Previous Folio / Yebamoth Directory / Tractate List / Navigate Site
Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth
THE DAUGHTER OF A PRIEST WHO WAS MARRIED TO AN ISRAELITE MAY NOT EAT TERUMAH.1 IF HE DIED AND SHE HAD A SON BY HIM SHE MAY NOT EAT TERUMAH. IF SHE WAS [SUBSEQUENTLY] MARRIED TO A LEVITE SHE MAY EAT TITHE. IF THE LATTER DIED AND SHE HAD A SON BY HIM SHE MAY EAT TITHE. IF SHE WAS [SUBSEQUENTLY] MARRIED TO A PRIEST SHE MAY EAT TERUMAH. IF THE LATTER DIED AND SHE HAD A SON BY HIM SHE MAY EAT TERUMAH. IF HER SON BY THE PRIEST DIED SHE MAY NOT EAT TERUMAH. IF HER SON BY THE LEVITE DIED SHE MAY NOT EAT TITHE. IF HER SON BY THE ISRAELITE DIED SHE RETURNS TO THE HOUSE OF HER FATHER; AND IT IS CONCERNING SUCH A WOMAN THAT IT WAS SAID, AND IS RETURNED UNTO HER FATHER'S HOUSE, AS IN HER YOUTH, SHE MAY EAT OF HER FATHER'S BREAD.2
GEMARA. IF HER SON BY THE LEVITE DIED SHE MAY AGAIN EAT TERUMAH, because she is again entitled to eat it by virtue of her son;3 whence is this4 derived? — R. Abba replied in the name of Rab: [From the use of the expression,] But a daughter5 [instead of] 'a daughter'.6 In accordance with whose view?7 Is it in accordance with that of R. Akiba who bases expositions on Wawin!8 — It may be said [to be in agreement] even [with the view of the] Rabbis, since the entire expression But a daughter5 is superfluous.9
Our Rabbis taught: When she10 returns,11 she returns only to [the privilege of eating] terumah, but does not return to [the privilege of eating] the breast and the shoulder.12 Said R. Hisda in the name of Rabina b. Shila, 'What Scriptural text proves this?13 — She shall not eat of the terumah of the holy things,14 she must not eat of that which is set apart15 from the holy things'.16 R. Nahman replied17 in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha: Of [her father's] bread,5 but not all [her father's] bread;18 this excludes the breast and the shoulder.12 Rami b. Hama demurred: Might it not be suggested that this19 excludes the invalidation of vows!20 Raba replied: A Tanna of the school of R. Ishmael has long ago settled this difficulty. For a Tanna of the School of R. Ishmael taught: What need was there for Scripture to state, But the vow of a widow, or of her that is divorced … shall stand against her?21 Is she not free from the authority of her father and also from that of her husband!22 The fact is that where the father had entrusted [his daughter] to the representatives of the husband, or where the representatives of the father had entrusted her to the representatives of the husband, and on the way23 she became a widow or was divorced, [it would not have been known] whether she was to be described as of24 the house of her father25 or as of the house of her husband;26 hence the need for the text27 to tell you that as soon as she had left her father's authority, even if only for a short while, he may no more invalidate her vows.28
R. Safra replied:29 She may eat of her father's bread,30 only bread but no flesh.31 R. Papa replied:29 She may eat of her father's bread,30 only the bread which is the property of her father;32 excluding however, the breast and the shoulder which [priests] obtain from the table of the Most High.33
R. Adda b. Ahabah stated that a Tanna taught: When she36 returns to her father's house, she returns [only to the privilege of eating] terumah, but does not return to [the privilege of eating] the breast and the shoulders. [If she37 returns, however,] by virtue of her son,38 she returns also to [the privilege of eating] the breast and the shoulder.39 R. Mordecai went and recited this traditional statement in the presence of R. Ashi, when the latter said to him, 'Whence [has this case]40 been included?41 From "But a daughter".42 Should she, then, be more important than the other!'43 — There,43 the excluding texts were written;44 but here40 no excluding texts were written.
