Sanhedrin 24bסנהדרין כ״ד ב
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24bכ״ד ב

מאי לאו באותן הנשבעין ולא משלמין דהוה ליה כמחול לך

What, is it not referring to those who take an oath and do not pay, i.e., cases where the defendant is obligated to take an oath that the claim against him is false, and he is thereby exempt from paying? Accordingly, it is the claimant who suggests that the defendant take a vow instead, which is the same as saying: If you take a vow, the money I claim you owe is forgiven you.

לא באותן הנשבעין ונוטלין דהוה ליה כאתן לך

The Gemara rejects this objection: No, it is referring to those who take an oath and collect a debt. There are cases where it is the claimant who is obligated to take an oath, and he then collects the money that he claims. In a case where the defendant suggests that the claimant take a vow instead, it is the same as saying: If you take a vow I will give you what you claim.

והא תנא ליה רישא

The Gemara challenges: But according to Rava’s interpretation, the mishna already taught the halakha in a case where the defendant says: I will give you, in the first clause, where the defendant accepts unfit judges.

תנא תולה בדעת אחרים ותנא תולה בדעת עצמו

The Gemara answers: The mishna taught in the former clause a case where the defendant makes the outcome dependent on the decision of others, namely, his father or the father of the claimant; and the mishna taught in the latter clause a case where he makes the outcome dependent on the claimant’s own decision.

וצריכא דאי תנא תולה בדעת אחרים בהא קאמר ר' מאיר דמצי הדר ביה משום דלא גמר ומקני דאמר מי יימר דמזכי ליה אבל תולה בדעת עצמו אימא מודי להו לרבנן

And it is necessary for the mishna to teach both cases, since if the mishna taught only the case where he makes the outcome dependent on the decision of others, one might reason that specifically in this case Rabbi Meir says that he can retract his acceptance of the unfit judges. This is because he presumably did not resolve to transfer the money if these judges deem him liable, as he must have said to himself: Who will say that the judges will rule in favor of the claimant? But in a case where he makes the outcome dependent on the claimant’s own decision by suggesting that he take a vow, say that Rabbi Meir concedes to the Rabbis that the defendant cannot retract his commitment to pay.

ואי אשמעינן בהא בהא קאמרי רבנן אבל בההיא אימא מודו ליה רבנן לר' מאיר צריכא

And conversely, if the mishna would teach us only this latter case, where the defendant suggests that the claimant take a vow, one might reason that specifically in this case the Rabbis say that he cannot retract his offer; but in that former case, where he makes the outcome dependent on the decision of others, say that the Rabbis concede to Rabbi Meir that he can retract his acceptance of the unfit judges. Therefore, it is necessary for the mishna to teach both cases.

אמר ריש לקיש מחלוקת לפני גמר דין אבל לאחר גמר דין דברי הכל אין יכול לחזור בו ור' יוחנן אמר לאחר גמר דין מחלוקת

§ Reish Lakish says: The dispute between Rabbi Meir and the Rabbis concerns whether or not one can retract his acceptance of unfit judges before the verdict is issued. But after the verdict is issued, everyone agrees that one cannot retract his acceptance, as he has already been deemed liable. And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The dispute concerns whether or not one can retract his acceptance after the verdict is issued.

איבעיא להו לאחר גמר דין מחלוקת אבל לפני גמר דין דברי הכל יכול לחזור בו או דילמא בין בזו ובין בזו מחלוקת

A dilemma was raised before the Sages with regard to the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan: Is the dispute over whether one can retract his acceptance after the verdict is issued, but before the verdict is issued, everyone agrees that he can retract his acceptance? Or perhaps Rabbi Yoḥanan maintains that the dispute is both with regard to this case and with regard to that case.

ת"ש דאמר רבא קיבל עליו קרוב או פסול לפני גמר דין יכול לחזור בו לאחר גמר דין אין יכול לחזור בו

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a resolution to the dilemma, as Rava says: If one accepted a relative upon himself as a judge or witness, or if he accepted one who is disqualified for another reason from serving as a judge or a witness, he can retract his acceptance before the verdict is issued. He cannot retract his acceptance after the verdict is issued.

אי אמרת בשלמא לאחר גמר דין מחלוקת אבל לפני גמר דין ד"ה יכול לחזור בו רבא דאמר כרבי יוחנן ואליבא דרבנן אלא אי אמרת בין בזו בין בזו מחלוקת רבא דאמר כמאן

Granted, this makes sense if you say that according to Rabbi Yoḥanan too, the dispute concerns whether one can retract his acceptance after the verdict is issued, but before the verdict is issued everyone agrees that one can retract his acceptance; then this means that Rava is stating the halakha in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan, and according to the opinion of the Rabbis. But if you say that according to Rabbi Yoḥanan, the dispute is both with regard to this case and with regard to that case, then in accordance with whose opinion is Rava stating the halakha? His statement is in accordance with the opinion of neither Reish Lakish nor Rabbi Yoḥanan.

אלא לאו ש"מ לאחר גמר דין מחלוקת ש"מ

Rather, must we not conclude from Rava’s statement that the dispute is over whether one can retract his acceptance after the verdict is issued? The Gemara affirms: Conclude from Rava’s statement that this is so.

