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Gitin, 24

GITIN 24 & 25 - have been anonymously dedicated by a very special Marbitz Torah and student of the Daf from Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.


QUESTION: The Mishnah teaches that when a woman brings her own get from Medinas ha'Yam, she must say "b'Fanai Nichtav, uv'Fanai Nechtam." The Gemara concludes that there are only two possibilities of situations in which a woman would have to say "b'Fanai Nichtav" when bringing her own Get. Both of those situations entail the husband giving the Get to his wife and telling her that he does not want it to take effect until she reaches a certain place. The Gemara's first possibility is that the husband also tells her that when she reaches that place, she should appoint another person as a Shali'ach l'Holachah to take the Get from her and to give it back to her (at which point it will take effect). The second possibility is that the husband tells her that when she reaches the place where the Get will take effect, she should say "b'Fanai Nichtav" in front of the Beis Din, and have the Beis Din appoint a Shali'ach who will give her the Get.

What is the difference between these two cases? In both possible scenarios, the woman gives the Get to another Shali'ach who gives it back to her. What difference does it make if she appoints the Shali'ach, or if Beis Din appoints the Shali'ach?


(a) TOSFOS (DH Eimar) explains that the purpose of the Beis Din, in the second case, is to witness her saying "b'Fanai Nichtav."

According to the first explanation of the Gemara, the woman does not have to say "b'Fanai Nichtav" when she appoints a second Shali'ach to take the Get from her, since the second Shali'ach will not have to testify about the validity of the Get at all.

In a normal case of a Shali'ach who brings a Get, at the time that the Shali'ach gives the Get to a second Shali'ach, the first Shali'ach must do so in Beis Din and must say "b'Fanai Nichtav," and Beis Din then appoints the second Shali'ach to deliver the Get. The second Shali'ach simply has to say, "I was appointed by Beis Din," at the time that he delivers the Get (29b).

In the case of our Gemara, though, if the woman who is receiving the Get can personally testify "b'Fanai Nichtav," then it is not necessary for the Shali'ach who gives her the Get to testify "b'Fanai Nichtav." Rather, the woman herself can testify "b'Fanai Nichtav" at the time that she receives the Get. Therefore, when the woman herself serves as the original Shali'ach l'Holachah, she may appoint a second Shali'ach without Beis Din.

(b) The other Rishonim do not accept this explanation of Tosfos. They argue that the woman cannot testify "b'Fanai Nichtav" at the time that the second Shali'ach gives her the Get, since she is no longer the Shali'ach of the husband, and the Chachamim gave only a *Shali'ach* the trustworthiness to say "b'Fanai Nichtav." (According to Tosfos, apparently the Chachamim accepted the testimony of any participant in the act of delivering a Get, since that participant says "b'Fanai Nichtav" in front of Beis Din and is thus careful to verify the facts that he is relating; see Gemara, beginning of 3a, and Tosfos 5b, DH v'Yitlenu.)

The other Rishonim, therefore, explain exactly the opposite of Tosfos, that according to the first explanation of the Gemara, the woman *does* have to say "b'Fanai Nichtav" (in front of Beis Din) at the time that she gives the Get to the second Shali'ach. However, the second Shali'ach does not have to say "b'Fanai Nichtav" or "I am a Shali'ach of Beis Din" when he delivers the Get to the woman. Since he does not have to be a Shali'ach of Beis Din, the woman may appoint him as a Shali'ach.

The second explanation of the Gemara maintains that the second Shali'ach does have to say, "I am a Shali'ach of Beis Din," and therefore he must be appointed by Beis Din and not by the woman herself.


QUESTION: Abaye explains that if there are two couples in the same city with the same names, one of the husbands may give a Get to his wife only with Edei Mesirah present, and according to Rebbi Elazar. Without Edei Mesirah, the Get will not be valid, since we must suspect that it was written by the second husband (with the same name), and not by the husband of the wife who is holding the Get. With Edei Mesirah the Get is valid, because the Edei Mesirah testify that they saw her husband give her the Get.

Why does the Gemara say that the Get is valid with Edei Mesirah "and according to Rebbi Elazar?" Even according to Rebbi Meir, the Get should be valid if the woman can bring Edei Mesirah or other witnesses who testify that her husband wrote it!


(a) TOSFOS (DH b'Edei Mesirah; 2b, DH v'Rabanan; 22a, DH Man Chachamim; Kesuvos 94a, DH Leima) proves from this Gemara that according to the opinion that holds Edei Chasimah Karti, the proof that this woman's husband is the one who wrote the Get must come from the signatures of the Edei Chasimah themselves. Even if external witnesses are brought to prove that the husband wrote the Get, the get is not valid since it is not "Muchach mi'Tocho;" the details of the Get cannot be proven from the signatures themselves that are signed in the Get. Therefore, the Gemara maintains that when there are two couples in the same city with the same names, neither can write a Get for the other according to Rebbi Meir, unless the Get itself contains some indication as to which husband wrote the Get.

(b) RASHI, however, argues with this assumption of Tosfos in a number of places. Rashi maintains that even according to Rebbi Meir, who says Edei Chasimah Karti, external proof may be brought to show which husband wrote the Get (or to testify about any of the other important details of the Get).

For this reason, Rashi earlier (2b, DH v'Rabanan) writes that two couples in the same city with the same names *may* divorce their wives without writing more specific identifying details in the Get.

Similarly, Rashi implies (22b, DH Rebbi Elazar) that if a Get is written on erasable paper ("Neyar Machuk," material on which erasures cannot be discerned), when the woman brings external proof (such as the Edei Mesirah, or the Edei Chasimah themselves) to testify that nothing was erased from the Get, the Get should be valid (if the Rabanan had not invalidated it due to a Gezeirah; see Insights to 22b).

Similarly, Rashi in our Sugya does not quote the words of the Gemara "v'Rebbi Elazar Hi" (the Get is valid only according to Rebbi Elazar). It seems that Rashi understands that the Gemara mentions Rebbi Elazar only because, according to Rebbi Elazar, there are always Edei Mesirah, and thus it will be easy to validate the Get (like Rashi writes on 20b, DH v'Rebbi Elazar Hi). However, according to Rebbi Meir as well, if there happened to have been Edei Mesirah and these Edim are brought to prove that the husband wrote the Get, the Get will be valid. (Rashi maintains that according to Rebbi Meir, Edei Mesirah are not required, in contrast to the view of Rabeinu Tam cited by Tosfos on 4a, DH d'Kaima Lan.)

Strong support can be brought for Rashi's opinion from the Sugya on Daf 26a, which discusses at length the validity of a Get which was lost and refound; are we concerned that another person in the same city with the same name wrote the Get, or not? It is clear, though, that the person who *did* write the Get may use it to divorce his wife. According to Tosfos, the entire Sugya must be exclusively following the opinion of Rebbi Elazar, although it does not make mention of him at all (as TOSFOS 27a DH Kan notes). According to Rashi, however, the Sugya may certainly follow the opinion of Rebbi Meir as well.

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