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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth
IF ONE OF THESE, HOWEVER, WAS ELIGIBLE1 AND THE OTHER INELIGIBLE,1 THEN IF HE2 SUBMITS TO HALIZAH IT MUST BE FROM HER WHO IS INELIGIBLE,3 AND IF HE CONTRACTS LEVIRATE MARRIAGE IT MAY BE EVEN WITH HER WHO IS ELIGIBLE.
GEMARA. FOUR BROTHERS? Is this conceivable!4 — Read, FOUR of the BROTHERS.
MAY. And is he allowed?5 Surely it was taught: Then the elder's of his city shall call him,6 'they' but not their representative; 'and speak unto him'6 teaches that he is given suitable advice. If he,2 for instance, was young and she7 old, or if he was old and she was young, he is told, 'What would you with8 a young woman'? or 'What would you with an old woman'? 'Go to one who is [of the same age] as yourself and create no strife in your house'!9 — This is applicable to that case only where he can afford it.10 If so, even more wives also!11 — Sound advice was given: Only four but no more, so that each may receive one marital visit a month.12
WHERE A MAN WHO WAS MARRIED etc. Let him contract levirate marriage with both! — R. Hiyya b. Abba replied in the name of R. Johanan: Scripture stated, That doth not build up his brother's house,13 he builds one house14 but does not build two houses. Then let him submit to halizah from both of them! — Mar Zutra b. Tobia replied: Scripture stated, The house of him who had his shoe drawn off,15 he submits to the drawing off of the shoe in respect of one house but must not submit to the drawing off of the shoe in respect of two houses. Then let him submit to halizah16 from one and contract levirate marriage with the other! — Scripture stated, That doth not build,17 as he has not built18 he must never again build. Then let him contract levirate marriage with one and submit to halizah from the other! — Scripture states, If he like not,19 if, however, he liked, he may contract levirate marriage; whosoever may go up20 to contract levirate marriage, may also go up to perform halizah and whosoever may not go up17 to contract levirate marriage21 may not go up to perform halizah. Furthermore, in order that it be not said that the same house22 is partially 'built' and partially 'drawn off'. But let them say! — If he had first contracted levirate marriage and then submitted to halizah this would have been so indeed;23 it is possible, however, that he may submit to halizah and subsequently contract levirate marriage and thus place himself under the prohibition of that doth not build.24
Might it be suggested that where there is only one,25 the law of the levirate marriage shall be observed, but that where there are two, the law of levirate marriage shall not be observed! — If so, what need was there for the All Merciful to prohibit marriage with the rival of a forbidden relative? If any two rivals, it has been said, are not both subject to halizah and the levirate marriage, was there any need [to mention the exemption of] a rival of a forbidden relative! Why not? It is certainly needed! For it might have been assumed that the forbidden relative stands excluded, and her rival may, therefore, be taken in levirate marriage, hence it was taught that she also was forbidden! — But in fact [this is the proper explanation:] The repetition of his brother's wife26 widened the scope.27
MISHNAH. A MAN WHO REMARRIED HIS DIVORCED WIFE,31 OR MARRIED HIS HALUZAH, OR MARRIED THE RELATIVE OF HIS HALUZAH MUST DIVORCE HER, AND THE CHILD32 IS A BASTARD; THESE ARE THE WORDS OF R. AKIBA. BUT THE SAGES SAID: THE CHILD IS NOT A BASTARD. THEY AGREE, HOWEVER, THAT WHERE A MAN MARRIED THE RELATIVE OF HIS DIVORCEE THE CHILD32 IS A BASTARD.
