and converted into zuzim.1 What, [then could the entry] mean?2 [Either] "six hundred istira and a zuz" [or] "six hundred zuz and a zuz";3 [but] the holder of the bond [must always be] at a disadvantage.'4
Abaye said: One who is required to present his signature at a court of law5 shall not present it at the foot of the scroll [because] a stranger might find it and write [above the signature] that he [has a] claim [of] money upon him; and we learnt [that a person], who produced against another6 [a bond in] the latter's7 handwriting [showing] that he owes him [a debt], may collect [it] from his free8 property.9
A collector of bridge tolls10 once came before Abaye [and] said to him, 'Will the Master give11 me his signature so that when the Rabbis come [and] present to me [an authorisation]12 I will allow them to pass without [payment of] the toll'.13 He was writing it down14 for him at the top of a scroll. As [the other] was pulling it,15 he16 said to him,'The Rabbis have long ago anticipated you'.17
Abaye said: [Numbers] from three to ten [should] not be written at the end of a line, [because] forgery might be committed by adding letters to them;18 and if this occurred, the sentence should be repeated two [or] three times, [since] it [would then] be impossible that [the numbers] should not [once] occur in the middle of a line.19
In a certain [deed]20 it was entered,21 'a third of an orchard'.22 [The buyer] subsequently23 erased the top, and the base of the Beth24 and converted25 [the second word] into, 'and an orchard'.26 [When] he appeared before Abaye [the latter] said to him, 'Why has the Waw so much space round about it?'27 Having been placed under arrest28 he confessed.
In a certain [deed] there was entered, 'the portion of Reuben and Simeon, brothers'.29 They had a brother whose name was 'Brothers';30 and [the buyer] added to31 it32 a Waw and converted [the word into], 'and Brothers'.33 [When] he came before Abaye34 [the latter] said to him. 'Why is there so little space round the Waw'.35 He was placed under arrest36 and he confessed.
A certain deed bore the signatures of Raba and R. Aha b. Adda. He37 came before Raba [who] said to him, '[This] signature is mine; never, however, have I signed before R. Aha b. Adda!' He was placed under arrest36 and he confessed.38 Said [Raba] to him, 'I can well understand how you forged my [signature], but how [could] you manage [that] of R. Aba b. Adda whose hand trembles?' 'I put my hand',39 the other replied, 'on a rope-bridge'.40 Others say [that] he stood on a hose and wrote.41
MISHNAH. A LETTER OF DIVORCE [MAY] BE WRITTEN FOR A HUSBAND THOUGH HIS WIFE IS NOT PRESENT,42 AND A RECEIPT43 [MAY BE WRITTEN] FOR A WIFE THOUGH HER HUSBAND IS NOT PRESENT,44 PROVIDED THEY ARE KNOWN.45 THE FEE46 IS PAID BY THE HUSBAND.
Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
- Any sum of a hundred and ninety-two perutoth, or any multiple of it, is entered respectively as a zuz or zuzim. Had the loan amounted to six hundred perutoth and a zuz, this would have been entered as 'four zuzim and twenty-four perutoth.'
- Lit., 'thou saidst'.
- R. Han. deletes, 'six … zuz'.
- Cf. supra p. 723. n. 10. Hence, he may claim the smaller sum only.
- In certain circumstances it is necessary for one of the witnesses of a deed that he does not attest his signature in person but enables the court to see a signature of his on a separate scroll for the purpose of comparison with, and confirmation of his signature on the deed. Cf., Keth. 21a.
- Lit., 'him'.
- Lit., 'his'.
- Real estate which the borrower has neither sold nor mortgaged.
- Infra, 175b.
- Heb. Bazbina or Bazbana, Pers. bazwan, bazban.
- Lit., 'show'.
- From Abaye.
- His possession of Abaye's signature, he contended, would enable him to check the signature on any authorisation that might be presented to him.
- Lit., 'he showed'.
- The scroll; so that the signature might appear lower and a margin be left above it.
- V. previous paragraph.
- Lit., 'and write'. The Hebrew units from three to ten can easily be increased by the addition of [H], in, [H], three would thus become [H], thirty; [H], four, [H], forty; and so on.
