לא קנה תפסוה אינהו רב פפא מימלח מלוחי רב הונא בריה דרב יהושע ממתח לה באשלא מר אמר אנא קנינא לה לכולה ומר אמר אנא קנינא לה לכולה
has not acquired it. He cannot act to the detriment of others without their consent, and his acquisition harms the other creditors. Those Sages were also owed money by that same man, so they both seized the boat for himself. Rav Pappa steered it with an oar, while Rav Huna, son of Rav Yehoshua, pulled it with a rope. This Sage said: I acquired all of it; and that Sage said: I acquired all of it.
פגע בהו רב פנחס בר אמי אמר להו רב ושמואל דאמרי תרוייהו והוא שצבורין ומונחין ברה"ר אמר להו אנן נמי מחריפותא דנהרא תפיסנא
Rav Pineḥas bar Ami encountered them and said to them: What of the opinion of Rav and Shmuel, who both say: And this, that whoever first takes possession has acquired them, is the halakha provided that the items are arranged in a pile and placed in the public domain, which is not the case with this boat? They said to him: We too seized it from the current of the river, i.e., the middle of the river, which has the status of a public domain.
אתו לקמיה דרבא אמר להו קאקי חיורי משלחי גלימי דאינשי הכי אמר רב נחמן והוא שתפסה מחיים
They came before Rava to ask him who had acquired the boat. He said to them: You are white geese [kakei ḥivvarei], in reference to their white beards, who remove people’s cloaks, i.e., your actions were unlawful from the start. This is what Rav Naḥman said: And this, that whoever takes possession has acquired them, is the halakha provided that one seized them from the debtor while he was alive. In this case, however, the boat was seized after the debtor’s death, when the heirs had already taken possession of it.
אבימי בריה דרבי אבהו הוו מסקי ביה זוזי בי חוזאי שדרינהו ביד חמא בריה דרבה בר אבהו אזל פרעינהו אמר להו הבו לי שטרא אמרו ליה סיטראי נינהו
The Gemara relates another incident: Avimi, son of Rabbi Abbahu, owed money to people from Bei Ḥozai.He sent the money in the possession of Ḥama, son of Rabba bar Abbahu, who went and paid the money that Avimi, son of Rabbi Abbahu, owed, and he then said to the people from Bei Ḥozai: Give me back the document that shows that the person who sent me owes you money. They said to him: The money that you paid us was for side debts, i.e., money from a different debt, which was not written in a document. We accepted the money from you as payment of that debt. We will therefore not return the document to you, as he has yet to pay off the debt listed in the document.
אתא לקמיה דרבי אבהו א"ל אית לך סהדי דפרעתינהו אמר ליה לא אמר ליה מיגו דיכולין לומר לא היו דברים מעולם יכולין נמי למימר סיטראי נינהו
This case came before Rabbi Abbahu. He said to Ḥama, son of Rabba bar Abbahu: Do you have witnesses that you paid them? He said to him: No. Rabbi Abbahu said to him: He could have made a more advantageous claim [miggo]. Since they can say: These matters never occurred, i.e., you never paid them anything, they can also say: These are side debts. Therefore, you cannot demand from them either the money or the document.
לענין שלומי שליח מאי אמר רב אשי חזינן אי א"ל שקול שטרא והב זוזי משלם הב זוזי ושקול שטרא לא משלם
The Gemara asks: With regard to the payment of the agent, what is the halakha? Must the agent reimburse the one who appointed him for his loss? Rav Ashi said: We see that if the one who appointed him said to him: Take the document from them and give them money, then the agent disobeyed his instructions by first paying the money and must pay back the one who appointed him. If, however, the one who appointed him said to the agent: Give the money and take the document, he does not pay, as the one who appointed him was not particular about instructing the agent to take the document before giving them money.
ולא היא בין כך ובין כך משלם דא"ל לתקוני שדרתיך ולא לעוותי:
The Gemara comments: And this is not so; Rav Ashi’s ruling is not accepted as halakha. Whether the instructions were given in this manner or whether the instructions were given in that manner, the agent must pay, as the one who appointed him can say to him: I sent you to act for my benefit, and not to my detriment. His right to act as an agent did not extend to a case where it was to the detriment of the one who designated him.
ההיא איתתא דהוו מיפקדי גבה מלוגא דשטרי אתו יורשים קא תבעי ליה מינה אמרה להו מחיים תפיסנא להו אתאי לקמי' דרב נחמן אמר לה אית ליך סהדי דתבעוה מיניך מחיים ולא יהבית ניהליה א"ל לא א"כ הוי תפיסה דלאחר מיתה ותפיסה דלאחר מיתה לא כלום היא
The Gemara relates another incident: There was a certain woman who had a bag [meloga] full of documents deposited with her. The heirs came and claimed it from her. She said to them: I seized the bag of documents from the deceased while he was alive, as he owed me money. They came before Rav Naḥman for judgment. He said to her: Do you have witnesses that the deceased claimed the bag from you while he was alive and you did not give it to him? She said to him: No, I do not have witnesses to this effect. He replied: If so, this is considered a case of seizing property after death, and seizing after death is nothing. As stated earlier, seizing property to recover a debt is effective only when done during the lifetime of the debtor. It is ineffective once he is dead and others have inherited his property.
ההיא איתתא דאיחייבא שבועה בי דינא דרבא אמרה ליה בת רב חסדא ידענא בה דחשודה אשבועה אפכה רבא לשבועה אשכנגדה
The Gemara relates another incident: There was a certain woman who was obligated to take an oath in order to avoid payment in Rava’s court. The daughter of Rav Ḥisda said to Rava, her husband: I know that she is suspect with regard to taking a false oath. Rava reversed the obligation of the oath so that it fell onto the other party, who now had the option of taking an oath that the woman owes him money and collecting his debt. This is how to act when the court does not trust the one who is obligated to take an oath.
