1) AN UNNECESSARY MISHNAH
OPINIONS: The Mishnah (49a) states that when a man's wife dies he is permitted to marry her sister. Rav Yosef (50a) asserts that this Mishnah is unnecessary.
What is unnecessary about this Mishnah?
(a) RASHI (DH Mishnah she'Einah Tzerichah) explains that since the verse explicitly states, "A woman and her sister you shall not marry to cause them to quarrel in her lifetime" (Vayikra 18:18), it was not necessary for Rebbi to teach this law in the Mishnah.
(b) TOSFOS (DH Shanah Rebbi) questions Rashi's explanation for Rav Yosef's statement. Tosfos says that it is commonplace for the Mishnayos to teach Halachos that are explicitly mentioned in the verses (Tosfos gives no examples). Tosfos understands that Rav Yosef refers to a different statement in the Mishnah. The Mishnah later teaches that when one performs Yibum with a Yevamah who subsequently dies, he is permitted to marry her sister. Tosfos explains that since the previous Mishnah teaches that a man is permitted to marry his wife's sister after his wife dies, it is obvious that a man is permitted to marry the sister of the Yevamah with whom he did Yibum, after the Yevamah dies.
2) DIFFERENT COMBINATIONS OF PROCEDURES PERFORMED WITH A YEVAMAH
QUESTION: The Mishnah details the different combinations of procedures which one may do with his Yevamah. The Mishnah states that the Halachos are the same whether there is one Yavam with two Yevamos or two Yevamim with one Yevamah. The Mishnah concludes by repeating the combinations of procedures with regard to Chalitzah: "Chalatz, v'Asah Ma'amar, Nasan Get, u'Ba'al." The Mishnah adds, "Ein Achar Chalitzah Klum..." -- "Nothing takes effect after Chalitzah was done, whether it was done at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end."
RASHI (DH Chalatz v'Asah) writes that the Mishnah here repeats only the Halachos of one Yavam with one Yevamah. It does not continue with the Halachos of one Yavam with two Yevamos which the Mishnah discussed until now.
However, when Rashi in his very next comment (DH Bein b'Techilah Bein b'Emtza) comments on the statement of the Mishnah that nothing takes effect when it follows Chalitzah regardless of when Chalitzah was done, he explains that the case of "b'Emtza" (when Chalitzah was done in the middle) refers to a case of one Yavam with two Yevamos. The Yavam gave a Get to the first Yevamah and did Chalitzah with the second Yevamah, and then he did Ma'amar with one of them (in which case the Ma'amar is not effective and no Get is necessary, since Chalitzah was already done).
Rashi then explains that the case of "Bi'ah b'Emtza" refers to where there are three Yevamos (DH ha'Bi'ah b'Emtza)!
Why does Rashi first explain that the Mishnah refers to a case of one Yavam with one Yevamah, and then explain that the Mishnah refers to cases of multiple Yevamos? (MAHARSHA)
ANSWER: The MAHARSHA answers that Rashi does not mean that the end of the Mishnah addresses specifically a case of one Yavam with one Yevamah. Rather, he means merely that the end of the Mishnah is not a continuation of the previous discussion, but it refers back to what is written in the beginning of the Mishnah. The Mishnah already mentions that this Halachah applies to a case of two Yevamos as well, and thus -- when he describes the cases of Chalitzah and "Bi'ah b'Emtza" -- Rashi explains that the case is one of multiple Yevamos.
Why, though, does Rashi mention first that the end of the Mishnah refers back to "one Yavam and one Yevamah"? He should say simply that the end of the Mishnah refers to all of the cases mentioned earlier in the Mishnah!
The TOSFOS YOM TOV explains that Rashi understands that this part of the Mishnah refers to a case of one Yavam with one Yevamah because the Mishnah uses the same wording that it uses earlier when it refers to a case of one Yavam with one Yevamah. If the Mishnah here refers to cases in which there are more than one Yavam or one Yevamah, it should add an additional possibility: it should mention not only "Chalatz v'Asah Ma'amar..." but "Chalatz v'Chalatz v'Asah Ma'amar...." Since the Mishnah does not mention the possibility of doing two acts of Chalitzah or two acts of Yibum, it must refer only to a case of one Yavam with one Yevamah.
