Day: April 28, 2022

Yevamot 52

Today is Yom HaZikaron LaShoah VeLaGevurah, and though – as every day – my task is to study today’s daf (Yevamot 52) and to find or conceive an insight that resonates with me and – I hope – with others, the mood of the day affects my learning in terms of the words that I…

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Yevamot 51

Early on in our study of Massechet Yevamot (see for example my commentary to Yevamot 8b) we explained that though the Torah only demands cohabitation in order to transform the partial ‘marriage’ (that is automatically established between a woman whose husband died without children and her brother-in-law upon the death of her husband) into a…

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Yevamot 50

We were previously taught in the Mishna (Yevamot 4:13, 49a) that ‘if a man’s wife died, he is permitted to marry her sister’, and similarly, ‘if his yevama died, he is permitted to marry her sister’.Interestingly, Rav Yosef points out in today’s daf (Yevamot 50a) that this teaching appears to be little more than a…

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Yevamot 49

In most houses and apartments, the glass used in toilet and bathroom windows differ from those in the rest of the house. In the rest of the house, the glass is transparent – thereby enabling us to clearly see through the window and view whatever is on the other side of the window with clarity.…

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Yevamot 48

The final teaching in today’s daf (Yevamot 48b) states that once a non-Jew has decided to convert to Judaism, they should not delay their initiation of that process. In fact, we are then taught by Rabbi Abahu, or some say by Rabbi Chanina, that we learn this idea from Ruth 2:12 when Boaz says to…

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Yevamot 46&47

One of the most profound perspectives in the teachings of Rav Soloveitchik is his examination, in ‘Kol Dodi Dofek’, of the dual covenantal conversion rituals of milah (circumcision – or to be more precise, the prohibition of being uncircumcised) and tevilah (immersion); how the former expresses a commitment to the covenant of fate (goral) while…

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Yevamot 45

The final teaching in today’s daf (Yevamot 45b) was said by Rav Chama bar Gurya, quoting Rav, stating that: ‘If one buys a slave from an idolater, and before immersing the slave for the sake of converting them to the partial Jewish status of עבד כנעני (Canaanite slave) the slave chooses to immerse themself for…

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Yevamot 44

Throughout my posts on Massechet Yevamot I have emphasised how the mitzvah of Yibum is fraught with moral and ethical challenges, how the choice to perform yibum should be לשם שמים (i.e. with good intentions), and how the decision to transform the automatic relationship established upon the death of a man between the female yevama…

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