י״ט באדר א׳ ה׳תשע״ו (February 28, 2016)

Gittin 77a-b: When One Throws a Bill of Divorce

The eighth perek of Massekhet Gittin begins on our daf. Entitled ha-Zorek – i.e. someone who throws a geṭ – its main focus is on the method used for transferring a writ of divorce from husband to wife. Although the Torah appears to require that the geṭ actually be placed in the wife’s hand (ve-natan be-yadah 24:1), the tradition that had was that that passage was not to be taken literally, rather that it had to be placed in her possession and control.

The first Mishna in the perek teaches that if the husband threw a geṭ to his wife and it landed near her in a property that belonged to her, the divorce will take effect. If she was standing in his property, however, the fact that the geṭ was thrown in her proximity has no significance, and the divorce does not work. The Mishna concludes that if the husband threw the geṭ to his wife and it lodged on her body or in her kalta, then it would be a good geṭ. This is true even if she was standing in his house, since these places are on her person and therefore it is as though the geṭ was placed in her hand.

di kaltaAll agree that a kalta is a basket. According to Rashi, it is a small basket within which a woman keeps pins, needles and other sewing or weaving materials. In his commentary to the Mishna, the Rambam suggests that it is a basket in which the woman keeps the finished products that she wove, which would indicate that it is a fairly large basket. The origin of the word kalta is Greek. On occasion, such baskets were worn on an individual’s head.

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