POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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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" -- bi'Meherah!
1) CONTRADICTION BETWEEN WITNESSES
(a) (Rav Sheshes): Just as Hazamah is only in front of the
witnesses, so too we may only contradict them in front of
2) VALIDATION OF DOCUMENTS
(b) Objection (Rav Nachman): If Reuven and Shimon were here
and contradicted these latter witnesses, we would have
contradictory testimony, and one could not collect using
1. Now that Reuven and Shimon are not here, and if they
would be here, perhaps they would admit - are Reuven
and Shimon believed (and one may collect with the
(c) Answer#2 (Rav Nachman): We stand up the latter 2
witnesses against the former 2, and we leave the money in
the status quo of its current owner.
1. This is as the property of Bar Shatya (a man who
alternated between sanity and insanity).
(d) (R. Avahu): Hazamah of witnesses can only be in their
presence; they *can* be contradicted when not here.
2. Bar Shatya sold property. 2 witnesses said that he
was insane at the time (and the sale is invalid); 2
others said that he was sane at the time.
3. (Rav Ashi): We stand up 2 against 2, and leave the
property in the possession of Bar Shatya.
i. This only applies to property he inherited.
ii. If he himself bought the property which he now
sold - no (we have no Chazakah saying that it
is his) - perhaps he was insane when he bought
1. If Hazamah is done when they are not here - is does
not have the laws of Hazamah, but it is
(a) (Beraisa (Daf 19B)): If (other) witnesses know that these
are their signatures, or if there is another document
which they signed which was disputed and validated by
Beis Din, they are not believed (to say that the
witnesses on a document were invalid).
3) WRITTEN TESTIMONY
1. The other document may be used only if it was
disputed - this supports R. Asi.
(b) (R. Asi): We only validate a document from 2 Kesuvahs or
from 2 documents of sale of fields which the buyers used
uncontestedly for 3 years.
(c) (R. Simi Bar Asi): This only applies if the documents are
held by others, not by the bearer of the document we wish
1. We do not allow the bearer of a document to
validate it from documents he holds, because he may
have copied the signatures.
2. Question: The same concern applies to documents held
by others - he may have seen them and imitated the
3. Answer: We are not concerned that he could imitate
them so well unless they are in his possession.
(a) (Beraisa): A person may write testimony he saw on a
document, and (orally) testify from it many years later.
(b) Opinion#1 (Rav Huna): He can only testify if he remembers
the testimony by himself.
(c) Opinion#2 (R. Yochanan): He may testify even if he does
not remember it by himself.
1. (Rabah): We learn from R. Yochanan that if 2
witnesses saw testimony and 1 forgot it, the other
may remind him.
(d) Question: Can the claimant remind a witness of the
(e) Answer#1 (R. Chaviva): Yes.
(f) Answer#2 (Mar Bar Rav Ashi): No (and this is the law).
4) THE PURITY OF MOUNDS
1. If the witness is a Chacham, he may testify even if
the claimant reminded him.
2. Rav Ashi knew testimony for Rav Kahane, but forgot
it, even after Rav Kahane tried reminding him of it.
Later, he remembered and testified for him.
3. Rav Kahane was taken aback that Rav Ashi was
testifying for him.
4. Rav Ashi: Don't worry, I'm not relying on what you
said - I put my mind to it and remembered.
(a) (Mishnah): Mounds which are close to the city or the road
are impure, whether they are old or new;
5) VALIDATION OF A DOCUMENT
(b) Far mounds - the old ones are impure, new ones are pure;
(c) (R. Meir): Within 50 Amos is considered close; 60 years
old is considered old;
(d) (R. Yehudah): If there is no closer one, it is called
close; if no one remembers before it was built, it is
(e) Question: What do we mean by 'city' and 'road'?
1. We cannot mean the simple meaning - we do not
declare impurity when in doubt!
(f) We understand why the mound on the road is impure -
sometimes, there is not enough time before Shabbos to get
to the cemetery, and the body is buried in the mound.
i. (Reish Lakish): An excuse was found to purify
2. (R. Zeira): Rather, 'city' means a city near a
cemetery; 'road' is a road to a cemetery.
1. Question: If the mound is near a city near a
cemetery, why is it impure - everyone would go to
(g) (Rav Chisda): We learn from R. Meir that a person
remembers testimony for 60 years, but no longer.
2. Answer (R. Chanina): Women bury miscarried babies,
and lepers bury limbs which fall off in the mounds.
i. Up to 50 Amos, a woman will go alone (and the
impurity will be unknown); more than 50 Amos,
she would get an escort, and go to the
cemetery; therefore, in Eretz Yisrael we do not
assume that they are impure.
(h) Rejection: This is not so - it is not incumbent on a
person to remember the impurity in a mound; testimony,
which a person has responsibility to remember, he
remembers even longer.
(a) (Mishnah): Both witnesses on a document say that they
recognize both signatures - they are believed;
(b) If each recognizes only his own signature - Rebbi says
that another witness is needed who recognizes both
signatures; Chachamim say, this is not needed, a person
is believed to say that this is his signature.