- Should forgery be committed on the number at the end of the line, this would be detected by the number that appeared in the middle of the lowest of these lines, which is always taken as the determining factor. V, our Mishnah, 165b.
- Of a sale.
- Lit., 'written'.
- The deed read: 'I sold to N.N. in my garden a third of (lit., 'in') my orchard,' [H].
- Lit., 'he went'.
- In the word [H], thus changing the [H] into a [H].
- Lit., 'made'.
- Heb., ufardisa, [H] 'and an orchard'. The text was thus made to read, 'in my garden a third and an (viz.. all the) orchard'; and on the strength of this altered text the buyer claimed not only a portion of the field but also the entire orchard.
- Lit., 'What is the reason (why) the world was widened for this waw'.
- Lit. 'he bound him'.
- [H], brothers'. The deed stated that the buyer had acquired the portion of the two brothers only. that belonging to any other brother not being included in the sale.
- Ahi, [H].
- Lit., 'he went (and) wrote'.
- The word, 'brothers', [H] in the deed.
- [H], signifying, 'and Ahi'. On the basis of this text the buyer claimed to have acquired the portion of the third brother Ahi also.
- To claim Ahi's share.
- Lit., 'what is the reason (why) the world is so much compressed for this Waw'.
- V. p. 727. n. 25.
- The holder of the deed.
- That the signatures were forged.
- When forging his signature.
- Which vibrates at the least touch and causes the hand to shake.
- Standing on a hose causes all one's limbs to shake.
- Lit., with him'. Since the grant or refusal of a divorce is entirely dependent on the desire of the husband, he may be entrusted with the keeping of the document until such time as he may decide to hand it over to his wife.
- For the amount of a woman's kethubah.
- The receipt is of advantage to the husband and, since a privilege may be obtained on behalf of a person in his absence, may be written, at the request of the wife, though the husband is absent. The wife takes charge of the receipt and delivers it to him when she had received the payments due to her.
- The Gemara explains this, infra.
- For the writing of the letter of divorce and the receipt.
Baba Bathra 167b
A BOND MAY BE WRITTEN FOR A BORROWER THOUGH THE LENDER IS NOT PRESENT.1 IT [MUST] NOT, HOWEVER, BE WRITTEN FOR THE LENDER UNLESS THE BORROWER IS WITH HIM. THE FEE2 IS PAID BY THE BORROWER. A DEED [OF SALE] MAY BE WRITTEN FOR THE SELLER IN THE ABSENCE OF THE BUYER.3 IT [MUST] NOT BE WRITTEN, HOWEVER, FOR THE BUYER UNLESS THE SELLER IS PRESENT.4 THE FEE5 IS TO BE PAID BY THE BUYER. DEEDS OF BETROTHAL6 AND MARRIAGE7 ARE NOT TO BE WRITTEN EXCEPT WITH THE CONSENT OF BOTH PARTIES, AND THE FEE IS PAID BY THE BRIDE GROOM. A CONTRACT OF TENANCY ON SHARES8 OR ON A FIXED RENTAL9 IS NOT WRITTEN EXCEPT WITH THE APPROVAL OF BOTH PARTIES, AND THE FEE IS PAID BY THE TENANT.10 DEEDS OF ARBITRATION11 AND ALL [OTHER] JUDICIAL DOCUMENTS ARE NOT WRITTEN EXCEPT WITH THE APPROVAL OF BOTH PARTIES, AND BOTH PAY THE FEE.12 RABBAN SIMEON B. GAMALIEL SAID; TWO [DEEDS] MAY BE WRITTEN13 FOR THE TWO PARTIES, ONE FOR EACH.14
GEMARA. What [is meant by] PROVIDED THEY ARE KNOWN? — Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: Provided the name of the man is known15 [in the case of] a letter of divorce,16 and the name of the woman in [the case of] a receipt.17
R. Safra and R. Aha b. Huna and R. Huna b. Hinena sat [together] and Abaye [also] was sitting with then, and, while they were in session,18 they raised [the following] question: [Why is] the name of the man required19 [to be known] in [the case of] a letter of divorce, [and] not the name of the woman; [and] the name of the woman [and] not that of the man in [the case of] a receipt? [Surely] there is reason to fear that one might write20 a letter of divorce and give21 it to the wife of another person;22 and sometimes a woman might procure the writing23 of a receipt and give it to a strange24 man!25 — Abaye said to them: Thus said Rab, 'The name of the man26 in [the case of] a letter of divorce, and the same law [applies] to the name of the woman; the name of the woman26 in [the case of] a receipt and the same law [applies] to the name of the man'.