Why does Rashi explain that the case of "Chalitzah b'Emtza" refers to a case of two Yevamos? The answer is that the case of "Chalitzah b'Emtza" is possible only with two Yevamos. In order to have the Chalitzah in the middle, the Yavam must have given a Get to one Yevamah, did Chalitzah, and then did Ma'amar. If there is only one Yevamah, the Chalitzah is not "b'Emtza" but is a proper Chalitzah, because it is supposed to follow a Get with the same woman. In such a case, the Chalitzah certainly is valid (while the Mishnah here discusses the difference between an invalid Chalitzah and an invalid Bi'ah).
Why, though, does Rashi not explain that the case refers to one Yevamah with whom the Yavam did Ma'amar first, followed by Chalitzah, and then gave her a Get, in which case the Chalitzah indeed is invalid? Rashi does not explain the case in this way because such a case teaches no Chidush of "Ein Achar Chalitzah Klum." In such a case, nothing else is necessary after the Chalitzah: a Get was given for the Ma'amar, and the woman was permitted to remarry by the Chalitzah. It must be that Ma'amar was done after the Chalitzah, and the Mishnah's Chidush is that one does not need to give a Get for that Ma'amar.
Still, however, why does Rashi not explain that the case refers to one Yevamah with whom the Yavam did Ma'amar both before and after the Chalitzah, and the Chidush of the Mishnah is that Ma'amar after Chalitzah does not need a Get? The answer is that the Mishnah lists only cases in which each procedure is performed only once. Accordingly, the only case in which only one of each possible procedure is used, and in which the Mishnah still can teach a Chidush of "Ein Achar Chalitzah Klum," is a case of two Yevamos in which the Yavam gave a Get to one, did Chalitzah with the other, and then did Ma'amar with one of them.
The same question applies to the case of "Bi'ah b'Emtza," which, Rashi explains, refers to three Yevamos. In that case, the Yavam gave a Get to the first Yevamah, did Bi'ah with the second, and then did Ma'amar with the third. He must give a Get for the Ma'amar, and he must do Chalitzah with one of them in order to release them (since the Bi'ah was invalid due to the Get he gave to the first Yevamah). Why does Rashi not explain that the case refers to two Yevamos, where the Yavam gave a Get to the first Yevamah, did Bi'ah with the same one, and then did Ma'amar with the second Yevamah? Alternatively, the Yavam gave a Get to the first Yevamah, did Bi'ah with the second, and then did Ma'amar with the first. Why does Rashi explain that the case involves three Yevamos?
The TOSFOS YOM TOV (see also ARUCH LA'NER) answers that Rashi indeed could explain that two of the procedures were done with one Yevamah. However, Rashi prefers to give an example of a case in which the procedures result in an Isur to marry the Yevamah's relatives. In the case of two Yevamos, their relatives are already forbidden to the Yavam (either because of the Get he gave to one, or because of the Bi'ah he did with the other).
This answer, however, needs further elucidation. It does not explain why Rashi does not suggest a scenario in which the Yavam gave a Get to, and then did Bi'ah with, the same Yevamah. Moreover, there are three practical ramifications for the Halachah of "Yesh Achareha Klum":
1. The Bi'ah itself does not consummate a full Yibum, but rather Chalitzah is needed in order to break the Zikah entirely.
2. If the Yavam does Ma'amar after he does Bi'ah with a Yevamah, that Ma'amar takes effect and he must give that Yevamah a Get.
3. If the Yavam does Ma'amar after he does Bi'ah, and then he divorces the Yevamah with a Get, he becomes forbidden to her relatives because the Ma'amar and Get took effect.
In the case of "Bi'ah b'Emtza," Rashi explains that the practical ramification of "Yesh Achareha Klum" is that the Yavam is forbidden to her relatives (the third practical consequence). However, when he explains the consequences of "Chalitzah b'Emtza," Rashi writes that the Ma'amar does not take effect after Chalitzah (the second consequence). When he discusses "Bi'ah b'Sof," he says that the practical consequence is that the Yavam must do Chalitzah after the Bi'ah since the Bi'ah did not break the Zikah entirely (the first consequence). Why does Rashi mention these different consequences in each case? This question requires further analysis.
