ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 163
(a) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak concludes - that the two blank lines (that
invalidate a Sh'tar) must include the spaces, because what could one do with
lines without spaces?
(b) Rebbi Shabsi in the name of Chizkiyah requires the two lines space to be
the size of the witnesses' script (meaning not that of the Sofer) - because,
due to the unlikelihood of the Sofer (who generally has a smaller script
than an inexperienced layman) agreeing to forge the Sh'tar, the owner would
have to do it himself.
(a) Rebbi Yitzchak ben Elazar (who incorporates a case where a 'Lamed' on
the second line reaches a final 'Chaf' on the higher one) gives the Shiur of
space as 'Lech' 'Lech' written one on top of the other. The significance of
these two letters is - that the 'Lamed' towers above the line, whereas the
final 'Chaf' drops below it. The significance of these two letters is - that
the 'Lamed' towers above the line, whereas the final 'Chaf' drops below it.
(b) Rebbi Chiya bar Ami in the name of Ula, who gives the Shiur as a
'Lamed' above and a 'Chaf' below - requires two lines and only three
spaces; whereas Rebbi Yitzchak ben Elazar requires two lines and four spaces
(two between the two lines of writing).
(c) According to Rebbi Avahu the Shiur of two lines is equivalent to one
line and two spaces. The example he gives for this is - 'Baruch ben Levi' on
(a) Rav differentiates between the previous Din, where the two lines space
is left between the contents of the Sh'tar and the witnesses' signatures,
and where the space is left between the signatures and the Asharta
(de'Dayna) - which is the Beis-Din's verification of a Sh'tar (also known as
(b) He validates the latter case - on the grounds that they would fill in
the space between the signatures and the Asharta with ink (leaving no
opportunity of writing anything in that space).
(c) They not do the same thing between the Sh'tar and the witnesses
signatures - because the witnesses tend to sign on the last thing in the
Sh'tar, without necessarily inquiring as to its meaning. Consequently, they
would simply sign on the ink-spot (instead of on the contents of the
(d) We are not afraid that the Beis-Din will do likewise - since Beis-Din
tend to sign on the contents of the Sh'tar, and not on whatever appears last
on the document.
(a) We query the previous statement of Rav (validating a two-line space
between the witnesses' signatures and the Asharta) however, on the suspicion
that he might then be tempted to cut off the top half of the Sh'tar, erase
the ink-mark and fill in the space with whatever suits him, and Rav himself
said - that a Sh'tar which is written and signed on erased parchment is
(b) This Kashya is based on Rav Tivyumi's text of that statement (citing the
author as Rav), but does not present a problem according to Rav Kahana - who
cites Shmuel as the author (permitting us to explain that Rav will
(c) A Sh'tar that is written and signed on erased parchment, we reply - is
not substantiated by means of the Asharta, but by means of the witnesses.
(a) Rebbi Yochanan takes the exact opposite view from Rav. A Sh'tar with one
blank line between the witnesses' signatures and the Asharta, he says - is
(b) ... because we are afraid that the claimant will cut off the top of the
Sh'tar, and write a fresh one together will the signatures on the last line.
And a Sh'tar that is written and signed by the witnesses on one line is
Kasher, in his opinion.
(c) He concedes however, that one line between the Sh'tar and the witnesses'
signatures is Kasher - because he holds that a Sh'tar that is written on one
line and signed on the next is Pasul (and therefore there is nothing to be
(d) And the reason for this is - the principle cited earlier, that we do not
learn from the last line. Consequently, he is afraid that the claimant will
cut off the top of the Sh'tar, leaving only the last line followed by the
signatures of the witnesses.
(a) This prompts us to ask - why do we not invalidate a regular Sh'tar with
the last line blank and the witnesses' signatures underneath - on the
suspicion that he will cut off the top of the Sh'tar, write in the one blank
line whatever he wants together with the witnesses and verify it via the
(b) We answer this Kashya - by pointing out that any Sh'tar which is written
and signed on one line can only be substantiated by the witnesses on that