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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra
that there must be two, then what of the statement of R. Johanan who said that according to all authorities no objection is valid unless it is raised by two challengers? We suppose therefore that the objection has been raised by two; and here we are dealing with a case where the father of this man is known to have been a priest, but a report has been spread that his mother was a divorced woman1 or a haluzah,2 and we therefore deposed him, and then one witness came and testified that he was a genuine priest and we reinstated him, and then two came and testified that his mother was a divorced woman or a haluzah and we degraded him again, and then one more witness came and testified that he was a genuine priest. Now all authorities agree that the evidence [of the two witnesses who testify to his genuineness] is combined [although they did not testify in each other's presence], and the point at issue is whether or not we disregard any disrepute that may be brought upon the Beth din [for altering its decision]. R. Eliezer held that once we have deposed him we do not reinstate him, for fear of bringing disrepute on the Beth din, whereas Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel says that just as we have deposed him so we can reinstate him, and we disregard any disrepute that may be brought thereby on the Beth din.3
R. Ashi strongly disputed this explanation [saying]: If this is the case, why [should R. Eliezer refuse to reinstate him] if only one witness appears at the end? Why not even if two come together?4 No, said R. Ashi. All agree that we disregard any disrepute that may be brought on the Beth din,5 and the point at issue here is whether the evidence [of different witnesses] can be combined, a point on which we find a difference between Tannaim. For it has been taught: 'The evidence of the two witnesses is not combined, and does not carry weight unless they both [testify to] have seen at the same time. R. Joshua b. Korhah, however, says that the evidence is combined even if one [testifies that he] saw at one time and the other at another.6 Nor is their evidence accepted in the Beth Din unless they testify together. R. Nathan, however, says that the evidence of one may be taken on one day and the evidence of the other when he comes on the next day.'7
A certain man said to another, 'What are you doing on this land?' He replied, 'I bought it from you, and here is the deed of sale.'
Baba Bathra 32b
'It is a forged document,' said the first. On this the other leaned over to Rabbah and whispered to him, 'It is true that this is a forged document;1 I had a proper deed but I lost it, so I thought it best to come into court with some sort of document.' Said Rabbah: What motive has he for telling a falsehood? If he had liked he could have said [without fear of contradiction] that the document was genuine. Said R. Joseph to him: On what do you base your decision? On this document? But this document is only a piece of clay!2
A certain man said to another, 'Pay me the hundred zuz that I am claiming from you; here is the bond.' Said the other: 'It is a forged bond.' The first thereupon leaned over and whispered to Rabbah, 'It is true the bond is forged, but I had a genuine bond and lost it, so I thought it best to come into court with some sort of document.' Rabbah thereupon said: What motive has he for telling a falsehood? If he had liked, he could have said that it is a genuine bond. Said R. Joseph to him: On what do you base your decision? On this document? But this document is only a piece of clay. R. Idi b. Abin said: The accepted ruling follows the view of Rabbah in the case of the land3 and that of R. Joseph in the case of the money.4 It follows the view of Rabbah in the case of the land, because [we say,] Let the land remain in its present owner ship;5 and that of R. Joseph in the case of the money, because we again say, Let the money remain in its present ownership.6
A certain [man who had gone] surety for a borrower said to him, 'Give me the hundred zuz which I paid the lender on your behalf; here is your bond.' Said the other, 'Did I not pay you?' He rejoined, 'Did you not borrow the money from me again?' R. Idi b. Abin [before whom the case came] sent a message to Abaye [enquiring] as to the ruling for such a case.7 Abaye sent him back answer: What do you want to know?8 Did you not yourself say that the accepted ruling is that of Rabbah in the case of the land and of R. Joseph in the case of the money, namely, that the money should remain In Its present ownership?9 This, however, holds good only if the surety said to the other, 'After repaying, you again borrowed the money from me.'10 If, however, he says, 'I returned it to you because the coins were worn or rusty,' the obligation of the bond still remains.
It was rumoured of Raba b. Sharshom that he was using for himself land that belonged to orphans [for whom he was trustee]. So Abaye sent for him and said to him: Tell me now the main facts of the case. He said: I took over this land from the father of the orphans as a mortgage [for money that he owed me], and he owed me
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