Previous Folio / Gittin Directory / Tractate List / Navigate Site
Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Gittin
It is reasonable to suppose that whether [we adopt the view of] R. Eliezer or of the Rabbis, [we should decide that] once she is separated from him she is separated.
Our Rabbis taught: [If a man says.] This is your Get on condition that you marry So-and-so, she should not marry, but if she does marry she need not leave the second husband. What does this mean? — R. Nahman said: What it means is this: She must not marry that man, for fear that people should say that men may make presents of their wives. If, however, she marries anyone else, she need not leave him. And do we not as a precaution make her part from him, and [are we not afraid that] we may be permitting a married woman to another?1 R. Nahman thereupon said: What is meant is this: She must not marry that man, for fear people should say that men can make presents of their wives, but if she does marry him she need not part from him since we do not separate them merely as a precaution.2 Said Raba to him: [According to you] it is that man whom she must not marry, which implies that she may marry another. But [how can this be] seeing that she has to carry out his condition? And should you say that it is possible for her to marry [another] to-day and be divorced to-morrow,3 and so fulfil the condition, comparing this case to that in regard to which you joined issue with Rab Judah, as it has been stated: If a man says, I forbid myself to sleep to-day if I shall sleep to-morrow, Rab Judah says that he should not sleep to-day lest perhaps he should sleep to-morrow, whereas R. Nahman says that he may sleep today and we disregard the possibility of his sleeping to-morrow?4 But how can you compare the two cases? In that case [of the sleeper] the matter lies in the man's own hands, since if he likes he can keep himself from sleeping by pricking himself with thorns, but in this case does it lie with her whether she is divorced or not?5 — No, said Raba; [what we must say is] that she must not marry either that man or any other; she must not marry him for fear people should say that men may make presents of their wives, nor must she marry another since she has to fulfil the condition. If, however, she marries that man, she need not part from him since we do not separate them merely out of precaution, whereas if she marries another she must leave him since she is required to fulfil the condition. It has been taught in accordance with Raba: This woman must not marry either that man or any other. If, however, she has married him she need not part from him, but if she marries another she must part from him.
Our Rabbis taught: [If a man says.] 'This is your Get on condition that you go up to the sky', 'on condition that you go down to the abyss', 'on condition that you swallow a reed four cubits long' 'on condition that you bring me a reed of a hundred cubits', on condition that you cross the great sea on foot,' this is no Get. R. Judah b. Tema, however, says that one like this is a Get. And R. Judah b. Tema laid it down as a general principle that if any condition impossible at any time of fulfilment was laid down by him at the outset, he must be regarded as merely trying to put her off,6 and [the Get] is valid.
R. Nahman said in the name of Rab that the halachah follows the view of R. Judah b. Tema. R. Nahman b. Isaac said: This is indicated by [the language of] the Mishnah,7 since it says, 'Wherever a condition possible at any time of fulfilment is laid down at the outset, it is a valid condition.' This implies that if it is impossible of fulfilment it is void,8 and so we may conclude.
The question was raised: [If a man says,] 'Here is your Get on condition that you eat swine's flesh,' what is the law? — Abaye replied: That is exactly a case in point.9 Raba, however, replied: It is possible for her to eat and be scourged.10 Abaye stresses the words 'general principle' [used by R. Judah b. Tema], so as to cover [the eating of] swine's flesh; Raba stresses the words 'one like this is a Get' to exclude [the eating of] swine's flesh.
