גר דן את חבירו דבר תורה שנאמר (דברים יז, טו) שום תשים עליך מלך אשר יבחר ה' אלהיך בו מקרב אחיך תשים עליך מלך עליך הוא דבעינן מקרב אחיך אבל גר דן את חבירו גר
By Torah law a convert may judge his fellow convert, as it is stated: “You shall set a king over you, whom the Lord your God shall choose; one from among your brothers you shall set king over you” (Deuteronomy 17:15). The Gemara deduces from the terminology of the phrase “over you,” i.e., when presiding over Jews by birth either as a king, a judge, or any other official, that from here it is where we require that the official must be: “From among your brothers,” meaning a Jew by birth. However, a convert may judge his fellow convert, as the requirement of “one from among your brothers” doesn’t apply when presiding over fellow converts.
ואם היתה אמו מישראל דן אפי' ישראל ולענין חליצה עד שיהא אביו ואמו מישראל שנאמר ונקרא שמו בישראל
And if the convert’s mother was from Israel, he may even preside as a judge in a court to adjudicate legal matters involving a native-born Jew. But with regard to ḥalitza, he may not act as a judge unless both his father and his mother were from Israel from birth, as it is stated with regard to ḥalitza: “And his name shall be called in Israel: The house of he who had his shoe removed” (Deuteronomy 25:10), implying that he must be born as a member of the Jewish people from both of his parents.
אמר רבה אמר רב כהנא אמר רב אם יבא אליהו ויאמר חולצין במנעל שומעין לו אין חולצין בסנדל אין שומעין לו שכבר נהגו העם בסנדל
§ Rabba said that Rav Kahana said that Rav said: If Elijah the Prophet should come and say: One may perform ḥalitza using a soft leather shoe, the Rabbis would listen to him. But if he says: One may not perform ḥalitza using a hard leather sandal, they would not listen to him, for the people already have established the practice of performing ḥalitza using a sandal.
ורב יוסף אמר רב כהנא אמר רב אם יבא אליהו ויאמר אין חולצין במנעל שומעין לו אין חולצין בסנדל אין שומעין לו שכבר נהגו העם בסנדל
And Rav Yosef said that Rav Kahana said that Rav said: If Elijah the Prophet should come and say: One may not perform ḥalitza using a soft leather shoe, they would listen to him. But if he says: One may not perform ḥalitza using a hard leather sandal, they would not listen to him, for the people already have established the practice of performing ḥalitza using a sandal.
מאי בינייהו איכא בינייהו מנעל לכתחלה
The Gemara asks: What is the practical difference between these two opinions? Seemingly, they both say the same thing. The Gemara answers: The practical difference between them is with respect to performing ḥalitza with a soft leather shoe ab initio. According to Rabba’s opinion, one may not perform ḥalitza this way ab initio, as Rabba said that only if Elijah comes and permits it would he be heeded, implying that until Elijah does so one may not perform ḥalitza this way. According to Rav Yosef’s opinion, one may perform ḥalitza with a soft leather shoe until Elijah comes and teaches us otherwise.
ולמ"ד אפי' לכתחלה והתנן חלצה במנעל חליצתה כשרה דיעבד אין לכתחלה לא
The Gemara asks: And according to the one who says that one may even perform ḥalitza with a soft leather shoe ab initio, didn’t we learn in the mishna (101a): If she performed ḥalitza with a soft leather shoe, her ḥalitza is valid, and the past tense wording indicates after the fact, yes, but it is not valid ab initio?
ה"ה דאפילו לכתחלה ואיידי דבעי למיתני סיפא באנפיליא חליצתה פסולה דאפילו דיעבד תנא נמי רישא דיעבד
The Gemara answers: The same is true that one may perform ḥalitza with a soft leather shoe even ab initio, but since the tanna wished to teach in the latter clause of that mishna: If an anpileya, a soft shoe made of cloth, was used for ḥalitza, her ḥalitza is disqualified even after the fact, he also taught the first clause of the mishna using wording that indicates validity after the fact, even though it is in fact permitted even ab initio.
