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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth
This, then, represents a contradiction between one law and the other! — There is no contradiction. One9 refers to a rumour that had ceased;10 the other, to a rumour that had not ceased. Where the rumour has not ceased, though no witnesses are available, [the law is] according to Rabbi; where the rumour has ceased but witnesses are available [the law is] according to Rab.
For how long [must a rumour continue in order to be regarded] as uninterrupted? Abaye replied: Mother11 told me that a town rumour12 [must remain uncontradicted for] a day and a half. This has been said Only in the case where It was not interrupted in the meantime. If, however, it was interrupted in the meantime, well, it was interrupted.13 This, however, is only when the interruption was not due to intimidation, but if it was due to intimidation, well, it was due to intimidation.14 This,15 however, has been said only in the case where no enemies are about, but where enemies are about, well, it must have been the enemies who published the rumour.13
We learned elsewhere: If a man divorced his wife because of a bad name,16 he must not remarry her; if on account of a vow he must not remarry her.17 Rabbah son of R. Huna18 sent to Rabbah son of R. Nahman: Will our Master Instruct us as to whether he19 must part with her if he did remarry her? The other replied: We have learnt It: IF A MAN IS SUSPECTED OF INTERCOURSE WITH A MARRIED WOMAN WHO [IN CONSEQUENCE] WAS TAKEN AWAY FROM HER HUSBAND20 HE MUST LET HER GO EVEN THOUGH HE HAS MARRIED HER!21 He said to him: Are these two cases at all alike? There22 she was taken away;23 here he24 had let her go.25
And Rabbah son of R. Nahman?26 — In our Mishnah also we learned, 'He let her go'.27 But even now, are they at all alike? Here28 it is the husband;29 there30 it is the seducer!31 — The other replied: They are indeed alike.32 For here30 the Rabbis said, 'he33 must not marry her, and if he did marry he must let her go' and there27 also the Rabbis would Say, 'he34 must not remarry her and if he did remarry he must let her go'. This, however, is not [much of an argument]. There30 he lends colour to the rumour,35 while here it might well be assumed that he34 investigated the rumour and found it to be groundless.
MISHNAH. A MAN WHO BRINGS A LETTER OF DIVORCE FROM A COUNTRY BEYOND THE SEA36 AND STATES, 'IT WAS WRITTEN IN MY PRESENCE AND IT WAS SIGNED IN MY PRESENCE', MUST NOT MARRY THE [DIVORCER'S] WIFE.37 [SIMILARLY, IF HE STATES]. 'HE DIED', 'I KILLED HIM', OR 'WE KILLED HIM', HE MUST NOT MARRY HIS WIFE. R. JUDAH SAID:
THE WOMAN MAY MARRY AGAIN.39
GEMARA. The reason then40 is because he came FROM A COUNTRY BEYOND THE SEA, in which case we have to entirely upon him;41 but [had he come] from the Land of Israel, in which case we need not depend upon him,42 would he have been allowed to marry the divorcer's wife? But, surely, when the Statement is, 'HE DIED', in which case we do not depend entirely upon him since a Master said, 'a woman43 makes careful inquiry before she marries'44 and yet it was stated, HE MUST NOT MARRY HIS WIFE! — There,45 no document exists, but here46 a document47 does exist. For thus we have learned: Wherein lies the difference between [the admissibility of] a letter of divorce and [that of evidence of] death?48 In that the document47 supplies the proof.49
[SIMILARLY, IF HE STATES], 'HE DIED', 'I KILLED HIM', OR 'WE KILLED HIM', HE MUST NOT MARRY HIS WIFE. Only he, then, must not marry his wife, she, however, may be married to another man? But, surely, R. Joseph said: [If a man stated], 'So-and-so committed pederasty with me against my will', he and any other witness may be combined50 to procure his execution; [if, however, he said], 'with my consent',51 he is a wicked man concerning whom the Torah said, Put not thy hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness!52 And were you to reply that matrimonial evidence53 is different because the Rabbis have relaxed the law in its case,54 surely, [it may be pointed out], R. Manasseh stated:
'One who is Rabbinically regarded as a robber1 is eligible to be a witness in matrimonial matters;2 one, however, who is Biblically regarded as a robber is ineligible to act as witness in matrimonial matters;3 would it then be necessary to assume that R. Manasseh holds the same opinion as R. Judah?4 - R. Manasseh can answer you: My statement may be reconciled even with the view of the Rabbis, but the reason of the Rabbis5 here is the same as that of Raba. For Raba said, 'A man is his own relative and consequently6 no man may declare himself wicked'.
