1) GREETING A NOCHRI WITH "SHALOM"
QUESTION: The Mishnah (61a) states that one may greet a Nochri with "Shalom" for the sake of peace. The Gemara here, however, says that one may not greet a Nochri with a double greeting of "Shalom, Shalom." The Gemara says that Rav Chisda would always greet a Nochri first with "Shalom" before the Nochri greeted him.
Why is there a need for a special allowance (to maintain peace) to greet a Nochri? Why would greeting a Nochri be prohibited without this special allowance?
Moreover, why is one prohibited from doubling the greeting and saying "Shalom, Shalom," and why was Rav Chisda so careful to precede the Nochri with his greeting?
(a) RASHI explains that the word "Shalom" is one of the names of Hash-m. As such, it should not be used as a greeting for a Nochri, if not for the purpose of preventing animosity. (See Mishnah in Berachos (54a) which says that there was a special enactment made to allow a Jew to greet his friend with the name of Hash-m. Rashi in Makos (23b) says that this refers to the greeting of "Shalom," which was enacted in order to fulfill Hash-m's will for peace among Jews.) Since saying "Shalom" to a Nochri is permitted only to prevent animosity, one is permitted to say "Shalom" only a single time because that suffices to prevent animosity. To say a double greeting of "Shalom, Shalom" is not necessary to prevent animosity and therefore it is not permitted.
(b) The ME'IRI explains that one should not double a greeting to a Nochri because of the concern that one will become too friendly with the Nochri and begin to learn from his ways. The Me'iri explains that Rav Chisda went out of his way to greet a Nochri first, before the Nochri greeted him, because it was customary for the one who was greeted to add to the greeting of the first person. Rav Chisda was concerned that the Nochri would greet him with a blessing and he would have to add to that blessing in his response. By initiating the greeting, he was able to keep the greeting to a minimum and prevent unnecessary closeness.
The RITVA (Mosad ha'Rav Kook edition) writes similarly that Rav Chisda initiated the greeting so that he would not have to answer the Nochri with a double greeting as was customary.
The Gemara continues and relates how the Talmidei Chachamim greeted one another with a double greeting. According to the Me'iri's explanation, this is a fitting contrast to the previous Gemara which says that one may not extend a double greeting to a Nochri. According to the Me'iri, one may not extend a double greeting to a Nochri because he must limit his relationship with the Nochri, but the opposite applies when one greets a Talmid Chacham; one should make every effort to develop a relationship with Talmidei Chachamim and to learn from their ways.
HALACHAH: The TUR (YD 148) writes that it is recommended that one initiate the greeting to a Nochri for the reason the Ritva writes. The SHULCHAN ARUCH records this as the Halachah (YD 148:10).
The two explanations (that of Rashi and that of the Me'iri and the Ritva) for why one may not repeat "Shalom" to a Nochri have Halachic implications. According to Rashi's explanation, extending a double greeting to a Nochri is prohibited only when one uses the term "Shalom," since the repetition is an unnecessary use of Hash-m's name. Repeating a different greeting ("hello, hello") would be permitted according to Rashi. According to the explanation of the Me'iri, no type of greeting to a Nochri should be repeated.
The BEIS YOSEF (YD 148) cites the ORCHOS CHAIM who rules that one is permitted to repeat a greeting if he does not use the term "Shalom." The TAZ cites the same ruling in the name of the SEMAK.
2) INITIATING A GREETING TO A NOCHRI
QUESTION: The Gemara relates that Rav Chisda went out of his way to initiate the greeting to a Nochri in order to avoid the problem of repeating "Shalom" (see Me'iri quoted in previous Insight). His conduct seems to contradict the implication of the Gemara in Berachos (17a) which says that Raban Yochanan ben Zakai always initiated the greeting to his fellow man, "even to a Nochri in the marketplace." This implies that there is less of a reason to initiate a greeting to a Nochri than to a Jew! According to the Gemara here, however, there is more of a reason to initiate the greeting to a Nochri than to a Jew.
ANSWER: The Gemara in Berachos stresses that Raban Yochanan ben Zakai initiated the greeting even to a Nochri "in the marketplace (Shuk)." It is possible that the Gemara stresses this point because it is referring to a Nochri who was a complete stranger, with whom Raban Yochanan ben Zakai was not acquainted, and thus Raban Yochanan ben Zakai had no concern that the Nochri might greet him first. Nevertheless, Raban Yochanan ben Zakai still initiated the greeting. The Gemara there is teaching that even in such a case, where there was no special reason for him to initiate the greeting, Raban Yochanan ben Zakai did so anyway. (TAZ YD 148:6)
3) A WOMAN WHO WANTS TO BE DIVORCED
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that a man who sends a Shali'ach to bring a Get to his wife or to receive a Get on behalf of his wife may change his mind as long as his wife did not yet receive the Get. RASHI explains that he may change his mind because the Get is a Chov (a liability, and not a benefit) for his wife, and one cannot appoint a Shali'ach to carry out a transaction that is a Chov for someone else without that person's explicit consent.