ומנעל לכתחלה תנאי היא דתניא א"ר יוסי פעם אחת הלכתי לנציבין מצאתי זקן אחד אמרתי לו כלום אתה בקי בר' יהודה בן בתירא אמר לי הן ועל שולחני הוא תדיר כלום ראית שחלץ ביבמה
The Gemara comments: And performing ḥalitza with a soft leather shoe ab initio is a dispute between tanna’im, as it is taught in a baraita, Rabbi Yosei said: One time I went to the city of Netzivin in Babylonia, and I found there a certain Elder. I said to him: Do you know Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira, who was from Netzivin? He said to me: Yes, and he is a frequent visitor at my table. I asked the Elder: Have you ever seen if he conducted the ḥalitza of a yevama?
אמר לי ראיתי שחלץ הרבה פעמים במנעל או בסנדל אמר לי וכי חולצין במנעל והתורה אמרה נעלו ולא מנעלו אמרתי לו א"כ מה ראה ר' מאיר לומר חלצה במנעל חליצתה כשירה
He said to me: I saw that he conducted ḥalitza many times. I asked him: Using a soft leather shoe or a hard leather sandal? He said to me: Does anyone allow performing ḥalitza with a soft leather shoe? But the Torah said: “His shoe [na’alo]” (Deuteronomy 25:9) and not: His shoe [minalo]. I said to him: If so, what did Rabbi Meir see that made him say that if a woman performed ḥalitza using a soft leather shoe her ḥalitza is valid?
רבי יעקב אומר משמו חולצין במנעל לכתחלה ומאן דאמר לכתחלה לא מאי טעמא
Rabbi Ya’akov says in the name of Rabbi Meir: One may perform ḥalitza using a soft leather shoe ab initio. The Gemara explains: And for the one who said one may not perform ḥalitza with a soft leather shoe ab initio, what is the reason for this?
אילימא משום דהויא פנתא מעל וארקתא מעל דמעל והתורה אמרה מעל ולא מעל דמעל אי הכי אפילו דיעבד נמי לא
If we say that a soft leather shoe is disqualified because the upper side of the soft leather shoe [panta] is on his foot directly, and the straps [arketa] tied around the upper portion of the shoe are like a second shoe on top of the shoe that is directly on top of his foot, and the Torah says: “Remove the shoe from on his foot,” indicating that the entire shoe must be “on his foot” but not from on something else that is on his foot, if so, then even after the fact as well, it should not be fit for use. If a soft leather shoe is unfit for ḥalitza by Torah law, it should be prohibited under all circumstances.
גזירה משום מנעל מרופט
Rather, it is a rabbinic decree due to the concern that one might use a torn soft leather shoe, which may nevertheless be worn if torn due to its softness but is prohibited as it does not cover his foot. No similar concern exists with regard to a torn sandal, as due to its hard exterior it would never be worn if torn, and therefore there is no concern that it will be used for ḥalitza.
אי נמי משום חצי מנעל
Alternatively, it is a rabbinic decree due to concern that one might perform ḥalitza with a half shoe, as the ḥalitza shoe must cover most of the foot, yet there are some who wear soft leather shoes that cover only half of the foot. Therefore, there is a prohibition against using a soft leather shoe for ḥalitza ab initio for fear that a half shoe might also accidentally be used. No similar fear exists with a hard leather sandal as a half sandal is never worn.
אמר רב אי לאו דחמיתיה לחביבי דחלץ בסנדל דאית לה שינצין אנא לא הואי חליצנא אלא בסנדלא דטייעא דמיהדק טפי והאי דידן אע"ג דאית ביה חומרתא קטרינן ביה מיתנא כי היכי דתהוי חליצתה מעלייתא:
Rav said: If I had not seen my beloved uncle, Rabbi Ḥiyya, conduct a ḥalitza using a sandal with laces, I would not have conducted ḥalitza with anything other than a sandal of Arabs, which is more tight fitting and snug. The Gemara explains: And with regard to this sandal of ours, i.e., the customary sandal of that day, although it does have a ring [ḥumrata] on top to ensure that it will not fall off the foot easily, we tie a strap to it during ḥalitza in order to make it tighter, so that her ḥalitza will be of the highest standard. The strap is tied on so that the sandal will not come off by itself, to ensure that the yevama will have to untie the strap in order to remove the sandal.
