Q & A Board - View Post
Author:  HANAN
E-mail:  not available
Date:  6/9/2004 9:32:00 AM
Subject:  yibum and glossery
Message:  Kavod HaRav,
Please describe the mitsvah of yibum, if you would.

A while back, you mentioned that you would consider a glossery section on this site (to help us non-fluent-hebrew-aspiring-baal teshuvists). Is this in the works?
Kol Hakavod, as always...
Reply:  Yibum: When a man dies who is married, but has no children, his brothers are supposed to either marry his wife, called Yibum, or perform "Chalitza," and set her free.

The reason for Yibum is the same as all Mitzvot, which is "Because it says so in the Torah."

The Kaballah books have much insight into this Mitzvah. The Peleh Yo'etz says it in relatively simplistic terms that you and I can understand. He says that since the person died without reproducing, his life was not complete. The first son of this Yibum couple, from his wife and brother, will actually be his own Neshoma (soul) on the rebound. The family should group together and share info on the faults of this first husband and brother, and then use that info to direct and assist this new son, the recycled soul, to correct his faults and allow him to complete his job on earth.

If this is foreign to you, don't worry. You do not need to understand this, but we do rely on everything our Torah tells us. Some things are easier for us not to understand.

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