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Riddle:

Chaim and Shprintza got engaged. They, their entire families, and their rabbis were all totally happy about the engagement. They didn't hide any information from one another. Chaim and Shprintza both know both his and her detailed halachic status.

A few days later, Chaim and Shprintza (and their families) still desperately want to marry each other, but halacha now requires them to break their engagement. There were no mistakes at the time of the engagement. Chaim is not a Cohen.

What happened?

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closed as not a real question by Isaac Moses Jun 16 '11 at 22:10

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Shalom -- congratulations on reaching 10K! It's lonely at the top, ain't it? –  Dave Oct 5 '10 at 15:58
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Thanks. (Though I suppose a collaborated effort to downvote me could take it away, but would hurt everyone else in the process. Tamos nafshi im plishtim?) –  Shalom Oct 5 '10 at 16:02
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Just stay clear of those controversial theological questions, and you should be okay! :) –  Dave Oct 5 '10 at 16:05

1 Answer 1

up vote 19 down vote accepted

Shprintza's sister (let's call her Breindel) was married to Chaim's brother (we'll call him Zundel), who has died childless. Chaim and Zundel had no other brothers, so Chaim is required to perform either yibbum or chalitzah with Breindel. Either way, Shprintza will be forbidden to him, as his wife's sister or as his chalutzah's sister.

(Rambam, Hil. Yibbum Vachalitzah 7:8)

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