תשבע בסוף ולא תשבע בתחלה נחלקו עליו בני כהנים גדולים ואמרו תשבע בתחלה ובסוף אמר רבי דוסא בן הרכינס כדבריהם אמר רבן יוחנן בן זכאי יפה אמר חנן לא תשבע אלא בסוף:
She takes an oath at the end of their marriage, i.e., when she learns that her husband died. The oath is to the effect that he did not leave her any funds when he departed overseas, as she is claiming full payment of her marriage contract. And she does not take an oath at the outset of his trip overseas, when she demands support soon after his departure. The sons of High Priests disagreed with Ḥanan’s opinion and said: She takes an oath both at the outset and at the end. Rabbi Dosa ben Harkinas said: The halakha is in accordance with their statement, i.e., that of the sons of the High Priests. Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai said that Ḥanan spoke well: She takes an oath only at the end.
גמ׳ ורמינהי שלשה דייני גזילות היו בירושלים אדמון בן גדאי וחנן המצרי וחנן בן אבישלום קשיא תלת אתרין קשיא גזירות אגזילות
GEMARA: The mishna states that there were two judges who issued decrees [gezeirot] in Jerusalem. And the Gemara raises a contradiction from the following baraita: There were three judges who adjudicated cases of theft [gezeilot] in Jerusalem: Admon ben Gaddai, Ḥanan the Egyptian, and Ḥanan ben Avishalom. The fact that the baraita mentions three judges is difficult, as the mishna includes only two; and the fact that the judges are described in the mishna as those who issue decrees is also difficult as they are described in the baraita as judges who adjudicate cases of theft.
בשלמא תלת אתרין לא קשיא דחשיב ליה קתני דלא חשיב ליה לא קתני אלא גזירות אגזילות קשיא
The Gemara continues: Granted, the contradiction between the statement that there were three judges and the statement that there were two is not difficult, as those who are important to him the tanna teaches in the mishna, and those who are not important to him the tanna does not teach in the mishna. Although there were other judges, the tanna mentioned only those pertinent to the topic at hand. However, the contradiction between the ruling that refers to decrees and the ruling that refers to theft is difficult.
אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק שהיו גוזרין גזירות על גזילות כדתניא קיטמה נטיעה ר' יוסי אומר גוזרי גזירות שבירושלים אומרים נטיעה בת שנתה שתי כסף בת שתי שנים ארבע כסף
Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: There is no contradiction, as they would issue decrees concerning matters of theft, as it is taught in a baraita: With regard to an animal that severed a young plant in the field of another, Rabbi Yosei says that those who issue decrees in Jerusalem said: For a plant one year old, the animal’s owner must pay two silver pieces; for a plant two years old, he pays four silver pieces.
ורמינהי שלשה דייני גזירות היו בירושלים אדמון וחנן ונחום א"ר פפא מאן תנא נחום ר' נתן היא דתניא רבי נתן אומר אף נחום המדי מגוזרי גזירות שבירושלים היה ולא הודו לו חכמים
The Gemara raises a contradiction between the baraita cited above and another baraita: There were three prominent judges who issued decrees in Jerusalem: Admon, Ḥanan, and Naḥum. In the previous baraita, Naḥum was not listed. Rav Pappa said: Who is the tanna who taught that the third judge was Naḥum? It is Rabbi Natan, as it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Natan says: Naḥum HaMadi was also among those who would issue decrees in Jerusalem, but the Sages did not agree with his opinion.
ותו ליכא והאמר ר' פנחס אמר רבי אושעיא שלש מאות ותשעים וארבעה בתי דינין היו בירושלים כנגדן בתי כנסיות וכנגדן בתי מדרשות וכנגדן בתי סופרים דיינין טובא הוו וכי קאמרינן אגוזרי גזירות קאמרינן
The Gemara asks: And were there no more judges? Didn’t Rabbi Pineḥas say that Rabbi Oshaya said: There were 394 courts in Jerusalem, and a comparable number of synagogues, and a comparable number of study halls, and a comparable number of houses of teachers of schoolchildren. The Gemara answers: There were many judges, but when we say that there were a small number, it is specifically concerning those who issue decrees that we say so.
אמר רב יהודה אמר רב אסי גוזרי גזירות שבירושלים היו נוטלין שכרן תשעים ותשע מנה מתרומת הלשכה לא רצו מוסיפין להם לא רצו אטו ברשיעי עסקינן אלא לא ספקו אע"פ שלא רצו מוסיפין עליהן
§ Rav Yehuda said that Rav Asi said: Those who issue decrees in Jerusalem would take their wages, ninety-nine maneh, equal to 9,900 dinars per year, from the collection of the Temple treasury chamber. If they did not wish to do so, one adds to their wages. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase: If they did not wish to do so? Does this mean that if they desired higher wages, they were paid more? Is that to say that we are dealing with wicked people who demand wages beyond what they need? Rather, on the contrary, Rav Asi said that if their wages were insufficient for their needs, then even if they did not wish to receive higher wages, one adds to their wages so that they may devote themselves to their communal service.
קרנא הוה שקיל איסתירא מזכאי ואיסתירא מחייב ודאין להו דינא והיכי עביד הכי והכתי' (שמות כג, ח) ושוחד לא תקח
The Gemara relates: The Sage Karna would take an istera, a small coin, from the innocent party, and an istera from the guilty party, i.e., he would charge both parties that came to him for judgment, and then he would judge their case. The Gemara asks: But how could he do so? Isn’t it written: “And you shall take no bribe” (Exodus 23:8), which indicates that a judge may not take money from either of the two litigants?
