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Bava Basra 164



(a) We learned earlier that Rav validates a Sh'tar which is written and signed on an erased spot. We query this however, 've'Im Tomar Mochek ve'Chozer u'Mochek?', by which we mean to ask - why we are not afraid that the Ba'al ha'Sh'tar will erase the contents of the Sh'tar and rewrite whatever suits him, leaving the signatures intact.

(b) We answer this Kashya - by establishing that it is easy to distinguish the difference between an area that has been erased once and one that has been erased twice.

(c) We are not then afraid that he will first pour ink on the area of the signatures and erase it, before pouring ink on the entire Sh'tar and erasing both sections, so that when he erases the section that he did not erase the first time and writes whatever he wishes, it will all have been erased twice, says Abaye - because the witnesses will refuse to sign on an area that was erased not in their presence (to enable them to compare the area on the area on which they are signing with the rest of the Sh'tar.

(a) According to Rav, in a case where a Sh'tar appeared on clean parchment, and the witnesses signed on a spot which had been erased, we would be afraid - that the Ba'al ha'Sh'tar may erase the Sh'tar and replace it with whatever he wishes.

(b) Consequently, Rav will restrict the Beraisa which validates a Sh'tar that is written in this way - to where the witnesses initially made a point of adding to their signatures that although they signed on an erased spot, the contents of the Sh'tar were written on clean parchment.

(c) This cannot be speaking when they wrote it ...

1. ... after the two signatures - because then the claimant would still be able to cut out it out.
2. ... before the two signatures - because then he could erase it.
(d) The Tana must therefore be speaking - when the witnesses wrote the statement in between the two signatures.
(a) The Seifa of the Beraisa states that a Sh'tar that is written on an erased spot, and the witnesses, on a clean Sh'tar - is Pasul.

(b) We cannot validate the Sh'tar, by the witnesses inserting this information into the Sh'tar, like we did in the previous case - because this will not prevent the Ba'al ha'Sh'tar from erasing the contents of the Sh'tar (a second time), leaving the signatures plus the information intact.

(c) We did indeed learn earlier that the difference between a Sh'tar that has been erased once and one that was erased twice is easily discernible - but who says that this argument will hold water in our case, where the place where the witnesses signed has not yet been erased at all?

(d) We cannot bring another piece of parchment, write on it and erase it, and then compare it with the Sh'tar in question - because an erasure on one piece of parchment does not resemble an erasure on another piece.

(a) We then ask why we cannot erase the witnesses' signatures and compare that erased area to the other erased area. To retain his witnesses' signature - the claimant would then get them to sign on another piece of parchment, which he would deposit in Beis-Din.

(b) Rav Hoshaya answers the basic Kashya - by differentiating between an erasure of one day and one of two days.

(c) We do not then wait for a day and then compare them, Rebbi Yirmiyah explains - because we are worried about Beis-Din not being aware of this Halachah and making a mistake.

(d) Others erase the previous Kashya from their texts (see Tosfos DH 've'li'Shehaya'). According to them - Rebbi Yirmiyah comes to answer the earlier Kashya (why we cannot erase the witnesses' signatures and compare that erased area to the other erased area), in place of Rav Hoshaya.




(a) Rebbi Chanina ben Gamliel in our Mishnah validates a Mekushar whose witnesses signed inside the Sh'tar on the grounds that it can be transformed into a Pashut. When Rebbi asks 've'Ha Eino Domeh Zemano shel Zeh li'Zemano shel Zeh', he means - that whereas a Sh'tar Pashut would be dated according to the current year of the king, a Sh'tar Mekushar was -post-dated by a year (as we shall see shortly).

(b) The problem Rebbi was referring to when he made that comment was - the possible scenario that when the debtor pays (on the understanding that the Sh'tar is Mekushar and dated in the second year of the king), the creditor claiming that he has lost his Sh'tar, he will write him a receipt instead, dated the first year of the king's reign. Later, based on the fact that a Pashut has the current date as we explained, the creditor will turn the Sh'tar into a Pashut, and claim again, as if it was a new debt that really did take place in the second year of the king's reign.

(c) To repudiate this Kashya, Rebbi Chanina ben Gamliel must hold - 'Ein Kosvin Shover', with the result that as long as the creditor does not return the Sh'tar, the debtor does not need to pay.

(a) All this assumes that Rebbi was conversant with a Sh'tar Mekushar. When a Sh'tar Mekushar was once brought to Rebbi, he commented - that it was a Sh'tar Me'uchar.