THE DAUGHTER OF A PRIEST WHO WAS MARRIED TO AN ISRAELITE etc. Our Rabbis taught: And is returned unto her father's house,42 excludes one who is awaiting the decision of the levir;45 as in her youth,42 excludes a pregnant woman.46 But could not this [law,47 however, be arrived at by] logical argument: If where a child by a first husband is not regarded as the child by the second husband, in respect of exempting the woman from the levirate marriage,48 the embryo is nevertheless regarded as a born child,49 how much more should the embryo be regarded as a born child where a child by the first husband is regarded as the child of the second, in respect of depriving a woman of her right to terumah!50 No; this is no argument.51 If an embryo was regarded as a born child in respect of the levirate marriage, where the dead were given the same status as the living,52 should an embryo be regarded as a born child in respect of terumah, where the dead were not given the same status as the living?53 Consequently Scripture expressly stated, As in her youth,54 to exclude a pregnant woman.
And it was necessary for Scripture to write, As55 in her youth, to exclude the pregnant woman; and also56 And have no child,54 to57 exclude one who has a born child. For had the All Merciful written only And have no child,54 it might have been assumed [that only a woman who has a born child is forbidden to eat terumah, because] at first58 there was one body and now there are two bodies,59 but that a pregnant woman, who formed at first58 one body and is now also one body on]y, may eat, [hence the second text60 was] required. And had the All Merciful written of the pregnant woman only it might have been assumed [that only she is forbidden to eat terumah] because at first58 her body
Said Rab Judah of Diskarta8 to Raba: The dead should not be given9 the same status as the living, in respect of the levirate marriage, by inference a minori ad majus: If where a child by the first husband is regarded as the child of the second husband, in respect of disqualifying the woman from the eating of terumah,10 the dead were not given the same status as the living,11 how much less should the dead be given the same status as the living12 where the child of the first husband is not regarded as the son of the second, in respect of exempting the woman from the levirate marriage!13 It was expressly stated, Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.14
Then let the dead be given15 the same status as the living in respect of terumah by inference a minori ad majus: If where a child by the first husband is not regarded as the child of the second In respect of exempting the woman from the levirate marriage,13 the dead were given the same status as the living,16 how much more so should the dead be given the same status as the living17 where a child of the first husband is regarded as the son of the second, in respect of disqualifying the woman from terumah!18 It was expressly stated, And [she] have no child19 and she, surely, has none.20
Let the child of the first husband be regarded as the child of the second husband in respect of the levirate marriage by inference a minori ad majus: If where the dead were not given the same status as the living, in respect of terumah21 the child of the first husband is regarded as the son of the second,22 how much more should the child of the first husband be regarded as the child of the second23 where the dead were given the status of the living in respect of the levirate marriage!21 — It was expressly stated, And [he] have no child,24 and this man, surely, has none.
Then let the child of the first husband not be regarded as the child of the second husband, in respect of terumah, by inference a minori ad majus: If where the dead were given the same status as the living, in respect of exempting her from the levirate marriage, the child of the first husband was not regarded as the child of the second,22 how much less should the child of the first husband be regarded as the child of the second, where the dead were not regarded as the living in respect of eating terumah!21 — It was specifically stated, And [she] have none,25 but she surely has [one].
