[3a - 35 lines; 3b - 47 lines]


(a)In a Beraisa found in the introduction to the Sifra (the Halachic Midrash on Vayikra), Rebbi Yishmael lists the thirteen methodologies employed by Chazal when determining Halachah from the verses of the Torah. One of these is Gezeirah Shavah, in which two identical words (or two words that share the same root) that appear in two different sections of the Torah reveal that the Halachos applicable to one section apply to the other and vice versa.

(b)One may apply a Gezeirah Shavah only if he has received a tradition from his teachers that such a connection between the two words exists. Once the connection is established, however, then one may derive Halachos that were not specified in the tradition.

(c)A Gezeirah Shavah is unlimited; one may not pick and choose which Halachos he would like to apply. This facet of a Gezeirah Shavah is termed "Ein Gezeirah Shavah l'Mechetzah." This rule is waived in the case of an explicit teaching that precludes the application of a specific Halachah.

(d)There are three possible configurations for a Gezeirah Shavah:

1.MUFNEH MI'SHNEI TZEDADIM - If both words are seemingly unnecessary and are not used in the derivation of any other teaching, then all of the rules described above apply.

2.MUFNEH MI'TZAD ECHAD - If the word in only one of the sections is available, some maintain that such a Gezeirah Shavah is no more limited than one that is Mufneh mi'Shnei Tzedadim. Others rule that Halachos may be derived from such a Gezeirah Shavah only if there is no argument against them. This status is known as "Lemedin u'Meshivin."

3.EINO MUFNEH KOL IKAR - If neither word is free, then those opinions who maintain that a Gezeirah Shavah that is Mufneh mi'Tzad Echad is unlimited grant such a Gezeirah Shavah the status of Lemedin u'Meshivin. Those who applied Lemedin u'Meshivin to a Gezeirah Shavah that is Mufneh mi'Shnei Tzedadim rule that this one may not be used to determine any Halachos whatsoever.

(e)Rav Yitzchak bar Avdimi details two Gezeiros Shavah within the Parshiyos of Arayos (forbidden conjugal relationships). One verse (Vayikra 18:17) forbids one from having a conjugal relationship with the daughter of the woman to whom he is married, whether or not that daughter is his own. Another verse (Vayikra 18:10) forbids one from having a conjugal relationship with his own granddaughter, whether or not he had been married to her grandmother. The word "Henah" appears in both of these verses. This leads to a Gezeirah Shavah teaching that one may not have a conjugal relationship with his daughter born out of wedlock, just as he may not have one with his daughter borne by his wife.

(f)A different verse (Vayikra 20:14) specifies Sereifah (see Background to 2:15) as the punishment for all of the parties involved in a conjugal relationship between a man, the woman to whom he is married, and her daughter, whether or not that daughter is his own. Both this verse and the first one described in (e) above contain the word "Zimah." This second Gezeirah Shavah teaches that those involved in a conjugal relationship between a man and his granddaughter receive Sereifah as well. The first Gezeirah Shavah involving the word "Henah" extends this derivation, and teaches that the parties involved in a conjugal relationship between a man and his daughter or granddaughter resulting from a relationship other than marriage also receive Sereifah.

2)[line 8]ACHVASA- sisterhood

3)[line 8] HAI BAVA- that set [of cases dealing with sisterly relatives]

4)[line 9] KURVEI KURVEI NAKAT- listed [the Arayos in the Mishnah in descending order of] those relatives closest [to the Yavam]

5)[line 10] KEROVAI ATZMO- his closest blood relatives

6)[line 11]ACHVAH- siblinghood

7)[line 16] B'DIN HU- it would have been correct [according to this logic]

