Monday, July 21, 2008

Idolater Judges

The Gemora (Daf Yomi: Gittin Daf 11a) asks: What are names that are clearly those of non-Jews?
Rav Papa answers: Names such as Hurmiz, Abudina, Bar Shibsai, Bar Kidri, Bati, and Nakim Una. Rashi explains that these are all names of idolater judges.

The Maharam Shif asks: The judges are not the ones who are signing! Rather, it is the witnesses who are signing in the presence of the judges.

He answers that Rashi is only stating as to why these names are obviously idolaters, and not Jewish. There were well known idolater judges with those names, and that is why when someone signs with such a name, we are certain that he is an idolater and not a Jew.