BACKGROUND TO THE DAILY DAF
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BAVA BASRA 152-155 - Two weeks of study material have been dedicated by Mrs. Estanne Abraham Fawer to honor the tenth Yahrzeit of her father, Rav Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Rabbi Morton Weiner) Z'L, who passed away on 18 Teves 5760. May the merit of supporting and advancing Dafyomi study -- which was so important to him -- during the weeks of his Yahrzeit serve as an Iluy for his Neshamah.
[154a - 33 lines; 154b - 49 lines]
1) [line 4] SIMAN MeNiYaCH - this is a mnemonic device for remembering which Tana'im are in agreement, according to Rav Huna's way of explaining the Machlokes in the Mishnah (153a): Rebbi Meir holds like Rebbi Nasan, and the Chachamim hold like Rebbi Yakov.
2) [line 7] MODEH BI'SHTAR SHE'KASVO TZARICH L'KAIMO
(a) When a debtor admits that he wrote a document of debt (or, in our case, a benefactor who admits that he wrote a document granting a gift), but claims that the document is not valid for another reason (e.g. the debt has already been collected, or, in our case, that he was a Shechiv Mera at the time that he wrote the gift), the claimant must call upon the witnesses to verify their signatures in the document. The reason for this Halachah is that as long as the signatures on the Shtar have not been validated, the debtor is believed with a "Migo"; had he wanted he could have claimed that the Shtar is a forgery (see Background to Kidushin 43:15:a-b). The Shtar must be validated to remove the debtor's Migo.
(b) Others argue, ruling that "Modeh bi'Shtar she'Kasvo Ein Tzarich l'Kaimo," that is, even though the debtor admits that he wrote the Shtar, the debtor is not believed when he says that he paid back the debt (or, in our case, the benefactor is not believed when he says that he was a Shechiv Mera when he wrote the gift) since this is not a valid Migo. A single person does not have the power to invalidate a Shtar which is known to be authentic (due to his own admission) (RASHBAM DH Rebbi Meir Savar; see further reasons in TOSFOS to Kesuvos 19a).
3) [line 12] EIN NE'EMANIN L'FOSLO - they are not believed to invalidate the Shtar. This refers to a case in which witnesses admit that they signed a Shtar, but they claim that they were minors or invalid witnesses at the time that they signed it.
4) [line 14] ALIMEI EDIM U'MAR'EI SHTARA - the power of [two] witnesses is great, and they can invalidate a Shtar
5) [line 15] D'LAV KOL KEMINEI - he does not have such power [to be believed to invalidate the Shtar, since he is a single person contradicting the testimony of the two witnesses signed on the Shtar]
6) [line 19] MID'CHULHU KESIV BEHU "KAD HAVAH MEHALECH AL RAGLOHI" - since in all of them (all other Shtaros) it is written, "When he was walking upon his feet" (i.e. when he was healthy)
7) [line 25] UKI MAMONA B'CHEZKAS MAREI - leave the money in the possession of its owner
8) [line 28] BENEI BERAK - the city where Rebbi Akiva's Yeshiva was located, to the south of the present day city of that name, near the Mesubin junction
9) [line 29] SHE'MACHAR B'NICHSEI AVIV - who sold some of the property (land) of his deceased father (which he inherited)
10) [line 30] IR'ARU - they protested
11) [line 32] L'VODKO - to examine him (for Simanim, signs of adulthood) (SIMANIM)
A boy is a Katan (minor) until he has two pubic hairs after he completes his thirteenth year.
12) [line 32] IY ATEM RASHA'IM L'NAVLO - you are not permitted to disgrace him
13) [last line] SIMANIN ASUYIN L'HISHTANOS - signs of adulthood are prone to change (see Insights)
14) [line 2] V'LO ASHKECHU - they did not find [any witnesses]
15) [line 7] NICHSEI B'CHEZKAS LEKUCHOS KAIMEI - the property was in the possession of the purchasers (and it was the heirs of the seller who were trying to invalidate the gift and take the property from the purchasers)
16) [line 10] ISHTIKU - they were silent
17a) [line 13] ANAN ZUZEI YAHAVINAN LEI - We gave money to him;
b) [line 13] LINVAL V'LINVAL! - let him be disgraced and be disgraced!
