[2a - 36 lines; 2b - 28 lines]
1a)[line 1]דיני ממונותDINEI MAMONOS (DINEI NEFASHOS / DINEI MAMONOS)
(a)After the "Maseches" of Nezikin (Bava Kama, Bava Metzia, and Bava Basra), the Mishnah continues with Maseches Sanhedrin, outlining the number of judges required to adjudicate in each case, and the Halachos concerning Batei Dinim and the testimony of witnesses.
(b)Court cases can be classified into two types: Dinei Nefashos (capital cases) and Dinei Mamonos (monetary matters). The Mishnah (Daf 32a) lists ten differences between them, which are explained on the ensuing Dapim:
1.Dinei Nefashos require a Beis Din of 23 judges; Dinei Mamonos only require a Beis Din of three.
2.The beginning of the debate in a case of Dinei Nefashos must start with a statement that mentions his innocence, for example, "if you have not committed the offense, you need not worry." In a case of Dinei Mamonos, the debate may start in his favor or against him (Daf 32b-33a).
3.Any majority of judges may acquit the defendant in a case of Dinei Nefashos. In order to condemn him, a majority of at least two judges is needed, while in Dinei Mamonos, any majority may acquit or condemn the defendant (Daf 33b).
4.If a defendant is acquitted, and it is found that the ruling was mistaken (or new evidence was found for his guilt), the case may be reopened only in Dinei Mamonos, but not in Dinei Nefashos. If he was found guilty, the case may be reopened in either type of trial (Daf 33b).
5.In Dinei Nefashos, only the judges may argue to condemn the defendant, while the students of the judges who are present at the trial may not argue against him. However, in order to acquit him, even the students may argue in his favor. In Dinei Mamonos, those present at the trial may argue in favor of the defendant or against him (Daf 33b-34a).
6.In Dinei Nefashos, a judge who argues to condemn the defendant may change his position during the case to argue in his favor. However, if he argues to acquit the defendant (or even if he casts his vote as "Eineni Yode'a" - "I cannot decide"), he may no longer argue to condemn him. No such Halachah exists in Dinei Mamonos (Daf 34a).
7.All court cases must convene during the day. The verdict in a case of Dinei Nefashos must likewise be issued during the day. The verdict in a case of Dinei Mamonos can even be issued during the night (Daf 34b).
8.If the judges convened a case of Dinei Nefashos, they may acquit the defendant even on the same day. However, if on that day they wish to issue a guilty verdict, they must wait until the next day before they are allowed to do so. As such, it is forbidden to convene a case of Dinei Nefashos on Erev Shabbos or Erev Yom Tov, since it would be impossible to carry out a death sentence on Shabbos or Yom Tov, and it is forbidden to delay the death penalty once the guilty verdict has been issued (Daf 34b-35a).
9.In a case of Dinei Nefashos, the younger, less experienced judges start the debate, lest an older, more experienced judge argues against the defendant, and the other judges will not be willing to argue with him (Daf 36a).
10.Only Kohanim, Leviyim, and Yisraelim whose daughters may marry Kohanim are fit to judge cases of Dinei Nefashos. Any judge is fit to adjudicate in a case of Dinei Mamonos, even if he is a Mamzer (Daf 36b).
b)[line 2]בשלשהBI'SHELOSHAH (BEIS DIN SHEL SHELOSHAH / ESRIM V'SHELOSHAH / SHIV'IM V'ECHAD)
(a)Most Halachic judgments are administered by one of three distinct courts: courts of three judges, who are fit to adjudicate in monetary matters; courts of twenty-three judges, who are fit to adjudicate even in capital cases; and the Beis Din ha'Gadol of seventy-one judges, the Jewish "Supreme Court," that convenes in the Lishkas ha'Gazis in the Azarah of the Beis ha'Mikdash.
(b)The Beis Din ha'Gadol is known as the Sanhedri Gedolah. It is responsible for appointing the king of Yisrael and the Batei Din of twenty-three judges (Sanhedri Ketanah) in every tribe and city in Eretz Yisrael. In addition, only the Beis Din ha'Gadol may judge an entire tribe that was led astray and was convinced to worship Avodah Zarah (see below, entry #26). Capital cases concerning the Kohen Gadol or a Nevi Sheker (see below, entry #27) are also judged by the Beis Din ha'Gadol. Similarly, the Beis Din ha'Gadol is the only court that can judge a Zaken Mamrei (see Background to Sotah 45:3), an Ir ha'Nidachas (see below, entry #26), and the Sotah woman (see Background to Kidushin 80:27). Lastly, only the Beis Din ha'Gadol may enlarge the boundaries of Yerushalayim and the courtyards of the Beis ha'Mikdash (see below, entry #30), decide to wage a Milchemes ha'Reshus (see below, entry #29), and measure the distance between a murder victim found in the fields and the nearest town (see below, entry #14, Eglah Arufah) (RAMBAM Hilchos Sanhedrin 5:1).
(c)Two Sanhedriyos Ketanah convened near the Beis ha'Mikdash, one at the entrance to the Azarah and one on Har ha'Bayis. These and all of the other Sanhedriyos Ketanah in Eretz Yisrael had the authority to judge capital cases, whether people or animals were being judged (RAMBAM ibid. 5:2).
(d)Most other cases, such as monetary matters, only require a Beis Din of three judges, except for certain instances where five, seven or ten judges are required, as mentioned in our Mishnah (see RAMBAM ibid. 5:5, 7). Chazal were lenient with Hoda'aos v'Halva'os (cases involving loans), where a single expert judge (Yachid Mumcheh) or three judges who are not Semuchim (ordained judges) are authorized to judge such cases (RAMBAM ibid. 5:8).
2)[line 2]גזילותGEZEILOS (GENEIVAH, GEZEILAH)
(a)GENEIVAH - If a thief surreptitiously steals an object from a fellow Jew, and is found guilty of the theft in court based on the testimony of valid witnesses, he must return the object (if it is still in its original state) or its value (if it is not) to its owner (Vayikra 5:23). In addition, the thief is obligated to pay the victim of the theft the value of the stolen object a second time. Restitution of the value of the stolen object is called "Keren," and the additional payment is known as "Kefel" (see below, entry #5).
(b)GEZEILAH - Only a thief ("Ganav") who steals surreptitiously pays Kefel, and not a robber ("Gazlan"), who brazenly burglarizes and takes the possessions of others by force. A Gazlan is only obligated to return the Keren. Chazal explain that the Torah punishes a thief more stringently than a robber because of the disrespect he shows for the Creator. By taking care to avoid the eyes of man, while not being bothered in the least by the eye of the One Above that is constantly watching, he exhibits his lack of belief in HaSh-m (Bava Kama 79b). Included in the category of Gazlan is a watchman who denies having received the object that he was meant to watch, but rather keeps it for himself.
A person who wounds his fellow Jew (Chovel b'Chaveiro) is obligated to pay five payments to the victim, i.e. four payments in addition to Nezek, which one must always pay for damages. The five payments are:
1.NEZEK (Damages, also known as Pegam) - If one causes damage to the person of a fellow Jew, such as blinding his eye, cutting off his hand or breaking his foot, Beis Din assesses the damages that he caused based on the depreciation such damages would cause to a slave on the slave market.
2.TZA'AR (Pain) - The payment for pain inflicted is evaluated as the amount that the injured person would be ready to pay to have the identical injury inflicted in a painless manner (Bava Kama 85a). Pain payments are due even if no other damage (other than the pain) was inflicted - for example, if one person burned another's fingernail without causing a wound. The amount of this payment ultimately depends upon the physical and financial situation of the injured person (RAMBAM Hilchos Chovel u'Mazik 2:9).
3.RIPUY (Medical expenses) - He must pay all medical costs until the injured person heals completely from his wounds.
4.SHEVES (Unemployment) - He must pay unemployment for the duration of the injured person's recovery. Sheves is evaluated as if the injured person is protecting a pumpkin patch from birds, a job that requires only minimal exertion and can be accomplished even by an invalid. (The money that the injured person loses due to his permanent handicap, though, is covered by the Nezek payment.)
5.BOSHES (Shame) - Boshes is evaluated based on the status of the person who caused the embarrassment and the status of the person who was embarrassed. According to most opinions, the shame caused by an undignified person is greater than the shame caused by an average or dignified person (YERUSHALMI Kesuvos 3:8, RASHI to Bava Kama 83b, BARTENURA to Kesuvos 3:7, RAMBAM Hilchos Chovel u'Mazik 3:1, TUR Choshen Mishpat 420 and SHULCHAN ARUCH CM 420:24). Others rule that the shame caused by an average person is greater than the shame cause by an undignified or a dignified person (RASHI to Kesuvos 40a. The RAN rules that this is the Halachah in all cases except for Ones and Mefateh - see below, entry #7 - which follow the previous opinion). With regard to a person who was embarrassed, shame caused to a dignified person is greater than the shame that an average or undignified person suffers (Bava Kama ibid.).
4a)[line 3]נזקNEZEK- the payment for damages caused by a Shor ha'Mu'ad (see next entry)
b)[line 3]וחצי נזקCHATZI NEZEK - the payment for damages caused by a Shor Tam (SHOR TAM / SHOR HA'MU'AD)
(a)A bull that gores one or two times is called a Shor Tam. The owner only pays half the value of the damages (Chatzi Nezek) that his bull causes in this manner. In addition, the owner of the bull that causes the damage never has to pay more than the value of the bull that damaged. That is, payment for the damages is taken from the animal itself that caused the damage ("mi'Gufo") (Shemos 21:35).
(b)If the bull gored three times or more, and the owner was informed and warned to guard his bull each time, the bull is termed a Shor ha'Mu'ad. When a Mu'ad causes damage, the owner must pay the full value of the damages (Nezek Shalem) that his bull causes through goring, even if it is greater than the value of the goring bull itself ("Min ha'Aliyah") (Shemos 21:36).
(c)If the bull (Tam or Mu'ad) killed a person, then it is put to death (Shemos 21:26).
(d)The Gemara (Daf 3a-b) explains that the term "Nezek" in the Mishnah is actually unnecessary, since it is included in Chavalos (see above, entry #3). The Tana of the Mishnah mentions it only because it goes along with the term "Chatzi Nezek."
5)[line 3]תשלומי כפלTASHLUMEI CHEFEL - a thief's double restitution
(a)If a thief surreptitiously steals an object from a fellow Jew, and is found guilty of the theft in court based on the testimony of valid witnesses, he must return the object (if it is still in its original state) or its value (if it is not) to its owner (Vayikra 5:23). In addition, the thief is obligated to pay the victim of the theft the value of the stolen object a second time. Restitution of the value of the stolen object is called "Keren," and the additional payment is known as "Kefel."
(b)For a further discussion of the topic of Kefel, see Background to Bava Metzia 56:9.
6)[line 3]ותשלומי ארבעה וחמשהTASHLUMEI ARBA'AH V'CHAMISHAH - a thief's quadruple and quintuple restitution for the theft and subsequent slaughter or sale of a sheep or bull, respectively
(a)If a thief surreptitiously steals an object from a fellow Jew, and is found guilty of the theft in court based on the testimony of valid witnesses, he must return the object or its value (Vayikra 5:23). In addition, the thief is obligated to pay the victim of the theft the value of the stolen object a second time; this additional payment is known as "Kefel" (see previous entry).
(b)If the object that was stolen was a live sheep or bull, and the thief either slaughtered or sold it, the Torah (Shemos 21:37) places an even stiffer fine on the thief. In the case of a stolen sheep that was slaughtered or sold, the thief must compensate the owner a total of four times its actual value ("Arba'ah"), while in the case of a stolen bull that was slaughtered or sold, the thief must compensate the owner a total of five times its actual value ("Chamishah"). This law does not apply to any other object or animal that is stolen. Chazal (Bava Kama 79b) explain that the Torah was more lenient with a person who steals a sheep than with one who steals a bull, since he already suffered a somewhat demeaning experience of walking with a sheep on his shoulders (as opposed to the bull-thief, who presumably led the bull on foot before him).
(c)For a further discussion of the topic of Arba'ah v'Chamishah, see Background to Bava Metzia 56:10.
7)[line 4]האונס והמפתהHA'ONES VEHA'MEFATEH
(a)ONES - If a man rapes a girl (between the ages of 12 and 12 1/2, according to Rebbi Meir, or 3 and 12 1/2, according to the Chachamim - Kesuvos 29a), he must pay her father a fine of fifty Shekalim, as stated in the Torah (Devarim 22:28). This amount is the equivalent of a Kesuvah (dowry) of a virgin and is in addition to the payments of Pegam, Boshes and Tza'ar (Kesuvos 39a, see above, entry #3:1, 2, 5). The man must also marry the girl and never divorce her, if the girl wishes to be his wife.
(b)MEFATEH - If a man seduces a girl (between the ages of 12 and 12 1/2, according to Rebbi Meir, or 3 and 12 1/2, according to the Chachamim - Kesuvos 29a), and the girl or her father refuses to let him marry her, or if the man chooses not to marry her, he must give the father of the girl fifty Shekalim. This amount is the equivalent of a Kesuvah of a virgin and is in addition to the payments of Pegam and Boshes (see above, entry #3:1, 5; the seducer does not pay the payment of Tza'ar - Kesuvos 39b). If he chooses to marry her and they consent, the man is not obligated to pay anything to the girl or to her father at the time of the marriage. If he later divorces her, he must give her the Kesuvah of a virgin upon her divorce (Shemos 22:16).
8)[line 4]והמוציא שם רעHA'MOTZI SHEM RA
If a man marries a Na'arah (a 12-year-old girl who has attained physical maturity) who is a Besulah (a virgin who was never married in the past) and, after the Chupah is performed, he falsely accuses her of committing adultery and losing her virginity prior to the Chupah, he receives Malkos (lashes) for his slanderous speech (Devarim 22:18). He must also give her father 100 Shekalim and never divorce her against her will (ibid. 22:19).
9)[line 7]מכותMAKOS (MALKUS)
(a)It is a Mitzvah to administer the punishment of Malkus Arba'im (Torah lashes) to one who is liable to Malkus, as the Torah states, "וְהִפִּילוֹ הַשֹּׁפֵט וְהִכָּהוּ" "v'Hipilo ha'Shofet v'Hikahu" - "and the judge shall cast him down and whip him" (Devarim 25:2). Malkus d'Oraisa are administered in Eretz Yisrael by a court of three judges who are Semuchin (Halachically ordained), whether the Beis ha'Mikdash stands or not (RAMBAM Hilchos Sanhedrin 16:2). Courts outside of Eretz Yisrael can administer only Makas Mardus (Rabbinic lashes, see Background to Kidushin 70:32).
(b)A person is only liable to Malkus Arba'im if he transgresses a Lav (a negative commandment) of the Torah that is not "modified," such as a Lav shebi'Chelalos (see Background to Nazir 38:20), a Lav she'Nitak l'Aseh (see Background to Yoma 85:26), etc. A prohibition that is implied by a positive commandment is never punishable by Malkus. In addition, in order to be liable he must transgress in front of witnesses after receiving a proper warning.
(c)For a further discussion of the topic of Malkus, see Background to Bava Kama 84:8.
10)[line 8]עיבור החדשIBUR HA'CHODESH - adding an extra (thirtieth) day to the month (KIDUSH BEIS DIN / KIDUSH HA'CHODESH - the declaration that Beis Din makes to proclaim the new month)
(a)The Hebrew calendar month, which determines the Jewish holidays, begins with each new revolution of the moon, at the point after it wanes completely and begins to wax anew.
(b)When the Sanhedrin of the Lishkas ha'Gazis (the Jewish "Supreme Court") convened in Eretz Yisrael, the new month was fixed and sanctified according to the testimony of witnesses. A person who sees the moon (as it begins to grow and is just visible) traveled to the Sanhedrin, or to a Beis Din appointed by the Sanhedrin, to testify. The place where the Beis Din convened to accept testimony was known as the Beis ha'Va'ad. Beis Din cross-examined the witnesses there, and when they were convinced of the accuracy of the testimonies, they announced the beginning of the new month.
(c)Today, mathematical calculations are used to determine the beginning of the new month. According to the RAMBAM (Hilchos Kidush ha'Chodesh 5:2) it is a Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai to determine the beginning of the month mathematically when there is no Sanhedrin, and through testimony when there is one.
11)[line 9]עיבור השנהIBUR HA'SHANAH - adding an extra (thirteenth) month to the year (SHANAH ME'UBERES)
(a)A solar year is approximately eleven days longer than a lunar year (see previous entry, (a)). In order to ensure that the lunar months occur in the proper seasons, Beis Din will declare a Shanah Me'uberes (leap year) every 2-3 years. A Shanah Me'uberes has thirteen months instead of twelve. The extra month is an additional month of Adar; the second Adar is the one in which Purim is observed (i.e., the first Adar is the extra month). The decision to make the year Me'uberes must be made prior to accepting witnesses for the sanctification of the month (see previous entry) that follows Adar. If the year is to be a leap year, then it is declared Adar ha'Sheni; if not, then it is declared Nisan. In the current fixed calendar, a Shanah Me'uberes occurs seven times in every nineteen-year cycle.
(b)The principle consideration in adding an extra month to the year is to insure that Pesach falls in the season of Aviv (spring; lit. "ripening grain") (see Devarim 16:1). Beis Din determines the time of Aviv based upon the following three variables: the vernal equinox; the occurrence of the Aviv season in the districts of Yehudah, Ever ha'Yarden, and the Galil; and the timely blossoming of the fruit trees. The first variable is straightforward; if the spring equinox will fall on the 16th of Nisan or later (i.e., on the day of the Omer offering it will still be winter), then that month should be declared Adar ha'Sheni instead. The next two variables are interrelated. The Chachamim first observe the development of the ripening grain, and then reckon whether or not those fruits which are normally ripe when Pesach arrives will have ripened. If the grain and fruits are each late in two out of the three aforementioned districts, then the month is declared Adar ha'Sheni, even if the equinox would fall before the 16th of Nisan.
(c)Aside from the principal reason of insuring that Pesach occurs in its proper season, there are four possible additional reasons to add an extra month to the year. These are: 1) the roads are impassable, making it impossible for those who live outside of Yerushalayim to reach the Beis ha'Mikdash in time to offer the Korban Pesach; 2) the bridges are washed out and the journey to Yerushalayim is impossible or dangerous for those who live outside of Yerushalayim; 3) those who live outside of Yerushalayim have started their journey, but will not arrive in Yerushalayim on time; 4) the clay ovens in Yerushalayim used to roast the Korban Pesach became wet during the rainy season, and now must dry out in the sun (Sanhedrin11a-b). (RAMBAM Hilchos Kidush ha'Chodesh 4:1-5).
12a)[line 11]מתחיליןMASCHILIN- they (three judges) start [the process of Ibur ha'Shanah by deciding (by majority rule) whether it is necessary to convene a Beis Din of five to discuss whether the year is in need of an extra month]
b)[line 11]נושאין ונותניןNOS'IN V'NOSNIN- (lit. taking and giving) they (five judges) debate whether the year is in need of an extra month
c)[line 12]וגומריןGOMRIN- they (seven judges) finish [the task of adding an extra month to the year by: (a) declaring the year to be a leap year (RASHI); (b) debating the matter further, and declaring the year to be a leap year (RAMBAM Hilchos Kidush ha'Chodesh 4:10, RASHI to Shabbos 11a DH Ibur Shanah)]
13a)[line 12]סמיכת זקניםSEMICHAS ZEKENIM- (a) the "placing of the hands" of the Elders [on the head of the Par He'elem Davar Shel Tzibur] (see next entry) (RASHI); (b) ordination of Elders (giving them Rabbinical authority) (RAMBAM, Peirush ha'Mishnayos)
b)[line 12]סמיכת זקניםSEMICHAS ZEKENIM (PAR HE'ELEM DAVAR SHEL TZIBUR)
(a)The Sanhedrin (the Jewish Supreme Court) must bring a Korban if they issued a mistaken ruling permitting an act that carries a Chiyuv Kares, and the Jewish people in Eretz Yisrael (the majority of the people or the majority of the tribes) conducted themselves based on this ruling. The sages bring a young bull as a Chatas on behalf of each of the tribes. Each of these bulls is called a Par He'elem Davar Shel Tzibur (RAMBAM Hilchos Shegagos 12:1). If the sin committed was idolatry, the sages bring a young bull as an Olah and a goat as a Chatas for each tribe. The people are exempt, since they relied on the Beis Din ha'Gadol.
(b)The blood of these Korbenos Chatas is sprinkled in the Heichal on the Paroches and the Mizbe'ach ha'Zahav. The Sheyarei ha'Dam (the remainder of the blood) is poured on the Western Yesod (foundation) of the Mizbe'ach. The remains of these Korbanos are burned outside of the city of Yerushalayim (Vayikra 4:13-21, Bamidbar 15:22-26).
14)[line 12]ועריפת עגלהARIFAS EGLAH (EGLAH ARUFAH)
(a)If a Jew is found murdered in a field (in Eretz Yisrael) and it is not known who the murderer is, the Torah requires that an Eglah Arufah be brought in order to atone for the blood that was spilled (Devarim 21:1). The procedure is as follows:
(b)Five elders (according to the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah, which is the Halachah) of the Beis Din of the Lishkas ha'Gazis (the Jewish Supreme Court) measure the distance between the dead body and the cities around it to determine which city is closest to it.
(c)The elders of the city that is closest to the corpse must bring a female calf that has never been worked (see Background to Bava Metzia 30:12:b) to a Nachal Eisan (a swiftly flowing stream - RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:2; a valley with tough soil - RASHI). They strike it on the back of its neck (Arifah) with a cleaver, severing its spinal column, gullet and windpipe.
(d)The elders of the closest city then wash their hands there and say, "Our hands have not spilled this blood, and our eyes did not see [the murder]" (Devarim 21:7). This includes a proclamation that the dead man was not sent away from the city without the proper food for his journey or the proper accompaniment. The Kohanim that are present say, "Atone for Your people Yisrael whom You have redeemed, HaSh-m, and do not place [the guilt for] innocent blood in the midst of Your people Yisrael" (ibid. 21:8). After this procedure, HaSh-m will grant atonement for the innocent blood that was spilled (RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:3).
(a)If a married man dies childless and has brothers who survive him, his widow (or widows) may not remarry until one of the deceased husband's brothers performs Yibum (levirate marriage) or Chalitzah (levirate release) with the widow (or one of the widows), as it states in Devarim 25:5-10. Chazal learn from the verses that if there are a number of brothers, there is a preference for the oldest brother to perform Yibum or Chalitzah (Yevamos 24a). (See Background to Bava Basra 134:11.)
(b)If the brother chooses not to marry her, he must perform Chalitzah (a procedure in Beis Din that absolves her of the Mitzvah of Yibum - ibid.). He appears before a Beis Din of three (but see Insights to Yevamos 101:2) and states, "I do not want to marry her," after which his sister-in-law approaches him before the elders, takes off his right sandal and spits in front of him. She then declares, "This is what shall be done to the man who will not build up a family for his brother." She is then free to marry whomever she wants.
(a)The Torah gives a father the right to marry off his daughter at any age before she is twelve years old.
(b)If she was then divorced or widowed, or her father died without marrying her off, the Chachamim gave the girl's mother and/or oldest brother the right to marry her off. In these cases the marriage is only mid'Rabanan. She must be at least ten years old, or at least six years old if she has an understanding of the concept of marriage.
(c)According to the RAMBAM and the RA'AVAD, in the above circumstances, the Chachamim also gave her the right to get married by herself. This marriage is also mid'Rabanan. According to the Rambam, she must be at least ten years old, or at least six years old if she has an understanding of the concept of marriage. According to the Ra'avad, however, her Kidushin is valid even if she has enough sense to guard the object given to her for her Kidushin (and she realizes that it was given to her for Kidushin).
(d)In the instances of marriage mid'Rabanan, before she reaches Halachic puberty and becomes a Na'arah (through the growth of two pubic hairs), she has the option of annulling the marriage through a procedure known as Mi'un (refusal). She says before two witnesses, "I do not want him," and the marriage is annulled retroactively. There is no need for her to receive a Get (a bill of divorce). A girl who is married off by her father cannot annul the marriage through Mi'un. (RAMBAM Hilchos Ishus 4:7-8)
(e)Even though our Mishnah states that a Beis Din of three is required for Mi'unin, the Halachah follows the ruling of Rav Yosef bar Minyomi Amar Rav Nachman (Yevamos 107b), that Mi'un is performed in front of two witnesses (see TIFERES YISRAEL to Sanhedrin 1:3 DH veha'Mi'unin, TOSFOS to Yevamos 107b DH Machshirin and DH Halachah, and SHULCHAN ARUCH Even ha'Ezer 155:4).
17)[line 14]נטע רבאיNETA REVA'I
(a)In the first three years after a tree is planted, its fruits are called Orlah and are Asurim b'Hana'ah, as it states in Vayikra 19:23. The fruits of the fourth year are called Neta Reva'i and are Kodesh (holy) (ibid. 19:24). They must be brought to and eaten b'Taharah in Yerushalayim. Alternatively, the fruits may be redeemed (Pidyon), in which case the money used to redeem them is brought to Yerushalayim. The food that is bought with this money is Kodesh like Neta Reva'i and must be eaten b'Taharah in Yerushalayim.
(b)Our Mishnah states that a Beis Din of three must appraise the fruits of Neta Reva'i that are to be redeemed. RASHI explains that the words "she'Ein Damav Yedu'in" - "the value of which is not known [because the fruits rotted]," apply to Neta Reva'i as well as to Ma'aser Sheni. As such, Beis Din is needed to estimate the value that must be paid for their redemption. The MAHARAM SHIF explains that Beis Din is needed since the Mishnah (Ma'aser Sheni 5:4) rules that the value of the redemption of Neta Reva'i fruits must include the expenses of the owner (see RASH to Ma'aser Sheni ibid.). This Halachah does not apply to fruits of Ma'aser Sheni (Mishnah ibid. 4:2); rather, they are redeemed at their wholesale value. (See also TOSFOS to Daf 14b DH Neta.)
(c)The Gemara (Berachos 35a) records an argument as to whether the laws of Neta Reva'i apply to all fruits or only to grapes (Kerem Reva'i). The Halachah in Eretz Yisrael follows the opinion that the laws of Neta Reva'i apply to all fruits (SHULCHAN ARUCH Yoreh De'ah 294:6).
18)[line 14]ומעשר שניMA'ASER SHENI
(a)After a crop that is grown in Eretz Yisrael is harvested and brought to the owner's house or yard, he must separate Terumah Gedolah from the crop and give it to a Kohen. Although the Torah does not specify the amount to be given, the Rabanan set the requirement at one fiftieth of the total crop. After Terumah is removed from the produce, one tenth of the produce that remains must be designated "Ma'aser Rishon," and given to a Levi. The Levi, in turn, must separate one tenth of his Ma'aser Rishon as Terumas Ma'aser, to be given to a Kohen, as it states in Bamidbar 18:26.
(b)Until the Terumos have been separated, the produce is called Tevel. The punishment for eating Tevel is Misah b'Yedei Shamayim. The produce may not be eaten until all Terumos and Ma'asros have been separated from it.
(c)A second tithe is given every year after Ma'aser Rishon has been separated. The tithe that is separated in the third and sixth years of the 7-year Shemitah cycle is called Ma'aser Ani and is given to the poor.
(d)The tithe that is separated during the first, second, fourth and fifth years is called Ma'aser Sheni. The Torah requires that Ma'aser Sheni be brought and eaten by its owner in Yerushalayim. Anyone who eats Ma'aser Sheni produce outside of the walls of Yerushalayim receives Malkos (RAMBAM Hilchos Ma'aser Sheni 2:5).
(e)Alternatively, Ma'aser Sheni produce may be redeemed, in which case the money used to redeem it is brought to Yerushalayim. If the owner himself redeems the produce, he must add an additional fifth (of the ensuing total, or a quarter of the original value). The food that is bought with this money in Yerushalayim becomes Kodesh like Ma'aser Sheni and must be eaten b'Taharah. Ma'aser Sheni that was redeemed by anyone other than the owner is exempt from the additional fifth.
(f)Our Mishnah (as well as the Mishnah in Ma'aser Sheni 4:2) states that a Beis Din comprised of three people must estimate of the value of fruits of Ma'aser Sheni "she'Ein Damav Yedu'in" - "the value of which is not known [because the fruits rotted]." These three people may be merchants, and one of them may even be a Nochri or the owner of the fruits himself. Fruits of Ma'aser Sheni "she'Damav Yedu'in" - "the value of which is known" can be redeemed according to the estimate of one person (Mishnah ibid.).
19)[line 14]ההקדשותHA'HEKDESHOS (PIDYON HEKDESH)
(a)If a person consecrates (is "Makdish") an object to the Beis ha'Mikdash, and that object is of no benefit to the Mikdash "as is," the object may be sold by the appointees of Hekdesh (Gizbarim), who determine its selling price based on the estimate of a group of experts. When a person buys the object from Hekdesh, the object loses its Kedushah and its value becomes Kodesh in its stead. This is called "Pidyon Hekdesh," redeeming from Hekdesh.
(b)If the object that is being redeemed from Hekdesh is anything other than land, three experts must be present to determine its value. If the object is land, ten experts, one of them a Kohen, must be present. The same applies if a person donates his own value to Hekdesh; ten experts, one of them a Kohen, must determine the amount that he will pay Hekdesh. (Erchin 19b and RASHI, RAMBAM Hilchos Erchin 8:2)
20)[line 15]הערכין המטלטליםHA'ARACHIN HA'MITALTELIM (ERECH: ERECH KELI)
(a)The term Erchin only refers to the endowment value of people, as stated in the verses (Vayikra 27:1-8, see Background to Bava Metzia 102:21). As such, the Gemara (Daf 14b-15a) presents three possibilities as to the definition of "ha'Arachin ha'Mitaltelim."
(b)Rav Gidal Amar Rav explains that this refers to a person who vowed "Erech Keli Alai" - "the endowment value of this utensil is [incumbent] upon me [to give to Hekdesh]." He gives the market value of the utensil, since that was definitely his intention. According to this opinion, it is necessary to read (i.e. understand) the words of the Mishnah as, "Arachin Shel Metaltelin" - "Arachin of chattels."
(c)Rav Chisda Amar Avimei explains that this refers to a person who indeed said, "Erki Alai," as in a normal case of Arachin, but then was "Matfis" the debt on utensils by saying, "These utensils should be in place of my Erech." When he wants to redeem the utensils from Hekdesh, a Beis din of three is required to estimate their value. According to this opinion, it is necessary to read (i.e. understand) the words of the Mishnah as, "Metaltelin Shel Arachin" - "chattels of Arachin."
(d)Rebbi Avahu explains that this refers to a person who indeed said, "Erki Alai," as in a normal case of Arachin. When the Kohen came to collect the debt for Hekdesh, there are two possibilities: If he collects Metaltelin, chattels, a Beis Din of three is required to estimate their value. If he collects Karka, land, a Beis Din of ten is required to estimate the value of the land.
21)[line 16]והקרקעותHA'KARKA'OS (PIDYON HEKDESH: KARKA)
See above, entry #19.
22)[line 16]דיני נפשותDINEI NEFASHOS
See above, entry #1a.
23)[line 17]הרובע והנרבעHA'ROVE'A / HA'NIRBA - a male animal (Rove'a) or a female animal (Nirba) that had relations with a human
(a)A Rove'a and a Nirba are animals that had relations with a human, as described in Vayikra 20:15-16. These animals are put to death so that they should not cause other people to sin in a similar manner, and in order not to cause disgrace to the sinner by reminding all who see these animals of the sin that was done with them (Sanhedrin 54a).
(b)In the instance of a Rove'a and a Nirba, only if two witnesses saw the act is the animal stoned by Beis Din and Asur b'Hana'ah. If only one witness saw it, or if there were no witnesses but the owner told Beis Din of the incident, the animal is not stoned and is Mutar b'Hana'ah, but is unfit to be brought as a Korban.
24a)[line 18]שור הנסקלSHOR HA'NISKAL
(a)The term Shor ha'Niskal refers to any animal or bird that is stoned to death by Beis Din. Such an animal is Asur b'Hana'ah after the death sentence is issued. One of the instances of Shor ha'Niskal is an animal that killed a person, as described in Shemos 21:28-31.
(b)In the event that an animal killed a person, only if two witnesses saw the act is the animal stoned by Beis Din and Asur b'Hana'ah. If only one witness saw it, or if there were no witnesses but the owner told Beis Din of the incident, the animal is not stoned and is Mutar b'Hana'ah, but is unfit to be brought as a Korban.
b)[line 18]"... הַשּׁוֹר יִסָּקֵל וְגַם בְּעָלָיו יוּמָת""... HA'SHOR YISAKEL V'GAM BE'ALAV YUMAS"- " [But if the bull was prone to gore with its horn in the past, and its owner had been warned, but he had not watched it properly, and it killed a man or a woman;] the bull shall be stoned, and its owner also shall pay Kofer (lit. be put to death)." (Shemos 21:29)
25a)[line 20]הזאבZE'EV- a wolf
b)[line 20]והאריARI- a lion
c)[line 20]הדובDOV- a bear
d)[line 20]והנמרNAMER- a leopard
e)[line 20]והברדלסBARDELAS- (a) (O.F. puteis) ferret; a small, half-tamed, flesh-eating animal similar to a weasel; (b) a polecat; a small dark brown flesh-eating animal similar to a weasel; (c) a striped wild animal of the genus felis leopard; striped hyena (RASHI to Avodah Zarah 42a); (d) marten (Tosfos Sanhedrin 15b DH veha'Bardelas)
f)[line 20]והנחשNACHASH- a snake
26)[line 22]השבטSHEVET - a tribe [of Bnei Yisrael who worshipped Avodah Zarah] (IR HA'NIDACHAS: SHEVET SHE'AVDU AVODAH ZARAH)
(a)IR HA'NIDACHAS - A city that was led astray (Nidach) to the extent that its inhabitants willfully committed idolatry, must be destroyed. All of those who were led astray must be killed and the city burned, along with all of the possessions of its inhabitants, as stated in Devarim 13:13-19. The righteous people who were not led astray are not killed, but their possessions are burned. The Madichim, those who influenced the city to commit idolatry, are punished with Sekilah (stoning). (RAMBAM Hilchos Avodas Kochavim 4:1)
(b)Other requirements to classify a city as an Ir ha'Nidachas is that the Madichim must be male residents of the city and must be from the same tribe to which the city belongs. There must be at least two Madichim, who must influence the majority of the city (with a minimum of 100 people). In addition, the city cannot be a border town.
