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 163
1) BLANK LINES AFTER THE TEXT
(a) Question: When we say that two blank lines invalidate a
document, does this mean the amount for two lines of text
and the space between them, or without the space?
2) WHEN SPACE DISQUALIFIES A DOCUMENT
(b) Answer: Presumably, it means the amount for two lines and
the space between them;
1. Version #1 (our text, Tosfos): If without the space,
obviously, there is no concern for one line (Beraisa
#1 would not have to teach that one blank line does
not disqualify it)!
(c) (Rav Shabsi): The two blank lines that invalidate a
document, we gauge according to the way witnesses write,
not the way a scribe writes (which is smaller).
2. Version #2 (Rashbam): If without the space, there is
no concern (for two blank lines - if he will add one
line of text, we do not learn from it; if he will
add two lines, he must write them smaller than the
rest of the document, or not leave space between
them - either way, the forgery is evident.)
(d) Question: What is the reason?
(e) Answer: Presumably, a swindler must forge by himself, a
scribe would not agree; regular people cannot write as
small as scribes can.
(f) Question: What size space invalidates a document?
(g) Answer #1 (Rav Yitzchak ben Elazar): (Room for two lines
with spaces above and below, so the letters will never
touch letters of other lines, i.e.) enough so even if
'Lecha' is written in each line ('Lamed' extends above
the line, final 'Chaf' extends below the line, and the
final 'Chaf' in the top line and the 'Lamed' in the
bottom line are aligned, they will not touch each other;
also, the final 'Chaf' in the bottom line and the 'Lamed'
in the top line will not touch the line above or below
the blank lines).
1. He requires room for two lines and four spaces (a
separate space above and below each line).
(h) Answer #2 (R. Chiya bar Ami): They are enough so even if
a 'Lamed' is in the top line, and a final 'Chaf' is in
the bottom line (they will not touch the line above or
below the blank lines).
1. He requires room for two lines and three spaces (a
space above and below each line, but one space
suffices for between the two lines, a forger can
arrange that no 'Lamed' is under a letter that
extends below the line).
(i) Answer #3 (R. Avahu): They are enough to write one line
with a 'Lamed' and a final 'Chaf'.
1. He requires room for one line and two spaces. (R.
Yonah - this is enough to forge two lines - surely,
he argues with Rav Shabsi, who says that we consider
two lines the way witnesses write.)
(a) (Rav): We are only concerned for space between the text
and the witnesses, but even a large space between the
witnesses and the validation (of Beis Din) does not
(b) Question: We are concerned for space between the text and
the witnesses, lest the bearer add clauses (and the
signatures will be underneath);
1. We should also be concerned for space between the
witnesses and the validation, lest he write a
document there, and the signatures of Beis Din will
(c) Answer: Rav only allowed a space there if it is smudged
with ink (so nothing can be written there).
(d) Question: Also between the text and the witnesses, a
space smudged with ink should not disqualify a document!
(e) Answer: No, we are concerned that the witnesses signed
under the smudge and did not intend to testify about the
(f) Question: Likewise, we should be concerned that Beis Din
signed under the smudge and did not intend to validate
(g) Answer: A Beis Din would never do this.
(h) Question: We should be concerned that a smudge between
the witnesses and the validation, lest he cut off the top
(the document and witnesses), erase the smudged area,
write a document, forge signatures, and it will have a
validation of Beis Din below it!
1. (Rav): If a document and the signatures are both on
erased parchment, it is valid.
(i) Answer #1: According to Rav Kahana, who cited the above
law in Shmuel's name, we can say that Rav disqualifies
such a document.
(j) Question: But Rav Tavyomi cited it in Rav's name - how
can we answer?
(k) Answer: He holds that we do not rely on validations of
documents on erased parchment (a Beis Din will not act
according to the document until it itself validates it).
(l) (R. Yochanan): Two blank lines between the text and the
witnesses invalid a document, but even one blank line
between the witnesses and the validation disqualifies it.
(m) Question: Presumably, we are concerned lest he cut off
the top (the document and witnesses) and write a document
and forge signatures in the blank line (and it will have
a validation of Beis Din below it)!
1. R. Yochanan must say that a one-line document that
includes the signatures is valid.
(n) Answer: R. Yochanan must say that a one-line document in
which the signatures are *underneath* is invalid (we do
not act according to the bottom line).
2. Summation of question: Also when there is one blank
line between the text and the witnesses, perhaps he
will cut off the top, and write a document in the
blank line (and it will have signatures underneath)!
(o) Question: Perhaps when he writes the document in the
blank line (above the witnesses), he will also forge
signatures in that line; he will say that he wanted to
have extra witnesses, therefore there are also signatures
(p) Answer: In such a case, it must be validated from the
witnesses in the same line as the document.