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It is your Get

Gittin (8:2) | Yisrael Bankier | 5 days ago

The Mishnah teaches that if the husband gives his wife a get, but at the time he said "take this loan document", and only after when she reads it does she learn that is her get, then it is not valid. The husband must say to his wife, "here is your get". The Bartenura explains that, considering the case in the Mishnah, this would even be even if the husband informed her after she is already holding the get. The Bartenura continues that if however, the get was resting on the floor, the wife retrieved it and then he declared that it is her get she would not be divorced. The Mishnah continues that even if he gives the get to his wife while she is sleeping, she would be divorced as long as he told her "that is your get" when she woke up. We shall try to understand the principle behind these cases.

The Tosfot Yom Tov explains, citing the Ran, that when the Torah writes "ve'natan be'yada" – and he will give it into her hand – it requires that the husband physically place the get into her hand (or chatzer). Despite the fact the when he handed it over it was nothing, it nonetheless satisfies the requirement if she is still holding it and he says, "that is your get". This explains why if it was resting on the floor and she retrieves it, declaring that it is her get does not help, because it was not handed to her.

The Tosfot R' Akiva Eiger expands the law in the Mishnah to cases where he gave the get to his wife as a pikadon (to look after) or placed it in her chatzer, then after (when she is standing next to her chatzer) he told her it was her get. This is because in both cases the requirement of handing of the get has been satisfied.

The Tosfot R' Akiva Eiger adds two cases where the requirement is not satisfied. The first is if the wind blew the get into her chatzer. The second relates to the second case in the Mishnah. Recall that the requirement can be satisfied if she was asleep when he gave her the get as long has he declared it is her get when she wakes. The Tosfot R' Akiva Eiger however explains that if it fell from her hand while she was asleep, then the husband would be required to hand it to her again.

The last case of the Tosfot R' Akiva comes from the Rosh who cites the Rama (רמ"ה). The Rosh explains that this makes sense, because since it fell when he gave it to her while asleep it is not considered netina – handing it over. The Rosh explains earlier, that the reason why we cannot consider the initial handing over as netina is because since the wife was asleep it is considered as if at the time, she has no da'at (halachic understanding)1.

If she is not considered as having da'at while asleep, how does the netina work at all? The Shitot Hakadmonim explains that the handing over is not an atomic act. The netina extends from the time it hands it to here until she is divorced. If however, it falls whilst she is asleep, the that creates a break such that physical handing over was insufficient to be considered a netina.

The Taz (EH 138:5) however notes that it appears from the Rishonim that as long as when she woke, she held the get, even if it then from her hands prior to the husband declaring that it is her get it would be sufficient. In other words, according to the Taz, the extended netina need only be until it is considered complete, when she wakes, and the requirement is satisfied even if she is no longer holding it when the husband informs her that it is her get.


1 Compare this with the opinion of the Ran. See also the Machane Ephraim (kinyan chatzer 12).

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