Gittin 23aגיטין כ״ג א
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23aכ״ג א

והוא שהיה גדול עומד על גביו

And that is the case only when there was an adult standing over him. When the adult supervises the writing, and instructs him to write it for her sake, it will be valid.

א"ל רב נחמן אלא מעתה עובד כוכבים וישראל עומד על גביו הכי נמי דכשר וכי תימא ה"נ והתניא עובד כוכבים פסול עובד כוכבים לדעתיה דנפשיה עבד

Rav Naḥman said to him: If that is so, that anyone who is disqualified from writing a bill of divorce may do so with an adult supervising him, then if the one writing is a gentile, and a Jew stands over him and instructs him to write it for her sake, would you also say that it is valid? And if you would say that it is also valid, but isn’t it taught in a baraita: A gentile is disqualified from writing a bill of divorce in any event? Rav Huna answered: A gentile acts based on his own will. Since he is halakhically competent, he will have his own intentions while writing and may not be relied upon to carry out the intentions of the supervisor. In the case of the mishna, since those doing the writing are not halakhically competent, they will write according to the instructions of the supervisor.

הדר אמר רב נחמן לאו מילתא היא דאמרי דמדקא פסיל ליה לעובד כוכבים לענין הבאה מכלל דלענין כתיבה כשר

Rav Naḥman then said: What I said when I raised a challenge from a case involving a gentile is not correct, as from the fact that the mishna later disqualifies a gentile with regard to acting as an agent in the bringing of the bill of divorce, one can learn by inference that he is qualified with regard to writing, where he is not listed among those who are disqualified.

והתניא עובד כוכבים פסול ההיא ר"א היא דאמר עדי מסירה כרתי ובעינן כתיבה לשמה והא ודאי עובד כוכבים אדעתיה דנפשיה קעביד

The Gemara asks: But isn’t it taught in a baraita that a gentile is disqualified from writing a bill of divorce? The Gemara answers: That baraita is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, who says: Witnesses of the transmission of the bill of divorce effect the divorce, and when the verse states: “And he writes her” (Deuteronomy 24:1), which is the source for the halakha that the writing needs to be done for her sake, it is referring to the writing of the bill of divorce and not to its signing. Therefore, we need the writing to be for her sake, and certainly a gentile acts based on his own will and may not be relied upon to write the bill of divorce according to the instructions of a supervisor.

אמר רב נחמן אומר היה ר"מ אפי' מצאו באשפה חתמו ונתנו לה כשר

With regard to the requirement that a bill of divorce be written for her sake, Rav Naḥman says that Rabbi Meir would have said: Even if the husband found the bill of divorce in the garbage dump, and the names written on it happened to be the same as his and his wife’s names, if he had it signed by witnesses and he gave it to her, then it is valid, because the essential requirement is that it be signed for her sake.

איתיביה רבא לרב נחמן (דברים כד, א) וכתב לה לשמה מאי לאו כתיבת הגט לא חתימת עדים

Rava raised an objection to the statement of Rav Naḥman: The verse states: “And he writes her,” which is interpreted to mean that it must be written for her sake. What, is it not referring to the actual writing of the bill of divorce, that it must be written with the intent that it be used to sever this particular marriage? The Gemara rejects this: No, it is referring to the signing of the witnesses.

איתיביה רבא כל גט שנכתב שלא לשום אשה פסול אימא שנחתם שלא לשום אשה פסול

Rava raised another objection to him based on what was taught in a mishna (24a): Any bill of divorce that was not written for the sake of a specific woman is invalid. He responded: Say that according Rabbi Meir the mishna teaches: Any bill of divorce that was not signed for the sake of a specific woman is invalid.

איתיביה כשהוא כותבו כאילו כותבו לשמה מאי לאו כשהוא כותבו לתורף לשמה כאילו כותבו לטופס לשמה

Rava raised another objection to him based on another baraita: When he writes it, it is as though he writes it for her sake, meaning that writing one part for her sake makes it as if the entire document were written for her sake. What, it is not stating that when he writes the essential part of the document, which includes the names of the spouses; the date on which it was written; and the expression: Behold you are permitted to any man, for her sake, then is it as though he writes the standard part of the bill of divorce, containing the rest of the information, for her sake? This baraita indicates that there is a requirement that the bill of divorce, not just the signatures, be written for her sake.

