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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Daf Yomi! Beginners welcome's LiveJournal:

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Monday, February 8th, 2016
12:39 am
[meirbg]
Gittin 51 – Limit people's desires
Imagine that someone (Shimon) bought land, worked it, has crop coming, and now it is found out that the land was stolen. The one from whom the land was originally stolen comes and reclaims the land, together with the crop, and Shimon is left with nothing. So he goes to the seller of the land (who is, as it turned out, a thief) and wants to collect his money from him. But the seller has no cash; and his fields have meanwhile been sold as well. Shimon then goes and collects from the purchasers of the thief's land. By right, he should be able to collect the price of the field and the crops.

However, the Sages limited his collection rights, for the benefit of the world. For if someone can always come and collect not only a field, but also unexpected and unlimited amounts for the crops, people would be so nervous to buy fields that commerce would stop.

An oath is a serious thing, and there is only one money-related oath in the Torah. It happens when someone in court admits to a part of the claim. Say the lender claims that someone owes him 200 coins, and the borrower admits that yes, indeed, he owes money, but only a 100 coins. In that case, the Torah says that the court can require an oath from the borrower. Why is that? The borrower can rationalize and say, “I will return the money, but later, so now, to avoid being a bad guy, I will just say that I only owe a part.” With the oath, he won't say it.

By right, the same oath would apply if someone returns a wallet with a 100 coins, and the owner claims that there were really 200. However, the Sages canceled the oath in that case, or else people would never return lost objects.

Art: Harvest in Provence by Vincent Van Gogh
Sunday, February 7th, 2016
12:02 am
[meirbg]
Gittin 50 – Credit obligations

When someone guarantees the payment of the Ketubah, he incurs no obligation. If the husband later defaults and does not pay the Ketubah to his wife, our guarantor is off the hook. Why is that? The guarantor relies primarily on the husband to pay the Ketubah and reasons that most likely he will never have to pay. Moreover, in encouraging the pair to marry, he is simply doing a mitzvah! That is why we can assume that he does not seriously obligate himself.

We mentioned earlier that a debt, if one cannot pay it, is collected from his lands of medium quality. Why is that? In truth, he could even give his worst land. The Torah said that the lender “Cannot come into the house to take a deposit, but must wait outside till the debtor will bring him something.” What will the debtor bring? – Of course, the worst. However, the Sages raised the obligations of the borrower, for otherwise nobody would want to loan money to his fellow.

However, when a man dies and a creditor comes to collect the debt, now he can collect only from the worst. This is so because he collects not from the borrower but from the orphans that he left. If they are minors, they surely need protection, and even if they are adults, they likely did not pay attention to their father's loans, and can be easily fooled. Here the Sages left the Torah law intact, because lenders seldom consider the possibility of death of the borrower and would give out loans anyway.

Art: La Mariée - The Bride - by Marc Chagall
Friday, February 5th, 2016
3:08 pm
[meirbg]
Gittin 49 – Why does land quality matter?

If one's animal damage his fellow's field, he must pay with the best of his field” tells us that there damage payments. However, we started discussing that it is not clear what “his field” means.

Rabbi Ishmael says, “His field was damaged, and his field is now used to measure the quality.” That is, the damaged party's best field determines the quality of the land to be collected. Rabbi Akiva says, “He must pay with the best of his field” clearly tells that the one who pays is the one whose field we are talking about.

But why all this talk about best land, medium or bad one? Rabbi Shimon, who was the only one who explained reasons behind Torah laws, said: why does the damager pay from his best land? – So that people would think thus: “What's the point of robbing or stealing? Tomorrow the courts will take it all away from me, and moreover, they will do it by taking my best land!”

Now, why is a debt repaid with a medium quality land? So that a rich person would not think thus: “I will advance a loan to this fellow of mine, and then, when he cannot repay, I will collect his best vineyard!” But according to this logic, he should collect the worst land!? – If you do this, people will refrain from giving loans altogether?