8)[line 17] , MEKAMEI ESHES ACHIV SHE'LO HAYAH BA'OLAMO, D'LO MISHUM KURVAH HU D'ASIRA- (a) before [both the case of Eshes Achiv me'Imo, as well as that of] Eshes Achiv she'Lo Hayah ba'Olamo, since [none of] them are blood relatives of the Yavam [and his daughter-in-law carries the more severe punishment of Sekilah] (RASHI); (b) before [both the case of Eshes Achiv me'Imo, as well as that of] Eshes Achiv she'Lo Hayah ba'Olamo, since [although none of] them are blood relatives of the Yavam [his daughter-in-law is more closely related as she is the wife of his son, who is a closer relative than his brother] (TOSFOS DH Mekamei); (c) before the case of Eshes Achiv she'Lo Hayah ba'Olamo, since the reason why he may not [perform Yibum with his sister-in-law] is due [to a derivation in the Parshah of Yibum and] not to that which she is a forbidden relative [of his] (RAMBAN)

9)[line 21]POTROS- exempt [their co-wives from Chalitzah and Yibum, which implies that they still may undergo these processes if they wish to]

10)[line 23] ?MAI KA'AVID?- what did he do [improperly in performing Chalitzah with the co-wife of an Ervah]?

11a)[line 24] ?ALAMAH LO?- why is it not [forbidden mid'Rabanan to perform Chalitzah with the co-wife of an Ervah]?

b)[line 24] , !IM ATAH OMER CHOLETZES, MISYABEMES!- [for] if you say that she may undergo Chalitzah, [then people will assume that] she could have undergone Yibum [as well, leading to forbidden unions in the future]!

12)[line 25] SHE'LO B'MAKOM MITZVAH- in a non-Yibum situation (e.g. the former co-wife of one's daughter)

13)[line 28] !LISNI MIN HA'YIBUM L'CHUDEI!- why did our Mishnah not teach [that one is exempt] from Yibum alone [in such situations, since the preferred course of action, when possible, is Yibum over Chalitzah]?


(a)In any situation in which it is possible to perform the Mitzvah of Yibum (see Background to 2:2), one also has the option of performing the Mitzvah of Chalitzah (see ibid.). If it is not possible for the Mitzvah of Yibum to be performed, then neither is Chalitzah necessary. The reason for this is that when a man dies childless, a connection known as "Zikah" forms between his widows(s) and his brother(s). Either Yibum or Chalitzah is necessary to dissolve this connection. Since the Zikah creates the situation allowing both Yibum and Chalitzah, neither is possible without the other (Yevamos 20a).

(b)Certain exceptions to this rule exist:

1.If the existence of Zikah is in doubt, the Yavam (brother of the deceased) must perform Chalitzah and not Yibum. This is because if there is no Zikah, then his late brother's wife is forbidden to him (Vayikra 18:16) (RASHI 3a DH Havah Amina).

2.If a Yavam may not marry his Yevamah due to a Rabbinic prohibition, then he must perform Chalitzah instead. This is because although he may not marry his sister-in-law, Zikah still exists mid'Oraisa. Therefore Chalitzah is necessary to dissolve it (Yevamos 20a).

3.If a Yavam is prohibited from marrying his Yevamah due to either a negative Torah prohibition that does not carry a punishment of Kares (see below, entry # 27) or a positive Torah commandment, then he still must perform Chalitzah. This is because these deterrents, while forbidding Yibum, are not strong enough to absolve the Zikah on their own (ibid., RASHI 9a DH v'Harei).

15)[line 32] MIN HA'CHALITZAH LECHUDAH- [that one is exempt] from Chalitzah alone (which would imply that one is certainly exempt from Yibum)


(a)It is clear from the Torah that when a man is faced with the option of performing either Yibum or Chalitzah (see Background to 2:2), it is preferable that he perform Yibum. Through this Mitzvah he is able to perpetuate the name of his deceased brother. One who chooses to perform Chalitzah instead is denigrated by his Yevamah in Beis Din (Devarim 25:5-10).

(b)It is important, however, that the Yavam perform the Mitzvah of Yibum with the proper intent. The Torah makes it clear that the purpose of this Mitzvah is to build the family of his late brother (ibid.). If a Yavam weds his sister-in-law because he finds her attractive - or even because he perceives in her the qualities of a fine wife and mother - then he has failed to perform the Mitzvah properly. Although it is likely that many will fail at this difficult task, the Chachamim still maintain that it is preferable to perform Yibum for an ulterior motive rather than perform Chalitzah. Aba Shaul, however, is of the opinion that a Yavam who does not perform Yibum with only the proper intentions has all but consummated a forbidden union, and that any resulting children will be scarcely better than illegitimate. Since the proper performance of the Mitzvah is so difficult, and the risks so great, he rules that in practice it is preferable to perform Chalitzah (Beraisa, Yevamos 39b).

