Shevuot 32aשבועות ל״ב א
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32aל״ב א

עד שישמעו מפי התובע

until they hear a demand to testify directly from the mouth of the plaintiff.

רץ אחריהן איצטריכא ליה סלקא דעתך אמינא כיון דרץ אחריהן כמאן דאמר להו דמי קמ"ל

The Gemara answers: Mentioning the case of the plaintiff pursuing them was necessary for Shmuel, as otherwise it could enter your mind to say: Since the plaintiff is pursuing them, it is like the case of one who says to them directly to testify. Therefore, Shmuel teaches us that although the intent of the plaintiff is for them to testify, the witnesses are liable only if he tells them so explicitly.

והא נמי תנינא שבועת העדות כיצד אמר לעדים בואו והעידוני שבועה כו' אמר אין לא אמר לא

The Gemara asks: But this too, we learn in the 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 witnesses: Come and testify on my behalf, and they replied: On our oath, etc., from which it can be inferred that if the plaintiff said this to the witnesses, yes, they are liable, and if he did not say this to the witnesses, no, they are not liable.

אמר לאו דוקא

The Gemara rejects this: No proof may be cited from the mishna, as perhaps when the tanna states: In a case where the plaintiff said, he did not mean that this is the halakha only in a case where he specifically verbalized his demand that they testify; rather, the same would be true even if he conveyed his intent in a non-verbal manner.

דאי לא תימא הכי גבי פקדון דקתני שבועת הפקדון כיצד אמר לו תן לי פקדון שיש לי בידך ה"נ אמר אין לא אמר לא הא (ויקרא ה, כא) וכחש בעמיתו כל דהו

As, if you do not say so and assert that the language of the mishna is precise and one is liable only if the oath was in response to a verbal demand, then as for the mishna (36b), which teaches with regard to a deposit: Liability to bring a guilt-offering for taking a false oath on a deposit, how so? In a case where the owner said to the bailee: Give me the deposit that belongs to me and is in your possession, would you say there, also, that if the owner said this to the bailee, yes, he is liable, and if he did not say this to the bailee, no, he is not liable? But doesn’t the verse “And deals falsely with his colleague in a matter of deposit” (Leviticus 5:21) indicate that the bailee is liable for any denial of the deposit at all, unrelated to the nature of the claim raised by the owner of the item?

אלא אמר לאו דוקא הכא נמי לאו דוקא

Rather, it must be that when the tanna says with regard to the oath on a deposit: In a case where the owner said to the bailee, he did not mean that this is the halakha only in a case where he specifically verbalized his demand. Here too, with regard to the oath of testimony, the tanna did not mean that this is the halakha only in a case where the plaintiff specifically verbalized his demand.

האי מאי אי אמרת בשלמא אמר דהכא דוקא תנא התם אטו הכא אלא אי אמרת לא אמר דהתם דוקא ולא אמר דהכא דוקא אמר אמר למה לי למיתנייה

The Gemara asks: What is this comparison? Granted, if you say that here, when the tanna says in the mishna with regard to the oath of testimony: In a case where the plaintiff said to two individuals, it is specifically in a case where the plaintiff verbalized his demand, one could explain that the tanna taught there, with regard to the oath on a deposit: In a case where the owner said, due to the fact that he employed that formulation here in the mishna. Tanna’im frequently employ uniform language in different cases, even though there are halakhic differences between them. But if you say that neither there with regard to the oath on a deposit is it specifically in a case where the owner verbally said, nor here with regard to the oath of testimony is it specifically in a case where the plaintiff verbally said, why do I need to teach: Said, said, in both instances?

דלמא אורחא דמילתא קא משמע לן

The Gemara answers: Perhaps the tanna is teaching us the matter in the manner in which it typically occurs, as both a plaintiff and the owner of a deposit typically articulate their claims verbally. It may still be that if the demand was conveyed non-verbally, the witness is liable. Since there is no proof from the mishna, the statement of Shmuel is necessary to teach that if the demand is not articulated verbally, the witness is not liable for taking a false oath.

תניא כוותיה דשמואל ראוהו שבא אחריהן אמרו לו מה אתה בא אחרינו שבועה שאין אנו יודעין לך עדות פטורין ואם בפקדון חייבים:

The Gemara notes that it is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Shmuel: In a case where the witnesses saw that the plaintiff was pursuing them, and they said to him: For what reason are you pursuing us; on our oath we do not know testimony on your behalf, they are exempt. And if it is with regard to an oath on a deposit, in a case where the owner is pursuing the bailee and he denies that the deposit is in his possession, the bailees are liable, as they are liable for any denial of the deposit at all, irrespective of the nature of the claim raised by the owner of the item.

