Resources for Yevamos daf 122

1.     The גמרא says that a גוי מסיח לפי תומו is believed by עדות אשה. The גמרא inב"ק דף קי"ד ע"ב says that this is a special dispensation for עדות אשה but a גוי is not believed for all other איסורי דאורייתא even if they are מסיח לפי תומו. The second ש"ך in הלכות תערובות in יו"ד סימן צ"ח brings those that suggest that this only applies to a case where it is איתחזק איסורא, but if it isn’t איתחזק איסורא then a גוי מסיח לפי תומו is believed even by other איסורי דאורייתא. The ש"ך rejects this and says that a גוי מסיח לפי תומו is only believed by other איסורי דאורייתא if it is something we will eventually figure out on our own (איכא למיקם עלה דמילתא). There is a question on all this from our גמרא. Our גמרא brings a proof from a case of a גוי saying his produce is ערלה that he isn’t believed because he is just trying to make his fruit sound better. The משמעות is that if he wasn’t trying to be משביח מקחו he would be believed even though ערלה is an איסור דאורייתא. If so, it would seem an עכו"ם is believed even by other איסורי דאורייתא, at least להחמיר. In fact, our גמרא just brings one opinion, but the end of that תוספתא brings רבי who says an עכו"ם is believed להחמיר. To answer this question, the ש"ך in סימן קכ"ז ס"ק כ says that the case of the fruit is different since the גוי owns those fruit and a person has a special נאמנות about their own stuff. Therefore, the ש"ך concludes that a גוי is not believed even להחמיר if it isn’t his own stuff. The גר"א in אבן העזר סימן י"ז ס"ק קכ"ה says that this is actually a מחלוקת ראשונים but if you hold a גוי is not even נאמן להחמיר you would have to say that our גמרא is different because it is בידו of the גוי to burn it if he wants which gives him more  נאמנות להחמיר.

2.     The גמרא indicates through various stories that one does not need to actually see the person who makes the claim that someone’s husband is dead. You can just hear it from a בת קול. The שו"ת חמדת שלמה in אבן העזר סימן ל"ד אות ב asks a fascinating question: we had said earlier that the reason an עד אחד is believed by עדות אשה is because it’s a מילתא דעבידי לגלויי so the עד אחד will be afraid to lie. The question is that in this case no one can see this עד lying since no one knows who said it! So he has nothing to fear! The חמדת שלמה answers that that was only at the beginning. However, once it became “הוחזקו להיות משיאים עד מפּי עד” the חכמים changed things and relied on the fact that the person wouldn’t lie if he has nothing to gain and if the husband is alive he will walk in one day.

3.     The חלקת מחוקק in סימן י"ז ס"ק ל raises an important question: we said a גוי מסיח לפי תומו is believed, but if he isn’t מסיח לפי תומו he isn’t believed. What if you ask him directly, and then a long time later he mentions what you talked about without you asking? Do we say that once you asked directly, he is never considered מסיח לפי תומו regarding that issue, or do we say that one question can’t make a person not מסיח לפי תומו forever? He and the בית שמואל both are of the opinion that asking once doesn’t make the person never מסיח לפי תומו. However, the צמח צדק in סימן מ"ב disagrees. His reasoning is that you see from the story of the crying innkeeper in our גמרא that if someone starts off as a מסיח לפי תומו then even if you ask them directly afterwards they are still considered a מסיח לפי תומו. Therefore, it should be that the inverse is true as well: if someone starts off being asked directly, being מסיח לפי תומו later on should still count as someone who was asked directly. The שב שמעתתא in ז פּרק ח וט sides with the בית שמואל וחלקת מחוקק.  

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