כ״ז באדר א׳ ה׳תשע״ו (March 7, 2016)

Gittin 85a-b: You Are Hereby Permitted to Any Man

According to the Mishna on our daf, the central statement of the divorce document is the idea that, “Harei at muteret le-khol adam – you are hereby permitted to any man,” a statement that breaks the bonds of the existing marriage. Rabbi Yehuda says that it must say that this geṭ will act as a scroll of divorce; a letter of leave and a bill of dismissal, permitting the woman to marry any man that she desires.

According to most of the rishonim, even the first opinion would not allow a woman to marry based solely on that statement; clearly the get must also include the names of the husband and wife as well as other pertinent information. Nevertheless, the Ri”d writes that the simple statement of harei at muteret le-khol adam would suffice to effect a divorce assuming that there are proper witnesses who can attest to the transfer of the document.

With regard to Rabbi Yehuda’s ruling, there is some discussion as to whether his expanded version of the statement replaces the basic idea expressed in the words harei at muteret le-khol adam or if he still requires that language to be included. The latter position – which is accepted by the Rambam, the Ramban and others – can be explained by the fact that the language mandated by Rabbi Yehuda specifically allows the woman to remarry, but does not clearly state that she is a single woman. The difference would be if she engaged in a sexual relationship without getting married. Did the get allow her to do so, or did the original husband only release her to get married? This lack of clarity obligates the husband to include a clear statement permitting her to all. Others disagree, arguing that a divorce clearly ends the marriage, and without any marital bonds, the woman is clearly free to engage in whatever behaviors she sees fit.