זימנין הוו יתבי קמיה רב פפא ורב אדא בר מתנא אייתו ההוא שטרא גביה א"ל רב פפא ידענא ביה דשטרא פריעא הוא א"ל איכא איניש אחרינא בהדי' דמר א"ל לא א"ל אע"ג דאיכא מר עד אחד לאו כלום הוא
The Gemara continues: On another occasion, Rav Pappa and Rav Adda bar Mattana were sitting before Rava. A certain document was brought before Rava to be examined in court. Rav Pappa said to Rava: I know about this document, that it records a debt that has already been paid. Rava said to him: Is there another person who can testify with the Master about the document? He said to him: No, I am the only one who knows. Rava said to him: Although there is the Master here who attests that the document has been paid, one witness is nothing.
א"ל רב אדא בר מתנא ולא יהא רב פפא כבת רב חסדא בת רב חסדא קים לי בגווה מר לא קים לי בגוויה
Rav Adda bar Mattana said to Rava: And should Rav Pappa not be trusted like Rav Ḥisda’s daughter, who as a woman is disqualified from testimony? Rava replied: I relied on Rav Ḥisda’s daughter because I know with certainty about her that she is always truthful. However, I cannot rely on the Master because I do not know with the same degree of certainty about him that he is always truthful, and I cannot rule on the basis of one witness unless I have complete certainty.
אמר רב פפא השתא דאמר מר קים לי בגוויה מילתא היא כגון אבא מר ברי דקים לי בגוויה קרענא שטרא אפומיה
Rav Pappa said: Now that the Master, Rava, has said that the claim: I know with certainty about him, is a significant matter, i.e., a claim that can be used in court, if a judge knows that someone is telling the truth, although under normal circumstances his testimony would be inadmissible, in this case it does have a certain legal validity. For example, if Abba Mar, my son, about whom I know with certainty always tells the truth, claims that a document that records a debt has already been paid, then I can tear the document on the basis of his word.
קרענא ס"ד אלא מרענא שטרא אפומיה
The Gemara asks: How can it enter your mind that the court can tear a document based on the word of a single witness? Rather, the statement should be that I can weaken the document on the basis of his word, by not allowing it to be used for claiming payment without further proof.
ההיא איתתא דאיחייבא שבועה בי דינא דרב ביבי בר אביי אמר להו ההוא בע"ד תיתי ותישתבע במתא אפשר דמיכספא ומודיא אמרה להו כתבו לי זכוותא דכי משתבענא יהבי לי אמר להו רב ביבי בר אביי כתבו לה
The Gemara relates another incident: There was a certain woman who was obligated to take an oath in Rav Beivai bar Abaye’s court. The opposing litigant said to the judges: Let her come and take an oath in the town. It is possible that she will be ashamed of her lies and will admit that she is liable. She said to the judges: Write a document of rights for me, so that when I take the oath they will give it to me, and I will then be willing to take an oath in the town. Rav Beivai bar Abaye said to them: Write the document for her.
אמר רב פפי משום דאתיתו ממולאי אמריתו מילי מוליתא
Rav Pappi said: Is it because you come from unfortunate peo-ple [de’atitu mimmula’ei] that you say unfortunate things? Rav Beivai was from the house of Eli, whose descendants were sentenced to die at a young age.
הא אמר רבא האי אשרתא דדייני דמיכתבא מקמי דנחוו סהדי אחתימות ידייהו פסולה אלמא מיחזי כשיקרא ה"נ מיחזי כשיקרא
Rav Pappi said that Rav Beivai bar Abaye was wrong to say what he said because of a statement of Rava. Didn’t Rava say: This ratification of judges, which was written on a document before the witnesses had seen and testified about their signature, is invalid, although the witnesses later attested that it was their signatures? Apparently, it has the appearance of falsehood because they affirmed the validity of a document before hearing the testimony. Here too, if the judges wrote a document of rights before the woman took her oath, the document would have the appearance of falsehood, and the court should not write a document of rights for her before she takes an oath.
וליתא מדרב נחמן דאמר רב נחמן אומר היה ר"מ אפי' מצאו באשפה וחתמו ונתנו לה כשר ואפי' רבנן לא פליגי עליה דר' מאיר אלא בגיטי נשים דבעינן כתיבה לשמה אבל בשאר שטרות מודו ליה
The Gemara comments: And this halakha of Rava’s is not accepted because of a statement of Rav Naḥman, as Rav Naḥman said: Rabbi Meir would say: Even if the husband found a bill of divorce with names identical to those of his and his wife’s, in the garbage, and he had it signed by witnesses and gave it to his wife, it is valid. Rav Naḥman adds: And the Rabbis do not disagree with Rabbi Meir, except in the case of bills of divorce of women, since the Rabbis hold that the writing of the bill of divorce needs to be done for the sake of the woman getting divorced. But for all other documents, they concede to him that it makes no difference when the document was written.
דאמר רב אסי אמר ר' יוחנן שטר שלוה בו ופרעו אינו חוזר ולוה בו שכבר נמחל שיעבודו טעמא דנמחל שיעבודו אבל למיחזי
The proof of this is that Rav Asi said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: With regard to a document that one borrowed money based on it and then repaid the debt, he may not borrow money again based on it. This is because its lien has already been forgiven. Once the debt has been repaid, the lien resulting from the loan is no longer in force. The witnesses did not sign the document at the time of the second loan, so the lien will not be in effect, and the loan will have the status of one by oral agreement. The Gemara infers: The reason that he cannot reuse the document is because its lien has been forgiven, so that the document is no longer accurate; but as for the fact that it has the appearance