(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

Kesuvos 21

KESUVOS 21-23 (Seder night, and Chol ha'Moed Pesach) - have been anonymously dedicated by a unique Ohev Torah and Marbitz Torah living in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.



(a) 'ke'she'Timtzi Lomar, le'Divrei Rebbi, al K'sav Yadan Heim Me'idim'.
1. 'ke'she'Timtzi Lomar' means - that if you examine his words carefully, you will see that this is what he holds.
2. 'al K'sav Yadan Heim Me'idim' means - that when the witnesses testify on their signatures, they are attesting to their signatures, and not to the contents of the Sh'tar.
(b) The Chachamim, on the other hand hold - that they are attesting to the Manah in the Sh'tar (the contents of the Sh'tar), and not just to their signatures.

(c) We need to explicitly interpret the Machlokes in this way - because we might otherwise have thought that Rebbi is only being strict due to uncertainty whether 'al K'sav Yadan Heim Me'idim' or 'al Manah she'bi'Shtar Heim Me'idim', and that he would agree with the Chachamim to be strict in the forthcoming case as well.

(a) The Rabbanan (who hold 'al Manah she'bi'Shtar Heim Me'idim') are more strict than Rebbi - in a case where one of the witnesses died. According to the Rabbanan, who maintain ('al Manah she'bi'Shtar Heim Me'idim') - the surviving witness will *not be permitted to combine with a new witness*, because then he will be extracting three quarters of the money by his testimony, and the Torah requires that each witness extracts half. According to Rebbi (in whose opinion he is only testifying on his signature) he *will *.

(b) If only *one* new witness can be found - the surviving witness must sign his name on a piece of clay and send it into Beis-Din for Beis-Din to verify his signature. Then he can combine with the new witness.

(c) He signs his signature on clay and not on parchment - because otherwise, we are afraid that some dishonest person might get hold of the parchment and write above the signature an I.O.U. stating that the undersigned borrowed from him so much (see Tosfos DH 've'Dafka').

(d) We are not afraid of the same thing when he sends his signature on a piece of clay - because whatever is written on clay is forgettable. Consequently, Beis-Din will never accept an I.O.U. written on a piece of clay (for fear that, even assuming that the debtor did write it, the creditor made changes that were to his advantage).

(a) Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel rules like the Chachamim. This ruling is necessary, in spite of the principle 'Yachid ve'Rabim, Halachah ke'Rabim' - because we might otherwise have thought that the principle 'Halachah ke'Rebbi' is not only 'me'Chaveiro' but also me'Chaveirav' (even when he argues with a majority).

(b) We reconcile Shmuel's previous ruling (like the Chachamim) with the case of a document that emerged from Shmuel's Beis-Din, a document which Beis-Din had substantiated, specifically stating that each witness had verified both signatures (like Rebbi) - by establishing the latter by orphans, and Shmuel was merely being stringent in order to protect them, as we shall now see.

(c) Shmuel was afraid - that the Beis-Din who would handle the claim might think that, in this case at least, Halachah ke'Rebbi even me'Chaveirav (see P'nei Yehoshua), even though this is not usually the case.

(a) When Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel rules that a witness and a Dayan may combine - he means that if the borrower claims that the substantiated document which the creditor produces is forged, then one of the Dayanim attesting to his signature can combine with one of the witnesses on the Sh'tar, to verify it.

(b) Rami bar Chama concurs with Shmuel's ruling, but Rava is unimpressed. He objects - on the grounds that the Dayan, who is testifying on his signature, cannot possibly combine with the witness, who (according to the Chachamim) is testifying on the contents of the document.

(c) We therefore conclude that the Halachah is like Rami bar Yechezkel - the brother of Rav Yehudah (who opened the Sugya).

(d) *He* said - that they should take no notice of these rules stated by his brother in the name of Shmuel.

5) Ameimar praised Ravna'i the brother of Rebbi Chiya bar Aba, who cited the ruling of Shmuel. Rav Ashi commented - that he did not need to copy his maternal grandfather (Rami bar Chama) who made the same mistake of praising Shmuel.




