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12th CYCLE DEDICATION
KESUVOS 21 (Yom Kippur) - Sponsored in memory of Freida Miller, by her son. May the Zechus of learning and supporting Torah bring him and his family a year of Berachah, good health, Nachas and continued spiritual growth.
According to Rebbi, when a witness authenticates his signature, he is testifying on the signature, not on the contents of the document.
According to the Chachamim, when a witness authenticates his signature, he is testifying on the contents of the document.
According to the Chachamim, if one of the witnesses dies, his signature must be authenticated by two outside people. (1)
If one of the signatories signs his name on a piece of pottery and throws it into Beis Din, his signature may be authenticated from the pottery.
If a person holds a document without witnesses that was signed by the borrower, he may collect from Bnei Chorin (liquid assets).
The Halachah follows Rebbi when he argues with one individual, but not when he argues with the Chachamim.
When two judges recognize the signatures on a Shtar and the third judge does not, if the judges have not yet confirmed the signatures they may testify to the third judge regarding the signatures.
A witness may serve as a judge.
When three judges witness the new moon, two of them should testify in front of the third judge who must join with two other judges. (2)
Two of the judges may testify that the third judge is eligible to be a judge, but only they may sign on the confirmation of the Shtar.
A BIT MORE
1. The other witnesses who signed may not authenticate his own signature and also combine with another witness to authenticate the second signature. The reason is that since, according to the Chachamim, when a witness authenticates his signature he is testifying on the contents of the document, when the witness authenticates his own signature he is already contributing 50% of the testimony. When he combines with the other witness to authenticate the second signature, he is contributing 75% of the testimony, which is more than his allowable share. However, according to Rebbi, the witnesses are testifying on the signature, not on the contents of the document. Therefore, even if one of the witnesses testifies on both signatures, he is contributing only 50% of the testimony.
2. Since the sanctification of the new moon is Min ha'Torah, a witness may not serve as a judge. Regarding the confirmation of a Shtar, a witness may serve as a judge, because it is only required mid'Rabanan.
AN UNSIGNED DOCUMENT
If a person holds a document without witnesses that was signed by the borrower, he may collect from Bnei Chorin. The Rif says that he may collect with the document only if the debtor denies the debt completely, but if the debtor says that he already paid the debt, he is believed and the debt cannot be collected. Even though, normally, if the debtor claims that he already paid the debt he is not believed -- because if it was true that he paid the debt, then the document would have been returned to him -- an unsigned document is often not returned even after the debt has already been paid, since it may be used to collect only from Bnei Chorin. The Ri disagrees, however, because he maintains that a document is always returned when the debt is paid, even if there are no witnesses.
AN UNSIGNED DOCUMENT
If a person presents a document that says that he is owed money, the debt may be collected from Bnei Chorin. The debt may be collected whether the document says, "I, the undersigned, admit that I owe money," and his signature appears on the bottom, or whether it was written by someone else but the debtor signed on the bottom. (Shulchan Aruch CM 69:1)
A person may not collect from sold property (Nechasim Meshubadim) with an unsigned document, because the debt does not have a Kol (is not publicized) and the buyer had no idea that there was a lien on his property. (Shach)
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