בִּרְנָנָה לָא מַפְּקִינַן הָכָא נָמֵי בִּרְנָנָה לָא מַפְּקִינַן we do not remove her from her husband owing to suspicion due to rumor alone. Here too, we do not remove her from her husband due to a rumor.
מַתְנִי׳ וְכוּלָּם שֶׁהָיוּ לָהֶם נָשִׁים וּמֵתוּ מוּתָּרוֹת לִינָּשֵׂא לָהֶם MISHNA: And for all of these who were involved in permitting the wife to remarry, i.e., the judge, the agent who brought a bill of divorce, and the one who testified for a woman that her husband died, if they had wives at the time of the ruling or the testimony and their wives died thereafter, then those women they had set free are permitted to be married to them. There is no concern that while their wives were still alive these individuals set their eyes upon another woman.
וְכוּלָּן שֶׁנִּישְּׂאוּ לַאֲחֵרִים וְנִתְגָּרְשׁוּ אוֹ שֶׁנִּתְאַלְמְנוּ מוּתָּרוֹת לִינָּשֵׂא לָהֶם וְכוּלָּן מוּתָּרוֹת לִבְנֵיהֶם אוֹ לַאֲחֵיהֶם And with regard to all of these women who were prohibited from marrying a certain man due to some suspicion, if they were subsequently married to others and then were divorced or widowed from the second husband, they are permitted to be married to them, i.e., to the judge, messenger, or witness who permitted her to remarry. And all of these women who were prohibited from marrying due to some suspicion are permitted to the sons or to the brothers of those who set them free.
גְּמָ׳ מֵתוּ אִין נִתְגָּרְשׁוּ לָא GEMARA: The mishna taught that if any of the men had wives who subsequently died, they may marry those women freed by them. The Gemara deduces from here: If the wives of those who rendered the woman permitted died, yes, they are permitted to marry the woman that they freed for marriage; but if the wives were divorced, no, it is prohibited. In such a case, marrying the woman that one had rendered permitted would raise suspicions that he had in fact planned to marry her all along.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַב הִלֵּל לְרַב אָשֵׁי וְהָתַנְיָא אֲפִילּוּ נִתְגָּרְשׁוּ לָא קַשְׁיָא הָא דַּהֲוַאי קְטָטָה הָא דְּלָא הֲוַאי קְטָטָה Rav Hillel said to Rav Ashi: Yet it is taught in a baraita: Even if they were divorced from their first wives they are permitted to marry the women they freed. The Gemara responds: This is not difficult: This mishna is referring to a case when there was a quarrel between the husband and the wife at the time that he freed the other woman, as then there is legitimate concern that he was already interested in her. That case of the baraita was when there was no quarrel between them at the time, and therefore the divorce clearly resulted from some other reason.
וְאִיבָּעֵית אֵימָא הָא וְהָא דְּלָא הֲוַאי קְטָטָה וְלָא קַשְׁיָא הָא דְּאַרְגֵּיל הוּא הָא דְּאַרְגִּילָה הִיא And if you wish, say: Both this and that were said in cases when there was no quarrel between the one who freed the woman and his first wife, and only later did they quarrel and divorce. And this is not difficult: This case of the mishna was when he started the quarrel himself, as then there is legitimate concern that he had an interest in this other woman and therefore sought out a reason to divorce his wife. And that case of the baraita was when his wife started the quarrel, as then there would be no reason to suspect him of freeing the other woman in order to marry her.
וְכוּלָּן שֶׁנִּישְּׂאוּ וְכוּ׳ קָא סָלְקָא דַּעְתִּין מִיתָה אַמִּיתָה וְגֵירוּשִׁין אַגֵּירוּשִׁין The mishna stated: And with regard to all of these women, if they were married to others and then were divorced or widowed, it is permitted for them to marry those who caused them to be free to marry in the first place. It enters our mind to say that the case referred to here was one of death after death, i.e., the case of a woman whose first husband’s death had been substantiated by a single witness but whose second husband died as well, and also to the case of divorce following a bill of divorce that had been validated by a single witness.
