POINT BY POINT OUTLINE
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
1) WHEN WE MAY RELY ON A "NOCHRI"
(a) A Nochri told a Yisrael 'Cut fodder and give it to my
animals on Shabbos. If not, I will kill you like I killed
Ploni the Yisrael, because he refused to cook for me on
(b) Ploni's wife heard this and came before Abaye. He
required her to wait until Chachamim gather to learn
Halachos of the festival.
(c) Rav Ada bar Ahavah (to the woman): Ask Rav Yosef, he is
(d) Rav Yosef: The following Beraisa shows that she is not
1. (Beraisa): If a Nochri was selling fruit and said
'it is Orlah (within the first three years of the
tree), or of Azika (a place where fruits were
guarded in Shemitah), or it is fourth year produce
(which must be eaten in Yerushalayim in Taharah, or
redeemed)', his words have no effect, since he
intended only to praise his fruit. (Similarly, this
Nochri just wanted to scare the Yisrael.)
(e) (Aba Yudan): A case occurred in which a Yisrael and
Nochri traveled together. The Nochri said 'Woe to the
Yisrael that traveled with me. He died and I buried him.'
Chachamim permitted his wife to remarry.
(f) There was also a case of a company of men going to
Antuchya. A Nochri said, 'Woe to this company of men.
They died and I buried them.' Chachamim permitted their
wives to remarry.
(g) There was a case of 60 men going to Beitar. A Nochri
said, 'Woe to the 60 men who were going to Beitar. They
died and I buried them.' Chachamim permitted their wives
2) MUST THE DECEASED BE SEEN?
(a) (Mishnah): We may testify if the deceased was seen by
candlelight or by moonlight. We may testify based on a
voice, even if no body was seen.
(b) A case occurred in which a man was on a mountain top. He
gave his name and place, and said that he is dying.
People went and did not find anyone. His wife was
permitted to remarry.
(c) A case occurred in Tzalmon in which a man gave his name
and said that he is dying from a snakebite. They were
unable to identify the body. His wife was permitted.
(d) (Gemara - Rabah bar Shmuel - Beraisa - Beis Shamai): We
cannot permit a woman based on a voice alone;
(e) Beis Hillel permit this.
(f) Question: Why did Rabah teach this? We already know that
it is permitted from our Mishnah!
(g) Answer: He teaches that if we find a Stam Beraisa that
does not permit through a voice alone, it is Beis Shamai.
(h) (Mishnah): They went and did not find him ... (his wife
(i) Question: Perhaps they heard a Shed (a being that has
similarities to people and to angels)!
(j) Answer #1 (Rav Yehudah): (When he was speaking) they saw
a human form.
(k) Question: Shedim also have human forms!
(l) Answer: He had a shadow.
(m) Question: Shedim also have shadows!
(n) Answer: He had a shadow of a shadow. (A Gaon says that we
are not proficient about this. Pischei Teshuvah connotes
that it is a shadow longer than the person's height, or a
dark shadow inside a lighter shadow.)
(o) Question: Perhaps Shedim also have shadows of shadows!
(p) Answer (R. Chanina): Yonasan Sheida (a Shed, or an expert
about Shedim) told me that Shedim have shadows, but not
shadows of shadows.
(q) Question: Perhaps it was a Tzarah (intending that her
Tzarah remarry and later be forced to leave her husband)!
(r) Answer (Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael): At a time of danger, we
may write and give a Get even if we do not recognize the
husband (who commands. Here also, there is no other way
to permit his wife, so we overlook this concern.)
3) DO WE RELY ON ONE WITNESS?
(a) (Mishnah - R. Akiva): When I went to Nehardai to make a
leap year, I encountered Nechemyah of Beis Deli.
(b) Nechemyah: I heard that in Eretz Yisrael, only R. Yehudah
ben Bava permits a woman based on one witness.
(c) R. Akiva: That is correct.
(d) Nechemyah: Tell them in my name that the roads are
perilous because of soldiers; I received from R. Gamliel
the Elder that a woman may remarry based on one witness.
(e) R. Akiva: When I told this to R. Gamliel (the grandson of
R. Gamliel the Elder), he rejoiced.
(f) R. Gamliel: We have found a colleague (support) for R.
Yehudah ben Bava!
