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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Gittin

Folio 77a

he means that [the Get is to take effect only] when the sun does come out, and if he dies in the night it would be a Get after death.1  If, again, he says, 'On condition that the sun issues from its sheath,' he means it to take effect as from now, since R. Huna has said in the name of Rabbi, The formula 'on condition' Is equivalent to 'as from now'. Where opinions differ is when he says 'if it shall issue', One authority2  adopts the view of R. Jose who said that the date of the document is sufficient indication, so that his words are analogous to 'from to-day if I die, from now if I die,'3  while the other4  did not accept the view of R. Jose, and his words are analogous to the bare 'if I die'.5

WRITE A GET AND GIVE IT TO MY WIFE, IF I DO NOT COME WITHIN TWELVE MONTHS, IF THEY WROTE etc. Said R. Yemar to R. Ashi: May we conclude from this that in R. Jose's opinion, if one writes a Get subject to a certain condition [even if the condition is not fulfilled] the document is a valid one? — No; I may still hold that it is not valid, and R. Jose has a special reason here, because he ought to have said 'If I do not come, write and deliver', and he actually said, 'Write and deliver if I do not come', and [we presume him] therefore to have meant, Write from now and deliver if I do not come. The Rabbis, however, do not differentiate between the two forms.

Our Rabbis taught: [If he says, 'This is your Get if I do not return] till after the septennate,' we wait an extra year;6  'till after a year', we wait a month; 'till after a month', we wait a week. If he Says, 'till after the Sabbath',7  what [do we do]? — When R. Zera was once sitting before R. Assi, or, as others report, when R. Assi was sitting before R. Johanan, he said: The first day of the week and the second and third are called 'after the Sabbath'; the fourth and fifth days and the eve of Sabbath are called 'before the Sabbath.'

It has been taught: [If he says] 'Till after the festival', we wait thirty days. R. Hiyya went forth and preached this in the name of Rabbi, and he was commended [for doing so].8  He then preached it in the name of the majority and was not commended.9  This shows that the law is not as laid down by him.10



GEMARA. What is the Scriptural warrant for this rule? — As our Rabbis taught: 'And give it in her hand:13  this only tells me that [the Get may be placed] in 'her hand'. Whence do I learn that [it may also be placed] on her roof, or in her courtyard or enclosure? The text says significantly. 'And he shall give', which means, in any manner.14  It has been taught in a similar manner regarding a thief: His hand:15  this tells me on]y that [he is liable if the theft is found] in his hand. Whence do I learn that [he is equally liable if it is found] on his roof, or in his courtyard or his enclosure? From the significant words, 'If it be found at all', which means, under all circumstances.16  And [both expositions are] necessary. For had I only the one regarding the Get, I should have said that the reason is because [she is divorced] against her will,17  but [that this rule does] not apply to a thief who cannot become such against his will.18  And had I been given the rule in regard to the thief only, I should have said [that it applied to him] because the All-Merciful imposed a fine upon him,19  but not to a Get. Hence both were necessary.

It says]. HER COURTYARD. [How can this be, Seeing that] whatever a woman acquires belongs to her husband? — R. Eleazar said: We presume him to have given her a written statement that he has no claim on her property. But suppose he did do so, what difference does it make, seeing that it has been taught.20  'If a man says to another [a partner.] I have no claim on this field, I have no concern in it, I entirely dissociate myself from it, his words are of no effect'?21  — The school of R. Jannai explained: We suppose him to have given her this written statement while she was still betrothed, and we adopt [at the same time] the maxim of R. Kahana; for R. Kahana said that a man may stipulate beforehand that he will not take up a prospective inheritance from an outside source.22  This too is based on a ruling of Raba, who said: If one says.

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. And therefore of no effect.
  2. R. Judah the Prince.
  3. And therefore in the case of the Mishnah, where he said 'IF I DO NOT RETURN', if he died within the twelve months the Get takes effect retrospectively.
  4. The Tanna of our Mishnah.
  5. Where the Get is not valid (v. supra 72a), and similarly in the case of the Mishnah, the Get takes effect only after twelve months and should he die in the meantime the Get is no Get.
  6. To allow for the 'after'.
  7. Sabbath in Hebrew denotes either week or Sabbath.
  8. Lit., 'it was praised'. Because he reported this ruling as the opinion of one individual which need not be accepted.
  9. For reporting a non-recognised teaching in the name of many.
  10. Cf. supra p. 77 and notes.
  11. I.e., the so-called 'property of plucking' (v. Glos. s.v. mulug) of which the husband has the usufruct while the wife retains the ownership.
  12. [G].
  13. Deut. XXIV, 1.
  14. For notes v. B.M. (Sonc. ed.) p. 58.
  15. Ex. XXII, 3.
  16. For notes v. op. cit. p. 56.
  17. And therefore her courtyard serves the purpose equally with her hand.
  18. Hence, if, for instance, an animal entered his courtyard and he locked it in without touching it, I might think that he would not be liable.
  19. To repay double. Ex. loc. cit. This would indicate that the law was in general more severe with him.
  20. Cf. B.B. 43a.
  21. [Unless and until he makes it over as a gift.]
  22. I.e., not his father, or next-of-kin according to the Torah.

