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Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, [1843], at


§ 1. When a person who brings a Get from a foreign country declares, "It was written, but not signed in my presence," or the reverse, or, "The whole [Get] was written, but only in part attested 1 in my presence," or, "Only half of the writing [of the Get] but the whole of the signatures were written in my presence," it is void. 2 Also in case one [witness] says, "It was written," and another, "It was signed in my presence." When two say, "It was written in our presence," and one, "It was signed in my presence," it is also void. But R. Jehudah declares it valid. When one declares, "It was written in my presence," and two declare "It was signed in our presence," it is valid.

§ 2. If it were both written and signed in the day time, 3 or that both writing and signatures were done at night, 4 or that it was

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written at night, but signed by day, it is valid. 5 If it were written by day, but signed at night, it is void, 6 but R. Simeon declares it valid; for he established it as a rule "That all documents written by day and signed at night are void, except letters of divorce."

§ 3. The writing of a Get may be done with any material, with ink, paint, 7 ruddle, gum, or with vitriol black, and with every other indelible material, but not with any liquor, the juice of fruit, nor with any delible material. It may be written on any thing, even on a leaf of an olive tree or on a cow's horn. In the latter case, however, the husband is bound to give her [the wife] the cow along with it. He may write it on the hand of a slave, but then he must give her the slave also; but R. José prohibits the writing of a Get on any thing endowed with life, or on edible articles.

§ 4. A Get may not be written on any thing that is yet attached or fixed to the soil. If it was so written, and it was afterwards severed from the soil, and then signed and delivered to the woman, it is valid. But R. Jehudah declares it void, for it must be written and signed on what is detached from the soil. R. Jehudah ben Beterah saith, "It must not be written on papyrus, on which an erasure or abrasion appears, nor on unfinished vellum, because it affords opportunity for falsification;" but the sages permit it.

§ 5. All are qualified to write a Get, even deaf and dumb, or foolish persons and minors. A woman may write her own Get, and the husband his acquittance [for the amount of the Ketubah he has paid her], because the validity of legal documents depends solely on the signature of the attesting witnesses. All are qualified [to act as missionaries or agents] to bring over a Get, except deaf and dumb or foolish persons, minors, a blind person, and a non-Israelite.

§ 6. When a minor received [a commission to deliver] a Get and became of age [before he delivered it], or a deaf person whilst in that state, and who afterwards recovered his hearing, or a blind person 8 who subsequently recovered his sight, or a demented person, who

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was afterwards cured, or a non-Israelite, 9 who subsequently became a proselyte, the Get is void. But when a person received it whilst in possession of his faculty of hearing, and before he delivered he became deaf, and again recovered his hearing, or a person who could see, had become blind, and again recovered his sight, or a person of sound mind who had become demented, and was cured: the Get is valid, because the rule is, that when the commencement and end 10 of the act took place, whilst the person was in possession of his faculties, it is valid.

§ 7. Those females who are not considered competent witnesses to testify to a woman in respect to the decease of her husband, 11 are to be credited when [as messengers] they bring over a Get to her, viz., her mother-in-law, the daughter of her mother-in-law, her rival, the wife of her husband's brother, and her husband's daughter. Why is this difference in respect to the evidence as to a Get, or as to the death of a husband? Because there is [in the first mentioned case] a document in existence to confirm the evidence. A woman may bring her own Get with her, but she must declare at the same time, 12 "It was written and signed in my presence."


282:1 That is, signed by one witness only.

282:2 That is, if he was present only during the writing of the last part of the Get.

282:3 That is, written and signed on one and the same day.

282:4 That is, during one and the same night.

283:5 Because a night and the following day make together a legal day.

283:6 Because it was ante-dated, as the night belonged to the following day, and not to that to which the date of the Get referred.

283:7 Original ‏סם‎, which some explain to be a kind of earth found in the Isle of Samos, hence its name in Hebrew.

283:8 Because it is necessary that he should be able to attest and say, "I saw the Get written and signed."

284:9 Because he was not subject to the Jewish law, and the rule is, that whatever a person is not obliged to do himself he is not qualified to do for others.

284:10 The commencement of the act is, when the messenger received the Get from the husband, and the end is, when he delivers it to the wife.

284:11 See Treatise Yebamoth, chapters XV. and XVI.

284:12 Before the tribunal, before whom she is to appear to submit the Get for verification.

Next: Chapter III