Shabbat 79 - Carrying a document on Shabbat
We learned earlier that a piece of paper is considered important if it is large enough to write a tax receipt on it, and one who carries it on Shabbat by mistake needs to bring a sacrifice.
If one carries the actual receipt, the situation is different. Here he is liable only until he has shown the receipt to the tax collector, but after that he does not need it as the receipt; the paper itself at this time could not be re-used by erasure, and thus he is not liable. However, Rabbi Yehudah says that he is always in need of the tax receipt and is always liable for carrying it. What can he do with it? He will show it to another tax collector and say, "Look, I am a trustworthy person who always pays his taxes."
A similar discussion concerns a loan document. If one carries it in a public area on Shabbat, he transgressed Shabbat if the loan has not been paid, but he is not liable afterwards. Again, Rabbi Yehudah says that he is always in need of this document. What is the reasoning here? The first teacher is of the opinion that it is forbidden to keep the loan document after the loan has been paid. Rather, it should be torn up or returned to the borrower, to avoid a double payment. Therefore the document is not useful, and for carrying something that is not useful one does not need to bring a sacrifice. Rabbi Yehudah, however, says that it is not forbidden to keep a paid-up loan document, rather, it can be used as a bottle-stopper. The Talmud gives three more possible explanations.
Art: Hendrick Heerschop or Herschop - A scholar seated at his writing desk in an interior, books and documents in the foreground