Previous Folio / Yebamoth Directory / Tractate List / Navigate Site
Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth
If [the halizah was performed] after the three months, she need not wait three months.1 Thus it may be inferred that the three months spoken of are [to be dated] from the time of the husband's death and not from the time of the levir's halizah.
Why [is the law here]2 different from that of a letter of divorce where Rab maintains [that the waiting period is to date] from the time of the delivery3 and Samuel maintains [that it is to date] from the time of writing?4 — Raba replied: A minori ad majus, if you permitted marriage5 where a prohibition under the penalty of kareth is involved,6 how much more so [should marriage be permitted5 where only] an ordinary prohibition7 [is involved]!8
SIMILARLY ALL OTHER WOMEN. The case of a sister-in-law9 one can well understand, as has just been explained,10 but why ALL OTHER WOMEN?11 — R. Nahman replied in the name of Samuel: Because Scripture said, To be a God unto thee and unto thy seed after thee,12 a distinction must be made between the seed of the first husband and the seed of the second.
Raba raised an objection: Hence must a male proselyte and a female proselyte13 wait three months.14 Now, what distinction is there to be made here? — Here also there is the distinction to be made between seed that was sown in holiness and seed that was not sown in holiness.
Raba said: This15 is a preventive measure against the possibility of his16 marrying his paternal sister,17 contracting levirate marriage with the wife of his maternal brother,18 setting his mother free to marry anybody19 and releasing his sister-in-law to all the world.20
R. Hanania raised an objection: In all these21 I read a provision against incest, but here22 it is a provision in favour of the child.23 Now, if this24 is tenable, all25 would be due to a provision against incest! — The meaning of 'a provision in favour of the child' is that the child might not infringe a prohibition of incest'.26
It is easy to understand why [a divorcee or widow] shall not marry after waiting a period of just two months because that would create a doubt as to whether the child is a nine-months one of the first27 or a seven-months one of the second.27 Let her wait, however, one month only and then marry, so that, should she give birth at seven months, the child would be a seven-months one of the last husband;28 and should she give birth at eight months the child would obviously be a nine-months one of the first!27 — Even if she gave birth at eight months it might still be assumed to be the child of the last husband since it may be that her conception was delayed one month.29
Let her, then, wait two months and a half and marry, so that, were she to give birth at seven months, the child would obviously be a seven-months one of the last,27 and were she to give birth at six months and a half, the child would naturally be a nine-months one of the first;30 for had he been the son of the last he would not be viable as a six-and-a-half-months child. — Even if she gave birth at six and a half months it is still possible to assume the child to be that of the last husband, for Mar Zutra stated: Even according to him who said that a woman who bears at nine months does not give birth before the full number of months had been completed,30 a woman who bears at seven months 'does give birth before the full number of months has been completed;30 for it is stated in Scripture, And it came to pass, after the cycles of days,'31 the minimum of 'cycles'32 is two, and the minimum of 'days' is two.33 Let her, then, wait a little34 and marry, and when the three months35 will have been fulfilled she might be examined!36 — R. Safra replied: Married women are not examined, in order that they may not become repulsive to their husbands. Then let her be examined by her walk!37 — Rami b. Mama replied: A woman conceals the fact38 in order that her child may inherit his share in her [second] husband's estate. Where, however, it has been ascertained that she39 was pregnant, let her be permitted to marry! Why then was it taught: A man shall not marry the pregnant, or nursing wife of another;40 and if he married, he must divorce her and never again remarry her! — This41 is a preventive measure against the possibility of turning the foetus into a sandal.42 If so, [this should apply in the case] of one's own wife also!43 — If according to him who said, 'With an absorbent',44 she uses45 an absorbent; and if according to him who said, 'Mercy will be shewn from heaven',46 mercy will be shewn from heaven. Here also47 [it could be argued]: If according to him who said, 'With an absorbent', she uses an absorbent; if according to him who said, 'Mercy will be shewn from heaven', mercy will be shewn from heaven! — [The prohibition]48 is due, rather, to [the danger of abdominal] pressure.49 If so, [this50 applies in the case] of one's own wife also!51 — A man has consideration for his own.52 Here also53 one would have consideration for the child!54 — [The reason is]55 rather because a pregnant woman is usually expected to breast-feed her child [and were she to marry during pregnancy] she
might conceive again, her milk would become turbid, and she might thereby1 cause the death of the child. If so, [this applies in the case] of the man's own child also! — His own child she would sustain with eggs and milk. Would she not sustain her own child also with eggs and with milk? — Her husband would not give her the means. Let her claim it2 from the heirs!3 — Abaye replied: A woman would shrink from going to court4 and would rather let her child die.
