1

The following laws apply when a lender dies and his heir comes and demands payment from a borrower, because of the promissory note for which he is liable. If the borrower claims: "I paid your father," and the heir says: "I don't know whether you did or not," we tell the borrower: "Arise and pay him."

If the borrower demands: "Take an oath for me," the heir should take an oath, while holding a sacred object, that his father did not instruct him via another person that the debt was paid, that he did not tell him this verbally, and that he did not find a note saying that this promissory note was paid among his father's legal documents. After taking this oath, he may collect the debt.

א

מַלְוְה שֶׁמֵּת וּבָא היּוֹרֵשׁ לִתְבֹּעַ אֶת הַלּוֶֹה בִּשְׁטָר שֶׁעָלָיו וְאָמַר פָּרַעְתִּי לְאָבִיךָ וְהַיּוֹרֵשׁ אוֹמֵר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ אוֹמְרִים לוֹ עֲמֹד וְשַׁלֵּם לוֹ. אָמַר יִשָּׁבַע לִי הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע בִּנְקִיטַת חֵפֶץ שֶׁלֹּא פְּקָדָנוּ אַבָּא עַל יְדֵי אַחֵר וְשֶׁלֹּא אָמַר לָנוּ אַבָּא בְּפִיו וְשֶׁלֹּא מָצִינוּ בֵּין שִׁטְרוֹתָיו שֶׁל אַבָּא שֶׁשְּׁטָר זֶה פָּרוּעַ וְגוֹבֶה:

2

If the borrower died after the lender died, and the lender's heir comes and demands payment from the borrower's heir, he may not collect payment unless he takes an oath. We tell him: "Take an oath that 'My father did not instruct me...,' 'My father did not tell me...,' 'I did not find a note saying that this promissory note was paid among my father's legal documents.'"

Even if the heir was a baby lying in a cradle when his father died, he must take this oath and collect. If the lender made a statement immediately before his death that this promissory note has not been paid, the lender's heir need not take an oath before exacting payment. This applies even if he is collecting payment] from the heir.

ב

מֵת הַלּוֶֹה אַחַר שֶׁמֵּת הַמַּלְוֶה וּבָא הַיּוֹרֵשׁ לְהִפָּרַע מִן הַיּוֹרֵשׁ לֹא יִפָּרַע אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבוּעָה וְאוֹמֵר לוֹ תְּחִלָּה יִשָּׁבַע שֶׁלֹּא פְּקָדָנוּ אַבָּא וְשֶׁלֹּא אָמַר לָנוּ אַבָּא וְלֹא מָצִינוּ בֵּין שִׁטְרוֹתָיו שֶׁל אַבָּא שֶׁשְּׁטָר זֶה פָּרוּעַ. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה הַיּוֹרֵשׁ קָטָן הַמֻּטָּל בָּעֲרִיסָה כְּשֶׁמֵּת מוֹרִישׁוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע וְנוֹטֵל. וְאִם צִוָּה הַמַּלְוֶה בִּשְׁעַת מִיתָתוֹ שֶׁשְּׁטָר זֶה אֵינוֹ פָּרוּעַ יִפָּרַע הַיּוֹרֵשׁ בְּלֹא שְׁבוּעָה אֲפִלּוּ מִן הַיּוֹרֵשׁ:

3

If, however, the borrower died first and then the lender died, the lender's heirs may not collect anything from the borrower's heirs. The rationale is that when the borrower died, the lender became obligated to take an oath before collecting, as we have explained in the previous halachah. He has already died, and a person does not bequeath an oath to his sons. For they are unable to take an oath that their father was not paid anything.

Nevertheless, if a judge transgressed and required the lender's heirs to take an oath and enabled them to collect their debt, the money that they collected should not be expropriated from their possession. Therefore, a promissory note that is used as the basis for a claim by the heirs of a lender who seek to collect from the heirs of a borrower when the borrower died first, should not be torn, nor should it be used to expropriate money.