סימן התרת יבמה סנדל: אמר רב יהודה אמר רב התרת יבמה לשוק בשמיטת רוב העקב
§ The Gemara presents a mnemonic device for the following three halakhot that Rav Yehuda taught in the name of Rav: Hatarat, meaning release of; yevama; sandal. This mnemonic serves as a reminder that the release of a yevama is done through removing a sandal. Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: The release of a yevama to enable her marriage to a member of the public occurs when most of the heel is removed from the shoe. Even though the shoe has not been entirely removed, or even removed from most of the yavam’s foot; it is still permitted for her to remarry.
מיתיבי הותרו רצועות מנעל וסנדל או ששמט רוב הרגל חליצתה פסולה
The Gemara raises an objection from the following baraita: If the straps of a soft leather shoe or a hard leather sandal were untied, but not through the actions of the yevama, or if the yavam removed most of his foot from the shoe him-self before the yevama completed the removal, her ḥalitza is disqualified.
טעמא דשמט הוא הא שמטה היא חליצתה כשרה רוב הרגל אין רוב העקב לא
The Gemara infers: The reason her ḥalitza is disqualified is specifically that he removed most of his foot and she only completed the removal, but had she removed most of the foot from the shoe, then her ḥalitza would be valid. The Gemara continues: If so, yes, only when the yevama removes most of the foot is the ḥalitza valid, but if she removed only most of the heel, it would not be sufficient.
לא היינו רוב הרגל היינו רוב העקב ואמאי קרו ליה רוב הרגל דכולא חיילא דכרעא עליה דחיס
The Gemara rejects this question: No, most of the foot is the same as most of the heel, and therefore the inference should be that even if she removed most of the heel from the shoe the ḥalitza is valid. And why do they call it: Most of the foot? Because the whole weight of the leg puts pressure on the heel.
מסייע ליה לר' ינאי דאמר ר' ינאי בין שהתיר הוא ושמטה היא בין שהתירה היא ושמט הוא חליצתה פסולה עד שתתיר היא ותשמיט היא בעי ר' ינאי קרעתהו מהו שרפתהו מהו גלויי כרעא בעינן והאיכא או דלמא חליצה בעינן וליכא תיקו
The Gemara comments: This baraita supports Rabbi Yannai, as Rabbi Yannai said: Whether he unties the shoe and she removes it, or whether she unties it and he removes it, her ḥalitza is disqualified unless she both unties it and takes it off. And on the same topic, Rabbi Yannai asked: If she did not remove the sandal, but instead ripped it off him, what is the halakha? If she burned it using coals, what is the halakha? The Gemara presents the real issue in question: Is exposure of the foot the essential act of ḥalitza that we require, through any act of removing that which covers the foot, which exists here? Or perhaps it is removal of the shoe from over the foot that we require, which is lacking here? No answer was found to this question, so the Gemara concludes: The question shall stand unresolved.
בעא מיניה רבי נחמיה מרבה שני מנעלים זה על גב זה מהו ה"ד אילימא דשלפתיה לעילאי וקאי תתאי מעל אמר רחמנא ולא מעל דמעל לא צריכא דקרעתיה לעילאי ושלפתיה לתתאי וקאי עילאי מאי חליצה בעינן והא איכא או דלמא גלויי כרעא בעינן וליכא
Rabbi Neḥemya asked Rabba the following question: If the man were wearing two shoes, one on top of the other, what is the halakha? The Gemara asks: What are the circumstances of the case? If we say that she removed the outer shoe and the inner shoe remains in place, but the Merciful One states in the Torah: “From on his foot” and not: From on that which is on his foot. The Gemara answers: No, this question wasn’t asked in a case where the inner shoe remained on his foot. Rather, it is necessary in a case where she tore the outer shoe and took off the inner shoe, and the outer one still remains on his foot although it is torn. The question centers around the previous one with regard to the nature of ḥalitza: What is the halakha for valid ḥalitza? Is it removal of the shoe that we require, which we have brought about in this example? Or perhaps it is exposing the foot that we require, which is lacking here, as the foot is still covered by the torn outer shoe.