Tosfos in מסכת גיטין (Tosfos 20A "אי''... Tosfos 24A "כל הגט") keeps on repeating the concept of using a Sefer Torah for גירושין... Tosfos uses phrases such as... "ספר תורה דלא איכתוב לשם גירושין כלל פסול" regarding a גט סתם. What does Tosfos mean when he says a "Sefer Torah" not written לשם גירושין? A גט as far as I know consists of a טופס and תורף. How could one use a Sefer Torah/פרשה as a גט? Is there an alternative to the typical template of the classical גט?

  • 2
    There is no biblicaly mandated text for a get. Any text which indicates that he removes her from his domain and indicates a separation between the two of them should work (I'm not sure how a Torah qualifies, but you wondered about alternative templates.)
    – Double AA
    Sep 12, 2017 at 2:21
  • Actually Tosfos both times says it CANNOT be used as a get - but the question is a good one. Sep 12, 2017 at 8:14

1 Answer 1


This is not really a question on Tosafot. The Talmud itself made the suggestion of using a Torah as a get:

ההוא גברא דעל לבי כנישתא שקל ספר תורה יהיב לה לדביתהו ואמר לה הא גיטך אמר רב יוסף למאי ליחוש לה אי משום מי מילין אין מי מילין על גבי מי מילין אי אי משום כריתות דאית בה הא בעינא וכתב לה לשמה וליכא וכי תימא ליחוש דילמא אקדים ויהב ליה זוזא לספרא מעיקרא הא בעינן שינה שמו ושמה שם עירו ושם עירה וליכא

A certain man went to the synagogue and took a scroll of the Law and gave it to his wife saying. 'Here is thy Get'. Said R. Joseph: Why should we take any notice of it? Shall we say that the Get was written in gall-nut water [on the outside of the scroll]? Gall-nut water does not make any mark on [a sheet treated with] gall-nut water. Shall we say that the scroll is itself a Get because of the portion it contains relating to 'cutting off'? We require that it should be written for that woman specifically, which is not here the case. If you should plead that possibly he gave, beforehand, a fee to the scribe [to write the passage in the scroll specifically for her], this also is unavailing, since we require [the insertion of] his name and her name, the name of his town and the name of her town, which we do not [find here]. (Soncino translation)

In any case, a responsum from the Scholars of Provence interprets this Talmudic passage as demonstrating that (in lieu of the other issues mentioned) a Torah would be a valid get because all that is necessary for the get aspect is that the document contain a reference to severance:

Responsa of the Scholars of Provence # 67

בא וראה בההוא דעאל לבי כנשתא כו' למאי ניחוש לה משום כריתות דאית בה הא בעינן וכתב אלמא אי לאו משום דכתב דבעינן לשמה משום לשון כריתות בלחוד דהוא לשון פטורין בלא שום בירור אחר איכא למימר דמגרשא

Come and see, with that person who went to the synagogue, etc. for what should we be concerned? That it contains severance? But we need "and he writes"! We see [from here] that if not for "and he writes" which requires it to be [written] for her, on account of the language of severance alone — which is a language of dismissal — without any other clarification we could say that she is divorced.

Thus, the mere presence of the word כריתות in the Torah (וכתב לה ספר כריתות) apparently suffices.

Putting this aside, your question is actually explicitly asked by R. Moshe Mordechai Epstein.

Levush Mordechai Ketubot # 4

ולכאורה קשה למה לן הפלפולים בעינן שמו ושמה כו' הא בגט צריך שיהא כתוב נוסח הגט ואיפוא נכתב בספר התורה נוסח הגט

And seemingly this is difficult — why do we need these casuistries about his name and her name etc.? A get needs to be written with the text of a get! Where is the text of a get written in a Torah scroll?

And he answers:

והנה אם נימא דמועיל במכירה או במתנה שימסור לו שטר שכתוב בו שדי מכורה או נתונה בלי הזכרת שם המוכר והלוקח היה אפשר לומר דגם בגט אם יכתוב על נייר הרי את מותרת לכל אדם וימסור לה בפני עדי מסירה יהיה גט וכן אם יכתוב תיבות אלו ספר כריתות וימסור לה בעדי מסירה יהיה די ועל זה קאמר בגמ' גבי מי שגירש את אשתו בס"ת דלמא אקדים ויהיב זוזי לספרא שיכתוב התיבות ספר כריתות לשמו ולשמה ומשום זה יהיה גט וכן כתב רש"י כריתות דאית בה שכתובה בה פרשת וכתב לה ספר כריתות עכ"ל וע"ז קאמר הא בעינן שמו ושמה פירוש הא דכתיב וכתב לה ספר כריתות דילפינן דבעינן שיחשוב לשמו ולשמה היינו דאמרינן דגם מחשבה צריכין אבל ודאי צריך שיהיה כתוב בפירוש מה שצריכין לחשוב ופירוש הכתוב וכתב לה ספר כריתות שיהיה כתוב בהגט שהוא כתב לה ספר כריתות ורק דמחשבת לשמה גם כן בעינן וכן כתב הר"ן בקידושין דבגט דכתיב ספר כריתות בעינן שיהא כתוב בגט ספירת הדברים שהגט כורת בינו לבינה היינו שם האיש והאשה בפירוש

Now, if we say that by a sale or a gift it works for him to give him a document that says "my field is sold" or "[my field] is given" without mentioning the name of the seller or the buyer, then we can perhaps say that by a get as well if he writes on a paper "you are hereby permitted to any man" and he gives it to her in the presence of delivery witnesses then it would be a get. And so too if he writes the words "document of severance" and gives it to her with delivery witnesses, it would suffice. And about this the Talmud said in the case of one who divorced his wife with a Torah scroll, "perhaps he preceded and gave the scribe money" to write the words "document of severance" for his sake and for her sake and thus it would be a get. And so wrote Rashi: "the severance that is in it — that the section of 'he writes for her a document of severance' is in it," end quote. And to this [the Talmud] said "but it needs his name and her name!" Meaning, that which is written [in the Torah] "and he writes a document of severance for her" from which we learn that he needs to intend it for his sake and for her sake, that is that we say that intent is also necessary, but certainly that which must be intended must be explicitly written. And the meaning of the verse "and he writes a document of severance for her" is that it should be written in the get that he is writing her a document of severance, but that it also requires intent for her sake. And so wrote the Ran in Kiddushin, that by a get where it is written [in the Torah] "a document of severance" the get must have written in it a narration that the get severs [the bond] between him and her, specifically, the name of the man and the woman explicitly.

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