Finally, the Ketubah of a woman (after all, we are studying divorces) is paid from the worst land of the husband, why is that? – Because the various advantages that a woman derives from marriage are significant, and women will not refrain from getting married just because they know that their Ketubah payment will be paid from bad quality land.

Art: Le prêteur et sa femme (The moneylender and his wife) by Quentin METSYS
Thursday, February 4th, 2016
12:38 pm
[meirbg]
Gittin 48 – When to give the best land
In discussing the sale of the land in Israel, the Talmud asks: if one sells just the trees, for their crops, is it considered as if the land is sold with them, or not? Rabbi Yochanan says that the land is considered as sold with the trees, and Rabbi Asi comments that he better say this, or else “Rabbi Yochanan will not find his hands and feet in the study hall.”

Why is this? Because in another place the same Rabbi Yochanan said that brothers who inherit land from their father are considered as buyers of land from each other. In those times when the Jubilee year was observed, the land would return to the owners every fifty years. Unless the land went with the fruit, nobody would ever own land in the true sense of the word, and nobody would ever bring first fruit!

Continuing with the laws promulgated “for the benefit of the world,” the next one is this: if one harms his neighbor, he pays for it, “with the best of his land.” We are talking about material damagers here, and if the tortfeasor (let's call him “damager”) has cash, he should simply pay cash. However, if he does not, then he may have land, and the courts collect from his land. The amount they collect is equal to the damage. But the quality of the land is up to the court, and the rule is “take the best.”

But why is it called a “decree of the Sages?” It is Torah law that everyone already knows?!  – Actually, yes. However, it would be only according to Rabbi Ishmael, who understands the "best field "differently. The best field, but of whom? – Of the damaged party! A rich damager would just give some bad land, because it would be like the best of the poor damaged party. The Sages prevented this by requiring that the damager gives of his best.

Art: Still Life with a Basket of Fruit by Balthasar Van Der Ast
Sunday, January 31st, 2016
10:42 am
[meirbg]
Gittin 47 – What to leave in a will

If one sells himself and his children as slaves to idolaters, the community should redeem him. However, if he keeps doing this repeatedly, they refrain. After the father's death, the community should redeem his children. While the father was alive, he watched over them, but now they should not be taught the wrong way of life.

There was a village near the city of Lod whose residents were occasional cannibals. A man sold himself to them, and asked Rabbi Ami to command the community to redeem him. Rabbi Ami quoted the above rule and said that it should apply, especially here, where the man's life was in danger. They told Rabbi Ami, “He eats forbidden foods!” He answered, “Maybe there was nothing else?” They told him, “No, he did it on purpose.” Rabbi Ami said to the man, “Sorry, they don't let me redeem you.”

Resh Lakish heard of this and sold himself to the people near Lod. As a last wish, he asked to be permitted to sit them down, tie them, and give them a light blow with his backpack. Inside the backpack was a stone, and in this way he killed them.

Resh Lakish worked hard but spent his earnings liberally and kindheartedly. All he left as inheritance was a quart of safflower oil, but he was still upset, quoting “They left their possessions to strangers.” A man should not amass wealth and pass it to his descendants, since they may be unworthy.

When an non-Jew buys land in Israel, does he own it ritually, so that even tithes need not be given? Some say no, because “I (God) own the land.“ Others says yes, because it says, “Take tithe of your grain” (and not of grain owned by non-Jew). Either way, the Sages established that the seller should keep buying first fruit from this land and bringing it to the Temple. This was done to discourage such sales.

Art: The Money Lender by Dutch School
Friday, January 29th, 2016
9:38 am
[meirbg]
Gittin 46 - Divorce that cannot be undone
If one divorces his wife and states during his divorce that he is doing it because of the bad name that she got - he can never re-marry her. Why? Should he later find out that she was maligned, he could say, "Had I only known this, I would have never divorced you - even if they paid me a lot of money!" Such words can make her Get invalid. Then she would still be considered married to him, and her children from the next husband would get the status of mamzerim. With the new rule, however, he understands that this divorce is final, and even if the accusations were false, he will not be able to return her. Thus, his actions show that he does not love her any longer, and his claim "Had I only known" is not to be believed.

