1) ON WHAT AMOUNT MUST ONE WITNESS TESTIFY IN ORDER TO OBLIGATE THE DEFENDANT TO MAKE A SHEVU'AH?
QUESTION: The Mishnah (38b) teaches that the minimum amount of money that the claimant must claim in order for Beis Din to require the defendant to make a Shevu'ah is two Me'ah. The Gemara here quotes Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak who says in the name of Shmuel that the Mishnah refers only to cases in which the borrower admits that he owes part of the money. If, however, one witness supports the claim of the claimant, the defendant must make a Shevu'ah ("Shevu'as Ed Echad") even if the claim consists of only one Perutah.
Shmuel derives this law from the verse, "One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity or for any sin, in any sin that he may commit" (Devarim 19:15). The verse implies that a single witness cannot cause someone to be punished for a transgression, but he *can* obligate someone to make a Shevu'ah.
TOSFOS (DH Aval) asks that Shmuel's law appears to contradict Rava's statement in Kesuvos (87b) that one is never required to make a Shevu'ah for denying a claim concerning land, even if one witness supports the claim. Rava implies that the laws of a Shevu'as Ed Echad are comparable to the laws of a Shevu'as Modeh b'Miktzas. Just as one is exempt from a Shevu'ah for partial admission (Modeh b'Miktzas) to a claim of land, one is exempt from a Shevu'ah when one witness supports the claimant's claim to the land.
As Tosfos in Kesuvos (87b, DH v'Od) points out, this is problematic because the source of this law is the verse which discusses oaths of Modeh b'Miktzas (as the Gemara teaches in Bava Metzia 57b). On what basis is this law applied when the defendant denies that he owes land and one witness supports the claimant's claim? Apparently, the basis for this comparison is that the two Shevu'os -- Shevu'as Modeh b'Miktzas and Shevu'as Ed Achad -- share similar laws. However, Shmuel's ruling is that one witness can obligate the defendant to make a Shevu'ah even if he only claims a Perutah. This means that a Shevu'as Modeh b'Miktzas and a Shevu'as Ed Echad are *different*, since Modeh b'Miktzas requires a claim of at least two Kesef. What, then, is the source for the rule that just as one does not swear when he denies owing land, he does not swear when one witness says that he owes land? Why should one assume that their laws are the same when Shmuel clearly maintains that their laws, in some respects, are different (for example, Shevu'as Modeh b'Miktzas requires a claim of two Kesef, while one witness obligates the defendant to make a Shevu'as Ed Echad even for one Perutah)?
(a) TOSFOS in Kesuvos answers in the name of "Rabeinu" that Shmuel understands that a Perutah is relevant to a case of Modeh b'Miktzas as well. Earlier in Shevuos (39b), Shmuel states that if the lender claims two Kesef, the borrower must make a Shevu'ah even if he denies only a Perutah, or he admits that he owes only a Perutah. This is similar to a case of one witness, where the defendant denies only a Perutah.
Tosfos explains why partial admission requires a minimum claim of two Kesef, as opposed to a case of one witness. It cannot be that a claim of two Kesef is required when one witness testifies, because if that would be the law, then the novelty of a single witness obligating a defendant to take an oath would exist only when the defendant does not admit that he owes any of the two Kesef. If he admits that he owes part of the money, he would make a Shevu'ah because of Modeh b'Miktzas, and the law of Shevu'as Ed Echad would not be necessary. It must be that the novelty of one witness is that he obligates the defendant to make a Shevu'ah even when his testimony is only on a Perutah. Only with regard to partial admission must one have a claim of two Kesef in order for an admission of even a Perutah to require a Shevu'ah. However, as mentioned above, these cases still share a common law, according to Shmuel; in both cases, the denial or admission may be a Perutah. Tosfos points out that, indeed, the Halachah does not follow the view of Shmuel in his novel ruling that the denial or admission may be a Perutah.
