Yevamot, Chapter Fourteen, Mishnah Six

 

Mishnah Six

1)                     If two brothers, one of whom was deaf and the other of sound senses, were married to two sisters, one of whom was deaf and the other of sound senses, and the deaf brother, the husband of the deaf sister, died, what should the brother who was of sound senses, the husband of the sister who was of sound senses, do?

a)                                 [Nothing, since she is] exempt because she is his wife’s sister.

2)                     If the brother of sound senses, the husband of the sister who was of sound senses, died, what should the deaf brother, the husband of the deaf sister, do?

a)                                 He must release his wife with a get, while his brother’s wife is forever forbidden [to marry again].

 

Explanation

Section one:  In this case the marriage between the deaf brother and the deaf sister is derabbanan and the marriage between the brother of sound senses and the sister of sound senses is deoraita.  If the deaf brother dies, the deaf sister becomes potentially liable for yibbum with the brother of sound senses.  However, she is exempt because the brother of sound senses is already married to her sister, and their marriage is deoraita.

Section two:  In this case the brother of sound senses dies, and the sister of sound senses becomes liable for yibbum with the deaf brother.  Even though she is his wife’s sister, she is not exempt because their marriage is only derabbanan.  The deaf sister becomes forbidden to her deaf husband because she is the sister of a woman with whom he is liable to have yibbum.  Furthermore, he must divorce her.  The deaf brother cannot perform halitzah for the yevamah, because he is deaf.  He cannot have yibbum with her because she is the sister of his former wife. Therefore she cannot remarry ever.

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