לא אפשר למקצייה אלא קרן של פרה ליקצייה וליתביה לה
it is not possible to cut it off, as it is certainly prohibited to cut off the hand of a slave, and he therefore must give her the slave. But if he wrote the bill of divorce on the horn of a cow, let him cut it off and give it to her. Why does the mishna state that he must give her the cow?
אמר קרא (דברים כד, א) וכתב ונתן לה מי שאינו מחוסר אלא כתיבה ונתינה יצא זה שמחוסר כתיבה קציצה ונתינה:
The Gemara answers: The verse states: “And he writes her a scroll of severance, and gives it in her hand” (Deuteronomy 24:1), meaning that something is valid as a bill of divorce when it is lacking only writing and giving, excluding this, a cow’s horn, which is lacking writing, cutting, and giving. Since the additional step of cutting would be required in order for him to give her the horn alone, the horn would not be a valid bill of divorce, so he must give her the cow.
רבי יוסי הגלילי אומר וכו': מ"ט דרבי יוסי הגלילי דתניא ספר אין לי אלא ספר מנין לרבות כל דבר ת"ל וכתב לה מכל מקום אם כן מה ת"ל ספר מה ספר דבר שאין בו רוח חיים ואינו אוכל אף כל דבר שאין בו רוח חיים ואינו אוכל
§ The mishna taught that Rabbi Yosei HaGelili says that a bill of divorce may not be written on something living, nor on food. The Gemara asks: What is the reason for Rabbi Yosei HaGelili’s opinion? As it is taught in a baraita: It is said in the Torah with regard to a bill of divorce: “And he writes her a scroll of severance” (Deuteronomy 24:1). From the word “scroll,” I have derived only that a scroll is valid; from where do I derive that it is correct to include all objects as valid materials upon which a bill of divorce may be written? The verse states: “And he writes her,” in any case, i.e., a bill of divorce can be written on any type of surface. If so, what is the meaning when the verse states “scroll”? This teaches: Just as a scroll is neither alive nor food, so too, a bill of divorce may be written on any object that is neither alive nor food. This is why Rabbi Yosei HaGelili deems invalid a bill of divorce written on a living being.
ורבנן אי כתיב בספר כדקאמרת השתא דכתיב ספר לספירת דברים הוא דאתא
The Gemara asks: And how do the Rabbis, who disagree and say that a bill of divorce may be written even on a living creature or on food, interpret the verse? They contend: If the verse were written: And he shall write for her in the scroll [besefer], then it would be as you said, and it would indicate the type of surface on which the bill of divorce may be written. Now that it is written: “Scroll [sefer],” it comes to teach that a mere account of the matters [sefirat devarim] is required. In other words, sefer is referring not to the surface on which a bill of divorce must be written, but rather, to the essence of the bill of divorce. The verse teaches that the bill of divorce must contain particular content.
ורבנן האי וכתב מאי עבדי ליה מיבעי להו בכתיבה מתגרשת ואינה מתגרשת בכסף ס"ד אמינא אקיש יציאה להויה מה הוייה בכסף אף יציאה נמי בכסף קמ"ל
The Gemara continues: And the Rabbis, what do they do with this phrase in the verse: “And he writes her”? The Gemara answers: For them, that phrase is required to teach the principle that a woman is divorced only via writing, i.e., a bill of divorce, and she is not divorced via giving money. It might enter your mind to say: I should juxtapose leaving marriage, i.e., divorce, to becoming married, i.e., betrothal, and I will say that just as becoming married is effected with giving money, so too, leaving marriage can also be effected with giving money. Therefore, the Torah teaches us: “And he writes her”; divorce can be effected only with a written bill of divorce.
ואידך נפקא ליה (דברים כד, א) מספר כריתות ספר כורתה ואין דבר אחר כורתה
The Gemara asks: And the other tanna, Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, from where does he derive this reasoning? He derives it from the phrase “scroll of severance,” which teaches that a scroll, i.e., a written document, severs her from her husband and nothing else severs her from him.
ואידך מיבעי ליה דבר הכורת בינו לבינה כדתניא הרי זה גיטיך על מנת שלא תשתי יין על מנת שלא תלכי לבית אביך לעולם אין זה כריתות עד שלשים יום הרי זה כריתות
The Gemara asks: And those who hold the other opinion, the Rabbis, how do they explain this phrase? For them, the phrase “scroll of severance” is required to teach that a bill of divorce must be a matter that severs all connection between him and her, as it is taught in a baraita: If a man says to his wife: This is your bill of divorce, on the condition that you will not ever drink wine, or on condition that you will never go to your father’s house, that is not severance, and the bill of divorce is not valid. If a bill of divorce imposes a condition upon the woman that permanently binds her to her husband, her relationship with her husband has not been completely severed, which is a prerequisite for divorce. If, however, he imposes a condition until thirty days have passed, or for any other limited period of time, that is severance. The bill of divorce is valid, as the relationship will be completely terminated at the end of the thirty-day period.