MISHNAH. A WOMAN WHOSE HUSBAND HAD GONE TO A COUNTRY BEYOND THE SEA AND ON BEING TOLD,26 'YOUR HUSBAND IS DEAD', MARRIED, MUST, IF HER HUSBAND SUBSEQUENTLY RETURNED, LEAVE THE ONE AS WELL AS THE OTHER, AND SHE ALSO REQUIRES27 A LETTER OF DIVORCE FROM THE ONE AS WELL AS FROM THE OTHER. SHE HAS NO [CLAIM TO HER] KETHUBAH, USUFRUCT, MAINTENANCE28 OR WORN CLOTHES29 EITHER AGAINST THE FIRST HUSBAND OR AGAINST THE SECOND. IF SHE HAS TAKEN ANYTHING FROM THE ONE OR FROM THE OTHER, SHE MUST RETURN IT. THE CHILD BEGOTTEN BY THE ONE HUSBAND OR BY THE OTHER IS A BASTARD;30 NEITHER OF THEM31 MAY DEFILE HIMSELF FOR HER;32 NEITHER OF THEM HAS A CLAIM TO WHATEVER SHE MAY FIND33 OR MAKE WITH HER HANDS;34 AND NEITHER HAS THE RIGHT OF INVALIDATING HER VOWS.35 IF SHE WAS THE DAUGHTER OF AN ISRAELITE, SHE BECOMES DISQUALIFIED FROM MARRYING A PRIEST; IF THE DAUGHTER OF A LEVITE, FROM THE EATING OF TITHE; AND IF THE DAUGHTER OF A PRIEST, FROM THE EATING OF TERUMAH. NEITHER THE HEIRS OF THE ONE HUSBAND NOR THE HEIRS OF THE OTHER ARE ENTITLED TO INHERIT HER KETHUBAH, AND IF [THE HUSBANDS] DIE, THE BROTHER OF THE ONE AND THE BROTHER OF THE OTHER MUST SUBMIT TO HALIZAH, BUT MAY NOT CONTRACT THE LEVIRATE MARRIAGE. R. JOSE SAID: HER KETHUBAH REMAINS A CHARGE UPON THE ESTATE OF HER FIRST HUSBAND. R. ELEAZAR SAID: THE FIRST HUSBAND IS ENTITLED TO WHATEVER SHE MAY FIND, OR MAKE WITH HER HANDS, AND ALSO HAS THE RIGHT OF INVALIDATING HER VOWS. R. SIMEON SAID: HER COHABITATION OR HALIZAH WITH THE BROTHER OF THE FIRST HUSBAND EXEMPTS HER RIVAL,36 AND A CHILD BEGOTTEN BY HIM37 IS NOT A BASTARD. IF SHE MARRIED WITHOUT AN AUTHORIZATION38 SHE MAY RETURN TO HIM.37 IF39 SHE MARRIED WITH THE AUTHORIZATION OF THE BETH DIN,40 SHE MUST LEAVE,41 BUT IS EXEMPT FROM AN OFFERING.42 IF SHE MARRIED, HOWEVER, WITHOUT THE AUTHORIZATION OF THE BETH DIN, SHE MUST LEAVE41 AND IS ALSO LIABLE TO AN OFFERING. THE AUTHORITY OF THE BETH DIN IS THUS MORE EFFECTIVE IN THAT IT EXEMPTS HER FROM THE OFFERING. IF THE BETH DIN RULED43 THAT SHE MAY BE MARRIED AGAIN AND SHE WENT AND DISGRACED HERSELF44 SHE45 MUST BRING AN OFFERING, BECAUSE THE BETH DIN PERMITTED HER ONLY TO MARRY.46
GEMARA. Since in the final clause it was stated, IF SHE MARRIES WITHOUT PERMISSION SHE MAY RETURN TO HIM, [which means obviously], without the authorization of the Beth din but [in reliance on the evidence] of witnesses, the first clause, it is to be inferred, [speaks of a woman who married] with the permission of the Beth din and on the evidence of a sing]e witness.47 Thus it clearly follows that one witness is trusted. Furthermore, we learned: The practice was adopted of allowing a marriage on the evidence of one witness reporting48 another single witness, and of a woman reporting another woman, and of a woman reporting a bondman or a bondwoman;49 from which it is obvious that one witness is trusted. Furthermore we learned: [The man to whom] one witness said, 'You have eaten50 suet',51 and who replied, 'I have not eaten', is exempt.52 Now the reason [for his exemption is] because he said, 'l have not eaten'; had he, however, remained silent [the witness] would have been trusted.53 From this it is clearly evident that one witness is trusted in accordance with Pentateuchal law;54 whence is this55 deduced? From what was taught: If his sin … be known to him,56 but not when others have made it known to him. As it might have been assumed that even where he does not contradict the evidence he is exempt, it was expressly stated, If … be known to him,57 in any manner.58 Now, how is this statement to be understood? If it be suggested [that it refers to a case] where two witnesses appeared, and he does not contradict them, what need then was there for a Scriptural text!59 Must it not then refer to the case of60 one witness, and yet [we see that] when the accused does not contradict him he is trusted.61 From this, then, it maybe inferred that one witness is to be trusted.54 But whence is it inferred that [the reason62 is] because he is trusted? Is it not possible that it is due to the fact that the other had remained silent, silence being regarded as an admission! You can have proof that this is so,63 since in the final clause it was stated: [A man to whom] two witnesses said, 'You have eaten64 suet,65 and who replied. 'I have not eaten', is exempt; but R. Meir declares him guilty. Said R. Meir: This66 may be inferred a minori ad majus. If two witnesses may bring upon a man the severe penalty of death, should they not be able to bring upon him the minor penalty of a sacrifice! The others replied: What if he desired to say, 'I have acted presumptuously'!67 Now, in the first clause,68
- To Next Folio -