1,895. Spitting

Yibum v’Chalitzah 4:7

Next, the yevama stands and spits on the ground in front of the yavam’s face so that it can be seen by the judges. Chalitzah requires that both parties stand when reciting their assigned parts and when she spits. The judges must see the saliva that she expectorates. Finally, the text from Deuteronomy 25:9-10 – “Thus shall be done to the one who doesn’t build up his brother’s house. His name shall be called in Israel ‘the house of the one whose shoe was removed’” – is read and repeated by the yevama.

Yibum v’Chalitzah 4:8

Everything in the chalitzah ceremony must be recited in Hebrew. This is inferred from the word “thus” (v. 9), which is understood to mean “in this language.” Those seated around recite “the one whose shoe was removed” three times. The yevama must remove the shoe with intention and the yavam must have the intention that he is participating in the ceremony for her. They must do so with the intention that the ceremony is to free her for the purpose of marrying another man. A blind man can’t perform chalitzah since Deuteronomy 25:9 requires that the yevama “spit before his face” and he can’t see it.