בִּשְׁלָמָא בֵּי דִינָא אַלִּימֵי לְאַפְקוֹעֵי מָמוֹנָא אֶלָּא עֵדִים שֶׁעָשׂוּ שְׁלִיחוּתָן חוֹזְרִין וְעוֹשִׂין שְׁלִיחוּתָן Granted, a court can write a new document, because the court has the power to confiscate money. A creditor has the right to seize any property that the debtor had owned on the day the promissory note was written, even if that property was subsequently sold to others; the earlier the date on the note, the more properties it applies to. By dating the new document on the date of the original document the creditor is once again given the right to seize properties from those who had purchased land from the debtor in between the date of the original loan and the date the new promissory note is actually written. The court has such confiscatory power. But with regard to witnesses, who already performed their agency, i.e., fulfilled their assigned role, the first time they wrote the promissory note, can they return and perform their agency again by writing a second promissory note?
וְלָא וְהָא אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר רַב עֵדִים כּוֹתְבִין אֲפִילּוּ עֲשָׂרָה שְׁטָרוֹת עַל שָׂדֶה אַחַת The Gemara asks: And is it so that witnesses are not empowered to do so? But doesn’t Rav Yehuda say that Rav says: Witnesses who were commissioned to write a deed for the transfer of property may write even ten deeds for one field? If the original deed is lost or destroyed, the witnesses may write a replacement deed for the purchaser, even if the deed is lost many times.
רַב יוֹסֵף אָמַר בִּשְׁטַר מַתָּנָה Rav Yosef says an answer to this question: Rav Yehuda’s statement was concerning a deed of gift, not a bill of sale. A gift of land has no guarantee; if it is repossessed from the recipient by the giver’s creditor to repay the giver’s debt, the recipient has no recourse and cannot collect any money from anyone. Therefore, in this case no one is jeopardized by the writing of many replacement deeds, which are intended only to serve as a proof that the recipient is actually entitled to the land.
וְרַבָּה אָמַר בִּשְׁטָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ אַחְרָיוּת And Rabba says: It is possible to say that Rav Yehuda’s statement applied even with regard to a bill of sale that does not have a guarantee in it. In that case as well, there is no potential loss to any purchasers of land. By contrast, in the case of a promissory note, which can be used to repossess property from those who have purchased land from the debtor, witnesses do not have the authority to predate a document and thereby subject more purchasers to possible land seizures due to the predating of the document.
מַאי בָּרַיְיתָא דְּתַנְיָא הֲרֵי שֶׁהָיוּ נוֹשִׁין בּוֹ אֶלֶף זוּז וּפָרַע מֵהֶן חֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת זוּז עֵדִים מְקָרְעִין אֶת הַשְּׁטָר וְכוֹתְבִין לוֹ שְׁטָר אַחֵר מִזְּמַן רִאשׁוֹן דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי יְהוּדָה רַבִּי יוֹסֵי אוֹמֵר שְׁטָר זֶה יְהֵא מוּנָּח בִּמְקוֹמוֹ וְיִכְתְּבוּ שׁוֹבָר The Gemara cited an excerpt from a baraita earlier. It now cites it in full: What is the full text of the baraita? As it is taught: If one thousand dinars are owed by a debtor, and the debt is recorded in a promissory note, and the debtor repaid five hundred dinars out of the total, the witnesses tear the original promissory note and write another promissory note for him, dated from the time of the first note. This is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. Rabbi Yosei says: This original promissory note shall remain in its place, in the custody of the creditor, and witnesses write a receipt for the five hundred dinars that were repaid. This receipt is given to the debtor to protect himself against a possible attempt by the creditor to use the promissory note to collect the entire one thousand dinars.
וּמִפְּנֵי שְׁנֵי דְבָרִים אָמְרוּ כּוֹתְבִין שׁוֹבָר אַחַת כְּדֵי שֶׁיָּכוֹף לְפוֹרְעוֹ וְאַחַת כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּגְבֶּה מִזְּמַן רִאשׁוֹן Rabbi Yosei continues: And there are two reasons why the Sages said that they write a receipt, as opposed to writing a new promissory note: One reason is so that the creditor can coerce the debtor to repay him, i.e., the psychological pressure for the debtor of knowing that the creditor has a promissory note with a larger amount listed than what he owes him will induce the debtor to repay the remainder promptly. And the other one is so that he, the creditor, should be able to collect liened property from the first date, that of the original document.
