דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה. זֶה בּוֹרֵר לוֹ אֶחָד וְזֶה בּוֹרֵר לוֹ אֶחָד, וּשְׁנֵיהֶן בּוֹרְרִין לָהֶן עוֹד אֶחָד, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, שְׁנֵי דַיָּנִין בּוֹרְרִין לָהֶן עוֹד אֶחָד. זֶה פּוֹסֵל דַּיָּנוֹ שֶׁל זֶה וְזֶה פּוֹסֵל דַּיָּנוֹ שֶׁל זֶה, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, אֵימָתַי, בִּזְמַן שֶׁמֵּבִיא עֲלֵיהֶן רְאָיָה שֶׁהֵן קְרוֹבִין אוֹ פְסוּלִין, אֲבָל אִם הָיוּ כְשֵׁרִים אוֹ מֻמְחִין, אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְפָסְלָן. זֶה פּוֹסֵל עֵדָיו שֶׁל זֶה וְזֶה פּוֹסֵל עֵדָיו שֶׁל זֶה, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, אֵימָתַי, בִּזְמַן שֶׁהוּא מֵבִיא עֲלֵיהֶם רְאָיָה שֶׁהֵן קְרוֹבִים אוֹ פְסוּלִים. אֲבָל אִם הָיוּ כְשֵׁרִים, אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְפָסְלָן:
Cases of monetary law are adjudicated by three. They are chosen in the following manner: This litigant chooses one for himself and that litigant chooses one for himself, and the two of them choose one more for themselves; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. And the Rabbis say: The two judges that were chosen choose one more judge for themselves. This litigant can disqualify the judge chosen by that litigant and that litigant can disqualify the judge chosen by this litigant; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. And the Rabbis say: When can one of the litigants disqualify the judges? Only when he brings evidence about them that they are related to one of the litigants or to each other, or that they are disqualified from serving as judges for another reason. But if they are fit to serve as judges or are experts ordained by the court, he cannot disqualify them. This litigant can disqualify the witnesses of that litigant and that litigant can disqualify the witnesses of this litigant; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. And the Rabbis say: When can one litigant disqualify the other’s witnesses? Only when he brings evidence about them that they are related to one of the litigants or to each other, or that they are disqualified from bearing witness for another reason. But if they are fit to serve as witnesses, he cannot disqualify them.
אָמַר לוֹ נֶאֱמָן עָלַי אַבָּא, נֶאֱמָן עָלַי אָבִיךָ, נֶאֱמָנִין עָלַי שְׁלֹשָׁה רוֹעֵי בָקָר, רַבִּי מֵאִיר אוֹמֵר, יָכוֹל לַחֲזֹר בּוֹ. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחֲזֹר בּוֹ. הָיָה חַיָּב לַחֲבֵרוֹ שְׁבוּעָה וְאָמַר לוֹ דּוֹר לִי בְחַיֵּי רֹאשְׁךָ, רַבִּי מֵאִיר אוֹמֵר, יָכוֹל לַחֲזֹר בּוֹ. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, אֵין יָכוֹל לַחֲזֹר בּוֹ:
If one litigant says to the other: My father is trusted to adjudicate for me, or: Your father is trusted to adjudicate for me, or: Three cattle herders, who are not proficient in halakha, are trusted to adjudicate for me, all of whom are disqualified from serving as judges, Rabbi Meir says: The one who made the offer can retract it, and the Rabbis say: He cannot retract it, but must accept their verdict. Similarly, one who was obligated by Torah law to take an oath to another, which is done while grasping a sacred object, and the latter said to him: Instead of taking an oath, merely vow to me by the life of your head that what you claim is true, Rabbi Meir says: The one who made the offer can retract it, and demand that the other litigant take an oath, as he is obligated to do by Torah law. And the Rabbis say: He cannot retract his offer. Once he has agreed to accept a vow, which is of less severity than an oath, he cannot retract his agreement.
וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הַפְּסוּלִין, הַמְשַׂחֵק בְּקֻבְיָא, וְהַמַּלְוֶה בְרִבִּית, וּמַפְרִיחֵי יוֹנִים, וְסוֹחֲרֵי שְׁבִיעִית. אָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן, בִּתְחִלָּה הָיוּ קוֹרִין אוֹתָן אוֹסְפֵי שְׁבִיעִית, מִשֶּׁרַבּוּ הָאַנָּסִין, חָזְרוּ לִקְרוֹתָן סוֹחֲרֵי שְׁבִיעִית. אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה, אֵימָתַי, בִּזְמַן שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם אֻמָּנוּת אֶלָּא הִיא, אֲבָל יֵשׁ לָהֶן אֻמָּנוּת שֶׁלֹּא הִיא, כְּשֵׁרִין:
And these on the following list are the ones who are disqualified by the Sages from bearing witness due to their unseemly behavior, as they are considered wicked individuals guilty of monetary transgressions: One who plays with dice [bekubbiyya] for money, and one who lends money with interest, and those who fly pigeons, and merchants who trade in the produce of the Sabbatical Year, which may be eaten but may not be sold as an object of commerce. Rabbi Shimon said: Initially, people would call them: Gatherers of the produce of the Sabbatical Year. Once the tax collectors grew abundant they would then call them: Merchants who trade in the produce of the Sabbatical Year, as the Gemara will explain. Rabbi Yehuda said: When are the people listed above disqualified from bearing witness? It is when they have no occupation but this one. But if they have an occupation other than this one, although they also make money by these inappropriate means, they are fit to bear witness.
וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הַקְּרוֹבִין, אָבִיו וְאָחִיו וַאֲחִי אָבִיו וַאֲחִי אִמּוֹ וּבַעַל אֲחוֹתוֹ וּבַעַל אֲחוֹת אָבִיו וּבַעַל אֲחוֹת אִמּוֹ וּבַעַל אִמּוֹ וְחָמִיו וְגִיסוֹ, הֵן וּבְנֵיהֶן וְחַתְנֵיהֶן, וְחוֹרְגוֹ לְבַדּוֹ. אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי, זוֹ מִשְׁנַת רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא. אֲבָל מִשְׁנָה רִאשׁוֹנָה, דּוֹדוֹ וּבֶן דּוֹדוֹ. וְכָל הָרָאוּי לְיָרְשׁוֹ, וְכָל הַקָּרוֹב לוֹ בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה. הָיָה קָרוֹב וְנִתְרַחֵק, הֲרֵי זֶה כָּשֵׁר. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, אֲפִלּוּ מֵתָה בִתּוֹ וְיֶשׁ לוֹ בָנִים מִמֶּנָּה, הֲרֵי זֶה קָרוֹב:
And these are the ones disqualified from bearing witness or from serving as judges due to their status as relatives of one of the litigants or of each other: One’s brother, and his paternal uncle, and his maternal uncle, and his sister’s husband, and the husband of his paternal aunt, and the husband of his maternal aunt, and his mother’s husband, and his father-in-law, and his brother-in-law, i.e., the husband of his wife’s sister. They themselves, all of these people, and also their sons, and their sons-in-law are considered relatives. And his stepson alone is disqualified, but not his stepson’s sons or sons-in-law. Rabbi Yosei says: This aforementioned halakha is Rabbi Akiva’s version of the mishna. But the initial version of the mishna reads as follows: His uncle and the son of his uncle, and anyone who is fit to inherit from him. Only paternal relatives, who are fit to inherit from him, are disqualified; maternal relatives, who do not inherit from him, are not disqualified from bearing witness about him or from adjudicating his case. And the halakha disqualifying a relative from bearing witness or serving as a judge is referring to anyone who is related to him at the time of the trial. If one was once a relative and became unrelated by the time of the trial, e.g., he married the daughter of one of the litigants, but she died or they were divorced, in this case he is fit. Rabbi Yehuda says: Even if his daughter died but her husband, the former son-in-law, has children from her, he is still considered a relative; the children cause them to remain related.