לא כשהוא חותמו לשמה כאילו כותבו לשמה ואיבעית אימא הני מתני' מני ר"א היא דאמר עדי מסירה כרתי

Rav Naḥman rejects this: No, Rabbi Meir would explain that this baraita is referring to a case where he has witnesses sign it for her sake; it is as though he wrote it for her sake. And if you wish, say: Who is the tanna of these baraitot from which you raised challenges? They are in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, who said: Witnesses of the transmission of the bill of divorce effect the divorce. According to him, the verse is referring to the writing and not the signing of the bill of divorce, and the writing must be for her sake.

ורב יהודה אמר שמואל והוא ששייר מקום התורף וכן א"ר חגא משמיה דעולא והוא ששייר מקום התורף ור"א היא

And Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: And the statement of the mishna that one who is not halakhically competent is qualified to write a bill of divorce is the halakha only when he left unwritten the essential part of the document, which will be written later by a halakhically competent person, as only the essential part must be written for her sake. And so Rabbi Ḥagga says in the name of Ulla: And this is the halakha only when he left the essential part of the document unwritten, and the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, that the writing of the essential part must be done for her sake.

ורבי זריקא אמר רבי יוחנן אינה תורה מאי אינה תורה אמר רבי אבא כאן הודיעך שאין כח לשמה ור"מ היא דאמר עדי חתימה כרתי

And Rabbi Zerika says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: It is not Torah. The Gemara clarifies: What is meant by the expression: It is not Torah? Rabbi Abba says: Here Rabbi Yoḥanan informs you that there is no force to a requirement that a bill of divorce be written for her sake, as only the signing needs to be done for her sake. And it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Meir, who says: Signatory witnesses on the bill of divorce effect the divorce.

והאמר רבה בר בר חנה אמר רבי יוחנן ר"א היא אמוראי נינהו ואליבא דר' יוחנן:

The Gemara asks: But didn’t Rabba bar bar Ḥana say earlier that Rabbi Yoḥanan said that the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar? How, then, can Rabbi Abba say that according to Rabbi Yoḥanan, the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Meir? The Gemara answers: They are amora’im and disagree with regard to the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan, whether he explains the mishna in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Meir or that of Rabbi Elazar.

מתני׳ הכל כשרין להביא את הגט חוץ מחרש שוטה וקטן וסומא ועובד כוכבים

MISHNA: Anyone is fit to serve as an agent to bring a bill of divorce to a woman except for a deaf-mute, an imbecile, or a minor, or a blind person, or a gentile.

קיבל הקטן והגדיל חרש ונתפקח סומא ונתפתח שוטה ונשתפה עובד כוכבים ונתגייר פסול

If a minor received the bill of divorce and then reached the age of majority, or one received it when he was a deaf-mute and then became able to hear, or one received it when he was blind and then became able to see, or one received it when he was an imbecile and then became halakhically competent, or one received it when he was a gentile and then converted, in all of these cases he is unfit to bring the bill of divorce.

אבל פקח ונתחרש וחזר ונתפקח פתוח ונסתמא וחזר ונתפתח שפוי ונשתטה וחזר ונשתפה כשר זה הכלל כל שתחילתו וסופו בדעת כשר:

However, if one received it when he was able to hear, and then became a deaf-mute, and then again became able to hear; or if one received it when he was able to see, and then became blind, and then again became able to see; or one received it when he was halakhically competent, and then became an imbecile, and then again became halakhically competent, in all of these cases he is fit to bring the bill of divorce. This is the principle: Anyone who is halakhically competent in the beginning and in the end is fit, even if there was time in the interim when he was unfit.

גמ׳ בשלמא חרש שוטה וקטן דלאו בני דיעה נינהו עובד כוכבים נמי דלאו בר היתירא הוא אלא סומא אמאי לא אמר רב ששת לפי שאינו יודע ממי נוטלו ולמי נותנו

GEMARA: The Gemara asks with regard to those the mishna lists as not being qualified to bring a bill of divorce: Granted, a deaf-mute, an imbecile, and a minor are not qualified because they are not halakhically competent, and only one who is competent can be appointed as an agent. Additionally, a gentile also is not qualified, as he is not subject to the halakhot that permit a woman to remarry via a bill of divorce. A person cannot serve as an agent for a matter that does not apply to him. But why isn’t a blind person qualified to bring a bill of divorce? Rav Sheshet says: Because he does not know from whom he takes it and to whom he gives it, and since he is unaware of this he will not be able to testify about it.

