Shevuot 39bשבועות ל״ט ב
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39bל״ט ב

התם שיש בידם למחות ולא מיחו

The Gemara answers: There, in that verse, the reference is to a case where the others had the ability to protest the transgression, and nevertheless, they did not protest. By contrast, when one takes a false oath, the entire world is punished, even those who were not able to protest.

מאי איכא בין רשעים דמשפחתו לרשעים דעלמא בין צדיקים דמשפחתו לצדיקים דעלמא

The Gemara asks: What difference is there between the punishment of the wicked people in a transgressor’s family and the punishment of the other wicked people of the world, and between the punishment of the righteous people in his family and the punishment of the other righteous people of the world?

הוא בשאר עבירות בדיניה ורשעים דמשפחה בדין חמור ורשעים דעלמא בדין הקל צדיקי דהכא והכא פטירי

The Gemara answers: With regard to other transgressions, the transgressor himself is punished with his own punishment, i.e., that which is written in the Torah for that transgression. And the wicked people of his family, who covered for him, are punished with another severe punishment, and the wicked people of the rest of the world, who refrained from protesting his action, are punished with a light punishment. The righteous people both here and here, i.e., both his family members who did not cover for him, and others who were not able to protest his action, are exempt from punishment.

גבי שבועה הוא ורשעים דמשפחה כדיניה ורשעים דעלמא בדין חמור וצדיקי דהכא והכא בדין הקל:

With regard to one who takes a false oath, by contrast, he and the wicked people of his family are all punished with his punishment, i.e., they receive the same punishment he does. And the wicked people of the rest of the world, who refrained from protesting his action, are punished with a severe punishment, and the righteous people both here, in his family, and here, in the rest of the world, are punished with a light punishment, even though they did not behave inappropriately. Accordingly, the consequences of taking a false oath are more severe than those of other transgressions.

אם אמר איני נשבע פוטרין אותו מיד ואם אמר הריני נשבע העומדים שם אומרים זה לזה (במדבר טז, כו) סורו נא מעל אהלי האנשים הרשעים האלה: בשלמא ההוא דקא משתבע קאי באיסורא אלא ההוא דקא משבע ליה אמאי

§ The baraita states: If the defendant says: I will not take an oath, the court dismisses him immediately, and rules him liable to pay. And if he says: I will take an oath, the people standing there say to each other: “Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men.” The Gemara asks: Granted that one who is taking the oath stands to transgress the prohibition against taking a false oath; but why is the one administering the oath to him, i.e., the claimant, considered a wicked man?

ההוא מיבעי ליה כדתניא ר"ש בן טרפון אומר (שמות כב, י) שבועת ה' תהיה בין שניהם מלמד שחלה שבועה על שניהם:

The Gemara answers: That designation is necessary for that which is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Shimon ben Tarfon says that the verse: “The oath of the Lord shall be between them both” (Exodus 22:10), teaches that the punishment for a false oath applies to both the one who took the oath and the one who administered it to him.

וכשמשביעין אותו אומרים לו הוי יודע שלא על דעתך וכו': למה לי למימרא ליה הכי משום קניא דרבא:

§ The baraita states: And when the judges administer the oath to him, they say to him: Be aware that we administer an oath to you not according to your understanding, but according to the understanding of the Omnipresent and according to the understanding of the court. The Gemara explains: Why does the court need to say this to him? It is due to deceptions like that of the reed in Rava’s court, where the defendant secretly inserted into a hollow reed the money he owed and gave it to the claimant to hold for him, whereupon he took an oath that he had already given him the money. He then took back the reed, as the claimant was unaware of its contents. In this way, he was able to state an oath that was technically true, although he was guilty of deception. To prevent this, the court stipulates that the oath must be true according to the court’s understanding.

הטענה שתי כסף: אמר רב כפירת טענה שתי כסף ושמואל אמר טענה עצמה שתי כסף אפי' לא כפר אלא בפרוטה ולא הודה אלא בפרוטה חייב

§ The mishna teaches that the court administers an oath to one who admits to part of a claim only when the claim is for at least the value of two silver ma’a. Rav and Shmuel disagree with regard to the exact meaning of this statement. Rav says that the denial of the claim must be at least the value of two silver ma’a. And Shmuel says that the claim itself must be at least the value of two silver ma’a; i.e., even if the defendant denied only one peruta of the claim, or conversely, if he admitted to only one peruta of the two-ma’a claim, he is liable to take an oath.

