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Kesuvos 19

KESUVOS 16-19 - have been anonymously dedicated by a unique Ohev Torah and Marbitz Torah living in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.

1) [line 1] ELA IM KEN NA'ASEH B'GADOL - unless all of the parties involved are adults
2) [line 5] L'IMLUCHEI - to ask our advice
3) [line 6] V'LO SISKATLUN - and do not let yourselves be killed

4) [line 11] MODEH BI'SHETAR SHE'KASVO, EIN TZARICH L'KAIMO - when a debtor admits that he wrote a document of debt, the creditor need not call upon the witnesses to verify their signatures

5) [line 14] GENUVA GENUVEI LAMAH LACH? - Why do you say your ruling in a sneaky fashion, "like a thief," as if it is agreed upon by all of the Tana'im? Say openly that you rule like Rebbi Meir!

6) [line 17] V'CHUSU L'DINA - and [only then] can you go to court [with the document]
7) [line 28] NOSHEH B'CHAVEIRO MANEH - one who loans to another person a Manah (100 Zuz)

8) [last line] "[IM AVEN B'YADCHA HARCHIKEHU, V']AL TASHKEN B'OHALECHA AVLAH." - "[If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and] let not wickedness dwell in your tents." (Iyov 11:14)


9) [line 2] AMANAH HAYU DEVAREINU - the document that we signed (lit. our words) was written before any loan took place; the creditor intended to use this document in the future. The debtor, however, already put a lien on his properties should a loan take place (RASHI).

10) [line 3] KEIVAN D'AVLAH HU - since it is an iniquity (a document that is forbidden to be written)

11) [line 8] SHETAR PASIM - (lit. a document of appeasement) a document of debt written with no intention that any money exchange hands. The "creditor" in the document appeased the "debtor" to have this document written so that he could claim to be a rich man with many outstanding debts (SHITAH YESHANAH, cited by the SHITAH MEKUBETZES)

12) [line 11] D'MASH'HEI LEI A'PESHITEI D'SAFRA - where he (the creditor) keeps the document as a security for the payment of the expenses of the scribe (that are the responsibility of the debtor, but often the creditor pays them since the debtor has no money. In that case, the creditor may collect the extra money from the debtor after the loan has been repaid.)

13) [line 12] SHE'EINO MUGAH - (lit. that has not been corrected) that has mistakes

14) [line 18] MODA'AH HAYU DEVAREINU - we signed the document after the seller (or husband in the case of a Get) announced to us that the impending sale (or Get) would be made under duress and should not take legal effect, and after he convinced us of his words.

15) [line 30] L'MI'AKAR SAHADUSAIHU - to invalidate (lit. uproot) their testimony

16) [line 40] TREI U'TREI NINHU
(a) When two pairs of witnesses ("Trei u'Trei") contradict each other (in our Gemara, the witnesses who signed the authenticating document and the live witnesses), a situation of doubt (Sefeikah) is created. The Amora'im argue as to whether we may follow the Chazakah (the situation as it stood until now) in order to resolve the doubt.
(b) The opinion that rules "Trei u'Trei Sefeikah d'Oraisa" holds that an absolute situation of doubt is created by the contradiction. It is impossible to resolve the doubt even on the basis of a Chazakah (i.e., the maintenance of the status quo). The opinion that argues and rules "Trei u'Trei Sefeikah d'Rabanan" holds that the Torah allows us to rely on the Chazakah to resolve the doubt that is created by the contradictory testimonies of the two pairs of witnesses. Only mid'Rabanan are we Machmir to consider the situation a Safek.

(a) If two witnesses testify to a crime or an event and a later set of witnesses contradict their testimony by saying that the crime or event did not take place exactly as the first set of witnesses testified, all of the witnesses are termed Edim Mukchashim (contradictory witnesses), and Beis Din cannot use either testimony.
(b) If, however, two witnesses testify to a crime or an event and a later set of witnesses *disqualify* their testimony by saying that the first set of witnesses were with them in a different place at the time that the first set of witnesses claim that the act took place, the first witnesses are termed Edim Zomimin (conspiring witnesses). The Torah commands that the second set of witnesses be believed, rather than the first. In general, Edim Zomemim are punished with the punishment they tried to cause. (Devarim 19:16-21. See MISHNAH Makos 5a)

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