If one divorces his wife because she is incapable of childbearing - and states so - then likewise he cannot remarry her. For, if she marries again and has children, he could cliim "Had I only known that you can have children, I would have never divorced you." This could invalidate her divorce and the legitimacy of his children.

Since this divorce is her fault, as it stands, she does not get the Ketubah payment. However, if she now marries, has children and then asks for the Ketubah payment (claiming wrongful divorce), the husband can counterclaim and say, "Your silence is better than your words." That is, if you keep silent - well and good, but if you demand the Ketubah, I can say this, "Had I known that in the end, after my divorce, I will also have to pay the Ketubah, I would have never divorced you" - which leads to the same consequences.

Art: Allegory of the art of painting by Jan Vermeer
8:54 am
[meirbg]
Gittin 45 - Ransoming hostages - how much to pay?
When bandits demand money to release hostages, they should not be given extraordinary amounts - for the benefit of society. Is the intent not to impoverish the society, or is it to discourage future hostage taking? A certain Levi bar Darga redeemed his daughter for twelve thousand golden coins. Since he paid the money himself, there was no burden on the society. Does it not prove that the second reason - that the bandits should not take more Jews hostage in the future - does not apply? Said Abaye, "Who said that the Sages approved of his actions?" - Rather, this rule is intended to discourage future hostage taking.

Another rule: not to help hostages escape, but rather continue with the ransom negotiations. What is the reason here? Some say, it is to prevent harsher treatment of future hostages, while others say that it is to prevent torture of the remaining ones. Why does the reason matter if the rule is not to help them escape? - It will make a difference in case of a single captive: the first reason would still apply, but the second would not.

Likewise, the Torah scroll, tefillin and mezuzah can only be bought from idolaters for reasonable amounts, for the benefit of society. If one does not buy them, the sellers may destroy them in anger, but if he buys them for too much - they may continue stealing.

However, a question may be asked: perhaps they wrote the Torah, and if so, how can it be used to read in the synagogue? Rabbi Eliezer would say that anything that an idolater does is for the sake of his idol - so this Torah scroll should be destroyed. Rav Hamnuna said that Torah scroll written by a non-Jews or anyone who is not proper to write it, such as a non-observant Jew, is invalid and should be buried. Our rule works according to the opinion that if the Torah is written correctly, anyone can write it - if only the leather was prepared for the sake of writing a Torah scroll on it.

Art: Two Bandits in the Hills by William Simpson
Wednesday, January 27th, 2016
10:10 pm
[meirbg]
Gittin 44 – A flurry of unresolved questions about a slave
As we saw earlier, the life of a slave was quite privileged. In particular, on emancipation he was to acquire a full status of a “Son of Israel,” and even as a slave, he was already observing mitzvot.

Therefore, if someone sold his slave to an idolater (who would likely stop the slave from observing the mitzvot), the slave became legally free – this was the decree of the Sages. They have also added that the previous owner had to write for the slave a Get of emancipation. A special case is when the master wrote for the slave a letter which said, “When you flee, I have no claims on you.” In this case, the Get would not be needed.

If one sold his slave (which normally involved a penalty on the master, in that the slave goes free), but he sold him only for thirty days, would the penalty still apply? What if he sold him on the condition that the slave does not do any work (but lives with a slave-woman and helps her grow the children)? What if he sold him for work, but with the exception of Saturdays and Holidays? What if he sold the slave to a non-Jew who lives in Israel and observes the laws of Noah, or to a non-observant Jew, does the slave go free? We can at least resolve the last question: a Noahide is considered as a idolater for this. Some say that a non-observant Jew is the same as an idolater, and others say that he is not.

