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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Gittin
And on the same basis it may be concluded that just as they are required to declare, 'In our presence it was written, and in our presence it was signed', so she is required to declare, 'In my presence etc.' [which shows that the rule refers to outside of Eretz Yisrael]. R. Ashi said: Our Mishnah also bears out [this view], since it says, THE WIFE HERSELF MAY BRING HER GET, ONLY SHE IS REQUIRED TO SAY etc., which shows that it refers to outside Eretz Yisrael. Does then R. Joseph take the earlier clause [in the Mishnah]1 and the later one2 to refer to Eretz Yisrael, and the middle one3 to outside Eretz [Yisrael]? — Yes; he refers the earlier and later clauses to Eretz Yisrael and the middle clause to outside. On what does he base this view [about the middle one]? — Because the Mishnah says, WHY IS A GET DIFFERENT FROM [THE REPORT OF] DEATH? BECAUSE THE WRITING AFFORDS PROOF, and it does not say, 'the writing and the declaration4 afford proof.'5
THE WIFE HERSELF MAY ACT AS BEARER etc. Is not the wife divorced as soon as the Get comes into her hand?6 — R. Huna said: This rule is for the case where he says to her, 'You will not be divorced by this [Get] except in the presence of such-and-such a Beth din.' But all the same, when she comes there she is divorced?7 — In fact, said R. Huna b. Manoah in the name of R. Aha the son of R. Ika: [the rule is for the case] where he says to her: When you come there, put it on the ground and take it up again.8 If so, he as much as says to her: Take your Get from the floor, and has not Raba laid down that if he says, Take your Get from the floor, it is no divorce?9 No. [The rule applies to the case] where he said to her, 'Be my agent for taking [the Get] till you come there, and when you come there be your own agent for receiving [it, and take it].' But in this case the agent cannot return to [report to] the sender?10 — He says to her: Be my agent for taking [the Get] till you come there, and when you come there appoint an agent for receiving [it].11 — This is all very well on the view that a woman may appoint an agent to receive her Get from the agent of her husband, but on the view that a woman may not appoint an agent to receive her Get from the agent of her husband12 what is to be said?13 — What is the reason for the latter view? That it shows a contempt for the husband;14 and in this case the husband is [evidently] not particular.15 This is a valid answer according to the view that such a proceeding is forbidden because it shows a contempt for the husband, but on the view that the reason is because of [the resemblance of this agent to] a courtyard which comes [into her possession] subsequently,16 what are we to say? — He says to her: Be my agent for taking [the Get] till you come there, and when you come there appoint another agent for taking it17 and [later] receive your Get from him. Or if you prefer I can say that he says to her: Be my agent for taking [it] till you come there, and when you come there declare in presence of the Beth din, 'In my presence it was written and in my presence it was signed,' and [then] make the Beth din an agent [for receiving] and they will give it to you.
MISHNAH. ANY BILL OF DIVORCE WHICH IS NOT WRITTEN [EXPRESSLY] FOR THE WOMAN [FOR WHOM IT IS INTENDED] IS INVALID. FOR INSTANCE, IF A MAN PASSING THROUGH THE STREET HEARS THE VOICE OF A SCRIBE DICTATING18 'SO-AND-SO DIVORCES SO-AND-SO FROM SUCH AND SUCH A PLACE' AND HE SAYS 'THAT IS MY NAME AND THAT IS THE NAME OF MY WIFE, IT IS NOT A VALID [DOCUMENT] TO DIVORCE HIS WIFE WITH. MOREOVER: IF HE WROTE [A GET] TO DIVORCE HIS WIFE AND CHANGED HIS MIND AND A FELLOW-TOWNSMAN MET HIM AND SAID TO HIM, MY NAME IS THE SAME AS YOURS AND MY WIFE'S NAME THE SAME AS YOUR WIFE'S', IT IS NOT VALID [FOR THE SECOND] ONE TO DIVORCE HIS WIFE WITH.
