POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question on the daf
Previous daf Yevamos 119
YEVAMOS 116-119 - have been sponsored through the generous contribution of
Mr. Uri Wolfson and family
1) ARE WE CONCERNED THAT CHILDREN WERE BORN?
(a) (Mishnah): A man went with a wife overseas; he left a wife (Leah) home.
They told Leah that her husband died - she may not get married nor do Yibum
until she hears of her Tzarah, if she is pregnant;
(b) If Leah has no Yavam but has a mother-in-law overseas, she need not be
concerned that a Yavam was born;
(c) If her mother-in-law was pregnant and went overseas, Leah must be
stringent, lest a Yavam was born; R. Yehoshua says, she need not be.
(d) (Gemara) Question: 'Her Tzarah, if she' is wordier than need be - what
does it teach?
(e) Answer: We are only concerned for a Tzarah we know about; we are not
concerned, lest he married a woman overseas.
(f) (Mishnah): She may not get married nor do Yibum ...
(g) We understand, she may not do Yibum, lest her Tzarah is pregnant, and
the Yavam is forbidden mid'Oraisa as her husband's brother, without the
Mitzvah of Yibum.
(h) Question: Why can't she get married?
1. We should assume that the Tzarah is from the majority of women that get
pregnant and have children!
(i) Answer: The Mishnah can even be as Chachamim.
2. Suggestion: The Mishnah is R. Meir, who is concerned for a minority.
1. Chachamim only rely on a majority in front of us, such as 9 stores (in
this city, which sell Kosher meat, and one sells non-Kosher; meat was found,
and we do not know from which store it came);
(j) Objection: A minor that falls to Yibum is a case of a majority which is
not in front of us, and Chachamim rely on it!
2. Also, by a Beis Din (we rule as the majority of judges);
3. We do not find that Chachamim rely on a majority which is not in front of
us (i.e. a statistical majority).
1. (Beraisa - R. Meir): A minor Yavam or Yevamah do not do Chalitzah nor
(k) We must say, our Mishnah is as R. Meir.
2. Chachamim: Very well, they cannot do Chalitzah - the verse says "Man
(adult)", and we equate the law of the Yevamah to the Yavam;
3. Question (Chachamim): Why can't they do Yibum?
4. Answer (R. Meir): If the Yavam is a minor - lest he be found to be a
Seris; if she is a minor - lest she is an Ailonis, and they transgressed
i. Chachamim rely on the majority - most people are not Serisim or
(l) Objection: From the end of the Mishnah, we see that the Mishnah is not
as R. Meir!
1. (End of Mishnah): If she has no Yavam but has a mother-in-law overseas,
she need not be concerned that a Yavam was born.
(m) Answer: Since Leah has a Chazakah that she will not fall to Yibum when
her husband dies, R. Meir is not concerned for the minority.
2. If the Mishnah is as R. Meir, we should be concerned!
i. Most women get pregnant and have children, a minority miscarry; of those
that have children, half are male.
ii. The chance that her mother-in-law had a son is less than half - R. Meir
is concerned for a minority!
(n) Objection: If so, in the beginning of the Mishnah, she has a Chazakah
that she will fall to Yibum - she should do Yibum!
(o) Answer #1 (Rav Nachman): There, marrying her husband's brother is
Chaivei Krisus (if there is no Mitzvah of Yibum), we are concerned; here,
marrying a stranger (if she did fall to Yibum) is Chaivei Lavin, we are not
1. Rejection: (Rava): Both are mid'Oraisa - we should be as stringent by
Chaivei Lavin as by Chaivei Krisus!
(p) Answer #2 (Rava): In the beginning of the Mishnah, the Chazakah says she
will fall to Yibum, the majority says she will not - the Chazakah is not as
strong as the majority, so it joins with the minority of women that
miscarry, and we have an even doubt - she may not do Yibum nor marry a
2) MAY SHE DO CHALITZAH?
1. In the end of the Mishnah, the Chazakah and the majority both say that
she will not fall to Yibum - the mother-in-law having a son is like a
minority of a minority, and even R. Meir is not concerned for this.
(a) (Mishnah): Leah may not marry a stranger nor do Yibum ...
3) THE TESTIMONY OF YEVAMOS
(b) Question: Can she never get married?
(c) Answer #1 (R. Zeira): She must wait 3 months to see if she herself is
pregnant; she must wait 9 months lest her Tzarah is pregnant - after that,
Leah does Chalitzah, and is permitted to a stranger, whether or not her
Tzarah had a child.
(d) Answer #2 (R. Chanina): She must wait 3 months to see if she herself is
pregnant; she must wait forever for her Tzarah!
1. Question: Why can't Leah do Chalitzah after 9 months, whether or not her
Tzarah had a child?
(e) (Mishnah): 'I had a son overseas. My son died, and then my husband' -
she is believed; 'My husband died, and then my son' - she is not believed,
and we are stringent according to her words - she does Chalitzah, not Yibum.
2. Answer (Abaye Bar Avin and R. Chanina Bar Avin): This is a decree, lest
the Tzarah had a child, and we will have to announce that the Leah's
Chalitzah was unnecessary and void, and Leah is permitted to a Kohen.
3. Question: So what if an announcement is needed?!
4. Answer: Perhaps someone saw the Chalitzah, but did not hear the
announcement - when he sees her marry a Kohen, he will think that a
Chalutzah was permitted to a Kohen.
(f) Question: We should be concerned, perhaps witnesses will come and verify
her story, and we will have to announce that she is permitted to a Kohen!
(g) Answer #1 (Rav Papa): That Mishnah deals with a divorcee.
(h) Answer #2 (R. Chiya Brei d'Rav Huna): She said that she and her husband
were alone in a cave - we need not worry that witnesses will come.
(a) (Mishnah): Sarah and Leah are married to 2 brothers. Each says, 'My
husband died' - Leah cannot marry, lest Sarah's husband (her Yavam) is
alive; likewise, Sarah cannot get married.
(b) If Sarah has witnesses that her husband died, and Leah has no witnesses
that her husband died - Sarah may not get married, but Leah may;
(c) If one man died with children, the other without children - the widow
with children may marry, the other widow may not;
(d) If Sarah and Leah did Yibum (to other brothers), and the Yevamim die -
they may not get married; R. Elazar says, since they were permitted to the
Yevamim, they are permitted to others.
(e) (Gemara - Beraisa): If Sarah has witnesses and children, and Leah has
neither - both may get married;
(f) If they did Yibum (when neither had witnesses or children) and the
Yevamim die, they are forbidden; R. Elazar says, since they were permitted
to the Yevamim, they are permitted to others.
(g) Question (Rava): What is R. Elazar's reason?
1. Does he hold, a woman's testimony helps for her Tzarah?
2. Or, is it because she would not ruin herself to ruin her Tzarah?