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The Mishnah in Gittin 27a says the following:

המביא גט ואבד הימנו מצאו לאלתר כשר ואם לאו פסול מצאו בחפיסה או בדלוסקמא אם מכירו כשר

If a person is bringing a Get and loses it, if he finds it immediately, it is Kosher, if not, it is Pasul. If it is found in his container, and he sells it, it is Kosher.

Source: My own translation.

This Gemara didn't make so much sense to me. I know there's a rule that a Get has to be written Lishma.

  1. So how can this Get, which was clearly written for one woman be sold to another?
  2. And what does the fact that it was found in his container have anything to do with it?

I'm really looking for some clarification in this Gemara. Someone told me to look it up in artscroll, but I'm not so good with big english words, so I hope someone here might give me simpler pshat.


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Respectfully, I believe you are misreading the Mishna. The word מכירו shold not be read with root word 'sale', but rather it should be read as מִכֲּירוֹ, with the defitinition of 'from Cairo'. As you'll see below, that answers all your questions.

As the Gemara (presumably*) explains later on, we are dealing with a case of a businessman who needs to travel outside of Eretz Yisrael for business purposes.

There is generally a Halachah that either spouse is allowed to compel the other one to move to Israel (see the end of SH"A E"H 75:4). There is also a Halachah that one is not allowed to leave Israel except for specific reasons (see Rambam Melachim 5:9). This particular businessman wanted to move out of Eretz Yisrael for work, but his wife did not want to join him, therefore he sent her a Get to end the marriage. That's why the Get is found in a [shipping] container.

But wait, you might ask, one of the permitted reasons to leave Israel is in order to do business! Why would the wife insist on a divorce if there is no prohibition on leaving Eretz Yisrael for business purposes?

And that's why the Mishna speifically stated the lcation of where the Get was delivered from. The husband went to Cairo, Egypt for business, and since there are additional prohibitions with regards to leaving Israel for Egypt, the wife insisted on a divorce in this situation.


*Well, technically I didn't read the Gemara, but since this explanation is clearly absolute Emes, it logically follows that the Gemara must say the same thing I did.

1

You misunderstand. The person who wrote the get is an ordinary sofer, who writes Gittin for everyone. He’s selling it because that’s what sofrim do - they’re paid for writing them.

The way the line should be read is:

If one is bringing a get, lost it, and immediately found it, it’s kasher. If not, if a disqualification is found in his container, it’s kasher.

The case is that the sofer sent someone to deliver it to the husband. From the fact that the sofer doesn’t take these halachos seriously, not personally delivering it himself, the Rabbis penalized him: if he lost it, he must find it immediately, or else it’s passul.

The interesting bit is the second case in the Mishnah. The Gemara (28a) defines the containers mentioned in the Mishnah:

מצאו בחפיסה או בדלוסקמא: מאי חפיסה אמר רבה בר בר חנה חמת קטנה מאי דלוסקמא טליקא דסבי:

What is a “chafisa”? Rabbah bar bar Chanah said: a small anger. What is a “deluskema”? An elderly purse.

In other words: these containers are metaphors for emotions. If the sofer sent it, rather than bringing it personally, it must be either that he was angry with the husband (but only a small anger, as if it were a large one, he wouldn’t have sent it at all), or he’s too lazy (symbolized by the elderly, who are unable to get up and go places), or he’s too busy.

We only penalize him in the first two cases; thus, if there’s a disqualification in his anger or laziness, indicating that he did not do so entirely out of these emotions, then we do not penalize him, and the get is still kasher.

  • Thanks, but I noticed your explanation of the Mishna skips the part about it being pasul if it's not found immediately. – Rafael Mar 11 at 11:38
  • @Rafael No, no, no, you misread that line. It's not ואם לאו, פסול, and from מצאו is a new clause. It's ואם לאו, if it's not found immediately, then it depends: פסול מצאו בחפיסה וכו׳ – DonielF Mar 11 at 15:40

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