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Gitin, 7

GITIN 7 - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y., out of love for Torah and those who study it.


QUESTION: The Gemara (6b) discusses Rebbi Evyasar's reliability as a Halachic authority with regard to three areas (bringing a Get from Bavel, Shirtut, and the misdeed of Pilegesh b'Giv'ah). The Gemara then digresses into a list of a number of seemingly unrelated discussions: 1. Mar Ukva's plea to Rebbi Elazar to allow him to speak up to the authorities against those who were causing him harm; 2. The question of why listening to music is not permitted (see Insights to Sotah 48a); 3. Derashos regarding the names of border towns in Eretz Yisrael; 4. The source for the prohibition of Kelila (a bridal tiara); 5. The Derashah of Rav Avira regarding giving Tzedakah regardless of whether one is rich or poor, and how doing so will save the giver from Gehinom.

What is the connection between these different teachings?


(a) The MAHARITZ CHIYUS writes that the connection between the teachings is external only:
1. The Gemara discusses the story of Mar Ukva's plea to save himself from his oppressors, because Rebbi Elazar replied to Mar Ukva by writing to him a verse with Shirtut. This is related to the laws of Shirtut which Rebbi Evyasar discussed earlier.

2. The same applies to the discussion of the source for the prohibition of listening to music. When Mar Ukva provided the source, he wrote the verse with Shirtut.

3. The discussion of the names of the border towns is cited here because it emphasizes the importance of remaining silent in the face of oppressors, and provides support for Rebbi Elazar's original answer to Mar Ukva (in statement #1) that when a person is subject to the taunts and abuse of oppressors, he should remain silent.

4. The discussion of the prohibition of Kelila is mentioned because of its similarity to the prohibition of music; both were instituted because of Zecher l'Churban.

5. The discussion of giving Tzedakah is mentioned simply because Rav Avira taught that Derashah, at times citing it in the name of Rebbi Ami and at times citing it in the name of Rav Asi, just like Rav Avira made the previous Derashah in the name of Rebbi Ami and Rebbi Asi regarding the verse, "Haser ha'Mitznefes" (which was the source for the prohibition of Kelila). Although Rav Avira does not cite that verse as a source for the prohibition of Kelila, after the Gemara brings that verse as the source, it cites Rav Avira who uses that verse for a different Derashah, and then it continues with another Derashah said by Rav Avira.

As the Maharitz Chiyus points out, this approach is not entirely sufficient, because the Gemara does not cite every statement of an Amora every time one of his statements is quoted. Rav Avira made many statements in the name of Rebbi Asi throughout Shas. See also the TUREI EVEN in Megilah (end of 2b) who shows that when the Chachamim provide a list of statements from a certain Amora, it is not necessarily an extensive list. (It is also evident from Rashi in various places that the connection between statements that the Gemara quotes is not just technical, related to the name of the person who said the statements, but the connection is thematic as well. That is, there is an additional factor besides the technical fact that connects them.) Accordingly, what more can be added to explain this Gemara?

(b) Geniva, who was oppressing Mar Ukva, was a member of the family of the Reish Galusa. We find elsewhere that the Reish Galusa and his confidants often abused their power and attempted to force people to fulfill their whims. The Gemara uses this incident with Mar Ukva and Geniva as an example to show the effects of being "Matil Eimah Yeseirah," of placing undue fear in one's home. Not only can such conduct cause one to transgress Halachos, but it can also cause a person to meet an untimely death, as was the case with Geniva.

2. The next Gemara discusses Mar Ukva's reply to those who asked him how we know that music is prohibited. The Yerushalmi, cited by Tosfos (6b, DH Amar Rebbi Yitzchak), expounds on that story and explains that Mar Ukva's reply was sent to the house of the *Reish Galusa*, the members of which were accustomed to arising and going to sleep to the sound of music. (In the Yerushalmi's version, Mar Ukva reversed the words of the verse in order to circumvent the necessity to write it with Shirtut.) Hence, the connection between this incident and the previous one recorded in the Gemara might be that this message of Mar Ukva was the source of strife between him and the Reish Galusa's household which led to the conviction of Geniva at the hands of the king. The Reish Galusa's household did not want to accept Mar Ukva's ruling, which is why Mar Ukva needed to provide them with an indisputable source.

3. The discussion of the names of the border towns is related to Rebbi Elazar's original advice to Mar Ukva to stand silent in the face of oppression, like the Maharitz Chiyus says (see also next Insight).

4. The following Gemara relates that the Reish Galusa asked Rav Huna for the source that Kelila is prohibited. Once again, it was the Reish Galusa -- who was accustomed to extravagance -- who wanted to make a Kelila for his daughter's marriage, and the Chachamim prohibited it because of Zecher l'Churban. Rav Chisda was afraid that the Reish Galusa would not listen to the words of the Chachamim, so he tried to find a source for the prohibition in the words of the Nevi'im. Rav Huna, though, insisted that it was only mid'Rabanan and that the verse was an Asmachta. He did not want the Reish Galusa to treat the words of the Chachamim lightly. He wanted to teach the Reish Galusa that even a rabbinic requirement obligates him, just like a verse.

5. The next Gemara -- which discusses giving Tzedakah -- cites a verse that teaches that even if a person is poor, and certainly if a person is rich, he should give Tzedakah. Why is it necessary to point out that certainly if a person is rich he should give Tzedakah? Why would one thing that a poor person has a greater obligation to give Tzedakah than a wealthy person? The Gemara says that the verse is teaching that a person who is rich should not consider the wealth to be his own earnings and a result of his own luck and thus spend it on extravagant items which people are not normally accustomed to buying, like the Reish Galusa did. Rather, one should realize that all of his money is a gift from Hashem, and if one receives more money, the purpose of it is to give more Tzedakah; instead of spending it on Kelila for a wedding, one should spend the extra money to provide Simchah for poor people at their weddings. The verse is emphasizing that the fact that a person is wealthy does not entitle him to spend more money on luxuries for himself than is necessary. Rather, it obligates him to give more to Tzedakah than other people.

QUESTIONS: The Gemara presents two exegetical interpretations of verses listing towns on the southern border of the region of Shevet Yehudah: "Kinah, v'Dimonah, v'Ad'adah" (Yehoshua 15:22) teaches that when a person is being angered by his friend and remains silent, "Shochen Adei Ad" -- the One who dwells eternally -- will take up his case. "Tziklag, u'Madmanah, v'Sansanah" (Yehoshua 15:31) teaches that when a person has a complaint against his fellow man for taking away his livelihood and yet he remains silent, then the "Shochen ba'Sneh" -- the One who dwells in the [burning] bush -- will take up his case.
(a) Why does the Gemara address only these sets of towns from all of the different sets of towns listed in Sefer Yehoshua?

(b) Why does the first verse allude to Hashem by the appellation of "Shochen Adei Ad," while the second verse alludes to Hashem as "Shochen ba'Sneh?" (See IYUN YAKOV.)

(a) The MAHARIM SHIF explains that these lists contain names of towns that are curious-sounding in that they are the only ones that have repetitive syllables ("Ad'adah," "Sansanah"). The name of the cities might have been only "Adah" and "Sanah," and the syllables were doubled in order to teach these Derashos.

(b) The first verse teaches that if a person is being angered by his friend, he should remain silent, because he is not the only one who is being angered by others and remains patient. Hashem also tolerates sinners all the time who willfully transgress His word and "anger" Him, and yet He remains silent and is "Erech Apayim," slow to anger, like the name "Shochen Adei Ad" implies -- Hashem remains patient, forever waiting for the sinner to do Teshuvah. (The Gemara in Megilah (31a) says that the verse which uses this phrase to describe Hashem says, "Shochen Ad v'Kadosh Shemo, Marom v'Kadosh Eshkon, v'Es Daka u'Shefal Ru'ach..." (Yeshayah 57:15). teaching that as great as Hashem is, He acts in a way that teaches us humility and that Hashem lowers Himself to take care of the poor people.)

The verse says that just like Hashem eventually brings to justice the Resha'im who anger Him, a person can rest assured that the people oppressing him will have to face justice at some point, even if he remains silent.

