1) AN AREA WHICH PROTECTS THE GET EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE NO WALLS
QUESTION: The Mishnah teaches that if the woman was standing on the roof and the husband threw the Get to her there, as soon as the Get reaches the airspace of the roof she is divorced. The Gemara asks why is she divorced when the Get reaches merely the airspace of the roof, if the airspace of the roof does not serve to protect the Get?
RASHI (DH v'Ha) explains that the Get is not protected because the wind might blow away the Get before it lands on the roof. Consequently, the woman should not be divorced if the Get never comes to rest on the roof (such as when a dog grabs the Get before it reaches the floor of the roof). The airspace of a domain only acquires an object for its owner when the object will later land in that domain (see Bava Metzia 12a).
The Gemara gives two answers to its question. Rav Yehudah answers in the name of Shmuel that the Mishnah refers to a roof with a Ma'akeh (fence) which prevents the Get from being blown out of the area of the roof. Ula bar Menashya answers in the name of Avimi that the Mishnah refers to a case in which the Get reached within three Tefachim of the floor of the roof. RASHI (DH b'Pachos) explains that an object within three Tefachim of the ground is considered to be resting on the ground. Since the roof itself is higher than ten Tefachim high, it has the status of a "Chatzer ha'Mishtameres" for everything that rests within it.
The Gemara later cites Rava who states that there are three "Midos" in Gitin. RASHI (DH Shalosh) explains that there are three laws in Gitin which differ from the laws in other prohibitions. One of these differences is the ruling of Rav Chisda with regard to the laws of Shabbos. Rav Chisda ruled that if a beam was standing in a Reshus ha'Yachid and a Traskal (basket or small vessel) was resting on top of the beam, one who throws, on Shabbos, an object from Reshus ha'Rabim onto the Traskal in Reshus ha'Rabim is Chayav for transferring from Reshus ha'Rabim to Reshus ha'Yachid, even if the Traskal atop the beam is at a height of a hundred Amos. In contrast, when a man throws a Get to his wife and it lands on a Traskal atop a beam in her domain, she is not divorced because the Get is not guarded while resting on the Traskal.
(The RASHBA asserts that in Rashi's text of the Gemara, the word "Traskal" is not mentioned. The Rashba writes that although, with regard to the laws of Shabbos, the thrower of the object would be Chayav for throwing the object from Reshus ha'Rabim to the top of the beam even if there is no Traskal at the top, with regard to the laws of Gitin there must be a Traskal on top, because Rava's Chidush is that even if the Get lands on the Traskal the wife is not divorced because the Traskal does not guard the Get.)
RASHI (DH Aval) explains that if the beam is higher than the walls of the woman's Chatzer, she is not divorced. The wind will blow the Get beyond the walls of her Chatzer and it will not land on the ground of her Chatzer. A woman acquires her Get only in her Chatzer which protects it, as derived from "b'Yadah" (Devarim 24:1), her hand, which protects the Get when the husband places it there.
Rava's statement seems to contradict the answer of Ula bar Menashya, who teaches that even when a Chatzer has no walls it can acquire the Get for the woman as long as the Get reaches within three Tefachim of the ground. (See RASHBA in the name of the Yerushalmi which states explicitly that a Chatzer without walls acquires the Get for her if it reaches within three Tefachim of the ground.) Ula bar Menashya does not require that the Chatzer must be able to guard the Get. Accordingly, when the Get lands on her Traskal, even if the Chatzer does not protect the Get she should be divorced since the Get actually landed in her domain. How is Rava's statement to be reconciled with Ula bar Menashya's ruling?
(a) The RASHBA and RABEINU KRESKAS answer that since the Traskal is so narrow, it does not protect the Get at all. Since the Get will blow away even in an ordinary wind, it is not considered to have landed at all in her domain. In contrast, when the Get lands within three Tefachim of the floor of the roof, the roof's width protects the Get from blowing away in an ordinary wind, and thus the Get is considered to have landed in the wife's domain.
(b) The MAHARSHA answers that according to the text of Rashi, there is no Traskal at the top of the beam, and the Get landed directly on the top of the beam. Accordingly, there is a clear difference between the two cases. When the Get lands within three Tefachim of the roof, it is considered to have landed on the roof itself because it is so close to the roof. The roof is a significant area (Makom Chashuv) and, therefore, it is not necessary that the Get be protected from the wind there. In contrast, when the Get lands on the top of a narrow beam, it is considered to be in the air still, since the beam is not a Makom Chashuv. Accordingly, in order to be considered to be in her domain it must be protected from the wind. If there are no walls to protect it, it is not considered to be in her domain and she does not acquire it.
