ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Yevamos 121
(a) Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava disagrees with the Tana Kama in our Mishnah, who
holds that Simanim tend to change after three days. In his opinion, not all
people, places or times are the same. We are not sure however - whether he
comes to be lenient (to permit sometimes even after three days), or to be
strict (to forbid even within three days).
(b) Rav Dimi from Neherda'a - permitted the wife of the man who drowned in
Karmi and whom they brought to Bei Hedya only after three days (and so did
Rava with regard to a man whose body they retrieved from the river Diglas
after three days).
(c) This appears to resolve our quandary regarding Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava's
opinion. Clearly - he goes le'Kula, because otherwise, like whom do Rav Dimi
and Rava hold?
(d) But we finally establish those cases like the Rabbanan, on the grounds
that water is different - because it causes the face to contract (thereby
preventing it from swelling). What we learned earlier, was that water
causes a *wound* to swell, but when there is no wound, it has exactly the
(a) According to Rebbi Meir, a woman is not permitted to marry on the basis
of a witness who testifies that her husband fell into water and disappeared,
irrespective of whether it is Mayim she'Yesh Lahem Sof, or Mayim she'Ein
Lahem Sof - because Rebbi Meir is of the opinion that a person can survive
in water for a day or two.
(b) Rebbi Meir testified - that a man who fell into a large pit emerged
after three days.
(c) Rebbi Yossi testified that a blind man once entered a cave to bathe, and
someone went down after him to help him out. When neither of them emerged -
they waited the amount of time that a person could possibly survive in water
(see 9c.), and permitted both wives to remarry.
(d) In another episode, Rebbi Yossi testified about a man whom they lowered
(on a rope - see Tosfos Yom-Tov) into the sea via his leg, which they
eventually pulled up minus the body. The Chachamim ruled there - that, if it
was the lower-leg that they pulled up, his wife would be forbidden to marry
(because a man can survive without his lower-leg), whereas if it was the
upper-leg, she would be permitted (because a man cannot survive without it).
(a) 'Mayim she'Yesh Lahem Sof' - constitutes an expanse of water where one
can see all four extremities.
(b) When Rav suggested placing a Shamta on Rav Shilo for permitting the wife
of a man who had disappeared in the lake of Samki - Shmuel replied that one
ought first to ask him why he did it.
(c) When they asked him why he issued such a ruling, Rav Shilo replied that
he knew that, in view of the fact that it was a very large lake - it was
indeed a case of Mayim she'Ein Lahem Sof, but that he had erred, because the
water was in a lake and did not flow (in which case, the drowning man could
not swim far, and they would have seen him emerging - like Mayim *she'Yesh*
Lahem Sof). His mistake was due to the fact that there were waves, which
could nevertheless carry a person far without being seen.
(d) Shmuel applied the Pasuk in Mishlei "Lo Ye'uneh la'Tzadik Kol Aven". Rav
applied the Pasuk to Shmuel - "Teshu'ah be'Rov Tiva'etz".
(a) Rebbi told the story of two men who were spreading nets in the Jordan
River (which was Mayim she'Ein Lahem Sof). When one of the men entered a
Mechilah shel Dagim (a man-made cavity [for trapping fish] on the bank of
the mouth of the river) - his friend could no longer see him, and, believing
him to be dead, that is what he informed his family. The following morning
at sunrise, the man found the entrance of the Mechilah, and returned home to
find a big Hesped taking place over his death.
(b) Rebbi exclaimed how wise were Chazal, who declared that Mayim she'Ein
Lahem Sof does not permit a wife to remarry.
(c) We do not contend with the possibility of a Mechilah shel Dagim by Mayim
she'Yesh Lahem Sof - because it is uncommon to find one there.
(a) Rav Ashi permits the wife of a Talmid-Chacham to remarry by Mayim
she'Ein Lahem Sof - on the grounds that, had he escaped, people would have
known about it and word would have spread.
(b) His opinion however, is not accepted. The Halachah is - that by Mayim
she'Ein Lahem Sof, a woman is not permitted to remarry, but that, if she
did, she may remain with her second husband.
(c) Raban Gamliel once came across a wrecked boat in mid-ocean, which he
recognized as the one that was used by Rebbi Akiva. When he reached dry
land, there was Rebbi Akiva! He had held on to a board from the boat, and
had been carried from wave to wave, bending his head to each wave as it
arrived, and letting it pass over his head, until he reached dry land. We
learn from him that one has sometimes to bend to the Resha'im and let them
have their way, in order to survive.
(d) A similar incident occurred to Rebbi Akiva, when, in mid-ocean, he found
a wrecked boat - whose occupant had been Rebbi Meir.
(a) If witnesses testified that a man fell into a lion's den, his wife is
not permitted to marry; into a snake-pit, she is - because, in the former
case, there is plenty of room in the den, so, if the lions are not hungry,
they will leave him alone; whereas in the latter case, which is small, he
will not be able to avoid treading on the snakes, who will inevitably turn
(b) The Tana Kama disagrees with Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava, who even forbids
the wife to marry in the latter case, because he contends with the
possibility of his being a snake-charmer - because even if he is, they will
not tolerate his treading on them.
(a) According to the Tana Kama - a woman is permitted to marry on the basis
of evidence that her husband fell into ...
(b) Rebbi Acha differentiates between oil and wine. He agrees with the Tana
Kama regarding oil, because, when it overflows and spills (because someone
fell into it) it adds fuel to the flames - but not regarding wine, which,
when it spills, simply extinguishes the fire, causing the wine to cool down,
in which case, the person who fell into it, will not necessarily burn to
- ... a heated furnace.
