ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Yevamos 115
(a) We ask what the Din will be if the wife is the one to inform us that
there is a war on. Perhaps she will be believed with a 'Migu' (because she
could have said that there is peace (in keeping with our own contention).
The 'Migu' might not be applicable here however - because, as we said
before, when there is war, she speaks inaccurately, something which a 'Migu'
will not change (see also Tosfos 114b. DH 'Mi Amrinan').
(b) It is true that, were she to claim that he died peacefully in his bed,
she would be believed even in time of war. Nevertheless, it is not obvious
that our Mishnah ('Shalom ba'Olam, Ne'emenes') must be speaking when she
testified that her husband died in battle (thereby informing us that there
is a local war going on) - because it could be speaking when she testified
S'tam that he died, and we assume that, if it is a time of peace, then he
probably died on his bed (and, in the same way, if it was a time of war,
then we would assume that he probably died in war).
(a) The Tana of the Beraisa says in a case where the woman testifies that
The B'nei Yeshivah ask whether one witness who testifies that a man died in
war is believed or not. He might ...
1. ... people set fire to the house or to the cave in which she and her
husband were sitting, and that her husband died in the smoke-filled room and
she managed to escape - that she is *not believed*.
(b) Despite the fact that it is only through the woman that we know about
the (mini) war, we cannot resolve our She'eilah from ...
2. ... Nochrim or robbers fell upon them, killing her husband, and that she
escaped - that she *is*.
1. ... the first case (of the fire) - because her testimony presumed her
husband to have succumbed to the smoke, whereas it is possible that, just as
she escaped, he escaped, too. But in the case of war, we might still say
that, had she wanted to lie, she would not have added the factor that there
was a war on.
(c) When a fire broke out during a wedding, a woman cried out 'See my
husband, see my husband', and witnesses subsequently found a man who had
burned to death and a severed hand. Rav Chiya bar Avin compared this to the
case of the fire that we just discussed in which case, she would not be
believed). Rava refuted that comparison - on the grounds that firstly, the
woman cried out 'See my husband ... ' (indicating that she ascertained that
he was dead before fleeing before he was dead), and secondly, because
witnesses found the burned body and the hand.
2. ... the second case (of the robbers) - because there, she is more likely
to have waited until she saw her husband dead, due the principle of Rav Idi
bar Avin 'Ishah K'lei Zaynah Alehah', meaning that a woman has her own way
of charming robbers, and is not afraid of them.
(d) Rav Chiya bar Avin countered - that the burned body could well have been
that of someone else who came in to save her husband; and as for the severed
hand, that might have been that of her husband, who, finding himself maimed
for life, ran away in embarrassment.
1. ... be believed - because a person will not lie about something that is
destined to be revealed, and that is the reason that we believe one witness
in these matters.
2. ... not be believed - because the reason that he is believed is because
the woman will carefully verify her husband's death before marrying, and in
time of war, she is quicker to jump to conclusions (see Tosfos DH 'Ta'ama' -
Rashi explains that the witness too, testifies inaccurately).
(a) Nechemyah Ish Beis D'li asked Rebbi Akiva (when the latter went down to
Neherda'a to declare a leap-year) - whether it was true that in Eretz
Yisrael, the only person to permit a woman to remarry through one witness
was Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava.
(b) When Rebbi Akiva replied that that was indeed so - he instructed Rebbi
Akiva to inform the Chachamim there in his name: 'You know full-well that
this country is teeming with robbers. I have a tradition that I received
from Raban Gamliel that one may marry a woman through the testimony of one
(c) Rami bar Chama attempted to resolve our She'eilah (whether one witness
is believed to testify that a man died in battle or not) from there -
because he thought that, when Nechemyah Ish Beis D'li referred to the
robbers, he meant that, even when a country is in a state of 'war', one
witness is nevertheless believed.
(d) Rava rejected Rami bar Chama's proof however, on the grounds that
Nechemyah Ish Beis D'li should then have said 'wherever there are robbers',
rather than 'this country is teeming with robbers'. He referred to them
only - in order to explain why he did not travel personally to Eretz Yisrael
to testify, because he did not wish to leave his family to face the threat
of robbers alone.
(a) When a ship on which two Talmidei-Chachamim was travelling, sank and
they disappeared, Rebbi, based on the testimony of their two wives,
permitted the wives (in a Beraisa) to remarry.
(b) Despite the fact that this was a case of *two* women testifying that
their husbands *drowned*, and not about *one* witness testifying about
someone being killed *in battle*, we try to resolve our She'eilah from
there - because two women are like one man regarding the Din of testimony,
and drowning is similar to wartime regarding the suspicion that a woman
(c) There is no proof from there however. The Beraisa as it stands, is
itself inaccurate, because one witness is not believed in a case of 'Mayim
she'Ein Lahem Sof' (where water stretches to the horizon on all sides), due
to the possibility that the man floated to safety underwater, before
(d) So we establish the Beraisa when the bodies were retrieved from the
water and their wives, after seeing them immediately, then gave Rebbi
Simanim (identifying signs). We need to say ...
