THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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GITIN 62 - Anonymously dedicated by an ardent supporter who wants the
Zechus of spreading Torah throughout the world.
1) GREETING A NOCHRI WITH "SHALOM"
QUESTION: The Mishnah (61a) states that one may greet a Nochri with "Shalom"
for the sake of peace. The Gemara here says, however, that it is prohibited
to greet a Nochri with a double greeting of "Shalom, Shalom." The Gemara
says that Rav Chisda would always greet a Nochri first, before the Nochri
greeted him, with "Shalom."
2) INITIATING A GREETING TO A NOCHRI
Why is there a need for a special Heter of maintaining peace to greet the
Nochri? Why would greeting a Nochri be prohibited otherwise?
In addition, why is it prohibited to double the greeting and say "Shalom,
Shalom?" Why did Rav Chisda precede the Nochri with his greeting?
(a) RASHI explains that the "Shalom" is one of the names of Hashem, and it
should not be used as a greeting for a Nochri, if not for the purpose of
preventing animosity. (See Mishnah in Berachos 54a which says that there was
a special enactment made to permit greeting one's friend with the name of
Hashem. Rashi in Makos 23b says that this is referring to the greeting of
"Shalom," which was enacted in order to fulfill Hashem's will for peace
among us.) Since saying "Shalom" to a Nochri is permitted only to prevent
animosity, it is only permitted to say "Shalom" a single time because that
suffices to prevent animosity. To say a double greeting of "Shalom, Shalom"
would not be necessary to prevent animosity and therefore it is not
HALACHAH: The TUR (YD 148) writes that it is recommended to initiate the
greeting to a Nochri for the reason that the Ritva writes. The SHULCHAN
ARUCH records this as the Halachah (YD 148:10).
(b) The ME'IRI explains that one should not repeat a greeting to a Nochri
since there is concern that as a result of doing so, one will become too
friendly and close with the Nochri and begin to learn from his ways. Based
on this, the Me'iri explains that Rav Chisda went out of his way to greet a
Nochri first, before the Nochri greeted him, because it was customary for
the one who was greeted to add to the greeting of the first person. Rav
Chisda was concerned that the Nochri would greet him with a blessing and he
would have to add to that in his answer. By initiating the greeting, he
could keep it to a bare minimum and prevent unnecessary closeness.
The RITVA (Mosad ha'Rav Kook) writes in a similar vein, that Rav Chisda
initiated the greeting so that he would not have to answer the Nochri with a
double greeting as was customary.
The Gemara continues with an incident relating how the Talmidei Chachamim
greeted one another with a double greeting. According to the Me'iri's
explanation, this is a fitting contrast to the previous Gemara, which says
that one may not extend a double greeting to a Nochri. According to the
Me'iri, we do not extend double greetings to Nochrim because we must limit
the relationship that we have with them, but the opposite is true when it
comes to greeting Talmidei Chachamim: we should go out of our way to develop
a relationship with them and to learn from their ways.
The two explanations, that of Rashi and that of the Me'iri and the Ritva,
for why we do not repeat "Shalom" to a Nochri, have Halachic implications.
According to Rashi's explanation, it is only prohibited to extend a double
greeting to a Nochri when one uses the term "Shalom," since the repetition
is an unnecessary use of Hashem's name. Repeating a different greeting
("Hello, hello") would be permitted according to Rashi. According to the
explanation of the Me'iri, any type of greeting should not be repeated.
The BEIS YOSEF (YD 148) cites the ORCHOS CHAIM who says that it is permitted
to repeat a greeting if he is not using the term "Shalom." The TAZ cites the
same ruling from the SMAK.
QUESTION: Rav Chisda went out of his way to initiate the greeting to a
Nochri in order to avoid the problem of repeating "Shalom" (see Me'iri
quoted in previous Insight). This seems to contradict the implication of the
Gemara in Berachos (17a) that says that Raban Yochanan ben Zakai always
initiated the greeting to his fellow man, "*even* to a Nochri in the
marketplace." This implies that there is *less* of a reason to initiate a
greeting to a Nochri than to a Jew! However, according to our Gemara, there
is *more* of a reason to initiate the greeting to a Nochri than to a Jew!
ANSWER: The Gemara in Berachos stresses that Raban Yochanan ben Zakai
initiated the greeting even to a Nochri "in the marketplace (Shuk)." It is
possible that the Gemara stresses this point because it is referring to a
Nochri who was a complete stranger, with whom Raban Yochanan ben Zakai was
not familiar, and thus Raban Yochanan ben Zakai had not concern that the
Nochri might greet him first. Nevertheless, Raban Yochanan ben Zakai still
initiated the greeting. The Gemara there is telling us that even in such a
case, where there is no special reason for him to initiate the greeting,
still Raban Yochanan ben Zakai did so anyway. (TAZ YD 148:6)
3) A WOMAN WHO WANTS TO BE DIVORCED
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that a man who sent a Shali'ach to bring a Get
to his wife, or to receive a Get for his wife, may can change his mind as
long as his wife did not yet receive the Get. RASHI explains that he may
change his mind because the Get is a Chov (a liability, and not a benefit)
for his wife, and one cannot appoint a Shali'ach to carry out a transaction
that is a Chov for someone else without that person's explicit consent.
