Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Daf Yomi Gittin 86/88 -- Is Ktav Yado On The Resha Really Obvious??

I have a few posts I've accumulated on daf Yomi Gittin, but haven't gotten around to fleshing them out. We will have to see about them.

In the meantime, this is pretty short, so I will quickly develop the idea. As such, it is somewhat off the cuff. On Gittin daf 86, we have (relying on my translation of the Rif):

{Gittin 86a}
כתב בכתב ידו ואין עליו עדים

אמר רב כתב ידו שנינו
אהייא אילימא ארישא פשיטא כתב ידו קתני
אלא אמציעתא הרי יש עליו עדים
אלא אסיפא יש בו זמן ואין בו אלא עד אחד וקתני שלשה גיטין פסולין ואם נשאת הולד כשר
אמר רב דוקא כתב ידו ועד אבל כתב סופר ועד אין הולד כשר
וכי קתני כתב סופר ועד כשר חתם סופר ועד הוא אבל כתב סופר לא מהני ולא מידי
וכן א"ר יוחנן כתב ידו שנינו
וכן הלכתא:
Rav said: We have learned "with his own handwriting."
Upon what {is this statement}? If you say on the resha, then it is obvious! It states {explicitly} in the Mishna "with his own handwriting." Rather, on the middle portion, behold it has witnesses! Rather, on the sefa -- "IF IT HAS A DATE BUT THE SIGNATURE OF ONLY ONE WITNESS," and it {=the Mishna} teaches "THE FOLLOWING THREE BILLS OF DIVORCE ARE INVALID BUT IF A WOMAN MARRIES ON THE STRENGTH OF THEM THE CHILD [BORN OF SUCH MARRIAGE] IS LEGITIMATE."
{Gittin 86b}
Rav said {in his earlier statement} that this is specifically his handwriting and a witness, but the handwriting of the scribe, plus a witness, the child would not be legitimate.
And where it taught that the handwriting of the scribe plus a witness is valid, this means the signature of the scribe and a witness, but the handwriting of the scribe does not help at all.
And so did Rabbi Yochanan say: We learnt "with his own handwriting."
And so is the halacha.
But as applied to the resha, it Rav and Rabbi Yochanan's statement really so obvious, such that the setama digmara should discard that possibility and apply it to the sefa?

I have my doubts.

Specifically, Rav and Rabbi Yochanan are both early Amoraim, and could be said to be quasi-Tannaim. Rather than making a diyuk into what is said, making a distinction in that it said ktav yado and not the ktav yad of the sofer, we should say that they are establishing the correct girsa of the Mishna.

Because on the Mishna in Gittin daf 88, we have a similar situation arise:
{Gittin 88a}
כתב סופר ועד כשר.
א"ר ירמיה חתם סופר שנינו.
ההיא כתובת חתנים דאתאי לקמיה דרבי אבהו דהוה ידע ליה לטופסא דשטרא ולחתימות ידיה דחד סהדא סבר לאכשורה
א"ל ר' ירמיה חתם סופר שנינו:
Rabbi Yirmeyah said: We learnt "the signature of the scribe."
There was a certain marriage ketuba which was brought before Rabbi Abahu, in which it was known to him the {handwriting of} the text {tofes} of the document and the signature of one of the witnesses. He thought to validate it. Rabbi Yirmeyah said: The signature {rather than handwriting} of the scribe we learnt.
Thus, in this other Mishna, despite the fact that our girsa of the Mishna as printed has ktav sofer, it is corrected to chatam sofer. And this has halachic impact.

Given this other rewriting of a Mishna, replacing ktav with chatam, it makes sense for Rav and Rabbi Yochanan to establish the girsa of the earlier Mishna and declare that the text of our Mishna is true, that it is ktav yado, the handwriting of the husband, and not the signature of the husband.

That is, we could imagine a hypothetical in which the husband writes a get, but he never intended to deliver it, just yet. If so, his affixing of his signature at the bottom makes it clear that he meant to empower it. And that might be the implication of this alternate girsa, if it would exist. Therefore Rabbi Yochanan and Rav come to establish the text of our Mishna correctly.

The diyuk made by the setama de-gemara might still be true -- and indeed it is convincing as true -- even if this was not a diyuk intended by either Rav or Rabbi Yochanan.

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