Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Daf: Gittin 73-78 – Divorce psychology

Avoiding preparing a derashah for Shabbos Haazinu, I will instead catch up a little more in these notes on Daf Yomi. There isn’t much here for the non-Daf reader, except perhaps for the note on Gittin 74a on the Talmud’s view of the psychology of divorce. If you are looking for more colorful material, may I suggest my post below on the Unity Kollel concept – and why I think we can already do this, in Israel.

Gittin 73b
The gemara gives examples of scenes one might witness, in which we would or wouldn’t be concerned that there was inappropriate sexual conduct. One of the cases is that we saw her “sleeping by the legs of his bed.” One of my Daffies noted the similarity to Ruth 3:14, where we also say nothing inappropriate happened.

Note that Abbaye here opposes changing editions in order to solve a problem. Elsewhere Abbaye is the one who offers an answer by changing an edition, and someone else (generally Rava) calls him on it.

Gittin 74a
Talmudic Psychology of Divorce: Rashi indicates here (אבל גט), based on the gemara, that in a normal case of divorce the husband does not wish to divorce his wife, but is compelled to do so. On the other hand, Rashi on Gitin 74b (דלצעורה איכוון) indicates that divorce arises from enmity.

Gittin 74b
This gemara’s account of Hillel’s enactment shows that the law of בתי ערי חומה (in which houses in Israeli walled cities may be reclaimed by their sellers, unilaterally, within a year of sale, by refunding the purchase price) was followed in the second Beit haMikdash. This is one of the proofs brought by Tosafot (בזמן) on Gittin 36a to show that all of the Yovel-related laws were practiced during the second Beit haMikdash. Ramban there, though, says it was practiced as a rabbinic law, not a biblical law. One practical ramification of this disagreement is in the question of how Prozbul works.

Gittin 75b
The gemara says Rav Huna quoted Rav, which is fine, but in the margin that is amended to Rav Huna quoting Rebbe. If so, I believe it should say משום רבי, not אמר רבי, since Rav Huna would not have met Rebbe.

The gemara presents an apparent conflict between our mishnah and a braita. Our mishnah says that if a woman’s get is conditional upon nursing a child, she must nurse the child for two years (the talmudic norm, per a gemara in Ketuvot). A braita, though, says she must only do it for a day in order to fulfill her condition.
Rava says there is no conflict – the braita is where no time was specified, the mishnah is where he specified two years. But I am confused: If such is the case, why would we need our mishnah? פשיטא, it would be obvious that two years would be the requirement!

Gittin 76a
One view in the gemara says that since the Torah goes out of its way to show both positive and negative language being used in many instances of contract conditions (such as regarding Reuven/Gad with Moshe, and the Sotah’s condition), that proves that this excessive language is not really needed for normal contracts. Had the Torah only stated it in one case, I would have said that the Torah meant for me to expand automatically to all other cases.
I am bothered by this proof – after all, some of the cited cases are simply citations of actual language, such as Avraham’s contract with Eliezer. Should the Torah have altered his language?

Gittin 77b
About ten lines up from the bottom, I think the word should be קיימה rather than קיימא – it is describing a woman standing in a yard.

Gittin 78a
Tosafot אינו is interesting.


  1. On 75b, isn't Rashi actually explaining Rava the other way around - that the mishnah is where no time is specified, while the baraisa is taliking about where he specified one day? So in that case we certainly do need the mishnah to tell us how long is the expected term for nursing.

    On 76a - why is this a problem? First of all, if both the positive and negative conditions aren't necessary in a contract, perhaps Avraham himself would have chosen to omit the second clause. Alternatively, even if Avraham had used both formulations (not to fulfill any specific legal requirement, but because that's the common form of speech), the Torah wouldn't have had to alter his wording - it could simply have left that sentence out, just as the Torah omits many other things that Avraham said and did throughout his lifetime.

    G'mar chasimah tovah!

  2. Hi Alex,

    75b - I see, you are quite right; I didn't notice that in Rashi. Thank you.

    76a - Your first point doesn't seem to fit the gemara's language. I suppose you could make your second point, but it's hard to know where the Torah is quoting verbatim and where it is not. This seems to me to be a verbatim circumstance.

    Gmar tov,