שלח ליה רב נחמן בר רב (חסדא) לרב נחמן בר יעקב ילמדנו רבינו לפני גמר דין מחלוקת או לאחר גמר דין מחלוקת והלכה כדברי מי שלח ליה לאחר גמר דין מחלוקת והלכה כדברי חכמים

Rav Naḥman, son of Rav Ḥisda, sent the following question to Rav Naḥman bar Ya’akov: Our teacher, instruct us: Does the dispute concern whether or not one can retract his acceptance before the verdict is issued, or does the dispute concern whether or not one can retract his acceptance after the verdict is issued? And furthermore, in accordance with whose statement is the halakha? Rav Naḥman bar Ya’akov sent to him in response: The dispute concerns whether one can retract his acceptance after the verdict is issued, and the halakha is in accordance with the statement of the Rabbis.

רב אשי אמר הכי שלח ליה באתן לך מחלוקת או במחול לך מחלוקת והלכה כדברי מי שלח ליה באתן לך מחלוקת והלכה כדברי חכמים

Rav Ashi says a different version of the question and answer: This is the question that Rav Naḥman, son of Rav Ḥisda, sent to Rav Naḥman bar Ya’akov: Is the dispute with regard to a case where the defendant says: I will give you, or is the dispute with regard to a case where the claimant says: The money I claim you owe me is forgiven you? And furthermore, in accordance with whose statement is the halakha? Rav Naḥman bar Ya’akov sent this response to him: The dispute is with regard to a case where the defendant says: I will give you, and the halakha is in accordance with the statement of the Rabbis.

בסורא מתני הכי בפומבדיתא מתני הכי א"ר חנינא בר שלמיה שלחו ליה מבי רב לשמואל ילמדנו רבינו לפני גמר דין וקנו מידו מאי שלח להו אין לאחר קניין כלום:

In Sura they teach that previous version of the question and the answer. In Pumbedita they teach this following version: Rav Ḥanina bar Shelemya says that they sent the following question from Rav’s study hall to Shmuel: Our teacher, instruct us: In a case where one litigant wishes to retract his acceptance of the judges before the verdict is issued, and the other litigant had performed a formal act of acquisition with him giving legal power to the acceptance, what is the halakha? Shmuel sent them in response: Nothing can be retracted after an act of acquisition was performed.

מתני׳ ואלו הן הפסולין המשחק בקובי' והמלוה בריבית ומפריחי יונים וסוחרי שביעית

MISHNA: 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.

אמר רבי שמעון בתחילה היו קורין אותן אוספי שביעית משרבו האנסין חזרו לקרותן סוחרי שביעית

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.

א"ר יהודה אימתי בזמן שאין להן אומנות אלא הוא אבל יש להן אומנות שלא הוא כשרין:

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.

גמ׳ משחק בקוביא מאי קא עביד אמר רמי בר חמא משום דהוה אסמכתא ואסמכתא לא קניא

GEMARA: With regard to one who plays with dice for money, what is he doing that disqualifies him from bearing witness? Rami bar Ḥama says: He is disqualified because gambling is a transaction with inconclusive consent [asmakhta], as one who gambles does not have conclusive consent to pay when he loses since he plays under the assumption that he will win. And as an asmakhta does not effect acquisition, the one who wins takes money that is not legally his, and is considered a robber.

רב ששת אמר כל כי האי גוונא לאו אסמכתא היא אלא לפי שאין עסוקין ביישובו של עולם

Rav Sheshet says: Any case like this is not an asmakhta. In a game of dice both sides realize that they might lose, and consent at the outset to pay if that happens. Rather, those who play dice are disqualified because they are not involved in settling the world, i.e., in productive occupations that demand hard work. Since they do not realize the effort required of most people to earn a living they might not be scrupulous about other people’s money, and their testimony cannot be relied upon.

מאי בינייהו איכא בינייהו דגמר אומנותא אחריתי

The Gemara asks: What is the practical difference between the explanations of Rami bar Ḥama and Rav Sheshet? The Gemara answers: The practical difference between them is in a case where the dice player learns another occupation, and is involved in that occupation as well. According to Rav Sheshet, since he has a productive occupation he is fit to bear witness. According to Rami bar Ḥama, since he is considered a robber, as the money he gains from gambling is not legally his, he is disqualified.

(ותנן) א"ר יהודה אימתי בזמן שאין להן אומנות אלא הוא אבל יש להן אומנות שלא הוא (הרי זה) כשרים אלמא טעמא דמתניתין משום יישובו של עולם הוא קשיא לרמי בר חמא

The Gemara raises a difficulty against the opinion of Rami bar Ḥama: But we learned in the mishna that Rabbi Yehuda said: When are they disqualified from bearing witness? It is when they have no occupation but this one. But if they have an occupation other than this one they are fit to bear witness. Apparently, the reason that the mishna disqualifies these individuals from bearing witness is that they are not involved in settling the world, in accordance with the opinion of Rav Sheshet. This poses a difficulty to the opinion of Rami bar Ḥama.

וכי תימא פליגי רבנן עליה דר' יהודה והא"ר יהושע בן לוי כל מקום שא"ר יהודה

And if you would say this is not difficult, as the Rabbis disagree with Rabbi Yehuda, this would be a problem as well. But doesn’t Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi say: Any place where Rabbi Yehuda says in the corpus of the Mishna: