1) "GET ACHAR GET": CHALITZAH WITH THE FIRST YEVAMAH
QUESTION: The Beraisa discusses a case of "Get Achar Get" in which there is one Yavam and two Yevamos. The Yavam gives a Get to the first Yevamah and then gives a Get to the second Yevamah. Raban Gamliel rules that only the first Get is valid. He maintains that there exists only one opportunity to give a Get among all of the Yevamim and Yevamos. Accordingly, he requires that the Yavam do Chalitzah with the first Yevamah (to whom he gave a valid Get). The Yavam then remains prohibited to the relatives of the first Yevamah but is permitted to the relatives of the second Yevamah.
RASHI (DH Choletz l'Rishonah) asks why Raban Gamliel requires that the Yavam do Chalitzah with the first Yevamah, when Chalitzah with the second Yevamah should also suffice. Rashi answers that Raban Gamliel is merely giving good advice. Since the Yavam is already prohibited to the relatives of the first Yevamah because of the Get he gave to her, he might as well do Chalitzah with her and not with the second Yevamah, so that he remain permitted to the relatives of the second Yevamah. If he does Chalitzah with the second Yevamah, he will become prohibited to her relatives as well (because of the Isur of "the relatives of one's Chalutzah").
The MAHARSHA asks that there is a more basic reason for why Chalitzah should be done with the first Yevamah. The Gemara earlier (44a) says that when one has the option to do Chalitzah with one of two Yevamos -- one of whom is disqualified from marrying a Kohen ("Pesulah l'Kehunah") and one who is permitted to marry a Kohen, he should do Chalitzah with the one who is already Pesulah l'Kehunah because "one should not spill his wash-water when someone else needs it." Similarly, in the case of the Beraisa here, the first Yevamah is already Pesulah l'Kehunah since she received a valid Get, and therefore the Yavam should do Chalitzah with her and not with the second Yevamah who is not yet Pesulah l'Kehunah. Why does Rashi not give this reason?
(a) The MAHARSHA answers that Rashi understands that even according to Raban Gamliel, the Get given to the second Yevamah also disqualifies her from marrying a Kohen. Although it does not prohibit the Yavam from marrying her relatives, it does prohibit her from marrying a Kohen. Accordingly, both Yevamos are Pesulos l'Kehunah, and thus Rashi gives a different reason for why the Yavam should do Chalitzah with the first Yevamah and not with the second.
(b) The RASHASH rejects the Maharsha's answer based on the Gemara later (52a) which says that a Get which is able to disqualify a woman from marrying a Kohen is also able to prohibit a Yevamah to the Yavam. If, as the Maharsha suggests, the second Get is able to disqualify the woman from marrying a Kohen, it should also prohibit the Yevamah to the Yavam and, consequently, prohibit the Yavam from marrying her relatives.
The Rashash therefore suggests a different reason for why Rashi does not explain that Chalitzah will disqualify the second Yevamah from marrying a Kohen. The Beraisa continues and says that "the same Halachah" applies to a case of two Yevamim with one Yevamah. The Beraisa implies that when two Yevamim each give a Get to the Yevamah, only the first Get is effective (according to Raban Gamliel), and the first Yavam should do Chalitzah with the Yevamah. In that case, however, there is only one Yevamah who will become Pesulah l'Kehunah regardless of which Yavam does Chalitzah with her. The Maharsha's reasoning that "one should not spill his wash-water" does not explain why the first Yavam does Chalitzah in this case. Therefore, Rashi writes that it is advisable for the first Yavam to do Chalitzah so that the second Yavam not become forbidden to the Yevamah's relatives unnecessarily.
This answer, however, is not entirely satisfactory. In the case of two Yevamim, to whom is the Beraisa's advice directed? It cannot be directed to the second Yavam (telling him that the first one should perform Chalitzah), because he has no influence over the first Yavam's actions; perhaps the first Yavam will refuse to do Chalitzah. Moreover, the Beraisa cannot be advising the first Yavam to do Chalitzah, because he is not the one who stands to gain. It seems more logical to suggest that the Beraisa does not intend to offer "good advice," but rather to teach that it is a Mitzvah for the first Yavam to do Chalitzah in order that his brother not become prohibited from marrying the relatives of the Yevamah.
(The Rashash's question on the Maharsha may be resolved as follows. The Gemara (52a) says that what works as a "Rei'ach ha'Get" for a divorce for marriage also works to disqualify a woman from marrying a Kohen. However, a second Get given after a first Get disqualifies her from marrying a Kohen only as a Get Yevamim, which is different from an ordinary Get that serves to break a bond of marriage. Accordingly, it is possible that such a Get will not be able to prohibit the Yavam to the relatives of the Yevamah, even though it is able to disqualify the Yevamah from marrying a Kohen.)
(c) Perhaps Rashi infers his reason from the words of the Beraisa. The Beraisa makes no mention of any condition that the women were permitted to marry Kohanim before each Get was given. This implies that the ruling of the Beraisa applies even when both women were already Pesulos l'Kehunah -- the law is that the Yavam should do Chalitzah with the first Yevamah. In such a case, the reasoning of "one should not spill his wash-water" clearly does not apply. Rashi has no choice but to explain that the Beraisa is advising ("Etzah Tovah") the Yavam that he do Chalitzah with the first Yevamah so that he not become prohibited to the relatives of the second Yevamah.