר כָּל הַיְבָמוֹת. רָצָה חוֹלֵץ רָצָה מְיַבֵּם. שֶׁזְּקֵנָה וַעֲקָרָה הָיְתָה לָהֶן שְׁעַת הַכּשֶׁר:

8

The following are not obligated to perform either chalitzah or yibbum: the wife of a saris chamah or the wife of an androgynous, the wife of a mentally incompetent person or the wife of a minor, an aylonit, or a woman forbidden [to her yavam] as one of the arayot.

[The rationale for these laws is as follows. Deuteronomy 25:6 states that yibbum was instituted:] "So that the name of [the deceased] not be obliterated within Israel."19 This excludes the wife of a saris chamah or the wife of an androgynous, for their names are "obliterated" by nature. Since they are inherently unfit to father children, they are considered to be a separate category.

[The verse continues:] "And the firstborn that she bears." This excludes an aylonit, who is, by nature, incapable of bearing a child.

It is written [ibid:5]: "The wife of the deceased...." This excludes the wife of a mentally incompetent person or the wife of a minor - for with regard to them, there is no concept of marriage at all.

[The verse continues:] "And he will take her as a wife." This excludes a woman forbidden [to her yavam] as one of the arayot, for she cannot be taken as a wife.20

ח

וְאֵלּוּ הֵן שֶׁהֵן פְּטוּרוֹת מִן הַחֲלִיצָה וּמִן הַיִּבּוּם. אֵשֶׁת סְרִיס חַמָּה וְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס וְאֵשֶׁת הַשּׁוֹטֶה וְאֵשֶׁת הַקָּטָן וְאַיְלוֹנִית וּמִי שֶׁהִיא עֶרְוָה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כה ו) ״וְלֹא יִמָּחֶה שְׁמוֹ מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל״‎‎ פְּרָט לִסְרִיס חַמָּה וְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס שֶׁשְּׁמָם מָחוּי הוֹאִיל וְאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לֵילֵד מִתְּחִלַּת בְּרִיָּתָן הֲרֵי הֵן כְּמִין בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ. (דברים כה ו) ״וְהָיָה הַבְּכוֹר אֲשֶׁר תֵּלֵד״‎‎ פְּרָט לְאַיְלוֹנִית שֶׁאֵינָהּ רְאוּיָה לֵילֵד מִתְּחִלַּת בְּרִיָּתָהּ. (דברים כה ה) ״לֹא תִּהְיֶה אֵשֶׁת הַמֵּת״‎‎ פְּרָט לְאֵשֶׁת שׁוֹטֶה וְקָטָן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם אִישׁוּת כְּלָל. (דברים כה ה) ״וּלְקָחָהּ לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה״‎‎ פְּרָט לְעֶרְוָה שֶׁאֵין לוֹ בָּהּ לִקּוּחִין:

9

How is it possible for a woman to be forbidden [to her yavam] as one of the arayot?21 For example, [the yevamah] was the sister, the mother, or the daughter of [the yavam's] wife. Such a woman is not obligated to perform either chalitzah or yibbum at all and is under no obligation to [the yavam], as implied by the verse: "And he shall take her as a wife, thus performing yibbum." Only a woman who is fit to be married, and whose consecration [by the yavam] is binding is obligated to perform yibbum.

ט

כֵּיצַד. יְבָמָה שֶׁהִיא עֶרְוָה עַל יְבָמָהּ כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיְתָה אֲחוֹת אִשְׁתּוֹ אוֹ אִמָּהּ אוֹ בִּתָּהּ הֲרֵי זוֹ פְּטוּרָה מִן הַחֲלִיצָה וּמִן הַיִּבּוּם וְאֵין לוֹ עָלֶיהָ זִקָּה כְּלָל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כה ה) ״וּלְקָחָהּ לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה וְיִבְּמָהּ״‎‎. מִי שֶׁרְאוּיָה לְלִקּוּחִין וְקִדּוּשִׁין תּוֹפְסִין בָּהּ הִיא זְקוּקָה לְיָבָם:

10

If the yevamah was forbidden to her yavam because of a negative commandment or a positive commandment, or she was one of the sh'niyot, she should perform chalitzah, but not yibbum.

Why is she obligated to perform chalitzah? Because she is fit to be married, and her consecration [by the yavam] would be binding.22 Therefore, she is under obligation to the yavam. And according to law, she should perform yibbum, for yibbum is a positive commandment, and whenever the observance of a positive commandment conflicts with the observance of a negative commandment, the positive commandment takes precedence.23 Nevertheless, our Sages decreed that neither woman with whom relations are prohibited by a negative commandment, nor sh'niyot24 should perform yibbum, lest [the yavam] engage in relations with her a second time. [At that time,] relations with her are forbidden, and there is no mitzvah, for the positive commandment [of yibbum] applies only with regard to the first time [the couple] engage in relations.

Therefore, if [the yavam] transgresses and engages in relations with a yevamah who is forbidden to him because of a negative commandment or because of a positive commandment, he acquires her [as his wife] in definitive manner and must divorce her with a get. Needless to say, [this ruling applies] with regard to a sh'niyah.25 [After the divorce, the yevamah] and all the other wives [of the deceased] are permitted to marry other men, for they have been released of their obligation.

י

הָיְתָה הַיְבָמָה אֲסוּרָה עַל יְבָמָהּ אִסּוּר לָאו אוֹ אִסּוּר עֲשֵׂה אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה שְׁנִיָּה הֲרֵי זוֹ חוֹלֶצֶת וְלֹא מִתְיַבֶּמֶת. וּמִפְּנֵי מָה צְרִיכָה חֲלִיצָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ לִקּוּחִין הוֹאִיל וְקִדּוּשִׁין תּוֹפְסִין בָּהֶן הֲרֵי הֵן זְקוּקוֹת לְיָבָם. וּמִן הַדִּין הָיָה שֶׁיִּתְיַבְּמוּ שֶׁהַיִּבּוּם מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה וְכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁאַתָּה מוֹצֵא עֲשֵׂה וְלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה יָבֹא עֲשֵׂה וְיִדְחֶה אֶת לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה. אֲבָל חֲכָמִים גָּזְרוּ שֶׁלֹּא יִתְיַבְּמוּ חַיָּבֵי לָאוִין וְלֹא שְׁנִיּוֹת גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יָבוֹא עָלֶיהָ פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה וַהֲרֵי בִּיאָתָהּ אֲסוּרָה וְאֵין שָׁם מִצְוָה שֶׁאֵין מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה אֶלָּא בִּיאָה רִאשׁוֹנָה בִּלְבַד. לְפִיכָךְ אִם עָבַר וּבָעַל יְבִמְתּוֹ הָאֲסוּרָה לוֹ מִשּׁוּם לָאו אוֹ מִשּׁוּם עֲשֵׂה וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר שְׁנִיָּה הֲרֵי זֶה קָנָה קִנְיָן גָּמוּר וּמוֹצִיאָהּ בְּגֵט וְהִיא וְכָל צָרוֹתֶיהָ מֻתָּרוֹת לְזָר שֶׁהֲרֵי נִפְטְרוּ:

11

When a yevamah has been widowed after her marriage [to the deceased] had been consummated, and a High Priest performs yibbum with her, the other wives [of the deceased] are not released from their obligation. [The rationale is that a positive commandment does not supersede a negative commandment and a positive commandment.26 [Therefore,] he does not acquire [the yevamah as a wife] in a definitive manner, and as such, another wife [of the deceased]27 is not permitted to marry another man until she performs chalitzah [herself].

יא

וִיבָמָה שֶׁהִיא אַלְמָנָה מִן הַנִּשּׂוּאִין וּבָא עָלֶיהָ כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל לֹא נִפְטְרָה צָרָתָהּ שֶׁאֵין עֲשֵׂה דּוֹחֶה אֶת לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה וַעֲשֵׂה. וְהוֹאִיל וְלֹא קָנָה מִן הַתּוֹרָה קִנְיָן גָּמוּר לֹא הֻתְּרָה צָרָתָהּ לְזָר עַד שֶׁתַּחֲלֹץ:

12

[The following principle applies when] a yevamah was forbidden to her [deceased] husband as one of the arayot - e.g., he transgressed or he erred and married his paternal sister, and she is now under obligation to his brother.28 She is not considered to be [the deceased's] wife, for his consecration of her is not binding. [As such,] she is neither obligated to perform yibbum nor chalitzah.

If [the deceased] had another wife, the other wife must perform either chalitzah or yibbum. If the woman who was forbidden to her [deceased] husband as one of the arayot is permitted to the yavam,29 and the yavam desires to marry her and also to perform yibbum with another wife [of the deceased], he has that option.30

יב

הָיְתָה הַיְבָמָה עֶרְוָה עַל בַּעְלָהּ. כְּגוֹן שֶׁעָבַר אוֹ טָעָה וְלָקַח אֲחוֹתוֹ מֵאָבִיו וְנָפְלָה לִפְנֵי אָחִיו. אֵין זוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁאֵין קִדּוּשִׁין תּוֹפְסִין בָּהּ וְאֵינָהּ לֹא בַּת יִבּוּם וְלֹא בַּת חֲלִיצָה. וְאִם הָיְתָה לָהּ צָרָה חוֹלֶצֶת [אוֹ] מִתְיַבֶּמֶת. וְאִם הָיְתָה זוֹ שֶׁהִיא עֶרְוָה עַל הַבַּעַל מֻתֶּרֶת לַיָּבָם וְרָצָה הַיָּבָם לִשָּׂא אוֹתָהּ וּלְיַבֵּם צָרָתָהּ הָרְשׁוּת בְּיָדוֹ:

13

When a yevamah is forbidden to her husband because of a negative commandment or a positive commandment,31 or she is a sh'niyah with regard to him,32 but is not forbidden to the yavam for these reasons, she is permitted to perform yibbum. There is one exception - when the deceased remarried his divorcee after she had married another man. She should perform chalitzah and not yibbum.

Similarly, when there is a doubt whether a yevamah was forbidden to her [deceased] husband as one of the arayot, or33 there is a doubt whether she is forbidden to her yavam for that reason, she should perform chalitzah and not yibbum.

On this basis, [the following rules apply when] a man [attempted to] consecrate a woman, but there was a doubt regarding the status of the kiddushin, and afterwards, his brother, who had been married to the sister [of the woman he intended to consecrate], died. He should perform chalitzah and not yibbum with the wife [of the deceased].34 And because of the doubt, he must divorce his wife with a get.

Both women are forbidden to him: his yevamah because there is a doubt whether she is an ervah, and the woman he consecrated because there is a doubt whether her status is that of one related to a woman with whom he performed chalitzah, who is forbidden as a sh'niyah is, as explained above.35

יג

הָיְתָה הַיְבָמָה אֲסוּרָה עַל בַּעְלָהּ מִשּׁוּם לָאו אוֹ מִשּׁוּם עֲשֵׂה אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה שְׁנִיָּה לַבַּעַל וְלֹא הָיְתָה אֲסוּרָה עַל הַיָּבָם מִצַּד אֵלּוּ הַצְּדָדִים הֲרֵי זוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת לַיָּבָם. חוּץ מִמַּחֲזִיר גְּרוּשָׁתוֹ מִשֶּׁנִּשֵּׂאת וּמֵת שֶׁהִיא חוֹלֶצֶת וְלֹא מִתְיַבֶּמֶת. וְכֵן יְבָמָה שֶׁהִיא סְפֵק עֶרְוָה עַל הַיָּבָם אוֹ סְפֵק עֶרְוָה עַל בַּעְלָהּ הֲרֵי זוֹ חוֹלֶצֶת וְלֹא מִתְיַבֶּמֶת. לְפִיכָךְ מִי שֶׁקִּדֵּשׁ אִשָּׁה בִּסְפֵק קִדּוּשִׁין וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵת אָחִיו שֶׁהָיָה נוֹשֵׂא אֲחוֹתָהּ וְנָפְלָה לוֹ לְיִבּוּם שֶׁהִיא סְפֵק אֲחוֹת אִשְׁתּוֹ הֲרֵי זוֹ חוֹלֶצֶת וְלֹא מִתְיַבֶּמֶת. וּמוֹצִיא אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ בְּגֵט מִסָּפֵק וּשְׁתֵּיהֶן אֲסוּרוֹת עָלָיו. יְבִמְתּוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא סְפֵק עֶרְוָה וַאֲרוּסָתוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא סְפֵק קְרוֹבַת חֲלוּצָתוֹ שֶׁהִיא כִּשְׁנִיָּה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

14

[The following principle applies when a man's] brother dies [childless] leaving two wives: one forbidden to [the yavam] as an ervah,36 and one who is not forbidden in this manner. Just as the woman who is forbidden is not under the obligation to perform chalitzah or yibbum, so too, [the deceased's] other wives are not obligated.

This household is not under any obligation [to the yavam], as our Sages derived from [Deuteronomy 25:9]: "...Who did not build his brother's house": [Women from] a household from which he can take [any wife] he desires is under obligation [to the yavam]. But if he cannot "build" a portion of the household - i.e., he is forbidden to marry the woman - he should not "build" even the portion that is permitted to him.

Thus, [when one of the wives of the deceased] is forbidden to [the yavam] as an ervah, the other wife also remains forbidden to him as an ervah. [She is still forbidden as] his brother's wife, for she is not under any obligation at all to him.

יד

מִי שֶׁמֵּת אָחִיו וְהִנִּיחַ שְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים הָאַחַת אֲסוּרָה עָלָיו מִשּׁוּם עֶרְוָה וְהַשְּׁנִיָּה אֵינָהּ עֶרְוָה. כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהָעֶרְוָה פְּטוּרָה מִן הַחֲלִיצָה וּמִן הַיִּבּוּם כָּךְ צָרָתָהּ פְּטוּרָה וְלֹא נָפְלָה לוֹ זִקָּה כְּלָל עַל בַּיִת זֶה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כה ט) ״אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִבְנֶה אֶת בֵּית אָחִיו״‎‎ בַּיִת שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ לִקּוּחִין בְּאֵי זֶה מֵהֶן שֶׁיִּרְצֶה הוּא שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ עָלָיו זִקָּה. וּבַיִת שֶׁמִּקְצָתוֹ אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִבְנוֹתוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין לוֹ בָּהּ לִקּוּחִין אֵינוֹ בּוֹנֶה אֲפִלּוּ מִקְצָתוֹ שֶׁהוּא מֻתָּר. וְנִמְצֵאת צָרַת הָעֶרְוָה עֶרְוָה עָלָיו מִשּׁוּם אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין לוֹ עָלֶיהָ זִקָּה:

15

Accordingly, [the following rules apply when] Reuven dies [childless], leaving two wives, one of whom is forbidden as an ervah to [his brother] Shimon, and both are fit to marry [his brother] Levi.37 [The wives of] this household are under no obligation at all to Shimon, and both are under obligation to Levi.

