רָקְקָה וְלֹא קָרְאָה חֲלִיצָתָהּ כְּשֵׁירָה רָקְקָה וְלֹא חָלְצָה וְלֹא קָרְאָה חֲלִיצָתָהּ פְּסוּלָה קָרְאָה וְלֹא רָקְקָה וְלֹא חָלְצָה אֵין כָּאן בֵּית מֵיחוֹשׁ spit and did not recite the verses, her ḥalitza is valid. If she spat but did not remove the shoe and did not recite the text, her ḥalitza is disqualified. If she recited the verses but did not spit or did not remove the shoe, there is no doubt that she has done nothing, and her action has no halakhic significance.
מַנִּי אִילֵימָא רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר חָלְצָה וְלֹא רָקְקָה וְלֹא קָרְאָה חֲלִיצָתָהּ כְּשֵׁירָה וְהָא אָמַר רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר כָּכָה יֵעָשֶׂה דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא מַעֲשֵׂה מְעַכֵּב אֶלָּא פְּשִׁיטָא רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא וְקָתָנֵי רָקְקָה וְלֹא חָלְצָה וְלֹא קָרְאָה חֲלִיצָתָהּ פְּסוּלָה לְמַאן The Gemara clarifies: Who is the author of the baraita? If we say it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer, could it be that he would hold that if she removed the shoe but did not spit or did not recite the verses, her ḥalitza is valid, as stated in the baraita? But didn’t Rabbi Eliezer say: The phrase “so shall it be done” (Deuteronomy 25:9) indicates that any element of the ḥalitza process that constitutes an action is indispensable; therefore spitting is necessary. Rather, it is obvious that the baraita is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, and he teaches at the end of the baraita that if she spat but did not remove the shoe or did not recite the text, her ḥalitza is disqualified. The Gemara clarifies: To whom is the yevama disqualified from marrying after such a ḥalitza?
אִילֵימָא לְעָלְמָא פְּשִׁיטָא מִי הָוְיָא חֲלִיצָה דְּאִישְׁתַּרְיָא לְעָלְמָא אֶלָּא לָאו לָאַחִין שְׁמַע מִינַּהּ If we say that Rabbi Akiva means to teach us that she is disqualified from marriage to everyone in the world, this is unnecessary, as it is clear that spitting alone will not permit her to marry any stranger. It is obvious that her ḥalitza is invalid, as did any ḥalitza take place in order for her to be permitted to a stranger? Rather, is it not clear that Rabbi Akiva is ruling that she is disqualified from marriage to the brothers? Learn from here that Rabbi Akiva also thinks that spitting alone disqualifies her from marriage to the brothers, which is not in accordance with the previous assumption with regard to his opinion.
וּלְרַבִּי עֲקִיבָא מַאי שְׁנָא רְקִיקָה וּמַאי שְׁנָא קְרִיָּיה The Gemara asks: But according to Rabbi Akiva’s understanding that only an action performed on the body of the yavam is indispensable for ḥalitza, what is different about spitting and what is different about recitation? Both are not indispensable, so why is it that if she spat but did not remove the shoe she is disqualified from marriage to the brothers, yet if she recited the text but did not remove the shoe her action has no halakhic significance?
קְרִיָּיה דְּאִיתַהּ בֵּין בַּתְּחִלָּה בֵּין בַּסּוֹף לָא מִיחַלְּפָא לֵיהּ רְקִיקָה דְּבִתְחִלָּה לֵיתַהּ וְלִבְסוֹף אִיתַהּ מִיחַלְּפָא לֵיהּ וְאָתוּ לְמִישְׁרֵי חֲלוּצָה לָאַחִין The Gemara answers: Rabbi Akiva finds a reason to rabbinically prohibit the woman after spitting, yet holds that the reason is not valid after the recitation alone. The recitation of the verses, which takes place both at the beginning of the process, before the removal of the shoe, and at the end, will not cause him to be confused about a proper ḥalitza, as one who witnesses her recitation knows that she may have only recited the text but has not yet removed the shoe, and therefore it will cause no harm to invalidate her ḥalitza and permit her in levirate marriage to the yevamin. But with regard to spitting, which does not take place at the beginning but takes place at the end, after the removal of the shoe, one who witnesses her spitting might assume that she had already removed the shoe, and he might confuse this woman with a woman who removed the shoe, and if we would allow her to perform levirate marriage after the spitting, they will come to permit a yevama who performed ḥalitza to marry the brothers of the yavam after the ḥalitza. Therefore, Rabbi Akiva finds reason to rabbinically prohibit a woman after spitting, although he doesn’t do so if they merely recited the verses of ḥalitza.
