Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, , at sacred-texts.com
§ 1. When, of four brothers, two married two sisters, and they who had married the sisters, died: the sisters must give Chalitzah, but may not be married to the brothers-in-law by Yeboom; and if they had prematurely 1 married them, they must send them away. R. Eleazar saith, "According to Beth Shammai such a marriage is valid; but according to Beth Hillel, they must be separated." 2
§ 2. If one of these sisters is prohibited to marry one of the brothers, owing to a prohibited degree of relationship between them, 3 [although] he may not marry her, yet may he marry her sister, and both sisters are prohibited to the other brother. If one of these sisters is prohibited only on account of legal prohibition [by the Rabbins], or of holiness of station, 4 she must perform Chalitzah, but he may not marry her by Yeboom.
§ 3. When one of the sisters is prohibited to marry one brother, and another sister the other brother, owing to prohibited degrees of relationship between them, then she who is prohibited to one brother, may marry the other; and this is the case to which allusion was made [above] where [it] is said, "When, of two sisters, one only can be [lawfully] married by Yeboom, she must either perform the ceremony of Chalitzah, or be married by Yeboom." 5
§ 4. When, of three brothers, two were married to two sisters, 5
or to a mother and a daughter, or to a grandmother and her grand-daughter, either her son's, or daughter's daughter, then these women must perform Chalitzah, but cannot be married by Yeboom. R. Simeon releases them from the obligation of Chalitzah. If any of these could not be married [to the third brother] on account of prohibited degree of relationship to him, he may not [indeed] marry her; but he may marry her sister. If one of the sisters is prohibited to him, only on account of legal prohibition [by the Rabbins], or on account of holiness of station, she must perform Chalitzah to him, but he may not marry her by Yeboom.
§ 5. When, of three brothers, two are married to two sisters, and the third brother is unmarried, if one of the married brothers died, and the single brother made a promise of marriage to the widow, and subsequently the second brother died also, in this case, Beth Shammai teach, he must keep his wife [i.e. her to whom he promised marriage], and the other is as sister of his wife, released from the duty of Chalitzah; but Beth Hillel decide, he must separate from his wife by Get and Chalitzah, and from his sister-in-law by Chalitzah. To this case was the remark applied: "Unhappy he, for [the loss of] his wife, and unhappy he, for [the loss of] his sister-in-law." 6
§ 6. When, of three brothers, two are married to two sisters, and one to a stranger: 7 if one of them who married the sisters died, and the brother who had married the stranger marries the widow, and then also dies, the first widow is released, as sister of his wife and the second as her rival, but if he [i.e. the second deceased] had only promised marriage to the widow, the stranger must perform the ceremony of Chalitzah; but the brother-in-law may not marry her by Yeboom. When, of three brothers, two married two sisters, and the third a stranger: should the brother who married the stranger die, and one of those who had married the sisters, marries the widow, and also dies, the one widow is free, as being a wife's sister, and the other as her rival; but if he only promised marriage to the stranger, and then dies, she must perform Chalitzah, and may not be married to her brother-in-law by Yeboom.
§ 7. When, of three brothers, two are married to two sisters,
and one to a stranger: if one of them who married the sisters died, and he who had married the stranger marries the widow, and then the wife of the second brother dies, and also the third brother, who had married the stranger, then the widow will be for ever prohibited to the second, or surviving brother, because she was for some time prohibited to him [as wife's sister]. When, of three brothers, two were married to two sisters, and one to a stranger, if it should happen that one of those married to the sisters, divorced his wife; and that the brother married to the stranger died, and the widow was married to the brother who gave the divorce, and that this latter also died, then the following rule becomes applicable: 8—namely, that in all cases where the husbands died, or when the woman had been divorced, their rivals are permitted to marry.
§ 8. In all [the mentioned fifteen classes 9] where the Kedushin, or divorce, is doubtful, the ceremony of Chalitzah must be performed by their rivals; but these may not be married by Yeboom. What is meant by a doubtful kedushin [betrothment]? When the man threw the marriage-bond, and it is uncertain whether it fell nearest to him or to her, 10 then it is a doubtful betrothment. A doubtful divorce is,—when the husband did himself write the letter of divorce, without the signature of witnesses, or that it was signed by witnesses, but with the omission of date, or when it is properly dated, but attested by one witness only,—then is it a doubtful divorce.
§ 9. When three brothers have married three strangers [i.e. not related to each other], and one of the brothers died, and the second brother promises marriage to the widow, and dies: 11 the woman must perform Chalitzah to the surviving brother, but he may not marry them by Yeboom, for it is said (Deut. xxv. 5), "Her husband's brother shall go in unto her," &c., i.e. her who reverts to him by the death of one of his brothers, but not her who reverts to him by the death of two brothers. R. Simeon saith, "He may marry either, and must have the ceremony of Chalitzah performed to him by the other." When, of two brothers married to two sisters, one dies, and afterwards the wife of the surviving brother also dies, then he may never marry his brother's widow; because, there was a time
when she was prohibited to him, [namely, during the life of his wife, her sister.]
שנים שקדשו שתי נשים. ובשעת בניסתן לחפה החליפו את של זה לזה ואת של זה לזה. הרי אלו חיבים מאום אשת איש. ואם היו אחין. משום אשת אח. ואם היו אחיות. משום אשה אל אחותה. ואם היו נדות. משום נדה. ומפרישין אותן שלשה חדשים. שמא מעברות הן. ואם היו קטנות שאינן ראויות לילד. מחזירין אותן מיד. ואם היו כהנות. נפמלו מן התרומה׃
206:1 There is another reading of this part of our Mishna, in which the prohibition is attributed to Beth Shammai, and the permission to Beth Hillel; as it is generally the case that Beth Shammai prohibit, and Beth Hillel permit, except in the cases mentioned in Treatise Eduyoth.
206:2 Ex. gr. if she happen to be his mother-in-law, &c.
206:3 This is explained in the preceding chapter.
206:4 See the preceding chapter.
206:5 Namely, one brother to one of the sisters, and another to the other sister.
207:6 As would they say, "He is to be pitied for losing thus, without any fault on his part, both his wife and sister-in-law."
207:7 By the word "stranger" must be understood, a woman not in any way related to the sisters before her marriage.
208:8 See the preceding chapter, § 10.
208:9 See chap. I. § 1, of this Treatise.
208:10 Compare chap. VIII. i 1, 2, 3, of Treatise Gittin.
208:11 Before he consummated the marriage.