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Thanks to Shokhet and Fred for pointing me to this answer. The Ohr HaChaim on Devarim 21:11 says as much. There's more, but i'll only quote some of it here. (Translations are my own.) אלא באה להעיר שבאמצעות היותו עוסק במצוה יגלה ה' את עיניו להכיר בגויה שיש בה יפת תואר שהיא נשמה הקדושה הנקראת יפת תואר, כי זוהר נשמות הקדושות מופלא ועצום הוא, וזאת האשה ...


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Ibn Ezra writes: כי הוא דרך בזיון על כן אמר כי תועבת ה For it is an embarrassment, therefore it is written "for it is an abomination of God." Kli Yakar writes: לפי שגם הכלבים עזי נפש מזנים בפרהסיא...והרי שניהם שוים בזנות ובעזות Because dogs also are brazen, in that they are promiscuous in public...therefore, the two of them (the ...


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Not to negate the halachic-mechanics answer (which I like), but I think there's psychology at play here as well. At a simpler level, all rights in Judaism are tied to obligations, and it's just not fair to leave people hanging. Here's this widow, trying to figure out what to do with her life now. It's either going to be "the brother will step up and do the ...


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I'm basing this off of some things that I learned from R' Tzvi Berkowitz. I don't recall his sources, so he'll just be my source. The mitzvah of Yibbum is building off of the relationship that existed between the deceased brother and his wife. This is why the yavam can "marry" the yevama even בעל כרחה (against her will) and even שלא מדעת (without ...


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I'm going to build an idea off of the Netziv on that passuk, so I'll mention his point first. He mentions the idea that yibbum has to do with neshamos like the Ramban says in Vayeishev, but then goes on to say a different pshat. That taking off ones shoe is symbolic of removing the teva of the body and natural order in order to single oneself out for ...



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