Resources for Kesubos 19

1.     The גמרא says in the name of רב חסדא that ר"מ holds that witnesses are not believed to invalidate a שטר even if they said that they only signed because their life was in danger since that makes them into a רשע. רבא immediately asks that we would certainly tell the witnesses that they shouldn’t give up their lives for signing falsely so of course they aren’t רשעים for signing under those conditions.  The question is what did רב חסדא hold? The ריטב"א answers that people think it is a מדת חסידות to give up your life to not sign falsely. In fact, he says it is considered murder to give up your life for anything other than גילוי עריות, שפיכת דמים, ועבודה זרה (this is also the opinion of the רמב"ם  which is not like תוספות in ע"ז דף כ"ז who says you can opt in to give up your life for a מצוה). Nonetheless, since people think it is a מדת חסידות and something you should do, it is enough to be considered making yourself into a רשע according to רבי מאיר.  This is a tremendous חידוש since according to the ריטב"א you would be an actual רשע if you gave up your life and yet if you didn’t you are still considered משים עצמו רשע. The רמב"ן brings an איכא דאמרי that brings a ברייתא חיצונית that says that רבי מאיר says there are four things one must give up their life for: the three mentioned above and גזל. רבא’s response to that was that even ר"מ knows that we will go like the רבנן so if the עדים went to a ב"ד who hold like the רבנן they will have done the right thing in which case they aren’t רשעים. The רמב"ן  does not like this פּשט. Many have pointed out that this sounds like רש"י’s שיטה in  the גמרא in ב"ק דף ס ע"ב. There the גמרא asks “מהו להציל עצמו בממון חברו” and the גמרא says (according to רש"י) that the חכמים told דוד המלך that he could not take someone else’s money even to save a life. תוספות there says the question was just if דוד המלך would have to pay. רש"י is even more extreme than the פּשט from the רמב"ן  since according to רש"י even the רבנן hold that you would need to give up your life to not do גזל and not just ר"מ who is a דעת יחיד.

2.     The גמרא says that a מלוה isn’t believed to says שטר אמנה הוא זה in a case where it will negatively impact someone. The example given is in a case where of שעבודא דרב נתן where the lender has a person he also owes money too and if he is מבטל the contract then his own lender wont be able to collect from the borrower. The question is that the lender in front of us can simply be מוחל the loan if he wants to, so why wouldn’t he be believed to call it a שטר אמנה? This question is addressed by תוספות in ד"ה כגון and other ראשונים as well.  תוספות in one answer says that you actually can’t be מוחל the חוב in this case since שעבודא דרב נתן is a דין דאורייתא. The רמב"ם  in הלכות מלוה ולוה also paskens that you can’t be מוחל but his reasoning is that we are afraid that the borrower and lender conspired together to deflect the other lender. The ש"ך in חו"מ סימן פּו ס"ק י"א disagrees with the reasoning of the רמב"ם  but agrees that you can’t be מוחל (like the שו"ע). He explains that in a case where the borrower owes money to someone else, שעבודא דרב נתן makes it as if it isn’t the lender’s loan anymore, in which case it is obvious he cannot be מוחל. This is in contrast to someone who sells a loan where he can be מוחל it even after he sells it since מדאורייתא the sale is not effective.

3.     The גמרא says that you cant keep a ספר תורה around more than thirty days if it has mistakes. רש"י says this refers to תנ"ך. The רא"ש says that this is לאו דוקה and it would apply to all ספרים including גמראs. The נו"ב in קמא או"ח סימן ט seems to indicate that you literally can’t keep the ס"ת around lest people think it is כשר. If that is the case how are we allowed to keep פּסול ספרי תורה in the ארון? The בנין ציון in סימן צ"ז disagrees and says the issue is that it’s an עולה to read the words with mistakes so you should therefore go fix them and not leave it unfixed. However, if you cant fix them for whatever reason then there is no עולה. Furthermore if you won’t read them because you put a gartel around the ספר and know not to read it (as is our practice) then it is as if it was נגנז and it is certainly ok to keep around.  

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