נֵימָא מַתְנִיתִין דְּלָא כְּרַבִּי דְּאִי כְּרַבִּי הָאָמַר בִּתְרֵי זִימְנֵי הָוְיָא חֲזָקָה Based on this, should we say that the mishna, which permits a woman to remarry even after her two previous husbands have died, is not in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi? As, if it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, didn’t Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi say: After two times a woman has the presumptive status to cause death to her husbands, and such a woman is considered murderous. Therefore, she may not remarry. Since there is no mention of such concern in the mishna, it appears that the mishna is not in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi.
לָא מִיתָה אַגֵּירוּשִׁין וְגֵירוּשִׁין אַמִּיתָה The Gemara rejects this: No evidence can be derived from here, as the reference here may be to death after divorce or divorce after death. The mishna could be referring either to a woman who was at first divorced and then later widowed by her second husband’s death, or to a woman whose first husband died and who was subsequently divorced, but not to a case where she was widowed by the death of two husbands.
וְכוּלָּן מוּתָּרוֹת לִבְנֵיהֶם אוֹ לַאֲחֵיהֶם מַאי שְׁנָא מֵהָא דִּתְנַן הַנִּטְעָן מִן הָאִשָּׁה אָסוּר בְּאִמָּהּ וּבְבִתָּהּ וּבַאֲחוֹתָהּ § The mishna taught: And all of these women who were prohibited from marrying the man who freed them due to some suspicion are permitted to the sons or to the brothers of those who set them free. The Gemara asks: In what way is this case different from that which we learned in the Tosefta (4:5) that one suspected of adultery with a specific woman is prohibited not only from marrying her, but also from marrying her mother, and her daughter, and her sister. Yet here we allow his sons and brothers to marry the woman despite the suspicion.
נְשֵׁי לְגַבֵּי נְשֵׁי שְׁכִיחָן דְּאָזְלָן גַּבְרֵי לְגַבֵּי גַבְרֵי לָא שְׁכִיחָן The Gemara answers: There is a distinction between the situations, for it is common for women to be at the house of other women and to stay overnight. Therefore, there is concern that a relative of the alleged adulterer’s wife, with whom he was suspected of misconduct, might frequent his house and he might be tempted to repeat his transgression. On the other hand, it is not common for men to be at the house of other men, so that even if she was married to his relative, the one suspected of misconduct would not generally sleep at the house of the husband.
אִי נָמֵי נְשֵׁי דְּלָא אָסְרָן שְׁכִיבָתָן אַהֲדָדֵי לָא קָפְדִי אַהֲדָדֵי גַּבְרֵי דְּאָסְרָן שְׁכִיבָתָן אַהֲדָדֵי קָפְדִי אַהֲדָדֵי Alternatively, a different argument could be made: Women are not so strict with one another, as lying with them and having sexual relations with them does not render them mutually forbidden. In other words, if a man commits adultery with his wife’s close relative, his wife does not become forbidden to him, so she may not pay attention to his behavior with the woman under suspicion. However, men are strict with one another, as lying with them and having sexual relations with the other man’s wife does render them, the husband and wife, mutually forbidden. In other words, if another man has relations with a married woman, she is forbidden to her husband, and so men pay close attention to what the others are doing.
אִי הָכִי אָבִיו נָמֵי לָא מִיבַּעְיָא קָאָמַר לָא מִיבַּעְיָא אָבִיו דִּבְזִיז בְּנֵיהּ מִינֵּיהּ אֲבָל בְּנוֹ דְּלָא בְּזִיז אָבִיו מִינֵּיהּ אֵימָא לָא קָא מַשְׁמַע לַן The Gemara asks: If so, one’s father should be permitted to marry a woman set free by his son as well. So why does the mishna say: Their sons or their brothers, and not: Their fathers? The Gemara answers: Certainly his father is allowed as well, but the mishna is speaking utilizing the style of: It is not necessary. It is not necessary to mention the case of his father because he is most certainly permitted to marry a woman set free by his son, as his son is embarrassed [baziz] before him and so would not come to sleep with his father’s wife. But I might say that since the father is not embarrassed before his son, she may not be married to the son of one for whom there is suspicion. Therefore, this comes to teach us that there is no such concern.
