ורבי אלעזר אוסר וכן המגרש את היתומה והחזירה מותרת ליבם ורבי אלעזר אוסר קטנה שהשיאה אביה ונתגרשה כיתומה בחיי האב והחזירה דברי הכל אסורה ליבם: but Rabbi Elazar prohibits this. Likewise, with regard to one who divorces an orphaned minor girl whose mother and brothers married her off and remarries her and subsequently dies, she is permitted to the yavam in levirate marriage, and Rabbi Elazar prohibits it. A minor girl whose father married her off, in which case the marriage is valid by Torah law, and who was subsequently divorced while she was still a minor is like an orphan during the lifetime of her father, as he no longer has the right to marry her off, and she cannot become fully married because she is a minor. And if the husband remarries her while she is still a minor and then dies childless, everyone agrees that she is forbidden to the yavam and may not enter into levirate marriage.
גמ׳ אמר עיפה מאי טעמא דרבי אלעזר הואיל ועמדה עליו שעה אחת באיסורא אמרו ליה רבנן לעיפה אי הכי חליצה נמי לא תיבעי GEMARA: The Sage Eifa said: What is the reasoning of Rabbi Elazar, who prohibits a man from entering into levirate marriage with a woman whom his brother had divorced and remarried? It is because she was forbidden to him at one time; when the first brother divorced her, she became forbidden to the second brother due to her status as the first brother’s ex-wife. A husband’s relatives are forbidden to the wife even after death or divorce. However, the mitzva of levirate marriage grants a special exemption from the prohibition against marrying one’s brother’s wife. In this case, if the first brother had died while they were still divorced, the mitzva of levirate marriage would not have applied, and she would have been forbidden to him. The Sages said to Eifa: If that is so, she should also not require ḥalitza, since she is a forbidden relative.
וכי תימא הכי נמי והתניא משום רבי אלעזר אמרו חולצת אלא אמר עיפה ר' אלעזר לא ידענא מאי טעמא And if you would say: Indeed, Rabbi Elazar also exempts her from ḥalitza, isn’t it taught in a baraita: It was said in the name of Rabbi Elazar that she performs ḥalitza? Rather, Eifa said: I do not know the reason for the opinion of Rabbi Elazar.
אמר אביי היינו טעמא דרבי אלעזר מספקא ליה אי מיתה מפלת אי נשואין הראשונים מפילים אי מיתה מפלת הא רמיא קמיה לייבום אי נשואין הראשונים מפילים הא עמדה עליו שעה אחת באיסור Abaye said: This is the reasoning of Rabbi Elazar: He is uncertain whether the death of the husband determines that she is a candidate for levirate marriage, or whether the original marriage determines it. In other words, he is uncertain as to whether the obligation to perform levirate marriage is established only at the death of one’s brother or already from the beginning of the brother’s marriage. If death determines that she is a candidate for levirate marriage, then she has happened before him for levirate marriage, as she is the wife of his childless brother who died. If the original marriage determines that she is a candidate for levirate marriage, then she was forbidden to him for a time as his brother’s ex-wife and is consequently exempt from levirate marriage. According to Rabbi Elazar, it is due to this uncertainty that the brother may not enter into levirate marriage yet must perform ḥalitza.
רבא אמר לעולם פשיטא לרבי אלעזר דמיתה מפלת ומיהו הכל בקיאין בגירושין ואין הכל בקיאין בחזרה Rava said: Actually, it is obvious to Rabbi Elazar that death determines that she is a candidate for levirate marriage. However, everyone is well informed with regard to divorces. Everyone knows that the woman was divorced, while not everyone is well informed with regard to remarriage, and they do not necessarily know that she remarried him. Therefore, there is concern that people will mistakenly think that one entered into levirate marriage with his brother’s ex-wife.
אדרבה חזרה כיון דיתבא תותיה אית ליה קלא מי לא עסקינן דאהדרה באורתא ושכיב בצפרא The Gemara argues against this point: On the contrary, her return to her former husband, since she is living with him, generates publicity, so that it is known that they are remarried. The Gemara answers: Are we not dealing even with a case in which he remarried her in the evening and died in the morning? In this instance and others like it, not everyone would know that he remarried her, and they will think that the brother took his deceased brother’s ex-wife in levirate marriage. In order to avoid such situations, Rabbi Elazar decreed that she is always forbidden.
