As we learned on yesterday’s daf, the current concern in the Gemara focuses on how a proper kinyan can be made – i.e. how does someone take possession of an object that he has purchased. Part of this discussion involves the question of where the object is at the moment of purchase, as there are differences between taking possession of something in the public thoroughfare, in an alley off of the public area, or on someone’s private property.
Ordinarily, the buyer can take possession of an object if it is placed in a vessel that belongs to him. Rav Sheshet asks Rav Huna whether something that is placed in an object belonging to the buyer will become his, if the buyer’s thing is resting on private property owned by the seller. In response, Rav Huna suggests looking at a parallel in the rules of gittin – divorces. Although the Torah appears to require that the get actually be placed in the wife’s hand (…ve-natan be-yadah – 24:1), the tradition that the Sages had was that that passage was not to be taken literally, rather that it had to be placed in her possession and control.
The first Mishna in the eighth perek of Massekhet Gittin (77a) teaches that if the husband threw a get to his wife and it landed near her in a property that belonged to her, the divorce will take effect. If she was standing in his property, however, the fact that the get was thrown in her proximity has no significance, and the divorce does not work. The Mishna concludes that if the husband threw the get to his wife and it lodged on her body or in her kaltah, then it would be a good get. This is true even if she was standing in his house, since these places are on her person and therefore it is as though the get was placed in her hand.
All agree that a kaltah is a basket. According to Rashi, it is a small basket within which a woman keeps pins, needles and other sewing or weaving materials. In his commentary to the Mishna, the Rambam suggests that it is a basket in which the woman keeps the finished products that she wove, which would indicate that it is a fairly large basket. The origin of the word kaltah is Greek. On occasion such baskets were worn on an individual’s head.