תיזיל ותיחלה לכתובתה דאמה לגבי אבוה ותירתה מיניה שמעה אזלה אחילתה
that she should go and forgive her mother’s marriage contract for her father, and she will subsequently inherit the sum of the marriage contract from him? The marriage contract is a document of the debt owed by her father to her mother. The daughter, who has inherited the document from her mother, can forgo her father’s obligation, so rendering nugatory the right of the purchasers. The father then retains the amount owed to the purchasers of the marriage contract, and his daughter will inherit that amount when he dies. The daughter heard this, and went and forgave her father’s obligation in the marriage contract, as recommended by Rav Naḥman.
אמר רב נחמן עשינו עצמינו כעורכי הדיינין מעיקרא מאי סבר ולבסוף מאי סבר מעיקרא סבר (ישעיהו נח, ז) ומבשרך לא תתעלם ולבסוף סבר אדם חשוב שאני:
Rav Naḥman later said in regret: We have made ourselves like advisors of judges. We have acted like lawyers who give practical advice to litigants rather than like independent judges. The Gemara asks: At the outset, what did he hold when he intended the daughter to hear his advice, and ultimately, what did he hold that made him regret his action? The Gemara explains: At the outset, he held that the verse teaches: “And you should not hide yourself from your own flesh” (Isaiah 58:7), and therefore it is correct to give help and advice to relatives. And ultimately he held that in the case of an important person who must be very careful to avoid any impression of having favored his family in judgment, the situation is different.
גופא אמר שמואל המוכר שטר חוב לחבירו וחזר ומחלו מחול ואפי' יורש מוחל אמר רב הונא בריה דרב יהושע ואי פקח הוא מקרקש ליה זוזי וכתב ליה שטרא בשמיה:
Since the Gemara had previously mentioned a halakha stated by Shmuel, it turns its attention to the matter itself. Shmuel said: With regard to one who sells a promissory note to another, and the seller went back and forgave the debtor his debt, it is forgiven, since the debtor essentially had a non-transferable obligation to the creditor alone, and even the creditor’s heir can forgive the debt. Rav Huna, son of Rav Yehoshua, said: And if the purchaser of the document is perspicacious, and is wary of such a ploy, he should jangle [mekarkesh] dinars in the debtor’s ears, i.e., he should pay the debtor or promise him money, and the debtor will write for him a new promissory note in the purchaser’s name, thereby preventing the latter from losing out.
אמר אמימר מאן דדאין דינא דגרמי מגבי ביה דמי שטרא מעליא מאן דלא דאין דינא דגרמי מגבי ביה דמי ניירא בעלמא
Ameimar said: One who judges cases of liability for indirect damage and maintains that someone whose actions cause damage is obligated to pay, even if he has not directly harmed another, collects in this case the value of the proper document. Since by forgiving the loan the creditor voided the document and caused the purchaser financial loss, he must compensate the purchaser for the amount recorded in the document. One who does not judge cases of liability for indirect damage collects in this case only the value of the paper on which the document was written.
הוה עובדא וכפייה רפרם לרב אשי ואגבי ביה כי כשורא לצלמי:
The Gemara relates that there was an incident like this one, and Rafram pressured Rav Ashi by means of verbal persuasion to render an unequivocal ruling in this matter, and Rav Ashi collected in this case as if he damaged a beam used for crafting a sculpture, i.e., the full value of the debt listed in the promissory note.
אמר אמימר משמיה דרב חמא האי מאן דאיכא עליה כתובת אשה ובע"ח ואית ליה ארעא ואית ליה זוזי לבעל חוב מסלקינן ליה בזוזי לאשה מסלקינן לה בארעא האי כי דיניה והאי כי דיניה
Ameimar said in the name of Rav Ḥama: With regard to one who has incumbent upon himself the obligation of his wife’s marriage contract and also owes money to a creditor, and he possesses land and possesses money, the obligation to the creditor is settled with the payment of money, whereas the debt to the woman of her marriage contract is settled with the payment of land, this one in accordance with his law, and that one in accordance with her law. Since the creditor gave him money, it is fitting that he should receive ready cash in return. The woman, in contrast, did not give him anything but relied upon the lien on his land, so she is therefore given land.
ואי לא איכא אלא חד ארעא ולא חזיא אלא לחד לבעל חוב יהבינן ליה לאשה לא יהבינן לה מאי טעמא יותר ממה שהאיש רוצה לישא אשה רוצה להנשא
And if there is only one plot of land, and it is adequate for the payment of only one debt, we give it to the creditor, and we do not give it to the woman. What is the reason for this? Even more than a man wants to marry, a woman wants to be married. Women do not get married because they wish to receive their marriage contract. It is better to give preference to the creditor so that he will not lose out, so as not to discourage people from lending money.
אמר ליה רב פפא לרב חמא ודאי דאמריתו משמיה דרבא האי מאן דמסקי ביה זוזי ואית ליה ארעא ואתא בעל חוב וקא תבע מיניה ואמר ליה זיל שקול מארעא אמרינן ליה זיל זבין את ואייתי הב ליה א"ל לא
Rav Pappa said to Rav Ḥama: Is it correct that you say in the name of Rava: With regard to one who owes money and has land, and the creditor comes and demands from him his money, and the debtor says to him: Go and take the amount you are owed from the land, we say to him: Go and sell the land yourself and give him money? Rav Ḥama said to him: I did not say this in the name of Rava.
אימא לי גופא דעובדא היכי הוה א"ל תולה מעותיו בעובד כוכבים הוה הוא עשה שלא כהוגן לפיכך עשו בו שלא כהוגן
Rav Pappa replied: Tell me the incident itself, what happened and what exactly occurred that caused this opinion to be attributed to Rava. Rav Ḥama said to him: The debtor was one who attached his money to a gentile. He possessed money, but he claimed that this money belonged to a gentile and therefore could not be demanded from him. This man acted improperly, and consequently, the Sages acted improperly with him by forcing him to sell the land.
א"ל רב כהנא לרב פפא לדידך דאמרת פריעת בעל חוב מצוה אמר לא ניחא לי דאיעביד מצוה מאי א"ל תנינא במה דברים אמורים במצות לא תעשה אבל במצות עשה כגון שאומרין לו עשה סוכה ואינו עושה לולב ואינו עושה
Rav Kahana said to Rav Pappa: According to your opinion, that you say the repayment of a creditor is a mitzva, if the debtor said: It is not amenable to me to perform a mitzva, what would be the halakha? If there is no obligation to repay a loan other than to perform a mitzva, then what happens if someone is not interested in performing the mitzva? He said to him: We already learned this halakha in a baraita: In what case is this statement said, that one is liable to receive forty lashes for committing a transgression? It is said with regard to negative mitzvot. However, with regard to positive mitzvot, for example, if the court says to someone: Perform the mitzva of the sukka, and he does not do so, or: Perform the mitzva of the palm branch, and he does not do so,