17a)[line 34] MINYANA D'REISHA- the [seemingly unnecessary] numbering [of the fifteen woman] at the beginning of our Mishnah

b)[last line] MINYANA D'SEIFA- the [seemingly unnecessary] reiteration [of the fact that these women are exempt and exempt their co-wives from Chalitzah and Yibum] at the [beginning of the] second half of our Mishnah


18a)[line 1]D'RAV- that [opinion] of Rav [in which he maintains that the co-wife of a confirmed adulteress - who is forbidden to her husband, and therefore exempt from Chalitzah and Yibum - is likewise exempt (11a)]

b)[line 1] D'RAV ASI- that [opinion] of Rav Asi [in which he maintains that the co-wife of an Ailonis (see Background to 2:9), who is exempt from Chalitzah and Yibum, is likewise exempt (11a)]


(a)Unless one is a Kohen, he may remarry his wife after divorcing her. If, however, she married another and was widowed or divorced in the interim, then he may not (Devarim 24:4). This prohibition applies only to a divorcee who subsequently married; had she been forcefully assaulted, then her ex-husband may remarry her.

(b)Tana'im disagree as to whether her ex-husband may remarry her following Kidushin (engagement) to another, if she was widowed or divorced before Nisu'in (marriage) (Yevamos 11b).

20)[line 7]!LISNINHU!- why are the [cases of Tzaras Sotah and Tzaras Ailonis, respectively] not listed in our Mishnah?

21)[line 7] EINAH B'TZARAS TZARAH- [neither the co-wife of an adulteress nor that of an Ailonis] can possibly [fall to Yibum again to one of the brothers together] with a different co-wife [since all of the brothers are equally forbidden to perform Yibum with her]

22)[line 7]''?MINA HANEI MILEI?- what is the source for [that which neither Chalitzah nor Yibum are necessary for both a woman whose conjugal relationship with the Yavam is punishable by Kares as well as her co-wife] ?

23)[line 8]" ; , ""V'ISHAH EL ACHOSAH LO SIKACH; LI'TZROR, L'GALOS ERVASAH ALEHA B'CHAYEHA"- "Do not marry a woman in addition to her sister, to be her fellow wife; to uncover her nakedness upon her - as long as she (the first sister) is yet alive" (Vayikra 18:18).

24)[line 10]"[ , , ;] [ ]""... YEVAMAH YAVO ALEHA..."- "[When brothers dwell together, and one of them dies childless, the wife of the deceased should not marry a stranger from outside (of the family);] her brother-in-law should come upon her [and take her for a wife, and perform Yibum with her]" (Devarim 25:5).

25)[line 15]'' TALMUD LOMAR LI'TZROR- The word "li'Tzror" - "to be her fellow wife" - is seemingly unnecessary, since it is clear that if one were to marry two sisters that they would then be co-wives.

26)[line 18]... ... MAH... MEYUCHEDES... AF KOL (BINYAN AV)

In a Beraisa found in the introduction to the Sifra (the Halachic Midrash on Vayikra), Rebbi Yishmael lists the thirteen methodologies employed by Chazal when determining Halachah from the verses of the Torah. One of them is called Binyan Av. A Binyan Av - literally "building through a father" - refers to establishing a certain law in one area of the Torah, and then applying it to other comparable circumstances.

27)[line 19]KARES (KARES AND MISAH B'YEDEI SHAMAYIM: Heavenly Punishment of Untimely Death)

(a)Some sins are so severe that they are punished with untimely death. There are two types of untimely death that are used as heavenly punishments: Kares, and Misah b'Yedei Shamayim. Kares means "being severed" from the world and dying before one's time. Misah b'Yedei Shamayim means "death at the hands of heaven." These punishments are not administered by the courts, but through divinely administered justice.

