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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Gittin
R. Jose, who said that instructions are not transmitted to a messenger? Now if you should assume that R. Jose admits that the Get is valid where he said 'tell,'1 then serious results may sometimes ensue, for it may happen that he says to two persons, 'Tell the scribe to write and So-and-so and So-and-so to sign', and they, in order not to offend the scribe, let him sign, and this is not what the husband said?2 — The best view therefore is that the first clause follows R. Meir and the later one R. Jose.
R. Ashi said: The whole follows R. Jose, and [the last clause] forms a climax: Not only where he omitted to say 'give' [is the Get invalid] but even where he said 'give', and not only where he did not tell three persons but even where he told three persons, and not only where he did not say 'tell' but even where he said 'tell' [the Get is invalid till he says to the scribe etc.].
It has been taught in accord with R. Ashi: 'In the case where the scribe wrote and the witnesses signed for her name, though they had written and signed it and given it to him and he had given it to her, the Get is void unless they had heard him saying with his own voice to the scribe, Write, and to the witnesses, Sign'. The word 'hear' excludes the opinion [mentioned above], that R. Jose admits that the Get is valid where the husband said 'tell'. 'His voice' excludes the statement made by R. Kahana in the name of Rab.3
MISHNAH. [IF A MAN SAYS] THIS IS YOUR GET IF I DIE, THIS IS YOUR GET [IF I DIE]4 FROM THIS ILLNESS, THIS IS YOUR GET AFTER [MY] DEATH, HIS WORDS ARE OF NO EFFECT.5 [IF HE SAYS], FROM TODAY IF I DIE, FROM NOW IF I DIE, THE GET IS VALID.6 [IF HE SAYS], FROM TODAY AND AFTER [MY] DEATH, IT IS BOTH A GET AND NO GET, AND IF HE DIES [WITHOUT ISSUE] SHE MUST GIVE HALIZAH7 BUT SHE CANNOT MARRY THE HUSBAND'S BROTHER.8 [IF HE SAID], THIS IS YOUR GET FROM TODAY IF I DIE FROM THIS ILLNESS, AND HE THEN GOT UP AND WENT ABOUT AND FELL SICK AND DIED, WE MUST ESTIMATE [THE PROBABLE CAUSE OF HIS DEATH]; IF HE DIED FROM THE FIRST ILLNESS, THE GET IS VALID, BUT OTHERWISE NOT.
GEMARA. [IF HE SAID, THIS IS YOUR GET IF I DIE etc.] This would indicate that the formula 'IF I DIE' is equivalent to 'AFTER [MY] DEATH'; yet in the next clause we are told that [the Get is valid if he says] 'FROM TODAY IF I DIE, FROM NOW IF I DIE', which would indicate that it is not equivalent to 'AFTER DEATH'! — Abaye explained that the expression 'IF I DIE' can have two implications, viz., either 'as from now' or 'as from the time of my death'. If he [further] said to her 'from to-day', it is equivalent to saying to her 'as from now'; if he did not say to her 'from to-day', it is equivalent to saying to her 'from the time of my death'.
