In the mishna on Gitin 27a, the rule is that if someone delivers a get (bill of divorce) from another country, loses it, and finds it again, should not deliver it to the woman unless he either finds it "לאלתר" (immediately), or has reason to believe that this get that he found is the same get that he lost (either because it's in his monogrammed bag, or if he recognizes it).

How long is "לאלתר"? Is there a specified amount of time to be considered "immediate"?


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I skimmed the gemara looking for the answer to my question, but accidentally skipped it! Tosfos Ri"d on the Mishna tipped me off to check again.

Gitin 27b:

ת''ר איזהו שלא לאלתר רבי נתן אומר ששהה כדי שתעבור שיירא ותשרה ר''ש בן אלעזר אומר כדי שיהא אדם עומד ורואה שלא עבר שם אדם ויש אומרים שלא שהה אדם שם רבי אומר כדי לכתוב את הגט רבי יצחק אומר כדי לקרותו אחרים אומרים כדי לכותבו ולקרותו

It was taught in a braysa, "what is 'not immediately'? Rabbi Nassan says that he delayed enought time for a caravan to come and leave again (people traveled to places only by caravan; if no caravan came, then there would be no concern of finding two people with the same name, and if it didn't leave, we can check to see who is here); Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says it's long enough for a person to stand and see that no one passed this place. Some people say, [long enough to see] that no one stayed there. Rebbi [R Yehudah HaNassi] says, long enough to write a get; Rabbi Yitzchak says long enough to read it. Some say, long enough to write a get and read it.

( my translation )

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