ואידך מכרת כריתות
The Gemara asks: And the other tanna, Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, from where does he derive that a stipulation without a termination point invalidates the divorce? From the fact that instead of using the term karet, the verse uses the more expanded term keritut. Inasmuch as both terms denote severance, using the longer term teaches us two things: Divorce can be effected only via writing and not through money, and divorce requires total severance.
ואידך כרת כריתות לא דרשי:
And the other, the Rabbis, what do they derive from this? The Gemara answers: They do not derive anything from the expansion of karet to keritut.
מתני׳ אין כותבין במחובר לקרקע כתבו במחובר תלשו וחתמו ונתנו לה כשר רבי יהודה פוסל עד שתהא כתיבתו וחתימתו בתלוש
MISHNA: One may not write a bill of divorce on anything that is attached to the ground. If one wrote it on something that was attached to the ground, and afterward he detached it, signed it, and gave it to her, then it is valid. Rabbi Yehuda deems a bill of divorce invalid unless its writing and its signing were performed when it was already detached.
ר' יהודה בן בתירא אומר אין כותבין לא על הנייר המחוק ולא על הדיפתרא מפני שהוא יכול להזדייף וחכמים מכשירין:
Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira says: One may not write a bill of divorce on erased paper or on unfinished leather [diftera], because writing on these surfaces can be forged. And the Rabbis deem valid a bill of divorce that was written on either of these items.
גמ׳ כתבו על המחובר והאמרת רישא אין כותבין אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל והוא ששייר מקום התורף
GEMARA: The mishna taught: If one wrote it on something that was attached to the ground, and detached it before he gave it to her, then it is valid. The Gemara challenges: But didn’t you say in the first clause of the mishna that one may not write a bill of divorce on something that is attached to the ground? Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: The mishna’s statement that if something was detached and signed then it is a valid bill of divorce is applicable only when one left a place for the essential part of the document. He did not write the entire bill of divorce while it was attached to the ground. Rather, he wrote only the standard part of the bill of divorce. However, he left a place for the essential part of the bill of divorce, which includes the names of the man and woman, and wrote that part only after it was detached.
וכן אמר ר' אלעזר א"ר אושעיא והוא ששייר מקום התורף וכן אמר רבה בר בר חנה א"ר יוחנן והוא ששייר מקום התורף ור' אלעזר היא דאמר עדי מסירה כרתי
And so Rabbi Elazar says that Rabbi Oshaya says: And this is a case where he left a place for the essential part of the document. And so Rabba bar bar Ḥana says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: And this is when he left a place for the essential part of the document. And all these Sages hold that the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, who says: Witnesses of the transmission of the bill of divorce effect the divorce. It is not the signatures of the witnesses on a bill of divorce that validate it. Rather, the divorce is effected by the transmission of the document in the presence of witnesses. Therefore, the phrase: “And he writes” (Deuteronomy 24:1), must be referring to the writing of the bill of divorce and not to the signing of the witnesses, and the restrictions derived from this verse will apply to the writing of the bill of divorce, so the essential part may not be written on something that is attached to the ground.
וה"ק אין כותבין טופס שמא יכתוב תורף כתבו לטופס ותלשו כתבו לתורף ונתנו לה כשר
And this is what the mishna is saying: One may not write even the standard part on something that is attached to the ground ab initio, lest he write the essential part of the document in this manner as well. However, if he wrote the standard part while it was attached to the ground, and then detached it, wrote the essential part, and gave it to her, it is valid.
וריש לקיש אמר חתמו שנינו ורבי מאיר היא דאמר עדי חתימה כרתי
And Reish Lakish says: The mishna should not be understood in that way, where the phrase: And signed it, is referring to the writing of the essential part, since we learned that they signed it, which is referring to the signatures of the witnesses. And it is taught in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Meir, who says that the signatory witnesses on the bill of divorce effect the divorce.
והכי קאמר אין כותבין תורף גזירה שמא יחתום כתבו לתורף תלשו חתמו ונתנו לה כשר
And this is what the mishna is saying: One may not write the essential part on something that is attached to the ground due to a rabbinic decree, lest he also have the witnesses sign while it is attached. However, even if he wrote the essential part while it was attached, then detached it, had it signed, and gave it to her, it is valid. According to Rabbi Meir, when the verse states: “And he writes her,” it is referring to when he has the bill of divorce signed. Therefore, by Torah law, the limitation that it not be attached while he writes applies only to the signing but not to the writing. The Sages decreed that the essential part of the bill of divorce also not be written while it is attached to the ground, but if he violated this decree, it is still valid after the fact.
כתבו על חרס של עציץ נקוב כשר דשקיל ליה ויהיב ליה ניהלה על עלה של עציץ נקוב אביי אמר כשר ורבא אמר פסול אביי אמר כשר
§ In connection with this discussion, the Gemara mentions several halakhot that are affected by items being attached to the ground or detached. If he wrote the bill of divorce on the clay of a perforated pot [atzitz], which is considered to be attached to the ground, then it is valid, as he can take this pot and give it to her. However, if he wrote it on a leaf of a plant growing in a perforated pot, then what is the halakha? Abaye says: It is valid. And Rava says: It is invalid. The Gemara clarifies their dispute in detail: Abaye says that it is valid