The first couple of mishnayos in chapter nine of Y'vamos list classes of women, each of whom is permitted to marry her first husband but forbidden to marry his brother on his childless death, or vice versa, or forbidden to marry either, or permitted to marry both. The lists contain the following classes of woman:

  • האלמנה, the widow
  • כשרה, (in this context, roughly) someone allowed to marry a kohen
  • חללה, (roughly) someone not allowed to marry a kohen
  • בת ישראל, (in this context, roughly) someone who is not a mamzeres or convert
  • ממזרת, a mamzeres

Why is the first of those definite ("the") and the rest not?

  • 1
    Battenura girsa is almanac without HA
    – kouty
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 10:41
  • perhaps because את ??????
    – kouty
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 10:43
  • The problem is general to the Mishnah, they weren't exact in many many cases. Compare שבת הגדול and the likes. The interpretations you expect to hear came much later to "compensate" their inconsistency.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 10:55
  • 3
    Tosafot (Kidushin 2a) ask the same question on a different mishna. Their first answer (definite article used for cases mentioned in the Torah) seems to me to be almost valid here. The only problem is that I would expect החללה
    – b a
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 11:00
  • May be a good answer @ba
    – kouty
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 11:08


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