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Steinsaltz

§ It was taught in the mishna: If he performed ḥalitza and then proceeded to either perform levirate betrothal, or give a bill of divorce, or engage in intercourse with a second woman, nothing is effective after ḥalitza. The Gemara asks: Granted, it was necessary to teach that in the case of one who performed ḥalitza and then performed levirate betrothal the levirate betrothal is not effective. For it might enter your mind to say that we should issue a decree with regard to levirate betrothal that takes place after ḥalitza due to levirate betrothal that takes place before ḥalitza, and rule that all levirate betrothal is effective. The mishna therefore teaches us that we do not issue a decree in this case. However, the case of one who performed ḥalitza and gave a bill of divorce, why do I need this case? What novelty is there in the teaching that a bill of divorce after ḥalitza is not effective?

The Gemara answers: And according to your reasoning, that each new case must teach something new, say the latter clause of the mishna: If he engaged in intercourse and then proceeded to perform levirate betrothal, or give a bill of divorce, or perform ḥalitza with a second woman, nothing is effective. In this case the same question can be asked: Granted, it was necessary to teach the case of one who engaged in intercourse and gave a bill of divorce. This is because it might enter your mind to say that we should issue a decree with regard to a bill of divorce that is given after intercourse, due to a bill of divorce that is given before intercourse, and decree that this bill of divorce alone is insufficient and she requires ḥalitza as well. The mishna therefore teaches us that we do not issue such a decree. But the case of a yavam who engaged in intercourse and performed levirate betrothal, why do I need to state it? Once he has engaged in intercourse with her she is his wife in all regards; what difference does levirate betrothal make?

Rather, one must say that since the tanna taught the case of one who performed ḥalitza and then performed levirate betrothal, he also taught the case of one who engaged in intercourse and then performed levirate betrothal, due to the similarity between them. And since he wished to teach the case of one who engaged in intercourse and then gave a bill of divorce, he also taught the case of one who performed ḥalitza and then gave a bill of divorce. We should therefore not infer anything from these superfluous cases, as they are merely stated for stylistic reasons.

§ The mishna taught: With regard to intercourse, when it is at the beginning nothing is effective after it, but if it was in the middle or at the end, something is effective after it. The Gemara comments: The mishna is not in accordance with the opinion of this tanna. As it is taught in a baraita: Abba Yosei ben Yoḥanan, a man of Jerusalem, says in the name of Rabbi Meir: With regard to both intercourse and ḥalitza, if one of them were performed at the beginning, nothing is effective after it, but if they were done in the middle or at the end, i.e., they were preceded by some other action, something is effective after it. According to the mishna, however, nothing is effective after ḥalitza regardless of when it was performed.

And therefore it can be concluded that there are three disputes with regard to this matter, i.e., three opinions on this issue. The first tanna holds: In the case of intercourse that is preceded by a disqualifying action, where there is a reason to issue a decree, lest one violate a prohibition by engaging in intercourse after ḥalitza or intercourse was performed, we issue a decree establishing that invalid intercourse should not be as effective as valid intercourse. With regard to ḥalitza, however, where there is no reason to issue a decree as there is no concern of a prohibition even if an action is performed after ḥalitza, we do not issue a decree.

And Rabbi Neḥemya holds that with regard to intercourse there is also no reason to issue a decree. And as for what you said in justification of your ruling, that we should issue a decree in a case of intercourse after a bill of divorce due to intercourse after ḥalitza, there is no cause for such a concern. Since ḥalitza is effective by Torah law, people know that it is fully effective and cannot be followed by anything, and they will not confuse it with laws instituted by the Sages. And as for what you said that we should issue a decree with regard to intercourse after levirate betrothal due to intercourse after intercourse, since the acquisition of intercourse is by Torah law, this matter is known by people, and they will not err in this regard. And Abba Yosei ben Ḥanan holds in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, who issue a decree with regard to intercourse, but he adds and issues a decree with regard to ḥalitza due to intercourse. He therefore does not differentiate between ḥalitza and intercourse at all.

MISHNA: One who had intercourse with his yevama, whether unwittingly, i.e., he thought he was having intercourse with someone else, or intentionally, i.e., he knew she was his yevama and nevertheless had intercourse with her without intent to perform levirate marriage; whether due to coercion or willingly; even if he was unwitting and her participation was intentional, his participation was intentional and she was unwitting, he was coerced and she was not coerced, or she was coerced and he was not coerced; both one who merely engages in the initial stage of intercourse and one who completes the act of intercourse has thereby acquired his yevama. And similarly, the Torah did not distinguish between an act of intercourse in an atypical manner, i.e., anal intercourse, and intercourse in a typical manner.

And so too, with regard to a man who had intercourse with any one of those with whom relations are forbidden [arayot] by the Torah or with those who are unfit for him even though they are not in the category of arayot, for example, a widow with a High Priest; a divorcée and a yevama who performed ḥalitza [ḥalutza] with a common priest; a mamzeret, i.e., a woman born from an incestuous or adulterous relationship, or a Gibeonite woman with an Israelite; the daughter of an Israelite with a mamzer or a Gibeonite; he has disqualified her from marrying into the priesthood through this act no matter how it was performed, and the Torah did not distinguish between the act of intercourse in an atypical manner, i.e., anal intercourse, and intercourse in a typical manner.

GEMARA: The Gemara asks: What is the significance of the word even in the statement that begins with: Even if he was unwitting and her participation was intentional? Since the mishna has already said that there is no halakhic difference whether the act of intercourse was performed intentionally, what is added by that statement?

The Gemara answers: The mishna is stated in the style of: Needless to say. It is needless to say that if he was unwitting and she intended to fulfill the mitzva, or alternatively, he acted intentionally without intent to fulfill the mitzva and she intended to fulfill the mitzva, he has acquired her. However, even if he was unwitting and she acted intentionally, where both of them did not intend to act for the sake of the mitzva, he nevertheless acquires her. Similarly, Rabbi Ḥiyya taught: Even if both of them acted unwittingly, intentionally, or were coerced, he acquires the yevama through the act of intercourse.

§ The Gemara asks: What are the circumstances the mishna is referring to when it mentions a man who was coerced? If we say that it is when gentiles coerced him by threatening to kill him if he did not have intercourse with her and he therefore had intercourse with her, didn’t Rava say that there is no such thing as coercion of a man to have intercourse with a woman with whom relations are forbidden, because there is no erection of the male organ without intent? Consequently, even if he acted due to the threat, his action is considered intentional.

Rather, the mishna must be referring to one who was sleeping and became erect, and his yevama drew him onto herself. However, didn’t Rav Yehuda say that

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
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