Including all Names

Gittin (4:2) | Yisrael Bankier | a month ago

The Mishnah (4:2) lists a number of takanot instituted by Rabban Gamliel, "mipnei tikun olam". One of these is that initially, if the husband and wife went by different names, they would only write the name that was used at the location where the get was written, even if was to be deliver in another a location where they are known by different names. Rabban Gamliel instituted that when a get is written all the names that the husband and wife go by are written in the get. We shall try to understand this Mishnah.

The Bartenura explains that if the names that were used in the place of writing were included, there is a concern that people will not recognised these names in the place the wife received the get. If she then remarries, it may appear to others that she never received a get and people will consider the children from the second marriage as mamzerim. Therefore, the get is not valid unless both names are included. The Bartenura however adds that if he goes by two names in one of the locations, while ideally both should be included, if one of them is, the get would still be valid.

The Pnei Yehoshua stresses that the Mishnah implies that this requirement is a takana. Yet we learn in the eight perek that if a name is changed it invalidates the get. The Tosfot explain there that it is referring to a case where the husband and/or wife are referred to by different names in the place of writing and the place where the get is delivered. Note that there is a debate between R' Meir and the Chachamim. R' Meir maintains that any case where one differs from the format the Chachamim instituted in writing a get, the get is invalid. The Gemara explains that, even though the Chachamim disagree with R' Meir, they agree in this case that the get is invalid. That implies that there is something fundamentally wrong with the get and not just due to tikkun olam.

The Pnei Yehoshua first thought that there is a difference between the two cases. The case there is where the name used at the destination was included in the get at the place where the get was written. Since those names are not used there, it is considered as if the wrong names were used. Our Mishnah is where the names familiar to the sofer and eidim were used. Consequently, the only concern is that it will cause problem as the destination down the track -- tikkun olam.

According to this understanding, the more critical names are those used at the location where the get is written. Nevertheless, the Pnei Yehoshua notes that the Tosfeta explains that when including both names, the name used at the place the get is received is written first, followed by the other names. He explains that this does not present a problem. Both names are being included. However, since the takana was out of concern that those at the place where the get is delivered recognised the names, it is important that it is included first.

The Pnei Yehoshua however admits that no one raises this distinction. Instead, he explains that the takana of Rabban Gamliel is not to be considered equivalent to a change in text of the get instituted by the Chachamim. If it were, it would indeed be part of the debate between the Chachamim and R' Meir, and the Chachamim would maintain that failure to abide to the takana would not invalidate the get. The issue here however is one of "laaz"; that people will not recognise the names and treat the future children as maazerim. Since the issue of laaz is so severe, the Chachamim treated the takana strictly, such that if all the names were not written in the get then it would be equivalent to the incorrect names being entered.


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