OR IF ONE WOMAN STATED. 'HE1 IS DEAD', AND ANOTHER WOMAN2 STATED,3 'HE IS NOT DEAD', SHE4 MAY NOT MARRY AGAIN.
GEMARA. The reason. then,5 is because she said, 'HE IS NOT DEAD'; had she, however, kept silent she would presumably have been allowed to marry again; but [it may be objected], no rival may give evidence on behalf of her associate!6 — It was necessary [to teach the case where the OTHER WIFE SAID], 'HE IS NOT DEAD.7 Since it might have been assumed that [their husband] was really dead and that by stating8 'HE IS NOT DEAD' she evidently9 intended to inflict injury upon her rival in the spirit of10 Let me11 die with the Philistines,12 we are informed [that she is nevertheless forbidden to marry again].
IF ONE WIFE STATED, 'HE IS DEAD' etc. R. Meir should have expressed his disagreement in the first clause also!13 R. Eleazar replied: [The first clause] is a subject14 in dispute and it15 represents the opinion of R. Judah and R. Simeon.16 R. Johanan. however. stated that it17 may be said [to represent even the view of] R. Meir, for in such a case even R. Meir agrees,18 since in the case of testimony relating to a woman19 the evidence [of the nature of] 'He is not dead' is not [regarded as a valid] contradiction,20
We learned: IF ONE WITNESS STATED, HE IS DEAD' AND ANOTHER WITNESS STATED, HE IS NOT DEAD', OR IF ONE WOMAN STATED, 'HE IS DEAD AND ANOTHER WOMAN STATED, HE IS NOT DEAD', SHE MAY NOT MARRY AGAIN. Now according to R. Eleazar21 it may well be explained that the anonymous statement [in the final clause]22 is in agreement with R. Meir. According to R. Johanan,23 however, there is a difficulty! — This is a difficulty.
MISHNAH. IF A WOMAN AND HER HUSBAND WENT TO A COUNTRY BEYOND THE SEA, AND SHE RETURNED AND STATED, MY HUSBAND IS DEAD'. SHE MAY BE MARRIED AGAIN AND SHE ALSO RECEIVES HER KETHUBAH. HER RIVAL, HOWEVER, IS FORBIDDEN.24 IF [HER RIVAL] WAS THE DAUGHTER OF AN ISRAELITE [WHO WAS MARRIED] TO A PRIEST, SHE IS PERMITTED TO EAT TERUMAH;25 SO R. TARFON. R. AKIBA, HOWEVER, SAID: THIS26 IS NOT A WAY THAT WOULD LEAD HER OUT OF THE POWER OF TRANSGRESSION, UNLESS [IT BE ENACTED THAT] SHE SHALL BE FORBIDDEN BOTH TO MARRY AND TO EAT TERUMAH.
IF SHE STATED, 'MY HUSBAND DIED FIRST AND MY FATHER-IN-LAW DIED AFTER HIM, SHE MAY MARRY AGAIN AND SHE ALSO RECEIVES HER KETHUBAH, BUT HER MOTHER-IN-LAWS27 IS FORBIDDEN.28 IF [THE LATTER] WAS THE DAUGHTER OF AN ISRAELITE [WHO WAS MARRIED] TO A PRIEST, SHE IS PERMITTED TO EAT TERUMAH; SO R. TARFON. R. AKIBA, HOWEVER, SAID.. THIS29 IS NOT A WAY THAT WOULD LEAD HER OUT OF THE POWER OF TRANSGRESSION, UNLESS [IT BE ENACTED THAT] SHE SHALL BE FORBIDDEN BOTH TO MARRY AGAIN AND TO EAT TERUMAH.
GEMARA. And [both statements30 were] necessary. For If the first only had been stated, it might have been assumed that only in that did N. Tarfon maintain [his view],31 since the grievance is personal.32 but that in respect of a mother-in-law, the grievance against whom is merely general,33 he agrees with N. Akiba.34 And had the latter only been stated it might have been assumed that R. Akiba maintained [his view] there only, but that in the former case he agrees with R. Tarfon. [Hence both statements were] necessary.
