ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 32
BAVA BASRA 31 & 32 - these Dafim have been dedicated anonymously l'Iluy
Nishmas Tzirel Nechamah bas Tuvya Yehudah.
(a) So we try to establish the Machlokes between Rebbi Elazar and Raban
Shimon ben Gamliel (who both say 'Ma'alin li'Kehunah al-Pi Eid Echad') when
we had assumed the Safek's father to be a Kohen, then, after a Kol (a rumor)
began to spread that he was a ben Gerushah or a ben Chalutzah, one witness
reinstated him as a Kasher Kohen - after which two witnesses testified that
he was a ben Gerushah or a ben Chalutzah, and finally a second witness
testified that he was Kasher
(b) The Tana could not begin the case with one witness who came to
consolidate the Safek's status as a Kohen - because why would one witness
need to reinstate him, unless he had been removed due to a Kol?
(c) Assuming that both Tana'im agree that two witnesses who testify
separately can combine to form one unit, we try to explain their Machlokes
as being - whether 'Chaishinan le'Zilusa de'Bei Dina' (Rebbi Elazar), or 'Lo
Chaishinan ... ' (Raban Shimon be Gamliel).
(d) Even if Rebbi Elazar is concerned about Zilusa de'Bei Dina, he will
nevertheless permit Beis-Din to reinstate the Safek after having removed him
following the Kol - because the removing a Safek after a Kol is not a ruling
which cannot be rescinded, but a temporary measure until beis-Din are able
to establish his Kashrus.
(a) We refute the above interpretation of the Machlokes, based on the fact
that they argue in the case where one witness came at the end - because if
Rebbi Elazar's reason was 'Chaishinan le'Zilusa de'Bei Dina, then he ought
to have argued with Raban Shimon ben Gamliel even when the two witnesses who
declare the Safek, Kasher came together at the end.
(b) The basis of their Machlokes must therefore be - whether we combine the
testimonies of two witnesses who testify independently (Raban Shimon ben
Gamliel) or not (Rebbi Elazar).
(c) In spite of the fact that the two pairs of witnesses contradict each
other, the Safek Kohen is Kasher according to Raban Shimon ben Gamliel -
because we place him on the Chazakah that he had after the first witness
declared him a Kohen.
(d) In fact, this Machlokes is synonymous with another Machlokes Tana'im in
a Beraisa. The Tana Kama requires two witnesses to appear in Beis-Din
simultaneously. Rebbi Nasan - validates their testimony even if one
testifies today and the other, tomorrow.
(a) In the same Beraisa, the Tana Kama requires the two witnesses to have
witnessed the transaction simultaneously. Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah -
accepts their testimony even if they witnessed the transaction at different
(b) It is possible for two witnesses to witness the transaction at two
different times - either if one of them saw a loan taking place, for example
and the other one heard the debtor admit that he was Chayav to pay, or if
one of them saw Reuven borrow a Manah from Shimon on Sunday, and the other
one saw him borrow a Manah on Monday (see Rashash).
(c) The Tana Kama holds - that, seeing as the two testimonies cover two
different transactions, they cannot combine to form one testimony.
(d) In any event, we have vindicated Rav Nachman, who is not concerned about
Zilusa de'Bei Dina - because both Rebbi Elazar and Raban Shimon ben Gamliel
hold that way.
(a) When, after producing a Sh'tar to substantiate that he had purchased a
field from Shimon, the latter countered that the Sh'tar was a forgery -
Reuven leaned across and whispered in Rabah's ear that the Sh'tar was indeed
forged, but that he had lost the original one.
(b) When Rabah accepted his argument on the basis of a 'Migu' that he could
have insisted that the Sh'tar was Kasher - Rav Yosef objected on the
grounds - that seeing as the Sh'tar upon which he based his claim was
invalid, it was a 'Migu be'Makom Eidim' and he could not be believed.
(c) Reuven did not have a Chazakah - because if he had, he would not have
been relying solely on the Sh'tar, and it would no longer be a 'Migu
(d) Despite the fact that Reuven would have to substantiate the Sh'tar,
Rabah thought that Reuven had a 'Migu' - because it was not a
straightforward forgery, but a Kasher Sh'tar written for another loan, in
which case the witnesses would readily substantiate their signatures. It was
also possibly a Sh'tar Amanah (which Shimon wrote on trust, anticipating
that he would later borrow money from Reuven), or even a forged Sh'tar, but
he had hired false witnesses to corroborate the signatures.
(a) Rabah and Rav Yosef followed their same respective lines of thought
when, in a similar episode. In that case - Reuven, after claiming from
Shimon a hundred Zuz with a Sh'tar, which the latter claimed to be a
forgery, leaned across to Rabah and whispered in his ear that the Sh'tar was
indeed forged, but added that he had lost the original Sh'tar, which had
(b) Rav Idi bar Avin ruled like Rabah in the first case - because the field
was in Reuven's Reshus, and like Rav Yosef in the second - because the money
was in Shimon's.
(c) Granted, who was Muchzak was not the issue, but whose line of thought
was correct, Rabah's or Rav Yosef's. Rav Idi bar Avin however, was uncertain
like whom to rule, so he applied the principle that pertains to all cases of
Safek 'ha'Motzi me'Chavero, Alav ha'Re'ayah'.
(d) Rav Idi bar Avin's ruling does not clash with the ruling in 'Yesh
Nochlin' where we conclude that apart from 'Sadeh', 'Inyan' and 'Mechtzah',
the Halachah is like Rabah throughout Shas - seeing as here too, we rule
like Rabah in one of the cases.
(a) An Areiv (guarantor) claimed a hundred Zuz from the debtor, claiming
that he had paid the creditor, and produced a Sh'tar to that effect. He was
(not a regular Areiv, from whom the creditor cannot claim before having gone
to the debtor, but) - an Areiv Kablan (who undertook to pay the debt instead
of the debtor as soon as it fell due) or else the creditor had stipulated at
the time of the debt that he could claim from whoever he wished.
(b) When the debtor claimed that he had already paid the Areiv, the latter,
conceding that this was indeed the case, added - that he subsequently took
the money back from him on loan.
(c) When Rav Idi bar Avin (of all people) asked him what the Halachah was in
this case, a rather surprised Abaye replied - that Rav Idi himself had just
ruled in a rather similar case, like Rav Yosef, and that it was therefore
obvious that the money should remain where it was (in the hands of the
(a) The basis of Rav Idi bar Avin's Safek however, was that this case might
be worse (from the point of view of the debtor) than the previous one - due
to the fact that, unlike there, where the creditor had admitted that there
had been another Sh'tar, and that the one that he produced was basically a
forgery, the Sh'tar that the Areiv produced was the only one, and was
(b) Abaye nevertheless considered the two cases comparable - because of the
principle that we learned in Kesuvos, that 'once a Sh'tar has been used to
claim with, it becomes Pasul and cannot be re-used', which renders this
Sh'tar no better than the one in the previous case.
(c) Abaye would have obligated the debtor to pay - had the Areiv claimed
that he returned the money to the debtor because the coins were badly worn
or discolored, thereby negating the payment and reinstating the original