MOREOVER: IF HE HAD TWO WIVES WITH THE SAME NAME AND WROTE A GET WITH WHICH TO DIVORCE THE ELDER, HE MUST NOT USE IT TO DIVORCE THE YOUNGER. MOREOVER: IF HE SAID TO THE SCRIBE,1 WRITE AND I WILL DIVORCE WHICHEVER I CHOOSE,' IT IS NOT VALID TO DIVORCE THEREWITH EITHER.
GEMARA. [The second clause of the Mishnah puts the case where] HE WROTE [A GET] TO DIVORCE HIS WIFE AND CHANGED HIS MIND. What then is the case put in the first clause? — R. Papa said: We are dealing there with scribes practising [to write bills of divorce]. R. Ashi said: The language of the Mishnah bears this out, since it says 'DICTATING' and not 'reading', which shows that R. Papa is right.
What is the point of the word MOREOVER? — The school of R. Ishmael taught: 'Not only is a Get invalid that has not been written for purposes of divorce [but for practice]. but also one that has been written for purposes of divorce [but not of this man's wife]; and not only is this [one invalid] that has not been written for the purposes of his divorce, but even the other one that has been written for the purposes of his divorce is invalid; and not only is this [one invalid] which has not been written for divorcing this [wife], but even the other one which has been written for divorcing this [wife] is invalid'. What is the reason? — If [the Scripture] had written, 'he shall give a writ of divorce into her hand,' I should say that this excludes the first case [mentioned above] where [the Get is not written] for the purpose of effecting a divorce, but that if a husband writes [a Get] to divorce his wife and then changes his mind, seeing that the document is meant to effect a divorce I should say it is valid; therefore the Divine Law says, 'and he write'.2 And if it had merely said and he write, I should have said that this excludes the case where he does not write [the Get] for her,3 but if he has two wives [and writes for one or other of them] in which case he does [in a way] write for her, I should say that it is valid: therefore the text says, for her, that is to say. for her name. Why then is the last case specified?4 — To show that there is no [such thing as] a retrospective decision.5
IF HE WROTE A GET WITH WHICH TO DIVORCE THE ELDER, HE MUST NOT USE IT TO DIVORCE THE YOUNGER. It is the younger only whom he must not divorce with it, but he may divorce with it the elder.6 Raba said: This means to say that if there are two men named Joseph b. Simeon living in a town, either can claim from a third party on the strength of a bond [written in his name].7 Said Abaye to him: On your reasoning, from the first clause of the Mishnah which says that if a man says to another MY NAME IS THE SAME AS YOURS [and takes a Get from him]. HE MAY NOT USE IT TO DIVORCE HIS WIFE, I understand that it is the second only who may not use it but the first may; but how can this be seeing that it is laid down8 [in reference to the case of two men named Joseph b. Simeon] that a third party cannot claim against either of them on the strength of the bond?9 The truth is that [in regard to the latter kind of Get written by one man and used by another] we say it is valid [if used by the first] only if there are witnesses to the delivery,10 [the Mishnah] following R. Eleazar. So too [in regard to the former kind of Get where the two wives have the same name the Get is valid if given to the one for whom it was written] only if there are witnesses to the delivery, [the Mishnah following] R. Eleazar.11
Raba said: All the kinds [of Get mentioned in our Mishnah] disqualify [the woman named in them from living with her husband] if he is a priest,12 except the first,13 Samuel said that the first also disqualifies. Samuel applies here the principle which he had elsewhere laid down, that wherever the Rabbis have declared a Get invalid, it does not effect divorce but it does disqualify [the wife of a priest from living with him], and wherever they have declared a halizah14 invalid it does not release15 [the sister-in-law] but it does disqualify her from [marrying] any of the brothers-in-law. In the West16 they said in the name of R. Eleazar: [If the halizah was performed with] the left hand or by night, it does not release [the woman] but it does disqualify her;17
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