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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Gittin
[if it was performed to] a minor or with a sock,1 it does not release [the woman] but neither does it disqualify her. Ze'iri said: None of the kinds [of Get] mentioned disqualify the woman [from living with her husband if a priest] save the last.2 So did Rab also lay down: None of these disqualify save the last. R. Johanan, however, said that even the last does not disqualify.3 R. Johanan follows the principle he has enunciated elsewhere, since R. Assi said in the name of R. Johanan: If two brothers divide an inheritance, they are reckoned as having purchased each his share from the other,4 and each restores his share to the other at the Jubilee.5 And both statements [of R. Johanan] are necessary. For if I had only the statement about the Get to go by. I should say that in that case there can be no retrospective decision [as to which (wife) he meant] because we require the [Get to be written] for 'her', [namely] for the name [of the woman concerned], but there [in the case of an estate], the All Merciful said that it is a sale which has to be returned at the Jubilee but not an inheritance or a gift.6 If again I had only the Statement regarding the field to go by, I might say that he takes the stricter line,7 or again that he thinks the property should revert to its original state,8 but here [in the case of a Get] this does not apply.9 [Hence both statements were] necessary.
R. Hoshaiah put a question to Rab Judah: If a man said to a scribe, Write [a Get] for whichever [of my wives] shall go out of doors first, what is the ruling? — He replied: We have learnt: MOREOVER: IF HE SAID TO THE SCRIBE, WRITE AND I WILL DIVORCE WHICHEVER I CHOOSE, IT IS NOT VALID TO DIVORCE THEREWITH [EITHER]. We infer from this that there is no such thing as a retrospective decision. [R. Hoshaiah] raised an objection [against this from the following passage]: If a man says to his sons, 'I am going to kill the paschal lamb for whichever of you will first enter Jerusalem',10 as soon as the first of them enters with his head and the greater part of his body. he becomes entitled to his portion11 and makes his brothers entitled to their portions along with him.12 — He replied: Hoshaiah, my son, what has the Paschal lamb to do with bills of divorce? In this connection it has been recorded that R. Johanan said that the reason is to make them eager to perform the mizwoth.13 This is also indicated [by the language of the passage itself], which states, as soon as the first has entered with his head and the greater part of his body, he becomes entitled to his portion and makes his brothers entitled to theirs along with him.' If now you say that the father mentally reckoned them all as of his company14 from the first, this is intelligible. But if you say that he did not so reckon them, can they be counted in after the lamb is killed? Have we not learnt: 'Persons can be counted in to a company and withdraw until the lamb is killed [but not after].'?15 It has also been taught to the same effect: It happened once that the daughters came before the sons. the former showing themselves diligent and the latter slack.16
Abaye said: [R. Hoshaiah] questioned him [Rab Judah] with reference to the case where he leaves the choice to another,17 and Rab Judah answers him by citing the case where he retains the choice in his own hands, and then R. Hoshaiah raises an objection from the case where he leaves the choice to others again! — Said Raba: What is the difficulty? Perhaps according to the authority who says there is [such a thing as] retrospective decision, it makes no difference whether he leaves the choice to another or retains it in his own hand; in either case he holds there is retrospective decision; whereas according to the authority who says there is no [such thing as] retrospective decision it makes no difference whether he keeps the choice in his own hand or leaves it to others: in either case he holds there is no retrospective decision. Said R. Mesharsheya to Raba: But is there not R. Judah, who holds that when the man keeps the choice in his own hands we do not decide retrospectively but when he leaves the choice to others he holds that we do decide retrospectively? That [R. Judah] holds that he is permitted to decide retrospectively when he keeps the choice in his own hands [is shown by the following Baraitha]. For it was taught: If a man buys wine from the Cutheans, he can say. 'Two logs which I intend to set aside [from each hundred] are to be the priest's due;18 ten [logs] the first tithe;19 and nine [logs]20 the second tithe,'21
and he then begins1 to drink from it at once. This is the ruling of R. Meir. R. Judah and R. Jose and R. Simeon, however, prohibit [him from doing so].2 That [according to R. Judah] we do decide retrospectively where he leaves the choice to others [is shown by the following Mishnah].3 For we learnt: 'What is the status of the woman [who has received a conditional Get4 from a sick husband] during those days [between the giving of the Get and his death]? R. Judah says that she is a married woman in every respect,'5 and yet when the husband dies the Get takes effect.6 R. Mesharsheya said further to Raba: There is also R. Simeon who holds that when the man keeps the choice in his own hands we do not decide retrospectively, but when he leaves the choice to others he holds that we do. That according to R. Simeon we do not decide retrospectively when he keeps the choice in his own hands [is shown] by [the teaching] just quoted. That [according to him] where he leaves the choice to others we do so decide is shown by the following [teaching]: [If a man says to a woman], I betroth thee by means of this intercourse7 on condition that thy father consents, even if the father does not consent she is betrothed. R. Simeon b. Judah said in the name of R. Simeon that if the father consents she is betrothed,
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