Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, , at sacred-texts.com
§ 1. If a person seized with Cardiacos 1 should say, "Write a Get for my wife," 2 his words are not to be noticed. If he said [before he was taken ill], "Write a Get for my wife," and when seized with the Cardiacos, he said, "Do not write it," his last words are not to
be noticed. When a person became dumb, and on being asked, "Shall we write a Get for your wife?" nods his head [in token of assent], he shall be questioned three times, and if he [by his motions or gestures] answers rightly the questions proposed to him, both affirmative and negative, they may in that case write a Get and deliver it to his wife.
§ 2. If a person [in health, or a sick person acquainted with the Law] is asked, "Shall we write a Get for your wife?" and he answered, "Write it;" and they ordered the notary in consequence, who wrote it, and the witnesses, who signed it: although it was duly written, attested and delivered to the husband, who delivered it to his wife, nevertheless it is ineffective, because it is only then valid when the husband himself orders the notary to write, and the witnesses to attest it.
§ 3. [When a husband says to his wife] "This is your Get in case I die," or, "If I die of this illness," or, "To take effect after my decease," his words are vain; 3 but if he said, "Here is your Get, to take effect from this day," or, "from this moment, if I should die," it is a valid Get. If he said, "To take effect from this day and after my death," it is doubtful whether such Get is valid or not: 4 and in case he dies [without leaving issue], his widow must perform the ceremony of Chalitzah to her brother-in-law, but the latter may not marry her by Yeboom. 5 If he said, "This is your Get from this day if I die of this illness," and he rose [from his sick bed], went out into the street, and became ill again and died: if he died in consequence of a relapse of the former illness the Get is valid, but not otherwise.
§ 4. Under the mentioned circumstances 6 the wife may not meet the husband but in the presence of witnesses. 7 A slave or a bondwoman is a competent witness for this purpose, her own bondwoman
excepted, because a mistress is usually quite familiar with such a one. 8 How is she to be considered during that interval? 9 According to R. Jehudah, "As a married woman in every respect," but according to R. José, "As one whose divorce is doubtful."
§ 5. If he [a husband] says, "Here is your Get, on condition that you give me two hundred zooz," she is divorced from the moment she accepts the Get, and is bound to pay the stipulated amount. If he said, "On condition that you give me [two hundred zooz, or any other sum] within thirty days," and she consented and paid the amount agreed upon within the time stipulated, she is duly divorced, but not if she did not pay it within that time. R. Simeon ben Gamaliel relates, "That once at Sidon a husband said to his wife, 'Here is your Get, on condition that you give me my אצטלית,' 10 and she lost it: 11 the sages decided that the Get should be still valid, if she paid him a sum equal to the value thereof."
§ 6. If a husband says to his wife, "Here is your Get, on condition that you wait on my father," or "suckle my child" [the period allowed for the general duration of suckling a child is two years]. What period is she bound to suckle it? R. Jehudah saith, "Eighteen months only, and if during that period the child or the father should die, the Get is valid." If he said, "Here is your Get, on condition that you wait on my father for two years," or "suckle my child two years," and either the child or the father dies, or that the latter refuses her services, without being angry with her, the Get is not valid: but Rabbon Simeon ben Gamaliel considers it valid under the mentioned circumstances, for he establishes it as a rule "That every impediment which does not proceed from the part of the wife does not render the Get void."
§ 7. Should a husband say to his wife, "Here is your Get if I do not return within thirty days," 12 and intending to travel from Judea
into Galilee he returned after having proceeded to Antipatris 13 only, he has voided his condition. If he said, "Here is thy Get if I do not return within thirty days," and intending to travel from Judea to Galilee returns from the village Otenai, 14 he has voided his condition. 15 If he said, "Here is thy Get if I do not return within thirty days," and intending to travel beyond sea he went only as far as Acco 16 and returned, he has voided his condition. If he said, "Here is thy Get if at any time I should stay away for thirty days from thee," though he should frequently go and return for that period, the Get is valid, provided he did not remain alone with her.
§ 8. When a husband said to his wife, "Here is thy Get if I do not return within a twelve-month," and he died within that twelvemonth, the Get is void; but if he said, "This is thy Get from the present moment, if I do not return within a twelvemonth from this day," and he died within that time, the Get is valid.
§ 9. When a husband said, "If I do not return within a twelvemonth from this day, write ye, and deliver a Get to my wife;" if they wrote it within the twelve-month, but did not deliver it till after that time, the Get is void. If he said, "Write ye, and deliver a Get to my wife if I do not return within a twelve-month from this day;" if they wrote it within that time, but did not deliver it till after the expiration thereof, the Get is void. R. José saith, "It is valid in similar cases." If they wrote and delivered it after the expiration of the twelve-month, and the husband died meanwhile; if the delivery of the Get preceded the death of the husband, the Get is valid, but not if posterior to that event; and where it cannot be ascertained which event was prior to the other, she is to be considered as one whose divorce is doubtful.
295:1 Hebrew קוֹרְדִיָקוֹם, and in other copies of the Mishna קַרְדִקוֹם. This word, which signifies a species of disease, is probably derived from the Latin. Commentators differ widely as to what disease is here alluded to. Maimonides explains it to be a determination of blood to the vessels of the brain, affecting the patient's reasoning faculties. According to the "Aruch" the word is of Greek origin, and signifies an affection of the digestive organs. This is corroborated by Celsus, who describes a similar disease under the same name. But De Pomis, and the modern lexicographers, explain it to be a preternatural palpitation of the heart.—"Affectus cordis in quo sentitur pulsatio præter naturam." (De Pomis, Lexicon ad literam.)
295:2 That is, "To divorce her," and in this sense throughout.
296:3 Because the right of divorce does not exist after death, as that event dissolves the marriage tie.
296:4 Because it is uncertain whether the husband really meant that the Get should be effective from that day if he were to die, and the condition being confirmed by the event of his death, the Get should be valid; or, whether he said at first, "The Get is to be effective from that day," and he then changed his mind, saying, "[It will not take effect] till after my decease," in which case it is void, for the reason stated in the preceding note.
296:5 On account of the doubt as to the validity of the Get.
296:6 Viz. when the husband said, "This is your Get from this day and when I die."
296:7 Lest he might have intercourse with her.
297:8 And perhaps she may not be ashamed before her, &c. (Compare chap. VIII. § 9 of this Treatise.)
297:9 This does not relate to the last mentioned case, but to that of a husband who is dying, and says to his wife, "From this moment, and while I am alive thou shalt be divorced by this Get, provided I now die and do not recover."
297:10 This word is of Greek origin ("stolium"), and signifies an ornamental or state dress. According to De Pomis it is a kind of cloak or upper garment. "Stola" in Latin, probably the same as the English word "stole."
297:11 And of course could not give that identical dress.
297:12 According to the Gemarah the following words must be added to this and the following proposition, "If I arrive at Galilee or—" i.e., that the husband p. 298 made a double condition, viz., "If I arrive in Galilee the Get shall be valid immediately, but if not, it shall be valid only in case I do not return within thirty days."
298:13 A place on the extreme limits of Judea.
298:14 Situated on the confines of Galilee.
298:15 And the Get in this and in the preceding cases is void.
298:16 A sea-port on the Mediterranean, now called Acre.