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 170
1) THE ARGUMENT OF REBBI AND R. SHIMON BEN GAMLIEL
(a) (Beraisa - Rebbi): If Reuven says that he has a document
and a Chazakah for his land, he must produce the
(b) R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, he brings witnesses of
(c) Question: What do they argue about?
(d) Answer #1 (Rav Dimi): They argue whether or not Osiyos
are acquired through Mesirah.
1. R. Shimon ben Gamliel says that Osiyos are not
acquired through Mesirah (until he also makes
Chazakah in the land);
(e) Objection (Abaye): This argues with Rabah (he says that
R. Shimon ben Gamliel holds that Osiyos are acquired
2. Rebbi says that Osiyos are acquired through Mesirah.
1. Rav Dimi: Yes, I argue!
(f) Answer #2 (Abaye): The case is, one of the witnesses was
found to be a relative or invalid witness; they argue as
R. Meir and R. Elazar argue.
2. Abaye: But the only way to explain the Mishnah is
1. Rebbi holds like R. Elazar, who says that Edei
Mesirah Karsei (a document is empowered by the
witnesses that saw it given - therefore, as long as
valid witnesses saw the document given, it is
(g) Rejection: But R. Aba taught, R. Elazar admits that a
document signed by invalid witnesses is invalid!
2. R. Shimon ben Gamliel holds like R. Meir, who says
that Edei Chasimah Karsei (a document is empowered
by the witnesses that signed it - therefore, the
document is invalid).
(h) Answer #3 (R. Avina): All agree that if the document says
'We (Beis Din) investigated the testimony, we found that
it is invalid', the document is invalid, as R. Aba
1. They argue when the document has no signatures.
(i) Answer #4 (R. Avina): They argue whether or not the
lender must validate a document if the borrower admits
that he authorized it (but claims that he paid it):
2. Rebbi holds like R. Elazar, Edei Mesirah Karsei
(therefore, it is valid without signatures);
3. R. Shimon ben Gamliel holds like R. Meir, who says
that Edei Chasimah Karsei (therefore, it is
1. Rebbi says, he need not validate it;
(j) Rav Yitzchak bar Yosef claimed that R. Aba owed him
2. R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, he must validate it (if
not, the borrower is believed to say that he paid,
Migo he could claim that it was forged).
3. Question: But they hold just the contrary!
4. (Beraisa - Rebbi): Reuven (the lender) and Shimon
(the borrower) were fighting over the document:
Reuven says 'I dropped it, and you found it', Shimon
says 'No, I paid you' - Reuven must validate it to
5. R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, he collects half.
6. Question: Does Rebbi argue with the following
i. (Mishnah): Levi and Yehudah were holding a
garment, each claims 'I found it'. Each swears
that he does not own less than half, and they
divide it. (Here also, perhaps Shimon dropped
it, why can Reuven collect the full amount if
he validates it?)
7. Answer (Rava): If the document was validated, all
agree that he collects half;
i. They argue when it was not validated. Rebbi
says, even though Shimon admits that it he
authorized it, Reuven must validate it (to
8. Answer #1: We must switch the opinions.
ii. R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, he need not
9. Answer #2: We need not switch the opinions - they
argue whether or not a person must justify all his
i. Rebbi says, he must - he must validate the
document *and* bring witnesses of Chazakah;
ii. R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, a person need not
justify all his claims, it suffices to bring
witnesses of Chazakah.
1. R. Aba: I paid you in front of Ploni and Almoni.
2. R. Yitzchak Nafcha (who was judging the case): Let
Ploni and Almoni come testify!
3. R. Aba: Am I not believed without them? If one
borrowed money in front of witnesses (and no
document was written), he need not pay back in front
4. R. Yitzchak Nafcha: You yourself taught in Rav's
name that if one says 'I paid you in front of Ploni
and Almoni', they must testify for him!
5. R. Aba: But Rav said that the Halachah follows R.
Shimon ben Gamliel; even Rebbi only said to validate
the document in order to clarify his claim (but if
he cannot, he does not lose).
2) A PARTIALLY PAID DEBT
6. R. Yitzchak Nafcha: Also I only said that they
should testify in order to clarify your claim!
(a) (Mishnah - R. Yehudah): If Reuven paid part of his debt
to Shimon, he exchanges (tears the document and writes a
new document for the remainder);
(b) R. Yosi says, Shimon gives Reuven a receipt for what he
(c) R. Yehudah: If so, Reuven must guard his receipt, lest
mice eat it (and Shimon will force him pay the entire
(d) R. Yosi: That is better than making Shimon lose his lien
(from the time of the original document).
(e) (Gemara - Rav Huna citing Rav): The Halachah does not
follow R. Yehudah, nor R. Yosi;
1. Rather, Beis Din tears the old document, and write a
new document from the original date.
(f) Rav Nachman: Had Rav heard the following Beraisa, he
would have retracted!
1. (Beraisa): *Witnesses* tear the old document, and
write a new document from the original date.
(g) Rav Huna: Rav heard it, he did not retract.
1. Beis Din has authority to dispossess money as they
see fit (to write a predated document);
2. The witnesses did what they were told (to write a
document from the original date) - they have no
authority to do it again!