Shevuot 37bשבועות ל״ז ב
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37bל״ז ב

הא קיימא שניה

Doesn’t the second set stand ready to testify, so that the refusal of the first set of witnesses does not affect a monetary claim? Evidently, a denial of a monetary claim to which there are witnesses is still considered a denial.

אמר רבינא הכא במאי עסקינן כגון שהיתה שניה בשעת כפירת הראשונה קרובין בנשותיהן ונשותיהן גוססות מהו דתימא רוב גוססין למיתה קמ"ל השתא מיהת חיי נינהו ולא שכיבי

Ravina said: Here we are dealing with a case where at the time of the denial by the first set, the second set of witnesses were related to one another through their wives, so that the second set was unfit to provide testimony; and their wives were moribund. Lest you say: Most moribund people actually die soon thereafter, and the witnesses are considered fit to provide testimony, the baraita teaches us that in any event they are currently alive and have not died. The second set was therefore unfit to provide testimony.

תא שמע בעל הבית שטען טענת גנב בפקדון ונשבע והודה ובאו עדים אם עד שלא באו עדים הודה משלם קרן וחומש ואשם אם משבאו עדים הודה משלם תשלומי כפל ואשם

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a proof from a baraita: In the case of a homeowner acting as a bailee who falsely claimed that a thief stole a deposit from him, and the homeowner took an oath to that effect and then admitted that he was lying, and witnesses came and testified that the item was not stolen from the homeowner, the halakha depends on the circumstances. If he admitted to his lie before the witnesses came and testified, he pays the principal value of the item and the additional one-fifth payment for denying that he possessed the deposit, and he brings a guilt-offering as atonement for a false oath on a deposit. If he admitted his guilt after the witnesses came and testified, he pays the double payment and brings a guilt-offering. The baraita indicates that even in the case of a monetary claim to which there are witnesses, one is liable to bring a guilt-offering.

הכא נמי כדרבינא

The Gemara responds: Here, too, explain this baraita as Ravina explained the previous baraita, that at the time the homeowner took his oath, the witnesses were related through their moribund wives and were unfit to provide testimony.

אמר ליה רבינא לרב אשי תא שמע חמורה ממנה שבועת הפקדון שחייבין על זדונה מכות ועל שגגתה אשם בכסף שקלים מדקאמר לוקה מכלל דאיכא עדים וקאמר על שגגתה אשם בכסף שקלים

Ravina said to Rav Ashi: Come and hear another proof from that which is taught in a baraita: The halakhot of an oath on a deposit are more stringent than the halakhot of an oath of testimony, as one is liable to receive lashes for intentionally taking a false oath on a deposit, and one is liable to bring a guilt-offering worth at least two silver shekels for taking the oath unwittingly. Ravina infers: From the fact that the baraita states that one is flogged, by inference it can be understood that the baraita is referring to a case where there are witnesses to the fact that the deposit is in the defendant’s possession and the defendant was forewarned, and yet it states: One is liable to bring a guilt-offering worth at least two silver shekels for taking the oath unwittingly.

אמר להו רב מרדכי בר מינה דההיא דהאמר להו רב כהנא אנא תנינא לה והכי תנינא לה אחד זדונה ואחד שגגתה אשם בכסף שקלים

Rav Mordekhai said to them: Apart from this, you cannot cite this baraita as a proof. As, didn’t Rav Kahana already say to the students (37a): I am the one who teaches this baraita and this is how I teach it: An oath on a deposit is more stringent than an oath of testimony, since for taking a false oath on a deposit either intentionally or unwittingly one is liable to bring a guilt-offering worth at least two silver shekels. The baraita is not referring to a case in which there were witnesses who forewarned him.

תא שמע לא אם אמרת בנזיר טמא שכן לוקה תאמר בשבועת הפקדון שאינו לוקה היכי דמי אי דליכא עדים אמאי לוקה אלא פשיטא דאיכא עדים וקתני תאמר בשבועת הפקדון שאינו לוקה מלקא הוא דלא לקי אבל קרבן מייתי תיובתא דרבה תיובתא

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a proof from another baraita: No, if you said that the halakha that baraita discusses is true with regard to an impure nazirite, who is indeed flogged for intentionally becoming impure, shall you also say that this is the case with regard to one who took an oath on a deposit, who is not flogged? The Gemara elaborates: What are the circumstances of the baraita? If it is a case where there were no witnesses, why is the nazirite flogged? Rather, isn’t it obvious that there are witnesses, and yet, the baraita teaches: Shall you also say that this is the case with regard to one who took an oath on a deposit, who is not flogged? It may be inferred that he does not receive lashes but does bring an offering, even though there are witnesses. The Gemara concludes: The refutation of the opinion of Rabba is indeed a conclusive refutation.