Consider a man from Babylon who marries a woman from Israel, and she comes to live with him, together with her slaves. Do we say that she brought slaves outside of Israel, and must be penalized by freeing them, or do we say that now they are the husband's, and he should not free them? Here we get no answer.

Art: Talmudic Discussion by Mark Gertler
Tuesday, January 26th, 2016
10:52 pm
[meirbg]
Gittin 43 – Betting on the life of a slave
Imagine someone suggests a very unusual futures trade: he will pay a certain amount to the owner of the slave, betting that this slave will be gored by an ox. He will pay some amount now, and if it happens that this slave is indeed gored, then the penalty of thirty shekels, which the master would receive, will instead go to the trader. Is such a trade valid?

On the one hand, even Rabbi Meir who validates buying next year's fruit of a tree may disagree here: the tree is certain to bring fruit, but the slave might not be gored, and even if he is gored – there is a rule that if the owner of the ox admits his guilt, he does not pay the penalty.

On the hand, even the Sages who disagree with Rabbi Meir and who invalidate the sale of the next year's fruit, may say that the slave's future trade is valid: after all, the slave is here, and the ox is also here, but the fruit are not. The question remains unanswered.

Another question: if a man who is half-slave and half-free betroths a woman, is this valid? We know that if a man betroths half of a woman, it is not valid – because he left the other half free, and a wife needs to be acquired completely. However, this slave does not leave out anything – so maybe this is valid. Consider an earlier rule of a half-slave who was gored and whose payment went to his heirs. If he has heirs, he much have a wife! So his betrothal must be valid!? – Not necessarily, maybe the teacher wanted to say, “Should go to his heirs, but he has none.”

Incidentally, one who betroths a half-slave and half-free woman indeed acquires her as a wife, because he wants the whole woman and does not leave out any part of her.

Art: Hеравный брак Василия Пукирева.
Monday, January 25th, 2016
10:05 pm
[meirbg]
Gittin 42 – Vicissitudes of the slave of two masters
The Talmud discussed how can one become a slave of two masters, and especially how can he be a slave of one master in part, and a free man in part. Then it describes what else can happen to such slave.

For example, if an ox gores this slave, who receives the damages payments? – The answer is that if the goring happened on the day when this slave was working for the master, then the payment goes to the master, because it is his property that was damaged. If, however, this happened on the day when the slave was working for himself, then the payments go directly to him, for he is a free man at this time.

If so, do we have a basis to allow him to marry a slave-woman on those days when he is working for his master, and a free woman when he is working for himself? – No, this far we don't go: money can indeed be divided, but prohibitions that are intrinsic to him cannot be divided to change their nature from day to day.

Imagine that the ox does not just gore this slave, but actually kills him. In this case, if the ox was habitually goring people, the owner of the ox pays a penalty of thirty shekels for his gross negligence. Who does the payment go to? – Half goes to the master (because the slave is one-half his), and the other half – to the heirs of the slave. But we expected that it simply depends on which day he dies, just like above!? – Above, the slave was still alive, and would eventually recompense both his master and himself, but here the complete capital is so-to-say gone, so the two sides divide the recompense.

Art: Lawyer in his Study by Adriaen Jansz. Van Ostade
Sunday, January 24th, 2016
11:02 pm
[meirbg]
Gittin 40 - Signs of a free man
Rabbi Zeira said, "If you see a master who allows his slave to marry a Jewish woman, this is a sign that this master has previously freed his slave." Rabbi Yochanan was surprised: "Are you certain? I know that one who marries a slave woman - even that is not a clear sign that he freed her!" Rabbi Zeira explained, "I mean, when we see that the master actually helps with the ceremony."

Likewise, if a slave dons tefillin in front of his master, this is not yet a definite sign, but if the master assists the slave to don tefillin, this is a sure sign that he has previously freed the slave.

