Shevuot 31bשבועות ל״א ב
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31bל״א ב

אמר להו רב פפא אי מפקדון גמרי לה רבנן דכולי עלמא לא פליגי דדון מינה ומינה

Rav Pappa said to the Rabbis: If the Rabbis derive liability for one who takes a false oath of testimony on his own by means of a verbal analogy from the oath on a deposit, then everyone agrees: Infer from it and derive the details from it, and even the Rabbis would concede that all of the halakhot of the oath of testimony are derived from the oath on a deposit; therefore, one is liable for an oath taken on one’s own even outside the court.

אלא היינו טעמא דרבנן דמייתו לה בקל וחומר ומה מפי אחרים חייב מפי עצמו לא כל שכן

Rather, this is the reason that the Rabbis hold that there is no liability for the oath of testimony taken on one’s own outside the court: They derive it by means of an a fortiori inference from the halakhot of the oath of testimony itself, as follows: And if one who was administered an oath by others is liable, when one takes the oath on his own, is he not all the more so liable?

ומדמייתו לה מקל וחומר דיו לבא מן הדין להיות כנדון מה מושבע מפי אחרים בב"ד אין שלא בב"ד לא אף מושבע מפי עצמו בפני ב"ד אין שלא בפני ב"ד לא

And from the fact that they derived the halakha by means of an a fortiori inference, one is bound by the limitations that restrict that derivation: It is sufficient for the conclusion that emerges from an a fortiori inference to be like its source. Therefore, just as one who is administered an oath by others, if the oath is administered in court, yes, he is liable, and if it is not administered in court, no, he is not liable, so too, one who took the oath on his own, before a court, yes, he is liable, and if it is not before a court, no, he is not liable.

אמרו ליה רבנן לרב פפא מי מצית אמרת דלאו בדון מינה ומינה פליגי והתנן גבי פקדון שבועת הפקדון נוהגת באנשים ובנשים ברחוקין ובקרובין בכשרין ובפסולין בפני ב"ד ושלא בפני ב"ד מפי עצמו ומפי אחרים אינו חייב עד שיכפור בו בב"ד דברי ר"מ וחכ"א בין מפי עצמו ובין מפי אחרים כיון שכפר בו חייב

The Rabbis said to Rav Pappa: How can you say that it is not with regard to the matter of: Infer from it and derive the details from it, that they disagree? But didn’t we learn in the mishna with regard to the oath on a deposit: The oath on a deposit is practiced with regard to men and with regard to women, with regard to non-relatives and with regard to relatives, with regard to those fit to testify and with regard to those unfit to testify. The oath on a deposit is practiced both in the presence of the court and not in the presence of the court, when the bailee takes the oath on his own. And if the oath is administered by others, he is not liable until he denies responsibility for the deposit in court. This is the statement of Rabbi Meir. And the Rabbis say: Whether the bailee takes the oath on his own or whether the oath is administered by others, once he denied the claim concerning the deposit he is liable.

מושבע מפי אחרים בפקדון מנא להו לרבנן דחייב לאו דגמרי לה מעדות ושמע מינה בדון מינה ומינה פליגי

The question arises: From where do the Rabbis derive that one who is administered an oath on a deposit by others is liable, given that an oath of that kind is not mentioned in the Torah in the context of an oath on a deposit? Is it not that they derive it from the halakhot of the oath of testimony? And conclude from it that it is with regard to the matter of: Infer from it and derive the details from it, that they disagree? The Rabbis hold: Infer the halakha from it but interpret the halakha according to its own place. The fact that one is liable for an oath on a deposit that is administered by others is derived from the oath of testimony, but one does not derive that one is liable only if that oath is administered in the presence of a court. Rather, the oath on a deposit administered by others is derived from an oath on a deposit taken on one’s own; one is liable in both cases for an oath taken not in the presence of the court.

מההיא אין מהא ליכא למשמע מינה:

Rav Pappa said to the Rabbis: From that mishna, yes, it is evident that the Rabbis and Rabbi Meir disagree with regard to the matter of: Infer from it and derive the details from it. However, no inference is to be learned from this mishna taught with regard to the oath of testimony, as perhaps the Rabbis derived their opinion by means of an a fortiori inference.

וחייבין על זדון השבועה: מנהני מילי דתנו רבנן בכולן נאמר בהן ונעלם וכאן לא נאמר בה ונעלם לחייב על המזיד כשוגג:

§ The mishna teaches: And one is liable for the act of taking a false oath with intent. The Gemara asks: From where is this matter derived that one is liable to bring a sliding-scale offering for taking a false oath of testimony with intent? It is derived as the Sages taught: In all of the other cases where one is liable to bring a sliding-scale offering (see Leviticus 5:2–4), i.e., the defiling of the Temple or its sacrificial foods, and violating an oath on an utterance, it is stated: “And it is hidden”; but here, with regard to the oath of testimony, it is not stated: And it is hidden, which serves to render one liable for taking the oath intentionally just as he is liable for taking the oath unwittingly.

ועל שגגתה עם זדון העדות: ה"ד שגגתה עם זדון העדות א"ר יהודה אמר רב באומר יודע אני ששבועה זו אסורה אבל איני יודע אם חייבין עליה קרבן אם לא:

§ The mishna teaches: And one is liable for an unwitting act of taking a false oath provided that he takes the oath with intent in terms of the testimony. The Gemara asks: What are the circumstances of the case of an unwitting act of taking a false oath with intent in terms of the testimony? Rav Yehuda says that Rav says that this is in the case of one who says: I know that taking this false oath that I do not know the relevant information is prohibited, but I do not know whether or not one is liable to bring an offering for taking that oath.