Rab Judah stated in the name of Samuel: The halachah is in agreement with R. Tarfon. Said Abaye: We also learned the same: [If a woman35 states],36 'A son was given to me in a country beyond the sea, and my son died first while my husband died after him', she is believed.37 [If, however, she states]. 'My husband [died first] and my son died after him', she is not believed,38 though note must be taken of her statement, and she must, therefore, perform halizah39 but may not40 contract the levirate marriage.41 [From which it follows that] 'note must be taken of her statement', but that no note need be taken of the statement of a rival. Thus our point is proved.
Original footnotes renumbered.
- V. supra p. 830. n. 9.
- Even if she is the rival of the woman concerned.
- V. supra note 5.
- Even the first.
- Why the second wife MAY NEITHER MARRY AGAIN.
- Her rival.
- There was no need to mention the case where she remained silent, which is obvious.
- Lit., 'and that which she said'.
- Since she went out of her way to contradict her rival and was not content to remain silent.
- Lit.. 'she said'.
- [H] v. marg. note. Cur. edd., [H].
- Judges XVI, 30. She is prepared herself to lose the right of marrying again in order that her rival also may thereby be deprived of her right.
- Where. as in the second clause, one woman contradicts the other.
- Lit.. 'it was taught'.
- The view expressed in the first clause.
- [According to R. Eleazar. R. Meir would forbid in the second clause remarriage to both women, because he admits a rival's contradictory evidence, whereas R. Judah and Simeon hold that a rival's contradiction is not admitted and hence they rule that both are permitted to marry. Similarly in the first clause, on R. Meir's view the first woman would not be allowed to marry, regard being had to the contradiction of her rival. On this assumption, the reason stated in the second clause for R. Judah's and R. Simeon's ruling, that neither denied the fact of the man's death, will have been advanced by them as an argument on the hypothesis that R. Meir's view, admitting the rival's contradiction, is accepted. [H].
- The view expressed in the first clause.
- That the assertion of the second wife is not regarded as valid contradiction of the evidence of the first.
- [In connection with the death of her husband in regard to which the laws of evidence have been considerably relaxed. Var. lec. 'the testimony of a rival'].
- But as a mere outburst of malice, intended to injure her rival. The first evidence is, therefore, accepted.
- Who explained that the first clause represents the view of those who differ from R. Meir, while R. Meir maintains that the first wife also is forbidden to marry again, because a rival's contradiction is admitted, v. p. 831, n. 21.
- Which forbids remarriage, even where the contradictory evidence was given by the rival (v. supra p. 831. n. 7.)
- Who stated that R. Meir agrees with the ruling in the first clause that a rival's contradiction is admitted.
- To marry again; since a woman may not tender evidence for her rival.
- As during the lifetime of her husband. The evidence of the other which is regarded as invalid to enable the rival to marry again (v. supra n. 1) is equally invalid to deprive her of her right to the eating of terumah.
- To forbid the rival to marry and to allow her to eat terumah.
- For whom a daughter-in-law is ineligible to tender evidence.
- To marry; though. at the time the evidence in her favour was given. the witness, according to whose evidence her husband died before her father-in-law, was no longer her daughter-in-law. The reason is explained supra 117b.
- Cf. supra n. 3 mutatis mutandis.
- The first (relating to a rival) and the second (relating to a mother-in-law).
- That the evidence of a rival is not accepted.
- The deprivation of marital intercourse caused by a rival. Only 10 such circumstances, it is possible, did R. Tarfon discredit the evidence of a rival who might indeed be actuated by malice.
- Lit., 'things in the world'.
- That a daughter-in-law need not be suspected of deliberate lying because of some general grievance against her mother-in-law; and that consequently. though her evidence is not accepted in respect of relaxing the laws of marriage. it may be accepted in respect of enforcing the laws of terumah.
- Who went to a country beyond the sea with her husband before any issue was born from their union.
- On her return.
- And may contract levirate marriage. Her evidence merely confirms the status in which she was already at the time of her departure. At that time as well as now she had no children to exempt her from the levirate obligations.
- To be permitted to marry a stranger without previous halizah with the levir. The evidence of a woman is accepted only in respect of the death of her husband, where it is assumed that she takes all possible care to ascertain the fact of his death. it is not, however, accepted in respect of liberating her from a levir against whom she might have been nursing a personal hatred, so that she would, without making the necessary enquiries, be ready on the flimsiest of proofs to testify anything which enables her to get rid of him.
