ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
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
(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.
(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
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.
(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.
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
(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.
(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
(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.
(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 ...
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.
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.
(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.
2. ... testify before the third Dayan, and then sit down and pronounce Rosh
Chodesh together with him - because 'Ein Eid Na'aseh Dayan'.
(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*.
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).
(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).