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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Bava Basra 161

BAVA BASRA 161 - sponsored by Alex and Helen Gross of Rechavya, Jerusalem, builders of a home molded by dedication to Torah and Torah study. May the Torah always protect them and their family!


(a) Question (Rami bar Chama): R. Yirmeyah bar Aba says that they sign opposite the text, corresponding to where the text is (and the document need not say 'Sherir v'Kayam');
1. We should be concerned that he will add to the text, and add invalid witnesses (so they will be opposite the text; he can validated the document through any three witnesses, e.g. the first ones);
2. (Even though he will have more witnesses than folds, this is valid -) he can say, he wanted to have extra witnesses!
(b) Answer (Rav Chisda): The witnesses do not sign widthwise (i.e. the way the text was written), rather, lengthwise (each starts his name opposite the bottom line of text, and finishes opposite the top line).
(c) Question: If the end of the document is unfavorable for the bearer, he might be able to cut it off!
1. If a witness signed 'Reuven ben Yakov, Ed (witnesses)', when the bottom is cut off, perhaps 'ben Yakov, Ed' will remain as a signature!
2. (Mishnah): 'Ben Ploni Ed' is a valid signature.
(d) Answer: Each witness writes his name *and* the word 'ben' on the bottom line (i.e. opposite the bottom line of the text - if he will cut off the bottom line, he will also cut off 'ben''.
(e) Question: He can cut off 'Reuven ben', and 'Yakov Ed' will remain!
1. (Mishnah): 'Ish Ploni Ed' is a valid signature.
(f) Answer #1: The case is, the witnesses do not write 'Ed' after their names.
(g) Answer #2: They do write 'Ed' after their names; the case is, we know that no Yakov in this kingdom signs like this.

(h) Question: Perhaps they will think that Reuven signed his father's name!
(i) Answer: A person would not sign his own name in place of his father's name.
(j) Question: Perhaps they will think that he signed 'Yakov' as a symbol in place of his own name!
1. Many Amora'im used symbols in place of signing their names: Rav would draw a fish; R. Chanina - a branch; Rav Chisda - a 'Samech'; R. Hoshaya - an 'Ayin'; Rabah bar Rav Huna - a mast.
(k) Answer: A person is not so brazen to make his father's name a symbol in place of his own name.
(l) Answer #3 (Mar Zutra): R. Yirmeyah holds that all the signatures must finish in the same line (Rashbam - they all extend from the top to the bottom line, or vice-versa; Tosfos - every word of the signature starts in the bottom line).
(a) (R. Yitzchak bar Yosef): (We said that an erasure does not invalidate a Get if it is in a place fitting and large enough for it to say 'Sherir v'Kayam' - in any case,) an erasure must be mentioned in the Get (before 'Sherir v'Kayam', to ensure that nothing was erased after the Get was signed)'
1. The last line of the Get must recap the Get (i.e. it cannot teach any new obligations or conditions).
2. Question: What is the reason?
3. Answer (Rav Amram): We do not learn from the last line of a document.
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