- Owing to the status in which she has been confirmed.
- Since note must be taken of her allegation.
- Infra 118b, 119b.
MISHNAH. IF A MAN BETROTHED ONE OF FIVE WOMEN AND HE DOES NOT KNOW WHICH OF THEM HE HAS BETROTHED, AND EACH STATES, 'HE HAS BETROTHED ME. HE GIVES A LETTER OF DIVORCE TO EVERY ONE OF THEM,1 AND, LEAVING THE KETHUBAH2 AMONG THEM, WITHDRAWS;3 SO R. TARFON. R. AKIBA, HOWEVER, SAID: THIS IS NOT A WAY THAT WOULD TAKE ONE OUT OF THE POWER OF TRANSGRESSION, UNLESS ONE GIVES TO EACH OF THEM BOTH A LETTER OF DIVORCE AND HER KETHUBAH.2
IF A MAN ROBBED ONE OF FIVE PERSONS AND DOES NOT KNOW WHICH OF THEM HE HAS ROBBED, AND EACH ONE STATES. 'HE HAS ROBBED ME', HE LEAVES THE [AMOUNT OF] THE ROBBERY AMONG THEM AND WITHDRAWS;4 SO R. TARFON. R. AKIBA, HOWEVER, STATED: THIS IS NOT A WAY THAT WOULD LEAD ONE OUT OF THE POWER OF SIN, UNLESS ONE PAYS [THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE ROBBERY] TO EVERY ONE [OF THE PERSONS INVOLVED].
GEMARA. Since BETROTHED was stated. and not5 'cohabited'. and since ROBBED was stated and not 'bought'. whose [view, it may be asked, is represented in] our Mishnah? Neither. [apparently. that of] the first Tanna6 nor that of R. Simeon b. Eleazar!6 For it was taught: R. Simeon b. Eleazar stated that R. Tarfon and R. Akiba did not differ [on the ruling that] where a man betrothed one of five women, and he does not know which of them he betrothed, he leaves the kethubah2 among them and withdraws;3 they differ only in the case where cohabitation occurred, R. Tarfon ruling that the man leaves the kethubah2 among them and withdraws, while R. Akiba ruled [that the man is not exempt from transgression] unless he pays7 everyone of them. R. Tarfon and R. Akiba. furthermore, did not differ on [the ruling that] where a person bought something from five men and does not know from which of them he bought, he may leave the price of the purchase among them and depart; they differ only in the case where a person robbed one of five men, R. Tarfon ruling that the man must deposit the amount of the robbery among them and may then depart, while R. Akiba ruled [that the man is not exonerated] unless he pays [the amount of the] robbery to everyone.8 Now, since R. Simeon b. Eleazar said that they9 do not differ in the case where a man betrothed or purchased, it may be inferred that the first Tanna is of the opinion that they9 did differ. Whose [view then, is presented in our Mishnah]? If it is that of the first Tanna 'betrothal' and purchase should have been mentioned,10 and if [it is that of] R. Simeon b. Eleazar cohabitation and 'robbery' should have been mentioned!11 — [Our Mishnah represents] in fact [the view of] N. Simeon b. Eleazar, but the meaning of12 BETROTHED is betrothal through cohabitation'. BETROTHED was used in order to acquaint you how far R. Akiba is prepared to go,13 as he imposes a penalty14 even where one transgressed a Rabbinic prohibition15 only; and ROBBED was taught in order to acquaint you how far N. Tarfon is prepared to go, as he imposes no penalties16 even where one had transgressed a Pentateuchal prohibition.17
MISHNAH. A WOMAN WHO WENT WITH HER HUSBAND TO A COUNTRY BEYOND THE SEA, HER SON ALSO [GOING] WITH THEM, AND WHO CAME BACK AND STATED, 'MY HUSBAND DIED AND AFTERWARDS MY SON DIED', IS BELIEVED.18 [IF, HOWEVER, SHE STATED.] 'MY SON DIED AND AFTERWARDS MY HUSBAND DIED'.19 SHE IS NOT BELIEVED,20 BUT NOTE IS TAKEN OF HER ASSERTION21 AND SHE MUST, THEREFORE, PERFORM HALIZAH22 AND MAY NOT CONTRACT THE LEVIRATE MARRIAGE.23
