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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Gittin
'A jet of water [from a jug] or water flowing down a slope, or dripping water, does not form a connection so as to make [the water] unclean1 or clean?2 — The question is still required for the case where the dripping is considerable.3 But regarding this also we have been taught that where the dripping is considerable, it does form a connection. — Perhaps this dictum refers only to a mikweh,4 and follows the opinion of R. Judah: For we learnt: 'If a mikweh contains exactly forty se'ahs of water and two persons bathe in it, if they both are in the water together they are both clean, but if one enters after the other has left, the first is clean but the second not'.5 R. Judah said that if the feet of the first were still touching the water [when the second entered]. the second is also clean.6
R. Jeremiah said: It has been laid down that if a person plunges the greater part of his body in water drawn [through a pipe],7 or if three logs of such water are poured over the greater part of the body of a clean person, he is unclean.8 R. Jeremiah then propounded: Suppose he plunges half of his [body into such water] and three logs of it fall on the other half, is he unclean? This question was left unanswered. R. Papa said: It has been laid down that if a sick person had a seminal emission and nine kabs of water are thrown over him, he is clean. R. papa then asked: If he dips half his [body in water] and [water is] thrown over the other half, is he clean? This question was also left unanswered.
IF ONE DECLARES, 'IT WAS WRITTEN IN MY PRESENCE AND THE OTHER, etc.' R. Samuel b. Judah said in the name of R. Johanan: This rule applies only to the case where the Get was not brought by both as joint bearers, but if it is brought by both of them
it is valid. We conclude that he was of opinion that if a Get was brought by two bearers from 'foreign parts', they are not required to declare 'In our presence it was written and in our presence it was signed.'1 Said Abaye to him: Taking this view [as correct], let us look at the clause which follows: IF TWO SAY, 'IT WAS WRITTEN IN OUR PRESENCE', AND ONE SAYS, 'IT WAS SIGNED IN MY PRESENCE', IT IS INVALID; R. JUDAH, HOWEVER, DECLARES IT TO BE VALID. The reason, you say, why the Rabbis declare it invalid is because it was not brought by both of them as bearers. Are we to suppose then that if both of them did act as bearers, the Rabbis hold the Get to be valid? — He replied: That is so. In the case then where both do not act as bearers of the Get, what is the ground of the difference [between R. Judah and the Rabbis]? — One authority [the Rabbis] held that there is a risk of the procedure [in the case of a Get] being taken as an example for allowing one witness to confirm [signatures] of documents in general, and the other held that there is no such danger.
Another version [of the above passage is as follows]. R. Samuel b. Judah said in the name of R. Johanan: Even if both witnesses have acted as bearers of the Get, it is invalid. We conclude that he was of opinion that if two persons act as joint bearers of a Get from 'foreign parts', they are required to declare, 'In our presence it was written and in our presence it was signed'. Said Abaye to him: Accepting this view [as correct], let us look at the next clause: IF TWO SAY, 'IT WAS WRITTEN IN OUR PRESENCE, AND ONE SAYS, 'IT WAS SIGNED IN MY PRESENCE', IT IS INVALID. R. JUDAH, HOWEVER, DECLARES IT VALID. Then the Rabbis declare it invalid even if both have acted as bearers? — He replied: That is so. What is the point at issue between R. Judah and the Rabbis? — One authority [the Rabbis] was of opinion that the reason why the declaration is required is because [the Jews outside Palestine] are not familiar with the rule of 'special intention',2 and the other [R. Judah], because witnesses cannot easily be found to attest the signatures.3 May we infer from this that the dispute between Rabbah and Raba goes back to the Tannaim? — No. Raba adopts the first version of the passage just quoted.4 Rabbah, [adopting the second], can maintain that both authorities require the declaration on account of the rule of 'special intention', and here we are dealing with the period when this had become generally known, and the point at issue between R. Judah and the Rabbis is whether there is a danger of a reversion to the former ignorance, one [the Rabbis] holding that there was such a danger and it was necessary to take precautions against it, and the other that it was not. But according to this, R. Judah should join issue in the first clause5 also? — This is in fact the case, as has been stated: 'Ulla said that R. Judah differed from the Rabbis in the first case also. R. Oshiah raised an objection to 'Ulla. [It has been taught:] R. Judah declares [the Get] valid in this case, and not in the other. Does he not mean by this, [he said,] to except the case where one says 'It was written in my presence' and one says 'it was signed in my presence'? — No. He means to except the case where one says, 'It was signed in my presence but not written in my presence'. I might think that since R. Judah does not think it necessary to guard against the danger of a recurrence of the ignorance,6 so also he does not think it necessary to guard against the danger of confusing writs of divorce with other documents through allowing confirmation by one witness.7 Now I know [that this is not the case]. It has also been stated:8 Rab Judah said: In the matter of a Get which is brought by two bearers from 'foreign parts', we find a difference of opinion between R. Judah and the Rabbis.
Rabbah b. Bar Hanah was once ill, and Rab Judah and Rabbah went to inquire how he was. While with him, they put to him the question: If two bearers' bring a Get from 'foreign parts', are they required to declare, 'In our presence it was written and in our presence it was signed', or are they not required? — He replied: They are not required. For if they were to say, 'In our presence he divorced her', would we not take their word? At this point a Gueber9 came in
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