וכ"ת ה"מ היכא דלא שקיל מתרוייהו דלמא אתי לאצלויי דינא קרנא כיון דשקיל מתרוייהו לא אתי לאצלויי דינא וכי לא אתי לאצלויי דינא מי שרי
And if you say that this prohibition against taking a bribe applies only when a judge does not take from both parties, as there is a concern that perhaps he may come to pervert the judgment in favor of the party that gave him the bribe, whereas in the case of Karna, since he took from both parties he will not come to pervert the judgment, who says that the verse is referring only to those circumstances? Is it permitted to take a bribe even in a case when one will not pervert the judgment?
והתניא ושוחד לא תקח מה ת"ל אם ללמד שלא לזכות את החייב ושלא לחייב את הזכאי הרי כבר נאמר (דברים טז, יט) לא תטה משפט אלא אפי' לזכות את הזכאי ולחייב את החייב אמרה תורה ושוחד לא תקח
But isn’t it taught in a baraita: “And you shall take no bribe” (Exodus 23:8); what is the meaning when the verse states this? If it comes to teach that one should not acquit the guilty and one should not convict the innocent due to a bribe, it is already stated: “You shall not wrest judgment” (Deuteronomy 16:19). Rather, this verse teaches that even if the purpose of the bribe is to ensure that one acquit the innocent and convict the guilty, the Torah nevertheless says: “And you shall take no bribe.” This indicates that it is prohibited for a judge to receive anything from the litigants, even if there is no concern at all that justice will be perverted.
הני מילי היכא דשקיל בתורת שוחד קרנא בתורת אגרא הוה שקיל ובתורת אגרא מי שרי והתנן הנוטל שכר לדון דיניו בטלין הנ"מ אגר דינא קרנא אגר בטילא הוה שקיל
The Gemara answers: This applies only when one takes the money in the form of a bribe, even if he does not intend to pervert the judgment, whereas Karna took the money in the form of a salary, not a bribe. The Gemara asks: But is it permitted to take money from litigants in the form of a salary? Didn’t we learn in a mishna (Kiddushin 58b): With regard to one who takes a salary to judge cases, his judgments are void? The Gemara answers: This applies only when he took money as his compensation for judging the case, whereas Karna accepted the money as compensation for unemployment, i.e., as he could not engage in his usual work while dealing with the case, he would take compensation for this unemployment.
ואגר בטילא מי שרי והתניא מכוער הדיין שנוטל שכר לדון אלא שדינו דין ה"ד אילימא אגר דינא דינו דין והתניא הנוטל שכר לדון דיניו בטילין אלא אגר בטילא וקתני מכוער הדיין
The Gemara asks: And is it permitted to take money as compensation for unemployment? Isn’t it taught in a baraita: Ugly is the judge who takes a salary to judge cases; however, his judgments are valid judgments? The Gemara clarifies: What are the circumstances of this baraita? If we say that it is referring to one who accepted money as his compensation for judging, are his judgments valid judgments? But didn’t we learn in a mishna (Kiddushin 58b): With regard to one who takes a salary to judge cases, his judgments are void? Rather, it must certainly be referring to a situation where he takes money as compensation for unemployment, and yet the baraita teaches: Ugly is the judge.
הני מילי בטילא דלא מוכחא קרנא בטילא דמוכחא הוה שקיל דהוה תהי באמברא דחמרא ויהבי ליה זוזא
The Gemara answers: This statement that the judge is ugly applies only when the fact that he is taking a salary for his unemployment is not evident, as he was not engaged in some other type of work at the time. Karna, however, would take money for his unemployment when it was evident that he was taking time off work to judge the case, as he was examining his wine stores [ambara] to see which casks would last and which were going sour, and they would pay him one dinar as a salary. Consequently, when Karna paused from his work to deal with a case, it was clear that he was losing money.
כי הא דרב הונא כי הוה אתי דינא לקמיה אמר להו הבו לי גברא דדלי לי בחריקאי ואידון לכו דינא
This resembles an incident involving Rav Huna. When people would come for judgment before him, he would say to them: As I am unable to take time off from my work, give me a man who can draw water for me, to irrigate the fields in my place, and I will judge your case.
אמר רבי אבהו בא וראה כמה סמויות עיניהן של מקבלי שוחד אדם חש בעיניו נותן ממון לרופא ספק מתרפא ספק אינו מתרפא והן נוטלין שוה פרוטה ומסמין עיניהן שנאמר (שמות כג, ח) כי השוחד יעור פקחים
Rabbi Abbahu said: Come and see how blind are the eyes of those who accept bribes, and how they ruin themselves. If a person has pain in his eyes, he gives a doctor money, and even then it is uncertain whether he will be healed or whether he will not be healed. And yet those judges take the value of a peruta, a small amount of money as a bribe, and actively blind their eyes, as it is stated: “For a bribe blinds those who have sight” (Exodus 23:8).
תנו רבנן (דברים טז, יט) כי השוחד יעור עיני חכמים קל וחומר לטפשין ויסלף דברי צדיקים קל וחומר לרשעים מידי טפשים ורשעים בני דינא נינהו אלא הכי קאמר כי השוחד יעור עיני חכמים אפילו חכם גדול ולוקח שוחד אינו נפטר מן העולם בלא סמיות הלב ויסלף דברי צדיקים
The Sages taught: “For a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise” (Deuteronomy 16:19); a fortiori it will certainly blind the eyes of fools. “And perverts the words of the righteous” (Deuteronomy 16:19); a fortiori it will certainly pervert the statements of the wicked. The Gemara asks: Are fools and the wicked suitable for judgment, i.e., to be appointed as judges? Rather, this is what the tanna of the baraita said: “For a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise”; even if he were very wise but he took a bribe, he will not leave this world without suffering blindness of the heart, i.e., he will eventually turn foolish. “And perverts the words of the righteous”;