ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf 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.
(d) The Tana must therefore be speaking - when the witnesses wrote the
statement in between the two signatures.
2. ... before the two signatures - because then he could erase it.
(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
(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
(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,
(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.
2. ... 'Digun' - to the second.
(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.
(c) It is possible to have a one-sided house - if it is round.
2. ... Pentagon, he means - one of five sides.
(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
(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
(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
(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.