הָאוֹהֵב וְהַשּׂוֹנֵא. אוֹהֵב, זֶה שׁוּשְׁבִינוֹ. שׂוֹנֵא, כָּל שֶׁלֹּא דִבֶּר עִמּוֹ שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים בְּאֵיבָה. אָמְרוּ לוֹ, לֹא נֶחְשְׁדוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל כָּךְ:
One who loves or one who hates one of the litigants is also disqualified. With regard to one who loves one of the litigants, this is referring to his groomsman. One who hates is referring to anyone who, out of enmity, did not speak with the litigant for three days. The Rabbis said to Rabbi Yehuda: The Jewish people are not suspected of bearing false witness due to love or hate.
כֵּיצַד בּוֹדְקִים אֶת הָעֵדִים, הָיוּ מַכְנִיסִין אוֹתָן וּמְאַיְּמִין עֲלֵיהֶן וּמוֹצִיאִין אֶת כָּל הָאָדָם לַחוּץ, וּמְשַׁיְּרִין אֶת הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁבָּהֶן, וְאוֹמְרִים לוֹ אֱמֹר הֵיאַךְ אַתָּה יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁזֶּה חַיָּב לָזֶה. אִם אָמַר, הוּא אָמַר לִי שֶׁאֲנִי חַיָּב לוֹ, אִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי אָמַר לִי שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לוֹ, לֹא אָמַר כְּלוּם, עַד שֶׁיֹּאמַר, בְּפָנֵינוּ הוֹדָה לוֹ שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לוֹ מָאתַיִם זוּז. וְאַחַר כָּךְ מַכְנִיסִין אֶת הַשֵּׁנִי וּבוֹדְקִים אוֹתוֹ. אִם נִמְצְאוּ דִבְרֵיהֶם מְכֻוָּנִים, נוֹשְׂאִין וְנוֹתְנִין בַּדָּבָר. שְׁנַיִם אוֹמְרִים זַכַּאי, וְאֶחָד אוֹמֵר חַיָּב, זַכַּאי. שְׁנַיִם אוֹמְרִים חַיָּב, וְאֶחָד אוֹמֵר זַכַּאי, חַיָּב. אֶחָד אוֹמֵר זַכַּאי, וְאֶחָד אוֹמֵר חַיָּב, וַאֲפִלּוּ שְׁנַיִם מְזַכִּין אוֹ שְׁנַיִם מְחַיְּבִין וְאֶחָד אוֹמֵר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ, יוֹסִיפוּ הַדַּיָּנִין:
How do the judges examine the witnesses? They bring them into a room in the courthouse and intimidate them so that they will speak only the truth. And they take all the people, other than the judges, outside so that they should not tell the other witnesses the questions the judges ask and the answers the first witness gives, and they leave only the eldest of the witnesses to testify first. And they say to him: Say how exactly you know that this litigant owes money to that litigant, as the plaintiff claims. If he said: The defendant said to me: It is true that I owe the plaintiff, or if he says: So-and-so said to me that the defendant owes the plaintiff, the witness has said nothing and his testimony is disregarded. It is not valid testimony unless he says: The defendant admitted in our presence to the plaintiff that he owes him, e.g., two hundred dinars. By admitting to the debt in the presence of witnesses he renders himself liable to pay the amount that he mentioned. And afterward they bring in the second witness and examine him in the same manner. If their statements are found to be congruent the judges then discuss the matter. If the opinions of the judges are divided, as two judges say that the defendant is exempt from payment and one says he is liable to pay, he is exempt. If two say he is liable and one says he is exempt, he is liable. If one says he is liable and one says he is exempt, or even if two of the judges deem him exempt or two of them deem him liable, and the other one says: I do not know, the court must add more judges and then rule in accordance with the majority opinion. This is because the one who abstains is considered as though he is not a member of the court.
גָּמְרוּ אֶת הַדָּבָר, הָיוּ מַכְנִיסִין אוֹתָן. הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁבַּדַּיָּנִים אוֹמֵר, אִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי אַתָּה זַכַּאי, אִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי אַתָּה חַיָּב. וּמִנַּיִן לִכְשֶׁיֵּצֵא אֶחָד מִן הַדַּיָּנִים לֹא יֹאמַר אֲנִי מְזַכֶּה וַחֲבֵרַי מְחַיְּבִין אֲבָל מָה אֶעֱשֶׂה שֶׁחֲבֵרַי רַבּוּ עָלָי, עַל זֶה נֶאֱמַר לֹא תֵלֵךְ רָכִיל בְּעַמֶּךָ (ויקרא יט), וְאוֹמֵר הוֹלֵךְ רָכִיל מְגַלֶּה סּוֹד (משלי יא):
After the judges finish the matter and reach a decision, they bring in the litigants. The greatest of the judges says: So-and-so, you are exempt from paying; or: So-and-so, you are liable to pay. And from where is it derived that when the judge leaves the courtroom he may not say: I deemed you exempt and my colleagues deemed you liable, but what can I do, as my colleagues outnumbered me and consequently you were deemed liable? About this it is stated: “You shall not go as a talebearer among your people” (Leviticus 19:16), and it says: “One who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, but one who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter” (Proverbs 11:13).
כָּל זְמַן שֶׁמֵּבִיא רְאָיָה, סוֹתֵר אֶת הַדִּין. אָמְרוּ לוֹ, כָּל רְאָיוֹת שֶׁיֶּשׁ לְךָ הָבֵא מִכָּאן עַד שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. מָצָא בְתוֹךְ שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם, סוֹתֵר. לְאַחַר שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם, אֵינוֹ סוֹתֵר. אָמַר רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל, מַה יַּעֲשֶׂה זֶה שֶׁלֹּא מָצָא בְתוֹךְ שְׁלֹשִׁים וּמָצָא לְאַחַר שְׁלֹשִׁים. אָמְרוּ לוֹ הָבֵא עֵדִים וְאָמַר אֵין לִי עֵדִים, אָמְרוּ הָבֵא רְאָיָה וְאָמַר אֵין לִי רְאָיָה, וּלְאַחַר זְמָן הֵבִיא רְאָיָה וּמָצָא עֵדִים, הֲרֵי זֶה אֵינוֹ כְלוּם. אָמַר רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל, מַה יַּעֲשֶׂה זֶה שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁיֶּשׁ לוֹ עֵדִים וּמָצָא עֵדִים, לֹא הָיָה יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁיֶּשׁ לוֹ רְאָיָה וּמָצָא רְאָיָה. אָמְרוּ לוֹ הָבֵא עֵדִים, אָמַר אֵין לִי עֵדִים, הָבֵא רְאָיָה וְאָמַר אֵין לִי רְאָיָה, רָאָה שֶׁמִּתְחַיֵּב בַּדִּין וְאָמַר קִרְבוּ פְּלוֹנִי וּפְלוֹנִי וְהַעִידוּנִי, אוֹ שֶׁהוֹצִיא רְאָיָה מִתּוֹךְ אֲפֻנְדָּתוֹ, הֲרֵי זֶה אֵינוֹ כְלוּם:
Any time one of the litigants brings additional proof, he can overturn the verdict that was decided according to previous proofs. If one litigant said to the other: Bring all the proofs that you have from now until thirty days from now, if he found additional proof within thirty days, he can overturn the verdict. If he found it after thirty days, he cannot overturn the verdict anymore. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel said: He can still overturn the verdict, as what should this litigant, who sought and did not find additional proof within thirty days but found it after thirty days, have done? In a case where one litigant said to the other: Bring witnesses, and the latter said: I have no witnesses, and the former said to him: Bring a proof, and he said: I have no proof, and he later brought a proof or found witnesses, in this case, this proof or these witnesses are worth nothing. It is apparently a false proof or false testimony. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel said: What should this litigant, who did not know that he has witnesses and ultimately found witnesses, or who did not know that he has a proof and ultimately found proof, have done? Therefore, he can still overturn the verdict. If at the beginning of the discussion in the court one did not bring witnesses or other evidence for his claims, but then he saw that he was about to be deemed liable to pay in the judgment, and said: Bring so-and-so and so-and-so, and they will testify on my behalf, or he pulled out a proof from under his belt [pundato], even Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel holds that this is worth nothing. If there was truth in the testimony of these witnesses or in this proof, he would not have hidden it until now.