Shevuot 46aשבועות מ״ו א
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46aמ״ו א

רישא וסיפא בראיה ראיה דלשלם קתני ראיה דשבועה לא קתני

Both the first clause and the latter clause address cases in which proof is required, as even in the first clause the worker must have witnesses testifying that he was actually hired. The baraita does not mention it because it teaches only with regard to proof that requires the employer to pay, but it does not teach with regard to proof that makes it possible for the worker to take an oath and receive payment.

א"ר ירמיה בר אבא שלחו ליה מבי רב לשמואל ילמדנו רבינו אומן אומר שתים קצצת לי והלה אומר לא קצצתי לך אלא אחת מי נשבע אמר להן בזו ישבע בעל הבית ויפסיד אומן קציצה ודאי מידכר דכירי אינשי

§ Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba said: After Rav’s death the Sages sent the following message to Shmuel from the study hall of Rav: Our teacher, instruct us with regard to the case where the craftsman says: You fixed two coins as my payment; and the other, the employer, says: I fixed only one coin as your payment. Who takes an oath? Shmuel told them: In that case, the employer shall take an oath to support his claim and the craftsman shall lose the difference. With regard to the fixing of wages, people certainly remember. The Sages instituted the oath taken by the worker where he claims he has not been paid in a situation where it is reasonable to presume that the employer is distracted and apt to forget.

איני והא תני רבה בר שמואל קצץ המע"ה ואי לא מייתי ראיה פקע אמאי ישבע בעל הבית ויפסיד אומן אמר רב נחמן לצדדין קתני או מביא ראיה ויטול או ישבע בעל הבית ויפסיד אומן

The Gemara asks: Is that so? But doesn’t Rabba bar Shmuel teach in a baraita: If there is a dispute with regard to the sum fixed as wages, the burden of proof rests upon the claimant, i.e., the craftsman, and if he does not bring proof, his claim is dismissed. The Gemara clarifies the difficulty: Why? Have the employer take an oath, and only then shall the craftsman lose the difference, in accordance with Shmuel’s ruling. Rav Naḥman said: Shmuel teaches the baraita disjunctively: Either the craftsman brings proof and receives the amount he claims, or the employer takes an oath, and the craftsman loses the difference.

מיתיבי הנותן טליתו לאומן אומן אומר קצצת לי שתים והלה אומר לא קצצתי לך אלא אחת כל זמן שטלית ביד אומן על בעה"ב להביא ראיה נתנה לו בזמנו נשבע ונוטל עבר זמנו המע"ה

The Gemara raises an objection to Shmuel’s ruling from a baraita: With regard to one who gives his cloak to a craftsman for mending, and then the craftsman says: You fixed two dinars as my payment, and that one, the owner, says: I fixed only one dinar as your payment, then so long as it is so that the cloak is in the possession of the craftsman, it is incumbent upon the owner to bring proof that the fee was one dinar. If the craftsman gave the cloak back to him, then there are two scenarios: If the claim is lodged in its proper time, i.e., on the day of the cloak’s return, then the craftsman takes an oath and receives the two dinars. But if its proper time passed, then the burden of proof rests upon the claimant, and the craftsman would need to bring proof that the fee was two dinars.

בזמנו מיהא נשבע ונוטל אמאי ישבע בעה"ב ויפסיד אומן

The Gemara states the objection: In any event, the baraita states that if the claim is lodged in its proper time, the craftsman takes an oath and receives his payment. According to Shmuel’s ruling why should this be so? The employer should take an oath, and the craftsman should lose the difference.

אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק הא מני ר' יהודה היא דאמר כל זמן ששבועה נוטה אצל בעה"ב שכיר נשבע ונוטל

Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said in response: In accordance with whose opinion is this baraita? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who says: Any time that the basic obligation to take an oath is directed at the employer, as in this case, as he admits to part of the claim, the Sages instituted that the obligation to take the oath is transferred, and the hired worker takes an oath and receives his payment. But according to the opinion of the Rabbis, the employer takes an oath and is exempted, as Shmuel ruled.

הי ר' יהודה אילימא ר' יהודה דמתניתין אחמורי קא מחמיר דתנן רבי יהודה אומר עד שתהא שם מקצת הודאה

The Gemara asks: To which statement of Rabbi Yehuda is Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak referring? If we say he is referring to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda in the mishna (44b), how can that be? There, he is being stringent, and restricts the cases where the worker takes an oath and receives payment, more so than the Rabbis, as we learned in the mishna: Rabbi Yehuda says: The worker does not take an oath and receive payment without any other proof unless there is partial admission on the part of the employer with regard to payment of the wages.

אלא רבי יהודה דברייתא דתניא שכיר כל זמן שלא עבר עליו זמנו הרי זה נשבע ונוטל ואם לאו אינו נשבע ונוטל ואמר ר' יהודה אימתי בזמן שאמר לו תן לי שכרי חמשים דינר שיש לי בידך והוא אומר התקבלת מהן דינר זהב או שאמר לו שתים קצצת והלה אומר לא קצצתי לך אלא אחת

Rather, he is referring to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda in a baraita; as it is taught: A hired worker, as long as the time allotted for him to receive his wages has not passed, takes an oath and receives payment of his claim, and if not, i.e., the time has passed, he does not take an oath and receive payment. And Rabbi Yehuda said: When does the worker take such an oath? It is in a situation when he said to his employer: Give me my wages of fifty silver dinars, which are still in your possession. And the employer says: You have already received a golden dinar, equal to twenty-five silver dinars, from them. Alternatively, the worker said to him: You fixed two coins as my payment; and the other, the employer, says: I fixed only one coin as your payment.