This distinction between the case of Rava and the case of Ula bar Menashya applies even according to the text which includes the word "Traskal." In the case of the Mishnah, the woman is standing on the roof, and thus she is able to guard it once it is within three Tefachim of the floor of the roof. In contrast, when the Get is high up on the Traskal, she is not able to ensure that the wind will not blow it away from there. (See MAHARAM.) (D. BLOOM)
2) THE SECOND KOHEN WHO MARRIES THE DIVORCED WOMAN
QUESTION: The Mishnah lists various mistakes in the writing of a Get which render the Get invalid (such as writing the name of the wrong king in the Get, the wrong place, and wrong name). The Mishnah states that if a woman thought she was divorced with such a Get and became married to another man, she must leave both the first and second husbands. The Mishnah later states that if she dies, neither man may become Tamei for her. RASHI (DH Mitam'in) explains that if the two men are Kohanim they are not allowed to touch her body and bury her. Even though a Kohen is permitted to become Tamei and bury his wife (Vayikra 21:2), in this case the Rabanan penalized her for getting married with a faulty Get and considered neither man to be her husband.)
Rashi clearly implies that the second husband was also a Kohen. Since the first Get was valid mid'Oraisa and Pasul only mid'Rabanan, the woman was a Gerushah (divorcee) mid'Oraisa. How, then, was it possible that she remarried a Kohen, who is forbidden from marrying a Gerushah?
(a) The CHOCHMAS SHLOMO answers that Rashi does not actually mean that both men were Kohanim. Rather, he means that only the first husband was a Kohen, while the second was a Nazir, who is also not allowed to touch a corpse. (See REBBI AKIVA EIGER who questions the Chochmas Shlomo from the Mishnah in Nazir (47a) which states that a Nazir is never allowed to become Tamei for his wife, in contrast to a Kohen, and thus according to the Chochmas Shlomo the Mishnah here is teaching nothing new.)
(b) The MAHARSHA answers that when Rashi writes that if both husbands are Kohanim they are not allowed to become Tamei for her, he refers to one of two possible scenarios. The first possibility is that the first husband was a Kohen and was still alive when his wife died. Since he had given her a Get which was valid mid'Oraisa, she is no longer considered his wife to permit him to become Tamei for her. In this scenario, there is no need to add that she remarried another Kohen after she received the Get.
The second possibility is that the first husband died after he gave the Get. The second Kohen married her under the assumption that she was widowed and not divorced, because he did not know that her first husband had given her a Get before his death. Since, in reality, the Get from the first husband is valid mid'Oraisa, the woman has the status of a Gerushah, and therefore the second husband is not allowed to touch her corpse. The Gemara in Yevamos (22b) states that a Kohen may bury his wife only if she is permitted to be married to him, but not if she is Pesulah to him. (See SHULCHAN ARUCH YD 373:4, who rules that a Kohen may not touch his dead wife if she was a Gerushah.)
The Maharsha adds that the Gemara later (81a) mentions a similar case. The Gemara there teaches that if there was a rumor that a Kohen had written a Get for his wife and she remarried another Kohen, she must leave the second husband. RASHI (DH Mai) explains that the Gemara refers to a case in which the first husband died and the woman remarried another Kohen. She must leave him because of the rumor that she received a Get from her first husband before he died. The Maharsha points out that Rashi there is careful to write that the first Kohen died, because if it was known that the first Kohen divorced her the second Kohen never would have married her. Similarly, the Gemara here refers to a case in which the second Kohen thought he was marrying a widow and not a divorcee.
(c) The MAHAMRAM SHIF suggests that the second Kohen indeed transgressed the law when he married the Gerushah.
(d) The CHOCHMAS SHLOMO suggests a different explanation for the Gemara. Perhaps, in contrast to Rashi's explanation, both husbands were not Kohanim. When the Mishnah says that neither man may become Tamei for his wife, it means that they are not obligated to make themselves Tamei to bury her, since neither one is considered her full husband.
REBBI AKIVA EIGER questions this explanation from the words of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Avel 2:6) who rules that only Kohanim -- who are prohibited from becoming Tamei for non-relatives (Vayikra 21:1) -- are conversely obligated to become Tamei for close relatives (Vayikra 21:2-3). In contrast, Yisraelim who are not prohibited from become Tamei for non-relatives are not obligated to become Tamei for relatives. (See RA'AVAD there who disagrees with the Rambam.)
The SHA'AGAS ARYEH (#66) writes that RASHI in Yevamos (29b, DH v'Lo) agrees with the Rambam. Accordingly, Rashi cannot explain that the Mishnah refers to a husband who is a Yisrael whom the Rabanan prohibited from becoming Tamei to bury his wife because she is not his proper wife, because a Yisrael is never obligated to become Tamei even for his proper wife. (D. BLOOM)