More Discussions for this daf
1. Six month pregnancy 2. The reason for Havchanah of a couple who converted 3. Stam Mishnah
4. Waiting until end of pregnancy; Rebbi Yochanan in Yavneh; "Lo 5. How do we Pasken? 6. Married right after Eirusin

Gershon Dubin asked:

On 42a, the Gemara says that a Ger and Giyores need to wait 3 months for havchana. Rashi explains that if one son was nizra bikedusha and one not, the chashash is that the first was the son of another person since rov goyim are mezaneh.

Why does Rashi need to say this-would a brother who was nizra bikedusha be mechuyav in yibum for his brother who was not nizra bikedusha (or vice versa)? Shouldn't the rule of ger shenisgayer kekoton shenolad exclude these brothers from yibum?


The Kollel replies:

You are referring to what Rashi says in DH v'Yiftor Es Yivimto. Indeed, the MAHARSHA asks your question on the words of Rashi, saying that there was no need for Rashi to say that it is likely that the son who was conceived before the woman converted was conceived from a different man, since Nochrim are involved in Znus -- even if he was conceived from her husband, he has no obligation of Yibum for his brother who was conceived after the parents converted (as is clear from the Gemara later on Daf 97b). The Maharsha does not answer this question, but suggests that an "erring Talmid inserted these words into Rashi," to which the ARUCH LA'NER agrees.

Y. Shaw

The Kollel adds:

I asked your question to Rav Yaakov D. Homnick. He said that it seems that Rashi's intention is as follows:

The Gemara is saying that a Ger and Giyores need Havchanah of three months when they convert in order to ensure that any child born thereafter is definitely the child of this Ger (and not of any other man).

To understand the reason for requiring Havchanah, we have to explore what would have happened had there been no requirement of Havchanah. That is, what would be the Halachah if there was no requirement of Havchanah, and after seven and a half months, the Giyores gave birth? It stands to reason that we would treat that Jewish couple like any other Jewish couple.

When a Jewish man and a Jewish woman get married, and then seven and a half months later they have a child, how do we view that child? The answer is that we view the child to be the completely legitimate child of the man and his wife. The Jewish woman has a Chezkas Kashrus, and we do not assume that any impropriety was done, and it is a normal occurence that babies are born prematurely. Likewise, when the couple that converted has a baby after seven and a half months, we assume that it was conceived in wedlock (i.e. after they had converted and married each other with Kidushin and Nesu'in). (There is even stronger reason, besides the Chazakos that we apply to normal Jews, to say that the husband is the father of the child if we say that the Ne'emanus of "Yakir" applies to a Ger to say that he knows that the child is his.) Hence, there would be no fear that the child was conceived before they converted.

However, there is a different problem which prevents us from applying the normal Chazakos to a Jewish, converted couple, and that is the fact that Rov Nochriyos are Mezanos. That is a "Rei'usa" in the Chezkas Kashrus, and thus we would have to be Choshesh for that if there was no requirement of Havchanah.

This is why Rashi had to say that if a child is born after seven months after the conversion, it is likely that the child was conceived from a different man, before the woman converted, since Nochrim are involved in Znus -- and that is why there is a need for Havchanah.

Yisrael Shaw