Sanhedrin 32aסנהדרין ל״ב א
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מתני׳ אחד דיני ממונות ואחד דיני נפשות בדרישה ובחקירה שנאמר (ויקרא כד, כב) משפט אחד יהיה לכם

MISHNA: Both cases of monetary law and cases of capital law are equal with regard to the requirement for inquiry and interrogation of the witnesses, as it is stated: “You shall have one manner of law” (Leviticus 24:22), meaning that all legal procedures must be uniform.

מה בין דיני ממונות לדיני נפשות דיני ממונות בשלשה ודיני נפשות בעשרים ושלשה דיני ממונות פותחין בין לזכות בין לחובה ודיני נפשות פותחין לזכות ואין פותחין לחובה

Having stated the essential similarity between the two, the mishna enumerates the differences between them. What are the differences between cases of monetary law and cases of capital law? Cases of monetary law are judged by a court of three judges, and cases of capital law are judged by a court of twenty-three judges. In cases of monetary law, the court opens the deliberations either with a claim to exempt the accused, or with a claim to find him liable. And in cases of capital law, the court opens the deliberations with a claim to acquit the accused, but it does not open the deliberations with a claim to find him liable.

דיני ממונות מטין על פי אחד בין לזכות בין לחובה ודיני נפשות מטין על פי אחד לזכות ועל פי שנים לחובה

In cases of monetary law, the court directs, i.e., issues, the ruling based on a majority of one judge, either to exempt, or to find liable. But in cases of capital law, the court directs the judgment based on a majority of one judge to acquit and based on a majority of two judges to find liable.

דיני ממונות מחזירין בין לזכות בין לחובה דיני נפשות מחזירין לזכות ואין מחזירין לחובה

In cases of monetary law, the court brings the accused back to be judged again if new evidence arises, either with a claim to exempt the accused, or with a claim to find him liable. In cases of capital law, the court brings the accused back to be judged again with a claim to acquit him, but the court does not bring him back to be judged with a claim to find him liable.

דיני ממונות הכל מלמדין זכות וחובה דיני נפשות הכל מלמדין זכות ואין הכל מלמדין חובה

In cases of monetary law, all those present at the trial may teach a reason to exempt a litigant or to find him liable. In cases of capital law, all those present at the trial may teach a reason to acquit the accused, but not all present may teach a reason to find him liable. Only the judges can teach a reason to find him liable.

דיני ממונות המלמד חובה מלמד זכות והמלמד זכות מלמד חובה דיני נפשות המלמד חובה מלמד זכות אבל המלמד זכות אין יכול לחזור וללמד חובה

In cases of monetary law, one who initially teaches a reason to find the accused liable may then teach a reason to exempt him, and one who initially teaches a reason to exempt him may then teach a reason to find him liable. In cases of capital law, one who initially teaches a reason to find him liable may then teach a reason to acquit, but one who initially teaches a reason to acquit may not return and teach a reason to find him liable.

דיני ממונות דנין ביום וגומרין בלילה דיני נפשות דנין ביום וגומרין ביום

In cases of monetary law, the court judges during the daytime, and may conclude the deliberations and issue the ruling even at night. In cases of capital law, the court judges during the daytime, and concludes the deliberations and issues the ruling only in the daytime.

דיני ממונות גומרין בו ביום בין לזכות בין לחובה דיני נפשות גומרין בו ביום לזכות וביום שלאחריו לחובה לפיכך אין דנין לא בערב שבת ולא בערב יום טוב

In cases of monetary law, the court may conclude the deliberations and issue the ruling even on that same day, whether to exempt the accused or to find him liable. In cases of capital law, the court may conclude the deliberations and issue the ruling even on that same day to acquit the accused, but must wait until the following day to find him liable. Therefore, since capital cases might continue for two days, the court does not judge cases of capital law on certain days, neither on the eve of Shabbat nor the eve of a Festival.

דיני ממונות הטמאות והטהרות מתחילין מן הגדול דיני נפשות מתחילין מן הצד

In cases of monetary law, and likewise in the cases of ritual impurity and purity, the judges commence expressing their opinions from the greatest of the judges. In cases of capital law, the judges commence issuing their opinions from the side, where the least significant judges sit.

הכל כשרין לדון דיני ממונות ואין הכל כשרין לדון דיני נפשות אלא כהנים לוים וישראלים המשיאין לכהונה:

All are fit to judge cases of monetary law. But not all are fit to judge cases of capital law; only priests, Levites, and Israelites who are of sufficiently fit lineage to marry their daughters to members of the priesthood are fit to judge cases of capital law.