(a) According to the initial version of Rav Safra ... Amar Rav Huna or Amar Rav Huna Amar Rav's statement, if two of the Dayanim recognize the signatures of both witnesses, but one does not - the two Dayanim are permitted to testify in front of the one, as long as they have not yet signed (even though the verification has already been written.

(b) We are forced to retract from this version of Rav Huna's statement however, on account of Rav Papi Amar Rava, who says - that a document that Beis-Din substantiate before the witnesses have testified on their signatures, is invalid, because it *appears* false (despite the fact that the verification has not yet been signed.

(c) What Rav Huna therefore said was that the two Dayanim are permitted to testify in front of the one, as long as the verification has not been *written*.

(d) We learn from here the major principle - that 'Eid Na'aseh Dayan' (a witness can become a Dayan).

(a) Rav Ashi rejects the proof from Rav Huna's statement that ...
1. ... once Dayanim recognize the witnesses' signatures, it is not necessary to verbally attest to the signatures in front of them - because, for all we know, verbal testimony *is* required, and the reason that the Dayanim do not need to hear the testimony in our case, is because, by testifying on behalf of the third Dayan, they are providing the required testimony.
2. ... it is necessary to attest to the signatures on behalf of each Dayan who does recognize them - because for all we know, testimony given in front of two of the Dayanim will suffice, and the only reason that, in our case, testimony must be given in front of the third witness is because, otherwise, there would be no testimony at all.
(b) The Mishnah in Rosh Hashanah teaches that if three members of Sanhedrin saw the new moon, two of them must stand down to be replaced by other members of the Sanhedrin. Then they testify before the three Dayanim who did not see the new moon ... . They cannot ...
1. ... just sit down and pronounce Rosh Chodesh there and then - because the Tana speaks in a case when they saw the new moon at night (and Kidush ha'Chodesh can take place only in the day). Consequently, if not for the testimony, on what basis would the Beis-Din declare Rosh Chodesh.
2. ... testify before the third Dayan, and then sit down and pronounce Rosh Chodesh together with him - because 'Ein Eid Na'aseh Dayan'.
(c) When Rav Safra asked Rebbi Aba to reconcile this ruling with the previous one (with regard to Kiyum Sh'taros - the verification of documents), where we just ruled 'Eid Na'aseh Dayan' - he told him that he had asked the same Kashya to Rav Yitzchak bar Shmuel bar Masa, who asked Rav Huna, who asked Rav Chiya bar Rav.

(d) Rebbi Chiya bar Rav ultimately presented his father with the Kashya. Rav replied that by Eidus ha'Chodesh, which is d'Oraysa - we rule 'Ein Eid Na'aseh Dayan'; whereas by Kiyum Sh'taros (the verification of documents) - we rule 'Eid Na'aseh Dayan'.

(a) Rav Huna Amar Rav ruled that, if three Dayanim sat down to substantiate a Sh'tar, and before the third Dayan was able to sign, a rumor spread that he was Pasul - they may testify on his validity as long as they have *not yet signed* the verification, but not if they *have*.

(b) They cannot attest to his validity once they have signed - because, once they have signed, they are prejudiced, seeing as it is a disgrace for them to sit on a Beis-Din with someone who is Pasul.

(c) 'A rumor' implies - through at least two people.

(d) According to our initial understanding, this cannot be speaking about a rumor that ...

1. ... he is a thief - because, in that case, it would be a case of two against two (and the second pair of witnesses would not suffice to dispel the bad name that he has - see Tosfos DH 'T'rei').
2. ... he is a slave - because then, why would they *not* be permitted to testify even after they have signed, seeing as their testimony is no more than a revelation (something that is going to be revealed anyway).
9) We finally establish Rav Huna Amar Rav's ruling with regard to a rumor that he is a thief - and he speaks, not when the Dayanim contradict the first witnesses by saying that he did not steal, but by testifying that he did Teshuvah (so there is no reason for them not to be believed).

Next daf


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