טעו לא ישלמו כל שכן שתנעול דלת בפני לווין
then if the judges erred they should not need to pay the party they wronged, as they can claim that they were prevented from examining the witnesses effectively. The Gemara answers: If that were to be the halakha, all the more so that this would lock the door in the face of potential borrowers. If people know that the courts are not responsible for an error in judgment, they will not be willing to lend money.
רבא אמר מתניתין דהכא בדיני קנסות ואידך בהודאות והלואות
Rava says: The ruling of the mishna here, that cases of monetary law require inquiry and interrogation, is stated with regard to laws of fines, not standard cases of monetary law. And the other sources, i.e., the mishna in tractate Shevi’it and the baraita, which do not require inquiry and interrogation, are stated with regard to cases of admissions and loans, in which there is cause to relax the procedures of deliberation, as explained.
רב פפא אמר אידי ואידי בהודאה והלואה כאן בדין מרומה כאן בדין שאינו מרומה
Rav Pappa says: This and that, i.e., both the mishna here and the other sources, are stated with regard to cases of an admission and a loan. The distinction between them is that the mishna here, which rules that cases of monetary law require inquiry and interrogation, is stated with regard to a possibly fraudulent trial, where the court suspects that one party is attempting to defraud the other party and have witnesses offer false testimony on his own behalf. There, in the baraita and in the mishna in tractate Shevi’it, which do not require inquiry and interrogation, the ruling is stated with regard to a trial that does not appear fraudulent.
כדריש לקיש דריש לקיש רמי כתיב (ויקרא יט, טו) בצדק תשפוט עמיתך וכתיב (דברים טז, כ) צדק צדק תרדף הא כיצד כאן בדין מרומה כאן בדין שאין מרומה
This distinction is in accordance with the statement of Reish Lakish, as Reish Lakish raises a contradiction between two verses: It is written in one verse: “In justice shall you judge your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:15), and it is written in another verse: “Justice, justice, shall you follow” (Deuteronomy 16:21), with the repetition indicating that it is not enough to merely judge with justice. He continues: How can these texts be reconciled? Here, this latter verse is stated with regard to a possibly fraudulent trial, where the court must take extra care to judge with justice; and there, that former verse is stated with regard to a trial that does not appear fraudulent.
רב אשי אמר מתני׳ כדשנין קראי אחד לדין וא' לפשרה
Rav Ashi says: The ruling of the mishna here, that cases of monetary law require inquiry and interrogation, is as we answered, i.e., in accordance with any one of the answers offered by the other amora’im. And those verses were not stated with regard to fraudulent trials; rather, one is stated with regard to judgment, in which the court must pursue justice extensively, and one is stated with regard to compromise.
כדתניא צדק צדק תרדף אחד לדין ואחד לפשרה כיצד שתי ספינות עוברות בנהר ופגעו זה בזה אם עוברות שתיהן שתיהן טובעות בזה אחר זה שתיהן עוברות וכן שני גמלים שהיו עולים במעלות בית חורון ופגעו זה בזה אם עלו שניהן שניהן נופלין בזה אחר זה שניהן עולין
As it is taught in a baraita: When the verse states: “Justice, justice, shall you follow,” one mention of “justice” is stated with regard to judgment and one is stated with regard to compromise. How so? Where there are two boats traveling on the river and they encounter each other, if both of them attempt to pass, both of them sink, as the river is not wide enough for both to pass. If they pass one after the other, both of them pass. And similarly, where there are two camels who were ascending the ascent of Beit Ḥoron, where there is a narrow steep path, and they encounter each other, if both of them attempt to ascend, both of them fall. If they ascend one after the other, both of them ascend.
הא כיצד טעונה ושאינה טעונה תידחה שאינה טעונה מפני טעונה קרובה ושאינה קרובה תידחה קרובה מפני שאינה קרובה היו שתיהן קרובות שתיהן רחוקות הטל פשרה ביניהן ומעלות שכר זו לזו
How does one decide which of them should go first? If there is one boat that is laden and one boat that is not laden, the needs of the one that is not laden should be overridden due to the needs of the one that is laden. If there is one boat that is close to its destination and one boat that is not close to its destination, the needs of the one that is close should be overridden due to the needs of the one that is not close. If both of them were close to their destinations, or both of them were far from their destinations, impose a compromise between them to decide which goes first, and the owners of the boats pay a fee to one other, i.e., the owners of the first boat compensate the owner of the boat that waits, for any loss incurred.
ת"ר צדק צדק תרדף הלך אחר ב"ד יפה אחר רבי אליעזר ללוד אחר רבן יוחנן בן זכאי לברור חיל
§ The Sages taught: The verse states: “Justice, justice, shall you follow.” This teaches that one should follow the best, most prestigious, court of the generation. For example, follow after Rabbi Eliezer to Lod, after Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai to Beror Ḥayil.
תנא קול ריחים בבורני שבוע הבן שבוע הבן אור הנר בברור חיל משתה שם משתה שם
The Sages taught: When the gentile authorities issued decrees outlawing observance of the mitzvot, members of Jewish communities devised clandestine ways of indicating observance of mitzvot to each other. For example: If one produces the sound of a millstone in the city called Burni, this is tantamount to announcing: Week of the son, week of the son, i.e., there will be a circumcision. If one displays the light of a lamp in the city called Beror Ḥayil, this is tantamount to announcing: There is a wedding feast there, there is a wedding feast there.