According to Rashi's explanation, what would be the Halachah in a case where the woman says that she wants to be divorced? Apparently, since she has revealed her feelings that the Get is beneficial and desirable to her, as soon as the husband gives the Get to a Shali'ach and appoints that Shali'ach to accept the Get on behalf of his wife, she should be divorced! Accordingly, even when the husband changes his mind after he gives the Get to the Shali'ach, the Get is still valid since it was received by the Shali'ach on behalf of the woman before the man changed his mind. However, the Gemara makes no mention of such a Halachah.
(a) The RAN, RASHBA, and RITVA quote the Yerushalmi which says that even in such a case the husband may change his mind and repeal the Get as long as it has not yet been given to the woman herself. The Yerushalmi explains that although she says that she wants the Get, this is no proof that she always wanted it (even at the time the Get was given over to the Shali'ach). Perhaps she changed her mind at that time and decided that she did not want to be divorced.
The BEIS YOSEF (EH 140) writes that according to the above view, there are grounds to say that if there are witnesses who heard the woman say at the time the Get was given to the Shali'ach that she wants to be divorced, the Shali'ach may function as her Shali'ach l'Kabalah and receive the Get for her, and the husband is not able to change his mind after the Shali'ach receives it.
4) A WOMAN WHO APPOINTS A SHALI'ACH TO RECEIVE HER GET AND THEN CHANGES HER MIND
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that when the woman appoints a Shali'ach to receive the Get for her, once her Shali'ach receives the Get the divorce takes effect immediately and the husband cannot change his mind and recall the Get. The Yerushalmi (see previous Insight) states that even when the woman expresses a desire to be divorced, there is a concern that she changed her mind before the husband gave the Get to the Shali'ach whom he appointed to receive it for her. Why, then, is there no concern that she will change her mind about the divorce when she appoints a Shali'ach to receive the Get?
(a) The PNEI YEHOSHUA answers that the very act of appointing a Shali'ach shows that there is no fear that she will change her mind. The act of appointing a Shali'ach is clear evidence that she has so strongly decided that she wants the divorce that there is no concern that she will change her mind (of course, she may actively annul the Shelichus if she indeed opts not to receive the Get). In the case of the Yerushalmi, it was the husband who appointed the Shali'ach, and the wife merely expressed her desire to get divorced but did not actually appoint a Shali'ach, and therefore there is a concern that she might change her mind.
(b) RAV SHIMON SHKOP (Ma'areches ha'Kinyanim 4) explains that once the woman appoints a Shali'ach, she empowers him with the ability to receive the Get for her unless she explicitly nullifies the Shelichus. She effects a change in status by making a Shali'ach, and that status remains the status quo unless there is definite evidence to the contrary. When the Shali'ach comes to receive the Get, a Chazakah states that he is her Shali'ach and that she wants the Get. Just by changing her mind and deciding that she does not to want to get divorced does not remove the power which she has given over to the Shali'ach. Therefore, as long as it is not known whether or not she has nullified the Shelichus, he remains with his status quo and has the status of her Shali'ach. In the case of the Yerushalmi in which she merely expresses her desire to get divorced, there are no grounds to assume that her desire will continue unless there is clear evidence that it did continue, because no formal status was created by her original desire such that we may assume that it is still her desire.
Support for this approach (as opposed to that of the Pnei Yehoshua) may be found in the RAN on the Mishnah. The Mishnah states that when the woman appoints a Shali'ach to receive the Get for her, the husband cannot change his mind once he gives the Get to the Shali'ach. If, however, the husband says to her Shali'ach that he does not want him to receive the Get as her Shali'ach but just as a Shali'ach that will deliver the Get to her (a Shali'ach l'Holachah), then he may still change his mind (since the divorce will not take effect until she receives the Get).
The Ran explains that even if the husband says that he does not want the Shali'ach to receive the Get on her behalf but that he should be an unappointed messenger on her behalf and accept for her the Get through the mechanism of "Zechiyah," the divorce does not take effect until she actually receives the Get because "Zechiyah" works only when we know that the intended recipient definitely wants the item (i.e. it is a "Zechus," a benefit, for him or her). The Ran explains that although she expressed interest in getting divorced by the fact that she appointed a Shali'ach to receive the Get, there is a concern that she changed her mind.
It is clear that although she performed an act of appointing a Shali'ach to receive the Get, the divorce will take place at the time the Shali'ach receives the Get only if he receives it as her appointed Shali'ach (and we are not concerned that she made an act of annulment), but if that same Shali'ach receives it as an unappointed Shali'ach, the divorce will not take effect when he receives the Get since we are concerned that she changed her mind (as the Shali'ach does not receive the Get in the capacity of his status as her Shali'ach), even though she did an act of appointing him as her Shali'ach.
RASHI explains that the only way the husband can prevent the divorce from taking effect at the time her Shali'ach receives it is by saying that he does not want the Shali'ach to receive it as his wife's Shali'ach but rather as his own Shali'ach to bring the Get to his wife. According to Rashi's explanation, if the husband would say that he wants the Shali'ach to receive the Get as an unappointed Shali'ach, the Get would take effect right when he receives it. This is compatible with the Pnei Yehoshua's logic. (E. KORNFELD)