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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth
is Hadyab,1 the river Gozan is Ginzak,2 and the cities of the Medes are Hamdan3 and its neighbouring towns; others say, Nihar4 and its neighbouring towns. Which are its neighbouring towns? — Samuel replied: Karak,5 Moshki,6 Hidki7 and Dumkia.8
R. Johanan said: All these9 [were enumerated] in order to declare them as being unfit.10 When, however, I11 mentioned the matter12 in the presence of Samuel he said to me: Thy son,13 implies that he who is descended from an Israelitish woman may be called thy son, but thy son who is descended from a heathen woman is not called thy son but her son.14 But, surely, there were also daughters,15 and Rabina had said, 'From this it may be inferred that thy daughter's son born from [a union with] a heathen is called thy son'!16 — There is a tradition that the women of that generation were sterilized.17
Others read: When I mentioned the matter18 in the presence of Samuel he said to me, 'They did not move from there until they had declared them19 to be perfect heathens; as it is said in the Scriptures, They have dealt treacherously against the Lord, for they have begotten strange children.'20
R. Joseph sat behind R. Kahana while R. Kahana sat before Rab Judah, and while sitting he made the following statement: 'Israel will make a festival when Tarmod will have been destroyed'.21 But, surely, it was destroyed! — That22 was Tammod.23
R. Ashi said: Tarmod and Tammod are identical, but the city was rebuilt;24 when it was destroyed on one side it was settled on the other side, and when the other side was destroyed it was settled on the first side.25
R. Hamnuna sat before 'Ulla and was engaged in discussing a traditional law when the latter remarked,26 'What a man! And how much more important would he have been27 had not Harpania28 been his [native] town'! As the other was embarrassed, he said to him, 'Where do you pay poll tax'? — 'To Pum Nahara', the other replied. 'If so', 'Ulla said, 'You belong to Pum Nahara'.
What [is the meaning of] Harpania? — R. Zera replied: A mountain whither everybody29 turns.30 In a Baraitha it was taught: Whosoever did not know his family and his tribe31 made his way thither. Raba said: And it was deeper than the nether-world,32 for in the Scripture it is said, I shall ransom them from the power of the nether-world; I shall redeem them from death,33 but for the unfitness of these there is no remedy at all; the unfit of Harpania on account of the unfit of Meshan,34 and the unfit of Meshan on account of the unfit of Tarmod,35 and the unfit of Tarmod on account of the slaves of Solomon.36 Thus it is that people say, 'The small kab and the big kab37 roll down to the nether-world, from the netherworld to Tarmod,38 from Tarmod to Meshan, and from Meshan to Harpania.39
MISHNAH. HOW [IS THE EXEMPTION OF HER RIVAL BY] THE WIFE OF HIS BROTHER WHO WAS NOT HIS CONTEMPORARY'40 [TO BE UNDERSTOOD]? IF THERE WERE TWO BROTHERS ONE OF WHOM DIED, AND AFTER A THIRD41 BROTHER WAS BORN42 THE SECOND43 TOOK IN LEVIRATE MARRIAGE HIS DECEASED BROTHERS WIFE AND THEN DIED HIMSELF, THE FIRST WOMAN44 IS EXEMPT45 AS 'THE WIFE OF HIS BROTHER WHO WAS NOT HIS CONTEMPORARY', AND THE SECOND46 [IS EXEMPT]45 AS HER RIVAL. IF HE47 ADDRESSED TO HER A MA'AMAR48 AND DIED,49 THE SECOND,50 MUST PERFORM HALIZAH51 BUT MAY NOT ENTER INTO THE LEVIRATE MARRIAGE.52
FIRST commits no error', since 'first' may signify1 'first to be subject [to the levirate marriage]'; and 'he who uses the expression SECOND also commits no error', since 'second' may signify 'second to marry',2 Does not our Mishnah, however, include also3 the case of one who contracted the levirate marriage first and subsequently married his other wife?4 What, then, is meant by 'second'? Second in respect of her marriages.5
Where [in the Scriptures] is [the prohibition of marrying] 'the wife of his brother who was not his contemporary' written? — Rab Judah replied in the name of Rab: Scripture states, If brethren dwell together,6 i.e., dwell in the world at the same time; the wife of one's brother who was not his contemporary is consequently excluded; 'together' implies who are together in respect of inheritance,7 a maternal brother is, therefore, excluded.
