ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Metzia 20
BAVA METZIA 20 (27 Kislev) - today's Daf dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Eliyahu
ben Shmuel Moshe, by his granddaughter, Libi Feinberg.
(a) The Beraisa states that someone finds the receipt of a Kesuvah, and the
1. ... admits having received her Kesuvah - should return it to her husband.
(b) We have a problem with the former ruling however, inasmuch as we ought
to suspect collusion between the woman and her husband - because it may be
that although the woman wrote the receipt in Nisan, she did not give it
until Tishri, and the husband will now use the predated Sh'tar to reclaim
the Kesuvah that his wife sold (legally) between Nisan and Tishri?
2. ... denies having received it - may not return it to either of them.
(c) To answer this Kashya, we extrapolate Shumel's Din from this Beraisa.
Shmuel says - 'ha'Mocher Sh'tar-Chov la'Chavero, ve'Chazar u'Machlo, Machul'
(once the creditor has foregone his debt, the purchaser of the Sh'tar may no
longer claim it). Consequently, the moment the woman handed her husband the
rerceipt, the purchaser lost his rights to the Kesuvah that he had bought
(d) The same will apply if it is not the creditor who was Mochel the debt,
but his heirs - since Shmuel concluded 'va'Afilu Yoresh Mochel'.
(a) Even assuming that the Tana does nor hold like Shmuel - Abaye
establishes the Beraisa when the woman produces the Sh'tar Kesuvah (proving
that she could not have sold it).
(b) Rava counters this however - on the grounds that the woman may have had
two Kesuvos (i.e. if she lost the one, which she found after the Beis-Din
had written her a second one), one of which she handed to the purchaser, the
other, she retained.
(c) baye disagrees with Rava however, because he does not contend with the
likelihood of the woman having two Kesuvos. In any case, he argues, even if
the woman did not hand over the receipt until Tishri, there would be no
problem - because the husband would be entitled to claim from the date on
(d) When we say 'Abaye le'Ta'ameih', we mean - that Abaye follows his
reasoning, and he holds 'Eidav ba'Chasumav Zachin Lo' (as we have already
(a) Our Mishnah rules that someone who finds any form of Ma'aseh Beis-Din
must return it, and it lists as examples 'Igros Shum, Igros Mazon, Sh'tarei
Chalitzah, Miy'unin and Sh'tarei Birurin'.
1. 'Igros Shum' are - a form of Sh'tar of assessment, assessing the debtor's
property on behalf of the creditor.
(b) The purpose of a Sh'tar Miy'un - is to enable the Ketanah to remarry.
2. 'Igros Mazon' are - a form of Sh'tar obligating a man who undertook to
feed his wife's daughter to fulfill his undertaking.
(c) We do not suspect that the these Sh'taros ...
1. ... were meant to be handed over, but were in fact, not - because
Beis-Din will only write such a Sh'tar, if the obligation is already in
2. ... have already been paid - because in most cases there is nothing to
pay, and in the case of Sh'tarei Shum (even assuming that we hold 'Shuma
Hadar'), the debtor has only himself to blame, if he loses, as we explained
(a) The Tana also requires a Sh'tar that one found in a leather container,
or a roll or a bundle of Sh'taros to be returned - on the basis of Simanim,
seeing as both of these are considered a good Si'man.
(b) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel says that someone who finds a bundle of
Sh'taros where the same ...
1. ... borrower borrowed from three different creditors - must return them
to the borrower, because it is obvious that he is the one who lost them.
2. ... creditor lent three different debtors - must return them to the
creditor, because it is obvious that he is the one who lost them.
(a) If a person discovers a Sh'tar among his Sh'taros, and he cannot recall
why it was give to him - he must put it away until Eliyahu comes (and
clarifies to whom it belongs).
(b) In fact, knows that the Sh'tar was given to him for safe-keeping, but
cannot remember who gave it to him, the creditor or the debtor - or whether
it was half paid, and both parties entrusted the Sh'tar to him, to prevent
them from cheating each other.