It should not be used to expropriate money, because a person does not bequeath an oath to his sons, as explained. It should not, however, be torn, lest there be a judge who will expropriate money because of it.

ג

מֵת הַלּוֶֹה תְּחִלָּה וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵת הַמַּלְוֶה אֵין יוֹרְשֵׁי מַלְוֶה נוֹטְלִין מִיּוֹרְשֵׁי לוֶֹה כְּלוּם שֶׁבְּשָׁעָה שֶׁמֵּת הַלּוֶֹה נִתְחַיֵּב הַמַּלְוֶה לְהִשָּׁבַע וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִטּל כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ וּכְבָר מֵת וְאֵין אָדָם מוֹרִישׁ שְׁבוּעָה לְבָנָיו שֶׁאֵינָן יְכוֹלִין לְהִשָּׁבַע שֶׁלֹּא נִפְרַע אֲבִיהֶם כְּלוּם. וְאִם עָבַר הַדִּין וְהִשְׁבִּיעַ יוֹרְשֵׁי מַלְוֶה וְגָבוּ אֶת חוֹבָן אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדָם. לְפִיכָךְ שְׁטַר חוֹב שֶׁל יְתוֹמִים הַבָּאִים לְהִפָּרַע מִן הַיְתוֹמִים שֶׁמֵּת אֲבִיהֶן הַלּוֶֹה תְּחִלָּה אֵין קוֹרְעִין אוֹתוֹ וְאֵין מַגְבִּין בּוֹ. אֵין גּוֹבִין בּוֹ שֶׁאֵין אָדָם מוֹרִישׁ שְׁבוּעָה לְבָנָיו כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ וְאֵין קוֹרְעִין אוֹתוֹ שֶׁמָּא יָבוֹא דַּיָּן שֶׁיָּדוּן וְיוֹצִיא בּוֹ:

4

In the situation described above, even if the debt was secured by a guarantor, the lender's heirs should not expropriate the debt from the guarantor. The rationale is that if they are told to collect the debt from the guarantor, the guarantor will go and seek payment from the borrower's heirs.

ד

אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה שָׁם עָרֵב וּמֵת הַלּוֶֹה תְּחִלָּה לֹא יִפָּרְעוּ יוֹרְשֵׁי הַמַּלְוֶה מִן הֶעָרֵב. שֶׁאִם תֹּאמַר יִפָּרְעוּ מִן הֶעָרֵב הֲרֵי הֶעָרֵב חוֹזֵר וְנִפְרָע מִיּוֹרְשֵׁי לוֶֹה:

5

Extrapolation is not made from this law to a similar instance. Instead, when a person who impairs the legal power of a promissory note then dies -although he is not entitled to collect the debt unless he takes an oath - his children may take an oath that their father did not instruct them..., their father did not tell them..., they did not find a note saying that this promissory note was paid in its entirety among his father's legal documents. They may then collect the remainder of the sum stated in the promissory note from the lender or from his heirs.

ה

אֵין דָּנִין מִדִּין זֶה לְכָל הַדּוֹמֶה לוֹ אֶלָּא הֲרֵי הַפּוֹגֵם אֶת שְׁטָרוֹ וּמֵת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ גּוֹבֶה אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבוּעָה הֲרֵי בָּנָיו נִשְׁבָּעִין שֶׁלֹּא פְּקָדָנוּ אַבָּא וְלֹא צִוָּנוּ אַבָּא וְלֹא מָצִינוּ בֵּין שִׁטְרוֹתָיו שֶׁל אַבָּא שֶׁכָּל הַשְּׁטָר הַזֶּה פָּרוּעַ וְגוֹבִין אֶת שְׁאָר הַשְּׁטָר בֵּין מִן הַמַּלְוֶה בֵּין מִיּוֹרְשָׁיו:

6

When a lender's heir comes to collect payment of a promissory note from the borrower's heirs and the latter say: "Our father told us: 'I did not borrow the money mentioned in this debt,'" the lender's heirs may collect the debt without taking an oath. The rationale is that whenever a person says "I did not borrow," it is as if he says: "I did not pay."

