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YEVAMOS 39

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12th CYCLE DEDICATIONS
 
YEVAMOS 37-40 - Dedicated by Andy & Nancy Neff in memory of Leah Miriam bat Yisroel -- Lucy Rabin. Beloved mother of Nancy Neff, Valerie, Doug and Andy Rabin, and wife of Sidney Rabin, Lucy Rabin was Nifteres last Thursday (14 Sivan).

SUMMARY

Rava says that a woman may sell the property that she inherits while she is a Shomeres Yavam, but not if she inherited it after she did Ma'amar. (1)
 
Once Yibum is performed, the Yevamah is no different from any other wife, and if the Yavam wants to divorce her, he gives her a Get, and he may remarry her after the divorce (if she did not marry anyone else in the interim).
 
The Kesuvah of a Yevamah is paid from the property of the first husband. However, if he did not leave any property, the Yavam must pay the Kesuvah from his own property. (2)
 
It is a Mitzvah for the oldest brother to do Yibum. However, if he chooses not to do Yibum, we give the other brothers the opportunity to do the Mitzvah. If they also choose not to do the Mitzvah, we go back to the oldest brother and force him to do either Yibum or Chalitzah.
 
If the younger brother is willing to do Yibum and the older brother is willing to do only Chalitzah, Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi disagree about which is preferable. (3)
 
We do not allow the brothers to delay the Yibum or Chalitzah until a younger brother becomes a Gadol, or until an older brother comes back from overseas, because we do not allow a Mitzvah to be delayed.
 
According to an alternative version, everyone agrees that the Yibum of the younger brother is preferable to the Chalitzah of the older brother. The dispute between Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi is whether the Chalitzah of an older brother takes precedence over the Chalitzah of a younger brother. (4)
 
In the early days, when the intent of the Yavam was for the sake of the Mitzvah, Yibum took precedence over the Mitzvah of Chalitzah. Nowadays, when one's intent is not for the Mitzvah, the Mitzvah of Chalitzah takes precedence.
 
Rav says that if both the Yavam and Yevamah want to do Yibum, they may do so and we do not force them to do Chalitzah.
 
Rav Acha and Ravina disagree about whether valid witnesses are needed for testimony regarding whether the Yavam is in fact the brother of the deceased, or whether it suffices for a woman or relative to testify. (5)
 
Aba Shaul: If a Yavam does Yibum because of her beauty or for some other ulterior motive, it is tantamount to having relations with an Ervah, and the child born from the union may be a Mamzer. Chachamim: The Mitzvah of Yibum applies even if the motives of the participants are impure.

A BIT MORE

1. Rava maintains that, according to Beis Shamai, Ma'amar makes her a definite Arusah and a Safek Nesu'ah.
 
2. The Yavam is not responsible to pay the Kesuvah from his own property, because the Yevamah was an "acquisition from Shamayim" (and not by his choice). However, the Rabanan decreed that the Yavam pays the Kesuvah if there is no property from the first husband, because, otherwise, she will be too easy to divorce.
 
3. The one who says that the Yibum of the younger brother is preferable maintains that the principle Mitzvah is Yibum, and not Chalitzah. The other opinion maintains that the principle Mitzvah is on the oldest brother. Therefore, the Yibum of the younger brother is a less significant Mitzvah than the Chalitzah of the older brother.
 
4. The reason for the one who says that the Chalitzah of the older brother is preferable is that the principle Mitzvah is on the oldest brother. The other opinion maintains that only with regard to Yibum is the principle Mitzvah on the oldest brother, but not with regard to Chalitzah.
 
5. The Halachah follows the opinion that even a relative or woman may testify that the Yavam is the brother of the deceased, because it is only a "Giluy Milsa" and thus no testimony is needed.

BRIEF INSIGHT

FROM WHOSE PROPERTY IS THE KESUVAH PAID TO A YEVAMAH
 
The Mishnah says that the Kesuvah of a Yevamah is paid from the property of the first husband. The Gemara explains that the Yevamah was an "acquisition from Shamayim," and therefore the Yavam is not obligated to give her a Kesuvah. However, if the first husband left no property, the Yavam must pay the Kesuvah from his own property. The question of the Gemara is not why the Yavam does not pay the Kesuvah instead of the brother. Rather, the question is why the Yevamah does not receive two Kesuvos, one from the first husband and one from the Yavam. Since she is now getting married for the second time, she should receive a second Kesuvah from the Yavam. The Gemara answers that she is an "acquisition from Shamayim" and thus the Yavam is not obligated to write a separate Kesuvah, but if the first husband left no property, then the Yavam must pay her Kesuvah. However, he is obligated to pay only the principle of the Kesuvah. He does not have to pay back any dowry that she brought into the first marriage. (Ran in Kesuvos, Tosfos Yeshanim)

QUICK HALACHAH

WHEN THE OLDEST BROTHER DOES NOT WANT TO DO YIBUM
 
When the oldest brother does not want to do Yibum but only Chalitzah, and a younger brother wishes to do Yibum, the Yibum of the younger brother takes precedence. If both brothers want to do Chalitzah, the oldest brother has precedence. (Shulchan Aruch EH 161:6)
 
However, we do not force the oldest brother to do Chalitzah [if he refuses to do it], and the younger brother should do the Chalitzah instead. (Beis Shmuel)

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