1,894. The Chalitzah Shoe

Yibum v’Chalitzah 4:5

Chalitzah must be performed only by day and not at night, in front of at least three who know how to read. A convert may not serve as one of the three. Even one whose father was a convert and whose mother was born Jewish may not participate in a chalitzah. Both one’s father and mother must be born Jewish. It is a mitzvah for five to observe so that the chalitzah will be publicized; the additional two can be simple people.

Yibum v’Chalitzah 4:6

Chalitzah is performed as follows: they bring a leather shoe that has a heel and is not sewn with linen thread. The yavam puts it on his right foot and ties the straps around his foot. The yavam and the yevama stand before the court. The text from Deuteronomy 25:7 – “My yavam refuses...” – is read in Hebrew and repeated by the yevama. Afterwards, text from verse 8 – “I don’t want to take her...” – is read and repeated by the yavam, who then presses his foot to the ground. The yevama sits, reaches out in front of the court, loosens the straps of the shoe, removes it and throws it on the ground. As soon as most of the shoe’s heel has been removed from the yavam’s foot, the yevama is eligible to marry someone else.