וּמְשַׁוֵּי לְהוּ זוּזִי מַאי אָמְרַתְּ שֵׁית מְאָה אִיסְתֵּירֵי וְזוּזָא שֵׁית מְאָה זוּזֵי וְחַד זוּזָא יַד בַּעַל הַשְּׁטָר עַל הַתַּחְתּוֹנָה and change them into a smaller number of dinars. Therefore, what can you say? The highest and lowest remaining possibilities are: Six hundred istira and a dinar, and six hundred dinars and one more dinar. The guiding principle is that the holder of the document is at a disadvantage, and the lesser of these two values is assumed.
אָמַר אַבָּיֵי הַאי מַאן דְּבָעֵי לְמַחְוֵי חֲתִימוּת יְדֵיהּ בְּבֵי דִינָא לָא לַחְוֵי בְּסוֹף מְגִילְּתָא דִּלְמָא מַשְׁכַּח לַהּ אַחֵר וְכָתֵיב דְּמַסֵּיק בֵּיהּ זוּזִי וּתְנַן הוֹצִיא עָלָיו כְּתַב יָדוֹ שֶׁהוּא חַיָּיב לוֹ גּוֹבֶה מִנְּכָסִים בְּנֵי חוֹרִין § Abaye said: With regard to this one who needs to show his signature in court for the purpose of corroborating his signature on a document, he should not show it by writing it at the end of the parchment, lest another, unscrupulous, person find the parchment and write above the signature that the signatory owes him money. And such a document would be valid, as we learned in a mishna (175b): If one presents to a debtor a document in the handwriting of the debtor stating that he owes money to him, but without witnesses signed on the document, the creditor can collect only from unsold property, i.e., property that is currently in the possession of the debtor.
הָהוּא בַּזְבָּינָא דַּאֲתָא לְקַמֵּיהּ דְּאַבָּיֵי אֲמַר לֵיהּ נַיחְזֵי לִי מָר חֲתִימוּת יְדֵיהּ דְּכִי אָתוּ רַבָּנַן מַחְווּ לִי מְעַבַּרְנָא לְהוּ בְּלָא מִכְסָא אַחְוִי לֵיהּ בְּרֵישׁ מְגִילְּתָא הֲוָה קָא נָגֵיד בֵּיהּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ כְּבָר קַדְמוּךָ רַבָּנַן The Gemara relates: There was a certain Jewish tax collector who came before Abaye and said to him: Let the Master show me his signature on a piece of paper to keep in my records, as when rabbis come to me and show me a note with your signature on it, attesting to the fact that they are Torah scholars, I let them pass without paying the tax. Abaye showed him his signature at the top of the parchment, though the unscrupulous tax collector kept pulling the parchment away from Abaye so that the signature would be at the bottom. Abaye noticed this and said to him: The Sages have already anticipated people such as you and advised that one should never write his signature at the bottom of a paper.
אָמַר אַבָּיֵי מִתְּלָת וְעַד עֲשַׂר לָא לִכְתּוֹב בְּסוֹף שִׁיטָה דִּלְמָא מְזַיֵּיף וְכָתֵב וְאִי אִיתְרְמִי לֵיהּ נַיהְדְּרֵיהּ לְדִבּוּרֵיהּ תְּרֵין תְּלָתָא זִימְנֵי אִי אֶפְשָׁר דְּלָא מִיתְרְמֵי לֵיהּ בְּאֶמְצַע שִׁיטָה § Abaye said: When writing a promissory note, one should not write any number from three until ten at the end of a line, lest someone commit forgery and write an extension to the number, since it is at the end of the line. In Hebrew and Aramaic, the words for the numbers three through nine can be changed to thirty through ninety, respectively, by appending to them the suffix in, written with the letters yod and nun. Ten can be changed to twenty in a similar manner. And if by chance it occurs for him that these numbers fall out at the end of a line, he should repeat his words two or three times, stating and restating the agreement in question, as it is impossible that the number will not eventually occur for him in the middle of a line. When there is a contradiction, it is the final mention of the amount that is authoritative, as the mishna teaches.
