אִשָּׁה אוֹמֶרֶת מֵת וְאִשָּׁה אוֹמֶרֶת לֹא מֵת הֲרֵי זוֹ לֹא תִּנָּשֵׂא or one woman says: He died, and another woman says: He did not die, this woman may not marry.
גְּמָ׳ טַעְמָא דְּאָמְרָה לֹא מֵת הָא אִישְׁתִּיקָא תִּנָּשֵׂא הָא אֵין צָרָה מְעִידָה לַחֲבֶרְתָּהּ GEMARA: The mishna taught that if one rival wife says their husband died, while the second maintains that he did not die, the one who says he did not die may not remarry. The Gemara infers: The reason is that the second rival wife said explicitly: He did not die, from which it may be inferred that if she was silent and said nothing, she is permitted to marry based on the testimony of the first. However, this conclusion is problematic, as there is a principle that one rival wife may not testify on behalf of another, and if so, how can she rely on the testimony of her rival wife?
לֹא מֵת אִיצְטְרִיכָא לֵיהּ סָלְקָא דַּעְתָּךְ אָמֵינָא הָא מָיֵית וְהָא דְּקָאָמְרָה לֹא מֵת לְקַלְקוֹלַהּ לְצָרָה הִיא דְּקָמִיכַּוְּונָא וְתָמוֹת נַפְשָׁהּ עִם פְּלִשְׁתִּים קָאָמְרָה קָמַשְׁמַע לַן The Gemara answers that this inference is incorrect, as it was necessary for the mishna to state: He did not die, as it might enter your mind to say that this man did in fact die, and with regard to that which she says: He did not die, she intends to ruin her rival wife. And as for herself she says: Let her die with the Philistines. This is a paraphrase of the verse: “Let me die with the Philistines” (Judges 16:30), which is a shorthand expression for one’s desire to hurt his enemies even if he suffers the same fate himself. In this case it means that she is prepared to testify falsely that their husband did not die, so as to ruin her rival wife. Therefore the mishna teaches us that this is not the case, and she is not permitted to marry based on the testimony of her rival wife.
אַחַת אוֹמֶרֶת מֵת כּוּ׳ וְלִיפְלוֹג רַבִּי מֵאִיר בְּרֵישָׁא אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בְּמַחְלוֹקֶת שְׁנוּיָה וְרַבִּי יְהוּדָה וְרַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן הִיא וְרַבִּי יוֹחָנָן אָמַר אֲפִילּוּ תֵּימָא רַבִּי מֵאִיר בְּהָא אֲפִילּוּ רַבִּי מֵאִיר מוֹדֶה דְּכֹל לֹא מֵת בְּעֵדוּת אִשָּׁה לָאו הַכְחָשָׁה הִיא § The mishna taught that if one wife says: He died, and one says: He was killed, Rabbi Meir says that as they contradict one another, they may not remarry. The Gemara asks: And let Rabbi Meir also disagree in the first clause, when one witness says the husband died and the other claims he did not die. Rabbi Elazar said: This is taught as a tannaitic dispute. In other words, Rabbi Meir also disagreed with the first clause, and the unattributed opinion in the mishna is that of Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Shimon. And Rabbi Yoḥanan said: You can even say that the first clause is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Meir, as in this case even Rabbi Meir concedes that any claim of: He did not die, with regard to testimony enabling a woman to remarry, is not considered contradictory.
תְּנַן עֵד אוֹמֵר מֵת וְעֵד אוֹמֵר לֹא מֵת אִשָּׁה אוֹמֶרֶת מֵת וְאִשָּׁה אוֹמֶרֶת לֹא מֵת הֲרֵי זוֹ לֹא תִּנָּשֵׂא בִּשְׁלָמָא לְרַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר סְתָמָא כְּרַבִּי מֵאִיר אֶלָּא לְרַבִּי יוֹחָנָן קַשְׁיָא קַשְׁיָא The Gemara raises a difficulty with regard to this answer. We learned in the mishna If one witness says: He died, and one witness says: He did not die, or if one woman says: He died, and another woman says: He did not die, she may not marry. Granted, according to the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, the unattributed statement in this mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Meir, that when a rebuttal contradicts the original testimony, one cannot rely upon the testimony that the husband died. However, according to the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan, this is difficult. The Gemara answers: Yes, this is difficult.
מַתְנִי׳ הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁהָלְכָה הִיא וּבַעְלָהּ לִמְדִינַת הַיָּם וּבָאָה וְאָמְרָה מֵת בַּעְלִי תִּנָּשֵׂא וְתִטּוֹל כְּתוּבָּתָהּ וְצָרָתָהּ אֲסוּרָה הָיְתָה בַּת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְכֹהֵן תֹּאכַל בִּתְרוּמָה דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי טַרְפוֹן MISHNA: In the case of a woman who went, she and her husband, overseas, and she comes and says: My husband died, she may marry, and she takes her marriage contract based on her own testimony. And it remains prohibited for her rival wife to remarry, as a woman cannot testify on behalf of her rival wife. If the rival wife was an Israelite woman married to a priest, she may continue to partake of teruma, as she is not permitted to remarry, and therefore the presumption that the husband is still alive is maintained in relation to her. This is the statement of Rabbi Tarfon.
רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמֵר אֵין זוֹ דֶּרֶךְ מוֹצִיאָתוֹ מִידֵי עֲבֵירָה עַד שֶׁתְּהֵא אֲסוּרָה לִינָּשֵׂא וַאֲסוּרָה מִלֶּאֱכוֹל בִּתְרוּמָה Rabbi Akiva says: This is not the way to spare someone from transgression. According to the opinion of Rabbi Tarfon, there is a concern that she might be eating teruma unlawfully. There is no remedy for this situation unless it is prohibited for the rival wife to marry, as she cannot rely on the testimony of her rival wife, and it is also prohibited for her to partake of teruma, lest the other woman was speaking the truth. In other words, the halakha is stringent on both counts.
אָמְרָה מֵת (לִי) בַּעְלִי וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵת חָמִי תִּנָּשֵׂא וְתִטּוֹל כְּתוּבָּתָהּ וַחֲמוֹתָהּ אֲסוּרָה הָיְתָה בַּת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְכֹהֵן תֹּאכַל בִּתְרוּמָה דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי טַרְפוֹן רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמֵר אֵין זוֹ דֶּרֶךְ מוֹצִיאָ[תָ]הּ מִידֵי עֲבֵירָה עַד שֶׁתְּהֵא אֲסוּרָה לִינָּשֵׂא וַאֲסוּרָה מִלֶּאֱכוֹל בִּתְרוּמָה The mishna discusses a similar case. If a woman said: My husband died and afterward my father-in-law died, she may marry and take her marriage contract, and it is prohibited for her mother-in-law to remarry, as a woman may not testify on behalf of her mother-in-law. If the mother-in-law was the daughter of an Israelite married to a priest, she may partake of teruma; this is the statement of Rabbi Tarfon. Rabbi Akiva says: This is not the way to spare her from transgression; there is no remedy unless it is prohibited for the mother-in-law to marry and also prohibited for her to partake of teruma.
גְּמָ׳ וּצְרִיכָא דְּאִי אִיתְּמַר הָךְ קַמַּיְיתָא בְּהָא קָאָמַר רַבִּי טַרְפוֹן מִשּׁוּם דְּצַעְרָא דְּגוּפַהּ אֲבָל חֲמוֹת דְּצַעְרָא מִילֵּי דְּעָלְמָא אֵימָא מוֹדֵי לֵיהּ לְרַבִּי עֲקִיבָא GEMARA: The mishna states the dispute between Rabbi Tarfon and Rabbi Akiva with regard to two apparently identical cases. The Gemara explains: And it is necessary to state both of these examples. As, had the mishna stated the dispute only in this first case, I would have said: It is in this case that Rabbi Tarfon said the wife is suspected of lying, because the suffering is physical, i.e., she is jealous of her rival wife, with whom she shares her husband. However, with regard to her mother-in-law, where the suffering is merely verbal and not physical, one might say that he concedes to Rabbi Akiva, i.e., that she is not considered a liar, and therefore it should be prohibited for her mother-in-law to partake in teruma.
וְאִי אִיתְּמַר בְּהָא בְּהָא קָאָמַר רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אֲבָל בְּהָךְ אֵימָא מוֹדֶה לֵיהּ לְרַבִּי טַרְפוֹן צְרִיכָא And vice-versa: Had the mishna stated the dispute only in this second case, I would have said: It is in this case that Rabbi Akiva said that the mother-in-law must refrain from eating teruma in case the daughter-in-law is not lying, but in this other case of the rival wife, you might say that he concedes to Rabbi Tarfon that she may eat teruma, as a rival wife is certainly not telling the truth. Therefore, it is necessary for the mishna to state the dispute in both two cases.
אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל הֲלָכָה כְּרַבִּי טַרְפוֹן אָמַר אַבָּיֵי אַף אֲנַן נָמֵי תְּנֵינָא נִיתַּן לִי בֵּן בִּמְדִינַת הַיָּם מֵת בְּנִי וְאַחַר כָּךְ בַּעְלִי נֶאֱמֶנֶת בַּעְלִי וְאַחַר כָּךְ בְּנִי אֵינָהּ נֶאֱמֶנֶת § Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Tarfon. The testimony of a woman who is suspected of harboring ill will toward another is entirely rejected with regard to that other person, and no credence is given to her account at all. Abaye said: Likewise, we, too, learn in a mishna (118b): If a woman came and said: A son was born to me overseas, and my son died and afterward my husband died, she is deemed credible in all regards, and she enters into levirate marriage. If she said: My husband died and afterward my son died, which means she is exempt from levirate marriage, she is not deemed credible.
וְחוֹשְׁשִׁין לִדְבָרֶיהָ וְחוֹלֶצֶת וְלֹא מִתְיַיבֶּמֶת לִדְבָרֶיהָ הוּא דְּחוֹשְׁשִׁין הָא לְדִבְרֵי צָרָה אֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין שְׁמַע מִינַּהּ That mishna adds: But in any case, the court is concerned about her statement, and she must perform ḥalitza and she does not enter into levirate marriage. In other words, the court takes into consideration the possibility that she is speaking the truth, and if her son did die after her husband it is prohibited for her to enter into levirate marriage. Abaye infers from the language of the mishna on 118b: It is with regard to her own statement that the court is concerned. This indicates that the court is not concerned at all about the statement of her rival wife who testified with regard to her. The Gemara concludes: Learn from here that this is the case.