(b) Zonin answered him - that it was customary to write a Sh'tar Mekushar post-dated by one year (i.e. by adding one year to the number of years that the king had reigned).

(c) Chazal instituted this - partly in honor of the King, to attribute longevity to the king's reign. And they did this by a Sh'tar Mekushar to make it more complicated to write. This they did in order to safeguard the Kohanim, as we explained earlier.

(d) We reconcile the previous episode with this one, from which it appears that Rebbi was not conversant with a Sh'tar Mekushar - by placing it (time-wise) after he had heard what Zonin had to say, and accepted his words.

(a) When a Sh'tar appeared in Beis-Din dated 'bi'Shenas P'loni Orchan', Rebbi Chanina instructed them to ascertain when the king ascended the throne, on the assumption that the Sh'tar was written in the first year of his reign (since 'Orcha' means reign).

(b) We query Rebbi Chanina's ruling based on the suggestion - that 'Orchan' might also mean 'length', so perhaps what he meant was that the debt took place after he had been a long time on the throne, in which case, for lack of clarity, the creditor would only be able to claim from that time on.

(c) We uphold Rebbi Chanina's ruling however, on the basis of a statement by Rav Hoshaya, who says that ...

1. ... 'Orchan' - always pertains to the first year of the king's reign, and ...
2. ... 'Digun' - to the second.
(d) We know that the king was not dethroned and re crowned, and that the Sh'tar not was written in the first year of his second crowning - because they would refer to that year as 'Orchan Digun', and not just Orchan.
(a) The Beraisa quotes Sumchus, who presents the different Leshonos of Nezirus. If 'Hareini Nazir Hina' implies one set of Nezirus, and 'Digun' implies two - 'T'rigun', 'Tatrigun' and Pantigun' imply the three, four and five sets respectively.

(b) Another Beraisa discusses various shaped houses with regard to Tum'as Tzara'as. When the Tana refers to ...

1. ... a two-sided house, he means a house which comprises two sides and the rest is a semi-circle.
2. ... Pentagon, he means - one of five sides.
(c) It is possible to have a one-sided house - if it is round.

(d) We find a source for 'Hiyna' meaning 'one' in Seifer Iyov, where the Pasuk writes 'Hein Yir'as Hashem', meaning that the fear of G-d is (priority number) one.

(a) A circular house, a house of two sides, three sides or five sides have in common - that they are all not subject to Tum'as Tzara'as.

(b) The Beraisa learns this - from the two times that the Torah writes in Metzora "be'Kiyros ha'Bayis" in the plural, when it could have just as well have written "be'Kir ha'Bayis".

(c) The third Pasuk "ve'Hinei ha'Nega be'Kiyros ha'Bayis" - is needed for itself.

(a) We already cited the case where Rebbi thought that the Sh'tar Mekushar that came before him was undated. Rebbi gave his son Rebbi Shimon a dirty look (after the latter pointed out that the date was to be found absorbed between the knots) - because he believed that he had written it.

(b) And if he had - Rebbi was cross with him, either because, due to the complications of a Get Mekushar, he preferred the Sofrim to stick to Gitin Peshutin, or because the date was so badly placed.

(c) When Rebbi Shimon saw his father's dirty look - he claimed that he had not written the Sh'tar, but that Rebbi Yehudah ha'Chayat had, causing Rebbi to order him to desist from speaking Lashon ha'Ra?

(d) What he should have said - was that he not written it, and no more.

(a) And on another occasion - Rebbi had praised the script of the Seifer Tehilim that Rebbi Shimon was learning from, eliciting the same comment from his son Rebbi Shimon (that Rebbi Yehudah was the one to have written the Seifer, and not he).

(b) This was considered Lashon ha'Ra, following a Beraisa cited by Rav Dimi the brother of Rav Safra. The Tana there - forbade speaking good about someone, since someone present is bound to counter with something detrimental about the person (see also Agados Maharsha).

(a) The Beraisa - lists lewd thoughts, Iyun Tefilah and Lashon ha'Ra in a group of sins that one cannot avoid transgressing every day.

(b) 'Iyun Tefilah' is - when someone thinks that the Tefilah that he just Davened with such Kavanah, is bound to be answered.

(c) When the Tana says that everyone transgresses Lashon ha'Ra each day - he is referring to 'Avak Lashon ha'Ra, which is ambiguous in its negativity (for example, if Reuven advises Shimon to go to Levi's house for a light, because there he will always find a fire burning [which has various connotations]).

(d) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav says - that everyone transgresses Gezel and a minority, Arayos; but that everyone is guilty of speaking Avak Lashon ha'Ra.

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