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Friday, September 1

The Weekly Shtikle - Ki Seitzei

One of the many topics covered in this week's parsha is that of marriage and divorce. The term used for the divorce document is geit. The first Tosafos in maseches Gittin teaches us that being that the gematria of geit is 12, it is the custom to make all gittin 12 lines long. The question asked in the name of the GR"A (although it is not so clear that it was his question) is why did Chaza"l decide to use specifically this word which has no meaning elsewhere? Why did they not choose any other combination of letters which adds up to 12? He gives a fascinating answer. The letters gimmel and tes are never found next to each other in any one word in all of Tana"ch! This combination therefore symbolizes how, with a geit, a couple has become separated.

What is even more fascinating is the question that R' Chaim Kanievsky asks on this. Why use gimmel and tes to convey this idea? Gimmel-kuf, zayin-tes, zayin-tzadi and samech-tzadi are also never found next to each other in all of Tana"ch!! He gives two answers, although they are not nearly as entertaining as the question. First, none of those combinations adds up to 12. Second, gimmel-tes is the first combination encountered when starting from the beginning of the Aleph-Bais.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

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