Rav Dimi traveled to Israel and brought back the following story. A certain man said at the time of this death, "This woman-slave revived my spirit. Therefore, you, my sons, should revive her spirit." Rabbi Yochanan wanted to say that she should go free. But Rabbi Ami and Rabbi Asi told him, "Maybe she indeed deserves freedom, but why do you force the heirs to also lose her children, who would be their slaves?" However, the story was incorrect. Really, the decision was to ask her what will revive her spirit - and if she insists on being freed - so be it! And why is that? - Because it is a mitzvah to fulfill the words of the dead.

Earlier we discussed that one who makes his slave ownerless only effects the first step to freedom. The slave still needs a Get. If now the master dies, the slave has no way to rectify the situation, since the master's heirs do not inherit the slave, and therefore cannot free him. However, in many situations Sages found a way to force the writing of a Get - because without it the slave could not get married.

Art: A Cairene Woman waited upon by a Galla Slave Girl by Emile Prisse d'Avennes
9:00 pm
[meirbg]
Gittin 41 - A slave of two masters
Imagine that someone makes his slave a collateral for his loan, so that if he does not repay, then the lender acquires the slave. The master can still free the slave. However, the slave must write a promissory note for his value. To whom?

Some say that he writes it to the lender. In truth the slave is free, but the Sages wanted to prevent a situation where the lender meets the former slave in the street and claims that this is his slave - implying that his children are children of a slave! Others say that it is the lender who is forced by the Sages to write a Get, because he can sue the borrower for the value of the slave and get paid anyway.

If two people pulled their money together and bought a slave, but then one of them makes his part of the slave free, then the slave works one day for the other owner, and another day for himself. On Shabbat he does not work. That is the opinion of Beit Hillel.

However, Beit Shammai argued: this slave cannot marry a slave-women, because he is part free. He cannot marry a free Jewish woman, because he is part slave. Should he refrain from procreation altogether? But the earth "was not created to be empty, but to be populated." Therefore, Beit Shammai suggest that the second owner should be forced to free the slave and to accept from him a note for half of his value. And Beit Hillel were convinced.

Art: The Jewish Wedding by Moritz Oppenheim
9:55 am
[meirbg]
Gittin 39 – How can a slave free himself
Earlier we discuss the life of a slave. There are two steps in him getting freedom: the master's ownership has to stop, and the slave needs to be legally freed, in order to become a full-fledged Jew who can marry a Jewish woman.

Therefore, if a slave is declared “ownerless,” this is only the first step; he needs to get a written bill of emancipation, called Get. However, what about the rule that if a convert – who is like a new legal person, like a child born into the world, and who therefore does not have any legal inheritors – if this convert dies, then his slaves acquire themselves and are moreover become legally free, without a Get? – Death of owner is different; this is similar to death of a husband, which frees the wife without a Get.

Likewise, if a slave acquires himself with money, a Get is not required. But what about the following story: a man was dying, and his slave-woman screamed, “Until when will that person (meaning herself) be a slave!?” So he threw her his hat, as if saying, “just as the hat exchanges ownership, so you acquire yourself.” They went to Rav Nachman to confirm, and he said, “The man has accomplished nothing.” This seems to mean that even though she acquired herself, a formal Get was still required! – Well, that is how people understood it, but they were wrong.

In truth, the problem was that that hat he threw belonged to him. The acquisition that he intended, as any acquisition done by giving a token (like a kerchief) to another, requires that the object belong to the buyer (her), not the the seller (him). So the problem was that acquisition did not happen at all, but not that a Get was needed.

Art: Young man in a hat, by anonymous
Thursday, January 21st, 2016
5:41 pm
[meirbg]
Congratulations - completing Talmud Illuminated
Hello, friends,

those who started reading emails or blogs of Talmud Illuminated about seven and a half years ago have today come to complete the Talmud, by reading concise summaries and by enjoying and studying world's art.

Today we are starting on the next cycle, hopefully taking the learning to a higher level.

