[a - 15 lines; b - 14 lines]

1)[line 1]גטGET - A Divorce Document

(a)A marriage can be dissolved in one of two ways. One is through the death of either spouse. The other is through the presentation of a "Sefer Kerisus" (lit. document of severance) by the husband to his wife. This document must be placed into her possession (v'Nasan b'Yadah") in the presence of two witnesses (Devarim 24:1). In the language of Chazal, this document is called a Get (pl. Gitin).

(b)A Get may be written upon any surface, such as paper, parchment, shards of pottery, leaves (that will not wither), the hand of a slave, and the horn of a cow. It may not, however, be written upon that which is still growing from the ground.

(c)The main body of a Get consists of the words "Harei At Muteres l'Chol Adam" - "You are hereby free to [marry] whomever you wish." It must also contain the full names of both husband and wife (i.e., their first names along with those of their fathers), their places of residence (or birthplace, according to some), the location of the writing of the Get, and the date. If any of these details is missing or incorrect, then the Get is invalid (34b, Yevamos 91b). The Get must be written li'Shmah - with the express intent of using it to divorce the woman mentioned therein (20a).

(d)One need not hand the Get directly to his wife. He may appoint a Shali'ach (agent) to bring the Get to her and deliver it in his stead. Such a Shali'ach is termed a "Shali'ach l'Holachah." A woman may also appoint a "Shali'ach l'Kabalah" to receive a Get from her husband (or his Shali'ach). In the case of a Shali'ach l'Kabalah, she becomes divorced as soon as the Shali'ach receives the Get. She may also appoint a Shali'ach to receive the Get for the purpose of bringing it to her. Such a "Shali'ach l'Hava'ah" does not act as her agent; she will not be divorced until she receives the Get from the Shali'ach l'Hava'ah.

(e)Our Mishnah discusses a Shali'ach l'Holachah.

2)[line 2]מדינת היםMEDINAS HA'YAM- lit. a land overseas; a distant place (see Insights)

3)[line 3]נחתםNECHTAM- signed [by witnesses]

4a)[line 4]רקםREKEM- a city. The word "Rekem" is the Aramaic translation offered by TARGUM ONKELUS for "Kadesh" (Bereishis 14:7, 16:14, 20:1), of which more than one appear in Tanach. a) This is commonly understood to refer to Petra, in Jordan (JOSEPHUS, TEVU'OS HA'ARETZ); b) it may refer to a city located in the Trachon region in the northeast of Eretz Yisrael (see TOSFOS DH v'Ashkelon, and Insights #2 toward the end).

b)[line 4]חגרCHEGER- a city. The word "Cheger" is the Aramaic translation offered by TARGUM ONKELUS for "Bared" (Bereishis 16:14) and "Shur" (Bereishis 20:1). The Aramaic root "Cheger" means "belt," "perimeter," or "wall"; here it refers to fortified cities along the eastern border of Eretz Yisrael.

5a)[line 4]כפר לודיםKFAR LUDIM- a suburb of Lod located six Parsa'os away in Chutz la'Aretz (see Rashi to Sukah 26b)

b)[line 5]לודLOD- a city located along the road from Yerushalayim to Caesaria

6)[line 7]המוליךHA'MOLICH- one who brings [a Get from Eretz Yisrael to Chutz la'Aretz]

7)[line 9]הגמוניא להגמוניאHEGMONIYA L'HEGMONIYA- one district to another [neighboring] district [with which relations are strained]

8)[line 10]מרקם למזרחME'REKEM L'MIZRACH- [if one brings a Get] from [the city of] Rekem and eastward [he must state b'Fanai Nechtav uv'Fanai Nechtam]. Those who earlier understand that Rekem refers to Petra would appear to understand that the Rekem mentioned in this part of the Mishnah is not the same city (since Petra is too far east to be considered part of the eastern border of Eretz Yisrael). This Rekem may then be referring to Kedesh Naftali, which is located in the northeast of Eretz Yisrael (see also Insights #2 toward the end).

9)[last line]עורריםORERIM- complaints [from the husband challenging that the Get is a forgery]

10)[last line]יתקיים בחותמיוYISKAYEM B'CHOSMAV - the document shall be ratified through its signatures (KIYUM SHETAROS)

(a)By Torah law, any Shtar (contract) or Get (divorce document) properly written and signed by valid witnesses is unassailably valid. However, out of concern for forgeries, the Chachamim decreed that one affected by a document may insist that it be Mekuyam (validated). This can be accomplished in one of three ways:

1.The signed witnesses themselves attest to the validity of their signatures;

2.Each signature is validated by two others who recognize it;

3.The signatures are matched to those on previously validated documents.

11)[last line]מ"ט?MAI TAIMA?- what is the reason [that a Shali'ach l'Holachah must state "b'Fanai Nechtav uv'Fanai Nechtam"]?


12)[line 1]אין בקיאין לשמהEIN BEKI'IN LI'SHMAH- a) they are not aware of (RASHI); b) they do not accept (TOSFOS DH l'FI) [the Halachah which states that a Get must be written] with the express intent of using it to divorce the woman mentioned therein (20b)

13)[line 3]אתיוהו בי תריASYUHU BEI TREI- two messengers brought it [in which case it is still necessary to know whether to not it was written li'Shmah, but not to ratify it (see Insights)]

14)[line 3]ממדינה למדינה בארץ ישראלMI'MEDINAH L'MEDINAH B'ERETZ YISRAEL- from one region to another within Eretz Yisrael [in which case it has clearly been written li'Shmah, but it must still be ratified immediately since people from one region are not often found in the other]

15)[line 4]באותה מדינה במדינת היםB'OSAH MEDINAH B'MEDINAS HA'YAM- within one region in Chutz la'Aretz [in which case it need not be ratified immediately, but it is necessary to know whether to not it was written li'Shmah]

16)[line 6]מידי דהוהMIDI D'HAVAH- similar to

17)[line 6]כל עדיות שבתורהKOL EDUYOS SHEBA'TORAH- all testimony in the Torah [which, as a general rule, must be delivered by two witnesses (Devarim 19:15, 17:6)]

18)[line 7]עד אחד נאמן באיסוריןED ECHAD NE'EMAN B'ISURIN - One May Rely Upon a Single Witness with Regard to Prohibitions

(a)One may rely upon a single person to testify that an object is permitted. For example, one may eat food provided by any individual, whether male or female, who states that it is kosher. Normative requirements for testimony do not apply.

(b)RASHI states that the source for this Halachah is that which we do not find that the Torah requires one who eats food provided by his fellow to first hear from two witnesses that the food is kosher. TOSFOS and other Rishonim maintain that this is derived from the verse which implies that the personal count of every woman to determine when she is no longer a Nidah (see Background to Yevamos 49:18) is reliable (Vayikra 15:28).

(c)This rule clearly applies when there had either been a doubt as to the status of the object (i.e., whether the food item was of a kosher variety or not), or it was within the ability of the witness to affect that status (i.e., whether or not an animal had been properly slaughtered). If, however, the object in question is "Ischazek Isura" - it has been established as prohibited, and the question is whether or not is has become permitted - then the Gemara in Yevamos (88a) raises the possibility that a single witness will not be believed to permit it.

19a)[line 9]חלבCHELEV - Forbidden Fats

(a)Chelev refers to those fats of an animal offered upon the Mizbe'ach. This includes the layer of fat covering the stomachs of the animal, all other fat attached to the stomachs, and the fat lining the kidneys along its flanks (Vayikra 3:4).

(b)One may not consume the Chelev of a kosher Behemah (domesticated animal), although one may derive any other benefit from it. "Shuman" is the term for all other fats of a Behemah that are permitted for consumption. Both Chelev and Shuman of a Chayah (non-domesticated animal) may be eaten.

(c)If one consumes Chelev intentionally, he is liable to receive Kares (see Background to Sukah 25:25); if he did so unintentionally, then he must offer a Korban Chatas (see Background to Yoma 61:35). If one is in doubt as to whether the fat that he ate was Chelev or Shuman, then he must offer a Korban Asham Taluy (see Background ibid.).

b)[line 9]שומןSHUMAN- permitted animal fats (see above)

20)[line 9]לא איתחזק איסוראLO ISCHAZEK ISURA- it was never established as prohibited (see above, entry #18)

21)[line 11]הוי דבר שבערוהHAVEI DAVAR SHEB'ERVAH- it is a matter of marital relationships (a category that includes marriage, divorce, and forbidden conjugal relationships). This is the second objection raised by our Gemara. Because the Gemara in Yevamos (88a) entertains the possibility that a single witness is believed even in a case of Ischazek Isura, our Gemara asks this question as well (TOSFOS DH Havei; see also RAMBAN).

22)[line 12]רוב בקיאין הןROV BEKI'IN HEN- (the Gemara answers that) most [Batei Din even in Chutz la'Aretz] a) know of (RASHI); b) agree with (TOSFOS DH l'FI) [the requirement of li'Shmah]

23)[line 13]ר"מ דחייש למיעוטאREBBI MEIR D'CHAYISH L'MI'UTA - The Opinion of Rebbi Meir Who Concerns Himself with Unlikely Possibilities

(a)Rebbi Meir maintains that when the status of an object is in doubt, we may not rely on the majority. If there is a possibility that it is prohibited, then we cannot permit it. (According to one opinion in TOSFOS to Chulin 12a DH Pesach and 86b DH Semoch, this opinion of Rebbi Meir is a Rabbinic enactment. See also Background to Bechoros 19:11b.)

24)[line 13]סתם ספרי דדייני מיגמר גמיריSTAM SAFREI D'DAYANEI MIGMAR GEMIREI- we may assume that scribes [working for] the judges [of Beis Din] are learned [and are aware that a Get must be written li'Shmah, in which case the concern that the Get was written improperly is extremely remote and even Rebbi Meir would agree that we need not be concerned for it (TOSFOS DH Stam)]