CAN A MUTE TESTIFY?
(Rav Kahana): If a Cheresh (deaf person) can communicate by writing, we (fulfill his written request to) write and give a Get to his wife.
Question (Rav Yosef): Why must Rav Kahana teach this? We know this from our Mishnah!
(Mishnah): If a man became unable to speak and others asked him if we should write a Get for his wife and he nodded his head, we test him three times. If he answers properly no and yes, we write and give the Get.
Answer (R. Zeira): The Mishnah discusses a mute. He is not like a (total) Cheresh (who lacks understanding):
(Beraisa): One who can speak but not hear is a Cheresh. One who can hear but not speak is a mute;
Both of them are like healthy people in every respect.
Question (R. Zeira - Beraisa): "If he will not testify" excludes a mute, for he cannot testify.
Why can't he testify by writing?
Answer (Abaye): Testimony must be "Al Pi (oral)", not through their writing.
Question (Beraisa): Just like we test him (one who became mute, to see if he is alert enough) to give a Get, we test also regarding sales and gifts, for testimony, and for inheritances.
This shows that he can testify, even though he cannot speak!
Answer (Rav Yosef bar Minyomi): The Beraisa refers to Edus Ishah (testimony that a man died to permit his wife to remarry). Chachamim were lenient about Edus Ishah.
Question (Beraisa): We test for inheritances (he testifies about others)!
Answer (R. Avahu): No, it refers to his Bechor. (Tosfos - he identifies his firstborn son; Rashi - he commands that his Bechor not get an extra portion.)
Question (Beraisa): We test for sales and gifts.
Suggestion: He testifies about others' transactions!
Rejection: No, it refers to what he sells and gives.
WHICH DEAF MEN MAY DIVORCE
Question (against Rav Kahana - Beraisa): For Metaltelim we rely on gestures and facial expressions of a Cheresh and what he writes, but not for Gitin.
Answer: Tana'im argue about whether or not he can divorce:
(Seifa - R. Shimon ben Gamliel): This applies only to one who was deaf from birth, but if a hearing man became deaf, he writes (a Get) and witnesses sign it.
Question: If he was deaf from birth, why can't he divorce? Just like he married through gesturing, he can divorce through gesturing (the whole marriage is only mid'Rabanan)!
Answer: That reasoning applies to a regular marriage. The Beraisa says that he cannot divorce a woman with whom he did Yibum.
Question: From what kind of marriage did she fall to Yibum?
If the deceased husband was also a Cheresh, just like she was (initially) married through gesturing, she can be divorced (even by the Yavam) through gesturing!
Answer #1: Her first husband was healthy.
Answer #2: Her first husband was also a Cheresh. We decree that the Yavam cannot divorce, lest he divorce when her first husband was healthy.
Question: If we make such decrees, we should never allow him to divorce, lest he divorce after doing Yibum!
Answer: People can confuse Yevamos (who fell from different types of husbands), but they would not confuse a woman whom he was Mekadesh with his Yevamah.
Objection: We do not decree about (one who fell to Yibum from) a Cheresh due to (falling from) a healthy man!
(Mishnah): If two brothers were married to two sisters, and both brothers or sisters (or all of them) were Chereshim, and one brother died, his wife is exempt from Chalitzah and Yibum.
If the wives were unrelated, they may do Yibum. The Yavam can later divorce the Yevamah if he wants to.
Conclusion: This refutes Answer #2. We must rely on Answer #1.
(R. Yochanan): R. Shimon ben Gamliel argues with Chachamim (the first Tana of his Beraisa. They say that if a healthy man married and became deaf, he cannot divorce even if he can write.)
Support (Abaye - Mishnah): If she went insane, he may not divorce her;
If he went deaf or insane, he may never divorce her.
Question: Why does it say never?
Suggestion: It means, even if he can communicate through writing!
Rejection (Rav Papa): Had R. Yochanan not taught otherwise, one could have said that R. Shimon ben Gamliel explains the first Tana;
Answer #1 (to Question m:2): The Mishnah says 'never' to include even if he is very sharp.
Answer #2: 'Never' alludes to R. Yitzchak's law:
(R. Yitzchak): Mid'Oraisa, one may divorce an insane woman, just like one may divorce a sane woman against her will;
Chachamim enacted that one may not divorce her, lest men freely have Bi'ah with her. (If he went deaf or insane, he may never divorce her, i.e. even mid'Oraisa.)
THE COMMAND TO WRITE A GET
(Mishnah): If two people asked a man if we should write a Get for his wife and he said 'write it', and they appointed a scribe to write it and witnesses to sign it, even if they gave the Get to him and he gave it to his wife, it is Pasul. He must personally tell the scribe to write and the witnesses to sign.
(Gemara) Inference: The Get is Pasul because he said only 'write.' Had he said 'write and give', it would be valid!
This is like R. Meir, who says that Mili may be transferred to another Shali'ach.
Contradiction (Seifa): He must personally tell the scribe to write and the witnesses to sign.
This is like R. Yosi, who says that Mili may not be transferred to another Shali'ach!
Answer #1: Indeed, the Reisha is like R. Meir and the Seifa is like R. Yosi!
Answer #2 (Abaye): The entire Mishnah is like R. Meir. The case is, he did not say 'give'.
Objection: If so, it should say that it is Pasul because he did not say 'give'!
Answer #3 (Abaye): Rather, the case is, he did not command three people.
Objection: If so, it should say that it is Pasul because he did not command three people!
Answer #4 (Abaye): Rather, the entire Mishnah is like R. Yosi. The case is, he did not tell them to appoint a scribe and witnesses.
Objection #1: If so, it should say that it is Pasul because he did not tell them to appoint a scribe and witnesses!