[The following rule applies if] Levi performed yibbum with the woman who was married [to Reuven] but who was not an ervah to Shimon, [Levi] had another wife, and then he died [childless], and both women fell before to Shimon. They are both free of the obligation to perform either chalitzah or yibbum with Shimon.38 [Levi's yevamah] is forbidden because she was married to the same man as was a woman forbidden [to Shimon] as an ervah, and the other wife is forbidden because she was married to the same man [as the yevamah].

This principle applies whenever a woman is married to the same man as a woman who was the other wife [of a woman forbidden to the yavam] and to any further extension of this principle.39 As long as a woman is under no obligation [to her yavam], she remains forbidden to him as his brother's wife.

טו

לְפִיכָךְ רְאוּבֵן שֶׁמֵּת וְהִנִּיחַ שְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים הָאַחַת עֶרְוָה עַל שִׁמְעוֹן וּשְׁתֵּיהֶן רְאוּיוֹת לְלֵוִי אֵין לְשִׁמְעוֹן זִקָּה עַל בַּיִת זֶה וַהֲרֵי שְׁתֵּיהֶן תַּחַת זִקַּת לֵוִי. יִבֵּם לֵוִי הָאַחַת מֵהֶן שֶׁהִיא צָרַת עֶרְוָה שֶׁל שִׁמְעוֹן וְהָיְתָה לוֹ אִשָּׁה אַחֶרֶת וּמֵת לֵוִי וְנָפְלוּ שְׁתֵּיהֶן לִפְנֵי שִׁמְעוֹן שְׁתֵּיהֶן פְּטוּרוֹת מִן הַחֲלִיצָה וּמִן הַיִּבּוּם מִשִּׁמְעוֹן. הָאַחַת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָיְתָה צָרַת עֶרְוָה וְהַשְּׁנִיָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא צָרָתָהּ. וְכֵן הַדִּין בְּצָרַת צָרָתָהּ עַד סוֹף הָעוֹלָם. שֶׁכָּל אִשָּׁה שֶׁאֵין לוֹ עָלֶיהָ זִקָּה בְּאִסּוּר אֵשֶׁת אָח עוֹמֶדֶת לְעוֹלָם:

16

Similarly, the wife of a brother who died before [his younger brother was born is forbidden to him]. She is under no obligation to him, as implied by [Deuteronomy 25:5]: "When brothers dwell together," interpreted to mean: when they live at the same time. She remains forbidden to him forever, and she frees all of her husband's other wives from an obligation to him.

טז

וְכֵן אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה בְּעוֹלָמוֹ הוֹאִיל וְאֵין לוֹ עָלֶיהָ זִקָּה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כה ה) ״כִּי יֵשְׁבוּ אַחִים יַחְדָּו״‎‎ עַד שֶׁיֵּשְׁבוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם בָּעוֹלָם הֲרֵי זוֹ עֶרְוָה עָלָיו לְעוֹלָם מִשּׁוּם אֵשֶׁת אָח וּפוֹטֶרֶת צָרָתָהּ:

17

What is implied? Reuven died [childless], leaving a wife who fell before Shimon [his brother]. After Reuven died, whether before Shimon performed yibbum with Reuven's wife or afterwards, Levi [another brother] was born.

Reuven's wife remains forbidden to Levi as an ervah forever. Therefore, if Shimon dies [childless], and this woman and another woman [who was married to Shimon] fall before Levi, neither are obligated to perform chalitzah or yibbum.

יז

כֵּיצַד. רְאוּבֵן שֶׁמֵּת וְהִנִּיחַ אִשָּׁה וְנָפְלָה לִפְנֵי שִׁמְעוֹן וְאַחַר שֶׁמֵּת רְאוּבֵן נוֹלַד לֵוִי. בֵּין שֶׁנּוֹלַד לֵוִי קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּבֵּם לָהּ שִׁמְעוֹן בֵּין שֶׁנּוֹלַד אַחַר שֶׁיִּבְּמָהּ. הֲרֵי אֵשֶׁת רְאוּבֵן עֶרְוָה עַל לֵוִי לְעוֹלָם. לְפִיכָךְ אִם מֵת שִׁמְעוֹן וְנָפְלָה זוֹ וְצָרָתָהּ לִפְנֵי לֵוִי שְׁתֵּיהֶן פְּטוּרוֹת מִן הַחֲלִיצָה וּמִן הַיִּבּוּם:

18

[Moreover,] if Shimon [merely] gave a ma'amar to his yevamah, Reuven's wife, and died before he consummated his relationship with her, Levi should perform chalitzah with [Shimon's] other wife, but not yibbum. [The rationale is] that a ma'amar does not establish a completely binding relationship with a yevamah, as we have explained.40

יח

עָשָׂה שִׁמְעוֹן מַאֲמָר בִּיבִמְתּוֹ אֵשֶׁת רְאוּבֵן וּמֵת קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּכְנֹס אוֹתָהּ הֲרֵי לֵוִי חוֹלֵץ לְצָרָתָהּ וְלֹא מְיַבֵּם. שֶׁאֵין הַמַּאֲמָר קוֹנֶה בַּיְבָמָה קִנְיָן גָּמוּר כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

19

When a woman willingly commits adultery while married to her husband, and [her act is observed by] witnesses [he is required to divorce her].41 If he died [childless] before he divorced her, and she fell before a yavam, she is not obligated to perform chalitzah or yibbum. Moreover, [her deceased husband's] other wives are also [not obligated to perform chalitzah or yibbum], as if she were forbidden to the yavam as an ervah. For just as impurity is mentioned with regard to the arayot,42 so too, that term is mentioned with regard to such a woman, as [Numbers 5:13] states: "And she became impure."43

When, however, the husband of a sotah dies [childless] before he has caused her to her drink the bitter waters,44 or if the woman must be divorced instead of drinking the bitter waters,45 she should perform chalitzah, but not yibbum.46 Similarly, if [her deceased husband] had another wife, that woman is permitted [to the yavam] and may perform chalitzah or yibbum.

יט

אִשָּׁה שֶׁזִּנְּתָה תַּחַת בַּעְלָהּ בְּרָצוֹן וּבְעֵדִים וּמֵת קֹדֶם שֶׁיְּגָרְשֶׁנָּה וְנָפְלָה לִפְנֵי יָבָם הֲרֵי הִיא פְּטוּרָה מִן הַחֲלִיצָה וּמִן הַיִּבּוּם. וְכֵן צָרָתָהּ כְּאִלּוּ הָיְתָה עֶרְוָה עַל הַיָּבָם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁטֻּמְאָה כְּתוּבָה בָּהּ כַּעֲרָיוֹת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר ה יג יד) ״וְהִיא נִטְמָאָה״‎‎. אֲבָל סוֹטָה שֶׁמֵּת בַּעְלָהּ קֹדֶם שֶׁיַּשְׁקֶנָּה מֵי הַמָּרִים אוֹ שֶׁאֵינָהּ בַּת שְׁתִיָּה אֶלָּא בַּת גֵּרוּשִׁין הֲרֵי זוֹ חוֹלֶצֶת וְלֹא מִתְיַבֶּמֶת. וְאִם הָיְתָה לָהּ צָרָה הֲרֵי צָרָתָהּ מֻתֶּרֶת וְחוֹלֶצֶת אוֹ מִתְיַבֶּמֶת:

20

Similar rules [apply] if two yevamot come from one household and one of them was a sh'niyah to the yavam, [forbidden to him because of] a negative commandment or a positive commandment, or an aylonit - another wife of [her deceased husband] is permitted [to the yavam] and may perform chalitzah or yibbum.

[Different rules apply, however, when a yavam] performed chalitzah with his yevamah, and then the sister, the mother, or another [close relative] of the woman with whom he performed chalitzah married another one of his brothers, that brother has another wife, and [the brother] dies [childless].47 Just as the close relative of the woman with whom he performed chalitzah is forbidden to him, so too, is the other wife forbidden to him. Their status is like sh'niyot, and they should perform chalitzah, but not yibbum.

Why did the Sages forbid [marriage] to a close relative of a woman with whom one performed chalitzah? Because it is difficult to distinguish her from a woman married to the same man as a woman with whom one performed chalitzah.48

כ

וְכֵן שְׁתֵּי יְבָמוֹת הַבָּאוֹת מִבַּיִת אֶחָד שֶׁהָיְתָה הָאַחַת מֵהֶן שְׁנִיָּה עַל הַיָּבָם אוֹ מֵחַיָּבֵי לָאוִין אוֹ מֵחַיָּבֵי עֲשֵׂה אוֹ אַיְלוֹנִית הֲרֵי צָרָתָהּ מֻתֶּרֶת וְחוֹלֶצֶת אוֹ מִתְיַבֶּמֶת. אֲבָל הַחוֹלֵץ לִיבִמְתּוֹ וְהָלְכָה אֲחוֹת חֲלוּצָתוֹ אוֹ אִמָּהּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן וְנִשֵּׂאת לְאָחִיו וְלוֹ אִשָּׁה אַחֶרֶת וָמֵת וְנָפְלוּ שְׁתֵּיהֶן לְפָנָיו. כְּשֵׁם שֶׁקְּרוֹבַת חֲלוּצָתוֹ אֲסוּרָה עָלָיו כָּךְ צָרָתָהּ אֲסוּרָה. וַהֲרֵי שְׁתֵּיהֶן כִּשְׁנִיּוֹת לוֹ וְחוֹלְצוֹת וְלֹא מִתְיַבְּמוֹת. וּמִפְּנֵי מָה אָסְרוּ צָרַת קְרוֹבַת חֲלוּצָתוֹ. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמִּתְחַלֶּפֶת בְּצָרַת חֲלוּצָתוֹ:

21

When two yevamot come from one household and one of them was forbidden to the yavam as an ervah, but she was also an aylonit, the other wife of [the deceased husband] is permitted [to the yavam] and may perform chalitzah or yibbum. [The rationale is that] since the laws of yibbum and chalitzah do not apply with regard to an aylonit, it is as if she did not exist, and the obligation [of yibbum] falls on the other wife alone.

Similarly, if [the deceased] brother divorced the woman forbidden as an ervah or she dissolved their marriage through] mi'un before he died, or she died during the lifetime of the deceased brother, and then he died, his other wife is permitted and should perform either chalitzah or yibbum. We do not say that since she was married to the same man as an ervah once, she remains forbidden forever. For a woman married to the same man as an ervah does not become forbidden [to the yavam] unless they were [both married to the same man at the time of his death, when] the obligation of yibbum takes effect.

כא

שְׁתֵּי יְבָמוֹת הַבָּאוֹת מִבַּיִת אֶחָד שֶׁהָאַחַת מֵהֶן עֶרְוָה עַל הַיָּבָם וַהֲרֵי הָעֶרְוָה אַיְלוֹנִית. צָרָתָהּ מֻתֶּרֶת וְחוֹלֶצֶת אוֹ מִתְיַבֶּמֶת. הוֹאִיל וְהָאַיְלוֹנִית אֵינָהּ בַּת יִבּוּם וַחֲלִיצָה הֲרֵי זוֹ כְּמִי שֶׁאֵינָהּ. וְנָפְלָה זִקָּתוֹ עַל צָרָתָהּ בִּלְבַד. וְכֵן אִם גֵּרֵשׁ אָחִיו אֶת הָעֶרְוָה אוֹ מֵאֲנָה בּוֹ קֹדֶם שֶׁיָּמוּת. אוֹ שֶׁמֵּתָה בְּחַיֵּי בַּעְלָהּ וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵת אָחִיו. הֲרֵי צָרָתָהּ מֻתֶּרֶת וְחוֹלֶצֶת אוֹ מִתְיַבֶּמֶת. וְאֵין אוֹמְרִין הוֹאִיל וְנַעֲשֵׂית צָרָה לְעֶרְוָה שָׁעָה אַחַת תֵּאָסֵר לְעוֹלָם. שֶׁאֵין הַצָּרָה אֲסוּרָה עַד שֶׁתִּהְיֶה צָרַת עֶרְוָה בִּשְׁעַת נְפִילָה לְיִבּוּם:

22

[In the situation mentioned in Halachah 14,] if there was a doubt regarding the status of the kiddushin of [the woman] who was forbidden to the yavam as an ervah or there was a doubt that she was divorced, the other wife [of the deceased brother] should perform chalitzah, but not yibbum.49

[The same ruling applies if the woman who was forbidden] was a minor who is fit to absolve her marriage through mi'un, if she did not dissolve her marriage [to the deceased] brother during his lifetime, even though she did dissolve her obligation to] the yavam through mi'un,50 another woman married to her husband must perform chalitzah; she may not perform yibbum.

כב

הָיְתָה זוֹ שֶׁהִיא עֶרְוָה עַל הַיָּבָם מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לְאָחִיו שֶׁמֵּת בְּסָפֵק אוֹ מְגֹרֶשֶׁת מִמֶּנּוּ בְּסָפֵק. אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה קְטַנָּה הָרְאוּיָה לְמָאֵן וְלֹא מֵאֲנָה בְּאָחִיו בְּחַיָּיו. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמֵּאֲנָה בַּיָּבָם צָרָתָהּ חוֹלֶצֶת וְלֹא מִתְיַבֶּמֶת:

23

[In the situation mentioned in Halachah 14,] if the other woman [married to the deceased brother] married another man, and then it was discovered that [the woman forbidden to the yavam as] an ervah was an aylonit,51 the woman who married must be released by both her [second] husband and her yavam. Her [second] husband must divorce her with a get, while her yavam must perform chalitzah with her. [In this way,] she is permitted to marry another man.

כג

הָלְכָה צָרַת עֶרְוָה וְנִשֵּׂאת לְאַחֵר וְאַחַר כָּךְ נִמְצֵאת הָעֶרְוָה אַיְלוֹנִית. תֵּצֵא הַצָּרָה מִבַּעְלָהּ וּמִיבָמָהּ וּצְרִיכָה גֵּט מִבַּעְלָהּ וַחֲלִיצָה מִיבָמָהּ כְּדֵי לְהַתִּירָהּ לַשּׁוּק:

24

[In the above situation], if the yavam performed yibbum with the other wife of the deceased, because he thought that the woman forbidden to him as an ervah was an aylonit, and it was discovered that she was not an aylonit, the yavam must divorce [the woman with whom he performed yibbum] with a get.52 Any child [she bears him] is illegitimate.53

כד

יִבֵּם הַיָּבָם הַצָּרָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁדִּמּוּ שֶׁהָעֶרְוָה אַיְלוֹנִית וְנִמְצֵאת הָעֶרְוָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ אַיְלוֹנִית תֵּצֵא מִיבָמָהּ בְּגֵט וְהַוָּלָד מַמְזֵר:

25

[In the following situation, chalitzah and not yibbum is required.] There were three brothers. Two were married to two sisters, and one was married to a woman who did not share a family connection. If the brother married to the woman who was not related died [childless], and then one of the brothers married to one of the sisters died [childless], [the remaining brother] should perform chalitzah but not yibbum, with the woman who did not share a family connection54. [The rationale is that] she was obligated to the second brother, and his other wife was the sister [of the surviving yavam's] wife.55

Moreover, even if one of the brothers who married one of the sisters divorced his wife after the brother married to the woman who was not related died [childless], and then he himself dies [childless], [the remaining brother] should perform chalitzah, but not yibbum, with the woman who did not share a family connection. Since there was even one moment when this woman was obligated to the second brother while his other wife was the sister [of the surviving yavam's] wife [this prohibition was enforced].56 For if [he] were [allowed to] perform yibbum with her, it is possible that [in such a situation, a brother] might perform yibbum with such a woman even when the second brother who died did not divorce his wife.

