Yevamot, Chapter Thirteen, Mishnah Four

 

Introduction

This mishnah deals with various consequences of her refusing the marriage, especially on her subsequent marriages.  Note that the mishnah does not talk about situations that are likely to arise.  Rather by suggesting concrete cases, the mishnah teaches more abstract legal principles. 

 

Mishnah Four

1)                     If a minor made a declaration of refusal against a man, he is permitted [to marry] her relatives and she is permitted to [marry] his relatives, and he does not disqualify her from[marrying] a priest.  

2)                     If he gave her a get, he is forbidden to [marry] her relatives and she is forbidden to [marry] his relatives, and he also disqualifies her from [marrying] a priest.  

3)                     If he gave her a get and remarried her and then she a made a declaration of refusal against him, and then she was married to another man and became a widow or was divorced, she is permitted to return to him.  

4)                     If she made a declaration of refusal against him and then he remarried her, and then he gave her a get and then she was married to another man and became a widow or was divorced, she is forbidden to return to him. 

5)                     This is the general rule: if divorce followed meun she is forbidden to return to him,  and if meun followed divorce she is permitted to return to him.

 

Explanation

Section one:  The declaration of refusal annuls the marriage, making it as if it never happened.  Therefore, neither he nor she is subsequently forbidden to marry each other’s relatives, as would be the case with divorce.  Since she is not a divorcee, she may later marry a priest.

Section two:  However, if he gave her a get, her status is that of a divorcee and the marriage was not annulled.  Neither can marry each other’s relatives and she may not marry a priest. Although the marriage was only of rabbinic status, it is strong enough to create these prohibitions.

Section three:  If he gives her a get, and then remarries her (this is permitted if she has not yet married someone else) and then she makes a declaration of refusal and then marries someone else, if this last person divorces her or dies, she may still return to her first husband.  Although generally a man may not remarry his divorcee if she has been married in the interim (see Deuteronomy 24:1-4), in this case the declaration of refusal, which came after the divorce, cancels the get and places her in the category of one who has refused her husband and takes her out of the category of a divorcee. 

Section four:  However, in the opposite case, where she first makes a declaration of refusal, then returns to her husband and then is divorced, remarries, and is then divorced or widowed, she may not return to her first husband.  Since the divorce was after the refusal, she is in the category of a divorcee. 

Section five:  This general sums up what was learned in the previous two sections. 

image_print