אבל אמר לו לא שכרתיך מעולם או שאמר לו שכרתיך ונתתי לך שכרך המוציא מחבירו עליו הראיה

The baraita continues: But if the employer said to him: I never hired you, or he said to him: I hired you but gave you your wages, the burden of proof rests upon the claimant, i.e., the worker. Rabbi Yehuda rules that it is only when they disagree about the amount of the wages owed to the worker that the worker takes an oath and is paid his claim by his employer.

מתקיף לה רב שישא בריה דרב אידי אלא קצץ רבי יהודה היא ולא רבנן השתא היכי דמחמיר רבי יהודה מקילי רבנן היכא דמקיל רבי יהודה מחמרי רבנן

Rav Sheisha, son of Rav Idi, objects to this: But is this baraita, which says that the craftsman can take an oath about the sum fixed as the price, the opinion of only Rabbi Yehuda, and not that of the Rabbis? Now, where Rabbi Yehuda is stringent and restricts the opportunities of the worker to take an oath and receive payment in the mishna, the Rabbis are lenient, granting the worker the right to take an oath as proof that he has not been paid, then in a case where Rabbi Yehuda is lenient in the dispute described in the baraita concerning the amount fixed as wages, granting the worker the right to take an oath as proof of his claim, would the Rabbis be stringent with regard to the worker and grant the employer the right to take an oath and be exempt?

ואלא מאי רבנן ואלא הא דתני רבה בר שמואל קצץ המוציא מחבירו עליו הראיה מני לא רבי יהודה ולא רבנן

The Gemara wonders: Rather, what can be said, that the baraita is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis? But if so, then with regard to that baraita that Rabba bar Shmuel teaches, that in a dispute about the sum fixed for the craftsman’s wages the burden of proof rests upon the claimant, whose opinion is it? It is not the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, and not that of the Rabbis. According to Rabbi Yehuda the craftsman takes an oath to prove his claim about the wage, and according to the Rabbis, it is the employer who must take an oath to exempt himself from paying the higher wage.

אלא אמר רבא בהא קמיפלגי רבי יהודה סבר בדאורייתא עבדו ליה תקנתא לשכיר ובדרבנן הואי תקנתא ותקנתא לתקנתא לא עבדינן

Rather, Rava said that they disagree about this: Rabbi Yehuda holds that only in the case of an oath mandated by Torah law did the Sages institute an ordinance for the benefit of the hired worker that he can take an oath to support his claim. When the employer’s claim contains an admission to part of the claim of the worker, the employer is required by Torah law to take an oath to support his claim. But with regard to an oath mandated by rabbinic law, such as where the employer denies owing any money, where according to Shmuel he still must take an oath, the original oath is already an ordinance, and we do not institute an ordinance to adjust an already-instituted ordinance.

ורבנן סברי בדרבנן נמי עבדינן תקנתא לשכיר וקציצה מידכר דכיר:

And the Rabbis hold that with regard to an oath mandated by rabbinic law, we also institute an ordinance for the benefit of the hired worker; but with regard to a dispute about the amount fixed as wages, they maintain that the employer will remember the amount, and therefore he takes the oath and is exempt, as Shmuel ruled. According to Rabbi Yehuda, the worker takes the oath in that case, as the employer admits to part of the claim, and the Sages transferred the oath to the worker as the means by which he can prove his claim. Rav Sheisha’s objection is therefore not valid. The difference between Rabbi Yehuda and the Rabbis is not that Rabbi Yehuda is more stringent; rather, it relates to the circumstances under which they see fit to have the worker take the oath.

נגזל כיצד היו מעידין אותו שנכנס לביתו למשכנו כו': ודלמא לא משכנו מי לא אמר רב נחמן האי מאן דנקיט נרגא בידיה ואמר איזיל ואקטליה לדקלא דפלניא ואשתכח דקטיל ושדי לא אמרינן דהוא קטליה

§ The mishna teaches: How does the halakha of the worker taking an oath and receiving payment apply to one who was robbed? The case is where witnesses testified about the defendant that he entered the claimant’s house to seize collateral from him without the authority to do so. The claimant said: You took items that belong to me; and the defendant said: I did not take them. The claimant takes an oath and receives payment of his claim. The Gemara challenges: Perhaps he did not seize anything as collateral from him? The witnesses testify only to the fact that he entered the house for that purpose. Doesn’t Rav Naḥman say: With regard to one who takes an ax in his hand and says: I will go and chop down so-and-so’s palm tree, and the palm tree is found chopped down and tossed on the ground, we do not say that he chopped it down, but rather we search for evidence?

אלמא עביד איניש דגזים ולא עביד הכא נמי דגזים ולא עביד אימא ומשכנו וליחזי מאי משכנו אמר רבה בר בר חנה אמר רבי יוחנן בטוענו כלים הניטלין תחת כנפיו

Evidently, a person is prone to bluster without acting on his threat. Here, also, it could be that he was blustering about seizing collateral, but did not act on it. The Gemara answers: Say that the case in the mishna is where the witnesses testify that he entered the house and seized collateral from him. The Gemara asks: If so, let us ask the witnesses and see what items he seized as collateral from him, and there will be no need for an oath. Rabba bar bar Ḥana said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: This is a case where one claims that the defendant took items that can be carried beneath his garments, and the witnesses could not see what they were.

אמר רב יהודה ראוהו שהטמין כלים תחת כנפיו ויצא

§ Rav Yehuda says, concerning a similar topic: If witnesses saw a person who entered another’s house, concealed items beneath his garments, and left,