כה

שְׁלֹשָׁה אַחִין. שְׁנַיִם מֵהֶן נְשׂוּאִין שְׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת וְאֶחָד מֵהֶן נָשׂוּי נָכְרִית. מֵת הַנָּשׂוּי נָכְרִית וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵת אֶחָד מִבַּעֲלֵי אֲחָיוֹת. הֲרֵי הַנָּכְרִית חוֹלֶצֶת וְלֹא מִתְיַבֶּמֶת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא צָרַת אֲחוֹת אִשְׁתּוֹ בְּזִקַּת אָחִיו שֶׁמֵּת אַחֲרוֹן. וְלֹא עוֹד אֶלָּא אֲפִלּוּ גֵּרֵשׁ אֶחָד מִבַּעֲלֵי אֲחָיוֹת אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ אַחַר שֶׁמֵּת הַנָּשׂוּי נָכְרִית וּמֵת הַמְגָרֵשׁ הֲרֵי הַנָּכְרִית חוֹלֶצֶת וְלֹא מִתְיַבֶּמֶת הוֹאִיל וְנַעֲשֵׂית צָרַת אָחוֹת אִשְׁתּוֹ בְּזִקָּה שָׁעָה אַחַת. שֶׁאִם תִּתְיַבֵּם שֶׁמָּא יָבֹא לְיַבֵּם אוֹתָהּ. וַאֲפִלּוּ לֹא גֵּרֵשׁ זֶה שֶׁמֵּת אַחֲרוֹן אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ:

26

Why was this decree not applied when a marriage was involved? For example, if [a brother is married to two women,] one of them is forbidden [to his brother] as an ervah and one is not. If he divorces the wife who is forbidden and then dies childless, [the surviving brother] may perform yibbum with the wife [of the deceased brother], as we have explained.57

[The distinction is that] the prohibition against [performing yibbum] with a wife [of one's deceased brother] when one of his wives is forbidden [to the yavam] as ervah is known by all.58 Thus, if [the deceased brother] did not divorce the woman forbidden [to the yavam], no one would allow him [to perform yibbum with his brother's] other wife. The prohibition against [performing yibbum with] a woman who was obligated to [a man whose] other wife is forbidden [to the yavam] is not known to all, and it is possible that [in such a situation, a brother] might be allowed to [perform yibbum with] such a woman even when [the second brother who died] did not divorce the forbidden woman.

כו

וּמִפְּנֵי מָה לֹא גָּזְרוּ דָּבָר זֶה בַּנִּשּׂוּאִין שֶׁהֲרֵי צָרַת עֶרְוָה בַּנִּשּׂוּאִין אִם גֵּרֵשׁ אֶת הָעֶרְוָה וּמֵת צָרָתָהּ מֻתֶּרֶת לַיָּבָם כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאִסּוּר צָרַת הָעֶרְוָה בַּנִּשּׂוּאִין יָדוּעַ לַכּל וְאֵינָן בָּאִין לְהַתִּיר הַצָּרָה אִם לֹא גֵּרֵשׁ הָעֶרְוָה. וְאִסּוּר צָרַת עֶרְוָה בְּזִיקָה אֵינוֹ יָדוּעַ לַכּל וּבָאִין לְהַתִּיר הַצָּרָה וַאֲפִלּוּ לֹא נִתְגָּרְשָׁה הָעֶרְוָה:

27

[In the following situation, chalitzah and not yibbum is required.] There were three brothers, all married to women who did not share any family connection. One of the brothers died [childless]. Another gave his yevamah a ma'amar, but died [childless] before he consummated his marriage to her. Thus, this woman and the wife of the second brother fell before the third brother.

These women should perform chalitzah, but not yibbum, because the woman who was given the ma'amar has two obligations for yibbum incumbent on her.59 As such, it is as if she had been married to two men. Our Sages interpreted the phrase [Deuteronomy 25:5] "the wife of the deceased," as a restriction. [One may perform yibbum with the wife of one deceased man,] but not [the wife of] two deceased men.60

Therefore, whenever a woman has two obligations for yibbum incumbent on her, she should perform chalitzah, but not yibbum. The same applies to the woman married to [the second brother who died]. The prohibition [against performing yibbum with these women] is Rabbinic in origin.61

כז

שְׁלֹשָׁה אַחִין נְשׂוּאִין שָׁלֹשׁ נָשִׁים נָכְרִיּוֹת. מֵת אֶחָד מֵהֶן וְעָשָׂה הַשֵּׁנִי מַאֲמָר בִּיבִמְתּוֹ וּמֵת קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּכְנֹס וְנָפְלוּ שְׁתֵּיהֶן לִפְנֵי הַיָּבָם הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ חוֹלְצוֹת וְלֹא מִתְיַבְּמוֹת. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁבַּעֲלַת הַמַּאֲמָר עָלֶיהָ זִקַּת שְׁנֵי יְבָמִין. וְנִמְצֵאת כְּאִלּוּ הִיא אֵשֶׁת שְׁנֵי מֵתִים. וְדָרְשׁוּ חֲכָמִים וְאָמְרוּ (דברים כה ה) ״אֵשֶׁת הַמֵּת״‎‎ וְלֹא אֵשֶׁת שְׁנֵי מֵתִים. לְפִיכָךְ כָּל אִשָּׁה שֶׁעָלֶיהָ זִקַּת שְׁנֵי יְבָמִין חוֹלֶצֶת וְלֹא מִתְיַבֶּמֶת וְכֵן צָרָתָהּ. וְאִסּוּרָן מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים:

28

Why does [the yavam] not merely perform chalitzah with the woman who was given the ma'amar and is thus obligated to perform yibbum because of two men, and then perform yibbum with the [first] wife of [the deceased brother]? This is a decree instituted so that people will not say that when there are two yevamot coming from one household, one should perform chalitzah and the other yibbum.62 For this reason, [the Sages] forbade [performing yibbum with the deceased's first] wife.

כח

וּמִפְּנֵי מָה לֹא יַחֲלֹץ לְבַעֲלַת הַמַּאֲמָר שֶׁעָלֶיהָ זִקַּת שְׁנֵי יְבָמִין וִייַבֵּם צָרָתָהּ. גְּזֵרָה שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמְרוּ שְׁתֵּי יְבָמוֹת הַבָּאוֹת מִבַּיִת אֶחָד אַחַת חוֹלֶצֶת וְאַחַת מִתְיַבֶּמֶת. וּלְפִיכָךְ אָסְרוּ אַף צָרָתָהּ:

29

[In the above instance, if the second brother] gave his yevamah a ma'amar and then gave her a get [to nullify] the ma'amar, [different rules apply] if he dies. [The woman] becomes permitted [to the third brother], for the ma'amar that caused her to be forbidden was nullified. He may perform either chalitzah or yibbum with her.63

כט

עָשָׂה מַאֲמָר בִּיבִמְתּוֹ וְנָתַן גֵּט לְמַאֲמָרוֹ וּמֵת חָזְרָה לְהֶתֵּרָהּ. שֶׁהַמַּאֲמָר שֶׁאֲסָרָהּ הֲרֵי בִּטְּלוֹ. וְרָצָה חוֹלֵץ רָצָה מְיַבֵּם:

30

[In the following situation, chalitzah and not yibbum is required. A yavam] who is below the age of majority, [but more than] nine years and one day old, enters into relations with his yevamah and dies before he attains majority. She then becomes obligated for yibbum to the minor's older brother for a second time. She should perform chalitzah, but not yibbum. As we have explained,64 relations in which a minor engages are considered equivalent to a ma'amar given by [a brother] past majority. Hence, the woman has two obligations for yibbum incumbent on her.

ל

בֶּן תֵּשַׁע שָׁנִים וְיוֹם אֶחָד שֶׁבָּא עַל יְבִמְתּוֹ וּמֵת כְּשֶׁהוּא קָטָן וְנָפְלָה פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה לִפְנֵי אָחִיו הַגָּדוֹל הֲרֵי זוֹ חוֹלֶצֶת וְלֹא מִתְיַבֶּמֶת. שֶׁבִּיאַת בֶּן תֵּשַׁע שָׁנִים וְיוֹם אֶחָד כְּמַאֲמָר מִן הַגָּדוֹל כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ וְנִמְצָא עָלֶיהָ זִקַּת שְׁנֵי יְבָמִין:

31

[The following rule applies when] a woman who was half [a Canaanite] maid-servant and half a freed woman65 was consecrated by Reuven. She was then given her freedom and was consecrated by [Reuven's brother,] Shimon. Afterwards, both [brothers] died. Levi, [a third brother, may] perform yibbum with [this woman]; she is not considered to be "the wife of two deceased men." For if her consecration by Reuven is effective, her consecration by Shimon is of no consequence.66 And if her consecration by Shimon is effective, her consecration by Reuven is of no consequence.

לא

מִי שֶׁחֶצְיָהּ שִׁפְחָה וְחֶצְיָהּ בַּת חוֹרִין שֶׁנִּתְקַדְּשָׁה לִרְאוּבֵן וְנִשְׁתַּחְרְרָה וְחָזְרָה וְנִתְקַדְּשָׁה לְשִׁמְעוֹן וּמֵתוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם מִתְיַבֶּמֶת לְלֵוִי וְאֵינָהּ אֵשֶׁת שְׁנֵי מֵתִים. אִם קִדּוּשֵׁי רְאוּבֵן קִדּוּשִׁין אֵין קִדּוּשֵׁי שִׁמְעוֹן כְּלוּם. וְאִם קִדּוּשֵׁי שִׁמְעוֹן קִדּוּשִׁין אֵין קִדּוּשֵׁי רְאוּבֵן כְּלוּם:

Footnotes
1.

These categories are all defined in the following three halachot.

2.

A man who never displayed any male physical characteristics and who is sexually impotent. The Aruch interprets the term as meaning "one who became impotent as a result of fever." Yevamot 80a interprets it as meaning "one who never saw the light of the sun while potent."

3.

A person with both male and female sexual organs.

4.

Since the entire purpose of yibbum is to perpetuate the deceased brother's name (Deuteronomy 25:7), when this is not possible there is no obligation for this rite.

The Tur (Even HaEzer 172) quotes opinions that maintain that an androgynous is considered a normal male and may perform either yibbum or chalitzah, as he desires. Although the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 172:8) also mentions this view, the Rambam's opinion appears to be favored.

5.

The intent is not that they should be encouraged to perform yibbum, but that if they perform yibbum, they acquire the yevamah as a wife. The rationale is that the act of yibbum does not require intent, as stated in Chapter 2, Halachah 3.

6.

In the Kessef Mishneh, Rav Yosef Karo emphasizes that this ruling applies only when the yevamah's deceased husband was mentally competent. If the deceased also was a deaf-mute, the deaf-mute yavam may divorce her by signaling with hand motions. Rav Yosef Karo reiterates this decision in the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 172:12).

7.

See Chapter 5, Halachah 18. Note Chapter 5, Halachah 21, which states that if he did not enter into relations with his yevamah after he attained majority, he must also perform the rite of chalitzah.

8.

A person consecrated one of two sisters, and it is not known which one he consecrated. He is not allowed to marry, because he does not know which of the women is his wife and which is forbidden to him. If he dies, his brother may not perform yibbum, because the same doubt applies with regard to him. (See Chapter 8, Halachah 1.)

9.

See Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah, Chapter 16, for a detailed treatment of this subject.

10.

A person whose genital area is covered by flesh and determination of his sex is not possible , as stated in Hilchot Ishut 2:25.

The Tur (Even HaEzer 172) quotes opinions that maintain that there is doubt whether a tumtum may perform yibbum. Therefore, he must perform chalitzah. Although the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 172:9) also mentions this view, the Rambam's opinion appears to be favored.

11.

Once the operation is performed and it is determined that he is a male, there is no difference between him and other males.

12.

These categories are all defined in the following three halachot.

13.

With regard to a minor, see Chapter 4, Halachah 16.

14.

For according to Scriptural and Talmudic law, neither a woman's understanding nor her consent is necessary for a divorce to be effective.

15.

See Halachah 10. (See also a delineation of the women included in these three categories in Hilchot Ishut 1:6-8.)

16.

A severe prohibition punishable by karet. See Hilchot Ishut 1:5; Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah 2:1.

17.

I.e., if the brother's consecration was effective, then the yavam is performing a mitzvah, and if it was not effective, he has no ties to the woman at all, and he may consecrate her as he consecrates any other woman (Yevamot 41b).

18.

Although the marriage of a deaf-mute is not binding according to Scriptural law, his brother may still perform yibbum.

19.

Note the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Yevamot 2:3), where he cites a different proof-text for this concept, one that is not mentioned in other Rabbinic sources.

20.

For a positive commandment does not supersede the observance of a negative commandment punishable by karet. Although it is not necessary to mention a proof-text for this concept, the Rambam does so, because it represents the simple meaning of the passage from the Torah (Maggid Mishneh; Kin'at Eliyahu).

21.

And yet to be permitted to her deceased husband, so that her original marriage was binding (in contrast to the instances mentioned in Halachah 12).

22.

Nevertheless, after engaging in relations once to fulfill the mitzvah of yibbum, the yavam would be obligated to divorce the yevamah, as evident from Hilchot Ishut 4:14.

23.

Note the statements of the Beit Shmuel 174:3, who connects this concept with the difference of opinion between the Sephardic and Ashkenazic authorities with regard to which takes precedence: yibbum or chalitzah. (See the notes on Chapter 1, Halachah 2.)

24.

The commentaries raise the question of why, in this clause, the Rambam omits the mention of women with whom relations are forbidden by virtue of a positive commandment. They explain that his omission holds the key to the comprehension of a more general question.

Although the observance of a positive commandment supersedes the observance of a negative commandment, the observance of one positive commandment does not supersede the observance of another positive commandment. And therefore, the question arises: Why does yibbum establish a binding marriage bond when the transgression of a positive commandment is involved? Such a transgression is not mandated by law.

The commentaries explain that indeed the yavam should not - even according to Scriptural law - perform yibbum in such a situation, and therefore the Rambam omits mention of those forbidden by a positive commandment in this clause. If, however, the yavam does violate the positive commandment, the marriage bond created is binding. For just as the positive commandment of yibbum is not greater than the positive commandment involving the prohibition, the positive commandment involving the prohibition is not greater than the positive commandment of yibbum. See the conclusion of the Responsa of the Noda Biy'hudah on Choshen Mishpat and the commentary of the Or Sameach on this halachah.

25.

