Extempore Effusions on the Completion of Masechet Gittin: Perek Gimel כל הגט

A man wrote a Get, changed his mind
Then that same Get another did find
The men had the same names
And so too did their dames
But the Get can’t be reused, re-signed.

A man cannot say to his scribe
“Write a Get for some wife in my tribe.”
No, he must clearly state
Which wife. Must designate
By her name — or at least must describe.

Write a Get for the wife who comes first
Through the door. Is that poor woman cursed?
Which is former, which latter
This is not a matter
In his hands. It could be reversed.

Said a father: We’ll now have a race
And the child that comes in first place
For him I will slaughter
(What if it’s a daughter?)
The Paschal lamb in God’s home base.

Shmuel says: Every Get must have space
For this line to be written some place:
“Behold you’re permit-
Ted to all men befit-
Ting.” Or else she’s still his to embrace.

Don’t put names on a Get in advance
To avoid some such bad circumstance
Of a dame who walks by,
Hears her name on the fly
Spoken by a Get-scribe, just by chance.

A Get’s like a gun. Do not keep
One around in the house where you sleep.
For you might have a fight
With your wife late one night,
Hand it over, and oh! How she’d weep.

If you drop your wife’s Get in the street
And then find it beneath others’ feet.
May the Get still be given
Though it has been ridden
Over by most people you meet?

If a lost Get turns up in a box;
In the wallet of one with gray locks
In a fact’ry for flax
In the market stall sacks
Is the marriage now still on the rocks?

How long may a Get go astray
Such that it if it is found, it’s OK?
For as long as no man
Passed; or no caravan
For the time ’til you read it, you say?

When the Get-giving man is quite old
At the age of strength (eighty, we’re told)
If he hands you the Get
He may die while you’ve yet
To deliver. Think he’s not yet cold?

If the court proclaims: “Husband is dead.”
Do you let the wife go and re-wed?
He might not yet be
Dead indubitably
Even courts have at times, yes, misled!

Said the man to his wife, “Have no fear
Have this Get if I do not appear
Back within thirty days.”
There were dreadful delays
O’er the river, he called out, “I’m here!!”

Death is more common than wealth
People sadly can lose their good health
But they don’t find a stash
Often of lots of cash
Got rich quick? We suspect you of stealth.

Check your Truma wine three times a year:
When the gust of the east wind you hear,
When the grape clusters show
When with water they grow
Make sure it’s not now vinegar, dear!

God sent a big wind that beat hard
Down on Jonah’s head. Thereby it marred
His day. Jonah grew faint
And quite full of complaint
That’s the east wind – against it do guard!

You may think of the wind as quite mild
But the “Shadya” wind grows very wild!
It can make a pearl rot,
Make one’s seed go to pot
Cause a woman to lose her next child!

Extempore Effusions on the Completion of Masechet Gittin: Perek Bet המביא גט

“I saw this Get written, not signed”
Said the witness. We hold that’s not fine.
We need witnesses two
Who avow: “It is true:
Saw them write it and sign on the line.”

If two people dip in a sea
That has just enough water to be
Kosher – Can we then say
Both of them are okay?
If they dip simultaneously.

Three rabbis discussed in the night
Laws of Gets brought from far — what’s all right?
‘Til a Persian priest came,
Put an end to their game,
For he took from them their only light.

If your niece one day becomes your wife
And she cheats, but you do not feel strife
You can pre-date a Get
Say, “I’d already let
Her go free. Do not ruin her life!”

An “old Get” is one that you write
Prior to a grand rendezvous night
With the wife you had written
That finest of gittin
For. That Get has no force or might.

If a man says to ten folks: “Hey guys
Write a Get for the wife I despise.”
Must then all ten men sign
On the “witnesses” line
Many problems could therefore arise!

Write a Get in invisible ink
Or in fruit juice (how that Get would stink!)
You can’t give it to her
So the sages aver
Yes, a Get must last – what did you think?

An illiterate witness can’t write
His name on a Get. That’s all right!
You can carve out his name
He can sign just the same
By inking his name bold and bright.

Says a man to his wife, “Here’s your Get,”
Throws it into the river. Regret
Gets the better of him
Or perhaps, on a whim,
He says, “‘Twas just blank paper – now wet.”

Does a Torah scroll count as a Get
It contains the right verses; and yet
Would the Sofer aver
It was written for her?
Still, it won’t say her city. Hence nyet!

“Here is your Get, but the paper
Belongs to me” – Some stingy caper!
That is not a divorce
(The poor woman, of course –
She’s be better off with a [sic] raper!)

Write a Get on the hand of a slave
That is, one that the husband then gave
To his wife. That’s Okay,
So is handing her, say,
A slave who in his hand the Get waves.

An edible Get – what’s the deal?
Does it bear the kosher stamp and seal?
Yossi HaGlili says: “No!
Must be book-like, you know.
Did a book ever serve as a meal?”

A Get can’t be stuck to the ground
It must be something carried around.
Can a tree or a plant
Be a Get? No they can’t–
But an olive-leaf Get would be sound.

A tree planted in holy ground
Gets its sunlight from some land surround-
Ing Israel. This tree,
Do the rabbis agree?
Do we tithe from it? Where is it found?

Any Israelite may bring a Get
Save the deaf, blind, not Bar Mitzvah yet.
But what if he’s blind
Then his sight he does find?
He could not see it signed, rabbis fret.

A blind man cannot see a thing
Thus no image can any bells ring.
Well then how does he know
It’s his *wife* who does go
With him into his bed, not his fling?

Her own Get a woman may bring.
Yes, the rabbis allowed such a thing
When the husband said “Take
Up the Get when you make
It to that place.” “I’m free!” she can sing.

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.