ואין חייבין על שגגתה גרידתא לימא תנינא לדרב כהנא ודרב אסי

The mishna teaches: But they are not liable for taking the oath if they were unwitting in terms of the testimony alone. If one actually forgot that he knows about the matter, he is exempt from bringing an offering. The Gemara asks: Shall we say that we learn in the mishna that which Rav said in response to the dispute of Rav Kahana and Rav Asi? The Gemara (26a) cited a dispute between Rav Kahana and Rav Asi with regard to a certain statement of Rav, and each took an oath that his version was accurate. Rav told them that although the version of one of the amora’im was not accurate, he is not liable for taking a false oath, as each amora was convinced that his oath was true. This is not an unwitting oath; rather, it is an oath taken unaware.

לא אע"ג דתנן איצטריך ס"ד אמינא הכא הוא דלא כתיב ונעלם דבעינן שוגג דומיא דמזיד אבל התם דכתיב ונעלם אפילו שגגתה כל דהו קמ"ל:

The Gemara responds: No, even though we learned this halakha in the mishna, Rav’s statement that the one who did not cite Rav’s statement accurately is exempt was necessary. It may enter your mind to say: It is only here, with regard to the oath of testimony, that one is exempt for unwittingly taking a false oath, as: And it is hidden, is not written concerning it, indicating that in order to be liable, we require that the halakhic status of the unwitting oath is similar to that of an intentional oath, i.e., he knows that he is taking a false oath, but he does not know that he is liable to bring an offering for doing so. Therefore, one who is unaware that it is a false oath is exempt. But there, in the case of Rav Kahana and Rav Asi, where each took an oath on an utterance, where it is written: “And it is hidden,” even if it is entirely unwitting, i.e., they were totally unaware that the oath was false, one might say that he is liable. Therefore, Rav teaches us that even in the case of an oath on an utterance, one who is unwitting to that extent is exempt.

מתני׳ שבועת העדות כיצד אמר לשנים בואו והעידוני שבועה שאין אנו יודעין לך עדות או שאמרו לו אין אנו יודעין לך עדות משביע אני עליכם ואמרו אמן הרי אלו חייבין

MISHNA: Liability to bring a sliding-scale offering for taking a false oath of testimony, how so? In a case where the plaintiff said to two individuals: Come and testify on my behalf, and they replied: On our oath we do not know any testimony on your behalf, i.e., we do not have any knowledge of the matter you speak of, or in a case where they said to him: We do not know any testimony on your behalf, and he said to them: I administer an oath to you, and they said: Amen; if it was determined that they lied, these two witnesses are liable.

השביע עליהם חמש פעמים חוץ לב"ד ובאו לב"ד והודו פטורין כפרו חייבין על כל אחת ואחת השביע עליהן ה' פעמים בפני ב"ד וכפרו אינן חייבין אלא אחת אר"ש מה טעם הואיל ואינם יכולין לחזור ולהודות

If he administered an oath to them five times outside the court, and they came to court and admitted that they had knowledge of the incident in question and testified, they are exempt. But if they denied knowledge of the incident in court as well, they are liable for each and every one of the oaths administered to them outside the court. If he administered an oath to them five times before the court, and they denied knowledge of the incident, they are liable for taking only one false oath. Rabbi Shimon said: What is the reason for this ruling? Since once they denied that they had any knowledge of the incident they can no longer retract that denial and admit that they have knowledge of the matter. Therefore, there was only one oath of testimony, and there is no liability for the remaining oaths.

כפרו שניהן כאחד שניהן חייבין בזה אחר זה הראשון חייב והשני פטור כפר אחד והודה אחד הכופר חייב

If both of the witnesses denied knowledge of the incident together, both of them are liable. If they denied knowledge one after the other, the first who denied knowledge is liable, and the second is exempt, as once the first witness denies knowledge of the incident, the second is an individual witness, whose testimony is not decisive. If one of the two witnesses denied knowledge of the incident, and the other one admitted that he had knowledge and proceeded to testify, the one who denies knowledge of the incident is liable.

היו שתי כיתי עדים כפרה הראשונה ואח"כ כפרה השניה שתיהן חייבות מפני שהעדות יכולה להתקיים בשתיהן:

If there were two sets of witnesses that took the oath of testimony, and the first set denied knowledge of the matter and then the second set denied knowledge of the matter, both of the sets are liable, because the testimony can exist with either of them, as even after the first set denies knowledge of the incident, the second remains capable of providing decisive testimony.

גמ׳ אמר שמואל ראוהו שרץ אחריהן אמרו לו מה אתה רץ אחרינו שבועה שאין אנו יודעין לך עדות פטורין עד שישמעו מפיו מאי קא משמע לן תנינא שילח ביד עבדו או שאמר להן הנתבע משביע אני עליכם שאם אתם יודעין לו עדות שתבואו ותעידוהו הרי אלו פטורים

GEMARA: Shmuel says: If the witnesses saw the plaintiff pursuing them, and they said to him: For what reason are you pursuing us? On our oath we do not know any testimony on your behalf, they are exempt, until they will hear a demand to testify directly from his mouth. The Gemara asks: What is Shmuel teaching us? We learn this in a mishna (35a): If the plaintiff sent a request for testimony with his servant, or if the respondent said to the potential witnesses: I administer an oath to you that if you know any testimony on behalf of the plaintiff, i.e., my opponent in the litigation, you will come and testify on his behalf, and they took a false oath that they have no knowledge of the incident, they are exempt,