In which instance the prohibition against further relations is merely Rabbinic in origin.

26.

I.e., the positive commandment of yibbum does not supersede both the prohibition against a High Priest's marrying a widow, and the positive commandment that he must marry a virgin. For this reason, this halachah mentions an instance when the woman's marriage was consummated. If she became a widow when she had merely been consecrated, only a negative commandment is involved, and the laws mentioned in the previous halachah apply.

27.

The commentaries infer that the Rambam's wording implies that if the High Priest divorces the woman, she herself may marry others; she does not require chalitzah. See the conclusion of the gloss of the Beit Shmuel 174:3.

28.

Who is also her brother.

29.

E.g., the deceased brother married his maternal sister. She has no family connection whatsoever to the surviving brother, and he is permitted to marry her.

30.

It is not as if he married two yevamot from the same household, because the woman who was forbidden to the deceased is not considered part of his household.

31.

An example of a negative commandment incumbent on the deceased, but not on the yavam, would be a High Priest who married a widow. His brother, an ordinary priest, is not bound by that prohibition. An example of a positive commandment incumbent on the deceased, but not on the yavam, would be a High Priest who married a woman who had engaged in relations previously. His brother, an ordinary priest, is not bound by that prohibition.

32.

For example, the deceased married his maternal grandmother, who is forbidden to him as a sh'niyah. If the deceased has a paternal brother who had a different mother, that brother is a yavam and there is no prohibition against his marrying his brother's grandmother.

33.

Note the Kessef Mishneh, which suggests altering the text of the Mishneh Torah and substituting the word "and" for "or." For, as it explains, if the yevamah is not forbidden to the yavam, the fact that she was forbidden - or that there was a doubt whether she was forbidden - to her deceased husband does not prevent the yavam from marrying her, as stated in the previous halachah.

34.

For it is possible that his original kiddushin were binding, and by marrying the yevamah he will be transgressing the prohibition against marrying two sisters.

35.

Chapter 1, Halachah 13. (See also Chapter 7, Halachah 8.)

If the kiddushin the yavam gave were definitely binding, the chalitzah would be of no consequence, because the yevamah would not be obligated to him at all. Nevertheless, since that has not been established definitively, the chalitzah is necessary, and as a consequence, the yavam must divorce the woman whom he originally desired to marry.

36.

But not to the deceased - e.g., the yavam's daughter.

37.

E.g., Reuven married Shimon's daughter. She is thus forbidden to Shimon and permitted to Levi.

38.

If Levi had another brother, they would, however, be under obligation to him.

39.

I.e., if Reuven, Shimon, and Levi had another brother and he performed yibbum with the woman who was not previously married to Reuven, that brother had another wife, and then he died without children - his wives are also under no obligation to Shimon. Since one of the wives was once freed from an obligation to him, even if she remarries she can never be obligated to him. Moreover, she frees all the other wives of her second husband from an obligation to him.

40.

Chapter 5, Halachot 2-3.

Through the ma'amar, Shimon established a connection with his yevamah. Therefore, our Sages ordained that Levi should not perform yibbum with Shimon's wife. Nevertheless, since Shimon did not establish a marriage that was binding according to Scriptural law with his yevamah, Levi is required to perform chalitzah with Shimon's wife.

The Kessef Mishneh (in its gloss on Halachah 10), notes that - as reflected in Halachah 25 - even if Shimon did not give a ma'amar to Reuven's wife, the very fact that she is under obligation to him is sufficient cause for Levi to be prohibited from performing yibbum with her. The Rambam did not mention this concept in this halachah, because: a) he was quoting the Mishnah (Yevamot, Chapter 1), and b) he wanted to emphasize that even if Shimon gave Reuven's wife a ma'amar, Levi is still obligated to perform chalitzah with Shimon's wife. The ma'amar does not free her of obligation entirely.

41.

See Hilchot Ishut 24:18.

42.

As Leviticus 18:24 states: "Do not become impure through any of these [forbidden relationships]."

43.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam regarding this matter and maintains that just as the woman's husband would have to give her a get to terminate their relationship, so too, her yavam must perform chalitzah with her. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 173:11) follows the Rambam's ruling, while the Ramah mentions that of the Ra'avad.

44.

A sotah is not given the bitter waters to drink after her husband's death, as stated in Hilchot Sotah 2:7.

45.

As explained in Hilchot Sotah 2:2, there are some women whose fidelity should be tested by the bitter waters. Nevertheless, because of certain incidental factors, she is not given these waters to drink and instead must be divorced by her husband.

46.

According to the Rambam, the difference between these two instances is that the infidelity of the sotah has not been proven, while in the former case, the woman's infidelity is an established fact.

47.

Although Rashi offers a different interpretation for this concept, the halachic authorities follow the Rambam's view.

48.

If the relatives of a woman who performed chalitzah were permitted, one might think that another woman who was married to the deceased husband of the woman who performed chalitzah would also be permitted.

49.

Since it is possible that the ervah was never married to the deceased, or that her marriage was already terminated, the yavam must perform chalitzah to enable the other wife to remarry. He may not, however, perform yibbum, for it is possible that the marriage of the ervah was effected by the kiddushin or not terminated by the divorce, in which instance, the yavam would be forbidden to have relations with the other wife of his deceased brother, as stated in Halachah 15.

50.

The minor nullifies her marriage retroactively through mi'un, and it is as if she had never been married at all. As such, the obligation of yibbum falls on the other wife. Nevertheless, since this halachic concept might not be known to all, our Sages forbade the other wife of the deceased from performing yibbum, lest the impression be created that a woman married to the same man as an ervah is also permitted (Yevamot 13a, 107b).

51.

The other wife of the deceased was under the impression that she did not require chalitzah to be released, as stated in Halachah 15. Afterwards, it was discovered that the woman forbidden to the yavam as an ervah was an aylonit, in which instance the obligation of yibbum falls solely on the other wife, as stated in Halachah 21. Thus, her second marriage involves a transgression and must be terminated. (See Chapter 2, Halachah 18.) Nevertheless, a child fathered by her second husband is not considered illegitimate, because the negative commandment violated is not punishable by karet.

52.

The Or Sameach explains that ordinarily, when a woman is prohibited as an ervah, a get is not necessary. Nevertheless, an exception is made in this instance, lest people think that the deceased divorced his other wife before his death, and the act of yibbum was binding.

The Tur (Even HaEzer 173) maintains that a get is not required, and indeed suggests that this is also the Rambam's intent, but the text of the Mishneh Torah was flawed by a printer's error. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 173:9) does not require a get.

53.

As stated in Halachah 14, the prohibition against relations with a brother's wife applies in such an instance. This prohibition is punishable by karet. Hence, any child born to this couple - whether before or after he discovers that the ervah was an aylonit - is illegitimate.

54.

His wife's sister, by contrast, need not perform yibbum or chalitzah. She is free to marry any man.

55.

With regard to yibbum, the obligation to perform yibbum is powerful enough to have the woman considered the wife of a man whose other wife is an ervah to the yavam. Nevertheless, this comparison is not complete. For since the deceased brother never actually married her, she is obligated to perform chalitzah.

56.

The Ra'avad and others differ with the Rambam regarding this issue, maintaining that the prohibition is not applied when the second brother divorces his first wife.

57.

See Halachah 21.

58.

And, as reflected in Halachah 14, it is of Scriptural origin.

59.

I.e., since she did not perform yibbum with the brother who gave her the ma'amar, she is still obligated to perform yibbum because of her first husband, and since a ma'amar is considered equivalent to consecration, she is also obligated to perform yibbum because of the second brother who died.

60.

If, however, the second brother performed yibbum before dying, this restriction does not apply.

61.

It was stated above that the prohibition against marrying a woman who is obligated to perform yibbum because of two men is derived from a verse. Nevertheless, as reflected by the fact that chalitzah is required (Yevamot 31b), that verse is only an asmachta, a support. The source of the prohibition is Rabbinic in origin. (Note Tosafot, who differ and maintain that the prohibition is of Scriptural origin.)

62.

See Chapter 1, Halachah 12, which states that once a yavam has foregone the privilege of yibbum by performing chalitzah, neither he nor his brothers may perform yibbum with any of the wives of that brother.

63.

For the only obligation incumbent on her is due to the brother who died first. The third brother must also perform either yibbum or chalitzah with the wife of the second brother.

64.

Chapter 5, Halachah 18.

65.

E.g., a Canaanite maid-servant who was owned by two partners, and one partner set her free, but the other did not.

66.

The consecration of such a woman is discussed in Hilchot Ishut 4:16.

Yibbum vChalitzah - Chapter Seven

1

When two brothers were married to two sisters, [the brothers] both died, and it is impossible to know who died first,1 [a third brother who remains alive] may not perform yibbum with both of them.2 Since they are both obligated to him, they both must perform chalitzah and not yibbum.

[The above ruling applies even] when one [of the yevamot] was forbidden to the yavam as a sh'niyah, or because of a positive commandment or a negative commandment.3 If, however, one [of the yevamot] was forbidden to the yavam as an ervah - e.g., she was his wife's mother or daughter - the sister is permitted [to the yavam]; he may perform either yibbum or chalitzah, as he desires. For both of the sisters were not obligated to him, since an ervah is not bound by this obligation.

א

שְׁנַּיִם מִן הָאַחִין נְשׂוּאִין לִשְׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת וּמֵתוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם וְלֹא נוֹדַע אֵי זֶה מֵהֶם מֵת רִאשׁוֹן. הוֹאִיל וְאִי אֶפְשָׁר לְיַבֵּם שְׁתֵּיהֶן וַהֲרֵי זִקָּה נָפְלָה עַל שְׁתֵּיהֶן שְׁתֵּיהֶן חוֹלְצוֹת וְלֹא מִתְיַבְּמוֹת. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה אַחַת מֵהֶן אֲסוּרָה עַל הַיָּבָם מִשּׁוּם שְׁנִיָּה אוֹ מֵחַיָּבֵי עֲשֵׂה אוֹ מֵחַיָּבֵי לָאוִין הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ חוֹלְצוֹת וְלֹא מִתְיַבְּמוֹת. אֲבָל אִם הָיְתָה אַחַת מֵהֶן עֶרְוָה עָלָיו כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיְתָה אֵם אִשְׁתּוֹ אוֹ בִּתָּהּ. הֲרֵי אֲחוֹתָהּ מֻתֶּרֶת לוֹ וְרָצָה חוֹלֵץ רָצָה מְיַבֵּם. שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא נָפְלָה זִקָּתוֹ עַל שְׁתֵּיהֶן, שֶׁאֵין זִקָּה עַל הָעֶרְוָה:

2

When in the above situation there were four brothers,] and one [of the yevamot] was forbidden to one of the yevamim as an ervah, and the other yevamah was forbidden to the other yavam as an ervah, [the yevamah] who is forbidden to one [yavam] is permitted to his brother, and [the yevamah] who is forbidden to the other [yavam] is permitted to his brother. For [in both instances] only [the yevamah] who is permitted to him is obligated [to each brother]. [Each one] may perform either yibbum or chalitzah with [the yevamah] permitted to him, as he desires.

ב

הָיְתָה אַחַת מֵהֶן אֲסוּרָה עַל יָבָם זֶה מִשּׁוּם עֶרְוָה. וְהָאַחֶרֶת אֲסוּרָה עַל הַיָּבָם הַשֵּׁנִי מִשּׁוּם עֶרְוָה. הָאֲסוּרָה לָזֶה מֻתֶּרֶת לְאָחִיו וְהָאֲסוּרָה לָזֶה מֻתֶּרֶת לְאָחִיו. שֶׁהֲרֵי נָפְלָה זִקַּת כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן עַל הַמֻּתֶּרֶת לוֹ בִּלְבַד. וְרָצָה חוֹלֵץ רָצָה מְיַבֵּם לְזוֹ הַמֻּתֶּרֶת לוֹ:

3

[In the above situation,] if one of the brothers died [and his identity was known], and his wife became obligated to perform yibbum, and then the other brother died, his wife - the sister of the first wife - became obligated to perform yibbum; [as long as] both remain alive, they both must perform chalitzah and not yibbum, as we have explained.4

ג

מֵת אֶחָד מִן הָאַחִין וְנָפְלָה אִשְׁתּוֹ לְיִבּוּם וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵת שֵׁנִי וְנָפְלָה אִשְׁתּוֹ לְיִבּוּם שֶׁהִיא אֲחוֹת הָרִאשׁוֹנָה וַהֲרֵי שְׁתֵּיהֶן קַיָּמוֹת. שְׁתֵּיהֶן חוֹלְצוֹת וְלֹא מִתְיַבְּמוֹת כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

4

If [the wife of] the second [brother] dies, the [wife of the] first becomes permitted again. She may perform either chalitzah or yibbum.

If [the wife of] the first [brother] dies, the [wife of the] second remains forbidden. She must perform chalitzah and may not perform yibbum. [The rationale is that she was not fit to perform yibbum at the time she came before [her yavam].

Similarly, if one of the brothers performed chalitzah with the [wife of the] second [brother] first,5 the [wife of the] first becomes permitted to the other brothers. For the obligation that caused her to become forbidden was removed by his brother by performing chalitzah.

ד

מֵתָה הָאַחֲרוֹנָה חָזְרָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה לְהֵתֵּרָהּ וְחוֹלֶצֶת אוֹ מִתְיַבֶּמֶת. מֵתָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה הֲרֵי אַחֲרוֹנָה בְּאִסּוּרָהּ עוֹמֶדֶת וְחוֹלֶצֶת וְלֹא מִתְיַבֶּמֶת. שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הָיְתָה רְאוּיָה לְיִבּוּם בִּשְׁעַת נְפִילָתָהּ. וְכֵן אִם קָדַם אֶחָד מִן הָאַחִין וְחָלַץ לָאַחֲרוֹנָה הֻתְּרָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה לִשְׁאָר הָאַחִין שֶׁהֲרֵי הַזִּקָּה שֶׁאָסְרָה אוֹתָהּ הֱסִירָהּ אָחִיו בַּחֲלִיצָתוֹ:

5

Similarly, if [the wife of] the first [brother] was forbidden to one of the brothers as an ervah, and he performed yibbum with [the wife of] the second [brother] who was permitted to him,6 the [wife of the] first becomes permitted to the other brothers. For the woman who caused her to be forbidden to them performed yibbum with a brother to whom she was permitted.

