POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Bava Basra 154
1) THE ARGUMENT IN THE MISHNAH
(a) (Mishnah): Chachamim say, to take money from the giver,
one must bring proof.
2) WHO MUST BRING PROOF?
(b) Question: What proof must the recipients bring?
(c) Answer #1 (Rav Huna): They must bring witnesses (that
Reuven was healthy when he gave the gift).
(d) Answer #2 (Rav Chisda and Rabah bar Rav Huna): They must
validate the document.
1. Rav Huna says that they must bring witnesses - R.
Meir and Chachamim argue as R. Yakov and R. Noson
(e) Rava agrees with Rav Huna, they must bring witnesses.
i. R. Meir holds like R. Noson (we assume that
Reuven was then as he is now, healthy);
2. Rav Chisda and Rabah bar Rav Huna say that they must
validate the document - R. Meir and Chachamim argue
whether or not the lender must validate a document
if the borrower admits that he authorized it (but
claims that he paid it):
ii. Chachamim hold like R. Yakov,
i. R. Meir says, he need not validate it;
3. Question: They argued about this elsewhere!
ii. Chachamim say, he must validate it (if not, the
borrower is believed to say that he paid, Migo
he could claim that it was forged).
i. (Beraisa - R. Meir): (Shimon claims that he
paid a loan but did not take back the document.
The witnesses admit that they signed, but they
say that they were invalid witnesses at the
time), they are not believed to disqualify the
document; (since Shimon admits that the
document is valid, there is no need to validate
4. Answer: We need to hear the argument in both cases.
ii. Chachamim say, they can disqualify it (the
lender must validate it - since the witnesses
say that it was signed improperly, their
testimony is not validation).
i. If they only argued there, one might have
thought that Chachamim only say that witnesses
can disqualify a document, not the borrower;
ii. If they only argued here, one might have
thought that R. Meir would agree that witnesses
can disqualify a document.
(f) Question (Abaye): What is the reason?
1. Suggestion: Gift documents of healthy people usually
say 'He was walking in the market...' and this one
(g) Answer: Since we are unsure, we leave the money where it
is, unless they bring proof.
2. Rejection: Matanos Shechiv me'Ra usually say 'He was
bedridden...', and this one does not!
(h) R. Yochanan and Reish Lakish argue as Rav Huna and Rav
1. (R. Yochanan): They must bring witnesses.
2. (Reish Lakish): They must validate the document.
(a) Question (R. Yochanan - Beraisa): A case occurred, Reuven
sold his father's property (after he inherited it), then
Reuven died; members of the family said that the sale was
invalid because he was a minor at the time (even though
he was *old enough* to sell land, he never had been shown
to have grown two hairs. The buyers) asked if they may
check the body (to prove that he was an adult).
1. R. Akiva: Firstly, you may not check the body, it is
a disgrace; secondly, signs often change after death
(R. Tam - perhaps he had white hairs (which are not
a sign of adulthood) and now they look black; Ri -
perhaps follicles developed after death, these are
signs of adulthood).
2. Summation of question: We understand this if the
buyers must bring witnesses - they could not find
witnesses, so they wanted to check the body;
(b) Answer (Reish Lakish): It is not as you understand, that
the family was Muchzak in the property, the buyers wanted
to check the body to get the property;
3. But if they must validate the document, why did they
want to check the body?
1. Rather, the buyers were Muchzak in the property, the
family wanted to check the body (to prove he was a
minor) to take back the property.
(c) Question (Reish Lakish - bar Kapara): Shimon was Muchzak
in a field, he was using it. Levi claimed 'It is mine',
he showed a document that Shimon sold or gave it to him:
2. Support: When R. Akiva told them that they may not
check the body, they were silent.
i. We understand why the family would agree to
this (he is their relative, and they did not
pay anything; Rosh - they agreed to go beyond
the letter of the law and forfeit their claim);
3. Rejection: R. Akiva told them, you may not check the
ii. The buyers would not agree - they are entitled
to try to get what they paid for, even if it
i. If you will say that because you paid money you
may disgrace him, still, it does not help to
check, signs often change after death (hairs
can fall out).
1. If Shimon denies having written the document, Levi
must validate it to get the property;
(d) Answer (R. Yochanan): No, all agree that if one admits
that he authorized a document, the bearer need not
2. If he says that it was a Pasim document (a fake
sale, to make Shimon look rich) or Amanah (Levi
trusted him with the document before receiving the
money) or that Shimon did not pay yet (so Levi can
retract): if there are witnesses, we follow what
i. If there are no witnesses, we honor the
3. Is Bar Kapara like R. Meir (since Levi admits that
he authorized the document, there is no need to
validate it), and not like Chachamim?!
(e) Question (Reish Lakish): But they do argue about this!
1. (Beraisa - R. Meir): The witnesses are not believed
to disqualify the document;
(f) Answer (R. Yochanan): Chachamim believe witnesses to
disqualify it, not the seller or borrower.
2. Chachamim says, they are believed.
(g) Reish Lakish: But you were cited as saying that the
family had a proper protest (even though they admitted
that the deceased authorized the document, just they say
that he was a minor)!
(h) R. Yochanan: R. Elazar said that in my name, I never said
(i) R. Zeira: R. Yochanan can deny what his Talmid said, but
will he deny what he said to his Rebbi, R. Yanai?!
1. (R. Yanai citing Rebbi): If one authorized a
document, the bearer need not (Ramban - needs to)
(j) R. Zeira: From Rav Yosef we can explain R. Yochanan.
2. R. Yochanan: But we (Ramban - already) learned in
our Mishnah, Chachamim say, to take money from
another, one must bring proof, i.e. he must validate
1. (Rav Yosef): Chachamim say this (that the giver must
prove that he was sick), but R. Meir says, to take
money from another, one must bring proof.
(k) Question: Why did R. Yochanan say 'all agree that...he
need not validate it' (only Chachamim say this!)?
(l) Answer: Because an individual (R. Meir) argues against
Chachamim, the law is considered unanimous.
(m) Question: This is contrary to our Mishnah!
(n) Answer: We must switch the opinions in our Mishnah.
(o) Question (Beraisa - R. Meir): The witnesses are not
believed to disqualify the document;
1. Chachamim says, they are believed.
(p) Answer: We must switch the opinions in the Beraisa.
(q) Question: But R. Yochanan said (154A) 'They must bring
(r) Answer: We must switch the opinions (R. Yochanan said,
they must validate the document; Reish Lakish said, they
must bring witnesses).