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Steinsaltz

retroactively that the bill of divorce of this second woman is not a valid bill of divorce, since the first wife died. In that case, it turns out retroactively that he performed part of the service with two houses, married to two wives. Rather, it is a case where the High Priest said to the second wife: This is your bill of divorce on condition that your counterpart dies. The Gemara asks: In this case, too, perhaps her counterpart will die and the bill of divorce of this second woman is a valid bill of divorce, and he will remain without a house at all.

Rather, this is a case where he divorces both of them provisionally, with a different stipulation to each woman. To one, he says: This is your bill of divorce on condition that your counterpart will not die. And to the other one, he says: This is your bill of divorce on condition that you will not enter the synagogue on Yom Kippur, cognizant of the fact that she can easily fulfill that condition and thereby effect her divorce. The Gemara asks: And perhaps her counterpart will not die, fulfilling the condition and effecting the divorce of one wife; and she will not enter the synagogue, fulfilling the condition and effecting the divorce of the other wife. In that case the bill of divorce of both women is a valid bill of divorce and he remains without a wife.

Rather, it is a case where to one of the women, the High Priest says: This is your bill of divorce on condition that your counterpart does not die. And to the other one of the women he says: This is your bill of divorce on condition that I will enter the synagogue. If this wife dies, that other one is alive; and if that other one dies, this one is alive. What is there to say in refuting this possibility? Perhaps her counterpart will die in the middle of the service, and it will turn out retroactively that he performed part of the service with two houses, married to two wives. If he sees that she seeks, i.e., she is about to die, he will then preemptively enter the synagogue, rendering the bill of divorce of the dying wife a valid bill of divorce retroactively. He will then be married to only one woman. In that way, a second wife can be designated for the High Priest without him being married to two women on Yom Kippur.

Rav Asi, and some say it was Rav Avira, strongly objects to that conclusion: However, if that is so, that from the term: His house, in the singular, one derives one wife and not two, then two widows of a brother who died without a child [yevamot] who come from one house, i.e., they were married to the same man, should not be obligated to marry his brother in levirate marriage. In addressing levirate marriage, the Torah says: “So shall it be done to the man that does not build his brother’s house” (Deuteronomy 25:9). One may derive from this: One house, i.e., wife, and not two. The Gemara responds that when the Torah says: “Then his yevama shall go up to the gate” (Deuteronomy 25:7), “and his yevama will draw nigh to him” (Deuteronomy 25:9), twice, it comes to include a situation where the deceased had two wives; in that case one of them is required to marry his brother in levirate marriage.

Ravina, and some say it was Rav Sherevya, strongly objects to this: It was stated above that a woman betrothed to the High Priest is not considered his house, i.e., his wife. However, if that is so, a betrothed woman whose betrothed passed away should not be obligated to marry his brother in levirate marriage, since the term: House, appears in that context as well. In practice, that is not the halakha. The Gemara answers that the Torah says: “The wife of the dead shall not be married outside to one not of his kin” (Deuteronomy 25:5). The superfluous term: Outside, comes to include the betrothed woman. Although she is technically still outside the family, the brother of the deceased must either marry her in levirate marriage or perform ḥalitza.

§ Apropos the death of the wife of the High Priest, the Gemara cites an additional baraita. The Sages taught: A High Priest sacrifices offerings when he is an acute mourner, on the day of a relative’s death, but does not eat from those offerings. Rabbi Yehuda says: The entire day. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase: The entire day? Rava said: This phrase is necessary only to bring him from his house. Not only is it permitted for the High Priest to serve in the Temple when he is an acute mourner, but it is a mitzva to bring him from his house to serve in the Temple for the entire day to help ease his pain.

Abaye said to him: Now, according to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, we remove the High Priest from the Temple when he is an acute mourner, as it was taught in a baraita: If a common priest was standing and sacrificing an offering on top of the altar and heard that a relative of his died, he leaves his service in the middle and exits the Temple; this is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. Rabbi Yosei says: He completes the service and then leaves. Rabbi Yehuda rules stringently in the case of a priest who is an acute mourner sacrificing an offering. Even though the baraita is referring to a common priest, it is reasonable to say that the same is true with regard to a High Priest as well. Rabbi Yehuda says that a High Priest who becomes an acute mourner exits the Temple, and you say we bring the High Priest who is an acute mourner from his house to serve?

Rather, Rava said: The initial interpretation must be rejected. What is the meaning of the phrase: The entire day?

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)
אדם סלומון
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