The next Derashah discusses someone whose livelihood is being taken away by another person and yet he remains silent. The verse says that he is not the only one who is suffering a loss because of what others are perpetrating against him. We find that Hashem appeared to Moshe in a burning bush in order to teach him that "Imo Anochi b'Tzarah" -- "I am with him in his suffering" (Tehilim 91:15) -- that when Klal Yisrael suffers, Hashem, as it were, experiences the suffering with them. When Pharaoh subjected the Jewish people to forced labor, there was, as it were, a "Tzimtzum" -- Hashem's Divine abode was restricted, for the oppressor takes away from Hashem's peace, as it were. We know that Hashem ultimately does justice to sinners who cause "Tzimtzum" to the Divine presence by distracting His people from serving him, the same way the person whose livelihood is being infringed upon can rest assured that even if he remains silent, Hashem will eventually take up his case and see to it that justice is meted out.


QUESTION: The Gemara discusses the Halachah of a Shali'ach who delivers a Get from a boat traveling on a river in Eretz Yisrael. The Gemara suggests that the Halachah depends on the Machlokes between Rebbi Yehudah and the Chachamim, regarding whether the plants that grow in soil in a boat traveling on a river in Eretz Yisrael is Chayav in Terumos u'Ma'aseros. The Gemara says that if such soil is Chayav in Terumos u'Ma'aseros, it must be considered part of Eretz Yisrael, and therefore one who brings a Get from the boat would not have to say "b'Fanai Nichtav."

Why does the Gemara suggest that the Halachah of Gitin is connected to the Chiyuv of Terumos u'Ma'aseros? The reason why the Chachamim instituted that a Shali'ach say "b'Fanai Nichtav" was because of the concern that the Get was not written Lishmah, or because of the concern that there will be no witnesses available to validate the Get. People in a boat traveling in the middle of Eretz Yisrael are certainly available to validate the Get if necessary. In addition, if they come from Eretz Yisrael, then they are assumed to be knowledgeable in the laws of Lishmah. The Halachah of bringing a Get from a boat should depend on whether the witnesses are available to validate it, and whether they are knowledgeable in the laws of Lishmah; it should *not* depend on whether or nor plants that grow on a boat are Chayav in Terumos u'Ma'aseros!

ANSWER: TOSFOS (DH Atzitz Nakuv, and 8a, DH Rebbi Yehudah Omer) explains that the people writing the Get are certainly considered to be available to validate it (Metzuyin l'Kaimo) and they know that it must be written Lishmah (Beki'in Lishmah). Nevertheless, if the boat is not considered to be in Eretz Yisrael, they would be required to say "b'Fanai Nichtav" due to a Gezeirah of "she'Lo Tachlok b'Medinas ha'Yam," to avoid differentiating between areas outside of Eretz Yisrael; all of Medinas ha'Yam is given the same Halachah.

The Gemara proposes this logic earlier (4a) regarding cities that are "Muvla'os," when it explains why Rebbi Eliezer requires a Shali'ach coming from such cities to say "b'Fanai Nichtav" even though they are Metzuyin l'Kaimo and they are Beki'in Lishmah -- the reason a Shali'ach must say "b'Fanai Nichtav" from there is because "she'Lo Tachlok b'Medinas ha'Yam." Although the Chachamim argue with regard to "Muvla'os" and maintain that the Gezeirah applies only to areas that are distant from Eretz Yisrael and not to areas bordering on Eretz Yisrael, they admit that when a Shali'ach brings a Get within a country that is distant from Eretz Yisrael -- but which happens to have frequent internal travel ("Shayaros Metzuyos") and the people there happen to be Beki'in Lishmah -- he must still say "b'Fanai Nichtav" because of "she'Lo Tachlok b'Medinas ha'Yam."

(Bavel, according to Rav on 6a, is an exception to this rule. Since there was a large Jewish population there, and it was known to have "Shayaros Metzuyos" and to be Beki'in Lishmah, there was fear that it would be confused with the rest of Medinas ha'Yam (see CHIDUSHEI HA'RAN, cited in Insights to 6a).)

A river in Eretz Yisrael is not considered to be like "Muvla'os" because people do not normally write Gitin there, and therefore the Chachamim did not exclude it from being considered like Chutz la'Aretz.

How can we suggest that the Chachamim considered all of Chutz la'Aretz to have the requirement of saying "b'Fanai Nichtav" according to Rava? According to Rava, the enactment to say "b'Fanai Nichtav" does not seem to have anything to do with Chutz la'Aretz per se; rather, "b'Fanai Nichtav" must be said whenever traveling from one Medinah to a different Medinah, but is *not* said whenever traveling within a single Medinah where "Shayaros Metzuyos." What difference does it make if we call the river "Medinas ha'Yam" or not? The fact that it is called "Medinas ha'Yam" should not automatically give it the requirement to say "b'Fanai Nichtav" if there are "Shayaros Metzuyos!"