Best regards!
5:28 pm
[meirbg]
Gittin 38 - The escape of a slave
A life of a slave bought in Canaan is thus: he is offered to be circumcised and to remain a slave in a Jewish household. If he does not agree, he is to let go after a year. He has rights: if his master harms him by cutting of a limb, even by knocking out his tooth, he goes free. He has obligations: he has to observe most of the mitzvot.

What happens when this slave is captured by idolatrous robbers? Since the robbers will stop him from observing the mitzvot, one is obligated to buy this slave back from the robbers. Does the slave then go free? - If the master still has hope to get the slave back, then if someone buys this slave in order to bring him back to the master, he remains the servant of his master. But if the one who redeems this slave wants him to go free - then he indeed goes free.  Why? - As far as the buyer is concerned - he redeemed the slave to freedom, so he cannot possibly become the new owner. Yet, the first master owns him!? - True, but he beomes free by the decree of the Sages: if the slave would go back to the master, then the freedom-loving redeemers would not have the motivation to redeem them.

This is the opinion of Rava. Abaye investigates what happens when the master already lost hope to get the slave back. The slave then should become free simply because the master in his mind does not own him. The Talmud describes when a slave who has become free needs an additional Get granting him freedom and other cases of redemption.

Art: The Idle Servant by Nicolaes Maes
5:21 pm
[meirbg]
Gittin 22 – Who can write the Get?
Everybody can write a Get (divorce document), even people who are normally not considered completely responsible for their actions, such as a deaf-mute or deranged person, or anyone below bat/bar-mitzvah age. It goes without saying that a woman can write a Get, provided that she transfers its ownership to the husband, who can then give “his” Get to her. It is not the writing of the Get that matters, it is the signatures of the witnesses!

That rule sounds a bit strange: can we assume, for example, that a deranged person fulfills the requirement of writing a Get having in his mind that it is for a specific woman? – We have to say that someone who knows watches him and commands him what to do. What about signatures of the witness? – We know that the law is like Rabbi Elazar, that it is the witnesses of giving the Get who matter!? – True, the rule assumes that the signing witnesses will be there for the continuation of the proceedings and will witness the giving of the Get as well, as is usually the case.

Another explanation is that this is a tongue-in-cheek rule. It emphasizes the opinion of Rabbi Meir who says that only the signatures of witnesses matter – according to this, even a deranged person can write a Get.

Who can bring the Get if the husband can't come? Basically anyone, but here the deranged person and the deaf-mute are excluded, because they would have to testify that they saw the Get being written and signed. The Talmud goes into complications of someone who was under bar-mitzvah age when accepted the Get and started the journey, but then grew up, or someone who was normal, became deranged on the way, and the possibly became lucid again.

Art: The witness by John Wells Smith
12:31 am
[meirbg]
Gittin 21 – What to write the Get on?
Can one write a Get on a big leaf growing on a tree, then tear it off and give it to his wife? – No! Since the Torah said, “And he will write for her a letter of divorce and give it,” we understand that he must be able to give the Get immediately after writing. Here we have another action, tearing off, intervene between writing the Get and giving it, and therefore such Get is invalid. If he did, however, write on a leaf, tore it off and gave it to his wife, he did not do things correctly, but the divorce is valid.

The last rule is in direct contradiction with the previous one! We just finished explaining why the Get is invalid, using the “He will write and give” - in one breath – and now we are saying that it is valid after all!?

The answer is that there are two parts in the Get. The first one is the “active,” or “explicit” part, which effects the divorce. It gives the names of the husband and wife, the place and the date. It also contains the key phrase “you are free to marry anyone”. This "active" part was initially left out on the leaf, and only the secondary part was there. The active part was written in after the leaf was detached, so the Get was really written correctly.

The explanation above may sound forced. Another explanation is that we are dealing with the opinion of Rabbi Meir that writing does not matter, only signing by the witnesses does, and it accomplishes the divorce. And they signed after the leaf was torn off the tree. This sounds more natural, why did they give the first explanation at all? – Because of the rule that in divorces the law follow Rabbi Elazar, not Rabbi Meir, so they did not want to ascribe this rule to him.