הֲדַרַן עֲלָךְ כֵּיצַד אֵשֶׁת אָחִיו
אַרְבָּעָה אַחִין שְׁנַיִם מֵהֶם נְשׂוּאִים שְׁתֵּי אֲחָיוֹת וּמֵתוּ הַנְּשׂוּאִים אֶת הָאֲחָיוֹת הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ חוֹלְצוֹת וְלֹא מִתְיַיבְּמוֹת וְאִם קָדְמוּ וְכָנְסוּ יוֹצִיאוּ רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר בֵּית שַׁמַּאי אוֹמְרִים יְקַיֵּים וּבֵית הִלֵּל אוֹמְרִים יוֹצִיאוּ MISHNA: In the case of four brothers, two of whom were married to two sisters, and the ones married to the sisters died, then those sisters must perform ḥalitza and may not enter into levirate marriage. Since both sisters require levirate marriage with each of the surviving brothers, a levirate bond exists between each sister and the brothers. Each of them is considered the sister of a woman with whom each brother has a levirate bond and is therefore forbidden to him by rabbinic law. And if they married the sisters before consulting the court, they should divorce them, for the Sages decreed that in this situation they may not remain married. Rabbi Eliezer says that there is a dispute in this matter: Beit Shammai say: He may maintain her as his wife, while Beit Hillel say: They must divorce them.
הָיְתָה אַחַת מֵהֶן אֲסוּרָה עַל הָאֶחָד אִיסּוּר עֶרְוָה אָסוּר בָּהּ וּמוּתָּר בַּאֲחוֹתָהּ וְהַשֵּׁנִי אָסוּר בִּשְׁתֵּיהֶן If one of the sisters was forbidden to one of the brothers due to a prohibition against forbidden relations because she was a relative of his wife or a relative on his mother’s side, then he is forbidden to marry her but permitted to marry her sister. Because she is his close relative, she is exempt from levirate marriage with him, and therefore she is not bound to him with a levirate bond. Consequently, her sister is not considered the sister of a woman with whom he has a levirate bond, and he is permitted to enter into levirate marriage with her. But the second brother, who is not a close relative of either sister, is forbidden to marry both of them. Indeed, for him each woman remains the sister of a woman with whom he has a levirate bond.
אִיסּוּר מִצְוָה וְאִיסּוּר קְדוּשָּׁה חוֹלֶצֶת וְלֹא מִתְיַיבֶּמֶת If a prohibition resulting from a mitzva or a prohibition stemming from sanctity will be transgressed when one of the women marries one of the brothers, then her sister must perform ḥalitza and may not enter into levirate marriage, as she is considered the sister of a woman with whom he has a levirate bond. In this case, the sister who is forbidden to the brother due to a mitzva or due to sanctity is bound to the brother for the purpose of ḥalitza.
הָיְתָה אַחַת מֵהֶן אֲסוּרָה עַל זֶה אִיסּוּר עֶרְוָה וְהַשְּׁנִיָּה אֲסוּרָה עַל זֶה אִיסּוּר עֶרְוָה הָאֲסוּרָה לָזֶה מוּתֶּרֶת לָזֶה וְהָאֲסוּרָה לָזֶה מוּתֶּרֶת לָזֶה If one of those women was forbidden to this one brother due to a prohibition against forbidden relations and the second woman was forbidden to that second brother due to a prohibition against forbidden relations, then she who is forbidden to this brother is permitted to that brother, and she who is forbidden to that brother is permitted to this one.
