איבעיא להו שיטה ומחצה מאי תא שמע הרחיק את העדים שני שיטין פסול הא שיטה ומחצה כשר
A dilemma was raised before the Sages: If the space of a line and a half is left blank, what is the halakha? The Gemara seeks a solution to the dilemma. Come and hear what was stated in the baraita cited earlier: If one writing a document distanced the witnesses’ signatures two lines from the text of the document, leaving two lines blank, the document is not valid. One can infer: But if there is a gap of only a line and a half, the document is valid.
אימא סיפא שיטה אחת כשר שיטה אחת הוא דכשר הא שיטה ומחצה פסול אלא מהא ליכא למשמע מינה
The Gemara deflects this proof: Say the last clause of the baraita: If one writing a document distanced the witnesses’ signatures one line from the text of the document, the document is valid. One can infer: It is only when there is a gap of one line that the document is valid, but if there is a gap of a line and a half it is not valid. The Gemara states: Rather, no inference is to be learned from this baraita.
מאי הוי עלה ת"ש דתניא הרחיק את העדים שני שיטין מן הכתב פסול פחות מכאן כשר
What halakhic conclusion was reached about this matter? Come and hear a proof from a different source, as it is taught in a baraita (Tosefta 11:10): If one writing a document distanced the witnesses’ signatures two lines from the text of the document, the document is not valid, but if the gap is less than that, it is valid. It is clear from the baraita that any gap less than two full lines does not invalidate the document.
היו ארבעה וחמשה עדים חתומין על השטר ונמצא אחד מהן קרוב או פסול תתקיים עדות בשאר
The baraita continues: If there were four or five witnesses signed on the document, and one of them was found to be a relative of one of the parties in the document, or one of them was found to be otherwise disqualified from bearing witness, the testimony on the document may be established via the other witnesses.
מסייע ליה לחזקיה דאמר חזקיה מלאהו בקרובים כשר
The Gemara draws a further conclusion from this baraita: This supports the opinion of Ḥizkiyya, as Ḥizkiyya says: If one filled in the gap between the document and the signatures with signatures of relatives, the document is valid.
ואל תתמה שהרי אויר סוכה פוסל בשלשה סכך פסול פוסל בארבעה
Ḥizkiyya continued: And do not be surprised by this, as a similar situation is found with regard to the roofing of a sukka. Empty space in the roofing of a sukka disqualifies the sukka if the space extends for three handbreadths, whereas materials that are unfit to be used as roofing disqualify the sukka only if the unfit material extends for four handbreadths. If a sukka had a gap in its roofing of three handbreadths it is disqualified, but if the gap is filled in with unfit material the sukka is valid, since it is less than four handbreadths. This is comparable to the situation with a document: If there is a significant gap between the text and the signatures the document is not valid, but if the gap is filled in with signatures of those disqualified from bearing witness it is valid.
איבעיא להו שני שיטין שאמרו
§ A dilemma was raised before the Sages: With regard to the gap of two blank lines between the text and the signatures, which the Sages said invalidates the document,