וְאִיכָּא דְאָמְרִי הָכִי שְׁלַחוּ לֵיהּ יְבָמָהּ שֶׁרָקְקָה תַּחְלוֹץ וְאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה לָרוֹק פַּעַם אַחֶרֶת כִּי הַהִיא דַּאֲתַאי לְקַמֵּיהּ דְּרַבִּי אַמֵּי הֲוָה יָתֵיב רַבִּי אַבָּא בַּר מֶמֶל קַמֵּיהּ רְקַקָה מִקַּמֵּי דְּתַחְלוֹץ אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַבִּי אַמֵּי חֲלוֹץ לַהּ וּשְׁרֵי לַהּ תִּיגְרָא And there are those who say that this is what they sent to Shmuel’s father: A yevama who spat before removing the shoe shall remove the shoe, and she is not required to spit another time. This is like the incident where a certain woman came before Rabbi Ami for ḥalitza, and Rabbi Abba bar Memel sat before him at the time. She spat before she removed the shoe. Rabbi Ami said to him: Rabbi Abba, tell her to remove the shoe of the yavam, so one may dismiss her case from the court, as she does not require another act of spitting.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַבִּי אַבָּא וְהָא בָּעֵינַן מֵירַק הָא רְקַקָה לַהּ וְתֵירוֹק וּמָה בְּכָךְ נָפֵיק מִינֵּיהּ חוּרְבָּא דְּאִי אָמְרַתְּ תִּיהְדַּר וְתֵירוֹק אָמְרִי רְקִיקָה קַמַּיְיתָא לֵית בַּהּ מְשָׁשָׁא וְאָתֵי לְמִישְׁרֵי חֲלוּצָה לָאַחִין Rabbi Abba said to him: But for ḥalitza we need her to spit. He answered: She already spat. Rabbi Abba said to him: That spitting was done before the removal, so let her spit again, and what would be the problem with that? He answered him: A disaster could be brought out from it, as, if you say she should spit again there will be others who say: The first spitting has no halakhic significance and she is still permitted to the brothers if no spitting was performed subsequently, and they will come to permit a bona fide ḥalutza, i.e., a yevama who has performed ḥalitza, to the brothers, because when they see her spitting the first time they will say that she certainly already removed the shoe beforehand.
וְהָא בָּעֵינַן כְּסִדְרָן כְּסִדְרָן לָא מְעַכְּבָא הוּא סָבַר דַּחוֹיֵי קָא מְדַחֵי לֵיהּ נְפַק דָּק וְאַשְׁכַּח דְּתַנְיָא בֵּין שֶׁהִקְדִּים חֲלִיצָה לִרְקִיקָה בֵּין שֶׁהִקְדִּים רְקִיקָה לַחֲלִיצָה מַה שֶּׁעָשָׂה עָשׂוּי He challenged again: But we require that ḥalitza be performed in the proper order, as recorded in the Torah. He answered him: Their proper order is not indispensable. Rabbi Abba bar Memel thought: He is merely pushing off my legitimate questions with far-fetched attempts to justify his statements that are not well founded. Afterward, he went out from the house of study and examined the matter and discovered that it was as Rabbi Ami said. As it is taught in a baraita: Whether the removal of the shoe preceded the spitting, as the proper order requires, or whether the spitting preceded the removal of the shoe, what he did is done, i.e., is effective, as the woman is therefore permitted to remarry.
לֵוִי נְפַק לְקִרְיָיתָא בְּעוֹ מִינֵּהּ גִּידֶּמֶת מַהוּ שֶׁתַּחְלוֹץ יְבָמָה שֶׁרָקְקָה דָּם מַהוּ אֲבָל אַגִּיד לְךָ אֶת הָרָשׁוּם בִּכְתָב אֱמֶת מִכְּלָל דְּאִיכָּא כְּתָב שֶׁאֵינוֹ אֱמֶת Apropos adherence to instructions given in the Torah, the Gemara relates a story. Levi went out to the villages to teach people Torah. They asked him several questions: Firstly, what is the halakha for an armless woman, may she perform ḥalitza with her teeth? Secondly, what is the halakha if a yevama spat blood instead of saliva, is the ḥalitza valid? Furthermore, they asked with regard to the verse: “But I will declare to you that which is inscribed in the writing of truth” (Daniel 10:21), if by inference, there is writing in Heaven that is not truth.
לָא הֲוָה בִּידֵיהּ אֲתָא שַׁאֵיל בֵּי מִדְרְשָׁא אֲמַרוּ לֵיהּ מִי כְּתִיב וְחָלְצָה בַּיָּד וּמִי כְּתִיב וְיָרְקָה רוֹק He did not have an answer at hand to these questions, so he came and asked at the house of study. They said to him in response to the first question: Does it say in the Torah: And she shall remove the shoe by hand? Clearly, she may remove the shoe in any manner and there is no reason to disqualify an armless woman. With regard to the second question, they said: And does it say in the verse: And she shall spit saliva? It merely states: “And she shall spit,” indicating that even if she spits blood the ḥalitza is valid.