1. ... that they gave Simanim (and not through recognition) - because
sometimes the water distorts the body, and any recognition is illusionary.
2. ... that they saw the bodies *immediately* - because even Simanim become
distorted and unreliable after a short time.
(a) When Shimon claimed that Reuven had already returned his sesame-seeds -
the latter countered by reminding him of the volume of the seeds and by
pointing out that they were still in the same barrel.
(b) Shimon nevertheless insisted that Reuven had received his seeds, and
that these were his own.
(c) Rava's objection to Rav Chisda's comparison to the previous case of the
two Talmidei-Chachamim (whose wives Rebbi permitted on the basis of the
Simanim - on which he relied, and did not say that maybe these were other
people who happened to have the same Simanim) - was based on the fact that,
whereas there, they gave good Simanim, here the volume of seeds that the
owner placed in the barrel was easy to guess and was not a good Siman.
(a) According to the Mishnah in Ma'aser-Sheini, if one finds a vessel, one
can assume that if on it, he finds the imprint of ...
1. ... a 'Kuf' - it contains Hekdesh.
(b) They used to write these symbols - in the time of danger (when the
Nochrim would issue harsh decrees forbidding them to observe the Mitzvos),
so as to conceal the contents of the vessel from the enemy.
2. ... a 'Mem' - Ma'aser-Sheini.
3. ... a 'Daled' - Dimu'a (a mixture of Terumah and Chulin).
4. ... a 'Tes' - Tevel.
5. ... a 'Tav' - Terumah.
(c) Mar Keshisha (challenging Rava in the previous question) tries to prove
from this Mishnah - that we place the box on a Chazakah: that whatever was
known to be in it last, is probably what it contains now (and we do not
assume that it was emptied and now contains something else.
(a) To counter Mar Keshisha, Ravina asked Rav Ashi from Rebbi Yossi, who
argues with the Tana Kama. Rebbi Yossi says - that even if one found a
barrel with Terumah marked on it, its contents are considered Chulin.
(b) This is - because we do not presume the contents of the box to remain
constant, in which case, we go after the majority of produce, which is not
(c) Based on the obvious fact that, according to Rebbi Yossi, one does not
assume boxes to have been emptied, and that they now contain other contents,
Ravina vindicates Rava. According to him - everyone agrees that one does
tend to empty a box of its contents. In the case of Rebbi Yossi and the Tana
Kama however, where the box is marked, the Tana Kama holds that, had the
owner decided to change the contents, he would have also changed the
markings on the box; whereas Rebbi Yossi holds that he may have forgotten to
do so, or that he deliberately left the markings intact, to protect the
(a) They sent a message that Yitzchak Resh Galusa bar Achsei de'Rav Bibi
died on the way from Kurtava to Aspamya. According to Abaye, they had to
suspect that maybe there was another person with the same name (and that his
wife was forbidden to remarry) - Rava maintains that we do not contend with
another person with the same name, as long as we do not know that there is.
(b) They found a Get in Neherda'a, on which the man had written that he,
Andrulinai from Neherda'a, had divorced his wife beside the city K'lunya.
When Shmuel's father sent Rebbi Yehudah Nesi'a a message asking him whether
the woman, who presented the Get, was permitted to remarry with it - he
replied that they should first search the whole of Neherda'a, to ascertain
that there was nobody else by that name who lived there.
(c) Rava refuted Abaye's proof from there that we do contend with another
person with the same name - on the grounds that, had that been the case, why
should they have confined their search to Neherda'a? Had they suspected
that, maybe there was *someone else with the same name*, then Rebbi Yehudah
Nesi'a ought to have obligated them to search the entire world (in case
there *was*, and he left Neherda'a. In short, that would mean invalidating
the Get due to the lack of clarity as to who the husband was).
(d) The reason that Rebbi Yehudah Nesi'a instructed them to search the whole
of Naherda'a for another Andrulinai - was in deference to Shumu'el's father
(so as not to render his query unnecessary, thereby making him look a fool).
(a) When Chavi bar Nanai and Nanai bar Chavi produced two bills of debt in
their respective names in Mechuza - Rabah bar Avuhah ruled that their claims
(b) Rava proves from there - that, even when there are known to be other
people with that name, we do not suspect that perhaps the document was
really written in someone else's name. Similarly, if someone produces a
document signed by someone else (such as a wife producing a Get), we do not
contend with there being a second person with the same name.
(c) Abaye refutes Rava's proof on the grounds that there (where the creditor
was claiming his own debt with his own document) was different, inasmuch as
there was no cause for suspicion. According to him, there was no reason to
suspect that maybe ...
1. ... someone else with the same name lost the documents and that *they*
found them - because people tend to look after documents, and one would not
have contended with the likelihood of their having got lost.
2. ... someone else with the same name gave them the documents to safeguard
on their behalf - because no creditor would be so silly as to hand his bills
of debt to someone else with the same name as his.
3. ... someone else with the same name handed them the documents and then
retracted (thereby nullifying the transaction) - because in his opinion, we
hold like those who rule 'Osiyos Niknos bi'Mesirah' (handing over a document
is considered a formal transaction, and the recipient acquires whatever is
written in the document).