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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Gittin
: Even if there is one date for all it is still called a formula [Get],1 and a 'joint' [Get] is where he writes 'We, So-and-so and So-and-so have divorced our wives So-and-so and So-and-so'2 R. Abba strongly demurred to this. If we accept the view of R. Johanan, he said, that a 'joint' [Get] is one where there is the same date for all, have we not to consider the possibility that when the witnesses sign they are attesting only the last? Has it not been taught: 'If witnesses subscribe to an expression of kind regards in a Get, [the Get] is invalid, since we apprehend that they may have attested the expression of kind regards'?3 — Has it not been stated in connection with this: R. Abbahu said: It was explained to me by R. Johanan that if it is written 'they gave him greeting,'4 it is invalid, but if 'and they gave', it is valid? So here we suppose that what is written is, 'So-and-so and So-and-so and So-and-so'.5 Moreover, if we accept the view of R. Johanan that a 'formula' [Get] is one where there is a separate date for each, why [should it be invalidated]6 as being a 'formula' [Get]? Why not rather as being one which is 'written by day and signed by night'?7 — Mar Kashisha the son of R. Hisda said to R. Ashi: We state as follows in the name of R. Johanan, that [this rule applies] where it is written with each one, On the first day of the week, on the first day of the week.8
Rabina said to R. Ashi: On the view of Resh Lakish — that a 'formula' [Get] is also one in which there is one date for all, and that a 'joint' [Get] is one in which it is written thus: 'We, So-and-so and So-and-so have divorced our wives So-and-so and So-and-so, it follows that two women would be divorced with the same Get, and the Torah has laid down that he must write 'for her', [which implies, for her] and not for her and her neighbour? — [We must suppose] that he further writes, So-and-so divorced So-and-so and So-and-so divorced So-and-so. Rabina thereupon said to R. Ashi: How does this differ from the case regarding which it has been taught: 'If a man makes over all his property in writing to two of his slaves, they acquire possession and emancipate one another'?9 — [He replied]: Have we not explained this to apply only where he writes two deeds.10
It has been taught in agreement with R. Johanan and it has been taught in agreement with Resh Lakish. It has been taught in agreement with R. Johanan: 'If five men wrote in the same Get, So-and-so divorces So-and-so and So-and-so So-and-so and So-and-so So-and-so, and one date [is written] for all of them and the witnesses are subscribed below, all are valid and the document must be given to each woman. If there is a [separate] date for each one and the witnesses are subscribed at the bottom, the one to which the signatures are attached is [alone] valid. R. Judah b. Bathyra says that if there is a space between them it is invalid but if not it is valid, since the date does not constitute a division'. It has been taught in agreement with Resh Lakish: 'If five persons wrote jointly in the same Get, We, So-and-so and So-and-so have divorced our wives So-and-so and So-and-so, So-and-so divorcing So-and-so and So-and-so divorcing So-and-so, and there is one date for all and the witnesses are signed below, all are valid and the document must be given to each one. If there is a [separate] date for each one or space between one and another and the witnesses are signed at the bottom, the one to which the signatures are attached is valid. R. Meir says that even if there is no space between them it is invalid since the date makes a division,' But on the view of Resh Lakish why is it required here that there be a [separate] date for each one,11 seeing that he has said that even if there is one date for all it is still a 'formula' [Get]? — That is the case only where they were not lumped together at the beginning,12 but here where they were lumped together at the beginning, if the various parts are separated by dates, there is a division, but otherwise not.
MISHNAH, IF TWO BILLS OF DIVORCE ARE WRITTEN [ON THE SAME SHEET] SIDE BY SIDE AND THE SIGNATURES OF TWO WITNESSES IN HEBREW13 RUN FROM UNDER ONE TO UNDER THE OTHER AND THE SIGNATURES OF TWO WITNESSES IN GREEK14 RUN FROM UNDER ONE TO UNDER THE OTHER,15 THE ONE TO WHICH THE TWO FIRST SIGNATURES ARE ATTACHED IS [ALONE] VALID.16 IF THERE IS ONE SIGNATURE IN HEBREW AND ONE IN GREEK AND THEN AGAIN ONE IN HEBREW AND ONE IN GREEK RUNNING FROM UNDER ONE [GET] TO UNDER THE OTHER,17 BOTH ARE INVALID.