(b)One who deliberately transgresses a commandment that is punishable with either Kares or Misah b'Yedei Shamayim is punished even if there are no witnesses to his act, and even if he was not warned at that time of his transgression that his violation will result in his untimely death.

(c)The Tif'eres Yisrael, in his commentary to Sanhedrin 9:6, lists a number of differences between Misah b'Yedei Shamayim and Kares:

1.One who is punished with Kares will die before age 60 (according to Moed Katan 28a, or before the age of 50, according to the Yerushalmi Bikurim 2:1). One punished with Misah b'Yedei Shamayim will die after the age of 60 but before his time has come (according to Moed Katan ibid., or before the age of 60, according to the Yerushalmi ibid.)

2.When one is punished with Kares, even his children (who are minors at the time of his sin) die, and he bears no further children. When one is punished with Misah b'Yedei Shamayim, only he is punished and not his children (Yevamos 55a and RASHI there; see, however, RIVA in Tosfos to Yevamos 2a DH Eshes, who maintains that Kares only involves the death of one's children in the two cases where the Torah adds the word "Ariri." However, he might be referring to the death of children who are not minors.)

3.Some add that when punished with Misah b'Yedei Shamayim, the sinner's cattle and possessions slowly expire until he is left destitute - see Insights to Yevamos 73:2 and Insights to Pesachim 32:2.

4.In addition to the above, in certain instances a form Kares is prescribed in which the sinner not only dies before his time but is also 'severed' (Nichras) from receiving a portion in the World to Come (see Sanhedrin 64b, 90b).

(d)As stated in the Mishnah at the beginning of Kerisus, there are 36 sins listed in the Torah for which one receives Kares: the sixteen forbidden conjugal relations listed in the Torah (Vayikra 18); one who curses G-d; an idol worshipper; one who worships Molech (see Background to Sanhedrin 53:5); one who practices Ov (see Background to Pesachim 113:62); one who desecrates Shabbos; one who ate Kodshim or entered the Mikdash while in a state of Tum'ah; one who consumed blood, Nosar (see Background to Pesachim 120:9), or Pigul (see Background to 6:60); one who slaughters or offers a sacrifice outside of the Mikdash; one who eats Chametz on Pesach; one who eats or performs Melachah on Yom Kipur; one who compounds Shemen ha'Mishchah (the oil made by Moshe Rabeinu to anoint the Mishkan and its vessels, Kohanim Gedolim, and the kings of the Davidic dynasty) or the Ketores (see Background to 11:25) for his own use; one who anoints himself with Shemen ha'Mishchah; one who neglects to give himself a Bris Milah; and one who neglects to offer a Korban Pesach.


(a)Should one transgress a sin b'Shogeg (unintentionally) for which he would be liable to receive the punishment of Kares (see previous entry) had he done so b'Mezid (intentionally), he must offer a Korban Chatas. This Korban consists of a female goat or sheep.

(b)One who offers a Korban Chatas first leans on the animal with all his might (Semichah) in the northern area of the Azarah. He then recites Viduy, confessing his sin and asking HaSh-m for forgiveness. The animal is then immediately slaughtered. The blood of the Chatas is then applied to the Keranos (cubic Amah posts on the corners of the Mizbe'ach), beginning with the southeastern Keren, and continuing on to the northeastern, northwestern, and southwestern Keranos. The remaining blood is then spilled onto the Yesod (base) of the Mizbe'ach. Certain parts of the Korban are consumed by Kohanim in the Azarah; they must finish eating the Korban on the day following its offering (Vayikra 4:27-31).

29)[line 30] SHESH ARAYOS CHAMUROS ME'ELU- the six women with whom one's conjugal relationship is yet more severely forbidden than that of those [listed in our Mishnah, in that they can never be connected to him through Zikah]. (These are one's mother, father's wife, father's sister, half-sister on his father's side, father's brother's wife, and wife of his half-brother on his father's side; see Mishnah on 13a.)