גמ׳ דיני ממונות מי בעינן דרישה וחקירה ורמינהו שטר שזמנו כתוב באחד בניסן בשמיטה ובאו עדים ואמרו היאך אתם מעידין על שטר זה והלא ביום פלוני עמנו הייתם במקום פלוני שטר כשר ועדיו כשרין חיישינן שמא איחרוהו וכתבוהו

GEMARA: The mishna teaches that cases of monetary law require inquiry and interrogation of the witnesses. The Gemara asks: Do we require inquiry and interrogation in cases of monetary law? And the Gemara raises a contradiction from a baraita (Tosefta, Makkot 1:2): With regard to a promissory note whose date is written on the first of Nisan of the Sabbatical Year, and witnesses came and said to the signatory witnesses: How is it that you are testifying concerning this promissory note? But is it not so that on such and such day on which the promissory note was written you were with us in such and such place? The promissory note is nevertheless valid, and its witnesses remain fit to bear witness. The reason they are not proven to have signed the promissory note falsely is that we are concerned that perhaps they delayed and wrote it, i.e., the loan was given on an earlier date, and the promissory note was postdated.

ואי סלקא דעתך בעינן דרישה וחקירה היכי חיישינן שמא איחרוהו וכתבוהו

The Gemara explains the contradiction: And if it enters your mind to say that we require inquiry and interrogation in cases of monetary law, how are we concerned that perhaps they delayed and wrote it? The signatory witnesses would be asked on which day they signed the promissory note, and when that does not accord with what is written in the promissory note, their testimony would be disregarded.

וליטעמיך תיקשי לך מתני' שטרי חוב המוקדמין פסולים והמאוחרים כשרין ואי סלקא דעתך בעינן דרישה וחקירה מאוחרין אמאי כשרין

The Gemara counters: And according to your reasoning that we do not require inquiry and interrogation in cases of monetary law, the mishna elsewhere should pose a difficulty for you as well. As mishnayot are more authoritative than baraitot, it is preferable to raise a contradiction between two mishnayot than to raise a contradiction from a baraita to a mishna. The mishna teaches (Shevi’it 10:5): Antedated promissory notes are not valid, but postdated promissory notes are valid. And if it enters your mind to say we require inquiry and interrogation in cases of monetary law and that if there is a contradiction the testimony is not accepted, why are postdated promissory notes valid? The witnesses’ testimony does not accord with what is written in the document.

הא לא קשיא דעדיפא מינה קאמרינן דאפי' אחד בניסן בשמיטה דלא שכיחי אינשי דמוזפי דליכא למימר שמא איחרוהו וכתבוהו דלא מרע לשטריה אפ"ה כיון דשביעית סופה משמטת מכשרינן

The Gemara explains: This is not difficult. There is a reason why the contradiction was raised from the baraita, not from the mishna. We are saying a better, i.e., stronger, contradiction than the one from the mishna. As one sees in the baraita that even with regard to a promissory note written on the first of Nisan in the Sabbatical Year, when it is not common to find people to lend money, as all debts are canceled at the close of the Sabbatical Year, where it is not as reasonable to say that perhaps they delayed and wrote the promissory note, as one would not damage his promissory note by postdating it so close to the end of the Sabbatical Year; even so, since the Sabbatical Year cancels debts only at its close, we are concerned that the promissory note is postdated and we deem it valid. This is why the contradiction was raised from the baraita, not from the mishna.

מ"מ קשיא: סימן חרפ"ש:

The Gemara returns to its question: In any case, the contradiction between the mishna and the baraita is difficult. The Gemara presents a mnemonic device for the following discussion, with each letter representing the name of a Sage who suggests an answer: Ḥet, reish, peh, shin.

א"ר חנינא דבר תורה אחד דיני ממונות ואחד דיני נפשות בדרישה ובחקירה שנאמר משפט אחד יהיה לכם ומה טעם אמרו דיני ממונות לא בעינן דרישה וחקירה כדי שלא תנעול דלת בפני לוין

The Gemara cites the first answer. Rabbi Ḥanina says: By Torah law, both cases of monetary law and cases of capital law are equal with regard to inquiry and interrogation of witnesses, as it is stated: “You shall have one manner of law” (Leviticus 24:22). And what is the reason the Sages said that in cases of monetary law we do not need inquiry and interrogation? It is an ordinance instituted by the Sages so as not to lock the door in the face of potential borrowers. The Sages were concerned that intensive examination of the witnesses would often result in contradictory testimony and render it difficult for lenders to collect their debts. This could lead to people refraining from lending money.

אלא מעתה

The Gemara asks: If that is so that the Sages removed the requirement for inquiry and interrogation in cases of monetary law,