השביע עליהן חמשה פעמים כו':

§ The mishna teaches: If he administered an oath to them five times and they came to court and admitted that they had knowledge of the incident 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.

מנלן דאכפירה בב"ד הוא דמחייבי אחוץ לב"ד לא מחייבי

The Gemara asks: From where do we derive that it is specifically for denial in court that they are liable, and they are not liable for denial outside court?

אמר אביי אמר קרא (ויקרא ה, א) אם לא יגיד ונשא עונו לא אמרתי לך אלא במקום שאילו מגיד זה מתחייב זה ממון

Abaye said: It is derived as the verse states with regard to the oath of testimony: “If he does not utter it, he shall bear his iniquity” (Leviticus 5:1), from which it is derived: I said this halakha to you only in a place where, were this witness to utter his testimony, that other individual becomes liable to make a monetary payment, i.e., in court. He is not liable for denial in a place where his testimony would not render one liable to pay.

א"ל רב פפא לאביי אי הכי אימא שבועה גופא בב"ד אין ושלא בבית דין לא

Rav Pappa said to Abaye: If so, say that it is not the denial but the oath itself; if it is taken in court, yes, he is liable, and if it is that which is not taken in court, no, he is not liable.

לא ס"ד דתניא (ויקרא ה, ה) לאחת לחייב על כל אחת ואחת ואי ס"ד בב"ד מי מחייב על כל אחת ואחת והתנן השביע עליהן חמשה פעמים בפני ב"ד וכפרו אין חייבין אלא אחת אמר ר' שמעון מה טעם הואיל ואינם יכולין לחזור ולהודות אלא לאו שמע מינה שבועה חוץ לב"ד כפירה בב"ד:

Abaye said to Rav Pappa: That should not enter your mind, as it is taught in a baraita that the verse: “And it will be when he is guilty of any one of these” (Leviticus 5:5), serves to render one liable to bring an offering for each and every instance when one repeatedly performs the transgressions for which one is liable to bring a sliding-scale offering. And if it enters your mind that one is liable only for an oath taken in court, is one liable for each and every oath? But didn’t we learn in the mishna: If he administered an oath to them five times before the court, and they denied knowledge of any testimony relating to 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 matter they can no longer retract that denial and admit that they have knowledge of the matter. Abaye explains: Rather, must one not conclude from it that one is liable for each and every oath taken outside court; but one is liable only if the denial is in court?

כפרו שניהן כאחת חייבין: הא אי אפשר לצמצם

§ The mishna teaches: If both of the witnesses denied knowledge of the incident together, both of them are liable. The Gemara asks: But isn’t it impossible for two events to coincide precisely? By necessity, one denial must have preceded the other.

אמר רב חסדא הא מני ר' יוסי הגלילי היא דאמר אפשר לצמצם

Rav Ḥisda said: In accordance with whose opinion is this mishna? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, who says: It is possible for two events to coincide precisely.

רבי יוחנן אמר אפילו תימא רבנן כגון שכפרו שניהן בתוך כדי דיבור ותוך כדי דיבור כדיבור דמי

Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Even if you say that the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis who disagree with Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, the mishna can be interpreted in a case where both of them denied knowledge of relevant testimony within the time required for speaking a short phrase, and the halakhic status of a pause or retraction within the time required for speaking a short phrase is like that of continuous speech. Although the two statements did not coincide precisely, their halakhic status is as if they did.

א"ל רב אחא מדיפתי לרבינא מכדי תוך כדי דיבור כמה הוי כדי שאילת תלמיד לרב (איכא דאמרי כדי שאילת הרב לתלמיד) עד דאמרי שבועה שאין אנו יודעין לך עדות טובא הוי א"ל כל אחד ואחד תוך דיבורו של חבירו:

Rav Aḥa of Difti said to Ravina: After all, how long is the duration of: Within the time required for speaking a short phrase? It is an interval equivalent to the duration of the three-word greeting of a student to his teacher: Shalom alekha rabbi. Some say that it is a briefer interval, equivalent to the duration of the two-word greeting of a teacher to his student: Shalom alekha. According to either opinion, in the time that elapses until the two of them say: On my oath we do not know any testimony for you, it is an interval greater than the time required to utter those words. How, then, can the mishna be interpreted as referring to a case where they stated their denials within the time required for speaking those words? Ravina said to Rav Aḥa of Difti: The case in the mishna is one where each and every potential witness will issue his denial within the time required for speaking, starting from the end of the statement of the other.