The same question may be asked on the Gemara earlier (4a), which says "she'Lo Tachlok b'Medinas ha'Yam" even according to Rava.

The answer is that according to Rava, the decree was to say "b'Fanai Nichtav" when traveling from one Medinah to another. If a river in Eretz Yisrael is not considered to be part of Eretz Yisrael, then it is considered to be a different Medinah, a Medinah in its own right. Even though there are "Shayaros Metzuyos," a Shali'ach must still say "b'Fanai Nichtav" since the Get is being brought across a border from one Medinah to another. The same applies to two neighboring cities on opposite sides of the border between two Medinos. The requirement to say "b'Fanai Nichtav" applies because of "she'Lo Tachlok b'Medinah l'Medinah," according to Rebbi Eliezer, even if one city is "Muvla" within the border of the other Medinah. The Tana Kama of our Mishnah will exempt any cities in different Medinos which are either "Muvla" or "Samuch" to the other Medinah.

However, if the decree was to say "b'Fanai Nichtav" even when there are "Shayaros Metzuyos" in certain places in order "she'Lo Tachlok b'Medinas ha'Yam," then why should "b'Fanai Nichtav" *not* be necessary after the people became Beki'in Lishmah in Bavel, or after transportation between places in Bavel became frequent (according to Rashi on 6a, m'Chi Asa)? There is a rule that any Gezeirah made by the Chachamim "b'Minyan" needs another Minyan of Chachamim to remove it!. Where do we find that the Chachamim removed the Gezeirah to say "b'Fanai Nichtav?"

The answer must be similar to the answer that TOSFOS gives to a parallel question in Avodah Zarah (35a and 57b). The Gezeirah was made only to apply to places which were not Beki'in Lishmah, or which did not have "Shayaros Metzuyos" between them. Even though -- in a country where the Gezeirah applied generally, it also applied to the few cities that were exceptions and *were* Beki'in Lishmah and Metzuyin l'Kaimo, nevertheless for an *entire* country that was Beki'in Lishmah and Metzuyin l'Kaimo, the Gezeirah was never instituted. (See also Tosfos in Beitzah 6a, DH v'ha'Idna.)

QUESTION: The Mishnah states that plants that grow in soil of Chutz la'Aretz that is in a boat on a river in Eretz Yisrael is Chayav in Ma'aser and Shevi'is. Rebbi Yehudah exempts such plants, except when the boat is "Gosheshes" (touching the riverbed). The Gemara suggests that the same Machlokes would apply to the case of an Atzitz Nakuv on top of stilts, in Eretz Yisrael.

With regard to Atzitz Nakuv, the Gemara does not mention that it contains soil of Chutz la'Aretz. Presumably, the Halachah would apply regardless of the source of the soil that it contains. Why, then, does the Mishnah mention specifically that it is soil of "*Chutz la'Aretz*" that is coming in the boat?


(a) The MISHNEH L'MELECH (Hilchos Bikurim 2:9, DH v'Da she'Rabeinu Ovadya) writes that it is an obvious and simple fact that soil of Chutz la'Aretz and soil of Eretz Yisrael have the same Halachah: when it is in an Atzitz Nakuv resting on the ground, it is considered to be part of Eretz Yisrael, and when it is separated from Eretz Yisrael it is considered Chutz la'Aretz and is exempt from Ma'aser and Shevi'is. He adds that this point is clear from our Sugya as well (presumably because if plants growing in soil of Eretz Yisrael are Chayav in Ma'aser when the soil is on the boat, then why should a Shali'ach who brings a Get from the boat be Chayav to say "b'Fanai Nichtav?"). The reason why the Mishnah says that the soil is from Chutz la'Aretz, he explains, is to teach that even though the soil is from Chutz la'Aretz, nevertheless, when it arrives in a boat within the boundaries of Eretz Yisrael (according to the Chachamim in every case, or according to Rebbi Yehudah when the boat is "Gosheshes") it has the status of Eretz Yisrael.

(b) However, RABEINU KRESKAS and ME'IRI explain that the Atzitz Nakuv resting on top of stilts -- which the Gemara compares to plants in a boat on a river in Eretz Yisrael -- also contains soil from Chutz la'Aretz. It seems clear from their words that there is a difference between soil of Chutz la'Aretz and soil of Eretz Yisrael. If the soil would be from Eretz Yisrael, then even Rebbi Yehudah would agree that it is Chayav in Terumos u'Ma'aseros.

This also seems evident from TOSFOS (DH Ha Rebbi Yehudah) who asks why is a Shali'ach not Chayav to say "b'Fanai Nichtav" when he brings a Get from an upper story (Aliyah) of a house in Eretz Yisrael? After all, it should be no different from a case of soil from Chutz la'Aretz that was brought to that Aliyah, which would be exempt from Ma'aser (because it is like it is in an Atzitz she'Eino Nakuv)! This implies that Tosfos holds that plants growing in soil from Eretz Yisrael are Chayav in Terumos u'Ma'aseros, even if they are growing in an Atzitz she'Eino Nakuv.

Tosfos must have learned this from the Mishnah which implies that soil from Eretz Yisrael that is in a boat that is not "Gosheshes" is Chayav in Ma'aseros even according to Rebbi Yehudah. (The TOSFOS HA'ROSH, when asking this question, omits the words "[soil] of *Chutz la'Aretz*," which implies that he learns the Gemara like the Mishneh l'Melech.)

The MIKDASH DAVID (Zera'im 55a) cites proof to this from the Yerushalmi (Chalah 2:1) which says that if a bank of land from the Israeli side of the Jordan River washes away to the other side, the plants that grow there are Chayav in Terumos u'Ma'aseros. This implies that the land of Eretz Yisrael is *always* Chayav in Terumos u'Ma'aseros, no matter where it is (unless it is placed on top of land of Chutz la'Aretz, in which case it becomes Batel). The Yerushalmi (Chalah 4:4:) explains that the reason soil of Chutz la'Aretz in a boat becomes Chayav in Terumos u'Ma'aseros is because of the Halachah that when land outside of Eretz Yisrael is conquered it becomes like land of Eretz Yisrael with regard to Ma'aseros. The soil inside of the boat (when it is not "Gosheshes" according to the Chachamim, or when it is "Gosheshes" according to Rebbi Yehudah) is Chayav in Ma'aseros, because it turns into soil of Eretz Yisrael, since it is on a river that is inside Eretz Yisrael (and it is as if it was conquered). (See also the explanation of MAHARI BEN MALKITZEDEK on the Mishnah there.) This implies that if the soil originally came from Eretz Yisrael, it would certainly be Chayav in Terumos u'Ma'aseros.

According to this opinion, why should a person bringing a Get from a boat in Eretz Yisrael be obligated to say "b'Fanai Nichtav" just because the soil of *Chutz la'Aretz* is exempt from Terumos u'Ma'aseros? If the boat would be carrying soil of Eretz Yisrael, it would be Chayav in Terumos u'Ma'aseros, and the only reason why the soil of Chutz la'Aretz is exempt is because it is not mixed together with the land of Eretz Yisrael (and therefore it is not considered to have been conquered) and it is not Batel to the rest of the land of Eretz Yisrael! The boat itself, though, might be considered to be in Eretz Yisrael, but it cannot be Mevatel the soil of Chutz la'Aretz inside of it because the soil of Chutz la'Aretz still remains separate and distinct!

It must be that the soil of Chutz la'Aretz becomes Batel to Eretz Yisrael when it is brought to Eretz Yisrael -- *not* because it is no longer recognizable and distinct, but rather because everything underneath it is Eretz Yisrael, and the upper soil cannot have a different status than everything beneath it, unless it is separated from the rest of the ground (in an Atzitz she'Eino Nakuv). Therefore, if a boat floating on the river would be considered to be touching the ground of Eretz Yisrael, then the soil inside of it would be like topsoil (since the boat is considered like an Atzitz Nakuv). Since Rebbi Yehudah holds that plants that grow in the boat are not Chayav in Terumos u'Ma'aseros, he does not consider the boat to be resting on the land of Eretz Yisrael, since the water is not considered like part of Eretz Yisrael. Consequently, the person who is standing there on the boat is considered to be standing in Chutz la'Aretz.

(According to this opinion, whenever the Mishnah discusses the Halachah of Atzitz Nakuv, it is discussing an Atzitz Nakuv filled with soil from Chutz la'Aretz.)

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