1) STIPULATING THAT THE GET TAKE EFFECT AFTER DEATH
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that when a man gives a Get to his wife and stipulates that the Get should take place when he dies, the Get is not valid (since a Get cannot take effect after the husband's death). The Gemara cites the opinion of Rebbi Yosi who says that in such a case the Get does take effect; since the date is written in the Get, the man's stipulation is interpreted to mean that at the time that the husband dies the Get will take effect retroactively from the time of the date written in the Get. RASHI (DH v'Rav Huna) explains that Rebbi Yosi's logic (in a case of a person who gives a gift to take effect after his death) is that if the person's intention was to give the gift after his death, he would not have written the date in the document.
The Gemara earlier (17a) teaches that there is an enactment that every Get must have the date written in it. However, in order for the date written in the document to be proof that the man wants the transaction to take place from that date, he must have had the option not to write the date in the document. In the case of a Get, however, he must write the date. How, then, can the fact that the date is written in the Get be proof that he wants the Get to take effect from that date?
(a) The TORAS GITIN answers that although the date must be written in the Get, if the man would have wanted the Get to take effect only after his death, he would have written in the Get the date as "the time of his death" (even though he would not be writing a specific date since he does not yet know when he will die, it suffices to write a time that can easily be verified). Since he did not write "the time of his death" in the Get, but rather the actual date on which the Get was written, we must assume that he wanted it to take effect from the time it was written.
(b) The PNEI YEHOSHUA answers that when Rashi writes that the proof that the man wants the Get to take effect from the time it was written is from the fact that he wrote the date, Rashi refers only to a case in which the man wrote that he wants it to take effect "after he dies." The Mishnah, however, discusses a case in which the man wrote that the Get should take effect "if he dies." Since the term "if he dies" may be interpreted to mean that it should take effect retroactively (as Abaye here explains), Rebbi Yosi rules that the date written in the Get instructs us to interpret the term "if he dies" to mean that the Get will take effect retroactively even though we do not have any other proof that this is his intention.
(c) The MITZPEH EISAN explains that Rashi's opinion earlier (17a) is that it is enough to write the year in which the Get was written in order to satisfy the rabbinic requirement for writing the date in the Get. Since the man specified the actual date when he did not need to do so (since the year would have sufficed), this is proof that he wanted the Get to take effect retroactively from that day.
2) THE GET OF A DEATHLY ILL PERSON WHO RECOVERS
QUESTION: Rav Huna says that the Get of a deathly ill person is like his gift. Just as he can retract his gift if he recovers from his illness, so, too, he can retract the Get. Rabah and Rava disagree with Rav Huna.
RASHI explains that Rav Huna refers even to a case in which the man did not specify that he was giving the Get only on the condition that he will die from the illness. We assess the situation and assume that his intent was to give the Get only on the condition that he die as a result of the illness. The RAN and RITVA infer from Rashi later (73a, DH Lo) that if the man stated a condition that the Get take effect if he dies, everyone agrees that the Get is annulled if he recovers.
TOSFOS cites RABEINU TAM who understands that if the man does not mention that he is giving the Get "if he will die," everyone agrees that he cannot retract the Get even if he recovers from his illness. He explains that Rav Huna refers to a case in which the man said that the Get that he wrote should take effect "from today if I will die." Rav Huna maintains that in such a case, if he recovers (to the extent that he can walk out in the marketplace) the Get is nullified even if he eventually dies from the same illness. Rabah and Rava disagree and maintain that since he eventually died from the same illness, the Get takes effect.
The Rishonim (RAMBAN and others) challenge Rashi's explanation. The Gemara questions the view of Rav Huna from the Mishnah which states that if the man writes that the Get should take effect "from today" if he dies from his illness, and then he recovers and walks outside, and then he becomes sick again and dies, we evaluate the situation: if he died from the original illness, the Get takes effect; if he did not die from the original illness, the Get does not take effect. According to Rashi, however, Rav Huna refers to a case in which the man made no condition, and in that case Rabah disagrees with Rav Huna. In the case of the Mishnah, in which the man made a condition, Rabah does not disagree with Rav Huna! Why, then, according to Rashi, does the Gemara ask from the Mishnah only on Rav Huna and not on Rabah and Rava as well?
(a) The RAMBAN answers that the basic dispute between Rav Huna and Rabah is whether we may interpret a man's words by his implied intention even though he did not articulate his intention explicitly in those words. This is relevant both in a case in which he does not mention the condition at all (which is the case Rav Huna discusses) and in a case in which he said that the Get should take place if he dies but did not specify that it should not take effect if he recovers and then dies (which is the case of the Mishnah). Therefore, even though the law in the Mishnah is a different case, it still depends on the logic of Rav Huna and Rabah.
(b) The RAN answers that the Gemara disagrees with Rav Huna even in a case in which the man made an explicit condition. When Rashi writes that everyone agrees that he may nullify the Get when he made a condition, Rashi means only that Rabah and Rava agree with Rav Huna in such a case, since they disagree with Rav Huna only because of a Gezeirah that people will say that a Get can take effect after death. That Gezeirah, however, applies only in a case where the Get was given without any conditions.