Extempore Effusions on the Completion of Masechet Yevamot (Prakim 2 and 3)

Your dead brother’s wife had awaited
You to marry her. Her death created
A case hard to decide:
If her mom does reside
Nearby – can you wed mom? Too related?

If your brother’s not born when you wed
Then you find yourself suddenly dead
May he marry the wife?
Rabbi Shimon says, “Sure, go ahead.”

Can two events just coincide?
Can two brothers fall dead side by side
At one instant in time
In a single clock-chime
(Perhaps Einstein alone can decide?)

A eunuch or one who’s too old
To have kids may yet still be so bold
To do yibum with she
Who would then never be
Pregnant. (Life sucks when women are sold.)

Shlomo said: You may also not sleep
With some others. Thus “do not” rules keep
Multiplying. They act
Like the handles intact
On a basket, And like orchard-keep.

The Chaldeans said I’d be a teacher
If by that, they mean “great preacher”
I’ll know how to explain
Laws of when to refrain
From one’s son’s wife, and when to beseech her.

Tell me, why can’t I bed my half-sister?
Would my father’s wife care if I kissed her?
Tell me what desecration
Is in this relation
And thanks to which rule I’ve dismissed her?

I have married a twin, but which one?
Such confusion is surely no fun.
For the Talmud will teach
That I must divorce each
Then chalitzah by brother is done.

If a salesman is leaving the house
When I come back to greet my dear spouse
I don’t want do be vicious
But hey, it’s suspicious–
For why was he with her, that louse?

The Get is brought by one who said
“I am sure that the husband is dead.”
Then he himself marries
She whose Get he carries
The Mishnah rules “No, they can’t wed!”

Women visit each other a lot
And if one bed is all that they’ve got
They will sleep side-by-side
Not so men – petrified
They are; therefore, they rather would not.

Is a woman whose husband has died
To the brother of spouse strongly tied?
Does the zikah bond mean
Brother’s like one who’s been
Engaged, thus barred from those on her side?

Three brothers, two of them wed
Then the latter two die! Now they’re dead.
But the third may not do
Stuff with wife one or two
They’ve both fallen, but not to his bed.

What is “Ma’amar”? Sanctification
To one’s yavam (before copulation).
Shammai says: It’s like marriage!
Says Hillel: Disparage
Their bond! It is still in formation!

Not every mishnah is needed
There are some that they should have deleted
But no mishnah will move
From its fixed-in-place groove
That’s why some rules are taught, then repeated.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.