Gittin 77b

I do not care to avail myself of the regulation of the Sages, in a case like this he is allowed to have his way. What did he mean by 'in a case like this'? — He was referring to the case mentioned by R. Huna in the name of Rab; for R. Huna said in the name of Rab, A woman is at liberty to say to her husband, You need not maintain me and I will not work for you.1

Raba said: Does not her hand also belong to her husband? The fact is that her hand and her Get become hers simultaneously. So also her courtyard and her Get become hers simultaneously. Said Rabina to R. Ashi: Can Raba have found any difficulty about the woman's hand?2  Granted that the husband owns the labour of her hands, does he own the hand itself? — He replied: Raba's difficulty was [really] with the hand of a slave. For on the view of the authority who holds that a slave may acquire his freedom by means of a document which he receives himself,3  [we may ask,] how can this be, seeing that the hand of the slave is like that of the master? Only we must suppose that his hand and his deed of emancipation become his simultaneously. So here, her Get and her courtyard become hers simultaneously.

A certain man who was lying very ill wrote a Get for his wife on the eve of the Sabbath and had not time to give it to her [before Sabbath]. On the next day his condition became critical.4  Raba was consulted, and he said: Go and tell him to make over to her the place where the Get is, and let her go and close and open a door there and so take formal possession of it, as we have learnt:5  'If one does anything in the way of locking up or fencing or breaking open, this constitutes formal occupation.'6  Said R. 'Ilish to Raba: But whatever a woman acquires belongs to her husband? — He was nonplussed. Eventually it transpired that she was only betrothed. Thereupon Raba said: If this rule was laid down for a married woman,7  is it to apply to a betrothed woman? Later Raba corrected himself and said: No matter whether she is married or betrothed, her Get and her courtyard become hers simultaneously. But this is just what Raba said?8  — When he did say it first, it was in connection with this incident.

WHILE SHE IS IN HER HOUSE. 'Ulla said: That is so, provided she is standing by the side of her house or by the side of her courtyard. R. Oshaia said: She may even be in Tiberias and her courtyard in Sepphoris or she may be in Sepphoris and her courtyard in Tiberias; she is still divorced. But it says. WHILE SHE IS IN HER HOUSE OR IN HER COURTYARD? — What it means is, While she is virtually in her own house or in her own courtyard on account of the fact that the courtyard is being kept [for her] with her knowledge and consent, and therefore she is divorced.

May we say that the point at issue between them9  is this, that the one authority ['Ulla] holds that [the rule about] a courtyard is derived from 'her hand', and the other from its being regarded as analogous to her agent?10  — No; both are agreed that the [rule about] a courtyard is derived from 'her hand'. One, however, interprets the analogy thus: just as her hand is close to her, so her courtyard must be close to her. And the other? — He will rejoin: Since her hand is attached to her, has her courtyard also to be attached to her? But [you must say] it is like her hand in this sense. Just as her hand is kept for her with her knowledge, so her courtyard must be kept for her with her knowledge, and what we exclude therefore is a courtyard which is kept for her [even] without her knowledge.11

A certain man threw a Get to his wife as she was standing in a courtyard and it went and fell on a block of wood. R. Joseph thereupon said: We have to see. If the block was four cubits by four, it forms a separate domain, but if not, it is one with the courtyard. What case are we dealing with? Are we to say that the courtyard is hers? If so, what does it matter if the block is four cubits by four?12  Is the courtyard his? Then if it is not four by four what does it matter?13  — [R. Joseph's ruling] applies where he lent her the place, since men will usually lend one place but not two places.14  Further, we do not say [that it is one with the court] save only if it is not ten handbreadths high; but if it is ten handbreadths high, we do not say so, even if it is not four cubits by four. Nor even so do we say that it is included save only if it has no

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. The regulation having been made for her benefit, she is not bound to avail herself of it. So too in the case of an heir-at-law outside those mentioned in the Torah, v. B.K. 8b.
  2. That he had to give a special reason for legalising it.
  3. Kid. 22.
  4. Lit., 'the world was heavy for him'. And he was anxious to divorce her so that she should not become subject to the levirate law, but he could not give her the Get, as it was not allowed to be carried on Sabbath.
  5. B.B. 42a.
  6. [And by obtaining possession of the courtyard the Get automatically passes into her possession on the principle that movable property may be acquired along with immovable property; v. Kid. 26a (Rashi).]
  7. That to the husband belongs whatever the woman acquires.
  8. Why then was he nonplussed?
  9. 'Ulla and R. Oshaia.
  10. And therefore she may be at any distance from it; v. supra 21a and B.M. 10b.
  11. Which would include her slave. V. infra.
  12. In either case she is divorced.
  13. In either case she is not divorced.
  14. [Therefore where the block was four cubits by four it forms a separate domain and is not one with the courtyard lent to her.]