If, however, [the wife of] the second [brother] was forbidden to one of the brothers as an ervah, he should perform yibbum with [the wife of] the first [brother],7 but the other brothers are forbidden to perform yibbum with both of them.8They must perform chalitzah instead, as we have explained.9

If [in the situation mentioned in the final clause of Halachah 3] each one of the brothers marries one of the sisters [without asking Rabbinical guidance first], they must be forced to separate.10

ה

וְכֵן אִם הָיְתָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה עֶרְוָה עַל אֶחָד מִן הָאַחִין וְקָדַם וְיִבֵּם אֶת הָאַחֲרוֹנָה שֶׁהִיא מֻתֶּרֶת לוֹ הֻתְּרָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה לִשְׁאָר הָאַחִין שֶׁהֲרֵי הָאַחֲרוֹנָה שֶׁאָסְרָה אוֹתָהּ עֲלֵיהֶן נִתְיַבְּמָה לְמֻתָּר לָהּ. אֲבָל אִם הָיְתָה הָאַחֲרוֹנָה הִיא שֶׁאֲסוּרָה עַל אַחַת מֵהֶן בִּלְבַד מִשּׁוּם עֶרְוָה הֲרֵי הוּא מְיַבֵּם לָרִאשׁוֹנָה וּשְׁאָר הָאַחִין אֲסוּרִין בִּשְׁתֵּיהֶן וְחוֹלְצִין וְלֹא מְיַבְּמִין כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְאִם קָדְמוּ וְכָנְסוּ כָּל אֶחָד אַחַת מִן הָאֲחָיוֹת מוֹצִיאִין אוֹתָן מֵהֶן:

6

[Our Sages delivered these rulings in the following situation:] There were three brothers. Two were married to two sisters. One of the brothers married to the sisters died [childless]. The third [brother] gave a ma'amar to his yevamah, and then the husband of the second sister died, and the second sister also became obligated to the third brother. The third brother should divorce with a get [the sister] to whom he gave a ma'amar, and perform chalitzah with her.11 And he should perform chalitzah with the other sister, to enable her to marry another man.

ו

שְׁלֹשָׁה אַחִין שְׁנַיִם מֵהֶן נְשׂוּאִין לִשְׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת. מֵת אֶחָד מִבַּעֲלֵי אֲחָיוֹת וְעָשָׂה הַשְּׁלִישִׁי בִּיבִמְתּוֹ מַאֲמָר וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵת בַּעַל אֲחוֹת הַשְּׁנִיָּה וְנָפְלָה הָאָחוֹת הַשְּׁנִיָּה לִפְנֵי הָאָח הַשְּׁלִישִׁי. הֲרֵי זֶה נוֹתֵן גֵּט לְבַעֲלַת הַמַּאֲמָר וְחוֹלֵץ לָהּ וְחוֹלֵץ לָאָחוֹת הָאַחֲרוֹנָה כְּדֵי לְהַתִּירָן לְזָר:

7

[In the above situation,] if the brother who gave the ma'amar [to the first brother's wife] died [childless], and he had another wife, both she and [the wife of the first brother] fall before [the brother] married to the sister of [the wife of the first brother]. The woman who was given the ma'amar is free from the obligations of chalitzah and yibbum, for she is the sister of [her yavam's] wife. The other woman should perform chalitzah and not yibbum, because the ma'amar does not fully acquire a woman [as a wife]12 to the extent that another wife would be freed of the obligations [of yibbum].13

ז

מֵת זֶה שֶׁעָשָׂה הַמַּאֲמָר וְהָיְתָה לוֹ אִשָּׁה אַחֶרֶת וְנָפְלוּ שְׁתֵּיהֶן לִפְנֵי בַּעַל הָאָחוֹת. בַּעֲלַת הַמַּאֲמָר פְּטוּרָה מִן הַחֲלִיצָה וּמִן הַיִּבּוּם שֶׁהֲרֵי הִיא אֲחוֹת אִשְׁתּוֹ. וְהָאִשָּׁה הָאַחֶרֶת חוֹלֶצֶת וְלֹא מִתְיַבֶּמֶת. שֶׁאֵין הַמַּאֲמָר קוֹנֶה קִנְיָן גָּמוּר עַד שֶׁיִּפְטֹר אֶת הַצָּרָה:

8

When a brother consecrates the sister of his yevamah,14 we tell him: "Wait; do not divorce her and do not marry her15 until your brother performs yibbum or chalitzah with the woman who is under obligation."

If his brother performs yibbum or chalitzah with the yevamah, or if she dies, the brother may marry the woman he has consecrated. If all his brothers die,16 he must divorce with a get the woman he has consecrated, and perform chalitzah with his yevamah.

If the woman he has consecrated died, regardless of whether she died before the brothers died or after the brothers died, the yevamah becomes permitted. He may perform either yibbum or chalitzah.17

ח

אֶחָד מִן הַיְבָמִין שֶׁקִּדֵּשׁ אֲחוֹת יְבִמְתּוֹ אוֹמְרִין לוֹ הַמְתֵּן וְאַל תְּגָרְשֶׁנָּה וְאַל תִּשָּׂאֶנָּה עַד שֶׁיְּיַבֵּם אָחִיךָ אוֹ יַחֲלֹץ לִיבָמָה זוֹ הַזְּקוּקָה לְכֻלְּכֶם. חָלַץ לָהּ אָחִיו אוֹ יִבְּמָהּ אוֹ שֶׁמֵּתָה הַיְבָמָה הֲרֵי זֶה יִכְנֹס אֲרוּסָתוֹ. מֵתוּ אֶחָיו כֻּלָּם מוֹצִיא אֶת אֲרוּסָתוֹ בְּגֵט וִיבִמְתּוֹ בַּחֲלִיצָה. וְאִם מֵתָה אֲרוּסָתוֹ בֵּין שֶׁמֵּתָה קֹדֶם מִיתַת הָאַחִין בֵּין שֶׁמֵּתָה לְאַחַר מִיתַת הָאַחִין חָזְרָה הַיְבָמָה לְהֶתֵּרָהּ וְרָצָה חוֹלֵץ רָצָה מְיַבֵּם:

9

[The above laws become even more complicated if the brothers have more than one wife. For example,] there were three brothers. Two were married to two sisters, and each also had another wife. [The brothers] married to the sisters died [childless], and the sisters and the other wives fell before the yavam.

If he performs chalitzah with the other wives, the sisters are also freed of their obligation. If, however, he performs chalitzah with the sisters, the other wives are not freed of their obligations until they themselves perform chalitzah. [The rationale is that] the chalitzah performed by the sisters is not "superior,"18 and, as we have explained,19 a chalitzah that is not "superior" does not free another wife [of the deceased] from her obligation.

ט

שְׁלֹשָׁה אַחִין שְׁנַיִם מֵהֶן נְשׂוּאִין לִשְׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת וְיֵשׁ לְכָל אַחַת מִשְּׁתֵּיהֶן צָרָה. וּמֵתוּ הַנְּשׂוּאִין אֶת הָאֲחָיוֹת וְנָפְלוּ הָאֲחָיוֹת וְצָרוֹתֵיהֶן לִפְנֵי יָבָם. אִם חָלַץ לַצָּרוֹת נִפְטְרוּ הָאֲחָיוֹת. אֲבָל אִם חָלַץ לָאֲחָיוֹת לֹא נִפְטְרוּ צָרוֹתֵיהֶן עַד שֶׁיַּחְלְצוּ הַצָּרוֹת. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁחֲלִיצַת אֲחָיוֹת חֲלִיצָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ מְעֻלָּה. וַחֲלִיצָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ מְעֻלָּה אֵינָהּ פּוֹטֶרֶת אֶת הַצָּרָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

10

It appears to me20 that this law also applies with regard to two yevamot coming from one household, when one is forbidden to her yavam as a sh'niyah, or because of a positive or negative prohibition. If the yavam performs chalitzah with the woman who is prohibited, [the deceased's] other wife is not freed of her obligation. If he performs chalitzah with the other wife, the woman who is prohibited is freed of her obligation.

י

יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁכָּךְ הַדִּין בִּשְׁתֵּי יְבָמוֹת הַבָּאוֹת מִבַּיִת אֶחָד וְהָאַחַת מֵהֶן אֲסוּרָה עַל יְבָמָהּ מִשּׁוּם שְׁנִיָּה אוֹ מֵחַיָּבֵי לָאוִין אוֹ מֵחַיָּבֵי עֲשֵׂה. שֶׁאִם חָלַץ לָאֲסוּרָה לֹא הֻתְּרָה צָרָתָהּ. חָלַץ לַצָּרָה הֻתְּרָה הָאֲסוּרָה:

11

[There is no need for yibbum or chalitzah in the following situation:] There were three brothers. Two were married to two sisters, and the third was married to a woman who did not share a family connection with them. One of the brothers married to the sisters died [childless] and the brother married to the other woman performed yibbum with [the brother's] wife. Afterwards, the wife of the second brother, [i.e., the sister of the yevamah] died, and then the third brother [the one who performed yibbum, died childless]. Thus, his two wives fall before the second brother, who is [now] unmarried.

These women are free of the obligation to perform either chalitzah or yibbum. One, the sister of [the yavam's deceased] wife [is forbidden], because she was the sister of his wife at the time his brother died. [At that time,] she became forbidden to him forever, as the wife of a brother who was not alive at the time of his [older] brother's [death]. The other woman [is forbidden], because she is the other wife [of her deceased husband].21

יא

שְׁלֹשָׁה אַחִין שְׁנַיִם מֵהֶן נְשׂוּאִין שְׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת וְהַשְּׁלִישִׁי נָשׂוּי נָכְרִית. מֵת אֶחָד מִבַּעֲלֵי אֲחָיוֹת וְיִבֵּם הַנָּשׂוּי נָכְרִית אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ. וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵתָה אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁל שֵׁנִי וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵת הַשְּׁלִישִׁי וְנָפְלוּ שְׁתֵּי נָשָׁיו לִפְנֵי הַשֵּׁנִי (שֶׁאֵין לוֹ אִשָּׁה). הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ פְּטוּרוֹת מִן הַחֲלִיצָה וּמִן הַיִּבּוּם. הָאַחַת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָיְתָה אֲחוֹת אִשְׁתּוֹ בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁמֵּת אָחִיו הָרִאשׁוֹן נֶאֶסְרָה עָלָיו לְעוֹלָם מִשּׁוּם אֵשֶׁת אָח כְּדִין אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה בְּעוֹלָמוֹ. וְהַנָּכְרִית מִשּׁוּם צָרָתָהּ:

12

Similarly, when two brothers are married to two sisters and one of [the brothers] dies [childless], and then the wife of the other brother dies, [the wife of the first brother] remains forbidden [to the second brother] forever, since she was forbidden to him at the time [the obligation of yibbum first takes effect].

When, however, a man divorces his wife, remarries her and then dies [childless], she is permitted to the yavam. Although she was forbidden to him during his brother's lifetime at the time he divorced her, she became permitted [when he remarried her]. And at the time his brother died, she was permitted.

יב

וְכֵן שְׁנֵי אַחִין נְשׂוּאִין לִשְׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת וּמֵת אֶחָד מֵהֶן. וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵתָה אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁל שֵׁנִי. הֲרֵי זוֹ אֲסוּרָה עוֹלָמִית הוֹאִיל וְנֶאֶסְרָה עָלָיו בִּשְׁעַת נְפִילָה. אֲבָל הַמְגָרֵשׁ אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ וְהֶחֱזִירָהּ וָמֵת הֲרֵי זוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת לַיָּבָם. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנֶּאֶסְרָה עָלָיו בְּחַיֵּי אָחִיו בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁגֵּרְשָׁהּ הֲרֵי חָזְרָה לְהֶתֵּרָהּ וּכְשֶׁמֵּת אָחִיו בְּהֶתֵּרָהּ הָיְתָה עוֹמֶדֶת:

13

[The following rules apply when] a girl below the age of majority was given in marriage by her father, and her husband divorced her, remarried her and then died [childless] while she was still below the age of majority.

She is forbidden to her yavam,22 for the divorce was a fully binding divorce, since she was married off by her father.23 The remarriage, by contrast, is not fully binding, because the consecration of a minor is not a completely binding consecration, as explained.24

יג

קְטַנָּה שֶׁהִשִּׂיאָהּ אָבִיהָ וְגֵרְשָׁהּ בַּעְלָהּ וְהֶחֱזִירָהּ וּמֵת וַעֲדַיִן הִיא קְטַנָּה הֲרֵי זוֹ אֲסוּרָה לַיָּבָם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁגֵּרוּשֶׁיהָ גֵּרוּשִׁין גְּמוּרִין שֶׁהֲרֵי אָבִיהָ הִשִּׂיאָהּ. וְאֵין חֲזָרָתָהּ חֲזָרָה גְּמוּרָה שֶׁאֵין קִדּוּשֵׁי קְטַנָּה קִדּוּשִׁין גְּמוּרִין כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

14

The same law applies when a man divorces a woman who is mentally competent, she becomes a deaf-mute, he remarries her and dies [childless] while she is a deaf-mute. She is forbidden to the yavam and should not perform either chalitzah or yibbum.25

Another woman married [to the deceased husband of] the minor or the deaf-mute may perform chalitzah, or yibbum.26

If [the deceased] remarried her while she was a minor or a deaf-mute, but she attained majority or regained her control of her faculties while married to him, and then he died [childless], she is permitted to her yavam.27

יד

וְהוּא הַדִּין לִמְגָרֵשׁ פִּקַּחַת וְנִתְחָרְשָׁה וְהֶחֱזִירָהּ וּמֵת וְהִנִּיחָהּ חֵרֶשֶׁת שֶׁהִיא אֲסוּרָה לַיָּבָם וְאֵינָהּ חוֹלֶצֶת וְלֹא מִתְיַבֶּמֶת. וְצָרַת קְטַנָּה זוֹ אוֹ חֵרֶשֶׁת זוֹ חוֹלֶצֶת אוֹ מִתְיַבֶּמֶת. וְאִם הֶחֱזִירָהּ כְּשֶׁהִיא קְטַנָּה אוֹ חֵרֶשֶׁת וְגָדְלָה אוֹ נִתְפַּקְּחָה אֶצְלוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵת הֲרֵי זוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת לִיבָמָהּ:

15

When two brothers were married to two sisters, who were both below the age of majority and fit to dissolve their marriages through mi'un, or they were deaf-mutes, and one [of the brothers] dies [childless], his wife is not obligated to perform either chalitzah or yibbum, because she is the sister [of the yavam's] wife.28

If one [of the sisters] was above the age of majority and one was below, and the husband of the younger one died [childless], his wife is not obligated to perform either chalitzah or yibbum, because she is the sister [of the yavam's] wife.29 If the husband of the older [sister] died [childless], we instruct the younger one to absolve [her marriage to] her husband through mi'un, allowing the older [sister] to perform yibbum.30

טו

שְׁנֵי אַחִין נְשׂוּאִין לִשְׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת. הָיוּ שְׁתֵּיהֶן קְטַנּוֹת הָרְאוּיוֹת לְמָאֵן אוֹ חֵרְשׁוֹת וּמֵת אֶחָד מֵהֶן תֵּצֵא מִשּׁוּם אֲחוֹת אִשָּׁה וּפְטוּרָה מִן הַחֲלִיצָה וּמִן הַיִּבּוּם. הָיוּ אַחַת גְּדוֹלָה וְאַחַת קְטַנָּה וּמֵת בַּעַל הַקְּטַנָּה תֵּצֵא מִשּׁוּם אֲחוֹת אִשָּׁה וּפְטוּרָה מִן הַחֲלִיצָה וּמִן הַיִּבּוּם. מֵת בַּעַל הַגְּדוֹלָה מְלַמְּדִין הַקְּטַנָּה שֶׁתְּמָאֵן בְּבַעְלָהּ וְתִהְיֶה גְּדוֹלָה זוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת לִיבָמָהּ:

16

[The following law applies when two brothers who are both deaf-mutes are married to two sisters, and one [of the brothers] dies [childless]. His wife is not obligated to perform either chalitzah or yibbum, because she is the sister [of the yavam's] wife. [This law applies] regardless of whether both of the sisters were deaf-mutes, both were mentally competent, or one was a deaf-mute and one was mentally competent.

