הָהוּא דַּהֲוָה קָא שָׁכֵיב אֲמַרוּ לֵיהּ אִתְּתֵיהּ לְמַאן אֲמַר לְהוּ חַזְיָא לְכָהֲנָא רַבָּה The Gemara relates: There was a certain man, who was presumed to have brothers but no children, who was dying. His wife was therefore presumed to be obligated in levirate marriage. Those with him said to him: To whom may his wife, i.e., your wife, be married? Is she required to enter into levirate marriage, or is she permitted to marry whomever she wishes? He said to them: She is fit to marry even a High Priest. She is not required to enter into levirate marriage.
אָמַר רָבָא מַאי נֵיחוּשׁ לַהּ הָא אָמַר רַב חִיָּיא בַּר אַבָּא אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בַּעַל שֶׁאָמַר גֵּרַשְׁתִּי אֶת אִשְׁתִּי נֶאֱמָן אֲמַר לֵיהּ אַבָּיֵי וְהָא כִּי אֲתָא רַבִּי יִצְחָק בַּר יוֹסֵף אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בַּעַל שֶׁאָמַר גֵּרַשְׁתִּי אֶת אִשְׁתִּי אֵינוֹ נֶאֱמָן אֲמַר לֵיהּ (וְלָאו) מִי לָא שַׁנִּינְהוּ כָּאן לְמַפְרֵעַ וְכָאן לְהַבָּא Rava said: With what possibility need we be concerned with regard to her? Doesn’t Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba say that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: A husband who says: I have divorced my wife, is deemed credible, and she is exempt from levirate marriage? Therefore, this woman will be exempt as well. Abaye said to him: But when Rav Yitzḥak bar Yosef came from Eretz Yisrael, he said that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: A husband who says: I have divorced my wife, is not deemed credible. Rava said to him: But didn’t we resolve the contradiction, concluding that here Rabbi Yoḥanan was referring to a retroactive testimony and there he was referring to testimony for the future? Therefore, according to both versions of Rabbi Yoḥanan’s statement, the husband should be deemed credible in this case.
וְאַשִּׁנּוּיֵי נֵיקוּם וְלִסְמוֹךְ אֲמַר לֵיהּ רָבָא לְרַב נָתָן בַּר אַמֵּי חוּשׁ לַהּ Abaye responded: But shall we arise and rely on answers in a halakhic ruling? Although the contradiction can be resolved in this manner, there is no guarantee that this resolution is correct. Therefore Rav Yitzḥak bar Yosef’s statement should still be taken into consideration. Rava subsequently said to Rav Natan bar Ami: Be concerned about it. There may be a dispute with regard to this issue, as the resolution cannot be relied upon.
הָהוּא דַּהֲוָה מוּחְזָק לַן דְּלֵית לֵיהּ אַחֵי וַאֲמַר בִּשְׁעַת מִיתָה דְּלֵית לֵיהּ אַחֵי אֲמַר רַב יוֹסֵף מַאי לֵיחוּשׁ לַהּ חֲדָא דְּמוּחְזָק לַן דְּלֵית לֵיהּ אַחִין וְעוֹד הָא אָמַר בִּשְׁעַת מִיתָה דְּלֵית לֵיהּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ אַבָּיֵי הָא אָמְרִי דְּאִיכָּא עֵדִים בִּמְדִינַת הַיָּם דְּיָדְעִי דְּאִית לֵיהּ אַחֵי The Gemara relates: There was a certain man who was presumed by us, i.e., the court, to have no brothers, and he said at the time of his death that he has no brothers. Rav Yosef said: With what possibility need we be concerned with regard to his wife, in terms of her requiring levirate marriage? For one, he is presumed by us to have no brothers, and furthermore, he said at the time of his death that he has none. Abaye said to him: But don’t people say that there are witnesses overseas who know that he has brothers? Therefore, we should be concerned that this report is accurate.
הַשְׁתָּא מִיהַת הָא לֵיתַנְהוּ קַמַּן לָאו הַיְינוּ דְּרַבִּי חֲנִינָא דְּאָמַר רַבִּי חֲנִינָא עֵדִים בְּצַד אַסְתָּן וְתֵאָסֵר Rav Yosef responded: In any event, now the witnesses are not present before us, so this possibility does not need to be taken into account. Isn’t this the same as Rabbi Ḥanina’s ruling in a case where women who were captured and subsequently liberated claimed that they were not raped in captivity (Ketubot 23a)? As although people said there were witnesses elsewhere who could testify that they were raped, Rabbi Ḥanina says that they were permitted to marry a priest, reasoning: Just because there may be witnesses in the north [istan], i.e., in a distant place, will the woman be forbidden?
אֲמַר לֵיהּ אַבָּיֵי אִם הֵקַלְנוּ בִּשְׁבוּיָה מִשּׁוּם דִּמְנַוְּולָא נַפְשָׁהּ לְגַבֵּי שַׁבַּאי נָקֵל בְּאֵשֶׁת אִישׁ אָמַר לֵיהּ רָבָא לְרַב נָתָן בַּר אַמֵּי חוּשׁ לַהּ: Abaye said to him: If we were lenient with regard to a captive woman, due to, among other reasons, the fact that she makes herself repulsive before the captor so that he will not want to rape her, and we assume that she was not raped, should we be lenient with regard to a married woman? Rava said to Rav Natan bar Ami: Be concerned about it. Do not permit this woman to remarry until the matter is clarified.
זֶה אָחִי אֵינוֹ נֶאֱמָן וְאִידַּךְ מַאי קָאָמְרִי אִי קָאָמְרִי אֲחוּנָא הוּא אַמַּאי יִטּוֹל עִמּוֹ בְּחֶלְקוֹ וְתוּ לָא אֶלָּא דְּקָא אָמְרִי לָאו אָחִינוּ הוּא § The mishna teaches that one who says: This is my brother, is not deemed credible with regard to his other brothers’ share of their father’s inheritance. Rather, the man in question receives a portion only from the portion of the one who testified concerning him. The Gemara clarifies: And what do the other brothers say? If they say: He is our brother, why does the man in question take a portion of the inheritance only with the one who testified, from his portion, and nothing more? If the other brothers admit that he is their brother, they should give him a share of their portions as well. Rather, they are saying: He is not our brother.
אֵימָא סֵיפָא נָפְלוּ לוֹ נְכָסִים מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר יִירְשׁוּ אֶחָיו עִמּוֹ הָא אָמְרִי לֵיהּ לָאו אֲחוּנָא הוּא The Gemara questions this: Say the last clause of the mishna: If property came into the possession of the man in question from somewhere else, and he died, the brothers of the one who testified shall inherit the man in question’s property with him. Why should they inherit with him? Didn’t they say to him: He is not our brother?
לָא צְרִיכָא דְּקָא אָמְרִי אֵין אָנוּ יוֹדְעִין The Gemara answers: No, it is necessary to state this ruling only in a case where they say: We do not know if he is our brother. Therefore, they are not obligated to give him a portion of their inheritance, as he cannot prove to them that he is their brother. Nevertheless, they can claim a portion of his inheritance after his death, on the basis of their brother’s testimony.
אָמַר רָבָא זֹאת אוֹמֶרֶת מָנֶה לִי בְּיָדְךָ וְהַלָּה אוֹמֵר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ פָּטוּר Rava says: That is to say that if one says to another: I have one hundred dinars in your possession, and the other person says: I do not know, he is exempt, similar to this case, where the brothers who claim that they do not know if this person is their brother are not obligated to share their inheritance with him.
אַבָּיֵי אָמַר Abaye said: