Shevuot 48aשבועות מ״ח א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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48aמ״ח א

אחד אומר גבוה ב' מרדעות ואחד אומר שלש עדותן קיימת אחד אומר ג' ואחד אומר ה' עדותן בטלה ומצטרפין לעדות אחרת

If one witness who came to testify about the new moon says that he saw it two oxgoads high above the horizon, and the other one says it was three oxgoads high, their testimony is valid, as a discrepancy of this type is reasonable. But if one says that he saw the moon three oxgoads above the horizon, and the other one says it was five, their testimony is voided. But despite this, they are not disqualified as witnesses, and either of them may join in another testimony.

מאי לאו לעדות ממון אמר רבא הוא ואחר מצטרפין לעדות אחרת של ר"ח דהוי להו תרי וחד ואין דבריו של אחד במקום שנים:

What, is it not teaching that they each can join with another witness for testimony about monetary matters, even though each of them is suspected of giving false testimony? This contradicts Rav Ḥisda’s opinion. Rava said, explaining how Rav Ḥisda understands this baraita: He, one of the contradictory witnesses, and another witness may combine for another testimony about the new moon, as in doing so, they become two witnesses against one testifying differently; and the statement of one witness has no standing in a place where it is contradicted by two witnesses.

אמר לחנוני תן לי בדינר פירות כו': תניא א"ר יהודה אימתי בזמן שהפירות צבורין ומונחין ושניהן עוררין עליהן אבל הפשילן בקופתו לאחוריו המע"ה:

§ The mishna teaches: If one said to a storekeeper: Give me produce valued at a dinar, and he gave him the produce, and subsequently the storekeeper and the customer dispute whether the customer ever paid the storekeeper, the mishna rules that the customer takes an oath that he paid. It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yehuda says: When does the customer take this oath? He takes it when the produce is collected and situated in front of them, and the two of them are quarreling about it. But if the customer has it bundled in his basket on his back, the burden of proof rests upon the claimant, i.e., the storekeeper.

אמר לשולחני תן לי כו': וצריכא אשמעינן הא קמייתא בהך קא אמרי רבנן משום דפירי עבידי דמרקבי וכיון דמרקבי לא משהו ליה אבל מעות דלא מרקבי אימא מודו ליה לרבי יהודה

The mishna continues with a similar case: If one said to a money changer: Give me small coins valued at a dinar, and he gave him the coins, and subsequently they dispute whether the customer gave the money changer the dinar, the customer takes an oath that he paid already. The Gemara notes: It is necessary to teach both the case involving the storekeeper and the case involving the money changer, as had it taught us only this first case, one might say that only in that case do the Rabbis say that the customer may take an oath to avoid payment, because produce is prone to spoiling, and since it spoils storekeepers do not retain it but give it to the customer immediately. But with regard to money, which does not spoil, say that they concede to Rabbi Yehuda that a money changer does not give coins to the customer until he has received payment, and the customer does not need to take an oath.

ואי איתמר בהא בהא קאמר רבי יהודה אבל בהך אימא מודה להו לרבנן צריכא:

And had the ruling been stated only about that case involving the money changer, one might say that only in that case does Rabbi Yehuda say that the customer need not take an oath to avoid payment, but in this case, involving the storekeeper, say he concedes to the Rabbis. Therefore it is necessary to teach this dispute for both cases.

כשם שאמרו הפוגמת כתובתה [וכו'] וכן היתומים לא יפרעו: ממאן אילימא מלוה אבוהון שקיל בלא שבועה ואינהו בשבועה הכי קאמר וכן היתומים מן היתומים לא יפרעו אלא בשבועה

§ The mishna teaches (see 45a): Just like other cases where the Sages said that one takes an oath and receives payment, the mishna teaches: A woman who vitiates her marriage contract, etc. And likewise, orphans may not collect with a promissory note inherited from their father except by taking an oath. The Gemara asks: From whom do they collect a debt by taking an oath? If we say that they collect this way from the borrower, i.e., those who borrowed from their father, that would not make sense. Their father would take payment with the promissory note without taking an oath, and they collect only by means of taking an oath? Don’t orphans have privileged status? Rather, this is what the mishna is saying: And even orphans do not collect with their father’s promissory note from the borrower’s orphans except by means of an oath.

רב ושמואל דאמרי תרוייהו לא שנו אלא שמת מלוה בחיי לוה אבל מת לוה בחיי מלוה כבר נתחייב מלוה לבני לוה שבועה ואין אדם מוריש שבועה לבניו

Rav and Shmuel both say that the Sages taught that the lender’s orphans need to take an oath in order to be paid by the borrower’s orphans only when the lender died during the lifetime of the borrower, and the lender’s children had an opportunity to collect directly from the borrower without taking an oath. But if the borrower died during the lifetime of the lender, the lender has already become liable to take an oath to the children of the borrower, since one can collect from orphans only by means of an oath, and a person cannot bequeath an oath, i.e., a debt that requires the taking of an oath in order to be collected, to his children, and no payment is made. The lender’s children cannot take the oath that their father would have taken, that the promissory note has not been paid. The only oath they can take is that their father never told them that it had been paid, and that is insufficient once the father became liable to take an oath.

שלחוה קמיה דר' אלעזר שבועה זו מה טיבה שלח להו יורשין נשבעין שבועת יורשין ונוטלין שלחוה בימי רבי אמי אמר כולי האי שלחי לה ואזלי אי אשכחינן בה טעמא מי לא שלחינן להו אלא אמר רבי אמי הואיל ואתא לידן נימא בה מילתא

The Sages sent a question to Rabbi Elazar in Eretz Yisrael: What is the nature of this oath to the orphans of the borrower that it has the capacity to prevent the lender’s children from collecting their father’s debt? Rabbi Elazar sent a reply to them: That is not the correct ruling; rather, the heirs take the heirs’ oath, that they have no knowledge that this promissory note was paid, and collect payment of their claim. They sent the same question again to Eretz Yisrael in the days of Rabbi Ami. He said: They continue to send this question to this extent? If we had found a different explanation, wouldn’t we have sent it to them? Nevertheless, Rabbi Ami said: Since this question came to us, let us say something about it.

עמד בדין ומת כבר נתחייב מלוה לבני לוה שבועה ואין אדם מוריש שבועה לבניו לא עמד בדין ומת יורשין נשבעין שבועת יורשין ונוטלין

If the litigants stood trial and then the lender died before taking an oath, the lender has already become liable to take an oath to the children of the borrower in accordance with the court’s ruling, and a person cannot bequeath an oath to his children, in accordance with the opinion of Rav and Shmuel. If the litigants did not yet stand trial, and the lender died, the lender’s heirs take the heirs’ oath, and collect payment of their claim, as Rabbi Elazar said.

מתקיף לה רב נחמן אטו בי דינא קא מחייבי ליה שבועה מעידנא דשכיב לוה איחייב ליה מלוה לבני לוה שבועה

Rav Naḥman objects to this: Is that to say that it is the court that renders the lender liable to take an oath? At the moment the borrower died, the lender was liable to take an oath to the children of the borrower.

אלא אמר רב נחמן אי איתא לדרב ודשמואל איתא אי ליתא ליתא אלמא מספקא ליה והאמר רב יוסף בר מניומי עבד רב נחמן עובדא יחלוקו לדבריו דרבי מאיר קאמר וליה לא סבירא ליה

Rather, Rav Naḥman said: If the ruling of Rav and Shmuel is accepted, it is accepted; and if it is not accepted, it is not. The Gemara asks: Evidently, Rav Naḥman is uncertain whether the ruling of Rav and Shmuel is accepted. But didn’t Rav Yosef bar Minyumi say that Rav Naḥman ruled in an actual case against Rav and Shmuel, ruling that where both litigants are suspect about oaths they divide the disputed amount? The Gemara answers: Rav Naḥman stated his uncertainty with regard to the ruling of Rav and Shmuel, who rule in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Meir that the oath returns to its place, but he himself does not hold accordingly, but rather rules in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Yosei, who says that they divide the claim.

מתיב רב אושעיא מתה יורשיה מזכירין את כתובתה עד עשרים וחמש שנים הכא במאי עסקינן שנשבעה ומתה

Rav Oshaya raises an objection from a mishna (Ketubot 104a): If a widow died without having received payment of her marriage contract, her heirs, e.g., sons from a previous marriage, may invoke her marriage contract in order to demand payment of it for up to twenty-five years later. Her heirs, who are orphans, can take an oath and collect their claim, even though they are collecting from other orphans, in contradiction to the ruling of Rav and Shmuel. The Gemara answers: Here we are dealing with a situation where the widow took an oath but died before she could collect the payment. When her heirs come to collect, an oath is no longer required.

תא שמע נשא ראשונה ומתה נשא שניה ומת הוא שניה ויורשיה קודמין ליורשי הראשונה ה"נ שנשבעה ומתה

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a mishna (Ketubot 90a): In a case where he married his first wife and she died, and by the terms of the marriage contract, her sons inherit the sum promised in her marriage contract after the husband dies, if he subsequently married his second wife, and then he died, the second wife and her heirs take precedence over the heirs of the first wife, in collecting payment of her marriage contract. The heirs of the second wife can collect the marriage contract by taking an oath to the heirs of the first wife, stating that they have no knowledge of their mother having received her marriage contract, even though this is an oath bequeathed to them by their mother. This mishna therefore contradicts the ruling of Rav and Shmuel. The Gemara answers: This does not contradict their ruling, because they understand it to also be a situation where the second wife took an oath but died before she collected the payment.

ת"ש אבל יורשיו משביעין אותה ואת יורשיה ואת הבאין ברשותה

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear another mishna (Ketubot 86b): If a husband stipulated that when his wife collects payment of her marriage contract he will not impose an oath on her or on her heirs or representatives, he may not impose an oath, but his heirs can administer an oath to her, to her heirs, and to those who come on her authority as representatives. Her heirs take an oath to collect from the husband’s heirs, though they are all orphans. This is contrary to the ruling of Rav and Shmuel, and here it is clear that the wife did not take an oath before she died.

אמר רב שמעי' לצדדין קתני אותה באלמנה ויורשיה בגרושה

Rav Shemaya said: The mishna is in accordance with Rav and Shmuel’s ruling because it teaches the administration of an oath disjunctively. The heirs can administer an oath to her when she is receiving payment of her marriage contract as a widow, or they can administer an oath to her heirs when she is a divorcée who died after the divorce and before her husband died. Since she died first, her heirs were not bequeathed an oath to her husband’s heirs.

מתיב רב נתן בר הושעיא יפה כח הבן מכח האב

Rav Natan bar Hoshaya raises an objection from a baraita: Sometimes the power of the son is greater than the power of the father,