Similarly, [the same law applies when] two sisters are both deaf-mutes and are married to two brothers, regardless of whether both of the brothers were deaf-mutes, both were mentally competent, or one was a deaf-mute and one was mentally competent.

[These rulings were given] because none of the marriages is fully binding.31

טז

שְׁנֵי אַחִין חֵרְשִׁין נְשׂוּאִין לִשְׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת פִּקְחוֹת אוֹ חֵרְשׁוֹת. אוֹ אַחַת פִּקַּחַת וְאַחַת חֵרֶשֶׁת. וְכֵן שְׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת חֵרְשׁוֹת נְשׂוּאוֹת לִשְׁנֵי אַחִים פִּקְחִין אוֹ חֵרְשִׁין אוֹ אֶחָד פִּקֵּחַ וְאֶחָד חֵרֵשׁ וּמֵת אֶחָד מֵהֶן. אִשְׁתּוֹ פְּטוּרָה מִן הַחֲלִיצָה וּמִן הַיִּבּוּם מִשּׁוּם אֲחוֹת אִשְׁתּוֹ. שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין נִשּׂוּאֵי אֶחָד מֵהֶן נִשּׂוּאִין גְּמוּרִין:

17

[The following law applies when two brothers - one mentally competent and one a deaf-mute - are married to two sisters, either both mentally competent or one mentally competent and one a deaf-mute, and the mentally competent [sister] is married to the mentally competent [brother]. If the deaf-mute [brother] dies [childless], his wife is not obligated to perform either chalitzah or yibbum, because she is the sister [of the yavam's] wife.32

If the mentally competent [brother] dies [childless], the deaf-mute should divorce his wife with a get, because her sister is obligated to him.33 [The rationale for this ruling is] that the marriage of the deceased mentally competent brother was fully binding, [and thus] the obligation to the deaf-mute is also fully binding. [In contrast,] the marriage of the deaf-mute is not fully binding.

The wife of the mentally competent brother is forbidden [to marry again] forever. For the deaf-mute cannot marry her because of her sister,34nor can he perform chalitzah, because he is a deaf-mute.35

יז

שְׁנֵי אַחִין אֶחָד פִּקֵּחַ וְאֶחָד חֵרֵשׁ נְשׂוּאִין לִשְׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת פִּקְחוֹת אוֹ אַחַת פִּקַּחַת וְאַחַת חֵרֶשֶׁת וַהֲרֵי הַפִּקַּחַת הִיא אֵשֶׁת הַפִּקֵּחַ. מֵת הַחֵרֵשׁ תֵּצֵא אִשְׁתּוֹ מִשּׁוּם אֲחוֹת אִשָּׁה. מֵת הַפִּקֵּחַ הוֹאִיל וְנִשּׂוּאֵי הַפִּקֵּחַ שֶׁמֵּת נִשּׂוּאִין גְּמוּרִין וְזִקַּת זֶה הַחֵרֵשׁ גְּמוּרָה וְנִשּׂוּאֵי הַחֵרֵשׁ אֵינָן נְשׂוּאִין גְּמוּרִין. הֲרֵי זֶה הַחֵרֵשׁ מוֹצִיא אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ בְּגֵט מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֲחוֹתָהּ זְקוּקָה לוֹ. וְאֵשֶׁת אָחִיו הַפִּקֵּחַ אֲסוּרָה לְעוֹלָם שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִכְנֹס מִפְּנֵי אֲחוֹתָהּ. וְלֹא יַחֲלֹץ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא חֵרֵשׁ:

18

Why did our Sages decree that a deaf-mute man must divorce his deaf-mute wife [in the above situation]? They are not obligated to observe the mitzvot; their situation resembles that of a child who eats non-kosher meat - in which instance, the court is not obligated to prevent them.36

Our Sages said: If the [deaf-mute's] wife will remain married to him, her sister will marry another man, [and this will be excused, for people] will say: "She was freed [from the obligations of yibbum and chalitzah] because she was the sister of [the yavam's] wife." [To prevent this impression from arising,] the deaf-mute must divorce his wife with a get, and her sister will be forbidden [to him] forever.

יח

וְלָמָּה גָּזְרוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁיּוֹצִיא זֶה הַחֵרֵשׁ אִשְׁתּוֹ הַחֵרֶשֶׁת וְהֵן אֵינָן בְּנֵי חִיּוּב אֶלָּא הֲרֵי הֵן כְּקָטָן אוֹכֵל נְבֵלוֹת שֶׁאֵין בֵּית דִּין מְצֻוִּין לְהַפְרִישׁוֹ. אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים אִם תֵּשֵׁב אִשְׁתּוֹ עִמּוֹ נִמְצֵאת אֲחוֹתָהּ נִשֵּׂאת לְזָר וְיֹאמְרוּ נִפְטְרָה מִשּׁוּם אֲחוֹת אִשָּׁה. לְפִיכָךְ מוֹצִיא הַחֵרֵשׁ אִשְׁתּוֹ בְּגֵט כְּדֵי שֶׁתִּהְיֶה אֲחוֹתָהּ אֲסוּרָה לְעוֹלָם:

19

Similarly, when two brothers who are mentally competent are married to two sisters, one mentally competent and one a deaf-mute, and the husband of the deaf-mute dies, [his wife] is free [of the obligation of yibbum], because she is the sister of [the yavam's] wife.37

If the husband of the mentally competent [sister] dies, [his brother] should divorce his wife [the deaf-mute] with a get,38 and should perform chalitzah to free the wife of his [deceased] brother [to marry]. Since he is mentally competent, he can perform chalitzah.39

יט

וְכֵן שְׁנֵי אַחִין פִּקְחִין נְשׂוּאִין לִשְׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת אַחַת פִּקַּחַת וְאַחַת חֵרֶשֶׁת. מֵת בַּעַל הַחֵרֶשֶׁת תֵּצֵא מִשּׁוּם אֲחוֹת אִשָּׁה. מֵת בַּעַל הַפִּקַּחַת מוֹצִיא אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ הַחֵרֶשֶׁת בְּגֵט וְאֶת אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו בַּחֲלִיצָה. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא פִּקֵּחַ וְיָכוֹל לַחֲלֹץ:

20

[Neither yibbum nor chalitzah is required in the following situation.] There were two brothers, one mentally competent and one a deaf-mute. The deaf-mute was married to two mentally competent women, one of whom was forbidden to the mentally competent brother as an ervah.

If the deaf-mute brother dies [childless], both his wives are free from the obligations [of yibbum and chalitzah, based on the following rationale].40 If the marriage of the woman forbidden [to the yavam] as an ervah is considered a marriage, the second woman is considered to be the other wife [of her husband] and is also freed of obligation. If the marriage of the woman forbidden [to the yavam] as an ervah is not considered a marriage, the marriage of the other woman is also not considered a marriage.

כ

שְׁנֵי אַחִין אֶחָד פִּקֵּחַ וְאֶחָד חֵרֵשׁ. הַחֵרֵשׁ נָשׂוּי שְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים פִּקְחוֹת הָאַחַת מֵהֶן עֶרְוָה עַל הַפִּקֵּחַ וּמֵת הַחֵרֵשׁ שְׁתֵּיהֶן פְּטוּרוֹת עַל כָּל פָּנִים. אִם נִשּׂוּאֵי הָעֶרְוָה נִשּׂוּאִין הֲרֵי הַשְּׁנִיָּה צָרָתָהּ וּפְטוּרָה. וְאִם אֵין נִשּׂוּאֵי הָעֶרְוָה נִשּׂוּאִין כָּךְ לֹא יִהְיוּ נִשּׂוּאֵי צָרָתָהּ נִשּׂוּאִין:

21

If a man's daughter or the like41 was a deaf-mute, and she was married to his brother who was mentally competent [and the mentally competent brother dies childless], his other wife must perform chalitzah, but not yibbum. [The rationale is that] the marriage of the deaf-mute is not a fully binding marriage.42

כא

הָיְתָה בִּתּוֹ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ חֵרֶשֶׁת וּנְשׂוּאָה לְאָחִיו הַפִּקֵּחַ צָרָתָהּ חוֹלֶצֶת וְלֹא מִתְיַבֶּמֶת. שֶׁאֵין נִשּׂוּאֵי הַחֵרֶשֶׁת נִשּׂוּאִין גְּמוּרִין:

22

Whenever we have mentioned "two sisters" in these laws, the intent is also a woman and her daughter, or her granddaughter and the like; i.e., two woman [for whom marriage to one causes] the other to be considered an ervah.

Similarly, whenever we have mentioned "the sister of [the yavam's] wife" or "the sister of his yevamah," the intent is also her mother or her daughter - i.e., any close relative who becomes forbidden [to the yavam] because of her [marriage].

כב

כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ בַּהֲלָכוֹת אֵלּוּ שְׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת אַחַת שְׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת אוֹ אִשָּׁה וּבִתָּהּ אוֹ אִשָּׁה וּבַת בִּתָּהּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן עִנְיַן הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁהֵן שְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים שֶׁהָאַחַת מֵהֶן עֶרְוָה עִם הָאַחֶרֶת וְאִי אֶפְשָׁר לִשָּׂא שְׁתֵּיהֶן מִשּׁוּם עֶרְוָה. וְכֵן כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ אֲחוֹת אִשְׁתּוֹ אוֹ אֲחוֹת יְבִמְתּוֹ אֶחָד אֲחוֹתָהּ אוֹ אִמָּהּ אוֹ בִּתָּהּ עִנְיַן הַדְּבָרִים אַחַת מִקְּרוֹבוֹתֶיהָ שֶׁהֵן עֶרְוָה עִמָּהּ:

Footnotes
1.

The laws that apply when we do know which brother died first are stated in Halachot 3 and 4.

2.

According to Scriptural law, it is forbidden to marry two sisters. As an extension of this prohibition, when one is obligated to perform yibbum with two sisters according to Rabbinic law, one is not allowed to marry either of them and must perform chalitzah with both.

3.

For according to Scriptural law, the obligation of yibbum applies in all these instances, as stated in Chapter 6, Halachah 10.

4.

In Halachah 1.

5.

The Kessef Mishneh (and the Beit Shmuel 175:2) explain that this ruling applies only after the fact - i.e., he performed chalitzah with the second yevamah without asking Rabbinical guidance. Had he in fact asked the Rabbis, they would have prohibited it, lest he err and perform chalitzah with the other sister. Once, however, the chalitzah is performed, we do not fear that a mistake will be made by others on a subsequent occasion.

6.

Since he was never permitted to marry the wife of the first brother who died, the wife of the second never became forbidden to him.

7.

Since he is not permitted to marry the wife of the second brother, the wife of the first never became forbidden to him. Hence, he should perform yibbum.

8.

The Rambam mentions both yevamot to teach that even if the brother who marries the first yevamah dies, she remains forbidden to his brothers.

9.

See the previous halachah.

10.

This applies to both couples. The first yavam who marries a yevamah is forced to separate because he has transgressed a Rabbinic prohibition. Even though he did not transgress in marrying his yevamah, the second yavam is forced to separate from her, because his marriage to her was made possible by a forbidden act, the first yavam's marriage.

Significantly, this represents a reversal of the Rambam's opinion from his rulings in his Commentary on the Mishnah (Yevamot 3:1; Eduyot 5:5), where he rules that the couples may remain married. The Tur (Even HaEzer 175) subscribes to that view. Although the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 175:3) also mentions it, it appears that the Rambam's ruling in the Mishneh Torah is favored.

11.

This law is fundamentally the same as Halachah 3. The yavam is forbidden to perform yibbum with either of the sisters. There is one added element: the fact that a ma'amar was given.

As explained in Chapter 5, Halachot 2-3, a ma'amar does not establish a complete marriage bond. If it established such a bond, the third brother would not be required to divorce his yevamah (and he would not be required to perform chalitzah with her sister). But since it does not, he cannot consummate his relationship with his yevamah. He must, however, divorce her, because of the connection established by the ma'amar.

12.

As reflected in Chapter 6, Halachah 25, even if the yavam who died had not given a ma'amar to the other yevamah, this woman would not have been able to perform yibbum. The new dimension contributed by this halachah is that the ma'amar does not free her from the obligation of chalitzah.

13.

I.e., had the ma'amar established a full marriage bond, she would not have been obligated at all. Since it does not, she must perform chalitzah.

14.

This law applies if he consecrates her after his brother has died, and the obligation of yibbum is already incumbent upon him. If he consecrated her before his brother dies, and then he dies, he may marry her (Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 159:6).

15.

At present, the woman he consecrates is forbidden to him, because he is obligated to perform yibbum with her sister. Nevertheless, he is not required to divorce her, because it is possible that the prohibition will be lifted.

16.

Or he has no other brothers.

17.

The fact that he was forbidden to marry her while her sister was alive does not prevent him from marrying her after her sister's death (Beit Shmuel 159:13).

18.

From Yevamot 41a, it appears that whenever a yavam cannot perform yibbum with his yevamah, the chalitzah he performs with her is deemed "inferior."

19.

Chapter 5, Halachah 12.

20.

This expression is employed by the Rambam in reference to a law that has no direct source in the Rabbinic works of the previous generations. The Rambam's rationale is that just as the Rabbinic prohibition against performing yibbum with the sister of a woman to whom one is obligated is sufficient to cause a chalitzah to be considered "inferior," so too, the prohibitions mentioned in this halachah should have a similar effect.

There are several early halachic authorities who rule differently from the Rambam on this issue. The Rambam's decision is, however, accepted by the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 174:1).

21.

This represents a reversal of the Rambam's opinion in his Commentary on the Mishnah (Yevamot 3:7), where he states that the deceased's other wife should perform chalitzah, because there is a doubt whether or not an obligation falls upon her.

22.

For the prohibition forbidding a woman divorced by her husband to her yavam is of Scriptural origin, while her remarriage is binding according to Rabbinic law alone.

The Ra'avad and Rabbenu Asher rule that the minor must perform chalitzah when she attains majority. The Ma'aseh Rokeach states this might also be the Rambam's intent (as reflected by the fact that he states that "she is forbidden to her yavam," and in the next halachah he adds that she "should not perform either chalitzah or yibbum"). Most commentaries do not, however, accept this interpretation.

23.

The Rambam's wording is somewhat imprecise. The kiddushin the husband gives the father are binding according to Scriptural law, because the Torah granted him the right to consecrate her, as stated in Hilchot Ishut 3:11. If the girl is able to distinguish between a get and another object, she can be divorced according to Scriptural law, as stated in Hilchot Gerushin 2:19.