אֲבָל אַגִּיד לָךְ הָרָשׁוּם בִּכְתָב אֱמֶת וְכִי יֵשׁ כְּתָב שֶׁאֵינוֹ אֱמֶת With regard to the verse cited in the third question: “But I will declare to you that which is inscribed in the writing of truth,” about which you ask: But is there writing in Heaven that is not truth?
לָא קַשְׁיָא כָּאן בִּגְזַר דִּין שֶׁיֵּשׁ עִמּוֹ שְׁבוּעָה כָּאן בִּגְזַר דִּין שֶׁאֵין עִמּוֹ שְׁבוּעָה This is not difficult. Here, i.e., a writing of truth, refers to a sentence of judgment accompanied by an oath; this is called “writing of truth” as it cannot ever be canceled. There, i.e., the inferred untruthful writing, refers to a sentence of judgment that is not accompanied by an oath, as it could be canceled if conditions change.
כִּדְרַב שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר אַמֵּי דְּאָמַר רַב שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר אַמֵּי אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹנָתָן מִנַּיִן לִגְזַר דִּין שֶׁיֵּשׁ עִמּוֹ שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְקָרֵעַ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר לָכֵן נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לְבֵית עֵלִי אִם יִתְכַּפֵּר עֲוֹן בֵּית עֵלִי בְּזֶבַח וּבְמִנְחָה עַד עוֹלָם This is in accordance with the words of Rav Shmuel bar Ami, as Rav Shmuel bar Ami said that Rabbi Yonatan said: From where is it derived that a sentence of judgment accompanied by an oath cannot be torn up? It is as it is stated: “Therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for with sacrifice nor offering forever” (I Samuel 3:14), which indicates that due to the accompanying oath, the sentence of judgment cannot ever be rescinded, even if offerings of atonement are brought.
אָמַר רַבָּה בְּזֶבַח וּבְמִנְחָה אֵינוֹ מִתְכַּפֵּר אֲבָל מִתְכַּפֵּר הוּא בְּדִבְרֵי תוֹרָה אַבָּיֵי אָמַר בְּזֶבַח וּבְמִנְחָה אֵינוֹ מִתְכַּפֵּר אֲבָל מִתְכַּפֵּר בִּגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים רַבָּה וְאַבָּיֵי מִדְּבֵית עֵלִי קָאָתוּ רַבָּה דַּעֲסַק בַּתּוֹרָה חֲיָה אַרְבְּעִין שְׁנִין אַבָּיֵי דַּעֲסַק בְּתוֹרָה וּבִגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים חֲיָה שִׁיתִּין שְׁנִין Apropos this verse, the Gemara mentions what Rabba said with regard to it: With sacrifice and offering, one from the house of Eli will not be atoned for, but he may gain atonement through words of Torah study. Abaye said: Through sacrifice and offering he may not achieve atonement, but he may gain atonement through acts of kindness. The Gemara relates that Rabba and Abaye themselves descended from the house of Eli. Rabba, who immersed himself primarily in Torah study, lived forty years, while Abaye, who immersed himself both in Torah and acts of kindness, lived sixty years. They both lived longer lives than usual for descendants of the house of Eli, due to their actions.
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן מִשְׁפָּחָה אַחַת הָיְתָה בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם שֶׁהָיוּ מֵתִים כְּבֶן שְׁמֹנֶה עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה בָּאוּ וְהוֹדִיעוּ אֶת רַבָּן יוֹחָנָן בֶּן זַכַּאי אָמַר לָהֶם שֶׁמָּא מִמִּשְׁפַּחַת עֵלִי אַתֶּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְכׇל מַרְבִּית בֵּיתְךָ יָמוּתוּ אֲנָשִׁים לְכוּ וְעִסְקוּ בַּתּוֹרָה וְתִחְיוּ הָלְכוּ וְעָסְקוּ בַּתּוֹרָה וְחָיוּ וְהָיוּ קוֹרִין אוֹתָן מִשְׁפַּחַת יוֹחָנָן עַל שְׁמוֹ The Gemara relates a similar story from a baraita: The Sages taught: There was a certain family in Jerusalem whose children were dying at around age eighteen. The members of the family came and told Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai about these tragic deaths. He said to them: Perhaps you are from the house of Eli, as it is stated: “All the increase of your house shall die young men” (I Samuel 2:33), which teaches that as soon as they reach full maturity, old enough to be called “men,” they die. Therefore, you must go out and immerse yourselves in Torah, and you will live. They went and immersed themselves in Torah and lived longer lives, and people would call them: The family of Yoḥanan, after his name, as the advice he gave them enabled them to live.