אמר רבא דיקא מתניתין כותיה דרב וקראי כותיה דשמואל דיקא מתני' כותיה דרב דקתני הטענה שתי כסף וההודאה שוה פרוטה ואילו כפירת טענה פרוטה לא קתני ותנן נמי ההודאה בפרוטה ואילו כפירה בפרוטה לא קתני

Rava said: The language of the mishna is precise in accordance with the opinion of Rav, and the biblical verses are precise in accordance with the opinion of Shmuel. The language of the mishna is precise in accordance with the opinion of Rav, as it teaches: The claim must be for at least the value of two silver ma’a and the admission must be at least the value of one peruta, whereas it does not teach that the minimum denial of the claim is one peruta, indicating that it must be more. And also, we learned in a mishna (Bava Metzia 55a) that the minimum admission to part of a claim that renders one liable to take an oath is the value of one peruta, whereas that mishna does not teach that the minimum denial is the value of one peruta.

וקראי כותיה דשמואל דכתיב (שמות כב, ו) כי יתן איש אל רעהו כסף או כלים לשמור מה כלים שנים אף כסף שנים מה כסף דבר חשוב אף כל דבר חשוב וקאמר רחמנא (שמות כב, ח) כי הוא זה

And the verses are precise in accordance with the opinion of Shmuel, as it is written with regard to the case where an oath is administered due to admission to part of a claim: “If a man delivers to his neighbor silver or vessels to safeguard” (Exodus 22:6). It is derived from the juxtaposition of silver and vessels that just as “vessels,” in the plural, is referring to at least two, so too, “silver” is referring to at least two ma’a of silver. It is derived further that just as silver is an item of substantial value, so too, any item of substantial value is included. And the Merciful One states in the subsequent verses that an oath is administered in a case “where one says: This is it” (Exodus 22:8), i.e., where the defendant admits to only part of the claim of “silver or vessels” and denies the rest of the claim. Evidently, the denial can be for an amount less than two silver ma’a.

ורב ההוא מיבעי ליה להודאה במקצת הטענה ושמואל כתיב הוא וכתיב זה דאי כפר במקצת ואודי במקצת חייב

And Rav would respond that the phrase “this is it” is necessary to indicate admission to a part of the claim, but it does not indicate the value being denied, which must be at least two silver ma’a. The Gemara asks: And how does Shmuel derive both halakhot from the verse, namely, that admission to part of a claim is necessary for an oath to be administered, and that the denial can be less than the value of two ma’a? The Gemara answers: It is written: “This is,” and it is written: “It.” The repetition of these similar terms is homiletically interpreted to indicate that if the defendant denied part of the two-ma’a claim and admitted to the other part, he is liable to take an oath.

ורב חד להודאה במקצת הטענה וחד להודאה ממין הטענה ושמואל לאו ממילא שמעת מיניה דחסרה לה טענה

And Rav would respond that the repetition should be interpreted differently: One of the two terms is stated to indicate admission of a part of the claim, and the other one is stated to indicate admission of the same type of item as the claim. And Shmuel would respond: Even if you do not accept the derivation from the repetitious words, don’t you derive from this halakha by itself that the denial may be less than two ma’a, since the admission reduces the value of the claim? If the claim was for two ma’a, as derived from the verse, and the defendant admitted to a part of the claim, then the value of denial was clearly less than two ma’a.

אלא אמר לך רב כסף כי אתא מעיקרא לכפירה הוא דאתא דא"כ לכתוב רחמנא כי יתן איש אל רעהו כלים לשמור ואנא אמינא מה כלים שנים אף כל שנים כסף דכתב רחמנא למה לי אם אינו ענין לטענה תנהו ענין לכפירה

Rather, Rav could have said to you that when the word “silver” came initially, it came as a source for the value of the denial, not the claim; as if this were not so, if it were meant to refer to the value of the claim, let the Merciful One write in the verse: If a man delivers to his neighbor vessels to safeguard, without mentioning silver, and I would say that just as vessels are at least two, so too, the claim must be for at least two of any item, including coins of silver. Accordingly, why do I need the word “silver” that the Merciful One wrote? Rather, if it is not needed for the matter of the claim, apply it to the matter of the denial, and derive from it that the denial must be at least the value of two silver ma’a.

