(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


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 woman ...
1. ... admits having received her Kesuvah - should return it to her husband.
2. ... denies having received it - may not return it to either of them.
(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?

(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 from her.

(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 the receipt.

(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 learned).

(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.
2. 'Igros Mazon' are - a form of Sh'tar obligating a man who undertook to feed his wife's daughter to fulfill his undertaking.
(b) The purpose of a Sh'tar Miy'un - is to enable the Ketanah to remarry.

(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 effect.
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 aboe).
(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 'Tarda'.
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.
2. An 'Agudah' of Sh'taros, according to our initial understanding, is - a group of three Sh'taros tied together.
(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.

(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 placed.

(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 Maharshal).

(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 verified.
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.
(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 ...
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 something else).

(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 Sh'taros'.

(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).

(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.

15) The Tana validates a Simpon ...
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.
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.
***** Hadran Alach Shenayim Ochzim *****

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,