Similarly, when the lender himself comes to collect payment from the heirs of a borrower, and they say: "Our father told us: 'I did not borrow the money mentioned in this debt,'" the lender may collect the debt without taking an oath. This applies even if in the promissory note the lender stated that he would accept the borrower's word whenever he claims to have paid the debt. For in this instance as well, we follow the rationale that whenever a person says "I did not borrow," it is as if he says: "I did not pay."

ו

יוֹרֵשׁ שֶׁבָּא לִגְבּוֹת מִן הַיּוֹרֵשׁ וְאָמְרוּ יוֹרְשֵׁי לוֶֹה אָמַר לָנוּ אַבָּא לֹא לָוִיתִי חוֹב זֶה הֲרֵי יוֹרְשֵׁי הַמַּלְוֶה גּוֹבִין שֶׁלֹּא בִּשְׁבוּעָה שֶׁכָּל הָאוֹמֵר לֹא לָוִיתִי כְּאוֹמֵר לֹא פָּרַעְתִּי דָּמִי. וְכֵן מַלְוֶה שֶׁבָּא לְהִפָּרַע מִיּוֹרְשֵׁי לוֶֹה וְאָמְרוּ אָמַר לָנוּ אַבָּא לֹא לָוִיתִי חוֹב זֶה הֲרֵי זֶה גּוֹבֵהוּ בְּלֹא שְׁבוּעָה אֲפִלּוּ הֶאֱמִינוֹ בַּשְּׁטָר כָּל זְמַן שֶׁאָמַר פָּרַעְתִּי שֶׁכָּל הָאוֹמֵר לֹא לָוִיתִי כְּאוֹמֵר לֹא פָּרַעְתִּי:

7

The following laws apply when the lender's heir comes and demands payment from a borrower on the basis of a promissory note that contains a stipulation that the borrower's word will be accepted, whenever the borrower says: "I paid the debt." He is required to take a sh'vuat hesset that he paid this debt and is freed of liability. This applies even if the stipulation does not state: "Your word will be accepted against a claim issued by my heirs." The rationale is that the very basis of the promissory note depends on this stipulation.

If the stipulation states that the borrower's word would be accepted without an oath, he is not required to take an oath, even to the lender's heirs.

ז

יוֹרֵשׁ שֶׁבָּא לְהִפָּרַע מִן הַלּוֶֹה בִּשְׁטָר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ נֶאֱמָנוּת לַלּוֶֹה כָּל זְמַן שֶׁיֹּאמַר פָּרַעְתִּי הֲרֵי הַלּוֶֹה נִשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת שֶׁפָּרַע לִשְׁטָר זֶה וְנִפְטָר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא כָּתַב לוֹ וַהֲרֵי אַתָּה נֶאֱמָן עַל יוֹרְשַׁי שֶׁעִקַּר הַשְּׁטָר עַל תְּנַאי זֶה הָיָה. אִם הִתְנָה עָלָיו שֶׁיְּהֵא נֶאֱמָן בְּלֹא שׁוּם שְׁבוּעָה אֵינוֹ נִשְׁבָּע אֲפִלּוּ לְיוֹרְשֵׁי מַלְוֶה:

8

The following laws apply when the lender's heir is below majority, he possesses a promissory noted owed to his father, but a receipt for this note was produced after the father's death. We do not rip up the promissory note, nor do we allow payment to be expropriated on its basis until the heir reaches majority. The rationale is that it is possible that the receipt is a forgery. That possibility is reinforced by the fact that the borrower did not produce it during the lender's lifetime.