הָהוּא דַּהֲוָה כְּתִיב בֵּיהּ תִּילְתָּא בְּפַרְדֵּיסָא אֲזַל מַחְקֵיהּ לְגַגֵּיהּ דְּבֵית וְכַרְעֵיהּ וְשַׁוְּיֵהּ וּפַרְדֵּיסָא אֲתָא לְקַמֵּיהּ דְּאַבָּיֵי אֲמַר לֵיהּ מַאי טַעְמָא רְוִיחַ לֵיהּ עָלְמָא לְהַאי וָיו כַּפְתֵיהּ וְאוֹדִי The Gemara relates: There was a certain bill of sale in which it was written that the item sold was: In my garden, one-third of the orchard. The purchaser went and erased the roof and the foot of the beit of the term: Of the orchard [befardeisa], and thereby changed the prefix beit into a vav, yielding: In my garden one-third, and the orchard [ufardeisa], indicating that the sale included one-third of the garden in addition to all of the orchard. The document came before Abaye, who said to the purchaser: What is the reason that there is so much space around this vav? Since the letter vav is narrower than the letter beit, a larger space between letters emerged as compared to the spacing of letters in the rest of the document. Abaye bound the purchaser, i.e., he subjected him to physical coercion, and he admitted to the forgery.
הָהוּא דַּהֲוָה כְּתִב בֵּיהּ מְנָת רְאוּבֵן וְשִׁמְעוֹן אַחֵי הֲוָה לְהוּ אַחָא דִּשְׁמֵיהּ אַחַי אֲזַל כְּתַב בֵּיהּ וָיו וְשַׁוְּיֵהּ וְאַחַי אֲתָא לְקַמֵּיהּ דְּאַבָּיֵי אֲמַר לֵיהּ מַאי טַעְמָא דְּחִיק לֵיהּ עָלְמָא לְהַאי וָיו כּוּלֵּי הַאי כַּפְתֵיהּ וְאוֹדִי The Gemara relates: There was a certain bill of sale in which it was written that the item being sold was: The portions of Reuven and Shimon, brothers [aḥei]. Reuven and Shimon happened to have a brother whose name was Aḥai, which, when writing without vowels, is spelled identically to aḥei. The purchaser went and wrote a conjunctive vav in the document before the word aḥei, and changed the wording into: The portions of Reuven and Shimon and Aḥai. The document came before Abaye, who said to the purchaser: What is the reason that it is so crowded around this vav? By inserting the extra vav, a smaller space between letters emerged as compared to the spacing of letters in the rest of the document. Abaye bound the purchaser, i.e., he subjected him to physical coercion, and he admitted the forgery.
הָהוּא שְׁטָרָא דַּהֲוָה חֲתִים עֲלֵיהּ רָבָא וְרַב אַחָא בַּר אַדָּא אֲתָא לְקַמֵּיהּ דְּרָבָא אֲמַר לֵיהּ דֵּין חֲתִימוּת יְדָא דִּידִי הִיא מִיהוּ קַמֵּיהּ דְּרַב אַחָא בַּר אַדָּא לָא חֲתִימִי לִי מֵעוֹלָם כַּפְתֵיהּ וְאוֹדִי אֲמַר לֵיהּ בִּשְׁלָמָא דִּידִי זַיֵּיפְתְּ אֶלָּא דְּרַב אַחָא בַּר אַדָּא דְּרָתֵית יְדֵיהּ הֵיכִי עֲבַדְתְּ אָמַר אַנַּחִי יְדַאי אַמִּצְרָא וְאָמְרִי לַהּ קָם אַזַּרְנוּקָא וּכְתַב: The Gemara relates: There was a certain document upon which the signatures of Rava and Rav Aḥa bar Adda were signed. The one holding the document came before Rava, who said to him: This is my signature, but I never signed any document before Rav Aḥa bar Adda. Rava bound the holder of the document, i.e., he subjected him to physical coercion, and he admitted the forgery. Rava said to him: Granted, you were able to forge my signature, but how did you perform a forgery of Rav Aḥa bar Adda’s signature, since his hands shake and as a result his signature is distinctive? The man said: I placed my hands on the rope of a narrow footbridge [amitzra], and was thereby able to duplicate Rav Aḥa’s signature. And some say that the forgery was accomplished when the forger stood upon a wobbly water skin [azarnuka] and wrote the signature.
מַתְנִי׳ כּוֹתְבִין גֵּט לָאִישׁ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין אִשְׁתּוֹ עִמּוֹ וְהַשּׁוֹבָר לָאִשָּׁה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין בַּעְלָהּ עִמָּהּ וּבִלְבַד שֶׁיְּהֵא מַכִּירָן וְהַבַּעַל נוֹתֵן שָׂכָר MISHNA: A scribe may write a bill of divorce for a man who requests one, even if his wife is not with him to give her consent when he presents his request, as there is no possibility that he will misuse the document. And a scribe may write a receipt for a woman upon her request, attesting to the payment of her marriage contract, even if her husband is not with her to give his consent. This is true provided that the scribe recognizes the parties requesting the document, to prevent misrepresentation. And for both documents, the husband gives the scribe his wages.