(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld

Ask A Question about the Daf

Previous daf

Gitin, 4

GITIN 4 & 5 - have been anonymously dedicated by a very special Marbitz Torah and student of the Daf from Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.


QUESTION: The Gemara concludes that the reason the Tana of our Mishnah requires that both the Kesivah and the Chasimah of the Get be written Lishmah, according to Rabah, is because he holds like Rebbi Elazar. Even though Rebbi Elazar says that Edei Chasimah (witnesses signed on the Get) are not required altogether, nevertheless if there are witnesses signed on the Get, those witnesses must have signed Lishmah, and if they did not sign Lishmah, the Get is invalid. We find that Rebbi Elazar issues a similar ruling with regard to invalid witnesses (such as a relative or one who is Pasul to give testimony for another reason) who signed a Get. Although he holds that it is not necessary for any witnesses to sign a Get, if invalid witnesses signed a Get it is worse than having no witnesses at all and it makes the Get invalid.

What is the logic of this opinion? What could possibly invalidate the Get when witnesses sign the Get she'Lo Lishmah? Granted, when an invalid witness signs the Get, then there is justification for the Chachamim to invalidate the Get, lest people mistakenly infer from the fact that this person signed the Get that he is a valid witness (and use him as a witness for other matters). However, when a Get is signed she'Lo Lishmah, what possible mishap could result from it for which the Chachamim should invalidate the Get? (The witness himself is a valid witness for all other matters, and he signed in attestation of what actually occurred; he merely did not sign Lishmah.) Certainly, mid'Oraisa there is no reason for a Get not to be valid, since the Torah does not require Edei Chasimah in the first place.


(a) TOSFOS (DH Modeh) explains that the Rabanan invalidated a Get that is not signed Lishmah, because people might learn from it that the Kesivah also does not need to be Lishmah. Even though the Get was already written, they will assume the next time they write a Get that they do not need to write it Lishmah. (People will not realize that the Edei Chasimah are entirely extraneous to the validity of the Get.)

(b) The RASHBA suggests that it could happen that if the Edei Chasimah did not sign Lishmah, the Get is not valid mid'Oraisa. For example, in a case where the Get was handed over in front of Edei Mesirah (witnesses who see the giving of the Get) but those witnesses are no longer available (they died or left the country), then the onus of validation falls on the Edei Chasimah. Rebbi Elazar (3b) says that the Get can be validated through the Edei Chasimah in such a case. How, though, do the Edei Chasimah prove that the Get was delivered in front of witnesses (Edei Mesirah)? The answer is that since the Get was not forged, we assume that everything about the Get was done in the proper manner.

The Rashba says that when the Get is validated through the Edei Chasimah, their signatures and testimony become an integral part of the Get, since Beis Din will authenticate the Get based on their signatures. Therefore, just like every important part of the Get must be written Lishmah, the signatures -- through which the Get is being authenticated -- must also be written Lishmah! The signatures, in such a case, are considered part of the Kesivah.

This is why Rebbi Elazar says that when witnesses are signed on the Get she'lo Lishmah, the Get is invalid mid'Rabanan. The Chachamim were afraid that at a later time we would rely on the Edei Chasimah to validate the Get, in which case the Chasimah will have had to be Lishmah.

(c) The Rashba points out that according to the RIF, the Edei Chasimah who are not signed Lishmah might invalidate the Get *mid'Oraisa*. The Rif maintains that according to Rebbi Elazar, although it is the Edei Mesirah who empower the Get to be effective ("Edei Mesirah Karti"), Edei Chasimah can also make the Get valid without Edei Mesirah. (See TOSFOS, DH d'Kaima Lan.)

The Rashba suggests that according to the Rif, Rebbi Elazar will require that both the Edei Mesirah and Edei Chasimah be Lishmah, since they are both of equal importance. (The Rashba concludes that he does not favor this approach, since, if Edei Chasimah are included in the words "v'Kasav Lah," then every Get should require Edei Chasimah, and how could Rebbi Elazar permit writing a Get without Edei Chasimah?)


Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,