||Document obligating a Dr. Phineas b. Moses Aaron Billitzer to grant his sister-in law, Mazal Tov b. Wolf Gerstel, Halitza in the event her husband and his brother, Isaac Eisik, dies without viable childrenand become obligated to yibbum. The document is witnessed (two lines of text) by R. Ezekiel ben Jacob Banet (Paneth) (1773–1854), rabbi, born in Alt-Ofen (Budapest), Hungary. In 1810 Ezekiel was appointed rabbi of Szecseny. He became rabbi of Paks in 1825 and subsequently of Balassagyarmat, and from 1847 officiated at Nyitra. He corresponded on halakhic matters with R. Moses Sofer, R. Judah Aszod, and other rabbis. His yeshiva was attended by pupils from various parts of the country. One of his most talented students was his youngest son R. Jerahmeel Bernhard (1815–1871), rabbi of Liptoszentmiklos (Liptovsky Svaty Mikulas). R. Ezekiel was also an eloquent preacher. Recognized by his contemporaries as a halakhic authority, he left no written work, having destroyed his commentary on the Tosefta before his death.
Yibbum, (levirate marriage) is the marriage between a widow whose husband died without offspring (the yevamah) and the brother of the deceased (the yavam or levir), as prescribed in Deuteronomy 25:5–6: If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger [the last words according to AV translation, which is correct]; her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother unto her. And it shall be, that the firstborn that she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother that is dead, that his name be not blotted out of Israel.
When the levir does not marry the yevamah, the ceremony of Halizah (Heb. hxylH) takes place, whereby the woman becomes released from the levirate tie (zikkat ha-yibbum) and free to marry someone else: If the man like not to take his brother's wife, then his brother's wife shall go up to the gate unto the elders, and say: 'My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband's brother unto me.' Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him; and if he stand, and say: 'I like not to take her'; then shall his brother's wife draw nigh unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face; and she shall answer and say: 'So shall it be done unto the man that doth not build up his brother's house.' And his name shall be called in Israel 'The house of him that had his shoe loosed'" (Deut. 25:7–10).