Art: Walnut Tree in a Thomery Field by Alfred Sisley
Sunday, January 3rd, 2016
12:35 am
[meirbg]
Gittin 18 – How does the time in the Get help?
The Sages established that a divorce document (Get) needs to have the date of its writing in it. As we mentioned earlier, it could be to prevent the husband covering up on the unfaithful wife, or to prevent the husband from unfairly using his wife's property.

But consider the following scenario: a man fights with his wife, goes and asks a scribe to write a Get for her, but then carries it with him for a long time, hoping that the situation will improve, and nevertheless divorces later. This is valid, but the date in the Get will be incorrect. So what does it help that the date is there? – People normally do not rush bad tidings, and one will not write a Get in advance.

But consider a standard case discussed on the first page: a messenger brings a Get from overseas. The date on it is surely way early compared to the giving of the Get! – In such cases, due to the court proceeding, it is well known when the divorce took place, and all know that the date on the Get is not correct.

The Talmud asks more questions about the date in the Get and concludes that it can be relied on in most cases, and that the exceptions can be dealt with separately.

Art: The Argument by William Henry Knight
Thursday, December 31st, 2015
12:43 am
[meirbg]
Gittin 17 – When Rabba bar bar Channa got sick
When Rabba bar bar Channa got sick, the Sages came to visit him, and while there, asked a question: "If two messengers brought a Get, do they still need to say that it was written and signed in front of them?" He said, “No, they don't.” He then presented a new argument: "If they testified that the husband divorced her, they would be believed, no? So we should believe them that the Get is valid."

Meanwhile, a Persian follower of the cult of “Chabar” came and extinguished their candles, because at the time of the “Chabar” holidays light was allowed only in their temples of idol worship. Rabba bar bar Channa said, “God, either protect us here or exile us to Roman empire, for at least they come from Esau!” But we learned that Persia was better!? – Yes, it was, before the “Chabar” people came.

A divorce document (Get) must have a date in it. Therefore, if they started writing it in the afternoon, but by the time the witnesses got to signing, it was night – it is already another day, the Get is invalid and must be rewritten. On the other hand, if they started at night, they can sign it the next morning, because it is still the same calendar day.

And why do they require a date in the Get? – A man is allowed to marry the his sister's daughter. In fact, there were times when this was commendable. Since he marries his niece, he may exhibit avuncular behavior. For example, to protect her in case she is unfaithful to him, he may give her a Get without a date. Now if she is ever caught being unfaithful, she can bring the Get to court and claim that she was already divorced at the time of unfaithfulness. Others say that this is rare, and that the date is needed to support monetary claims.

Art: Uncle Fred by James Jacques Joseph Tissot
12:40 am
[meirbg]
Gittin 13 – Is there divorce after death?
If a man says, “Give a divorce (Get) to my wife” and then dies, they should not give her a Get any longer. Why? When the husband dies, the wife is free. Because of that, divorce after death does not make sense.

A parallel situation is the Get of a slave: if the master dies and nobody inherits the slave, then he is free by himself, and giving him a Get now is meaningless. And if someone does inherit, then this slave is no longer in the domain of the dead man to give him freedom.

However, if one says, “Give a hundred zuz ($5,000) to a certain person” and then he dies, the heirs are obligated to give the money to the named recipient. This is not obvious at all. There was no act of acquisition, “Give him money” are just words. Once the man dies, normal laws of inheritance should take effect, meaning that his estate goes to his closest relatives. Therefore, Rav wanted to say that perhaps this is only talking about money on the shelf which had previously been given as deposit, or that the man who said these words was dying, and in that special case the money is considered already given, for otherwise the dying person would die even sooner.

However, the law is correct in all cases, and they do fulfill the will of the deceased.

Art: The Money Changers by Christian Van Donck
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