מתקיף לה רב יוסף היאך סומא מותר באשתו היאך בני אדם מותרים בנשותיהם בלילה אלא בטביעות עינא דקלא הכא נמי בטביעות עינא דקלא

Rav Yosef objects to this: If there is a concern that a blind person cannot distinguish between different people, then how is a blind man permitted to have sexual relations with his wife? How does he know that she is in fact his wife? Similarly, how are all people permitted to have sexual relations with their wives at night? If it is dark, they cannot see them. Rather, you must say that they are permitted through voice recognition [teviut eina dekala]. They can recognize each other based on their voices. Here too, with regard to a blind person, he can recognize the giver and receiver of the bill of divorce through voice recognition.

אלא א"ר יוסף הכא בחוצה לארץ עסקינן דבעי למימר בפני נכתב ובפני נחתם ולא מצי למימר

Rather, Rav Yosef says: Here we are dealing with a husband who sends a bill of divorce to his wife outside of Eretz Yisrael, where the agent needs to say: It was written in my presence and it was signed in my presence, and a blind man cannot say this because he is unable to see it being written or signed.

א"ל אביי אלא מעתה פתוח ונסתמא דמצי אמר הכי נמי דכשר והא קתני פתוח ונסתמא וחזר ונתפתח כשר חזר ונתפתח אין לא חזר ונתפתח לא

Abaye said to him: However, if that is so, then a person who is able to see when he receives the bill of divorce and then becomes blind, who can say: It was written and signed in my presence, as he was able to see when it was written and signed, would you say that he is also fit to bring the bill of divorce? But it is taught in the mishna: If one received it when he was able to see, and then became blind, and then again became able to see, then he is fit to bring the bill of divorce. It can be inferred from here that only when he again became able to see, yes, he may bring it. But if he did not again become able to see, then no, he may not bring it.

ה"ה דאף על גב דלא חזר ונתפתח ואיידי דקתני שפוי ונשתטה וחזר ונשתפה טעמא דחזר ונשתפה הא לא חזר ונשתפה לא תנא נמי פתוח ונסתמא וחזר ונתפתח

The Gemara answers this question: In fact, with regard to a blind person, the same is true, that although he did not again become able to see he can serve as an agent to bring the bill of divorce and testify that it was written and signed in his presence. And why does it teach that the blind man became able to see again? Since the mishna teaches that one who received the bill of divorce when he was halakhically competent, and then became an imbecile, and then again became halakhically competent is qualified to bring the bill of divorce. And in that case, the reason why he is qualified is specifically that he again became halakhically competent, but if he did not again become halakhically competent, then he is not qualified. Therefore, the mishna also teaches with regard to one who was able to see that he then became blind and then again became able to see.

אמר רב אשי דיקא נמי דקתני זה הכלל כל שתחילתו וסופו בדעת כשר ולא קתני כל שתחילתו וסופו בכשרות כשר ש"מ

Rav Ashi said: The language of the mishna is also precise, as it teaches that this is the principle: Anyone who is halakhically competent in the beginning and in the end is fit, and it does not teach: Anyone who is fit in the beginning and the end is fit. Learn from the mishna that it is not necessary for him to be fit in the beginning and the end, as there are times that being fit in the beginning is sufficient, as in the case of one who became blind after witnessing the writing and signing of the bill of divorce. However, it is clear that he must be halakhically competent both in the beginning and the end, which a blind person is.

בעו מיניה מרבי אמי עבד מהו שיעשה שליח לקבל גט אשה מיד בעלה אמר להו מדקא פסיל ליה לעובד כוכבים

§ They raised a dilemma before Rabbi Ami: With regard to a slave, what is the halakha? Can he be made an agent to receive a woman’s bill of divorce from the hand of her husband? Is he qualified to act as an agent or not? He said to them: From the fact that the mishna disqualified a gentile,