Rabbah said: [That legal] brothers [are only those who are descended] from the same father is deduced by a comparison of this 'brotherhood'8 with the 'brotherhood' of the sons of Jacob;9 as there [the brotherhood was derived] from the father10 and not from the mother,11 so here also [the brotherhood spoken of is that] from the father and not from the mother.12
Let him rather deduce this 'brotherhood'8 from the 'brotherhood' of forbidden relatives!13 — Brethren8 may be deduced from brethren,9 but not brethren8 from thy brother.14 What practical difference is there [between the two expression]? Surely the School of R. Ishmael taught: And the priest shall return,15 and the priest shall come,16 'returning' and 'coming' are the same thing!17 — Such an analogy is drawn only18 where there is no other identical word; when, however, there occurs another word which is identical, the analogy is made only with that which is identical.
Let him, then, deduce this 'brotherhood'19 from the 'brotherhood' in the case of Lot, since it is written in the Scriptures. For we are brethren!20 -It stands to reason that the deduction should be made from the sons of Jacob. because the [analogous expression] is available for the purpose;21 for it could have been written, Thy servants are twelve sons of one man22 and yet 'brethren' also was written. Hence it must be inferred that the word was made available for the deduction.23
It was necessary for Scripture to write brethren,24 and it was also necessary to write together.24 For had the All Merciful written 'brethren' only, it might have been suggested that this 'brotherhood' should be deduced from the 'brotherhood' in the case of Lot. And were you to reply that [the analogous word],25 is not available for deduction,21 your statement would be negatived,26 [the analogous word] being indeed available; for whereas he could have written 'friends' and yet wrote 'brethren', the inference must be that the object was to render it available for analogous deduction; hence the All Merciful has written 'together', implying only those who are together in respect of inheritance.27 If, [on the other hand,] the All Merciful had only written 'together', it might have been said to refer to such as have the same father and mother; [hence both expressions were] required.
But how could you have arrived at such an opinion?28 The All Merciful has, surely, made29 the levirate marriage dependent on inheritance,30 and inheritance31 is derived from the father and not from the mother!32 -It33 was necessary. For it might have been assumed that whereas this34 is an anomaly,35 a forbidden relative36 having been permitted, the brotherhood must, therefore, be both paternal and maternal; [hence it was] necessary [to teach us that the law was not so].
R. Huna said in the name of Rab: If a woman awaiting the decision of the levir!37 died, [the levir] is permitted to marry her mother. This obviously shews that he!38 is of the opinion that no levirate bond39 exists40 let him then say, the halachah is in accordance with the view of him who said no levirate bond exists!41 — If he had said so, it might have been suggested that this applied only to the case of two42 but that in the case of one43 a levirate bond does exist. Then let him say, 'The halachah is in accordance with him who said no levirate bond exists even in the case of one levir'!44 — If he had said so it might have been assumed even where she45 is alive;46 hence he taught us that only after death and not when she is still alive, because it is forbidden to abolish the commandment of levirate marriages.
We learned, 'If his deceased brother's wife died he may marry her sister',47 which implies that her sister only may be married but not her mother! — The same law applies even to her mother; only because he taught in the earlier clause 'if his wife died he is permitted to marry her sister' in which case only her sister is meant and not her mother, since the latter is Biblically prohibited, he also taught in the latter clause 'he is permitted to marry her sister'.48
Rab Judah, however, said: If a woman awaiting the decision of the levir49 died, the levir is still forbidden to marry her mother. This50 obviously implies that he51 is of the opinion that a levirate bond exists,52 let him then say, the halachah is in accordance with the view of him who said a levirate bond exists!53 -If he had said so it might have been suggested that this applied only to the case of one,54 but in the case of two55 no levirate bond exists. But the dispute,56 surely, centered round the question of two!57 — But [this is really the reply]: If he51 had said so58
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