POINT BY POINT OUTLINE
prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
1) LIABILITY WHEN THERE ARE TWO PAIRS OF WITNESSES (cont.)
(a) Answer (Ravina): The case is, when the first pair denied, the second pair were invalid witnesses, because they were related (Rashi - to each other; R. Chananel - to a party of the case) through their wives, who were Gosesos (close to death);
1. One might have thought that since most Gosesim die, the second pair is destined to become valid and the first pair is exempt. The Mishnah teaches that this is not so.
2) MULTIPLE LIABILITY
(a) (Mishnah): If Reuven said 'I impose an oath on you if you will not testify for me that Ploni owes me a deposit, a loan, stolen property and a lost object', and the witnesses said 'we swear that we do not know testimony for you', they bring only one Korban;
1. If they answered 'we swear that we do not know that Ploni owes you a deposit, loan, stolen property or lost object', they are liable for each of these.
(b) If he said 'I impose an oath on you if you will not testify for me that Ploni owes me a deposit of wheat, barley and spelt', and the witnesses said 'we swear that we do not know testimony for you', they bring only one Korban;
1. If they answered 'we swear that we do not know that Ploni owes you wheat, barley or spelt', they are liable for each one.
(c) Witnesses are liable for Shevu'as ha'Edus if asked to testify about any of the following. 'Ploni owes me for damage, half-damage, double payment (of a thief), payment of four or five (for selling or slaughtering a stolen animal), for raping or enticing my daughter, that my son owes me for hitting me, that Ploni wounded me or burned my stack on Yom Kipur.'
3) LIABILITY FOR FINES
(a) (Gemara) Question: Are witnesses liable for Shevu'as ha'Edus that denied testimony about a fine?
1. We do not ask according to R. Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon, who holds that even after one admits to a fine, if witnesses testify against him he must pay it (their denial cost the claimant money. Surely they are liable);
2. We ask according to Chachamim, who hold that witnesses do not obligate a fine after an admission.
3. Question: According to which opinion (about something that enables one to get money) do we ask?
i. Suggestion: We ask according to R. Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon (who holds (32a) that something that enables one to get money is like money).
ii. Rejection: Surely they are liable. They could have testified before the defendant (Shimon) admitted!
4. Answer: We ask according to Chachamim (who hold that something that enables one to get money is not like money).
i. Since if Shimon would admit he is exempt, perhaps this is not considered a claim of money;
ii. Or, since he did not admit yet, perhaps it is like a claim of money!
(b) Answer #1 (Mishnah): That Ploni owes me for damage, half-damage...
1. Half-damage (for a Tam animal (not an established gorer) that gored) is a fine, and they are liable!
(c) Rejection: According to the opinion that half-damage is not a fine, this is no proof.
(d) Suggestion: According to the opinion that it is a fine, this is a proof!
(e) Rejection: No. Perhaps it refers to half-damage caused by (kicking) pebbles;
1. A tradition from Moshe from Sinai teaches that it pays half-damage. (It is not a fine.)
(f) Answer #2 (Mishnah): (Witnesses are liable for denying) double payment (the fine that a thief pays).
(g) Rejection: Double payment includes principal (which is not a fine. They are liable for denying knowledge of the principal.)
(h) Answer #3 (Mishnah): ... Payment of four or five.
(i) Rejection: These payments include principal.
(j) Answer #4 (Mishnah): ... For raping or enticing my daughter (for which there is a fine of 50 Shekalim).
(k) Rejection: A rapist or enticer also pays for embarrassment and blemish (i.e. the decreased amount people will pay to be Mekadesh a non-virgin), which are not fines.
1. Question: Why does the Mishnah teach all these cases that are not fines?
2. Answer: There is a Chidush in one of the first clauses, and in the last clause. Half-damage teaches that pebbles is not a fine. Burning a stack on Yom Kipur teaches unlike R. Nechunyah ben Hakaneh;
i. (Beraisa - R. Nechunyah ben Hakaneh): Just like one who damages through Melachah on Shabbos is exempt from payment (since this is punishable by Misas Beis Din (execution). One does not forfeit his life and money at the same time), the same applies to Yom Kipur (Melachah on Yom Kipur is punishable by Kares, which includes Misah b'Yedei Shamayim (death at the hands of Heaven).
(l) Answer #5 (Beraisa): Witnesses are liable for Shevu'as ha'Edus about Motzi Shem Ra (Shimon married a Na'arah and falsely claimed that she was not a virgin. He pays her father a fine of 100 Shekalim. If Shimon confessed on his own, he is exempt.)
(m) Rejection: The Beraisa is R. Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon, who says that witnesses obligate a fine even after an admission. We ask according to Chachamim.
(n) Question (Seifa of the Beraisa): If Shimon confessed on his own, he is exempt.
1. (Presumably, this is even if witnesses testify later.) This is like Chachamim!
2. Answer: No, the entire Beraisa is R. Elazar;
i. It teaches that the only time he is exempt when he admits is if witnesses never testify.
4) CLAIMING ON BEHALF OF ANOTHER
(a) (Mishnah): Witnesses are exempt for Shevu'as ha'Edus if asked to testify about any of the following: 'I am a Kohen, or a Levi, or (regarding a Kohen) that my mother was not divorced or a Chalutzah, or that Ploni is a Kohen, or a Levi, or that his mother was not divorced or a Chalutzah, or that Reuven raped or enticed his (Rashi - Ploni's; some explain - own) daughter, or that my son wounded me, or that Shimon wounded me or burned my stack on Shabbos.'
(b) (Gemara) Inference: They are exempt only because they were asked to testify about Ploni's lineage. Had they been asked to testify that Shimon owes him money, they would be liable!
(c) Question: The continuation of our Mishnah (35a) teaches that they are liable only if the claimant asked them!
(d) Answer (Shmuel): They would be liable if someone with a Harsha'ah (power of attorney) asked them to testify.
(e) Question: Chachamim of Neharde'a taught that we do not write a Harsha'ah on Metaltelim!
(f) Answer: That is only if the defendant denied owing. If not, we may write it.
5) THERE MUST BE A MONETARY CLAIM
(a) (Beraisa) Question: What is the source that witnesses are liable for Shevu'as ha'Edus only if there was a monetary claim?
(b) Answer #1 (R. Eliezer): The word 'Oh' is repeated in the Parshah of Shevu'as ha'Edus, and also in Shevu'as ha'Pikadon;
1. Just like the latter refers to a claim of money, also the former.
2. Question: Why not learn from the Parshah of a murderer, in which the word 'Oh' is repeated, yet it does not refer to a claim of money?
3. Answer: It is preferable to learn Shevu'as ha'Edus from another Parshah that involves an oath.
4. Question: Why not learn from the Parshah of Sotah, in which the word 'Oh' is repeated and it involves an oath, yet it does not refer to a claim (primarily) of money?
5. Answer: It is preferable to learn Shevu'as ha'Edus from another Parshah that involves an oath and does not involve a Kohen.
(c) Answer #2 (R. Akiva): "Ki Yesham l'Achas me'Eleh" - for some of these oaths he is liable, but not for others;
1. He is liable for those with a claim of money, and exempt for others (later we will explain how he learns this).
(d) Answer #3 (R. Yosi ha'Galili): "V'Hu Ed Oh Ro'oh Oh Yoda" discusses testimony possible through seeing (without understanding) or knowing (without seeing). (These apply only in monetary cases.)
1. An example of seeing without understanding is if they saw Reuven give Shimon money, but they do not know why;
2. An example of knowing without seeing is if they heard Shimon admit to Reuven.