Estate Planning:Gittin 35

January 22, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  Two of the groups of people to whom we must show the greatest consideration are the widow and the orphan. It is these two who come in potential conflict when a man dies, leaving behind a widow and orphans. Upon death, the assets of a man are deemed to be in the possession of his sons. The widow then has a claim on the estate in the amount stipulated in her ketuba. However "a widow may not collect from the assets of...
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Living in Sin: Gittin 33

January 18, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  "Initially one would establish a court in another place and nullify [the get]. Rabban Gamliel the Elder decreed that one may not do so, mipnei tikkun olam (Gittin 32a)."   As I noted in our introductory remarks to masechet Gittin it is, most appropriately, in masechet Gittin where we have recorded a series of rabbinic decrees promulgated in order to "fix the world"....
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A Love-Hate Relationship: Gittin 23

January 11, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The commandment to love and care for others, perhaps the most important in the entire Torah, while applicable to all is phrased in the context of one’s friend or neighbour. It is actually much harder to love a neighbour than a stranger. With the latter we have no complaints over loud noise from a barbeque party, overhanging trees and blocked driveways.    Most of us like people in general, it’s just that when we actually...
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Points for Penmanship: Gittin 22

January 08, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  One of the primary requirements of a get is that it be written lishma, with the husband's intent of divorcing the specific women. This is derived from the biblical phrase vkatav lah, "and he [the husband] shall write for her a book of separation". The Mishna (Gittin 24b) goes so far as to invalidate a get even when a man married to two women with the...
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I Married My Niece: Gittin 17

January 03, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Timing is everything. Not only is picking the right time to do something crucial but recording that time can be equally important. This is especially true in matters of commerce where the proper or shall we say improper dating of documents can have huge financial implications.    A shetar mukdam, a pre-dated document, is invalid in Jewish law. To allow such a document is an invitation to collect money that one is not...
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