ח

יוֹרֵשׁ קָטָן שֶׁהָיָה שְׁטַר חוֹב לְאָבִיו וְיָצָא עָלָיו שׁוֹבֵר אַחַר מִיתַת אָבִיו אֵין קוֹרְעִין אֶת הַשְּׁטָר וְאֵין מַגְבִּין בּוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּגְדְּלוּ הַיְתוֹמִים שֶׁמָּא שׁוֹבֵר זֶה מְזֻיָּף הוּא וּלְפִיכָךְ לֹא הוֹצִיאוֹ הַלּוֶֹה בְּחַיֵּי אָבִיו:

9

When a person produces a promissory note against a colleague, stating that it was composed in Babylonia, he collects the debt in the coinage of Babylonia. If the promissory note was written in Eretz Yisrael, he should collect the debt in the coinage of Eretz Yisrael. This is not the case with regard to a ketubah

The following rules apply when the promissory note did not state the place where it was composed. If the lender produced it in Babylonia, he should collect the debt in the coinage of Babylonia. If he produced it in Eretz Yisrael, he should collect the debt in the coinage of Eretz Yisrael. If the lender sought to collect the debt in the coinage of the place where he produced the promissory note, and the borrower protested, claiming that he is obligated to pay in a coinage that is worth less than the local coinage, the lender should support his claim with an oath. He may then collect the debt. If the promissory note states that money is owed without any more specifics, the lender may collect only what the borrower agrees to pay.

From these laws, we can derive the following principles: A legal document that does not mention the place where it was composed is acceptable for all matters. Similarly, a legal document that is not dated is acceptable, even though it is testimony that cannot be nullified through hazamah. The rationale is that in financial laws, we are not stringent and do not subject the witnesses to precise cross-examination and interrogation, as will be explained. This leniency was adopted so as not to prevent loans from being granted. For this reason, post-dated promissory notes are acceptable, although the testimony of the witnesses who signed cannot be nullified through hazamah as will be explained in the appropriate place.

ט

הַמּוֹצִיא שְׁטַר חוֹב עַל חֲבֵרוֹ וְהָיָה כָּתוּב בְּבָבֶל מַגְבֵּהוּ מִמְּעוֹת בָּבֶל. הָיָה כָּתוּב בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל מַגְבֵּהוּ מִמְּעוֹת אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל. מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן בִּכְתֻבָּה. לֹא הָיָה בַּשְּׁטָר שֵׁם מָקוֹם וְהוֹצִיאוֹ בְּבָבֶל מַגְבֵּהוּ מִמְּעוֹת בָּבֶל. הוֹצִיאוֹ בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל מַגְבֵּהוּ מִמְּעוֹת אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל. בָּא לִגְבּוֹת מִמְּעוֹת הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁיָּצָא בּוֹ הַשְּׁטָר וְטָעַן הַלּוֶֹה שֶׁהַמָּעוֹת שֶׁאֲנִי חַיָּב לוֹ מִכֶּסֶף שֶׁהוּא פָּחוֹת מִזֶּה הַמַּטְבֵּעַ יִשָּׁבַע הַמַּלְוֶה וְיִטּל. הָיָה בּוֹ כֶּסֶף סְתָם מַה שֶּׁיִּרְצֶה לוֶֹה מַגְבֵּהוּ. מִכָּאן אַתָּה לָמֵד שֶׁשְּׁטָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ שֵׁם מָקוֹם שֶׁנִּכְתַּב בּוֹ כָּשֵׁר לְכָל דָּבָר. וְהוּא הַדִּין לִשְׁטָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ זְמַן כְּלָל שֶׁהוּא כָּשֵׁר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֵדוּת זוֹ אִי אַתָּה יָכוֹל לַהֲזִמָּהּ שֶׁאֵין מְדַקְדְּקִין בְּדִינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת בִּדְרִישָׁה וַחֲקִירָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִּנְעל דֶּלֶת בִּפְנֵי לוֹוִין. וּלְפִיכָךְ שִׁטְרֵי חוֹב הַמְאֻחָרִין כְּשֵׁרִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין אַתָּה יָכוֹל לַהֲזִמָּן כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בִּמְקוֹמוֹ: