According to Halacha, are Jewish men obligated to do Yibbum with their widowed sister in law if she is mentally incompetent (the equivalent of a deaf mute)? Or no, since she is not competent to consent to the marriage is it invalid from the get go?


1 Answer 1


Chalitza requires mental competence to be effective whilst Yibbum does not. Accordingly, a mentally incompetent woman could establish a legal marriage to the brother without consent. Whether that's wise or not is a question particular to the given situation, but note she can't marry anyone else before dealing with the residual relationship with the brother. (Shulchan Arukh EH 172:12-16)

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