Suppose a chalitza ceremony is interrupted partway through, because of some external circumstance, or because the yevam changes his mind and decides he should build a name for his brother after all.

At which point in the ceremony does it become too late to do yibbum instead, assuming that community ever does yibbum? When does the yevama become free to marry someone else?

  • Welcome to MY and thank you for this amazing question! – DonielF Oct 14 at 16:46
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Once the woman has removed most of the heel of the shoe from the man’s foot, the chalitzah is effective and she is free to marry whomever she wants. (Rambam Hilchot Yibum veChalitzah 4:6)

If the ceremony is performed in the wrong order and the woman spits in front of the man without removing the shoe first, then it is an invalid chalitzah. (Rambam Hilchot Yibum veChalitzah 4:14) In such a case she is not yet permitted to marry anyone else (without completing the chalitzah) but can no longer do yibbum either. (Rambam Hilchot Yibum veChalitzah 4:26)

The various recitations (without removing the shoe or spitting) have no impact at all on her status. (Rambam Hilchot Yibum veChalitzah 4:14)

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