[IF A WOMAN24 STATES].25 'A SON WAS GIVEN TO ME [WHILE I WAS] IN A COUNTRY BEYOND THE SEA' AND SHE ALSO ASSERTS, 'MY SON DIED AND AFTERWARDS MY HUSBAND DIED', SHE IS BELIEVED.26 [IF, HOWEVER, SHE STATES]. 'MY HUSBAND DIED AND AFTERWARDS MY SON DIED.27 SHE IS NOT BELIEVED,28 BUT NOTE IS TAKEN OF HER ASSERTION29 AND SHE MUST, THEREFORE, PERFORM HALIZAH30 BUT MAY NOT CONTRACT LEVIRATE MARRIAGE.31
[19 F A WOMAN32 STATES]. 'A BROTHER-IN-LAW WAS GIVEN TO ME [WHILE I WAS] IN A COUNTRY BEYOND THE SEA',33 AND SHE ALSO STATES, 'MY HUSBAND DIED AND AFTERWARDS MY BROTHER-IN-LAW DIED OR 'MY BROTHER-IN-LAW DIED AND AFTERWARDS MY HUSBAND DIED', SHE IS BELIEVED.34
IF A WOMAN AND HER HUSBAND AND HER BROTHER-IN-LAW WENT TO A COUNTRY BEYOND THE SEA, AND SHE [ON RETURNING HOME] STATED, 'MY HUSBAND DIED AND AFTERWARDS MY BROTHER-IN-LAW [DIED]' OR 'MY BROTHER-IN-LAW [DIED] AND AFTERWARDS MY HUSBAND [DIED]'. SHE IS NOT BELIEVED; FOR A WOMAN IS NOT TO BE BELIEVED WHEN SHE ASSERTS 'MY BROTHER-IN-LAW IS DEAD', IN ORDER THAT SHE MAY MARRY AGAIN. NOR [WHEN SHE STATES THAT] HER SISTER IS DEAD. IN ORDER THAT SHE MAY ENTER HIS35 HOUSE.36 A MAN ALSO IS NOT BELIEVED WHEN HE ASSERTS 'MY BROTHER IS DEAD', SO THAT HE MAY CONTRACT LEVIR' ATE MARRIAGE WITH HIS WIFE, NOR [WHEN HE ASSERTS THAT] HIS WIFE IS DEAD, IN ORDER THAT HE MAY MARRY HER SISTER.37
GEMARA. Raba enquired of R. Nahman: What [is the legal position] if a husband transferred to his wife [through an agent]38 the possession of a letter of divorce, where a brother-in-law39 is in existence?40 [Is the divorce], since she [usually] hates her brother. in-law, an advantage to her and [consequently valid, because] a privilege may be conferred upon a person in his absence; or is it possible [that the divorce], since she sometimes loves her brother-in-law, is a disadvantage to her and [consequently invalid because] no disadvantage may be imposed upon a person in his absence? The other replied. We have learned this: NOTE IS TAKEN OF HER ASSERTION AND SHE MUST, THEREFORE, PERFORM HALIZAH. BUT MAY NOT CONTRACT THE LEVIRATE MARRIAGE.41
Said Rabina to Raba: What [is the legal decision] if a husband transferred to his wife [through an agent]42 the possession of a letter of divorce at a time43 when a quarrel [raged between them]? [Is the divorce], since she has a quarrel with her husband, an advantage to her or [is it a disadvantage, since] the gratification of bodily desires is possibly preferred by her?44 — Come and hear what Resh Lakish said: 'It is preferable to live in grief45 than to dwell in widowhood'.46
Abaye said: 'With a husband [of the size of an] ant her seat is placed among the great'.47
R. Papa said: Though her husband be a carder48 she calls him to the threshold and sits down [at his side].49
R. Ashi said: If her husband is only a cabbage-head50 she requires no lentils51 for her pot.52
A Tanna taught: All such women53 play the harlot and attribute the results54 to their husbands.
Original footnotes renumbered.
- If he has no desire to marry any of them.
- I.e., the sum due to a woman on being divorced. (V. Glos.).
- He need not give them more than the amount of one kethubah since he had betrothed no more than one woman. It is for the women themselves to come to an agreement on the disposal of that sum.
