Jan 312016

From which types of land (better quality vs. poorer quality) are different payments made from?  When one pays damages from land, is the type of land determined by the land of the one who was damaged or the one who has to pay damages.  This is argued by Rabbi Ishmael and Rabbi Akiva.  Our mishna is explained in two different manners – according to each opinion.

Study Guide Gittin 49

Jan 292016

One who sells himself a few times to a non- Jew should not be redeemed in order to discourage him from selling himself so others will bail him out.  One who sells his field to a non Jew is responsible to bring buy back the bikurim from the non Jew – in order to prevent people from selling their land to non Jews.   If one sells a field to a non Jew, and then a Jew buys fruits from that field, it one obligated to tithe the fruits?  There is an argument between Rabba and Rabbi Elazar and the gemara attempts to bring proofs for each opinion.

Jan 282016

Can a non Jew write a kosher sefer torah?  The Rabbis instituted a takana that if a man divorces his wife due to suspicions about her promiscuous behavior or because of a vow she made, he is unable to remarry her.  There are 2 different reasons given for the takana.  The tannaim also disagree as to which types of vows are referred to here.  There is also a tannaitic debate about a man who divorces his wife because she is infertile, can he remarry her.  The opinions of the tannaim here seem to contradict their opinions in the previous mishna and the emoraim tries to resolve these contradictions.

Study Guide Gittin 46

Jan 272016

If you live in Israel and sell a slave to someone outside of Israel, he is set free?  Which owner sets him free?  If the slave went on his own to follow his master to live outside of Israel, then he does not get set free if he gets sold after that.  But it depends on if they moved abroad temporarily or permanently.  Redeeming captives, sifrei Torah, mezuzot, and tefillin for high prices is forbidden.  Details of those laws are discussed.

Study Guide Gittin 45

Jan 262016

One who sells his slave to a non-Jew or sells him to a Jewish owner outside of Israel is penalized because the slave will no longer be able to fulfill all the mitzvot.  He needs to buy back the slave a free him.  The gemara discusses various situations and tries to determine if the owner should be penalized in those situations as well (e.g. if the non Jew forced him to sell him the slave, etc.)

Jan 222016

Sometimes actions of the slave in front of the master or actions of the master to the slave can indicate whether or not the slave has been freed.  Also situations of heirs are discussed – if the father gave up financial rights to the slave, can they redeem the slave in terms of allowing him to marry a Jew?

Jan 212016

Rav says that one who is mafkir his slave still needs to give him a document to free him in order to allow him to marry a Jew.  Raba raises a number of questions on Rav but answers them.  Some other issues are raised regarding slaves who were set free in non typical ways, like for example the death of the owner in the event that the owner was a convert who had no heirs.

Jan 202016

If a Caananite slave is taken captive and redeemed not by its owner, what is the status of the slave?  It depends on if the redeemer had in mind to redeem him to be a slave or with the intent to make him a free man.  It also depends on whether or not the original owner had “ye’ush” – had given up on ever getting the slave back or not.  Rava and Abaye have different inteprations of the case in the mishna.  Rav and Shmuel argue in a case where one is mafkir (makes ownerless) his slave, whether or not he also needs to give the slave a document freeing him in order to allow him to become a Jew for marriage purposes as a Caananite slave who is freed becomes a Jew.  It is forbidden to free a slave – there are various interpretations of why and whether it is forbidden from the Torah or the Rabbis.  But in certain circumstances it is allowed.

Study Guide Gittin 38

Jan 192016

There is a desire on the part of the rabbis to make sure that loans are collected despite the cancellation of the loans at the end of the shmita year.  Since one can only write a pruzbol if the borrower has land, they come up with ways to give people a minimum amount of land or allow other things to qualify as land in order to insure a pruzbol can be written,  others allow pruzbol to be just said, without needing a document.  Others allow one to claim he has a pruzbol but lost it.  Others insist that a “game” be played (in the event there was not a pruzbol) in which the one creditor says the shmita has cancelled the loan, then the borrower says he want to give him back the money anyway as a gift.

Study Guide Gittin 37

Jan 182016

Different vows have different levels of strength regarding whether or not one can go to a chacham to cancel the vow.  The takana of having witnesses sign on the get is explained both according to Rabbi Elazar (who claims that according to the Torah there is no need to witnesses to sign the get) and according to Rabbi Meir (who claims that from the Torah you need witnesses to sign on the get).  The takana of pruzbol is questioned – how can the rabbis make a takana to go against what the Torah says.  Two explanations are given.  Later Rabbis had different reactions to pruzbol about whether or not it was a positive development.