ושמואל אמר לך אי כתב רחמנא כלים ולא כתב כסף הוה אמינא מאי כלים שנים אף כל שנים אבל דבר חשוב לא בעינן קמ"ל

And Shmuel could have said to you that if the Merciful One had written the word “vessels” and had not written the word “silver” I would say that just as vessels are at least two, so too, the claim must be for at least two of any item; but we do not need it to be an item of substantial value. Therefore, the word “silver” teaches us that it must be an item of substantial value, like silver.

תנן שתי כסף יש לי בידך אין לך בידי אלא פרוטה פטור מאי טעמא לאו משום דחסרה לה טענה ותיובתא דשמואל

The Gemara attempts to prove Rav’s opinion from the mishna. We learned in the mishna that if the claimant said to the defendant: I have two silver ma’a in your possession, and the latter responded: You have only one copper peruta in my possession, he is exempt from taking an oath. What is the reason? Is it not because the amount of the claim that was denied by the defendant was lacking, i.e., was less than, the minimum value of two ma’a? And accordingly, this is a conclusive refutation of the opinion of Shmuel.

אמר לך שמואל מי סברת שוה קתני דוקא קתני מה שטענו לא הודה לו ומה שהודה לו לא טענו

The Gemara answers: Shmuel could have said to you: Do you maintain that the case that is taught is one where the claim was for the value of two ma’a? The claim in the case that is taught was specifically for two silver ma’a. The defendant is exempt because the claim was for silver and he admitted to owing one peruta of copper; that which he claimed from him, he did not admit to at all, and that which he admitted to, he had not claimed from him.

אי הכי אימא סיפא שתי כסף ופרוטה יש לי בידך אין לך בידי אלא פרוטה חייב אי אמרת בשלמא שוה משום הכי חייב אלא אי אמרת דוקא אמאי חייב מה שטענו לא הודה לו ומה שהודה לו לא טענו

The Gemara asks: If so, say the latter clause: If the claimant said: I have two silver ma’a and one peruta in your possession, and the defendant responded: You have only one peruta in my possession, he is liable to take an oath. Granted, if you say that the claim was for the value of two ma’a, due to that reason he is liable in this case; unlike the previous case, here the defendant denied a debt of two full ma’a. But if you say the claim was specifically for two silver ma’a and one copper peruta, why is he liable to take an oath? In this case too, that which he claimed from him, he did not admit to at all, and that which he admitted to, he had not claimed from him.

מידי הוא טעמא אלא לשמואל האמר ר"נ אמר שמואל טענו חטין ושעורין והודה לו באחד מהן חייב

The Gemara answers: Isn’t this discussion only according to Shmuel? The proof was presented in order to attempt to refute the opinion of Shmuel, and doesn’t Rav Naḥman say that Shmuel says that if one claimed that another owes him both wheat and barley, and the defendant admitted to owing him one of them, he is liable to take an oath? Here too, the claim was for two types of items, silver and copper, and the defendant admitted to owing one of the types, one peruta of copper. Therefore, according to Shmuel he is liable to take an oath.

ה"נ מסתברא מדקתני סיפא ליטרא זהב יש לי בידך אין לך בידי אלא ליטרא כסף פטור אי אמרת בשלמא דוקא קתני משום הכי פטור אלא אי אמרת שוה אמאי פטור ליטרא טובא הוי

This, too, stands to reason, from the fact that the latter clause of the mishna teaches that if the claimant said: I have a litra of gold in your possession, and the defendant responded: You have only a litra of silver in my possession, he is exempt. Granted, if you say that the mishna is teaching a case where the claim was specifically for gold, it is due to that reason that he is exempt, as the admission was of a different item from the claim. But if you say the claim was for the value of a litra of gold, why is he exempt? A litra is a large amount, and certainly both the claim and the denial are each worth more than two ma’a.

אלא מדסיפא דוקא רישא נמי דוקא

Rather, it is clearly a case where the claim was specifically for two silver ma’a, and from the fact that in the latter clause, the claim was specifically for gold, it should be derived that also in the former clause, the claim was specifically for two ma’a.

לימא תיהוי תיובתא דרב אמר לך רב כולה מתני' שוה וליטרא זהב שאני

The Gemara asks: If so, shall we say this is a conclusive refutation of the opinion of Rav? The Gemara answers: No, Rav could have said to you that the entire mishna is referring to claims in terms of the value of silver, not actual silver, but the case where the claim was for a litra of gold is different. All of the other cases in the mishna are referring to a certain monetary value, but this case is referring to actual gold, as a litra is not a coin or a monetary unit, but a measurement of weight.