- Cf. supra n. 2 mutatis mutandis.
- Lit., was not stated'.
- Of the Baraitha cited infra.
- The full amount of her kethubah.
- Tosef. Yeb. XIV.
- R. Tarfon and R. Akiba.
- And not those of 'betrothal' and robbery
- Not those if betrothal and 'robbery'.
- Lit., and what'.
- Lit., 'with the power'.
- That the man must pay the amount if her kethubah to each one of the five women.
- It is only Rabbinically that betrothal through cohabitation is forbidden. Pentateuchally it constitutes a proper kinyan.
- Maintaining as he does that one single sum equal to the amount of the robbery exonerates the robber from all further liability.
- Prohibition of robbery was specifically mentioned in the Pentateuch,
- And is exempt from levirate marriage and halizah. Her statement is accepted since thereby she is merely confirming the status in which she found herself before her departure. At that time she had a son who exempted her from the levirate bond; and now that her husband died before that son she is still entitled to the same exemption. Her admission of her son's death does not affect her status, since she is the only source of the information, and as her word is accepted in respect of the death it must be similarly accepted in respect of its date.
- So that she is in consequence subject to the levirate bond.
- Because her assertion would alter the status in which she was confirmed prior to her departure. Such alteration cannot be authorized in view of the possibility that her report might be due to a desire to marry the levir.
- Since, at any rate, her statement has impaired her former status.
- Before she may be permitted to marry a stranger.
- She herself having testified that she was forbidden to the levir.
- Who had no children at the time she left her home town.
- On returning from across the sea.
- And remains subject to the levirate bond and may perform halizah or contract levirate marriage. Her statement is accepted because it confirms the status in which she was established prior to her departure. Cf. supra p. 836. n. 11 mutatis mutandis.
- So that, were her statement to be accepted, she would be exempt from the levirate bond to which, in virtue of her former status, she is still subject.
- Cf. supra note 2 mutatis mutandis. As a rule, a woman is supposed to hate her brother-in-law.
- V. supra n. 3.
- V. supra n. 4.
- V. supra n. 5.
- Who was known to have no brother-in-law.
- I.e., her mother-in-law, who was with her overseas, gave birth to a son during their stay there.
- Since in either case she only confirms her former status. Cf. supra p. 836. n. 11 mutatis mutandis.
- Her sister's husband's.
- I.e., to marry him, which she is forbidden to do during the lifetime of her sister.
- Cf. supra note 2 mutatis mutandis.
- Whom the childless husband had asked to act on behalf of his wife, his intention being to spare her from the levirate obligations on his death. Elsewhere a divorce is invalid unless it had actually been delivered into the woman's hands or into those of an agent who was duly appointed by her.
- To whom she would be subject in the absence of a letter of divorce.
- Lit., 'in the place of'.
- Since this is the ruling in our Mishnah both in the case where It is assumed that she loves the levir (cf. supra p. 837, n. 2) and in that where she is assumed to hate him (cf. supra p. 837. n. 10). it is obvious that it is uncertain whether a divorce given in the circumstance described by Raba is an advantage or a disadvantage to the woman. The legal position in such a case would consequently be that the woman would have to perform halizah but would not be permitted levirate marriage.
- V. p. 838. n' 4.
- Lit., 'in the place of'.
- She might prefer a married life in quarrels to a peaceful life of separation.
- Or 'together', 'as husband and wife'. V. following note.
- A woman's maxim. She prefers an unhappy life in a married state to a happy one in solitude. [H] 'with a load of grief', 'in trouble' (last.). According to Rashi, [H] = 'two bodies' (cf. supra n. 4). Levy compares it with the Pers., tandu, 'two persons'.
- A proverb. [H] a free woman,
- [H] 'flax-beater'; Aruk, [H] 'a watchman of vegetables'; a very poor and humble occupation.
- To show her friends that she is a married woman. She is proud of her husband despite his lowly social status.
- [H] 'dull', or 'ugly' (cf. last.); 'of a tainted family' (Rashi).
- Regarded as a cheap food.
- For the sake of a married life, a woman willingly renounces all other pleasures. even the enjoyment of the poorest meal.
- Lit., 'and all of them', those married to the unlovely types of husband mentioned.
- Lit., 'and hang (it) on'.