IF HE SAID, THIS IS YOUR GET IF I DIE, HIS WORDS ARE OF NO EFFECT. R. Huna said: The wife none the less must give halizah. But it is taught 'HIS WORDS ARE OF NO EFFECT'? — His words are of no effect to the extent that she remains prohibited to all other men and also to the brother-in-law. But since in the later case9 it says specifically that SHE GIVES HALIZAH, we understand that in the earlier case10 [where it does not say so] she may also marry the brother-in-law? — The Mishnah follows the view of the Rabbis and R. Huna that of R. Jose, who said that the date of the document is sufficient indication.11 If we follow the View of R. Jose, she should not require to give halizah either?12 perhaps you will aver that R. Huna was uncertain whether the halachah follows R. Jose or not.13 But can you indeed say so? For once when Rabbah b. Abbuha was ill, R. Huna and R. Nahman went to visit him, and R. Huna said to R. Nahman, Ask Rabbah b. Abbuha whether the halachah follows R. Jose or not,14 and R. Nahman answered, I do not know R. Jose's reason, and how can I ask him the halachah, whereupon R. Huna said, You ask him the halachah and I will tell you the reason. He therefore asked him, and he replied: Thus said Rab: the halachah is according to R. Jose. When he came out he [R. Huna] said to him, The reason of R. Jose is this; he held that the date of the document is sufficient indication. [This then cannot be R. Huna's reason]! — We must suppose therefore that he was uncertain
whether R. Jose meant his ruling to apply to a verbal declaration1 or not. But was he uncertain? Have we not learnt, 'If a man said, This is your Get if I do not return within twelve months from now,2 and he died within the twelve months, the Get is not valid',3 and in this connection it was taught: 'Our Rabbis allowed her to marry', and we stated [in the Beth Hamidrash], Who are 'our Rabbis'? and Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel, The Beth din which permitted oil,4 and they took the same view as R. Jose?5 — We must therefore say that R. Huna's uncertainty was as to whether the halachah follows R. Jose where the declaration was made by word of mouth or not. But can he have been in doubt about this, seeing that Raba has said, If a man says, 'This is thy Get if I die', or 'supposing I die', the Get is valid, but if he said, 'When I die,' or 'After [my] death,' the Get is not valid. Now, how are we to understand this? Are we to suppose that he [also] said 'from to-day', and [that Raba adopted the view of] the Rabbis? Surely there is no need to tell us this, seeing that we have learnt, IF HE SAID, FROM TO-DAY IF I DIE, THE GET IS VALID. We must therefore suppose that he does not say to her 'from to-day', and that Raba adopted the view of R. Jose; which shows that the halachah is in accordance with R. Jose,6 [does it not]? — Raba was quite sure on the point, R. Huna was uncertain. Alternatively I may suppose [Raba to have meant that] the man does say 'from to-day', and that he was giving the view of the Rabbis, and that his purpose was to explain in regard to these various expressions that 'supposing I die' is equivalent to 'if I die', and 'when I die' to 'after [my] death'.
Some connect [R. Huna's remark] with the latter clause [of the Mishnah], thus: IF A MAN SAYS, THIS IS YOUR GET AFTER [MY] DEATH, HIS WORDS ARE OF NO EFFECT: R. Huna said, If we accept the view of R. Jose, she must give halizah. Surely this is obvious: since in the later case7 the ruling of the Rabbis [requires her to] give halizah, in the earlier case also the ruling of R. Jose [must require her to] give halizah? — You might think that in this case R. Jose concurs with Rabbi who said that it is an unexceptionable Get8 and that she would not require to give halizah either, R. Huna therefore tells us that neither did Rabbi concur with R. Jose nor R. Jose with Rabbi. Rabbi did not concur with R. Jose because he stated expressly 'a Get like this is valid', to exclude one allowed by R. Jose.8 R. Jose did not concur with Rabbi, because he stated expressly, 'a Get like this is valid', to exclude one allowed by Rabbi. In what connection did Rabbi use these words? — As it has been taught: [If a man says,] From to-day and after my death, this is a Get and no Get. So the Rabbis; but Rabbi says, A Get like this is valid.9 In what connection did R. Jose use these words? — As we have learnt: [If a man says,] Write and give a Get to my wife if I do not come within twelve months from now, if then they wrote it within the twelve months and gave it after the twelve, it is no Get. R. Jose, however, said: A Get like this is valid.10
IF HE SAYS, THIS IS YOUR GET FROM TO-DAY IF I DIE AND HE GETS UP AND GOES ABOUT etc. R. Huna said: His11 Get is on the same footing as his gift; just as if he gets up he can withdraw his gift, so if he gets up he can withdraw his Get. And just as his Get, even though he does not express his intention precisely, is valid once he says 'write', even though he does not add 'give', so his gift is valid as soon as he says 'give' even though no token gift is made.12 We have learnt: IF HE SAYS, THIS IS YOUR GET FROM TO DAY IF I DIE FROM THIS ILLNESS, AND HE THEN GOT UP AND WENT ABOUT AND FELL SICK AND DIED, WE MUST ESTIMATE THE PROBABLE CAUSE OF HIS DEATH: IF HE DIED FROM THE FIRST ILLNESS, THE GET IS VALID, BUT OTHERWISE NOT. Now if you say that if he gets up he can retract, why do I require an estimate? We see that he has got up?13 — Mar the son of R. Joseph said in the name of Raba: We suppose he has passed from one illness into another.14 But it says that 'HE GETS UP'? — He gets up from one illness and falls into another. But it says 'HE GOES ABOUT'? — It means that he goes with a crutch;
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