(c) Someone who discovers a Sh'tar among his Sh'taros together with a
receipt - should cosider the debt paid and return the Sh'tar to the debtor.
(d) We might have otherwise thought - that we should ignore the receipt,
which, after all. ought to have been in the debtor's Reshus.
(a) We interpret 'Sh'tarei Birurin' as Sh'tarei Ta'anasa - meaning the
documents containing the respective reasons of the two litigants, which were
recorded by the Sofrim who sat at every court-hearing, to ensure that the
litigants do not change their arguments during the course of the hearing.
(b) Rebbi Yirmiyah interprets it - as each litigant's choice of Dayan,
which, having made his choice, he waas not allowed to change.
(a) We already discussed the case where Rav Huna contended with two
Sheviri's, whereas Rabah basing his opinion on our Mishnah 'Kol Ma'aseh
Beis-Din, Yachzir', disagreed. When Rav Amram asked Rabah him how he could
learn Isur from Mamon (which is usually more lenient - see Tosfos), he
replied - that Sh'tarei Chalitzah and Miy'unin, which the Tana includes in
his list, can hardly be considered Mamon.
(b) In his reply, Rabah conferred upon Rav Amram the rather uncomplimentary
title of Tarda, which means - either 'fool!' or 'stupid!'
(c) When one of the supports of the Beis-ha'Medrash broke, each one saw in
this an omen that Heaven sympathized with him.
1. Rav Amram read the omen - as the result of Rabah having called him
2. Rabah read it - as a result of Rav Amram having embarrassed him by
querying him in public.
(a) The Tana requires someone who finds a Sh'tar in a Chafisah or in a
Deluskema to return it. Rabah ...
1. ... bar bar Chanah defines a 'Chafisah' - as a small leather flask.
2. ... bar Shmuel defines a 'Deluskema' - as a leather box used by old men
to keep their personal effects.
1. A 'Tachrich' of Sh'taros is - a roll of three Sh'taros.
(c) In order to refute the proof from here that a knot is a Si'man. we
redefine an Agudah of Sh'taros as - three Sh'taros rolled together.
2. An 'Agudah' of Sh'taros, according to our initial understanding, is - a
group of three Sh'taros tied together.
(d) The difference between a Tachrich and an Agudah will then be - that,
whereas the former are rolled together, but one after the other, the latter
are rolled together at one and the same time.
(a) If, as we initially suggest, the finder announces the number (that he
found three Sh'taros), the owner identifies them - by stating how they were
(b) The problem with this is - why there need to be three Sh'taros. Why will
the same Din not apply when there are two.
(c) So we conclude that the finder announces that he found Sh'taros, and the
owner must state - how many there are and how they were placed (see Hagahos
(d) If there were only two Sh'taros - then the fact that the finder
announces 'Sh'taros' already indicates two (since the minimum of plural is
always two), and it is obvious that the finder would not return them if the
owner merely said that he lost two Sh'taros.
(a) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel taught in our Mishnah that if one person
borrowed from three creditors, the finder returns the Sh'taros to the debtor
(since it is obviously he who lost them). They cannot have been lost by ...
1. ... the creditors, who had taken their Sh'taros to the Sofer of Beis-Din
for verification - because the Tana speaks in a case when the Sh'taros are
(b) In the Seifa, he teaches that if three people borrowed from one
creditor, then the finder must return them to the creditor. They cannot have
been lost by the Sofer, to whom the borrowers had taken them ...
2. ... the Sofer, who lost them after verification, before he managed to
return them - because we can be sure that the Sofer will not hold on to a
verified Sh'tar for a moment longer than necessary.
1. ... to be written - because the Tana speaks when the three Sh'taros were
written in three different handwritings (by three different Sofrim).
2. ... to be verified - because it is the creditor who would take the Sh'tar
to be verified, not the debtor.