24.

Until she reaches the age of twelve and manifests signs of physical maturity, she is not able to effect kiddushin that are binding according to Scriptural law. (Moreover, the girl's father also does not have the potential to consecrate her again according to Scriptural law once she has been divorced, as stated in Hilchot Ishut 3:12.)

25.

In this instance as well, the divorce is binding according to Scriptural law, while the remarriage is merely a Rabbinic institution.

26.

Since the remarriage of the minor or the deaf-mute is only a Rabbinic institution, while the marriage of the deceased's other wife is based on Scriptural law, the remarriage of the minor or the deaf-mute has no effect on the other wife's obligation to her yavam. See Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 173:23).

27.

If her husband engaged in marital relations with her after she attained majority or regained control of her faculties, he acquires her as a wife according to Scriptural law. (See Hilchot Gerushin 11:6.) Therefore, there is no difference between her and another woman who was married, divorced and remarried.

28.

Since both sisters share the same status, we allow the marriage of the sister whose husband is alive to continue. There is no mandate for him to perform yibbum, for the marriage to his yevamah would still be Rabbinical in origin.

29.

Since the marriage of the older sister is binding according to Scriptural law, the younger sister has no obligation to the yavam.

30.

The yibbum of the older sister is given priority over the marriage of the younger sister, because the older sister's first marriage is binding according to Scriptural law, and the obligation of yibbum is mandated by that authority. The marriage of the younger sister, by contrast, is binding only according to Rabbinic law.

Therefore, the younger sister is advised to perform mi'un, thus dissolving her marriage as if it had never existed. At this point, there is nothing preventing her husband from marrying her sister, his yavam. (See Chapter 4, Halachah 30.)

31.

As long as one of the parties involved is a deaf-mute, a marriage is binding only according to Rabbinic law. For this reason, there is no advantage for the yibbum of the deceased's wife over the existing marriage.

32.

Since both the husband and wife are mentally competent, their marriage is binding according to Scriptural law. The deceased's wife is, therefore, freed of all obligations.

33.

And it is forbidden to marry the sister of a woman with whom one is obligated to perform yibbum.

34.

For it is forbidden to marry the sister of one's divorcee.

35.

See Chapter 4, Halachah 13.

36.

I.e., the court, the agent of the Jewish people as a whole, does not have the responsibility to admonish a child who violates the Torah's laws. The child's parents, by contrast, do and must train him in the observance of the Torah's ways. See Hilchot Ma'achalot Asurot 17:27-28.

37.

Since both partners are mentally competent, their marriage is binding according to Scriptural law.

38.

Since his marriage to the deaf-mute is only a Rabbinic institution, his obligation to the wife of his deceased brother, a requirement of Scriptural law, takes priority. Nevertheless, since he must divorce his deaf-mute wife with a get, he may not perform yibbum, for the yevamah is the sister of his divorcee.

39.

In contrast to the deaf-mute yavam mentioned in Halachah 18.

40.

I.e., one might think that although the mitzvot of yibbum and chalitzah do not apply with regard to the woman forbidden as an ervah, they do apply with regard to her deceased husband's other wife.

Generally, when a woman is forbidden as an ervah, her husband's other wives are not obligated, as stated in Chapter 6, Halachah 14. Nevertheless, since the deaf-mute's marriage is only a Rabbinic institution, one might think that the marriage to the woman forbidden as an ervah is not powerful enough to negate the obligation of yibbum. The Rambam's explanations that follow above are intended to counter this supposition.

41.

I.e., any other woman permitted to his brother, but forbidden to him as an ervah. This includes the brother's mother-in-law and his daughter-in-law, after they were widowed or divorced from their first husbands.

42.

If it were a fully binding marriage, the deceased's other wife would be freed of the obligation of chalitzah as well, as mentioned in note 40. Nevertheless, because the marriage is effective according to Rabbinic law, yibbum is not permitted.

Yibbum vChalitzah - Chapter Eight

1

[The following rules apply when a man] consecrates one of two sisters, but does not know which one he has consecrated1 and then dies [childless]. If he has one brother, [the brother] should perform chalitzah with both of them to enable them to marry other men.

If he has two brothers, one of them should first perform chalitzah with one of [the sisters], and the other should perform yibbum with the other one2 [because of the following rationale]: If this was the woman consecrated by his brother, he performed yibbum with her. If she is not his brother's wife, he has married a woman [permitted to him] like any other woman, and chalitzah has already been performed for her sister, his brother's wife.

One should not perform yibbum with one of the women first, for perhaps the other was in fact his brother's wife, and he will have married a relative of the woman who is obligated [to perform yibbum with] him.3 If, without asking Rabbinic advice,4 each of the brothers married one of the sisters, they are not forced to dissolve the marriage.5

א

מִי שֶׁקִּדֵּשׁ אַחַת מִשְּׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת וְאֵין יָדוּעַ אֵי זֶה מֵהֶן קִדֵּשׁ וּמֵת וְלוֹ אָח. אֶחָד חוֹלֵץ לִשְׁתֵּיהֶן כְּדֵי לְהַתִּירָן לַאֲחֵרִים. הָיוּ לוֹ שְׁנֵי אַחִין אֶחָד חוֹלֵץ לְאַחַת מֵהֶן בַּתְּחִלָּה וְהַשֵּׁנִי מְיַבֵּם לַשְּׁנִיָּה עַל כָּל פָּנִים. אִם זוֹ הִיא שֶׁקִּדֵּשׁ אָחִיו הֲרֵי יִבֵּם אוֹתָהּ. וְאִם אֵינָהּ אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו הֲרֵי נָשָׂא אִשָּׁה מִשְּׁאָר הַנָּשִׁים וַאֲחוֹתָהּ שֶׁהָיְתָה אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו כְּבָר נֶחְלְצָה. אֲבָל לֹא יְיַבֵּם הָאַחַת תְּחִלָּה שֶׁמָּא הָאַחֶרֶת הִיא אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו וְנִמְצָא שֶׁנָּשָׂא קְרוֹבַת זְקוּקָתוֹ. קָדְמוּ שְׁנֵי הָאַחִים וְכָנְסוּ שְׁתֵּי הַיְבָמוֹת אֵין מוֹצִיאִין אוֹתָן מִיָּדָן:

2

[The following rule applies when] two [men who are not related,] each having one brother, consecrate two sisters, neither of the men knows which [sister] he consecrated, and they both die [childless]. Each [brother] should perform chalitzah with each of the sisters.6

[In the above situation, if] one of the deceased has one brother, and the other has two brothers, the one brother should perform chalitzah with both women first, and then one of the two brothers should perform chalitzah [with one woman] first, and the second one [should perform yibbum with the other].7 If, [without asking Rabbinic advice, each of the brothers] married [one of the sisters], they are not forced to dissolve the marriage.

[The above applies] even if the brothers were priests. [Although] there is a Rabbinic prohibition against a priest marrying a woman who performed chalitzah, the chalitzah performed by this woman was performed because of doubt, and [our Sages] did not enforce a decree with regard to a chalitzah performed because of doubt.8

ב

שְׁנַיִם שֶׁקִּדְּשׁוּ שְׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת. זֶה אֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ אֵי זוֹ קִדֵּשׁ וְזֶה אֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ אֵי זוֹ קִדֵּשׁ. וּמֵתוּ שְׁנֵיהֶן. לָזֶה אָח וְלָזֶה אָח. זֶה חוֹלֵץ לִשְׁתֵּיהֶן וְזֶה חוֹלֵץ לִשְׁתֵּיהֶן. לָזֶה אָח אֶחָד וְלָזֶה שְׁנַיִם. הַיְחִידִי חוֹלֵץ לִשְׁתֵּיהֶן בַּתְּחִלָּה וְהַשְּׁנַיִם אֶחָד חוֹלֵץ רִאשׁוֹנָה וְהַשֵּׁנִי מְיַבֵּם. וְאִם קָדְמוּ וְכָנְסוּ אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדָן. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ כֹּהֲנִים שֶׁהַחֲלִיצָה שֶׁחָלַץ הַיְחִידִי מִסָּפֵק חָלַץ וְהַחֲלוּצָה אֲסוּרָה לְכֹהֵן מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים וּבִסְפֵק חֲלוּצָה לֹא גָּזְרוּ:

3

In the above instance,] if both of the deceased had two brothers, one of one pair of brothers should perform chalitzah with one of the sisters, and one of the other pair of brothers should perform chalitzah with the other sister. Afterwards, the other brother from the first pair should perform yibbum with the sister with whom the brother from the other pair performed chalitzah, and the other brother from the second pair should perform yibbum with the sister with whom the brother from the first pair performed chalitzah.9

If both [brothers from one pair each] performed chalitzah with [one of the sisters] first, the brothers from the other pair should not both perform yibbum.10 Instead, one should perform chalitzah [with one of the sisters] first, and then his brother should perform yibbum with the other. If, without asking Rabbinic advice, each of the brothers married one of the sisters, they are not forced to dissolve the marriage.

ג

הָיוּ לָזֶה שְׁנֵי אַחִין וְלָזֶה שְׁנֵי אַחִין. אָחִיו שֶׁל זֶה חוֹלֵץ לְאַחַת וְאָחִיו שֶׁל זֶה חוֹלֵץ לָאַחֶרֶת. וְאַחַר כָּךְ הָאָח הַשֵּׁנִי שֶׁל זֶה מְיַבֵּם חֲלוּצָתוֹ שֶׁל זֶה. וְהָאָח הַשֵּׁנִי שֶׁל זֶה מְיַבֵּם חֲלוּצָתוֹ שֶׁל זֶה. קָדְמוּ שְׁנֵיהֶן וְחָלְצוּ לִשְׁתֵּיהֶן לֹא יְיַבְּמוּ שְׁנֵי הָאַחִין הָאֲחֵרִים. אֶלָּא אֶחָד חוֹלֵץ בַּתְּחִלָּה וְאָחִיו מְיַבֵּם לַשְּׁנִיָּה. וְאִם קָדְמוּ וְכָנְסוּ אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדָן:

4

[The following situation gives rise to several halachic questions:] A woman had sons, and one of her daughters-in-law also had sons. Both the woman and her daughter-in-law became pregnant and they gave birth in the same hiding place. [There was a disturbance] and the identity of the two children became confused [and it was not known who was the son of the mother, and who, the son of the daughter-in-law].

The two sons grew up and married and then died [childless]. How are their wives freed to marry others?11

First, [one of] the sons of the daughter-in-law should perform chalitzah with [both women]; he should not perform yibbum. [The rationale is that] there is a doubt regarding the identity of each of the women. It is possible that she is the wife of his brother and thus permitted to him, but it is also possible that she is the wife of his father's brother and thus forbidden to him as an ervah.

Afterwards,] the sons of the elder woman may perform either chalitzah or yibbum. [With regard to each of the women, the same question applies:] If she is his brother's wife, he is performing yibbum. And if she is the wife of his brother's son, she is permitted to marry him, because she has already performed chalitzah.

ד

הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁהָיוּ לָהּ בָּנִים וְהָיוּ לְכַלָּתָהּ בָּנִים וְנִתְעַבְּרָה הָאִשָּׁה וְנִתְעַבְּרָה כַּלָּתָהּ וְיָלְדוּ שְׁתֵּיהֶן בְּמַחֲבוֹאָה אַחַת וְנִתְעָרְבוּ שְׁנֵי הַיְלָדִים וְהִגְדִּילוּ הַתַּעֲרוֹבוֹת וְנָשְׂאוּ נָשִׁים וּמֵתוּ. כֵּיצַד הֵן נִתָּרוֹת. בְּנֵי הַכַּלָּה חוֹלְצִין לִשְׁתֵּיהֶן תְּחִלָּה וְלֹא מְיַבְּמִין שֶׁכָּל אַחַת מֵהֶן סָפֵק שֶׁהִיא אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו וְתִהְיֶה מֻתֶּרֶת לוֹ, סָפֵק שֶׁהִיא אֵשֶׁת אֲחִי אָבִיו וְהִיא עֶרְוָה עָלָיו. אֲבָל בְּנֵי הַזְּקֵנָה אוֹ חוֹלְצִין אוֹ מְיַבְּמִין. שֶׁאִם הִיא זוֹ אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו הֲרֵי יִבְּמָהּ. וְאִם הִיא אֵשֶׁת בֶּן אָחִיו מֻתֶּרֶת לְהִנָּשֵׂא לוֹ שֶׁכְּבָר נֶחְלְצָה:

5

[In the above situation, the following procedure should be carried out if] the sons of the elder woman and her daughter-in-law whose identities had been established died [childless], and the two sons whose identities were confused were alive.

The sons whose identities were confused should perform chalitzah with the wives of the elder woman's sons; they may not perform yibbum. [The rationale is that] there is a doubt whether [each woman] is the wife of his father's brother and thus forbidden to him as an ervah, or the wife of his brother and thus permitted to her yavam.

With regard to the wives of the sons of the daughter-in-law: First, one should perform chalitzah and the other should perform yibbum. The rationale is that if the son of the daughter-in-law was the one who performed chalitzah first, he performed chalitzah with his brother's wife. The second one of those whose identities were confused was the son of the elder woman. He is permitted to marry the wife of his brother's son after her yavam performed chalitzah with her.

If it was the son of the elder woman who performed chalitzah first, he performed chalitzah with the wife of his brother's son, and his deed is of no consequence. The second one of those whose identities were confused was the son of the daughter-in-law, and he performed yibbum with his brother's wife.

ה

מֵתוּ הַבָּנִים הַיְדוּעִים שֶׁל זְקֵנָה וְשֶׁל כַּלָּתָהּ וַהֲרֵי בְּנֵי הַתַּעֲרוֹבוֹת קַיָּמִין. בְּנֵי הַתַּעֲרוֹבוֹת לִנְשֵׁי בְּנֵי הַזְּקֵנָה חוֹלְצִין וְלֹא מְיַבְּמִין שֶׁהִיא סְפֵק אֵשֶׁת אֲחִי אָבִיו שֶׁהִיא עֶרְוָה עָלָיו, סְפֵק אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו שֶׁהִיא מֻתֶּרֶת לְיַבְּמָהּ. וְלִנְשֵׁי בְּנֵי הַכַּלָּה אֶחָד חוֹלֵץ בַּתְּחִלָּה וְאֶחָד מְיַבֵּם עַל כָּל פָּנִים. אִם בֶּן הַכַּלָּה הוּא שֶׁחָלַץ תְּחִלָּה הֲרֵי חָלַץ אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו וְהַשֵּׁנִי מִן הַתַּעֲרוֹבוֹת הוּא בֶּן הַזְּקֵנָה וּמֻתָּר לוֹ לִשָּׂא אֵשֶׁת בֶּן אָחִיו אַחַר שֶׁנֶּחְלְצָה מִיבָמָהּ. וְאִם זֶה שֶׁחָלַץ תְּחִלָּה הוּא בֶּן הַזְּקֵנָה הֲרֵי חָלַץ לְאֵשֶׁת בֶּן אָחִיו וְלֹא עָשָׂה כְּלוּם וְהַשֵּׁנִי מִן הַתַּעֲרוֹבוֹת הוּא בֶּן הַכַּלָּה וַהֲרֵי יִבֵּם אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו:

6

[The following rules apply with regard to] a woman who did not wait three months after the death of her husband [before] remarrying].12 She remarried and gave birth, and it is not known whether the child she bore was fathered by the first husband and was born after a full term pregnancy, or whether it was fathered by the second husband and was born after a seven-month pregnancy.13

If the woman bore other children to both her first and second husbands, and then this son whose [father's identity] is in doubt dies [childless], both the sons of the first husband and the sons of the second husband should perform chalitzah with [the deceased's] wife, but they should not perform yibbum.