GEMARA. Why should not one be rendered valid by the signature Reuben [under it] and the other by the signature 'son of Jacob witness'18 [under it] seeing that we have learnt, 'The signature "son of So-and-so, witness" [renders a document] valid'? — We suppose that he writes 'Reuben son of' under the first Get and 'Jacob witness' under the second. But cannot the first be rendered valid by 'Reuben son of' and the second by 'Jacob witness', since we have learnt, 'The subscription, "So-and-so witness" [renders the document] valid'? — We suppose he did not add 'witness'. Or alternatively I may say that he does add 'witness', but we know that this is not the signature of Jacob.19
But perhaps he signed the name of his father? — A man would not omit his own name and sign the name of his father. But perhaps he uses it as a mark?1 Did not Rab [for his signature] draw a fish, R. Hanina a palm branch, R. Hisda a samek, R. Hoshaya an ayin, and Rabbah son of R. Hanah a mast?2 — A man would not take the liberty of using his father's name as a mark. But cannot the one Get be rendered valid by two Hebrew signatures and the other by two Greek signatures,3 since we have learnt, 'A Get written in Hebrew and signed in Greek or written in Greek and signed in Hebrew is valid'? And should you object that since [the second Get] is separated [from its signatures] by two lines4 it is not valid, has not Hezekiah said: If he filled up the space5 [with the signatures of] relatives,6 it is still valid? — Ze'iri has in fact taught that both of them are valid. What then [is the reason of] our Tanna? — [He thinks perhaps] the [Greek] signatures are reversed,7 so that all are subscribed to the one Get.
ONE SIGNATURE IN HEBREW AND ONE IN GREEK. But cannot one Get be rendered valid by one Hebrew signature and one Greek and the other also by one Hebrew signature and one Greek, since we have learnt that if there is one Hebrew signature and one Greek the document is valid? — Ze'iri has in fact taught that both are valid. What then [is the reason of] our Tanna? — He thinks that perhaps one of the signatures is reversed,8 so that there are three signatures to one Get and only one to the other.
MISHNAH. IF SOME OF THE GET WAS LEFT OVER [FROM THE FIRST SHEET] AND IS WRITTEN ON THE NEXT SHEET9 AND THE WITNESSES [SIGN] BELOW, [THE GET IS] VALID. IF THE WITNESSES HAVE SIGNED AT THE TOP OF THE SHEET OR AT THE SIDE OR ON THE BACK OF AN UNFOLDED GET,10 IT IS INVALID. IF THE TOP OF ONE GET IS FASTENED TO THE TOP OF ANOTHER AND THE WITNESSES' SIGNATURES ARE BETWEEN THE TWO, BOTH OF THEM ARE INVALID.11 IF THE TWO ARE ATTACHED END TO END AND THE WITNESSES' SIGNATURES ARE BETWEEN, THE ONE ON WHICH THE WITNESSES SIGNATURES FOLLOW DIRECTLY12 IS VALID. IF THE TOP OF ONE IS ATTACHED TO THE BOTTOM OF THE OTHER AND THE WITNESSES SIGNATURES ARE IN THE MIDDLE, THE ONE IN WHICH THE SIGNATURES COME AT THE END IS VALID. A GET OF WHICH THE TEXT IS IN HEBREW AND THE SIGNATURES IN GREEK, OR THE TEXT IN GREEK AND THE SIGNATURES IN HEBREW, OR WHICH HAS ONE HEBREW SIGNATURE AND ONE GREEK, OR WHICH WAS WRITTEN BY A SCRIBE AND SIGNED BY ONE WITNESS, IS VALID. IF A MAN SIGNS, 'SO-AND SO, WITNESS,' IT IS VALID. IF HE SIGNS, 'SON OF SO-AND-SO, WITNESS, IT IS VALID, IF HE SIGNS, 'SO-AND-SO SON OF SO-AND-SO WITHOUT ADDING 'WITNESS', IT IS VALID. THIS WAS THE CUSTOM OF THE MORE ELEGANT CIRCLES13 IN JERUSALEM.14 IF HE WROTE HIS OWN FAMILY NAME AND HERS,15 THE GET IS VALID.
GEMARA. [IF SOME OF THE GET IS WRITTEN ON THE NEXT SHEET.] But is there not a danger that these were originally two distinct bills, and he has kept the date of the first and the witnesses of the last and cut off the date of the second and the signatures of the first?16 — R. Abba said in the name of Rab: We suppose there is a space at the bottom.17 But is there not a danger that he has cut off the date of the second?18 — As R. Abba in the name of Rab answered in the previous instance, that we suppose there is a space at the bottom,
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