THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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GITIN 66 & 67 - Anonymously dedicated by an ardent supporter who wants the
Zechus of spreading Torah throughout the world.
1) TELLING A MESSENGER TO TELL OTHERS TO SIGN A GET
QUESTION: The Gemara says that if "Omer Imru" works, then the husband can
send a messenger to tell a scribe to write the Get and to tell witnesses to
sign the Get.
2) ATTRIBUTES OF THE SAGES
However, there is a rule that a witness may testify only about something
that he saw with his own eyes. He may not testify about something that his
friend told him. How, then, can this Get -- signed by witnesses whom the
messenger told to sign -- be valid? The witnesses who sign the Get are
testifying to its validity -- that is, they are testifying to the fact that
the husband wanted the Get to be written. But they did not hear directly
from the husband that he wanted the Get to be written! They only heard about
his desire from the messenger. How, then, can they testify about his desire
to write a Get?
(a) TOSFOS (DH Imru) answers that the rule that witnesses may not testify
about something that they did not see themselves applies only when they are
testifying about a specific event or action that occurred. In such a case,
the testimony was not "given over" to them as witnesses to testify. In our
case, though, the testimony was "given over" directly to these witnesses;
the messenger was sent by the husband to appoint these people to be
witnesses, thus "giving over" the testimony to them.
It is unclear how Tosfos answers the question. After all, practically
speaking, these witnesses did not actually hear the command of the husband!
(b) The NESIVOS (28:7) answers that in the case of the Get, the witnesses
are not testifying on any action or event that took place. Their entire
testimony is on the fact that the husband desires the Get to be written and
signed by them. Since the messenger who tells them to sign it is the
representative of the husband, he has the ability to convey the desire of
the husband to the witnesses. As long as they hear from the husband's
appointed representative that he wants them to sign the Get, they are
properly testifying about his desire.
Isi ben Yehudah enumerates the attributes of some of the Chachamim. The
Mefarshim explain the meaning of his various descriptions.
(a) "Rebbi Meir was a wise man and a scribe." The IYUN YAKOV explains that
the attribute of being a scribe is that he had a perfect memory of the Torah
and was able to write a Torah scroll without having to look into another one
to know what to write (see Megilah 18b).
The BEN YEHOYADA points out this is a rare combination of two attributes
that usually are not found together in one person. People who are very sharp
and sagacious tend not to have a phenomenal memory, while people who have a
phenomenal memory tend not to put their efforts into having a deep
understanding of what they learn. Rebbi Meir, though, had both attributes.
(b) "Rebbi Yehudah was a wise man when he would choose to be." RASHI
explains that this means that when Rebbi Yehudah wanted to delve into a
matter carefully and thoroughly, he was wise.
The ARUCH (quoted by the Maharsha) explains that Rebbi Yehudah was the
leader of the sages and he was always the first to speak. Whenever he wanted
to speak, he was able to speak words of wisdom at whim.
The MAHARATZ CHIYUS explains that Rebbi Yehudah had the ability to dwell
into the depths of the wisdom of the Torah in any situation in which he
found himself, regardless of how unsettling or troublesome it was.
(c) "Rebbi Tarfon was like a pile on nuts." RASHI explains that just as when
one removes a nut at the bottom of a pile of nuts, the entire pile of nuts
collapses, so, too, when Rebbi Tarfon was asked a question, he would cite
proofs from all parts of the written and oral Torah.
The BEN YEHOYADA adds that Isi ben Yehudah uses the term "nuts" to describe
Rebbi Tarfon because the Gematriya of "Egoz" (nut) is the same as that of
"Tov" (good) and the Torah is called Tov ("Lekach Tov;" Mishlei 4:2). In
addition, just like one must crack the shell to get to the fruit of the nut,
so, too, one must toil in order to "break open" the Sugya one is learning by
asking questions and analyzing it so that he will arrive at a proper
understanding of the Gemara.
(d) "The teaching of Rebbi Eliezer ben Yakov was Kav v'Naki (measured and
pure)." RASHI explains that although Rebbi Eliezer ben Yakov taught less (in
terms of quantity) than the other sages (his teaching was "measured"), that
which he taught was always accepted as Halachah (it was "pure"). The
MAHARSHA says that there are 102 Beraisos taught by Rebbi Eliezer ben Yakov
(102 is the Gematriya of "Kav").
The BEN YEHOYADA says that Isi ben Yehudah uses the term "Kav" because a
measure of a Kav is comprised of four Lugim, which represent the four basic
approaches to studying the Torah: Peshat, Remez, Derash, and Sod. He adds
that Torah is acquired by one who limits himself in worldly indulgence, like
the Kav of carobs that Rabbi Chanina would eat each week, which would be his
sustenance for the entire week.
3) THE GET OF THE MUTE
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that if one lost his speech and wants to
divorce his wife, we ask him, "Should we write a Get for your wife," and if
he nods his head, we test him three times to see if his mind is clear, and
then we write and give the Get to his wife for him.
4) STEALING FROM THE REISH GALUSA
The Mishnah says that we ask him if we wants us to "write" the Get. Based on
his response, we write *and* give the Get to his wife. This seems to
contradict the Mishnah earlier (66a) that states that if a man says only to
"write" the Get (and not "give" the Get), we may not give his wife the Get!
ANSWER: The PNEI YEHOSHUA answers that Rashi says that the Mishnah is
referring to someone who lost his ability of speech because of illness. Such
a person is like a Shechiv Mera for whom we write and give a Get even when
he only says to "write it" (and does not say to "give it").
QUESTION: Rav Sheshes did not trust the servants of the Reish Galusa, and he
wanted to demonstrate their wickedness to the Reish Galusa. In a scheme to
prove to the Reish Galusa that the servants are suspected of transgressing
the Aveirah of Ever Min ha'Chai, he told his own servant to steal a leg from
one of the Reish Galusa's animals. When the servants laid out the cuts of
the animal that they had prepared for the meal, there were only three legs.
They went and cut off the leg of a live animal and placed it before the
Reish Galusa and Rav Sheshes. Rav Sheshes then told his servant to place the
leg that he stole next to the other legs. In this manner, Rav Sheshes
exposed the wickedness of the servants of the Reish Galusa.
How was it permitted for Rav Sheshes to tell his servant to steal? The
Halachah is that one is prohibited to steal even if one plans to return the
item, such as when he wants to steal the item as a joke, or to anger his
(a) The BEN YEHOYADA answers that Rav Sheshes told his servant to steal the
leg of the animal in the presence of the Reish Galusa who was the owner of
the house and of the other servants. Since it was done with the consent of
the Reish Galusa, it is not considered stealing.
(b) The Ben Yehoyada also answers that the servant took the leg of the
animal in order to prevent the Reish Galusa and Rav Sheshes from sinning by
eating prohibited meat, for the servants were not trustworthy and were not
meticulous with the laws of food preparation. In order to demonstrate that
the Reish Galusa's servants were not trustworthy and thus to prevent people
from eating prohibited food, it was permitted to steal. (This is not to be
taken as the practical Halachah. In any situation, a competent rabbinical
authority must be consulted.)