What is a Get?

Rebecca E. Samson

A Get is a dated and witnessed document where a husband states his intention to divorce his wife. It makes no mention of responsibility or fault or reason for the divorce. The Get is handwritten by a scribe acting as the husband’s agent. One of the most important rules governing the writing of the get is the requirement that it be written specifically for the husband and wife who will be using it. This precludes the use of form documents.

A Get must be written in a very specific way, and only under the supervision of a rabbi who is fully understands the laws. For example, the Get must be written specifically for this couple, and a pre-printed document cannot be used. There are other complex factors as well, including the type of people who must witness the giving of the Get, and precise formulas for the spelling of words and names. All of this must be done properly or else the couple is still considered as if fully married.

The Get document is written by a trained scribe (sofer). The Get is written in twelve lines in Aramaic (the numerical value of the Hebrew word “get“). The text states the location, the man’s and woman’s names, and a brief pronouncement that the woman is now free to remarry.


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