Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gittin Daf 21

The Gemara after describing a Get that is given while it is on the husbands field and then the field is given as a gift, asks "vha matana, medayta isa, baal korcha lessa?" a gift can only be received willingly, not against the persons will.
We can learn a lesson from this that one can only receive a gift if one is willing to accept it. G-d constantly gives us gifts like Shabbos and other Mitzvos but we have to be willing to receive the gifts for the gift to be ours. Often people view these gifts as burdens and feel like they are forced to take them against their will. To truly benefit from these gifts one must appreciate and accept them as the gift that they are.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gittin Daf 20

The Gemara discusses an argument between Rabbi Yehuda and the Chachomim whether one who wrote G-d's name unintentionally (he thought he was writing the name Yehuda and by accident left out the daled) may write over it with the proper intention for it to be a valid writing of G-d's name. The Chachomim do not allow it because "ayn Hashem min hamuvchar" it's not a proper writing for G-d's name. The Gemara goes on to say that this may only be true with regards to a Sefer Torah because of the concept of " zeh Keli veanvehu" this is my G-d and I will glorify Him.
The concept of "zeh Keli veanvehu" is usually applied to making Mitzvos more beautiful, e.g., having a nice Talis, etc. However, the application here is referring to an instance where the beauty is completely hidden from the eye, as one cannot tell whether it was written the first time with the intention of G-d's name or not. This teaches us that sometimes we can beautify the Mitzvos that we do in a completely internal and hidden way and fulfill the concept of "zeh Keli veanvehu". Our initial intention in doing a Mitzvah can make the difference.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gittin Daf 19

The Gemara discusses a case if witnesses do not know how to sign their names for a Get - may we write their names in red dye, and they will write over this in black ink because regarding Shabbos, the top writing is considered writing? The Gemara answers no because of the concept of "V'chi mipnei she'anu medamin na'aseh ma'aseh" just because we suspect, or speculate, what the law is, should we rule that way in practice? The Gemara is telling us that we cannot use the same set of rules to determine when we should be lenient as in the case of Get and when we should be strict, as in the case of Shabbos. Often we set different rules for ourselves for ruchniyus and gashmiyus, like when to hit the snooze button because we need extra energy today.....would it be the same rule if we had to get up and be on time for shacharis or if we had a plane to catch ??

Gittin Daf 18

The Gemara raises the question: If a person writes a get early to keep in his pocket in order to see if his wife appeases him or not, would that not destroy the purpose of the Rabbinic requirement to incorporate the date on which the get was written? Since the husband did not yet intend to divorce his wife, that date should have no halachic bearing.
Rava explains that that is not a concern because since the husband is willing to be appeased he obviously wants to remain married and "lo makdim inish poranusa linafsheh" a man wouldn't prepare something which is negative to him earlier then he has to. This can be a lesson to all of us. If something is viewed as a positive thing we prepare for it and make sure we are ready when the opportunity arises. The question we need to ask ourselves is, do we view the important things in life like a chore, or rather as opportunities to anticipate and actively prepare for?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Gittin Daf 17

The Gemara discusses why was it enacted to put the date on a Get of divorce?
One answer given by R. Yochanan is lest a husband fraudulently save his wife from being killed for adultery by giving her a dateless Get after she sinned and Beis Din would not know when the divorce happened, and could not kill her. Sometimes a man would have enough compassion to save a wife that betrayed him, in a case where he married his niece. The other answer given by Reish Lakish is so she will be able to prove from when the fruits of her possessions belong to her, the day he finished writing the Get.
The Gemara is teaching us to be wary of two very strong Yetzer Haras (evil inclinations). The first one is to be careful not to sin where you think you are doing the right thing, like in this case where he thinks he is having mercy and trying to save a life. The second Yetzer Hara that we are warned about is also a very powerful one....Money.
We can see these two types of Yetzer Haras in Shema where it says "bechol levavcha bechol nafshecha u'vchol meodecha" Bechol levavcha is "bishnei yitrzrecha" with both the Yetzer Tov and the Yetzer Hara, namely the continuation of the pasuk of the Yetzer Hara of the "nafeshecha" when you you think you are doing the right thing, and the Yetzer Hara of "meodecha" your money.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Gittin Daf 16

The Gemara mentions the concept that the amount of water necessary to connect two bodies of water to be considered as one is that it should be " tofeach al menas lehatfiach" wet enough that when one touches the water it can transfer that water to somewhere else. This concept is also a message to us that if we cannot transfer our own "water" i.e. the Torah to someone else then it is lacking in its own right and not considered "wet".