Must it then be assumed that R. Joseph7 is of the same opinion as R. Judah?8 — R. Joseph can answer you: 'My Statement may be in agreement even with the view of the Rabbis, but matrimonial evidence9 is different, since the Rabbis relaxed the law in its case;10 and it is R. Manasseh who adopted the view of R. Judah'.
'I KILLED HIM' etc., 'WE KILLED HIM' … MAY MARRY etc. What is the practical difference between 'I killed him' and 'we killed him'?11 — Rab Judah said: [Our Mishnah speaks of the case] where he said, 'I was present together with his murderers' — 12 Has it not, however, been taught: They said to R. Judah, 'It once happened that a robber when led out to his execution in the Cappadocian Pass13 said to those present,14 "Go and tell the wife of Simeon b. Kohen that I killed her husband when I entered Lud" [others Say: When he entered Lud], and his wife was permitted to marry again'!15 He answered them: Is there any proof from there? [It was a case] where he said, 'I was present together with his murderers'.12 But it was stated, 'a robber'! — He was apprehended on account of robbery.16 But it was stated, 'led out to his execution'! — [He was sentenced by] a heathen court of law who executed without due investigation.17
MISHNAH. A SAGE WHO HAS PRONOUNCED A WOMAN FORBIDDEN TO HER HUSBAND BECAUSE OF A VOW18 MUST NOT MARRY HER HIMSELF.19 IF, HOWEVER, A WOMAN MADE A DECLARATION OF REFUSAL20 OR PERFORMED HALIZAH IN HIS PRESENCE, HE MAY MARRY HER, SINCE HE [WAS BUT ONE OF THE] BETH DIN.21
GEMARA. This implies that if he had disallowed her vow, be would have been permitted to marry her!22 What then are the circumstances?23 If [he acted] alone, could one disallow a vow? Surely24 R. Hiyya b. Abin said in the name of R. Amram that it was taught: The disallowance of vows is to be carried out by three! If, however, three were Present, would they be suspected? Surely we learned, IF, HOWEVER, A WOMAN MADE A DECLARATION OF REFUSAL OR PERFORMED HALIZAH IN HIS PRESENCE, HE MAY MARRY HER, SINCE HE [WAS BUT ONE OF THE] BETH DIN!-The fact is that [he acted] alone, and25 as R.
IF A WOMAN MADE A DECLARATION OF REFUSAL, OR PERFORMED HALIZAH etc. The reason, then,27 is because [he was one of a] Beth din,28 but had he been one of a group of two only. would he not [have been permitted]? Wherein, then, does this case differ from the following concerning which it was taught:29 If witnesses signed on [a document relating to] a purchased field or on a letter of divorce, the Rabbis do not apprehend such collusion!30 — It is this very thing that he taught us,31 viz., that the opinion of him who said that a declaration of refusal may be made in the presence of two is to be rejected and that one is to infer32 that a declaration of refusal must be made in the presence of three.33
R. Zuti at the School of R. Papa recited [a teaching] in accordance with the opinion of him who said that if he34 married her35 he need not part from her. Said the Rabbis to R. Ashi: Is this36 a tradition or a matter of opinion? He answered them: It is a Mishnah: If a man is suspected of intercourse with a slave who was subsequently emancipated, or with a heathen who subsequently became a proselyte, lo, he must not marry her; if, however, he did marry her the marriage need not be dissolved. Which proves
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