אָמַר רַב שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר אוּנְיָא אָמַר רַב מִנַּיִן לִגְזַר דִּין שֶׁל צִבּוּר שֶׁאֵינוֹ נֶחְתָּם אֵינוֹ נֶחְתָּם וְהָא כְּתִיב כִּי אִם תְּכַבְּסִי בַּנֶּתֶר וְתַרְבִּי לָךְ בּוֹרִית נִכְתָּם עֲוֹנֵךְ לְפָנַי With regard to a decree of judgment that cannot be torn up, Rav Shmuel bar Unya said that Rav said: From where is it derived that a sentence of judgment upon a community is never sealed? The Gemara expresses surprise: Is it truly not sealed? But isn’t it written: “For although you wash yourself with niter, and take much soap for yourself, yet your iniquity is marked before Me” (Jeremiah 2:22), indicating that there is no longer any atonement for iniquity of a community.
אֶלָּא מִנַּיִן שֶׁאֲפִילּוּ נֶחְתַּם מִתְקָרֵעַ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר מִי כַּה׳ אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּכׇל קׇרְאֵנוּ אֵלָיו וְהָכְתִיב דִּרְשׁוּ ה׳ בְּהִמָּצְאוֹ לָא קַשְׁיָא הָא בְּיָחִיד הָא בְּצִיבּוּר יָחִיד Rather, one must say as follows: From where is it derived that even when a community’s sentence is sealed, it may be torn up as a result of repentance, as it is stated: “For what great nation is there, that has God so close unto them, as the Lord our God is whenever we call upon Him?” (Deuteronomy 4:7). The Gemara objects: But isn’t it written in another verse: “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him when He is near” (Isaiah 55:6), implying that God is not always near and may not always answer whenever we call upon Him? The Gemara answers: This contradiction is not difficult. This verse is concerning an individual who must seek God where He is found, as He is not always equally accessible to answer those who call out to Him. That first verse is concerning a community, for whom He is accessible “whenever we call upon Him.”
אֵימַת אָמַר רַב נַחְמָן אָמַר רַבָּה בַּר אֲבוּהּ אֵלּוּ עֲשָׂרָה יָמִים שֶׁבֵּין רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה לְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים The Gemara asks: For an individual, when is the time that God is close to him? Rav Naḥman said that Rabba bar Avuh said: These are the ten days that are between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur.
שְׁלַחוּ לֵיהּ לַאֲבוּהּ דִּשְׁמוּאֵל יְבָמָה שֶׁרָקְקָה דָּם תַּחְלוֹץ לְפִי שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לַדָּם בְּלֹא צִחְצוּחַ רוֹק The Gemara returns to the questions the villagers asked Levi: The Sages in Eretz Yisrael sent this halakha to Shmuel’s father: A yevama who spat blood shall remove the shoe, because it is not possible that blood came out of her mouth without any trace of saliva, and she fulfills her obligation through this saliva.
מֵיתִיבִי יָכוֹל יְהֵא דָּם הַיּוֹצֵא מִפִּיו וּמִפִּי הָאַמָּה טָמֵא תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר זוֹבוֹ טָמֵא וְאֵין דָּם הַיּוֹצֵא מִפִּיו וּמִפִּי הָאַמָּה טָמֵא אֶלָּא טָהוֹר The Gemara raises an objection from a baraita that states with regard to a zav: One might have thought that blood that issues from his mouth or from the opening of his genital organ should be ritually impure, like any of the secretions that issue from a zav e.g., saliva and urine; therefore, the verse states: “His discharge is impure” (Leviticus 15:2), to teach: Only his white, pus-like discharge and other secretions similar to it are ritually impure, but blood that issues from his mouth or from his genital organ is not impure, but it is pure. And from here one may learn that blood can issue from the mouth without saliva, for if it was as they said, that all spittle necessarily contains saliva, the blood in the spittle would be ritually impure due to the saliva.
לָא קַשְׁיָא כָּאן בְּמוֹצֶצֶת כָּאן בְּשׁוֹתֵת The Gemara answers: This is not difficult. Here, where it said that blood cannot issue from the mouth without saliva, it is referring to a woman who sucks up the blood in her mouth before spitting it out, in which case there will certainly be some saliva in the mouth. There, it is referring to blood that was flowing by itself from an oral wound of the zav, in which case the spittle of blood might contain no saliva in it at all.
חֵרֵשׁ שֶׁנֶּחְלַץ וְכוּ׳ It was taught in the mishna: if a deaf-mute man underwent ḥalitza or a deaf-mute woman performed ḥalitza, or if an adult woman performs ḥalitza with a male minor, her ḥalitza is invalid.