רבי יוחנן אמר הכופר בממון שיש עליו עדים חייב בשטר פטור אמר רב פפא מאי טעמיה דרבי יוחנן עדים עבידי דמייתי שטר הא מנח

§ Rabbi Yoḥanan says: One who denies a monetary claim to which there are witnesses is liable to bring a guilt-offering for a false oath on a deposit. But if he denies a debt concerning which there is a promissory note, he is exempt. Rav Pappa said: What is the reasoning of Rabbi Yoḥanan? It occurs that witnesses die, and it is therefore possible that he would not be found liable through their testimony; he is therefore considered to have denied a monetary claim. By contrast, a promissory note remains in its place, and his denial would never have exempted him from payment.

אמר ליה רב הונא בריה דרב יהושע לרב פפא שטרא נמי עביד דמרכס אלא אמר רב הונא בריה דרב יהושע היינו טעמיה דרבי יוחנן משום דהוה שטר שעבוד קרקעות ואין מביאין קרבן על כפירת שעבוד קרקעות

Rav Huna, son of Rav Yehoshua, said to Rav Pappa: This cannot be the reasoning of Rabbi Yoḥanan, as it also occurs that a promissory note becomes lost. Rather, Rav Huna, son of Rav Yehoshua, said: This is the reasoning of Rabbi Yoḥanan: It is because a promissory note comprises a lien on land, since the promissory note places a lien on the debtor’s property, and one does not bring an offering for an oath on a deposit for denying a lien on land, since one does not take an oath concerning land.

איתמר משביע עדי קרקע פליגי רבי יוחנן ור"א חד אמר חייב וחד אמר פטור תסתיים דרבי יוחנן דאמר פטור מדאמר רבי יוחנן הכופר בממון שיש עליו עדים חייב שטר פטור וכדרב הונא בריה דרב יהושע תסתיים

It was stated: In a case where one administers an oath to witnesses who deny knowing information with regard to ownership of land and they deny knowledge of the matter, Rabbi Yoḥanan and Rabbi Elazar disagree: One says that the witnesses are liable to bring a sin-offering for a false oath of testimony, and one says that they are exempt. The Gemara notes: It may be concluded that it is Rabbi Yoḥanan who says they are exempt. This can be inferred from the fact that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: One who denies a monetary claim to which there are witnesses is liable, but one who denies a claim concerning which there is a promissory note is exempt. And this conclusion is in accordance with the explanation of Rav Huna, son of Rav Yehoshua, that the reasoning of Rabbi Yoḥanan is that a promissory note comprises a lien on land, and one does not bring an offering for denying a lien on land. The Gemara affirms: Indeed, it may be concluded.

א"ל רבי ירמיה לר' אבהו לימא רבי יוחנן ורבי אלעזר בפלוגתא דרבי אליעזר ורבנן קא מיפלגי דתנן הגוזל שדה מחבירו ושטפה נהר חייב להעמיד לו שדה דברי רבי אליעזר וחכ"א אומר לו הרי שלך לפניך

Rabbi Yirmeya said to Rabbi Abbahu: Shall we say that Rabbi Yoḥanan and Rabbi Elazar disagree with regard to the issue that is the subject of the dispute of Rabbi Eliezer and the Rabbis? As we learned in a baraita: In the case of one who robbed another of a field and then a river flooded it, he is liable to provide the field’s owner with a different field, since the value of the flooded field was significantly decreased and the robber must return the value of that which he stole; this is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer. And the Rabbis say: He is exempt from doing so, as he can say to the owner: That which is yours is before you. The robber may return the flooded field to its owner without reimbursing him for the loss in its value, since according to the Rabbis, land cannot be stolen. Consequently, the field is considered to be in the possession of its owner, and the thief is not obligated in the mitzva of returning a stolen item.

ואמרינן במאי קמיפלגי רבי אליעזר דריש רבויי ומיעוטי ורבנן דרשי כללי ופרטי

Rabbi Yirmeya continues: And we say: With regard to what do they disagree? Rabbi Eliezer interprets the verses that discuss an oath on a deposit and the mitzva to return stolen items according to the hermeneutical principle of amplifications and restrictions, and the Rabbis interpret them according to the hermeneutical principle of generalizations and details.

רבי אליעזר דריש רבויי ומיעוטי (ויקרא ה, כא) וכחש בעמיתו ריבה בפקדון או בתשומת יד מיעט או מכל אשר ישבע חזר וריבה

He explains: Rabbi Eliezer interprets the verses: “If anyone sin, and commit a trespass against the Lord, and deal falsely with his neighbor in a matter of deposit or of pledge, or of robbery, or have oppressed his neighbor…or of anything about which he has sworn falsely, he shall restore it in full” (Leviticus 5:21–24), according to the hermeneutical principle of amplifications and restrictions. The phrase “if anyone sin, and commit a trespass against the Lord, and deal falsely with his neighbor” amplified the halakha. When the verse states: “In a matter of deposit or of pledge,” it has restricted the halakha to the case of a deposit. When the verse then states: “Or of anything about which he has sworn falsely, he shall restore it in full,” it has then amplified the halakha again.