בזה אחר זה הראשון חייב והשני פטור: מתני' דלא כי האי תנא דתניא משביע עד אחד פטור ורבי אלעזר ברבי שמעון מחייב

§ The mishna teaches: If they denied knowledge one after the other, the first one who denied knowledge is liable, and the second one is exempt, as once the first witness denies knowledge of the incident, the second is an individual witness, whose testimony is not decisive, and he is exempt from the oath of testimony. The Gemara notes: The mishna is not in accordance with the opinion of this tanna, as it is taught in a baraita: In the case of one who administers an oath to one witness, the witness is exempt from bringing an offering for taking a false oath of testimony; and Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, deems the witness liable to bring an offering. In his opinion, the second witness in the case in the mishna would be liable, not exempt.

לימא בהא קמיפלגי דמר סבר עד אחד כי אתא לשבועה הוא דקא אתא ומר סבר עד אחד כי אתא לממונא קא אתא

The Gemara suggests: Let us say that they disagree about this: One Sage, the first tanna, holds: When one witness comes to testify, it is to render the one against whom he is testifying liable to take an oath, and that is the reason that he is coming, as one witness cannot render him liable to make a monetary payment. And one Sage, Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, holds: When one witness comes to testify, it is to render the one against whom he is testifying liable to make a monetary payment, and that is the reason that he is coming. The tanna’im disagree whether denial by one witness constitutes a denial with regard to monetary matters.

ותיסברא האמר אביי הכל מודים בעד סוטה והכל מודים בעדי סוטה ומחלוקת בעדי סוטה הכל מודים בעד אחד והכל מודים בעד שכנגדו חשוד על השבועה

The Gemara rejects this: And how can you understand their dispute in that way? Doesn’t Abaye say: All concede with regard to a witness in the case of a sota that he is liable for taking a false oath of testimony; and all concede with regard to witnesses in the case of a sota; and there is a dispute with regard to witnesses in the case of a sota. All concede with regard to one witness that he is not liable for taking a false oath of testimony because he cannot render another liable to make a monetary payment; and all concede with regard to a witness testifying on behalf of the claimant when his counterpart, the defendant, is suspect about the oath.

אלא דכ"ע עד אחד כי אתי לשבועה קא אתי והכא בהא קמיפלגי מר סבר דבר הגורם לממון כממון דמי ומ"ס לאו כממון דמי

The Gemara suggests: Rather, all concede that when one witness comes to testify, it is to render the one against whom he is testifying liable to take an oath, and that is the reason he is coming. And here they disagree about this: One Sage, Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, holds: A matter that causes financial loss is considered to have monetary value. Although the testimony of one witness does not render one liable for monetary payment, occasionally the party against whom he testified will prefer to pay rather than take the oath that the witness rendered him liable to take. In those cases, the testimony of one witness does in fact cause money to be paid. And one Sage, the first tanna, holds: A matter that causes financial loss is not considered to have monetary value.

גופא אמר אביי הכל מודים בעד סוטה והכל מודים בעדי סוטה ומחלוקת בעדי סוטה הכל מודים בעד אחד והכל מודים בעד שכנגדו חשוד על השבועה

§ With regard to the matter itself, Abaye says: All concede with regard to a witness in the case of a sota that he is liable for taking a false oath of testimony; and all concede with regard to witnesses in the case of a sota; and there is a dispute with regard to witnesses in the case of a sota. All concede with regard to one witness, and all concede with regard to a witness testifying on behalf of the claimant when his counterpart is suspect about the oath.

הכל מודים בעד סוטה שחייב בעד טומאה דרחמנא הימניה דכתיב (במדבר ה, יג) ועד אין בה כל שיש בה

The Gemara elaborates: All concede with regard to a witness in the case of a sota that he is liable for taking a false oath of testimony in the case of a witness of impurity. This is referring to a case where the husband issues a warning to his wife in the presence of two witnesses that she may not enter into seclusion with a certain man and witnesses testify that she entered into seclusion with him, and one witness testifies that she engaged in intercourse with that man, as in that case the Merciful One accorded credibility to the witness, as it is written with regard to a sota: “And there is no witness against her” (Numbers 5:13), that she engaged in intercourse. From that verse it is derived that any witness that there is against her is sufficient to render her forbidden to her husband and enable him to divorce her without paying the sum stipulated in the marriage contract. Therefore, the witness who testified that she engaged in intercourse with that man is for all intents and purposes a witness to a monetary matter.

והכל מודים בעדי סוטה שפטור בעדי קינוי דהוה גורם דגורם

And all concede with regard to witnesses in the case of a sota that each witness is exempt from liability due to a false oath of testimony. This is referring to the case of witnesses of warning, who testify that the jealous husband warned his wife not to enter into seclusion with a certain man, as each witness is the cause of a cause of financial loss, not a direct cause of that loss. In order to lose payment of her marriage contract, in addition to the witnesses of warning, witnesses of seclusion would also be required, after which either a witness would testify that she engaged in intercourse or she would be required to drink the bitter water of a sota, either of which would confirm that she engaged in an adulterous relationship.