18) [line 14] IY MISHUM HA, LO IRYA - if [your argument is] because of this [logic], there is no proof (i.e. this logic is refutable)
19) [line 18] ZO SHE'SHENUYAH B'MISHNAS BAR KAPARA - this that was taught in the teachings of Bar Kapara
20) [line 19] OCHEL SADEH U'VA - he was eating from a field and continuing to do so (in the manner of one who owns the field)
21) [line 21] ONO - (lit. his strength) his document (in this case, a bill of sale)
22a) [line 24] SHTAR PASIM (lit. a document of appeasement)
A Shtar Pasim is a document written with no intention that any money or property exchange hands. The one who writes the document appeased the "buyer," "debtor" or "recipient of a gift" to have this document written. These documents are written for technical purposes only, such as to divert property away from a third party or so that the person could claim to be a rich man with many outstanding debts (SHITAH YESHANAH, cited by the SHITAH MEKUBETZES to Kesuvos 19a).
b) [line 25] SHTAR AMANAH (lit. a document of trust)
A Shtar Amanah is a document written with no actual transfer of money or property at the time it is written, but rather with the consent of the one whom the document makes liable, such as the debtor (or, in our case, the seller of a field), to have the creditor (or, in our case, the buyer of the field) fulfill that which is written in the document (the lending of money, or paying for the field) at a later time. Such a document is written under circumstances such that the loan or sale will only occur later, but the scribe will not be available later to write the contract.
23) [line 34] YAFEH IR'ARU - they protested properly. That is, the relatives of the person who sold his father's estate admit that the seller, their relative, wrote the Shtar, but they claim that he was a minor at the time that he gave the gift and thus the gift is not valid. Rebbi Yochanan is quoted as having said that their protest was a good and proper protest: since it is their word which gives credence to the Shtar ("Modeh bi'Shtar"), they are also believed when they say that their relative was a minor when he wrote it and thus the purchasers must validate the Shtar with witnesses ("Tzarich l'Kaimo") in order to refute the claim of the relatives. We see, then, that Rebbi Yochanan holds that "Modeh bi'Shtar she'Kasvo Tzarich l'Kaimo."
24) [line 35] ZO ELAZAR AMARAH - this, Elazar (my student) said it
25) [line 37] YICHPOR - he will reject
26) [line 43] BERAM - however... (Rebbi Zeira is giving an answer to his question, saying that Rebbi Yochanan learned that the opinions expressed in the Mishnah (153a) were reversed, and it is Rebbi Meir who holds that "Modeh bi'Shtar she'Kasvo Tzarich l'Kaimo," while the Chachamim hold that "Modeh bi'Shtar she'Kasvo Ein Tzarich l'Kaimo," and thus Rebbi Yochanan was justified in declaring that "everyone holds" -- i.e. the majority opinion holds -- that "Modeh bi'Shtar she'Kasvo Ein Tzarich l'Kaimo.")
27) [line 46] D'RABANAN L'GABEI REBBI MEIR - the Rabanan (the majority opinion) when compared with Rebbi Meir (the minority opinion)
28) [line 47] EIPOCH - switch [the opinions (in the Mishnah 153a) of Rebbi Meir and the Chachamim]
29) [last line] LEIMA LEIPOCH NAMI TIYUVTA - let us say that the challenge should also be reversed (so that instead of the ruling of Rebbi Akiva being a refutation of the opinion of Reish Lakish, it should be a refutation of the opinion of Rebbi Yochanan)
Index to Background for Maseches Bava Basra