yibum

Levirate marriage: marrying a brother’s widow. A man whose brother died without children – a yavam – is obligated by Torah law to marry his brother’s widow – the yevama. As long as the brother-in-law hasn’t married his brother’s widow it is prohibited for her to marry another man. Today, in most Jewish communities a brother-in-law is required to free his brother’s widow of her obligation through halitza, and he is not permitted to marry her.

Read more from the Jewish Encyclopedia.

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