(c)SHEVET SHE'AVDU AVODAH ZARAH - An entire tribe (i.e. most or all of an entire tribe, according to the principle of "Rubo k'Chulo" - see MAHARSHA) that is led astray to commit idolatry is dealt with as if they were individuals, for which the punishment is Sekilah (stoning). Since they do not get the classification of an Ir ha'Nidachas, their possessions are not burned (RAMBAM ibid. 4:2, see MAHARSHA)
27)[line 22]נביא השקרNEVI HA'SHEKER - the false prophet
(a)The Torah describes three instances of false prophets who are put to death by Chenek (choking): 1. A person who, in the name of Avodah Zarah, tells people to do or not to do anything; 2. A person who says a prophecy (even in the name of HaSh-m) that he did not hear; 3. A person who says a prophecy that was said to another prophet. These people are judged by the Beis Din ha'Gadol of seventy-one judges.
(b)A false prophet is sentenced to death even if he spoke the words of HaSh-m and did not add or subtract from the Mitzvos of the Torah. (RAMBAM Hilchos Avodah Zarah 5:6-7)
28)[line 22]כהן גדולKOHEN GADOL- that is, the judgment of a Kohen Gadol who is alleged to have committed a capital offense. The monetary matters of a Kohen Gadol are judged by a Beis Din of three (see TOSFOS REBBI AKIVA EIGER).
29)[line 23]למלחמת הרשותMILCHEMES HA'RESHUS (MILCHEMES MITZVAH / MILCHEMES RESHUS)
(a)In the history of the Jewish people, two forms of war exist, which are Halachically distinct: Milchemes Mitzvah (obligatory war) and Milchemes Reshus (discretionary war). A Milchemes Mitzvah is a war commanded by HaSh-m, such as the war to conquer Eretz Yisrael, the war to wipe out Amalek and any war in which the Jewish people have to protect themselves from an enemy attack. A Milchemes Reshus is a war that the Jewish people start of their own volition; for example, in order to expand their borders, as David ha'Melech did when he waged war against Aram Tzova and added its territory to Eretz Yisrael.
(b)In a Milchemes Mitzvah, the people would go out to war at any time, and were even forced to do so. However, a king could not mobilize his troops for a Milchemes Reshus without the approval of the Beis Din Ha'Gadol of seventy-one judges (Sanhedrin 20b).
(c)See Background to Sukah 3:11 and Sotah 42:14.
30)[line 24]אין מוסיפין על העיר ועל העזרותEIN MOSIFIN AL HA'IR V'AL HA'AZAROS
(a)The Mishnah states (Shevuos 14a) that when the Beis Din ha'Gadol decides to extend the boundaries of Yerushalayim and/or the courtyards of the Beis ha'Mikdash, the approval of the following are needed: the king, a prophet, the Urim v'Tumim and the Beis Din ha'Gadol of seventy-one judges itself.
(b)In order to extend the boundaries of Yerushalayim, the Beis Din ha'Gadol brings two Korbenos Todah (for a description of the Korban Todah, see Background to Bava Kama 110:37a) and takes from them two of the Lachmei Todah (which may be eaten only within the boundaries of Yerushlayim), specifically, two loaves of the leavened bread. A procession starts from the Azarah, led by Kohanim carrying the two loaves, one after the other. The Beis Din ha'Gadol follows them, and at each corner and at every large stone (i.e. every new landmark) added to the city, the procession stops to play musical instruments and to sing the verses of Tehilim 30, which is the "Psalm of the Dedication." At the outskirts of the area being added to the city the procession stops for the last time and one of the Lachmei Todah is eaten there and the other one is burned. The prophet is responsible for revealing which one is to be eaten and which one is to be burned (Shevuos 15a-16a, RAMBAM Hilchos Beis ha'Bechirah 6:11-12).
(c)In order to extend the boundaries of the Azarah of the Beis ha'Mikdash, a similar ceremony is performed. However, a Korban Minchah is brought instead (for a description of the Korban Minchah, see Background to Kidushin 36:13). The addition to the Azarah is sanctified by a procession with loaves of the Sheyarei ha'Minchah (the remainder of the Minchah, which may be eaten only within the boundaries of the Azarah) (RAMBAM Hilchos Beis ha'Bechirah 6:13).
31)[line 25]אין עושין סנהדריות לשבטיםEIN OSIN SANHEDRIYOS LA'SHEVATIM- the Batei Din of twenty three judges (Sanhedri Ketanah) are only appointed by the Sanhedri ha'Gedolah (see above, entry #1b:b)
32)[line 26]עיר הנדחתIR HA'NIDACHAS - a city that was led astray to the point where most of its inhabitants worshiped Avodah Zarah
See above, entry #26:a-b.
33)[line 27]בספרSEFAR- the border
34)[line 28]סנהדרי(ן) גדולה / סנהדרי(ן) קטנהSANHEDRI(N) GEDOLAH / SANHEDRI(N) KETANAH
See above, entry #1b (the Girsa'os are from DIKDUKEI SOFRIM #8).
35a)[line 32]עדה שופטתEDAH SHOFETES- a congregation [of judges] who condemns (lit. who judges)
b)[line 32]ועדה מצלתEDAH MATZELES- a congregation [of judges] who acquits (lit. who saves)
36)[line 33]"עַד מָתַי לָעֵדָה הָרָעָה הַזֹּאת...""AD MASAI LA'EDAH HA'RA'AH HA'ZOS..."- "How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, [which murmur against Me? I have heard the murmurings of the people of Yisrael, which they murmur against Me]." (Bamidbar 14:27) - This verse was stated by HaSh-m, speaking to Moshe Rabeinu about the ten spies in the desert who were sent to explore Eretz Yisrael.