3) A SECOND YEVAMAH'S ISUR OF "ESHES ACH"
QUESTION: The Gemara explains that the Chachamim enacted that the Yavam must perform Chalitzah if he did Ma'amar and then Bi'as Yibum. They enacted this Gezeirah so that people not mistakenly assume that Bi'ah after Bi'ah is valid.
RASHI (DH v'Iy Bi'ah Achar Ma'amar) explains that if only a Get (and not Chalitzah) would be required for the Ma'amar done before the Bi'ah, people might think that since the Bi'ah was an effective act of Yibum even though it followed Ma'amar, it is also an acceptable act of Yibum when it follows Bi'ah. They will mistakenly assume that if the Yavam does Bi'ah with one Yevamah, he should do Bi'ah with the second Yevamah as well. In truth, however, one who does Bi'ah with the second Yevamah transgresses the Isur of "Eshes Ach."
Why does Rashi write that the concern is that one might transgress the Isur of "Eshes Ach"? What Isur of "Eshes Ach" exists in this case? The Gemara earlier (10b) says that according to Rebbi Yochanan, once one brother does Yibum with one Yevamah, the Isur of "Eshes Ach" is removed from all of the other brothers and Tzaros. Hence, once the Yavam does Bi'ah with the first Yevamah, the Isur of "Eshes Ach" is removed from the second Yevamah! Moreover, even Reish Lakish (who disagrees with Rebbi Yochanan, 10b) agrees that when one Yavam does Bi'ah with two Yevamos one after the other the Yavam is forbidden to the second Yevamah only with an Isur Aseh, but not with a Lo Ta'aseh or Isur Kares. (YASHRESH YAKOV)
(a) The ARUCH LA'NER explains that Rashi does not mean that the second Yevamah is forbidden because of the Isur of "Eshes Ach." Rather, he means that she is forbidden because of an Isur which stems from the Isur of "Eshes Ach." In this case, she is prohibited by the Isur Aseh of living with a Yevamah with whom one's brother already did Yibum ("Keivan she'Banah Shuv Lo Yivneh"). The Aruch la'Ner supports this interpretation from the words of Rashi who writes that the brother will be guilty of "touching upon (v'Ka Paga) the Isur of Eshes Ach," and not simply that he will be "liable for (or transgress) the Isur of Eshes Ach."
The author of the footnotes to the ME'IRI (11a, fn. 12) adds that according to this interpretation, Rashi follows the opinion of the Rishonim who maintain that the Isur of "Lo Yivneh" is not a new Lo Ta'aseh. Rather, the verse "Lo Yivneh" merely reveals that the Isur of "Eshes Ach" in this situation has the status of a Lav and is not an Isur Kares.
It is not clear, however, why Rashi here chooses to express the Isur Aseh in such terms. Hne should write simply that there is an Isur d'Oraisa, as he writes earlier (DH Mishum d'Mehani).
(b) The RASHASH suggests that Rashi here does not refer to a case of one Yavam with two Yevamos, but rather to a case of two Yevamim with one Yevamah. In that case, according to Reish Lakish the second Yavam who lives with the Yevamah transgressed the Isur of "Eshes Ach." (This is also the way the NIMUKEI YOSEF records the case: there are either two Yevamos and one Yavam, or two Yevamim and one Yevamah.)
Why, though, does Rashi mention specifically the Isur of "Eshes Ach," which applies only according to Reish Lakish? The Gemara is explaining the Mishnah, which must be consistent with both Reish Lakish and Rebbi Yochanan. Why does Rashi explain it only according to the view of Reish Lakish? Moreover, if two Yevamim live successively with one Yevamah, the second one transgresses not only an Isur of "Eshes Ach," but an Isur of "Eshes Ish"!
Perhaps the Rashash means that the enactment was made due to a concern that one Yavam might marry the other Yavam's wife after he divorces her (or after he dies and leaves behind children), in which case everyone agrees that there will be an Isur Kares of "Eshes Ach" (because of the second brother).