רב אשי אמר היינו טעמא דרבי אלעזר דגזר הני משום יתומה בחיי האב והחזירה הכי נמי מסתברא מדקתני סיפא קטנה שהשיאה אביה ונתגרשה כיתומה בחיי האב והחזירה דברי הכל שאסורה ליבם Rav Ashi said: This is the reasoning of Rabbi Elazar: He decreed to prohibit levirate marriage with these, i.e., women who were divorced and remarried, due to the case of a girl who is considered an orphan in the lifetime of her father, who was divorced by her husband and he subsequently remarried her. If a minor girl was married off by her father and was subsequently divorced, she is no longer subject to her father with regard to marriage and divorce, but because she is a minor, any marriage she enters into is by rabbinic rather than by Torah law. The Gemara comments: So too, this is reasonable based on what was taught in the latter clause of the mishna: A minor girl whose father married her off and who was subsequently divorced while she was still a minor, is like an orphan during her father’s lifetime. And if the husband remarries her while she is still a minor and then dies, everyone agrees that she is forbidden to the yavam and may not enter into levirate marriage.
האי מאי למימרא פשיטא אלא לאו הא קמ"ל טעמא דר' אלעזר דגזר הנך משום האי שמע מינה What is the purpose of stating this halakha? It is obvious. Rather, is it not teaching us Rabbi Elazar’s reason for decreeing that these women who were divorced and remarried are forbidden due to that woman, the girl who is considered an orphan in the lifetime of her father? The Gemara concludes: Learn from here that this is his reason.
תניא כוותיה דרב אשי מודים חכמים לר' אלעזר בקטנה שהשיאה אביה ונתגרשה הרי היא כיתומה בחיי האב והחזירה שאסורה ליבם מפני שגירושיה גירושין גמורין ואין חזרתה חזרה גמורה The Gemara comments: It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Rav Ashi: The Rabbis concede to Rabbi Elazar concerning a minor girl whose father married her off and who was divorced, that she is like an orphan in the lifetime of her father, and that if her husband remarried her, she is forbidden to the yavam, because her divorce was a full-fledged divorce by Torah law while her remarriage was not a full-fledged remarriage, as she was still a minor. This implies that Rabbi Elazar’s ruling is prompted by the case of a girl who is like an orphan in her father’s lifetime and that this was the reason for his decree.
בד"א שגירשה כשהיא קטנה והחזירה כשהיא קטנה אבל גירשה כשהיא קטנה והחזירה כשהיא גדולה אי נמי החזירה כשהיא קטנה וגדלה אצלו ומת או חולצת או מתייבמת משום רבי אלעזר אמרו חולצת ולא מתייבמת The baraita continues: In what case is this statement said? In a case where he divorced her while she was a minor and he remarried her while she was still a minor. But if he divorced her while she was a minor and remarried her when she was already an adult, or if he remarried her while she was a minor and she matured to legal adulthood while with him, and he subsequently died, she may either perform ḥalitza or enter into levirate marriage. It was said in the name of Rabbi Elazar: She must perform ḥalitza and may not enter into levirate marriage, since he decreed that all remarried women may not enter into levirate marriage due to the case of one who is like an orphan in her father’s lifetime.
בעא מיניה רבא מרב נחמן צרתה מהו אמר ליה היא גופה גזירה ואנן ניקום וניגזור גזירה לגזירה Rava asked Rav Naḥman: What is the halakha with regard to the rival wife of a girl whose husband remarried her, according to Rabbi Elazar? Is the girl regarded as a forbidden relative to the extent that even her rival wife may not enter into levirate marriage? He said to him: She herself is forbidden due to a rabbinic decree, as explained already. And will we then proceed to issue a decree to prevent violation of a decree? Accordingly, her rival wife is permitted to enter into levirate marriage.
והא תניא משום רבי אלעזר אמרו היא וצרתה חולצת היא וצרתה סלקא דעתך אלא לאו או היא או צרתה חולצת לאו תרוצי קמתרצת תריץ הכי היא חולצת צרתה או חולצת או מתייבמת: The Gemara challenges: Isn’t it taught in a baraita: It was said in the name of Rabbi Elazar: Both she and her rival wife must perform ḥalitza? The Gemara asks: Would it enter your mind to say: She and her rival wife? Why should two women from the same household perform ḥalitza? Ḥalitza performed by one of them exempts the other. Rather, should it not say: Either she or her rival wife must perform ḥalitza, but even the rival wife may not enter into levirate marriage. The Gemara responds: Are you not emending the mishna? If so, emend it as follows: She can only perform ḥalitza; her rival wife may either perform ḥalitza or enter into levirate marriage.