4) A WOMAN WHO APPOINTS A SHALI'ACH TO RECEIVE HER GET AND THEN CHANGES HER
According to Rashi's explanation, what would be the Halachah in a case where
the woman says that she wants to be divorced? It would seem that since she
has revealed to us that the Get is beneficial and desirable to her, as soon
as the husband gives the Get to a Shali'ach and appoints that Shali'ach to
accept the Get on behalf of his wife, she should be divorced! If this is
true, then even when the husband changes his mind after giving the Get to
the Shali'ach, the Get is still valid since it was received by the Shali'ach
on behalf of the woman before the man changed his mind. There is no mention
of such a Halachah, though, in the Gemara.
(a) The RAN, RASHBA, and RITVA quote a Yerushalmi that says that even in
such a case, the husband may change his mind and repeal the Get as long as
it has not yet been given to the woman herself. The Yerushalmi explains that
even though she says that she wants the Get, this is not a proof that she
always wanted it, such as at the time that the Get was given over to the
Shali'ach, or perhaps she changed her mind at that time and decided that she
did not want to be divorced.
The BEIS YOSEF (EH 140) says that according to the above view, there is room
to say that if there are witnesses who saw that even at the time that the
Get was given to the Shali'ach, the woman said that she wants to be
divorced, then the Shali'ach may function as her Shali'ach l'Kabalah and
receive the Get for her, and the husband would not be able to change his
mind after the Shali'ach receives it.
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that when the woman appoints a Shali'ach to
receive the Get for her, once her Shali'ach receives the Get, the divorce
takes effect immediately and the husband cannot change his mind and recall
the Get. The Yerushalmi quoted above (see previous Insight) says that even
when the woman expresses a desire to be divorced, we are concerned that she
changed her mind before the husband gave the Get to the Shali'ach that he
appointed to receive it for her. Why, then, are we not concerned that she
will change her mind about the divorce when *she* appoints a Shali'ach to
receive the Get?
(a) The PNEI YEHOSHUA answers that the very act of appointing a Shali'ach
shows that there is no fear that she will change her mind. The act of
appointing a Shali'ach is clear evidence that she has so strongly decided
that she wants the divorce that there is no concern that she will change her
mind (of course, she may actively annul the Shelichus if she indeed opts not
to receive the Get). In the case of the Yerushalmi, it was the husband who
appointed the Shali'ach, and the wife merely expressed her desire to get
divorced but did not actually appoint a Shali'ach, and therefore we must
fear that she might change her mind.
(b) RAV SHIMON SHKOP (Ma'areches ha'Kinyanim 4) explains that once the woman
appoints a Shali'ach, she empowers him with the ability to receive the Get
for her unless she explicitly nullifies him from being a Shali'ach for her.
She effects a change in status by making a Shali'ach, and that status
remains the status quo unless we know for sure otherwise. When the Shali'ach
comes to receive the Get, there is a Chazakah that he is her Shali'ach and
that she wants the Get. Just by changing her mind and deciding that she does
not to want to get divorced will not remove the power that she has given
over to the Shali'ach. Therefore, as long as we do not know that she has
nullified the Shali'ach, we leave him in his status quo and treat him as her
Shali'ach. In the case of the Yerushalmi, where she just expresses her
desire to get divorced, we cannot assume that her desire will continue
unless we know for sure that it did continue, because no formal status was
created by her original desire such that we may assume that it is still her
There is support to this approach (as opposed to that of the Pnei Yehoshua)
from the RAN on the Mishnah. The Mishnah says that when the woman appoints a
Shali'ach to receive the Get for her, the husband cannot change his mind
once he gives the Get to the Shali'ach. If, however, the husband says to her
Shali'ach that he does not want him to receive the Get as her Shali'ach but
just as a Shali'ach that will deliver the Get to her (a Shali'ach
l'Holachah), then he may still change his mind (since the divorce will not
take effect until she receives the Get).
The Ran explains that even if the husband says that he does not want the
Shali'ach to receive the Get as her Shali'ach but that he should be an
unappointed messenger on her behalf and accept for her the Get through the
mechanism of "Zechiyah," the divorce will not take effect until she actually
receives the Get, because "Zechiyah" works only when we know that the
intended recipient definitely wants the item (i.e. it is a "Zechus," a
benefit, for him or her). The Ran explains that although she expressed
interest in getting divorced by the fact that she appointed a Shali'ach to
receive the Get, we are concerned that she changed her mind.
We see from here that even though she performed an act of appointing a
Shali'ach to receive the Get, the divorce will take place at the time the
Shali'ach receives the Get only if he receives it as her appointed Shali'ach
(and we are not concerned that she made an act of annulment), but if that
same Shali'ach receives it as an unappointed Shali'ach then the divorce will
not take effect when he receives the Get since we are concerned that she
changed her mind (since the Shali'ach is not receiving the Get in the
capacity of his status as *her* Shali'ach) -- even though she did an act of
appointing him as her Shali'ach.
RASHI explains that the only way that the husband can prevent the divorce
from taking effect at the time her Shali'ach receives it is by saying that
he does not want the Shali'ach to receive it as his wife's Shali'ach but
rather as his own Shali'ach to bring the Get to his wife. According to
Rashi's explanation, there is room to say that if the husband would say that
he wants the Shali'ach to receive the Get as an unappointed Shali'ach, then
the Get would take effect right when he receives it. This is compatible with
the Pnei Yehoshua's logic. (E. Kornfeld)