TalmuDigest

For the week ending 9 August 2008 / 8 Av 5768

Gittin 29 - 36

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

  • How final is a death sentence for assuming its execution
  • An agent appointing an agent in his place
  • Rabbi Safra and the three senior Sages
  • Advancing money to a kohen, levite or poor man and collecting from gifts due to them
  • Whether produce or money designated for tithing purpose can be assumed to still exist and what happens when their loss is discovered
  • Ganeva, the scholarly dissenter
  • Cancellation of a get sent with an agent
  • Rabban Gamliel's ban on cancellation of a get before a rabbinical court
  • The conditional clause in the marriage ceremony
  • When ten people are instructed to write a get
  • The blessing made for a delay in delivering of get
  • If an indication is sufficient for cancellation
  • Writing all the names of the man and wife in the get
  • The oath or vow required of a widow collecting her ketubah payment from heirs
  • Why a vow was instituted in place of oath
  • The vow that cannot be nullified
  • Why witnesses must sign on a get
  • The concept of pruzbul

A Blessing for Both

  • Gittin 34a

In the many halachic debates found throughout the Talmud between the Sages Rava and Abaye the general rule is to follow the position of Rava except for six cases. One of these exceptions is whether a mere indication by a husband that he does not wish to have a get delivered to his wife is sufficient to nullify that document.

The case in question dealt with a get sent by Gedul bar Reilai with an agent for delivery to his wife. The agent found her busily weaving and told her he wished to give her a get from her husband. Her response was to come back the next day. When the agent reported back to the husband that he did not yet manage to deliver the get his response was to proclaim the blessing "Blessed is He Who is good and beneficent." This could certainly be interpreted as an expression of relief that the get had not been delivered because the husband had changed his mind about ending the marriage. Whether such an indication constitutes actual cancellation is the issue of debate, with the ruling in favor of Abaye that it does not.

When a Jew is privileged to hear very good news he makes a blessing of shechiyanu. Only when the news benefits others besides himself does he make the blessing mentioned in the above account. Since the woman showed a reluctance to accept the get by asking the agent to come back the next day, the change of mind of her husband was definitely for her benefit as well and therefore mandated the more inclusive blessing.

What the Sages Say

"It is forbidden for one who borrows an item to lend it to someone else and for one who rents something to rent it to another (without permission).

  • Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish interpreting the Mishnah - Gittin 29a

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