(b) Tosfos in Kesuvos answers further in the name of "Rabeinu" that everyone agrees with Shmuel's ruling that the defendant must make a Shevu'ah even when he admits that he owes only one Perutah, or he denies only one Perutah. The fact that the law that one does not make a Shevu'ah when he denies that he owes land also applies to the case of testimony of one witness is not problematic, since one *never* makes a Shevu'ah on land. Accordingly, it is understandable that this law is the same in both cases, despite the fact the laws of Shevu'as Modeh b'Miktzas and Shevu'as Ed Echad differ in other respects. (D. BLOOM)
2) THE IMPLICATION OF THE WORD "KESEF" VERSUS "KESAFIM"
QUESTION: Rav Anan in the name of Shmuel says that when one person claims from another that he owes him two needles, and the defendant admits that he owes one needle, he is obligated to make a Shevu'ah that he does not have the other needle. The Torah states, "When a man gives to his friend money (Kesef) or utensils (Kelim) to guard..." (Shemos 22:6). The word "Kelim" teaches that one must make a Shevu'ah even for the smallest utensil. RASHI (DH l'Mah) explains that if this was not the Torah's intention, then the verse would have said, "When a man gives his friend *monies* (Kesafim) to guard," in the plural form. Had the verse said "Kesafim," it would have taught that just as a Shevu'ah for partial admission (Modeh b'Miktzas) of money is made only on "Kesafim" -- two silver Me'ah which are significant, a Shevu'ah for partial admission of utensils is made only on significant utensils. This would exclude things such as needles that are not important. The Torah's mention of "Kelim" includes even unimportant utensils.
Rashi implies that the word "Kesafim" itself means coins of silver. TOSFOS (39b, DH Mah), however, says that this assumption is incorrect. The Mishnah in Kidushin (2a) states that a woman becomes betrothed when the man gives her a Perutah, the smallest denomination of copper coin. The Gemara there (11a) derives this from a Gezeirah Shavah of "Kichah." The verse with regard to Kidushin says, "Ki Yikach" (Devarim 24:1), and another verse says, "I have given the Kesef for the field, take (Kach) it from me" (Bereishis 23:13). The verse clearly uses the word "Kesef" with reference to a *copper* coin. Why, when the verse with regard to Shevu'ah says "Kesef," would one think that it refers to a silver coin?
(a) The KETZOS HA'CHOSHEN (CM 88:2) answers the question of Tosfos based on the Gemara in Kidushin (11a). Rav Yehudah says in the name of Rav Asi that every "fixed Kesef" mentioned in the Torah refers to Kesef Tzuri, money of the higher quality of Tzur (Tyre). Rashi (DH Kesef Katzuv) writes that the money of Kidushin is not fixed.
Rashi (DH Katzuv) explains that "fixed money" refers to the money in situations in which the Torah states explicitly how much must be given. Examples of this are the penalties of 50 Shekel that a man must give to the father of the girl he raped (Devarim 22:29) and the 30 Shekel that a man must give to the owner of a slave that was killed by his ox (Shemos 21:32). Rashi writes that in such cases, the Torah states the specific sum that one must pay, and that one must pay in Shekalim.
The Ketzos ha'Choshen asserts that if the Torah would have said that one gave to his friend "Kesafim" to guard, since the plural word "Kesafim" means a minimum of two, it would have been considered as though the Torah specified a fixed amount for the value of Kelim. Consequently, the Torah would have been referring to money of the Tzuri denomination. Since Rashi in Kidushin (11a, DH u'Tenan) writes that the lowest denomination in Tzuri money is the silver Me'ah, it would emerge that one would swear only against a claim of two Kelim of the value of two silver Me'ah.
In contrast, the word "Kesef" stated with regard to Kidushin is in the singular form. Since one does not need two to use coins, it is not considered a fixed amount, and thus even a copper Perutah may be used.
However, the TABA'AS HA'CHOSHEN (the notes of HA'GA'ON RAV CHAIM PINCHAS SHEINBERG shlit'a on the Ketzos ha'Choshen) points out that the logic of the Ketzos ha'Choshen is not conclusive. It is possible that when the Gemara in Kidushin refers to fixed Kesef, it refers only to sums stated explicitly in the Torah (the sums of 30, 50, and 100 mentioned by Rashi). In contrast, the word "Kesafim" would not refer specifically to two; it only *alludes* to two. Therefore, it might not be classified as "fixed Kesef."
(b) REBBI ELAZAR MOSHE HA'LEVI HOROWITZ answers that Rashi maintains that if the Torah wanted to mention any denomination of money, it would have said just "Kesef," the general term for money. The plural word "Kesafim" would have implied two "Kesef" -- "silver" coins (as in the verse "Zahav va'Chesef u'Nechoshes" -- "gold, silver, and copper," Shemos 25:3), which must mean at least two silver Me'ah. (D. BLOOM)