But is [there no reason] to apprehend27 [that there might be a case] of two [persons of the name of] Joseph b. Simeon28 living in the same town [and that one of them] might write29 a letter of divorce and deliver30 it to the other's wife? — R. Aha b. Huna said to them: Thus said Rab: Two [persons of the name of] Joseph son of Simeon who live in one town, must not divorce their wives except in the presence of each other.31
Is [there no reason], however, to apprehend32 that [a person] might go to another town and make his name [there] known as Joseph b. Simeon and [then] would write29 a letter of divorce33 and carry it to the wife of that person?34 — R. Huna b. Hinena said to them: Thus said Rab; Provided one's name was known in a town [for] thirty days, he need not be suspected.35
What [is the law where one's name] is not known?36 Abaye said, Where they37 call him38 and he answers.39 R. Zebid said, 'A deceiver is vigilant in his deceit'.40
A certain receipt [was produced] on which the signature of R. Jeremiah b. Abba appeared. The woman,41 [however], came before him [and] said to him, 'It was not I',42 'I also said to them'.43 [R. Jeremiah] replied, '[that] it was not she';44 but they43 told me, 'She has grown old and her voice has become rough'.45 Said Abaye: Although the Rabbis said,
Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
- Lit., 'with him'.
- For the writing of the document.
- Lit., 'though the buyer is not with him'.
- V. p. 728. n. 13.
- V. loc. cit. n. 14.
- Agreements between the parties on the amounts promised. Cf. Keth. 102b.
- Kethubah contracts.
- The tenant giving the landowner an agreed portion of the crops.
- A certain fixed amount irrespective of the yield of the land.
- Lit., 'the receiver', i.e., 'he who undertook the work'.
- Heb. Shetare berurin, [H] V. Gemara, infra.
- For the preparation of the shetare berurin.
- By the witnesses.
- Lit., 'to this for himself and to … himself'.
- To the scribe and witnesses.
- So that a false name might not be given, and the document presented to the wife of the man bearing that name. The woman would then on producing the letter of divorce be able to collect the kethubah from her husband, even though she did not produce a written kethubah. Cf. Keth. 89b.
- She might give the name of a woman who has been divorced and has not received what was due to her as her kethubah, and present the document to the man who would use it as proof that he discharged his obligation to his divorced wife.
- Lit., 'sat', i.e., delivering, or listening to lectures and discussing them.
- Lit., 'yes'.
- I.e., obtain a scribe and witnesses to write it for him.
- Lit., 'go and bring'.
- Whose name might be identical with his own.
- Lit., 'go (and) write'.
- Lit., 'who is not hers'.
- Whose wife might bear the same name as hers.
- Must be known.
- Even where the names of the parties are known.
- I.e., husbands and wives bearing respectively the same names.
- I.e., instruct a scribe and witnesses to write it for him.
- Lit., 'and go (and) bring'.
- If one of them divorces his wife the other must be present.
- According to the Tanna of our Mishnah who requires the names of the parties to be known in order to guard against the possibility of the use of the document by the wrong party.
- In his adopted name.
- Whose real name is Joseph b. Simeon: and the woman would thus be able to prove that she had been divorced.
- That the name by which he is known is not his real name. No one, it is assumed, would venture to go under a false name for so long a period, for fear of being discovered.
- How are the scribe and witnesses to decide whether the name submitted to them is the genuine one?
- The persons preparing the letter of divorce.
- Suddenly, unexpectedly.
- One would not respond, it is assumed, to a name which is not really his.
- And would, therefore, respond when called by his false name. The genuineness of a name cannot consequently be determined unless a person was known by that name for a sufficiently long period.
- Lit., 'that woman, on whose behalf the receipt was written.
- Who authorised the writing of the receipt.
- The other witnesses who signed the document with him.
- Judging by her voice which was different from that which he heard at the time he signed the receipt.
- With which opinion R. Jeremiah, after consideration, concurred.