BAVA BASRA 163 (10 Tamuz) - Dedicated by Rabbi and Mrs. Mordecai Kornfeld in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Yosef Kornfeld

1)BLANK LINES AFTER THE TEXT

(a)Question: We say that two blank lines invalidate a document. Does this mean the amount for two lines of text and the space between them, or without the space?

(b)Answer: Presumably, it means the amount for two lines and the space between them;

1.Version #1 (our text, Tosfos): If it were without the space, obviously, there is no concern for one line! (Beraisa #1 would not need to teach that one blank line does not disqualify.)

2.Version #2 (Rashbam): If it were without the space, there is no concern (for two blank lines. If he will add one line of text, we do not learn from it. If he will add two lines, he must write them smaller than the rest of the document, or not leave space between them. In either case, the forgery would be evident!)

(c)(Rav Shabsi): The two blank lines that invalidate a document are gauged according to the way witnesses write, and not the way a scribe writes (which is smaller).

(d)Question: What is the reason?

(e)Answer: Presumably, a swindler must forge by himself, for a scribe would not agree. Regular people cannot write as small as scribes can.

(f)Question: What size space invalidates a document?

(g)Answer #1 (Rav Yitzchak ben Elazar): (Room for two lines with spaces above and below, so the letters will never touch letters of other lines, i.e.) enough so even if 'Lecha' is written in each line ('Lamed' extends above the line, final 'Chaf' extends below the line, and the final 'Chaf' in the top line and the 'Lamed' in the bottom line are aligned, they will not touch each other; also, the final 'Chaf' in the bottom line and the 'Lamed' in the top line will not touch the line above or below the blank lines).

1.He requires room for two lines and four spaces (a separate space above and below each line).

(h)Answer #2 (R. Chiya bar Ami): They are enough so even if a 'Lamed' is in the top line, and a final 'Chaf' is in the bottom line (they will not touch the line above or below the blank lines).

1.He requires room for two lines and three spaces (a space above and below each line, but one space suffices for between the two lines, a forger can arrange that no 'Lamed' is under a letter that extends below the line).

(i)Answer #3 (R. Avahu): They are enough to write one line with a 'Lamed' and a final 'Chaf'.

1.He requires room for one line and two spaces. (R. Yonah - this is enough to forge two lines - surely, he argues with Rav Shabsi, who says that we consider two lines the way witnesses write.)

2)WHEN SPACE DISQUALIFIES A DOCUMENT

(a)(Rav): We are only concerned for space between the text and the witnesses, but even a large space between the witnesses and the validation (of Beis Din) does not disqualify it.

(b)Question: We are concerned for space between the text and the witnesses, lest the bearer add clauses (and the signatures will be underneath);

1.We should also be concerned for space between the witnesses and the validation, lest he write a document there, and the signatures of Beis Din will be underneath!

(c)Answer: Rav only allowed a space there if it is smudged with ink (so nothing can be written there).

(d)Question: Also between the text and the witnesses, a space smudged with ink should not disqualify a document!

(e)Answer: No, we are concerned lest the witnesses signed under the smudge and did not intend to testify about the text.

(f)Question: Likewise, we should be concerned lest Beis Din signed under the smudge and did not intend to validate the document!

(g)Answer: A Beis Din would never do this.

(h)Question: We should be concerned for a smudge between the witnesses and the validation, lest he cut off the top (the document and witnesses), erase the smudged area, write a document, forge signatures, and it will have a validation of Beis Din below it!

1.(Rav): If a document and the signatures are both on erased parchment, it is valid.

163b----------------------------------------163b

(i)Answer #1: According to Rav Kahana, who cited the above law in Shmuel's name, we can say that Rav disqualifies such a document.

(j)Question: Rav Tavyomi cited it in Rav's name - how can we answer?

(k)Answer: He holds that we do not rely on validations of documents on erased parchment (a Beis Din will not act according to the document until it itself validates it).

(l)(R. Yochanan): Two blank lines between the text and the witnesses invalid a document, but even one blank line between the witnesses and the validation disqualifies it.

(m)Question: Presumably, we are concerned lest he cut off the top (the document and witnesses) and write a document and forge signatures in the blank line (and it will have a validation of Beis Din below it)!

1.R. Yochanan must say that a one-line document that includes the signatures is valid.

2.Summation of question: Also when there is one blank line between the text and the witnesses, perhaps he will cut off the top, and write a document in the blank line (and it will have signatures underneath)!

(n)Answer: R. Yochanan must say that a one-line document in which the signatures are underneath is invalid (we do not act according to the bottom line).

(o)Question: Perhaps when he writes the document in the blank line (above the witnesses), he will also forge signatures in that line; he will say that he wanted to have extra witnesses, therefore there are also signatures underneath!

(p)Answer: In such a case, it must be validated from the witnesses in the same line as the document.

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