ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Kesuvos 20
KESUVOS 20 (14 Nisan) - The Dafyomi study material for the day of "Hakravas
Korban Pesach" has been generously sponsored by an anonymous donor. May we
all merit to eat to satiation "from the Zevachim and the Pesachim" --
(a) Rav Nachman ruled in the previous case like Rav Ashi regarding 'Nechsei
de'bar Shatya' - a man who had fits of madness. bar Shatya once sold a
field. Two witnesses testified that he was mad when he sold it, whilst two
other witnesses testified that he was sane. Rav Ashi ruled (like Rav
Nachman) that the two pairs of witnesses cancelled each other out, and the
field remained in the possession of bar Shatya.
(b) We qualify Rav Ashi's ruling however - restricting it to where bar
Shatya himself received the field from his father (giving him a Chazakah).
But if he himself had purchased the field, then he would not have a Chazakah
to begin with.
(a) Hazamah not in the presence of the defendants is not valid. Rebbi Avahu
rules that ...
1. ... we accept Hakchashah even not in their presence (because he holds
'Hakchashah La'av Techilas Hazamah Hi').
(b) We cited a Beraisa on the previous Amud 've'Im Yesh Eidim ... O
she'Hayah K'sav Yadam Yotzei mi'Makom Acher *mi'Shtar she'Kara Alav Ir'er*
ve'Huchzak be'Beis-Din, Ein Eilu Ne'emanim'. This supports a statement of
Rebbi Asi - who says 'Ein Mekaymin es ha'Sh'tar Ela mi'Sh'tar she'Kara Alav
Irer ve'Huchzak be'Beis-Din'.
2. ... despite the fact that Hazamah not in their presence does not render
the first witnesses *Zomemin* (regarding the punishment that Zomemin
normally receive), it is however, considered *Hakchashah*.
(c) Neherda'i require the witnesses' signature to be substantiated from two
Kesuvos or from two Sh'taros documenting the sale of two fields, provided
(in the latter case), the buyer ate the fruit of the field on which they
testified for three years without the seller protesting.
(d) Rav Shimi bar Ashi qualifies both cases further; according to him, the
two pairs of signatures with which the signatures under scrutiny are being
compared must not come from the same person. If they do, we are afraid that
he will simply forge the signatures, copying them from the documents under
his jurisdiction - something which he is unlikely to be able to do with such
proficiency by going to someone else's house and studying them.
(a) The Beraisa permits writing down one's testimony in order to help recall
it when necessary. When Rav Huna says 've'Hu she'Zochrah me'Atzmo' - he
means that the witness must recall the basic evidence on his own. It is not
good enough to fill in the missing details by mechanically reading the
(b) Rebbi Yochanan says - that he is even permitted to refer to the document
initially to remind him of the testimony. This does not however, mean that
he may read the testimony from the paper on which he wrote it (because of
the D'rashah "mi'Pihem" 've'Lo mi'Pi K'savam'), but that, if, after reading
it, he recalls it by himself, it is acceptable.
(c) From Rebbi Yochanan's leniency, Rava derives - that even the two
witnesses are permitted to remind each other of the testimony, should either
of them have initially forgotten it.
(a) Rav Chaviva permits a witness to testify even if it is the litigant
himself who reminds him of his testimony - Mar Brei de'Rav Ashi forbids it.
(b) The Halachah is like Mar Brei de'Rav Ashi. We nevertheless accept Rav
Chaviva's opinion - if the witness is a Talmid-Chacham, who would not rely
on the prompting of the litigant, if he did not recall the evidence himself.
(c) When Rav Ashi was called to testify for Rav Kahana, but forgot his
testimony - Rav Kahana prompted him. Then, when Rav Ashi recalled the
testimony and gave it in court, Rav Kahana expressed surprise that he did
so, to which Rav Ashi replied that it was not due to his prompting that he
had testified, but to the fact that he had remembered the evidence himself.
(a) 'T'luli'os' - are mounds of earth which people sometimes to use to bury
(b) Mounds that are distant from the town and from the road were ...
1. ... Tahor if they were new - because people would remember if someone had
been buried there recently.
(c) T'luli'os that were close to the town or to the road were Tamei however,
even if they were new - because it is possibly that, due to their closeness,
a woman may have buried her dead child there without anybody else knowing
2. ... Tamei if they were old - because, even if someone was buried there,
they would have forgotten about it.
(a) Rebbi Meir considers close to be fifty Amos and old, sixty years.
Rebbi Yehudah consider ...
1. ... close - when there is none closer.
(b) Rebbi Yehudah considers a mound distant just because there is another
one closer by - because a woman would be unlikely to bypass the first mound,
to bury her baby in the second one.
2. ... old - when nobody remembers when the mound was erected.
(c) We cannot explain 'town' and 'road' in the previous Beraisa in the
regular sense - because from a statement of Resh Lakish in Nazir, it is
clear that Chazal would use any excuse to declare the streets of Eretz
(d) Consequently, Rebbi Zeira explained them to mean a street and a road
that are situated beside a Beis ha'K'varos.
(a) We explain 'Derech Beis ha'K'varos' to mean that it sometimes happened
that someone died on Erev Shabbos Bein ha'Sh'mashos, and, unable to reach
the actual graveyard on time, he would be buried there.
We refute Rav Chisda's proof from Rebbi Meir in the above Beraisa that a
person will remember testimony up to sixty years, but no longer - on the
grounds that we are talking about people who did not specifically intend to
testify; but witnesses may well remember their testimony for even longer.
(b) We cannot however, explain 'Ir ha'S'muchah le'Beis ha'K'varos' in the
same way - because then, everyone would go directly to the Beis ha'K'varos.
Why would they use the mound?
(c) So we establish 'Ir ha'S'muchah le'Beis ha'K'varos' with regard to women
who would bury their stillborn children by the mound anyway. Rebbi Meir
gives a limit of fifty Amos - because, if it was further than that, she
would take someone with her, and together, they would bury the baby in the
(d) Besides the mother of a stillborn baby - a leper, or someone who lost an
arm might would use this pile for the same purpose (because severed limbs
render Tamei like a Meis).
(a) If one witness testifies that the one signature on a document is his and
the other is his friend's, and his friend does likewise, they are believed.
Rebbi says - that if each one testifies only on his own signature, but does
not recognize the signature of his friend - then Beis-Din will need to find
another witness to testify on each of the signatures.
(b) The Chachamim say - that this is not necessary.