ת"ר צדק צדק תרדף הלך אחר חכמים לישיבה אחר ר' אליעזר ללוד אחר רבן יוחנן בן זכאי לברור חיל אחר רבי יהושע לפקיעין אחר רבן גמליאל ליבנא אחר רבי עקיבא לבני ברק אחר רבי מתיא לרומי אחר רבי חנניא בן תרדיון לסיכני אחר ר' יוסי לציפורי אחר רבי יהודה בן בתירה לנציבין אחר רבי יהושע לגולה אחר רבי לבית שערים אחר חכמים ללשכת הגזית:
The Sages taught: The verse states: “Justice, justice, shall you follow.” This teaches that one should follow the Sages to the academy where they are found. For example, follow after Rabbi Eliezer to Lod, after Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai to Beror Ḥayil, after Rabbi Yehoshua to Peki’in, after Rabban Gamliel to Yavne, after Rabbi Akiva to Bnei Brak, after Rabbi Matya to Rome [Romi], after Rabbi Ḥananya ben Teradyon to Sikhnei, after Rabbi Yosei to Tzippori, after Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira to Netzivin, after Rabbi Yehoshua to the exile [gola], i.e., Babylonia, after Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi to Beit She’arim, and after the Sages in the time of the Temple to the Chamber of Hewn Stone.
דיני ממונות פותחין כו': היכי אמרינן אמר רב יהודה הכי אמרינן להו מי יימר כדקאמריתו
§ The mishna teaches that 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. In cases of capital law, the court opens the deliberations with a claim to acquit the accused, but does not open the deliberations with a claim to find him liable. The Gemara asks: How do we say this opening stage of the deliberations? In other words, with what claim does the court begin deliberating? Rav Yehuda said: We say this to the witnesses: Who says that the event occurred as you said? Perhaps you erred?
א"ל עולא והא חסמינן להו וליחסמו מי לא תניא רבי שמעון בן אליעזר אומר מסיעין את העדים ממקום למקום כדי שתיטרף דעתן ויחזרו בהן
Ulla said to him: But by confronting the witnesses in this manner, we silence them. The witnesses will think that the court suspects them of lying, and they will not testify. Rav Yehuda said to him: And let them be silenced. Isn’t it taught in a baraita (Tosefta 9:1): Rabbi Shimon ben Eliezer says: In cases of capital law, the court brings the witnesses from one place to another place in order to confuse them so that they will retract their testimony if they are lying.
מי דמי התם ממילא קא מידחו הכא קא דחינן להו בידים
The Gemara rejects this argument: Are the halakhot comparable? There, where Rabbi Shimon ben Eliezer says to bring the witnesses from place to place, the witnesses are repressed by themselves, whereas here, we repress them by direct action, and that the court should not do.
אלא אמר עולא הכי אמרינן יש לך עדים להזימם א"ל רבה וכי פותחין בזכותו של זה שהיא חובתו של זה
Rather, Ulla says: We say this to the accused: Do you have witnesses to determine that the witnesses who testified against you are conspiring witnesses? Rabba said to him: But do we open the deliberations with a claim to acquit the accused that is to the liability of this one, i.e., the witnesses? This claim can lead to the witnesses incurring liability for their testimony.
ומי הויא חובתו והתנן אין עדים זוממין נהרגין עד שיגמר הדין
The Gemara questions Rabba’s assumption: But is this to the liability of the witnesses? But didn’t we learn in a mishna (Makkot 5b): Conspiring witnesses are not killed for their testimony until the verdict of the one concerning whom they testified is issued? Therefore, if they will be shown to be conspiring witnesses at this early stage of the proceedings, they will not be liable.
הכי אמינא אילו שתיק האי עד דמיגמר דיניה ומייתי עדים ומזים להו הויא ליה חובתו של זה אלא אמר רבה אמרינן ליה יש לך עדים להכחישן
The Gemara restates Rabba’s objection: This is what I say: If the accused would be silent until his verdict is issued and then brings witnesses and the court determines them to be conspiring witnesses, it will be found that the statement of the court is to the liability of this one, i.e., the witnesses. Rather, Rabba says: We say to the accused: Do you have witnesses to contradict them? If the first witnesses are contradicted as to the facts of the case, no one is liable.
רב כהנא אמר מדבריכם נזדכה פלוני אביי ורבא דאמרי תרוייהו אמרי' ליה אי לא קטלת לא תדחל רב אשי אמר כל מי שיודע לו זכות יבא וילמד עליו
Rav Kahana said: We say to the witnesses: Based on your statements, so-and-so is acquitted. The court issues a pro forma declaration that it is possible to find a reason to acquit based on the testimony of the witnesses, and then they begin the deliberations. Abaye and Rava both say: We say to the accused: For example, if you did not kill anyone, do not fear the consequences of these proceedings, as you will be acquitted. Rav Ashi says: The court announces: Whoever knows of a reason to acquit the accused should come and teach this reason concerning him.
תניא כוותיה דאביי ורבא רבי אומר (במדבר ה, יט) אם לא שכב איש אותך ואם לא שטית וגו'
The Gemara comments: It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the explanation of Abaye and Rava. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: The priest administering the sota rite to the sota says to her: “If no man has lain with you and if you have not gone astray to impurity while under your husband, you shall be free from this water of bitterness that causes the curse. But if you have gone astray while under your husband…” (Numbers 5:19–20). The priest first states the scenario in which the woman is innocent of adultery.