WHETHER THEY WERE VIRGINS OR NON-VIRGINS. Who are the VIRGINS and who are the BETROTHED?5 Who are NON-VIRGINS and who are MARRIED women?6 — Rab Judah replied, It is this that was meant: WHETHER VIRGINS OR NON-VIRGINS who became widows or were divorced7 either after betrothal or after marriage.8
R. Eleazar did not go one day9 to the Beth Hamidrash. On meeting R. Assi he asked him, 'What did the Rabbis discourse at the Beth Hamidrash'? The other replied 'Thus said R. Johanan: The halachah is in agreement with R. Jose'.10 — Does this, then, imply that only individual opinion11 is against him?12 — Yes; and so it was taught: A [married woman] who was always anxious13 to spend her time14 at her paternal home,15 or who had some angry quarrel at her husband's home,16 or whose husband was in prison17 or was old or infirm,16 or who was herself infirm,18 or had miscarried after the death of her husband, or was barren, old, a minor, incapable of conception or in any other way incapacitated from procreation, must19 wait three months.20 These are the words of R. Meir. R. Judah21 permits immediate betrothal and marriage.22
R. Hiyya b. Abba said: R. Johanan retracted.23 Said R. Joseph: If he retracted, he did so on account of what has been taught at the Vineyard.24 For it was taught: R. Ishmael son of R. Johanan b. Beroka said: I heard from the mouth of the Sages in the Vineyard of Jabneh that all women must wait three months.25
Said R. Jeremiah to R. Zerika: When you visit R. Abbahu point out to him the following contradiction: Could R. Johanan have said, 'The halachah is in agreement with R. Jose' seeing that he stated elsewhere 'the halachah is in agreement with the anonymous Mishnah',26 and we learned, ALL OTHER WOMEN SHALL BE NEITHER MARRIED NOR BETROTHED BEFORE THREE MONTHS HAVE PASSED, WHETHER THEY WERE VIRGINS OR NON-VIRGINS!27 The other replied, 'The one who pointed out to you this contradiction did not care much for [the quality of] flour.28 This is an anonymous Mishnah that was followed by a dispute,29 where the halachah does not agree with the anonymous Mishnah; for R. Papa or, some say, R. Johanan stated: When a disputed ruling is followed by an anonymous one,30 the halachah is in agreement with the anonymous ruling; when, however, an anonymous ruling is followed by a dispute,31 the halachah is not in agreement with the anonymous ruling.
R. Abbahu once walked leaning upon the shoulder of his attendant,32 R. Nahum, whilst gathering from him information as to traditional rulings.33 He inquired of him: What [is the halachah] where a dispute is followed by an anonymous statement? The other replied: The halachah is in agreement with the anonymous statement, 'What [is the halachah', the first enquired, 'when] an anonymous statement is followed by a dispute'? The other replied: The halachah is not in agreement with the anonymous statement. 'What if the anonymous statement occurs in a Mishnah and the dispute in a Baraitha'? The other replied: The halachah is in agreement with the anonymous statement. 'What if the dispute is in the Mishnah and the anonymous statement in the Baraitha'? The other replied:
- To Next Folio -