The tannaim disagree only with regard to the issue of whether the woman must still have in her possession a perutah of the money given to her as a loan. The first tanna holds that it need not be in her possession whereas R. Meir holds that it must be. But all tannaim would seem to hold that if she has a perutah of the loan in her possession and the husband forgives the loan, she is betrothed. This is a difficulty against Rav.
Rava says this baraita is corrupt and should not be used as a difficulty against Rav. The baraita does not explain what the case of the deposit is. If she guaranteed the deposit, then it is essentially the same as a loan. She must pay it back if it was stolen or lost, the same as is true for a loan. But if she did not guarantee the deposit, then instead of making a distinction in the second clause between a deposit and a loan, the baraita should have distinguished between a guaranteed deposit and a non-guaranteed deposit. This would have presented a more precise teaching. Therefore, this baraita is corrupt and should not be used as a difficulty. Note that this is a common strategy to resolve difficulties against amoraim.
Having stated that the baraita is corrupt, Rava now can emend the first clause. Rather than saying “even if a perutah’s worth of it is not left, she is betrothed” it should read “even if a perutah's worth is left, she is not betrothed.” According to this understanding of this tannaitic opinion, betrothal cannot be done with a loan, just as Rav said. R. Meir would hold that it can be performed with a loan, but this is not a problem for Rav for he has a tanna with which to agree.
In yesterday’s baraita, R. Meir and the tanna kamma disagreed over whether a woman can be betrothed with a loan that a man had given her and that was still in her hands. The tanna kamma ruled that she may not and R. Meir ruled that as long as she still has some of the loan in her hands, she may be betrothed with it.
The rabbis at the academy say that the debate is over whether a loan that has not yet begun to be spent belongs to the creditor or the debtor. There are two ramifications to this: 1) whether the creditor can retract the loan; 2) If an unpreventable accident happens, who is responsible. According to the first opinion, the loan belongs to the debtor, and therefore, the man who loaned the money to the woman cannot use it for betrothal. It is already hers, so he would not be giving her anything. According to R. Meir, the loan still belongs to the creditor and therefore he can use it for betrothal.
Rabbah makes a small adjustment in what the other rabbis say. Everyone agrees that once the money is taken, the borrower is responsible for all accidents, even unpreventable ones. They argue only about whether the creditor can retract.
Note that this is still a viable interpretation of the dispute between the tanna kamma (one cannot betroth with a loan) and R. Meir (if the money is still in her possession, one can).
R. Huna seems to say that a borrower does not acquire the loaned object until he uses it. This seems to be R. Meir’s opinion.
The Talmud now distinguishes between lending money and lending objects. When it comes to lending money, the tannaim disagree whether it remains in the possession of the owner until the debtor has used it. But when it comes to objects, all agree that until the borrower uses it, it is still in the possession of the lender.
The Talmud continues to discuss Rav’s statement that a loan may not be used for betrothal.
There are two cases in the baraita: 1) a man tries to betroth a woman by giving her a debt document; 2) he betroths her by transferring a loan that others owe him to her. The debt document must be money she owes him, otherwise the two cases are the same. Thus we have a tannaitic dispute over whether a man can betroth a woman by forgiving her debt.
The Talmud resolves that neither case refers to a debt the woman owes him. Rather, case 1 is a loan contracted by document, and case 2 is a loan contracted verbally.
There are now two topics in the baraita—written and verbal debts. The Talmud will first explore the issue of written debts. Why would the sages hold that she is not betrothed when he gives her a debt document, concerning a debt others owe him? The Talmud explains that these sages agree with the rabbis who dispute Rabbi in a baraita about transferring a debt document. Rabbi says that all one must do is simply transfer the debt document. R. Meir would thus agree that one can betroth a woman by simply transferring a debt document to her. The other sages do not agree with Rabbi—and therefore simply giving her a debt document is not sufficient.
Perhaps no one agrees with Rabbi that one may transfer a debt document simply by handing it over. The question is what does he have to write in order to transfer it? The tanna kamma of the baraita agrees with R. Papa that he must write “acquire it together with all of its obligations” whereas R. Meir would hold that he need not write this formula.
Shmuel rules that the original creditor can forgive the loan, even after he has transferred the debt. [This rule would seem to make debt transfer impossible, or at least highly risky, and therefore it seems unlikely that any economy could actually abide by this rule.] According to Shmuel’s rule, the one receiving the debt document does not really possess it, because it could always be forgiven. Therefore, the tanna kamma holds, that one may not betroth in this way. R. Meir disagrees with Shmuel and therefore allows one to betroth through transfer of debt.