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There is a Chazakah that witnesses do not sign on a document unless the parties involved are adults. (1)
The only transgressions that must be avoided even at the cost of one's life are Giluy Arayos, Avodah Zarah, and Shefichus Damim.
Rebbi Meir maintains that if the borrower admits that the loan document is authentic, the witnesses on the document do not have to be authenticated. (2)
If the borrower claims that a loan document is a Shtar Amanah (it was given to the lender without the loan ever being made), he is not believed.
If the lender claims that a loan document is a Shtar Amanah, if it causes a loss to a third party he is not believed. (3)
Rebbi Nasan says that a person may collect his debt directly from the creditor of his debtor.
Rav Kahana says that it is forbidden for a person to keep a Shtar Amanah in his house. (4)
Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi says that it is forbidden for a lender to keep a Shtar in his house if it was already paid. (5)
A Sefer that has mistakes may not be kept more than thirty days.
If witnesses testify that a Shtar they signed is a Shtar Amanah, they are not believed.
Rav Nachman: If witnesses testify that a Shtar they signed is a Shtar Moda'ah, they are not believed. Mar bar Rav Ashi: They are believed. (6)
If witnesses testify that a Shtar they signed was conditional, they are believed.
If the witnesses who signed a Shtar died and two other witnesses who authenticated the signatures say that the first witnesses were Anusim, they are believed.
A BIT MORE
1 Similarly, there is a Chazakah that the person holding the document did not have witnesses who were Ketanim sign the document.
2. The borrower is not believed if he claims that he already paid back the loan. The Chachamim, however, maintain that if the borrower claims that the loan was paid back, the lender must authenticate the signatures.
3. For example, the lender is indebted to someone else and he does not have money to pay back his debt without collecting the money that is owed to him. In such a case, his admission is causing a loss to his creditor.
4. Based on this, Rav Ashi says that if witnesses claim that the Shtar they signed is a Shtar Amanah, they are not believed, even if their signatures were not authenticated from any source other than the witnesses themselves.
5. Some opinions say that it is permitted for the lender to keep the Shtar even if it was paid for the purpose of forcing the borrower to pay the wages of the scribe.
6. A Shtar Moda'ah is a note written by the seller to the witnesses stating that he is selling the land under duress. Mar bar Rav Ashi maintains that they are believed, because it is permitted to write a Shtar Moda'ah. Rav Nachman maintains that they are not believed, because oral testimony does not have the power to invalidate the Shtar. Since they admit that the Shtar was written properly, they do not have the right to invalidate it by claiming that it is a Shtar Moda'ah.
THE TESTIMONY OF ONE WITNESS
Rav Huna bar Yehoshua says that if one of two witnesses who authenticated the Shtar claims that the Shtar was written conditionally, he is believed. The Ritva says that this applies only to testimony about a condition in the Shtar. In contrast, if one of the witnesses who authenticated the Shtar testifies that the debt in the Shtar was paid, his testimony does not invalidate the Shtar. He is regarded only as a single witness who testifies that a Shtar was paid, and the Din is that the lender must make a Shevu'ah that it was not paid, and he may collect the Shtar.
A SEFER TORAH WITH A MISTAKE
If a Sefer Torah has mistakes, it may not be kept for more than thirty days. It must either be fixed or buried. The same is true for other Sefarim. A Sefer may not be corrected if merely logic dictates that there is a mistake; only if there is clear proof that there is a mistake may one correct the Sefer.
If a person wants to correct the Sefer with a footnote, without erasing the original version, it is permitted, even if one does not have clear proof that it is a mistake. (Pischei Teshuvah)
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