Extempore Effusions on the Completion of Masechet Gitin Perek Aleph: המביא גת

You deliver a Get from afar
On a wagon, a goat, or a car.
When you hand it to her
You must clearly aver:
“Saw it written and signed, here you are!”

What’s the reason for that declaration?
“There they mind not the dame’s appellation,”
Raba says. “I say no,”
Rava says. “It is so:
Scarce are witnesses in those locations.”

A woman may bring her own Get
Though not common, it’s something we let
Her do, but she must state:
“They wrote, signed off my fate
In my presence, for my sobriquet.”

If the witness did not see the scribe
Write the whole Get, but he can describe
Both the sound of the quill
And the scroll, if you will,
That’s OK (if he’s part of the tribe).

“I was home while the scribe did his thing
Though I left for the market to bring
Some food back while he wrote
Out the parchment Get note
Does my test’mony still have its zing?”

Is Bavel like Israel? Not so?
Must a witness say, “Saw, here you go”?
Bavel has many nooks
Filled with scholars with books;
They won’t break to be witnesses, though.

How far does Bavel extend?
Does it reach to the river’s last bend?
The second arch of the bridge
Is the outermost ridge —
Know this if it’s a Get you must send.

The famed Hill Concubine went astray—
But what was her crime? Well, some say
‘Twas a fly in his soup
That threw him for a loop
Or a hair (which is gross anyway).

Says Rav Chisda, “No man should instill
Excess fear in his household.” Men will
Come home before Shabbat
Say, “Did you light or not?”
But their tone must be calm and not shrill.

Says Abahu: “No man should instill
Excess fear in his house.” It could kill!
One man scared off his wife
And she gave him a knife
To dice up living limbs from the grill.

A groom may not wear on his head
Any crowns – though the bride may, instead.
With no Temple now stand-
Ing, the rabbis command:
We who sinned must now carefully tread.

If you see that you don’t have much food
Do not sit around hungry and brood
Give some of your stuff
To those poorer; enough
So you’ll be saved from hell. Ain’t that shrewd?

If you’re sailing atop a big ship
Into Israel (now that’s a long trip!)
If there’s some dirt aboard
Must you tithe for the Lord?
Must the seventh year’s planting be skipped?

Every non-Israel land is impure
If you step there, you are too, for sure.
If you come in a box
Or a chest that has locks
Are you safe because you are immured?

If you hear when they hand you the Get
Then you turn deaf before you have met
Up with that fellow’s wife
This is no cause for strife
Find the witnesses – they’ll fix things yet.

A non-Jewish witness may sign
On a Get, on the dotted black line
If his name is not Roni
Or Yitzchak or Yoni
But James the Third, Lord Valentine!

Most Jews living outside of the land
(That is, Israel, so we understand)
Have the names of non-Jews
Because what would you choose
For your kid – Fruma Malka, or Fran?

Says a man: “Give this Get to my wife.
Nope! I now change my mind! By your life!”
May the husband retract?
Can he take the Get back?
If he’s causing her gladness, not strife.

Rabbi Yirmyah was part of a group
Of men learning. His head soon did droop
He heard something not smart
And woke up with a start
He said: Kids! It’s a good thing I snoop!

May a slave say (please don’t think him rude):
“Give me liberty or give me food.”
In a time of bad drought
Must the slave sit it out
With his master (and his attitude!).

If a sick slave is cured in a flash
We ask: Who gets to keep all the cash
That they now do not need
For medicinal weed?
Add it in to the master’s great stash.

Many slaves do not want to be freed
If it means it’s a wife they now need
Because they’d much prefer
Any servant girl – her,
Say, to sleep around with and thus breed.

The mom of some peddlers was ill
She said, “Here is what you must fulfill:
Give my daughter my pin
That I love, she’s my kin.”
And the sages complied with her will.

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