1. R. Gamliel recalled that men were killed in Tel
Arza, and R. Gamliel the Elder permitted their wives
based on one witness. It became established to
remarry based on second hand testimony, and based on
a slave or woman;
(g) R. Eliezer and R. Yehoshua say, a woman may not remarry
based on one witness;
(h) R. Akiva says, she may not remarry based on a slave or a
woman or relatives.
(i) (Gemara) Question: R. Akiva permits her to remarry based
on a woman!
1. (Beraisa - R. Shimon ben Elazar citing R. Akiva): A
woman is believed to bring her own Get (from Chutz
la'Aretz, and to testify that it was written and
signed in front of her) from a Kal va'Chomer:
(j) Answer: R. Akiva's opinion at the end of our Mishnah was
taught before it was established to remarry according to
invalid witnesses. The Beraisa is after this became the
i. The women who are not believed to say that
Leah's husband died (e.g. her mother-in-law -
117a) are believed to bring Leah's Get. All the
more so Leah herself, who is believed to say
that her husband died, is believed to bring her
2. Inference: Only those women are not believed to say
that Leah's husband died, but other women are
(k) (Mishnah): They told R. Akiva about a case in which
Leviyim went to Tzo'ar. One got sick, and they left him
at an inn. When they returned, they asked where he is.
The innkeeper said that he died, and she buried him.
Based on this, they permitted his wife to remarry.
1. A Kohenes (a Kosher woman) should be believed no
less than an innkeeper!
(l) R. Akiva: In a case like that of the innkeeper, she is
1. The innkeeper gave them the man's staff, bag and
(m) (Gemara) Question: Why should an innkeeper be worse than
a regular woman? (They said 'a Kohenes should be believed
no less than an innkeeper.')
(n) Answer (Rav Kahana and Aba brei d'Rav Minyomi's Beraisa):
The innkeeper was a Nochris. She spoke l'Fi Tumo, 'this
is his staff and bag, and this is the grave I buried him
(o) Objection: They asked her 'where is our friend?' (so she
was not l'Fi Tumo)!
(p) Answer: When she saw them, she cried even before they
4) MUST WE INTERROGATE THE WITNESS?
(a) (Beraisa #1): Reuven came before R. Tarfon for Edus
On to Kesuvos
1. R. Tarfon: How do you know that the man died?
(b) Contradiction: R. Tarfon requires interrogating the
2. Reuven: We were travelling together; a troop chased
us. He broke off an olive branch and chased them
away. I said 'Aryeh (lion), your strength should be
i. Aryeh: How did you know my name? In my city,
they call me Yochanan b'Rebbi Yonasan Aryeh, of
the village Shichya.
3. Reuven: Later, he fell sick and died.
4. R. Tarfon permitted Aryeh's wife to remarry.
1. (Beraisa #2): Reuven came before R. Tarfon for Edus
(c) Resolution: Tana'im argue about whether or not
interrogation is required (and about R. Tarfon's
2. R. Tarfon: How do you know that the man died?
3. Reuven: We were travelling together; a troop chased
us. He broke off an olive branch and chased them
away. I said 'Aryeh, your strength should be
i. Aryeh: You guessed my name! In my city, they
call me Yochanan b'Rebbi Yonasan Aryeh, of the
4. Reuven: Later, he fell sick and died.
5. R. Tarfon: Didn't you say Yochanan b'Rebbi Yonasan
of the village Shichya Aryeh?
6. Reuven: No, I said Yochanan b'Rebbi Yonasan Aryeh,
of the village Shichya.
7. R. Tarfon tested Reuven two or three times. When he
saw that his story was consistent, he permitted
Aryeh's wife to remarry.
1. (Beraisa): We do not interrogate witnesses
testifying to permit a woman to remarry;
(d) The Tana'im argue about R. Chanina's law.
2. R. Akiva and R. Tarfon say, we interrogate them.
(Almost all Meforshim had this text. Our text
attributes the first opinion to R. Akiva.)
1. (R. Chanina): Mid'Oraisa, both monetary and capital
cases require interrogation - "You will have one
(e) (R. Elazar): Chachamim increase Shalom in the world -
"All your children are learned of Hash-m, great is the
Shalom of your children".
i. Chachamim said that we do not interrogate in
monetary cases, lest people be discouraged from
lending money (out of fear lest the witnesses
2. The first Tana (in the Beraisa) considers Edus Ishah
to be a monetary case, since she receives her
Kesuvah (if we allow her to remarry);
3. R. Akiva and R. Tarfon hold, since we permit a
married woman to remarry, it is like a capital case.
Index to Outlines for Maseches Yevamos