[The rationale is that the obligation for] each of them to perform yibbum is doubtful, for perhaps he is not the paternal brother [of the deceased]. And he is definitely a maternal brother [of the deceased], and the wife of a maternal brother is always forbidden as an ervah. For this same [reason], the son whose [father's identity] is in doubt should perform chalitzah with any of the wives of [his other brothers], but should not perform yibbum.

ו

מִי שֶׁלֹּא שָׁהֲתָה אַחַר מִיתַת בַּעְלָהּ שְׁלֹשָׁה חֳדָשִׁים וְנִשֵּׂאת וְיָלְדָה וְאֵין יָדוּעַ אִם בֶּן תִּשְׁעָה לָרִאשׁוֹן אִם בֶּן שִׁבְעָה לָאַחֲרוֹן. וְהָיוּ לָהּ בָּנִים מִן הָרִאשׁוֹן וּמִן הַשֵּׁנִי. אִם מֵת זֶה הַבֵּן הַסָּפֵק. בְּנֵי הָרִאשׁוֹן וּבְנֵי הַשֵּׁנִי חוֹלְצִין לְאִשְׁתּוֹ וְלֹא מְיַבְּמִין. שֶׁכָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן שֶׁיָּבוֹא לְיַבֵּם שֶׁמָּא אֵינוֹ אָחִיו מֵאָבִיו וַהֲרֵי הוּא אָחִיו מֵאִמּוֹ בְּוַדַּאי וְאֵשֶׁת אָחִיו מֵאִמּוֹ אֲסוּרָה עָלָיו לְעוֹלָם מִשּׁוּם עֶרְוָה. וְכֵן זֶה הַבֵּן הַסָּפֵק חוֹלֵץ לִנְשׁוֹתֵיהֶן וְלֹא מְיַבֵּם:

7

If both this woman's first and second husbands had fathered another son14 with another wife, and one of these other sons died [childless], the son whose [father's identity] is in doubt may perform either chalitzah or yibbum with the wife of the deceased. [The rationale is] that if [the deceased] was his paternal brother, then he has performed yibbum. And if he was not his paternal brother, then they have no family connection at all, and he is permitted to marry [the deceased's] wife.

ז

הָיָה בֵּן לָרִאשׁוֹן וּבֵן לַשֵּׁנִי שֶׁלֹּא מֵאִשָּׁה זוֹ שֶׁנִּשֵּׂאת בְּתוֹךְ זְמַן וּמֵת אֶחָד מֵהֶן. הֲרֵי הַבֵּן הַסָּפֵק חוֹלֵץ לְאֵשֶׁת זֶה שֶׁמֵּת אוֹ מְיַבֵּם. שֶׁאִם אָחִיו מֵאָבִיו הוּא הֲרֵי יִבֵּם אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ וְאִם אֵינוֹ אָחִיו מֵאָבִיו הֲרֵי אֵין בֵּינֵיהֶן אַחֲוָה כְּלָל לְפִיכָךְ מֻתָּר לוֹ לִשָּׂא אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ:

8

[In the above situation,] if the son whose [father's identity] is in doubt dies [childless], one of the two sons whose [father's identity] is known should first perform chalitzah with his wife, and afterwards the second should perform yibbum.15

[The rationale is that if the deceased] was his brother, then he has performed yibbum. And if he is not his brother, but rather the son of the other father, his wife has already performed chalitzah with her husband's brother [and is permitted to remarry].

ח

מֵת הַבֵּן הַסָּפֵק אֶחָד מִשְּׁנֵי הַבָּנִים הַוַּדָּאִין חוֹלֵץ לְאִשְׁתּוֹ תְּחִלָּה וְהַשֵּׁנִי מְיַבֵּם עַל כָּל פָּנִים. אִם אָחִיו הוּא הֲרֵי יִבֵּם אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ. וְאִם אֵינוֹ אָחִיו וְהוּא בֶּן הָאָב הָאַחֵר הֲרֵי נֶחְלְצָה מֵאֲחִי בַּעְלָהּ:

9

[The following rules apply when] a woman's husband traveled to another country, his wife heard that he died and [on this basis] married another man, and then her first husband returned. If both husbands die [childless],16 and they both have brothers, one of each husband's brothers should perform chalitzah, but not yibbum.17

ט

מִי שֶׁהָלַךְ בַּעְלָהּ לִמְדִינָה אַחֶרֶת וְשָׁמְעָה שֶׁמֵּת וְנִשֵּׂאת וְאַחַר כָּךְ בָּא הַבַּעַל הָרִאשׁוֹן וּמֵתוּ שְׁנֵיהֶן וְלָזֶה אַחִין וְלָזֶה אַחִין. אֶחָיו שֶׁל זֶה וְאֶחָיו שֶׁל זֶה חוֹלְצִין וְלֹא מְיַבְּמִין:

10

[The following rules apply when there were] five women who each had a son whose identity had been established, and then the five women all gave birth together in a hiding place to five other sons, and the identities of the second group of sons became confused to the extent that it was not known who gave birth to whom. The sons whose identity became confused matured and married, and then these five men died [childless] and their five wives fell before the wives of the sons whose identity was known, but none of these sons knows who is the wife of his brother.

What must be done [so that these women can remarry]? Four [of the sons whose identity was known] perform chalitzah for one of the wives first, and the fifth son should marry her after she has performed chalitzah four times.

י

חָמֵשׁ נָשִׁים שֶׁהָיָה לְכָל אַחַת מֵהֶן בֵּן יָדוּעַ וְנִתְעַבְּרוּ חֲמִשְׁתָּן וְיָלְדוּ כְּאֶחָד בְּמַחֲבוֹאָה אַחַת חֲמִשָּׁה בָּנִים אֲחֵרִים וְנִתְעָרְבוּ הַיְלָדִים וְהִגְדִּילוּ הַתַּעֲרוֹבוֹת וְנָשְׂאוּ נָשִׁים וּמֵתוּ חֲמִשָּׁה הָאֲנָשִׁים וְנָפְלוּ חָמֵשׁ הַנָּשִׁים לִפְנֵי חֲמִשָּׁה הַבָּנִים הַוַּדָּאִין שֶׁאֵין אֶחָד מֵהֶן יוֹדֵעַ אֵי זוֹ הִיא אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו כֵּיצַד תַּקָּנָתָן. אַרְבַּע מֵהֶן חוֹלְצִין לְאַחַת תְּחִלָּה וְהַחֲמִישִׁי יִשָּׂא זוֹ שֶׁנֶּחְלְצָה אַרְבַּע חֲלִיצוֹת עַל כָּל פָּנִים:

11

What is implied? If the woman was his brother's wife, he has performed yibbum. And if she is not his brother's wife, she is the wife of the brother of one of the other four, and they all performed chalitzah with her first.

Similarly, the second woman should have four [of the sons whose identity was known] - including the one who married the first [of the widows]18 - perform chalitzah with her, and the fifth one should marry her. [This process should be continued] until the five sons have married the five [widows] after each one performed chalitzah four times earlier.

יא

כֵּיצַד. אִם אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו הִיא הֲרֵי יִבֵּם אוֹתָהּ. וְאִם אֵינָהּ אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו הֲרֵי הִיא אֵשֶׁת אָח אֶחָד מֵאַרְבָּעָה וַהֲרֵי חָלְצוּ לָהּ אַרְבַּעְתָּן תְּחִלָּה. וְכֵן הַשְּׁנִיָּה חוֹלְצִין לָהּ אַרְבָּעָה וְהָאֶחָד מִן הָאַרְבָּעָה יִהְיֶה זֶה שֶׁנָּשָׂא הָרִאשׁוֹנָה וְהַחֲמִישִׁי יִשָּׂאֶנָּה. עַד שֶׁנִּמְצְאוּ הַבָּנִים הַחֲמִשָּׁה נָשְׂאוּ הֶחָמֵשׁ נָשִׁים אַחַר שֶׁנֶּחְלְצָה כָּל אַחַת מֵהֶן אַרְבַּע חֲלִיצוֹת:

12

When dealing with questionable situations of this nature, one should always have these principles at hand: When there is a doubt whether a woman is required to perform chalitzah with a particular man or not, she is not permitted to marry another man until that [first] man performs chalitzah with her.

Whenever there is a doubt whether a woman is forbidden to engage in relations with a man - whether because of a Scriptural prohibition or a Rabbinic prohibition - she should not perform yibbum with him.

Whenever a woman has performed a "superior chalitzah"19 or "acceptable relations,"20 another woman who was married to the same husband is permitted to marry another man.

יב

וּלְעוֹלָם הִזָּהֵר בְּכָל הַסְּפֵקוֹת הַלָּלוּ בְּעִקָּרִים אֵלּוּ. שֶׁכָּל מִי שֶׁנִּסְתַּפֵּק לְךָ שֶׁמָּא בַּת חֲלִיצָה הִיא לְאִישׁ זֶה אוֹ אֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה לַחֲלִיצָה מִמֶּנּוּ. אֵינָהּ נִתֶּרֶת לְהִנָּשֵׂא לְזָר עַד שֶׁיַּחֲלֹץ לָהּ אוֹתוֹ הָאִישׁ. וְכָל מִי שֶׁיִּסְתַּפֵּק לְךָ שֶׁמָּא בִּיאָתָהּ אֲסוּרָה עַל אִישׁ זֶה בֵּין מִדִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָה בֵּין מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים אֵינָהּ מִתְיַבֶּמֶת לוֹ. וְכָל שֶׁנֶּחְלְצָה חֲלִיצָה מְעֻלָּה אוֹ נִבְעֲלָה בְּעִילָה כְּשֵׁרָה הֻתְּרָה צָרָתָהּ לְזָר:

13

Following the above patterns, you will be able to understand and rule with regard to any questionable situations that will arise with regard to yibbum and chalitzah. For we have explained all the fundamental principles on which one should rely. You will know who should perform chalitzah, who should perform yibbum, who is not obligated to perform chalitzah or yibbum and who is fit to perform yibbum.

With God's help, this concludes "The Laws of Yibbum and Chalitzah."

יג

וְעַל דֶּרֶךְ זוֹ תָּבִין וְתוֹרֶה בְּכָל הַסְּפֵקוֹת שֶׁיֶּאֶרְעוּ לְעִנְיַן יִבּוּם וַחֲלִיצָה שֶׁהֲרֵי בֵּאַרְנוּ כָּל הָעִקָּרִין שֶׁעֲלֵיהֶן תִּסְמֹךְ וְתֵדַע מִי הוּא שֶׁחוֹלֵץ וּמִי הוּא שֶׁמְּיַבֵּם וּמִי הִיא הַפְּטוּרָה מִן הַחֲלִיצָה וּמִן הַיִּבּוּם וּמִי הִיא הָרְאוּיָה לְיַבֵּם: סְלִיקוּ לְהוּ הִלְכוֹת יִבּוּם וַחֲלִיצָה בְּסִיַּעְתָּא דִּשְׁמַיָּא

Footnotes
1.

Note the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 176:1), which states that this law applies even if the deceased brother never knew which sister he consecrated, and thus it was forbidden for him to consummate the marriage. Nevertheless, chalitzah is required.

2.

This and the laws that follow are based on the Rambam's conception (see Chapter 1, Halachah 2) that when possible, the mitzvah of yibbum takes precedence over the mitzvah of chalitzah. According to the Ashkenazic authorities, different laws apply.

3.

This is a Rabbinic prohibition.

4.

Our translation is based on the Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.). If a Rabbinical opinion was sought and then ignored, the yevamim are required to divorce their wives.

5.

Although one of them surely violated a Rabbinic prohibition, since we are unable to determine which of them it was, they are both allowed to remain married. This follows the principle sefeka d'rabbanan l'kula, "When a doubt arises regarding the violation of a Rabbinic prohibition, the more lenient perspective is followed."

6.

Even after the brother of one of the deceased performs chalitzah with both women, the brother of the other deceased may not perform yibbum with one of the sisters, because she is the sister of the woman with whom he is obligated to perform yibbum (or with whom he performed chalitzah).

7.

This and the clause that follows are restatements of the principles mentioned in the previous halachah.

8.

In most instances, if there is a doubt with regard to a Rabbinic prohibition, one may a priori perform the act in question. In this instance, it is only after the fact that yibbum is permitted. The reason for this stringency is that chalitzah is performed in public, and when people see that a woman who performed chalitzah married a priest, they may not appreciate the details of the particular instance and come to the false conclusion that there is no prohibition in doing so (Maggid Mishneh).

9.

This also is basically a restatement of the principles mentioned in the first halachah.

10.

Although the woman may be his yevamah, she may also be the sister of the woman with whom he is obligated to perform yibbum, and whom he is therefore forbidden to marry.

11.

For it is unknown who should perform either yibbum or chalitzah, the sons of the mother or the sons of the daughter-in-law.

12.

See Hilchot Gerushin 11:18, which states that a woman should wait three months after her husband's death, so that it will be possible to determine who fathered her child.

13.

For example, the woman remarried two months after her first husband's death and gave birth seven months after her second marriage. Thus, it is unknown whether her child was fathered by her first husband or her second.

14.

The law that follows applies when the woman's husbands have each fathered only one other son with another wife.

15.

It is, however, forbidden for one of the sons to perform yibbum first, because it is possible that the deceased's wife is obligated to the other brother and must perform chalitzah.

16.

Even if only one of the husbands dies childless, his brother still must perform chalitzah and may not perform yibbum.

17.

Yibbum is prohibited because, as stated in Hilchot Gerushin 10:5, such a woman is forbidden to both her husbands and must be divorced by both of them.

The chalitzah performed by the brother of the first husband is required by Scriptural law, while the chalitzah performed by the brother of the second husband is mandated by Rabbinic decree.

18.

I.e., each of the sons whose identity is known should marry one of the widows instead of having one marry more than one. When one son marries more than one widow, we are certain that he did not perform yibbum twice. Either - or neither - of the women he married could have been his brother's widow, but there was only one widow, not two. Our Sages preferred having each of the sons marry one woman and thus take the chance that they were all fulfilling yibbum, rather than have one marry more than one. See Yevamot 98b.

19.

See Chapter 5, Halachah 10.

20.

See Chapter 5, Halachah 9.

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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