A Shaliach Nominating a Shaliach

Gittin (6:7) | Yisrael Bankier | 9 years ago

The Mishnah (6:7) teaches that if a husband instructs two people (write and) give a get to his wife, then they must write and sign the get – they are not allowed to ask a scribe or nominate other witnesses in their stead. The Gemara explains that the issue is that the “words” or instruction given by the husband were not given to the shaliach to pass on.

At first glance, our Mishnah appears to contradict an earlier one. We have learnt (3:5) the if a husband’s shaliach is bringing a get in Israel and falls ill, he is able to send the get with another person. How do we understand the rationale of our Mishnah and how is it in harmony with the earlier Mishnah?

The Tifferet Yisrael brings two explanations. Rashi explains that only when the husband hands over an object, i.e. the get, can a shaliach then nominate another shaliach. In our Mishnah however, the husband only instructed them to write the get. The Mordechai however explains that whenever a shaliach is nominated to perform a task that is part of the process but does not complete it, then he cannot nominate another shaliach in his place. One such case is our Mishnah, where after the getis written and signed they are not yet divorced. A shaliach holacha, who can deliver the get ba’al korcha, has the capacity to complete the divorce on his own.

The Tifferet Yisrael brings a number of practical differences between these two opinions. The first is a shaliach that is nominated to perform kiddushin. According to Rashi, since the shaliach was handed a coin, an object, he is able to get someone else to perform the kiddusin. According to the Mordechai however, since it is not certain that the woman will accept, then the shaliach must carry out his task.

Another practical difference is if the husband gives the sofer parchment on which to write the get. According to Rashi since an object was handed over, he my subcontract his work. According to the Mordechai however, since the writing of the get does not finalise the divorce, the sofer must write the get himself.

The Tifferet Yisrael continues that one would assume that according to both opinions that a shaliach kabala nominated by the wife, would not be able to elect another shaliach. There is no object handed over, and it is not certain that the husband will want to provide a get. The Ritva however maintains that a shaliach kabala can nominate another shliach. How do we understand the Ritva’s position?

The Tifferet Yisrael explains that the Ritva is in line with the Mordechai. In other words, provided that the shaliachis charged with the final act, then he can nominate another shaliach. While taking the money to perform the act of kiddushinis not considered a final act, because the woman might not want to receive it and therefore complete it, the task of receiving a get however is the final task.

The Pnei Yehoshua (29a) asks an important question. The Mishnah rules that a cheresh, shoteh or katan are able to write a get. The Gemara (22b) explains that this is when they are being supervised to write the getfor the intended parties. The Tosfot there explains that even though these people cannot be nominated as a shaliach, the writing of the get does not require shlichut. This being the case, why is the shaliach not able to ask someone else to write the get? The Pnei Yehoshua explains by citing the Tosfot’s opinion that while shlichut is not required, the husband must still instruct the scribe to write the get so that it is lishmah. Consequently if “words” are not given to the shaliach to hand on, and the shaliach asks a scribe to write the get, then it will be lacking lishmah.


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