GEMARA. Does R. Akiba hold the view that the child of a man who MARRIED THE RELATIVE OF HIS HALUZAH is a bastard? Surely Resh Lakish stated: Here33 it was taught by Rabbi34 [that the prohibition to marry] the sister of a divorced wife is Pentateuchal and that that of the sister of a haluzah is Rabbinical!35 — Read,36 THE RELATIVE OF HIS divorcee. This view may also logically be supported. For it was stated in the final clause, THEY AGREE, HOWEVER, THAT WHEN A MAN MARRIED THE RELATIVE OF HIS DIVORCEE THE CHILD IS A BASTARD. Now, if you grant that her case37 was under discussion one can well see the reason why the expression of THEY AGREE had been used; if you contend, however, that her case37 was not under discussion what is the purport of THEY AGREE?38
Is it not possible that we were informed39 that the [offspring of a union] of those who are subject to the penalty of kareth is a bastard?40 — This surely is taught below: 'Who is a bastard? [The offspring of a union with] any consanguineous relative with whom cohabitation is forbidden; so R. Akiba. Simeon41 the Temanite said: [The offspring of any union] the penalty for which is kareth at the hands of heaven. And the halachah is in agreement with his view.42 But is it not possible that the Tanna43 intended to indicate by his anonymous statement that the halachah is according to Simeon41 the Temanite?44 — If so, he should have stated, 'Others who are subject to the penalty of kareth', why then [specify] THE RELATIVE OF HIS DIVORCEE? Consequently it must he inferred that this case45 was under discussion. But is it not indeed possible to maintain that it45 was not under discussion, but because THE MAN WHO REMARRIED HIS DIVORCED WIFE OR MARRIED HIS HALUZAH OR THE RELATIVE OF HIS HALUZAH was spoken of,46 he also introduced THE RELATIVE OF his divorcee'?47
Would consequently [the offspring of a union with] the RELATIVE OF HIS HALUZAH, according to R. Akiba,48 be a bastard!49 — R. Hiyya b. Abba replied in the name of R. Johanan, This is R. Akiba's reason: Because Scripture stated, The house of him that had his shoe drawn off;50 Scripture thus called it his house.51
R. Joseph stated in the name of R. Simeon b. Rabbi: All agree that, where a man remarried his divorced wife,
the child1 is tainted in respect of the priesthood.2 Who [is meant by] 'All agree'? — Simeon the Temanite. For although Simeon the Temanite stated that the offspring of a union forbidden under the penalty of flogging is not a bastard, he agrees that, though he is not a bastard, he is nevertheless tainted.3 This is deduced a minori ad majus from the case of a widow: If in the case of a widow married to a High Priest, the prohibition of whom is not applicable to all,4 her son1 is tainted,3 how much more should the son of a divorcee be tainted, whose prohibition is equally applicable to all.5 [This argument, however], may be refuted: A widow's case may well be different6 because she herself becomes profaned and;7 and, furthermore, it is written in Scripture, She is an abomination,8 'she'9 only is an abomination but her children are not an abomination. — Furthermore, it was taught: Where a man remarried his divorced wife, or married his haluzah, or married the relative of his haluzah, R. Akiba said, his betrothal of her is not valid,10 she requires no divorce from him, she is disqualified,11 her child is disqualified,12 and the man is compelled to divorce her. And the Sages said: His betrothal of her is valid, she requires a divorce from the man, she is fit, and her child is fit. Now, in respect of what?13 Obviously in respect of the priesthood!14 — No; in respect of entering the congregation.13
If so, in respect of whom is she15 fit? If it be suggested 'in respect of entering the congregation', is not this [it may be retorted] obvious? Has she become ineligible to enter the congregation because she played the harlot!16 Consequently it must mean in respect of the priesthood. Now, since she is [untainted] in respect of the priesthood, her child also must be [untainted] in respect of the priesthood!14 — Is this an argument? The same term may bear different interpretations in harmony with its respective subjects.17 This18 is also logically sound. For in the first clause19 it was stated, 'She is disqualified and her child is disqualified'. Now, in respect of what is 'she disqualified'? If it be suggested, 'in respect of entry into the congregation', does she [it may be retorted] become disqualified for entry into the congregation because she played the harlot!20 Consequently it must mean 'in respect of the priesthood!' Now, again, in respect of what is 'her child disqualified'? If it be suggested, 'in respect of the priesthood' thus implying that he is permitted to enter the congregation, surely [it may be objected] R. Akiba stated that the child is a bastard!21 Obviously then 'in respect of entry into the congregation'.22 And, as in the first clause the same term bears different interpretations in harmony with its respective subjects, so may the same term in the final clause bear different interpretations in agreement with its respective subjects.23 Also as to the expression,24 This is an abomination it [may be interpreted]: 'She is an abomination but her rival is no abomination'.25 Her children, however, are an abomination.26
The objection. however, from the 'widow' [still remains, thus]: 'A widow's case may well be different27 because she herself becomes28 profaned'!29 — But [the fact is that] if any statement was made30 it was as follows:31 R. Joseph stated in the name of R. Simeon b. Rabbi, 'All agree that where a man cohabited with any of those who are subject to the penalty of kareth32 the child33 is tainted'.34 Who [is referred to by] 'All agree'? — R. Joshua. For although R. Joshua stated that the offspring of a union forbidden under the penalty of kareth is not a bastard, he agrees that, though he is no bastard, he is nevertheless tainted.35 This is deduced a minori ad majus from the case of a widow: If in the case of a widow married to a High Priest, the prohibition of whom is not applicable to all,36 her son37 is tainted,35 how much more should the son of this woman be tainted whose prohibition is equally applicable to all.38
And were you to object: A widow's case may be different39 because she herself becomes profaned,40 [it may be retorted that], here also, as soon as the man had any connubial relations with her he stamped her as a harlot.41
Rabbah b. Bar Hana said in the name of R. Johanan: All agree that where a slave or an idolater had intercourse with a daughter of an Israelite the child is a bastard. Who is meant by 'All agree'? — Simeon the Temanite. For although Simeon the Temanite stated that the offspring of a union forbidden under the penalty of flogging is not a bastard, his statement applies only
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