- ... a caldron of boiling wine or oil.
(c) The Tana Kama counters - that, although initially, the wine extinguishes
the fire, it is the way of a fire-brand to re-ignite and to burn even
stronger than before.
(a) Rebbi Meir (in our Mishnah) proves from the man who fell into the large
pit and who reappeared after three days that, even in a case of Mayim
*she'Yesh* Lahem Sof, the woman is forbidden to marry. The Rabbanan counter
this with the principle 'Ein Mazkirin Ma'aseh Nisim' - referring to the fact
that he went for three days without sleep.
(b) Rebbi Yochanan says that if someone swore that he would not sleep for
three days - he receives Malkos (for making a false oath), and is permitted
to sleep immediately.
(c) The miracle to which they referred could not have been that the man
survived without eating - because it is possible to survive three days
without eating, as we see from Esther, who ordered all Jews to fast for
(d) Rebbi Meir counters that there were whole buildings in that pit, on
which the man was able to lean and sleep (so it was not really a miracle at
all). He counters the Chachamim's argument that those buildings were made of
marble, which is slippery (and on which one cannot lean) - by insisting
that, in spite of that, he must have made a great effort and managed to lean
against them just a little whilst he slept. Incidentally, we learn from our
Sugya that it is impossible to sleep whilst standing on one's feet (without
leaning against something).
(a) The daughter of Nechunyah Chofer Shichin was saved from drowning -
during the third hour.
(b) She was saved from drowning by the ram of the Akeidah led by Avraham
(c) Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa said Shalom the first two hours - because it is
possible to survive two hours in the big pit. He knew that she would not
drown in the third hour, because it was unlikely that the big Mitzvah of
providing the Olei Golah with water that Nechunyah Chofer Shichin performed
regularly, should not stand him in good stead and protect his daughter.
(d) Rebbi Aba quoted the Pasuk "u'Sevivav Nis'arah Me'od", and Rebbi
Chanina, the Pasuk "Keil Na'aratz ... ve'Nora al Kol Sevivav" - with regard
to the calamity in which his son died from thirst.
(a) The Tana Kama of our Mishnah accepts Eidus Ishah from someone who
testifies that he heard from women that someone had died - even if they only
mentioned it casually, not in the form of testimony.
(b) Rebbi Yehudah is still more lenient. He even permits testimony that one
hears from children - whom he heard discussing going to so-and-so's eulogy
and burial. He knows that they actually went, because we change the wording
from the future to the past. In other words - they were discussing, not
going to the eulogy and burial but having returned from there.
(c) We know that they are not referring to their pet locust who had just
died - because they also named the Rabbanan who were there and the Chachamim
who eulogized the deceased.
(a) The distinction that the Tana makes between a woman or a child who
testify and a Nochri (who is also believed by Eidus Ishah) is - that the
former is believed even if they testified officially, whereas the latter is
only believed if he makes a casual statement ('Masi'ach Lefi Tumo'), but not
if he testifies officially.
(b) Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel restricts the Chumra pertaining to a Nochri to
where his intention is to actually permit the woman to marry, but not if he
just intended to testify. We know what his intentions are - by whether he
merely testifies that the man had died, or whether he adds the request to
permit his wife to remarry.
(c) Rebbi Yochanan disagrees. According to him, that is the opinion of Rebbi
Oshaya be'Rebbi (or b'Rivi), but, according to the eighty-five elders - as
long as his intention is to testify, he is not believed, and our Mishnah
speaks when he makes the statement 'Masi'ach Lefi Tumo', as we explained
(d) An example of 'Masi'ach Lefi Tumo' - will be, if he says 'Who is here
from the family of Chiva'i? Who is here from the family of Chiva'i? Chiva'i
(a) Following the testimony of a witness who testified that Chasa had
drowned in Mayim she'Ein Lahem Sof, Rav Nachman stated that the fish must
have eaten him - prompting Chasa's wife to go and remarry.
(b) We learn from the fact that nobody protested at what she did - that
Bedieved, once the woman is married, even in a case of Mayim she'Ein Lahem
Sof, she is permitted to remain with her husband.
(c) According to others, Rav Nachman actually permitted Chasa's wife to
remarry - because Chasa was an important man, and Rav Nachman maintained
that an important man's wife is permitted to remarry, even by Mayim she'Ein
(d) This opinion is not Halachah however - as we discussed in 5b.
(a) In an effort to force him to cut some fodder on Shabbos and to feed it
to his animal - that Nochri told a certain Jew that, unless he obeyed him,
he would kill him, just like he killed so-and-so who refused to boil him
some water on Shabbos.
(b) When the wife of the man whom the Nochri had named came before Abaye to
ask for permission to remarry, he was uncertain what to answer. Eventually,
Rav Yosef, who was as sharp as a knife, learned this Halachah from a
Beraisa. The Tana says that a Nochri who says that the fruit he is selling
is Orlah or Neta Revai - is not believed (and the purchaser is permitted to
eat it), because he is only saying that in order to promote his sales.
(c) The same will apply if he is selling fruit from Azeikah - and he is in
Chutz la'Aretz, because the fruit from Azeikah (like that of Orlah and Neta
Reva'i) is superior quality fruit.
(d) 'shel Azeikah' cannot be referring to Sh'mitah produce that had been
guarded - because the criterion for Shmitah produce being forbidden (which
is the source of the Chidush here) is whether it is before or after the
Z'man of Biy'ur, and not whether it was guarded or not (See Tosfos DH 'shel
Azeikah', and Rashi Behar 25:5).