(a) Rav Yirmiyah bar Aba Amar Rav considers a Simpon that the creditor finds
among his Sh'taros and that is written in his handwriting a mere joke, and
renders it Pasul. A Simpon is - a receipt (or anything which invalidates
(b) We might have thought that it is Kasher - because, seeing as the
creditor is able to write a receipt, why would he write it unless the debtor
had already paid (only he had not handed it to him at the time, perhaps
because he had not paid him the Sofer's fee).
(c) It is Pasul because, we say - he probably wrote it in order to have it
handy should the debtor turn up with the money one evening, and refuse to
pay him should he not have a receipt handy.
(d) It would certainly be Pasul if it was written in the handwriting of the
Sofer - who is even more likely to write receipts in advance (in order to
save himself time).
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that if someone discovers a receipt among his
Sh'taros, he should follow whatever the receipt says. The Tana must be
speaking about a creditor - because he found the receipt 'among his other
(b) We reconcile Rav's previous ruling with this statement by citing Rav
Safra, who says (in a similar case) - that the Tana is speaking when he
found it among his paid (or torn) Sh'taros.
(c) This might mean that the Sh'tar to which this receipt pertains was found
among his torn Sh'taros, though it itself, was not torn, or it might mean -
that the receipt was found among his torn Sh'taros, in which case it clearly
belonged to the debtor.
(d) The Mishnah in Bava Basra states that if a creditor has two Sh'taros on
two Yosef ben Shimons who owe him money, and who discovers one receipt
saying that Yosef ben Shimon paid him - we consider both debts paid, and he
can claim from neither of them.
(a) Again we cite Rav Safra (that the receipt or both Sh'taros [see
Maharam] was found among his torn Sh'taros), in order to reconcile this with
the ruling forbidding a creditor to produce a Sh'tar against Yosef ben
Shimon, when there is another Yosef ben Shimon in the same town. We
reconcile the above Beraisa with the ruling that one cannot produce a Sh'tar
against one Yosef ben Shimon if there is another man with the same name in
town - by establishing it when the names of the grandfathers were inserted
too (but not in the receipt).
(b) The Mishnah in Shevu'os lists the three Shevu'os that Yesomim have to
make when claiming their father's debts. They must swear that he did not
inform them 1. at the time of his death or 2. beforehand, that the debt had
been repaid - and 3. that they did not find a receipt among their father's
documents declaring the debt to have been repaid ...
(c) ... a clear indication that such a receipt is valid (a Kashya on Rav,
who considers it a joke).
(d) Rav Safra reconciles this with Rav - by establishing the former when the
creditor found the receipt among his paid Sh'taros.
(a) The Beraisa states 'Simpon she'Yesh Alav Eidim, Yiskayem be'Chosamav'.
If taken literally, the Beraisa means - that despite the creditor's claim
that the debt has not been paid, the Simpon is valid, should the witnesses
testify that they signed it (a Kashya on Rav).
The Tana validates a Simpon ...
(b) To answer the Kashya on Rav - we subtly amend the text to read 'Yiskayem
me'Chosamav' (meaning that we ask them if the debt is paid, and only if they
reply in the affirmative, do we validate the Simpon).
(c) We reconcile Rav with the Beraisa which validates a Simpon which is
signed by witnesses - by establishing it by Eidei Kiyum (witnesses who
verify the Sh'tar, and not just the witnesses who signed originally).
(d) We prove this from the Seifa 've'she'Ein Alav Eidim, Pasul' - which can
only mean that it was not signed by Eidei Kiyum, because if it was signed at
all, it would be obvious.
1. ... that is produced by a third person who claims that the debt has been
paid - because it is only the creditor who would entrust a third person with
a Simpon (the debtor would tear it up), and since *he* believed him, *we*
have no choice but to believe him, too.
***** Hadran Alach Shenayim Ochzim *****
2. ... that appears at the end of a Sh'tar-Chov - because the creditor would
not receipt a Sh'tar that has not been paid.