For the week ending 12 December 2015 / 30 Kislev 5776

Gittin 2 - 7

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • Delivering a get divorce document to Eretz Yisrael from abroad
  • What the delivering agent must say and why
  • The credibility of a single witness
  • The need for lishmah in writing and signing a get
  • Three types of get which are invalid by rabbinic law
  • Status of cities not in Eretz Yisrael but near its border
  • Delivering a get from one hegemony to another
  • When the delivering agent is incapable of speaking
  • When the divorced wife herself brings the get
  • If the delivering agent failed to testify that the get was written in his presence
  • Can an agent or witness also serve as judge
  • Rabbi Meir's position regarding any deviation from the rabbinic requirements for a get
  • When only a portion of the get was written in the presence of the delivering agent
  • Whether Babylon is considered like Eretz Yisrael in regard to delivery of a get
  • The credentials of Rabbi Eviatar as a reliable authority
  • Rabbi Eviatar's explanation of a passage in Tanach and his meeting with the Prophet Eliyahu
  • The danger of an atmosphere of fear in the home
  • Silence as a weapon against an enemy
  • Decrees of mourning for destruction of Beit Hamikdash
  • Northern boundary of Eretz Yisrael

Cause for Civil War

  • Gittin 6b

A bloody civil war took place in Eretz Yisrael some three thousand years ago that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Jews and almost obliterated an entire tribe of Israel.

Some ruffians in the City of Givah in the portion belonging to the Tribe of Binyamin committed an atrocity that alarmed the entire nation, and a demand was made to bring them to justice. The Binyamites resented this as an intrusion on their tribal sovereignty in an era when there was no king to exercise central authority. The result was a war in which both the Binyamites and the rest of the nation suffered heavy losses.

What was the catalyst for this tragedy?

Rabbi Chisda traces the source to the atmosphere of fear that a certain Jew created in his home, which caused his concubine to run away from him when he became upset with her behavior. She eventually became the victim of that atrocity that sparked civil war. The obvious lesson is that one must avoid domestic terror that can lead to such a tragedy and similar ones.

A different lesson is drawn in the Midrash from this civil war. The elders of the nation are blamed for causing it by failing to travel throughout the country to teach people Torah values, an outreach effort that would have prevented the perpetuation of the atrocity and the tragic events that followed.

What the Sages Say

"If one senses his resources as being very limited he should apply them to charity, even more so when they are plentiful."

  • Gittin 7a

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