37)[line 34]"לֹא תִהְיֶה אַחֲרֵי רַבִּים לְרָעוֹת; [וְלֹא תַעֲנֶה עַל רִב לִנְטֹת] אַחֲרֵי רַבִּים לְהַטּוֹת""LO SIHEYEH ACHAREI RABIM L'RA'OS... ACHAREI RABIM L'HATOS"- "You shall not follow the majority to do evil... [but] you may incline towards the majority [in a different instance]." (Shemos 23:2) - Our Mishnah explains that this verse is interpreted to mean that we do not follow a majority of one judge to condemn a defendant in a capital case; however, we do follow a majority of two judges.
38)[line 1]ואין בית דין שקולEIN BEIS DIN SHAKUL- a Beis Din cannot be balanced, i.e. a Beis Din cannot have an even number of judges, which might lead to a balanced vote and no verdict
39)[line 4]שרי עשרותSAREI ASAROS - Commanders of Tens
(a)While Bnei Yisrael were traveling in the desert from Egypt to Eretz Yisrael, HaSh-m commanded Moshe Rabeinu to appoint commanders over the people, after the recommendation of Yisro, as the verses relate (Shemos 18:13-26). Commanders of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens were appointed to assist Moshe in governing the people.
(b)Since the Commanders of Tens numbered one tenth of the people, Rebbi Nechemyah finds in this a hint that only when a city contains two hundred and thirty inhabitants is the Sanhedri Gedolah required to appoint a Sanhedri Ketanah of twenty-three judges in that city.
40a)[line 8]הודאותHODA'OS- [court cases in which witnesses testify to the litigants'] admissions [of their liability]
b)[line 8]והלואותHALVA'OS- [court cases in which witnesses testify to seeing money being transferred as] loans [between the litigants]
41)[line 14]"... וְנִקְרַב בַּעַל הַבַּיִת אֶל הָאֱ-לֹקִים...""... V'NIKRAV BA'AL HA'BAYIS EL HA'EL-KIM..."- "[If the thief is not found,] then the master of the house shall be brought to the judges [to swear... the cause of both parties shall come before the judges, and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double to his neighbor]." (Shemos 22:7-8) - The word "El-kim," meaning judges in this context, is used three times in these verses, from which Chazal learn (Daf 3b) that three judges are needed in monetary matters. (Regarding the practice of pronouncing (and writing) the word as if it were the name of HaSh-m, see YOSEF DA'AS here, p. 8.)
42)[line 21]מומחיןMUMCHIN- (lit. experts) ordained judges
43)[line 21]עירוב פרשיות כתוב כאןEIRUV PARSHIYOS KASUV KAN- a mixture of topics is written here. The verse states, "עַל כָּל אֲבֵדָה אֲשֶׁר יֹאמַר כִּי הוּא זֶה, עַד הָאֱ-לֹקִים יָבֹא דְּבַר שְׁנֵיהֶם; אֲשֶׁר יַרְשִׁיעֻן אֱ-לֹקִים יְשַׁלֵּם שְׁנַיִם לְרֵעֵהוּ" "... Al Kol Aveidah Asher Yomar Ki Hu Zeh, Ad ha'El-him Yavo Devar Sheneihem, Asher Yarshi'un El-him Yeshalem Shenayim l'Re'eihu" - "... or for any kind of lost thing, about which he will say that this is it, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges, and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double to his neighbor" (Shemos 22:8). This verse deals with the obligations of a Shomer Chinam, a watchman who does not receive a salary (for a further discussion of the four Shomrim, see Background to Bava Metzia 41:20). According to those who hold the opinion that "Eiruv Parshiyos Kasuv Kan," the words, "Ki Hu Zeh" refer to the topic of loans, specifically to Modeh b'Miktzas ha'Ta'anah (see Background to Bava Basra 128:21). The topics were mixed in order to learn Halachos from one topic to the other. As such, the requirements for a Beis Din for loan litigation should be exactly like that of other monetary matters, were it not for the leniency described in the Gemara that follows (stated above, entry #1b:d). Without "Eruv Parshiyos," (i.e. according to those who are of the opinion that the words "Ki Hu Zeh" refer to the topic of Shomer Chinam) we do not have a source for three judges except for in the cases of Gezeilos v'Chavalos (but see TOSFOS DH Divrei).
44)[last line]בדרישה ובחקירהDERISHAH / CHAKIRAH (EDUS - court testimony)
(a)When witnesses testify in Beis Din about a specific event in order to convict the perpetrator, the judges interrogate each witness separately to determine whether their testimony is reliable.
(b)Chazal learn from the verses of the Torah (Devarim 13:15, 17:4, 19:18) that two types of questions are employed to ascertain the truth of their testimonies: Chakiros and Derishos. There is no limit to the amount and type of Derishos that are used. Chakiros, however, are limited to seven specific questions (Sanhedrin 32a).
(c)The Torah requires that the following seven Chakiros be asked (even though the answers to some of the more specific questions already answer the more general ones). These Chakiros, which are meant to ascertain the time and place of the event, are 1. During which seven-year Shemitah cycle of the Yovel did the event occur? 2. During which year of the Shemitah? 3. During which month? 4. On which day of the month? 5. On which day of the week? 6. During which hour of the day? 7. Where did the event take place?
(d)If a witness cannot answer even one of the Chakiros, his testimony is invalid. The reason for this is that when the witness makes it impossible to testify against him that he was not in the place in question at the time in question, we suspect that he is lying (RASHI to Pesachim 12a, and to Bava Kama 75b DH Aval Hacha).