Mar 112016

How seriously do we take rumors that say a woman is divorced or married?  If we do take it seriously, are there levels of rumors – ones that are more believable than others?  And what are the ramifications of they are acceptable?  What if the rumors are proven false, does that undo everything or not?  Why?

Mar 102016

Can a witness sign on the side of a document?  Can you sign using a family name that people no longer use?  Jewish courts can force a husband to give a get as long as in the end he agrees to it but a get forced by a non Jewish court is not valid, unless there are also Jews involved and they tell him to do what the Jews are telling you to do.   Whether or not this get (by non Jews) is invalid by the rabbis or by Torah law is a debate in the gemara.  Do the courts outside of Israel (where there is no semicha) have jurisdiction to force husbands to give a get?  In what ways are they limited in their power and in what ways are they not limited?  And why?  Under the surface of today’s daf there are a number of issues relating to authority of leaders and the responsibility placed in their hands.

Mar 092016

Can a number of people join together and write one get for all their wives.  If so, how must it be done so it fulfills all the halachic obligations?   If 2 separate divorce documents are written side by side and witnesses are signed on the bottom, for which get are they valid?  What if some witnesses sign in Hebrew and some in Greek?  There are varying interpretations among the rishonim as to what it means to “sign in Greek.”

Study Guide Gittin 87

Mar 082016

The gemara distinguishes between various cases where the get is valid from the Torah but invalid on a rabbinic level – is the get valid – if so, can she get remarried based on it? If not, and she does anyway, is the new child from a second marriage a mamzer, and does the woman need to get divorced from her new husband?   Many rabbis opinions are brought who show that we hold like rabbi Elazar that the witnesses who view the giving of the get are the critical ones.  However there is disagreement about whether we hold like Rabbi Elazar in monetary documents.

Study Guide Gittin 86

Mar 072016

Before the main section of the get (toref) was written, if the husband tells the sofer that he plans to permit his wife to everyone except one man but he doesn’t ask the sofer to write that in the get, does that ruin the get and he needs to write a new one?  Rava and Rav Safra argue about this.  Does writing a condition in a get invalidate the get?  Argument between Rebbi and the rabbis.  What if the husband says that she is permitted to all men except for those she is forbidden to by law?  There is a difference depending on the severity of the law.  What if he separates from her but leaves over one of the rights a husband has to a wife like being able to cancel her vows, not allowing her to eat truma, etc.?  What is the basic text that needs to be written in the get?  There is a disagreement in the mishna and then later developments in the time of the gemara.  See attached file for the text of an actual get and a hebrew translation of it.  Also attached is an English translation – courtesy: ITIM.

Study Guide Gittin 85


Mar 062016

If a man says you are not my wife today but you are tomorrow, she is divorced as he made a complete separation.  If he says, “This is your get on the condition that you marry someone in particular,” she cannot marry him so it doesn’t appear that people are giving women as gifts – however she is also not allowed to marry anyone else since he didn’t allow that in his condition.  What if he gives a condition that is exaggerated that is impossible to fulfill “on condition that you go up to the sky”?  Is that the same or different from a case where he says something that is halachically impossible (like eating pig) but not physically impossible?

Mar 042016

Rabbi Eliezer and the rabbis disagree about a man who says while giving the get that the wife is limited in who she can remarry.  There is a difference of opinion in which case they argue – is it only in the case where he states it as a condition but if he says “except for…” then the get for sure doesn’t work.  Or is the argument in a case where he says “except for…” but in the case where he states it as a condition, everyone agrees the get is a good get.  The gemara concludes like the latter and thereby it unfortunately leads to actual cases that the courts have dealt with where a husband, for example, conditioned a get on his wife not being able to remarry large groups of men (for example, men under 70).

Study Guide Gittin 82

Mar 032016

If a husband writes a get to his wife and changes his mind, there is a disagreement between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel about whether she is allowed to marry a Kohen in the event that the first husband dies.  A second disagreement between them in a case where a husband and wife go into a secluded place after they get divorced – does he need to give her another get. There are 2 varying opinions among the emoraim about the situation in which they disagree – were there witnesses who saw them having sexual relations or did they just witness them going into a room alone.  What is a “bald get”?  If a woman is divorced with this kind of get, the same laws apply as in all the other cases where she needs a get from the first husband and if she got remarried, then also from the second and can’t remarry either one of them.

Study Guide Gittin 81

Mar 022016

If a get in not written according to particular laws instituted by the Rabbis, Rabbi Meir holds that a woman who gets remarried based on this is forbidden both to her first husband and to the second one and children born from the second or her remarriage to the first are mamzerim.  There are also many other ramifications such as, the woman loses her ketuba, she can’t eat truma and many others.  According to the gemara, the rabbis disagree with Rabbi Meir about some of the cases.  There is a difference of opinion whether he thinks a woman can get remarried based on this get or only if she is already remarried and has children, we don’t consider her children mamzerim.  A similar situation occurs when a husband dies childless and one of the wives either is forbidden to one of the brothers, thus allowing all other wives to marry others without performing yibum, or one of the wives marry the brother and the other wives marry others and then they find out that the wife (who was forbidden or married the brother) was an aylonit (someone who can’t have children and never shows signs of puberty) and was therefore never married in the first place.  The other wives now can’t stay married to their new husband and also have to do chalitza with the brother.

Feb 292016

If a husband gives a get to his wife in his house and instead of handing it to her directly, puts it on something that belongs to her, in what situations does it work?  Why?  What happens if he gives the get to her but doesn’t tell her it is a get?  or puts it in her hand while she is sleeping?  If they are in public space and the husband throws the get to her, it depends on where the get lands – closer to him or closer to her.  Details of this are discussed – what exactly is meant by ‘closer to her’?