Objection was raised [against Raba] from the following: [If a man says,] 'Here is your Get on condition that you have intercourse with So-and-so', if the condition has been fulfilled this is a Get, otherwise not. [If he says,] 'On condition that you do not have intercourse with my father or your father', we disregard the possibility of her having intercourse with them.11 Now this ruling does not contain the words 'On condition that you have intercourse with my father or your father',12 This is intelligible from the standpoint of Abaye,13 but creates a difficulty from the standpoint of Raba?14 — Raba may reply to you: There is a reason why [the eating of] swine's flesh should be a valid condition, because it is possible for her to eat it and be scourged. 'So-and-so' also it is possible for her to persuade by a money present [to marry her]. But does it lie with her to have intercourse with his father or her father? Even supposing that she would commit the offence, would his father or her father commit the offence? We must therefore say that according to Raba the words 'general principle' [in the statement of R. Judah b. Tema] are meant to cover the case of his father and her father,15 and the words 'one like this is a Get', to exclude the case of swine's flesh,16
while according to Abaye 'general principle' covers swine's flesh and 'one like this' excludes 'So-and-so'.1
An objection was brought [from the following]: [If he says], 'Here is your Get on condition that you eat swine's flesh', or, supposing she was a lay woman, 'on condition that you eat terumah', or, supposing she was a nazirite, 'on condition that you drink wine', then if the condition has been fulfilled this is a Get, and if not it is not a Get.2 This is consistent with the view of Raba but conflicts with that of Abaye, [does it not]? — Abaye may reply to you: Do you imagine that this ruling represents a unanimous opinion? This represents the view of the Rabbis. But could he [Abaye] not base his view on the ground that [such a Get contains] a stipulation to break an injunction laid down in the Torah, and wherever a stipulation is made to break an injunction laid down in the Torah, the condition is void?3 — R. Adda the son of R. Ika replied: When we say that where a stipulation is made to break an injunction laid down in the Torah the condition is void, we refer for instance to a stipulation to withhold the food, raiment and marriage duty [of a married woman], where it is the man who nullifies the injunction, but here it is she who nullifies it, Rabina strongly demurred to this [saying], Is not her whole purpose in nullifying only to carry out his condition, so that in point of fact it is he who nullifies? No, said Rabina. When we say that wherever a stipulation is made to break an injunction laid down in the Torah the condition is void, we mean, for instance, [a stipulation] to withhold her food, raiment and marriage duty, where he is unquestionably nullifying [the injunction]. But in this case [will anyone tell her that] she is absolutely bound to eat? She need not eat and will not be divorced.
WHAT MUST HE DO? HE MUST TAKE IT FROM HER, etc. Who is the authority for this ruling? — Hezekiah said: It is R. Simeon b. Eleazar, as it has been taught: R. Simeon b. Eleazar says, [It is no Get] until he takes it from her and again gives it to her saying, Here is your Get.4 R. Johanan said, You may even hold that it is Rabbi;5 your colleague6 has suggested that there is a special reason here, since she has already become possessed of it7 to the extent of being disqualified in regard to the priesthood.8
IF HE WROTE IT IN THE GET. R. Safra said: The words here are9 IF HE WROTE IT IN THE GET. Surely this is self-evident? It says, IF HE WROTE IT IN THE GET? — You might think that this is the case10 only [if he inserts them] after the substantive part of the Get11 [has been written],12 but where [he made the reservation] before the substantive part [has been written], then even [if he made it] orally [the Get] should be invalid. Therefore [R. Safra] tells us [that this is not so]. Raba on the other hand held that the rule13 applies only if [he made the reservation] after the substantive part [was written], but if before the substantive part was written then even if made orally [the Get] is invalid. Raba was quite consistent in this, as he used to say to the scribes who wrote bills of divorce, Silence the husband till you have written the substantive part [of the Get].14
Our Rabbis taught: All conditions [written] in a Get make it invalid. This is the view of Rabbi. The Sages, however, say that a condition which would render it invalid if stated orally makes it invalid if written, but one which does not invalidate it if stated orally does not invalidate it if written. [Hence] the word 'except'15 which invalidates it [if expressed] orally also invalidates it [if inserted] in writing, whereas ['on condition'] which does not invalidate it [if expressed] orally does not invalidate it [if inserted] in writing.
R. Zera said: They disagree only where [the reservation is inserted] after the substantive part [was written], Rabbi holding that we disallow 'on condition' in virtue of having disallowed 'except',16 while the Rabbis considered that we need not disallow 'on condition' in virtue of having disallowed 'except'. If, however, [the reservation is inserted] after the substantive part [has been written].
- To Next Folio -