30)[line 31] SHE'YEHU TZAROSEIHEN ASUROS- that their co-wives should be forbidden [to those who may not marry them, even though they shared a marriage with a stranger]

31a)[line 40]AZHARAH- the warning [that to do so is forbidden]

b)[line 40]ONESH- the punishment [meted out to one who transgresses this prohibition]

32)[line 41]" , ""KI KOL ASHER YA'ASEH MI'KOL HA'TO'EVOS HA'ELEH, V'NICHRESU HA'NEFASHOS HA'OSOS MI'KEREV AMAM"- "For all who carry out any of these abominations; and the performing souls will be severed from amongst their nation" (Vayikra 18:29) - This verse appears at the end of the list of forbidden conjugal relationships.


(a)When an Isur Lo Sa'aseh prohibits a certain action that prevents a person from performing a Mitzvas Aseh, the Torah states that the Aseh is able to "push aside" the Lo Sa'aseh. For example, when a person wants to wear a four-cornered linen garment, the Isur of Sha'atnez prohibits attaching woolen threads to it. However, the Mitzvah of Tzitzis requires adding threads of Techeles (that are made of wool) to this garment. The Torah commands that in this case the Mitzvas Aseh overrides the Lo Sa'aseh.

(b)The Tana'im argue as to the source of this Halachah. Some learn it from the fact that the Torah specifically wrote the Mitzvah of Tzitzis and the Isur of Sha'atnez as adjacent verses (Semuchin), an indication that the Mitzvah of Tzitzis overrides the Isur of Sha'atnez (Yevamos 4a). Others learn it from different sources (Yevamos 5a, Nazir 41a, 58a).

(c)Even though an Aseh normally overrides a Lo Sa'aseh, this is not the rule in every case. The Gemara explains that in certain instances, the Aseh does not have the power to override the Lo Sa'aseh. Some examples are:

1.A Lo Sa'aseh that is punishable by Kares is not pushed aside by an Aseh (Yevamos 3b).

2.An action that is prohibited by both a Lo Sa'aseh and an Aseh, is not pushed aside by a different Mitzvas Aseh (Chulin 141a). This is the case of our Gemara, where the Aseh of Yibum does not override the Lo Sa'aseh of a Kohen Gadol marrying an Almanah and the Isur Aseh of a Kohen Gadol not marrying a Be'ulah.

3.Only in a case where the performance of the Aseh coincides with the transgression of the Lo Sa'aseh did the Torah command that the Aseh takes precedence. If performance of the Aseh is only accomplished after the transgression of the Lo Sa'aseh, the Lo Sa'aseh is not pushed aside (Shabbos 133a). (There are those who write that if a person begins to perform a Mitzvas Aseh while transgressing a Lo Sa'aseh, even though the Aseh is not yet completed by the time the Lo Sa'aseh is transgressed, it pushes aside the Lo Sa'aseh - NIMUKEI YOSEF to Bava Metzia 33a).

4.If it is possible to perform the Aseh, in the case under discussion, without transgressing the Lo Sa'aseh (by performing the Aseh in a different way or at a different time), the Aseh does not push aside the Lo Sa'aseh (Yevamos 20b - see TOSFOS YESHANIM to Shabbos 25a). (The Rishonim argue as to whether an Aseh pushes aside a Lo Sa'aseh when it is possible to perform the Aseh without transgressing the Lo Sa'aseh, through the use of a certain item that the person does not currently have the means to obtain (RASHBA to Yevamos 4b).

(d)The Rishonim explored the possibility that an Aseh also does not push aside a Lo Sa'aseh in other cases:

1.When one person performs a Mitzvas Aseh by doing a certain action in which two people transgress the Lo Sa'aseh.

2.When the action is prohibited by two Mitzvos Lo Sa'aseh, and not only one (TOSFOS to Yevamos 3b DH Lo Sa'aseh).

3.When the action is prohibited in another instance by a Lo Sa'aseh and an Aseh, even though in the case at hand there is only a Lo Sa'aseh that prevents it (TOSFOS to Kidushin 34a DH Ma'akeh).

34)[line 46]GEREIDA- at its most basic level