וְהָא רַבִּי יְהוּדָה נָמֵי מִזְּמַן רִאשׁוֹן קָאָמַר הָכִי קָאָמַר לֵיהּ רַבִּי יוֹסֵי לְרַבִּי יְהוּדָה אִי מִזְּמַן רִאשׁוֹן קָאָמְרַתְּ פְּלִיגְנָא עֲלָךְ בַּחֲדָא אִי מִזְּמַן שֵׁנִי קָאָמְרַתְּ פְּלִיגְנָא עֲלָךְ בְּתַרְתֵּי The Gemara asks with regard to Rabbi Yosei’s second reason: But doesn’t Rabbi Yehuda also say that the new document must be dated from the time of the first document? The Gemara answers: Rabbi Yosei did not hear a full explanation of Rabbi Yehuda’s opinion; he heard only that Rabbi Yehuda prescribed writing a new promissory note recording the new balance. And this is what Rabbi Yosei is saying to Rabbi Yehuda: If you mean to say that the new promissory note is dated from the time of the first document, I disagree with you on one count, as I hold a receipt should be written to pressure the debtor. If you mean to say that the second promissory note is dated from the second date, i.e., from when the second promissory note was written, I disagree with you on two counts.
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן שְׁטַר שֶׁזְּמַנּוֹ כָּתוּב בְּשַׁבָּת אוֹ בַּעֲשָׂרָה בְּתִשְׁרִי שְׁטָר מְאוּחָר הוּא וְכָשֵׁר דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי יְהוּדָה רַבִּי יוֹסֵי פּוֹסֵל אָמַר לוֹ רַבִּי יְהוּדָה וַהֲלֹא מַעֲשֶׂה בָּא לְפָנֶיךָ בְּצִפּוֹרִי וְהִכְשַׁרְתָּ אָמַר לוֹ כְּשֶׁהִכְשַׁרְתִּי בָּזֶה הִכְשַׁרְתִּי § The Gemara discusses a related halakha. The Sages taught in a baraita (Tosefta, Makkot 1:3): If there is a promissory note whose date is written as a Shabbat or as the tenth of Tishrei, i.e., Yom Kippur, it is assumed to be a postdated promissory note, as writing is forbidden on Shabbat and Yom Kippur, and it is therefore valid. This is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. Rabbi Yosei deems the promissory note invalid. Rabbi Yehuda said to Rabbi Yosei: But didn’t such an incident come before you in Tzippori, and you yourself deemed the promissory note valid? Rabbi Yosei said to him: When I deemed the promissory note valid, it was in a case like this, where the date was a Shabbat or Yom Kippur, that I deemed it valid.
וְהָא רַבִּי יְהוּדָה נָמֵי בָּזֶה קָאָמַר The Gemara is puzzled by Rabbi Yosei’s response at the end of the baraita: But Rabbi Yehuda was also speaking in a case like this, where the date was a Shabbat or Yom Kippur, and yet Rabbi Yosei’s opinion was that the promissory note is invalid.
אָמַר רַבִּי פְּדָת הַכֹּל מוֹדִים שֶׁאִם הוּזְקַקְנוּ לְעוֹנָתוֹ שֶׁל שְׁטָר וְנִמְצֵאת עוֹנָתוֹ מְכֻוֶּונֶת בְּשַׁבָּת אוֹ בַּעֲשָׂרָה בְּתִשְׁרִי שֶׁשְּׁטָר מְאוּחָר הוּא וְכָשֵׁר Rabbi Pedat says: All parties to this dispute agree that if we engaged in an investigation of the date of the document, and its date was found to be exactly on Shabbat or on the tenth of Tishrei, that it is self-evident that it is a postdated promissory note and is valid.