ריבה ומיעט וריבה ריבה הכל מאי ריבה ריבה כל מילי ומאי מיעט מיעט שטרות

Accordingly, as the Torah amplified and then restricted and then amplified again, it has amplified the halakha to include everything except for the specific matter excluded by the restriction. What is included due to the fact that the verse has amplified the halakha? The verse has amplified the halakha to include everything that one steals. And what is excluded due to the fact that the verse restricted the halakha? It restricted the halakha to exclude financial documents, which are dissimilar to a deposit in that their value is not intrinsic but rather due to their function. Consequently, according to Rabbi Eliezer, land that was stolen is included in the halakhot stated in these verses, and one who steals land must reimburse the field’s owner.

ורבנן דרשי כללי ופרטי וכחש בעמיתו כלל בפקדון או בתשומת יד או בגזל פרט או מכל אשר ישבע עליו חזר וכלל כלל ופרט וכלל אי אתה דן אלא כעין הפרט

And the Rabbis interpreted these verses according to the hermeneutical principle of generalizations and details. The phrase “and deal falsely with his neighbor” is a generalization, while the subsequent phrase, “in a matter of deposit or of pledge, or of robbery,” is a detail. When the verse then states: “Or of anything about which he has sworn falsely, he shall restore it in full,” it has then generalized again. In the case of a generalization, and a detail, and a generalization, you may deduce that the verse is referring only to items similar to the detail.

מה הפרט מפורש דבר המטלטל וגופו ממון אף כל דבר המטלטל וגופו ממון יצאו קרקעות שאין מטלטל יצאו עבדים שהוקשו לקרקעות יצאו שטרות שאף על פי שמטלטלין אין גופן ממון

Accordingly, just as the detail, i.e., a deposit, is explicitly a case of movable property and has intrinsic monetary value, so too, the verse includes anything that is movable property and has intrinsic monetary value. Consequently, land has been excluded, as it is not movable property. Canaanite slaves have been excluded, as they are compared to land with regard to many areas of halakha. Financial documents have been excluded because although they are movable property, they do not have intrinsic monetary value.

מאן דמחייב כרבי אליעזר ומאן דפטר כרבנן

Rabbi Yirmeya concludes: Shall we say that the one who deems the witnesses liable in a case of an oath of testimony concerning land, i.e., Rabbi Elazar, holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer, that land is included in the mitzva of returning stolen property and in the halakhot of an oath on a deposit, and by extension, in the halakhot of an oath of testimony; and the one who deems them exempt, i.e., Rabbi Yoḥanan, holds in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, that land is excluded from these halakhot?

אמר ליה לא מאן דמחייב כרבי אליעזר ומאן דפטר אמר לך בהא אפילו רבי אליעזר מודה דרחמנא אמר מכל ולא הכל

Rabbi Abbahu said to Rabbi Yirmeya: No, the two disagreements do not completely correspond. The one who deems the witnesses liable must in fact hold in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer. But the one who deems them exempt could have said to you: In this case of an oath of testimony, even Rabbi Eliezer concedes that they are exempt from bringing an offering, as the Merciful One states: “Of anything about which he has sworn falsely,” and not: Everything about which he has sworn falsely. The verse indicates that only certain items are included in the halakhot of an oath of testimony. Therefore, land is excluded, since it is dissimilar to the specific instances mentioned in the verse.

אמר רב פפא משמיה דרבא מתניתין נמי דיקא דקתני גנבת את שורי והוא אומר לא גנבתי משביעך אני ואמר אמן חייב ואילו גנבת את עבדי לא קתני מ"ט לאו משום דעבד איתקש לקרקעות ואין מביאין קרבן על כפירת שעבוד קרקעות

Rav Pappa said in the name of Rava: The mishna is also precisely formulated, as it teaches: In a case where one accuses another: You stole my ox, and the defendant says: I did not steal your ox, if the claimant replied: I administer an oath to you, and the defendant said: Amen, he is liable. The mishna discusses a claim of a stolen ox, whereas it does not teach a claim of: You stole my Canaanite slave. What is the reason? Is it not due to the fact that a Canaanite slave is compared to land, and one is not liable to bring an offering for a denial in a matter of a lien on land?

אמר רב פפי משמיה דרבא אימא סיפא זה הכלל כל המשלם על פי עצמו חייב ושאינו משלם על פי עצמו פטור זה הכלל לאתויי מאי לאו לאתויי גנבת את עבדי

Rav Pappi said in the name of Rava: There is no proof from the mishna, as say the last clause of the mishna: This is the principle: For any claim that the defendant would have to pay based on his own admission, he is liable. And for any claim that he would not pay based on his own admission, but by the testimony of witnesses, he is exempt, even if he denies the claim against him and takes an oath to that effect. Rav Pappi asks: What is added by the phrase: This is the principle? Is it not to include even an accusation of: You stole my Canaanite slave, in the halakha of oaths on a deposit?