מתני׳ שני אחין נשואין לשתי אחיות קטנות ומת בעלה של אחת מהן הלזו תצא משום אחות אשה וכן שתי חרשות גדולה וקטנה מת בעלה של קטנה תצא הקטנה משום אחות אשה MISHNA: If two brothers are married to two minor sisters, and the husband of one of them dies childless, this widowed girl shall be exempt from levirate marriage due to her status as a forbidden relative, as one is prohibited from marrying the sister of his wife. The same halakha applies to two deaf-mute women, whose status is like that of two minors in this matter, as their marriages are valid by rabbinic law. And if two brothers were married to two sisters, one of them an adult and the other a minor, and the husband of the minor dies, the minor shall leave due to her status as the sister of a wife, as in the first case in the mishna.
מת בעלה של גדולה רבי אליעזר אומר מלמדין את הקטנה שתמאן בו But if the husband of the adult dies, it generates a Torah obligation of levirate marriage, which is not abrogated by the rabbinic prohibition proscribing the yevama as his wife’s sister. This prohibition is by rabbinic law, because marriage to a minor is rabbinic in origin. What does one do under such circumstances? Rabbi Eliezer says: We instruct the minor, i.e., his wife, to refuse him, so that her marriage is dissolved and he may then enter into levirate marriage with her adult sister, the widow of his childless brother.
רבן גמליאל אומר אם מיאנה מיאנה ואם לאו תמתין עד שתגדיל ותצא הלזו משום אחות אשה Rabban Gamliel says: If the minor refuses of her own accord, her refusal is valid. And if not, she should wait until she reaches majority, whereupon her marriage is valid by Torah law, and that widowed adult sister shall be exempt from levirate marriage due to her status as the sister of a wife.
רבי יהושע אומר אי לו על אשתו אי לו על אשת אחיו מוציא את אשתו בגט ואשת אחיו בחליצה: Rabbi Yehoshua says: When the brother married to the adult sister dies, leaving the brother married to the minor, woe [ee] to him for his wife, woe to him for his brother’s wife. Under these circumstances, he loses both women: He must release his own wife with a bill of divorce and his brother’s wife by performing ḥalitza. He cannot stay married to his wife because she is the sister of his yevama, and he cannot enter into levirate marriage with the yevama even after divorcing his wife, because the yevama is his wife’s sister. The principle that one is completely absolved from levirate marriage when the potential yevama is a forbidden relative does not apply because Torah law does not recognize his marriage to his minor wife. That marriage’s rabbinic sanction does not suffice to render the yevama, his wife’s sister, a forbidden relative who is not a candidate for levirate marriage.
גמ׳ ומי שרי והתני בר קפרא לעולם ידבק אדם בשלשה דברים ויתרחק משלשה דברים ידבק בשלשה דברים בחליצה ובהבאת שלום ובהפרת נדרים ויתרחק משלשה דברים מן המיאון ומן הפקדונות ומן הערבונות מיאון דמצוה שאני: GEMARA: The Gemara inquires about Rabbi Eliezer’s suggestion to instruct the minor to refuse: Is it permitted to instruct her to refuse? Doesn’t bar Kappara teach: A person should always cling to three things and distance himself from three things. He should cling to three things: To ḥalitza rather than levirate marriage, to bringing about peace, and to the nullification of vows. And he should distance himself from three things: From refusal; and from accepting deposits, as he is then responsible for them; and from serving as a guarantor. The Gemara answers: A refusal for a mitzva is different, as this refusal is performed to allow the mitzva of levirate marriage to be fulfilled with the other sister.
גופא תני בר קפרא לעולם ידבק אדם בשלשה דברים בחליצה כאבא שאול דתניא אבא שאול אומר הכונס את יבמתו לשם נוי לשם אישות לשם דבר אחר כאילו פוגע בערוה וקרוב בעיני להיות הולד ממזר § The Gemara explains the details of the matter itself. Bar Kappara taught: A person should always cling to three things: To ḥalitza; this is in accordance with the opinion of Abba Shaul, as it is taught in a baraita: Abba Shaul said: One who marries his yevama for her beauty, or for the sake of matrimony because he wants to be married to her, or for some other reason, such as her money, it is as if he is having intercourse with a woman forbidden to him, and in my eyes it is almost as if his offspring were a mamzer. Therefore, it is preferable that one performs ḥalitza and avoids sin.
בהבאת שלום דכתיב (תהלים לד, טו) בקש שלום ורדפהו One should cling to bringing about peace, as it is written “Seek peace and pursue it” (Psalms 34:15).