וְזוֹ הִיא שֶׁאָמְרוּ אֲחוֹתָהּ כְּשֶׁהִיא יְבִמְתָּהּ אוֹ חוֹלֶצֶת אוֹ מִתְיַיבֶּמֶת And this is the case that was referred to when they said: When her sister is also her yevama, i.e., in a case where two sisters are also yevamot and therefore happened for levirate marriage before two brothers, she either performs ḥalitza or enters into levirate marriage. This must be referring to a case where each sister is forbidden to one of the brothers due to a prohibition concerning forbidden relatives. In this case, each sister has a levirate bond only with the one brother to whom she is permitted, and the prohibition against marrying the sister of a woman with whom one has a levirate bond does not apply. Therefore, each brother can either perform the act of ḥalitza or consummate the levirate marriage with the sister to whom he is not related.
גְּמָ׳ שְׁמַע מִינַּהּ יֵשׁ זִיקָה דְּאִי אֵין זִיקָה מִכְּדִי הָנֵי מִתְּרֵי בָתֵּי קָאָתְיָין הַאי לְיַיבֵּם חֲדָא וְהַאי לְיַיבֵּם חֲדָא GEMARA: The Gemara deduces from the halakha cited in the mishna: Conclude from here that the levirate bond is substantial. That is, the very obligation of levirate marriage creates a bond that is similar to marriage. For if the levirate bond were not substantial, why would these two women not enter into levirate marriage? After all, these two women come from two households, as each had a different husband, and they both require levirate marriage. Let this brother consummate the levirate marriage with one sister and let that brother consummate the levirate marriage with the other sister. The fact that the mishna requires ḥalitza in this situation indicates that the levirate bond is substantial and resembles marriage to the extent that each sister is forbidden to each brother due to the prohibition against marrying the sister of a woman to whom one has a levirate bond.
לְעוֹלָם אֵימָא לָךְ אֵין זִיקָה וּמִשּׁוּם דְּקָסָבַר אָסוּר לְבַטֵּל מִצְוַת יְבָמִין דִּלְמָא אַדִּמְיַיבֵּם חַד מָיֵית אִידַּךְ וְקָמְבַטֵּל מִצְוַת יְבָמִין The Gemara rejects this: Actually, I could say to you that according to this tanna the levirate bond is not substantial, and yet they are prohibited from entering levirate marriage for a different reason. It is because the tanna holds that it is prohibited to negate the mitzva of levirate marriage. It is prohibited to act in a way that would lead to a situation where the mitzva to perform levirate marriage is negated. How would this situation arise? Perhaps before one brother consummates the levirate marriage, the other brother dies, and only one brother remains. In that case, the second sister would also happen before him for levirate marriage, and by performing levirate marriage with one sister he would thereby negate the mitzva of levirate marriage with the other sister. When the remaining brother marries one of the sisters, the mitzva to enter into levirate marriage or perform ḥalitza is automatically negated from the second sister, as she is then forbidden to him as his wife’s sister.
אִי הָכִי תְּלָתָא נָמֵי The Gemara asks: If so, if this is the rationale behind the ruling in the mishna, then the same concern would exist if there were three brothers, as well. Why did the mishna specify four brothers? It could have cited the case of three brothers, two of whom were married to two sisters. In these circumstances, the concern for negating the mitzva of levirate marriage also exists.
לָא מִיבַּעְיָא קָאָמְרִינַן לָא מִיבַּעְיָא תְּלָתָא דְּוַדַּאי בָּטְלָה מִצְוַת יְבָמִין אֲבָל אַרְבְּעָה לְמִיתָה לָא חָיְישִׁינַן קָא מַשְׁמַע לַן The Gemara answers: Indeed, the ruling would be the same in that case. However, the mishna is speaking utilizing the style of: It is not necessary. It is not necessary to specify that the women must perform ḥalitza in a case involving three brothers, as certainly the mitzva of levirate marriage is negated with one of the sisters when the yavam marries the other sister. But in the case of four brothers, where there is concern only over the possibility that one of the brothers might die, we might have said that we are not concerned over the possibility of the death of a brother and therefore allow the brothers to consummate the levirate marriage. The mishna therefore teaches us that even in the case where there is concern only for the negation of the mitzva, they must perform ḥalitza and not consummate the levirate marriage.
אִי הָכִי The Gemara asks: If so, i.e., if we are concerned over the possibility that the remaining brother might die,