THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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GITIN 72 (27 Nisan) - has been dedicated to the memory of ha'Rav Shmuel (ben
Aharon) Grunfeld of Jerusalem/Efrat. Rav Shmuel was a truly great Torah
scholar, whose tragic death left all who knew him with an inconsolable sense
1) STIPULATING THAT THE GET TAKE EFFECT AFTER DEATH
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that when a man gives a Get to his wife and
stipulates that the Get should take place when he dies, the Get is not valid
(since a Get cannot take effect after the husband's death). The Gemara cites
the opinion of Rebbi Yosi who says that in such a case the Get does take
effect, because since the date is written in the Get, we interpret the man's
stipulation to mean that at the time that the husband dies, the Get will
take effect *retroactively* from the time of the date written in the Get.
RASHI (DH v'Rav Huna) explains that Rebbi Yosi's logic (in a case of a
person who gives a gift to take effect after his death) is that if the
person's intention was to give the gift after his death, then he would not
have written the date in the document.
We learned earlier (17a) that there is an enactment that every Get must have
the date written in it. However, in order for the date written in the
document to be proof that the man wants the transaction to take place from
that date, he must have had the option *not* to write the date in the
document. But in the case of a Get, he *must* write the date! How, then, can
the fact that the date is written in the Get be proof that he wants the Get
to take effect from that date?
(a) The TORAS GITIN answers that even though a date must be written in the
Get, if the man would have wanted the Get to take effect only after his
death, then he should have written in the Get the date as "*the time of his
death*" (even though he would not be writing a specific date since he does
not yet know when he will die, it suffices to write a time that can easily
be verified). Since he did not write "the time of his death" in the Get, but
rather the actual date on which the Get was written, we assume that he wants
it to take effect from the time it was written.
(b) The PNEI YEHOSHUA answers that when Rashi writes that the proof that the
man wants the Get to take effect from the time it was written is from the
fact that he wrote the date, Rashi is only referring to a case in which the
man wrote that he wants it to take effect "*after he dies*." Our Mishnah,
though, is dealing with a case where he wrote that it should take effect
"*if* he dies." Since the term "if..." can be interpreted to mean that it
should take effect retroactively (see Abaye in our Gemara), Rebbi Yosi holds
that we use the date written in the Get to interpret the term "if he dies"
to mean that it will take place retroactively even though we do not have the
above-mentioned proof that that is his intention.
(c) The MITZPEH EISAN says that Rashi's opinion earlier (17a) is that it is
enough to write the year in which the Get was written in order to satisfy
the rabbinic requirement for writing the date in the Get. Since the man went
ahead and specified the actual date when he did not need to do so (since the
year would have sufficed), we use this as proof that he wanted the Get to
take effect retroactively from that day.
2) THE GET OF A DEATHLY ILL PERSON WHO RECOVERS
QUESTION: Rav Huna says that the Get of a deathly ill person is like his
gift. Just like he can retract his gift if he recovers from his illness, so,
too, he can retract the Get. Rabah and Rava disagree with Rav Huna.
RASHI explains that Rav Huna is referring even to a case in which the man
did not specify that he was giving the Get only on the condition that he
will die from the illness. We assess and assume that it was still his intent
to give the Get only on the condition that he die as a result of the
illness. The RAN and RITVA infer from Rashi later (73a, DH Lo) that if the
man stated a condition that the Get take effect if he dies, then everyone
agrees that the Get is annulled if he recovers.
TOSFOS cites RABEINU TAM who understands that if the man does not mention
that he is giving the Get "if he will die," then everyone agrees that he
cannot retract the Get even if he recovers from his illness. He learns that
Rav Huna is referring to a case in which the man said that the Get that he
wrote should take effect "*from today* if I will die." Rav Huna holds that
in such a case if he recovers (to the extent that he can go out in the
marketplace), the Get is nullified even if he eventually dies from the same
sickness. Rabah and Rava argue and hold that since he eventually died from
the same illness, the Get takes effect.
The Rishonim (RAMBAN and others) question Rashi's view. The Gemara asks from
our Mishnah on the view of Rav Huna. Our Mishnah says that if the man wrote
that the Get should take effect "from today" if he will die and then he
recovered and walked outside, and then he eventually became sick and died,
then we evaluate the situation: if he died from the original illness, then
the Get takes effect, while if he did not die from the original illness,
then the Get does not take effect. According to Rashi, however, Rav Huna is
referring to a case in which the man made *no* condition, and in that case
Rabah disagrees with Rav Huna. But in the case of the Mishnah, where the man
made a condition, we do not find that Rabah would disagree with Rav Huna!
Why, then, according to Rashi, does the Gemara ask from the Mishnah only on
Rav Huna, and not on Rabah and Rava as well?
(a) The RAMBAN answers that the basic Machlokes between Rav Huna and Rabah
is whether we may interpret one's words by his implied intention even though
he did not articulate his intention explicitly in those words. This is
relevant both in the case in which he does not mention the condition at all
(which is the case that Rav Huna is discussing), and in a case in which he
said that the Get should take place if he dies but did not specify that if
he will recover before he eventually dies, that he does not want it to take
effect (which is the case of the Mishnah). Therefore, even though the
Mishnah is a different case, it is still dependent on the logic of Rav Huna
(b) The RAN answers that the Gemara that asks from the Mishnah disagrees
with Rav Huna even in a case where the man made an explicit condition. When
Rashi writes that *everyone* agrees that he may nullify the Get when he made
a condition, Rashi means only that Rabah and Rava agree with Rav Huna in
such a case, since they disagree with Rav Huna only because of a Gezeirah
that people will say that a Get can take effect after death; that Gezeirah,
though, applies only in a case where the Get was given without any