R. Ovadia Yosef on Performing Yibum in Our Times (1 Sivan)

שו”ת יביע אומר אבן העזר ח:כו
1 Sivan 5734 (1974)

In 1950, the Chief Rabbinate (R. Herzog and Uzziel together) banned yibum, levirate marriage. In 1974, R. Frankel, the Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, asked R. Ovadia Yosef, then Chief Rabbi of Israel, whether that ruling applied to Middle Eastern couples. In denying that it does, R. Yosef raises issues of institutional authority, communal custom, and how we get to Jewish unity.

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