סקר
עם סיום מסכת עירובין






 

Steinsaltz

Persian priest [ḥabbara] and took the lamp [sheragga] from before them. It was a Persian holiday on which the Persians prohibited the public from maintaining light outside their temple. Rabba, who was from Eretz Yisrael, said: Merciful One! Let us live either in Your shadow or in the shadow of the descendants of Esau, the Romans.

The Gemara asks: Is this to say that the Romans are preferable to the Persians? But didn’t Rabbi Ḥiyya teach: What is the meaning of that which is written: “God understands its way and He knows its place” (Job 28:23)? This means that the Holy One, Blessed be He, knows with regard to the Jewish people that they are unable to accept and live under Roman decrees, and therefore He arose and exiled them to Babylonia. This indicates that living under Babylonian rule is preferable to living under Roman rule.

The Gemara explains: This is not difficult, as this interpretation of Rabbi Ḥiyya refers to the period before the Persians reached Babylonia, when life there was very comfortable. That statement of Rabba was issued after the Persians reached Babylonia, when the situation changed and living there became more difficult.

§ The mishna taught that if one person says: It was written in my presence, and two say: It was signed in our presence, it is valid. Rabbi Ami says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: They taught that the document is valid only when the bill of divorce is produced by the witness to the writing, i.e., the one who observed the writing is the agent of the bill of divorce, as they become as two witnesses for this act, the writing, and two for that act, the signing. The agent for the bill of divorce is considered like two witnesses when he testifies with regard to the writing. However, if the bill of divorce was produced by the signatory witnesses it is invalid. This is because only one witness, who is not an agent for the bill of divorce, testifies with regard to its writing.

The Gemara comments: Apparently, Rabbi Yoḥanan holds that two people who brought a bill of divorce from a country overseas are required to say: It was written in our presence and it was signed in our presence, and if they do not state this declaration the bill of divorce is invalid. Rabbi Asi said to Rabbi Ami: If that is so, how do you explain the first clause of the mishna, which teaches: If two people say: It was written in our presence, and one says: It was signed in my presence, then it is invalid, and Rabbi Yehuda deems it valid? But do the Rabbis invalidate the document even when the bill of divorce is produced by both of them? Rabbi Ami said to him: Yes.

The Gemara relates: Another time Rabbi Asi found Rabbi Ami sitting and saying that even if the bill of divorce is produced by the signatory witnesses it is valid. The Gemara notes: Apparently, Rabbi Yoḥanan, in whose name Rabbi Ami stated this halakha, holds that in the case of two people who brought a bill of divorce from a country overseas, they are not required to say: It was written in our presence and it was signed in our presence.

Rabbi Asi said to him: However, if that is so, how do you explain the first clause of the mishna, which teaches: If two people say: It was written in our presence, and one says: It was signed in my presence, it is invalid, and Rabbi Yehuda deems it valid? The Gemara elaborates: The reason it is valid is that the bill of divorce is not produced by both of them, from which it may be inferred that if the bill of divorce is produced by both of them the Sages would deem it valid.

Rabbi Ami said to him: Yes. Rabbi Asi replied: But the other time you did not say this to us. You issued a ruling that indicated the opposite conclusion, and when I asked if that was the correct inference you affirmed that my reasoning was correct. Rabbi Ami said to him: What I am now telling you is a spike that will not move; you can rely on this ruling, and I retract my previous statement.

MISHNA: If a bill of divorce was written during the day and signed on the same day; or if it was written at night and signed on that same night; or if it was written at night and signed on the following day, then it is valid. The new calendar day begins at night, so that in all of these cases the writing and the signing were performed on the same date. However, if it was written during the day and signed on that same night, it is invalid, as the writing and the signing were not on the same calendar day. Rabbi Shimon deems the bill of divorce valid.

The mishna explains the ruling of Rabbi Shimon: As Rabbi Shimon would say: All documents that were written during the day and signed at night are invalid because the date recorded in the document is a day prior to the day the document takes effect, except for women’s bills of divorce. Since a bill of divorce is not used to collect money, it is of no concern if the date that appears on it is before the time when it was signed.

GEMARA: It was stated that the amora’im disagreed with regard to the following question: For what reason did the Sages institute the writing of a date on bills of divorce? Why must the date be written if this document is not intended to be used to collect money? Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Due to the daughter of his sister. The Sages were concerned that a man may claim that his divorce occurred earlier than it actually did. For example, if one was married to his niece, and she committed adultery, he may nevertheless desire to protect her judicial sanction and claim that they were already divorced at the time of her infidelity. In order to prevent this from happening, the Sages instituted an ordinance that bills of divorce must be dated.

Reish Lakish says: The ordinance was instituted due to the produce of her usufruct property. A husband owns the produce of the fields belonging to his wife up to the moment the divorce takes effect. The Sages instituted an ordinance that bills of divorce must be dated because she needs to be able to establish the time of the divorce in case the husband sold or consumed the produce of fields that belong to her after the divorce. If there is no date on the bill of divorce, he will be able to claim that the produce was sold or consumed before the divorce took place.

The Gemara asks: What is the reason that Reish Lakish did not say in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan? The Gemara answers: Reish Lakish could have said to you:

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
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