More Discussions for this daf
1. The 'intent' of a Shevuah 2. Nedarim

Mordechai Schwimmer asked:

At the end of 24b and in 25a, the Gemara discusses whether one who utters a Shevuah, can interpret it in his own particular way. Rav Ashi holds that even a regular Shevuah, without any special provisions, is enounced on 'our intent' i. e. the intent of most people.

The Gemara makes several attempts to prove that unlike Rav Ashi's opinion, a special clause 'on our intent' or 'the intent of Beth Din' has to be included, otherwise the Shevuah can be interpreted in an extraneous fashion.

The question: Why doesn't the Gemara attempt a proof from the swearing recited to the Cohen Gadol before Yom Kippur - Mishnah Yoma 18b, Gemara 19b - that he will perform the Avodah properly. Furthermore this proof would be more than attempt, it is seemingly irrefutable. They could have made him simply swear that he should perform the Avodah properly, yet they state 'do not deviate in any way from what we told you' which is already all inclusive and still add 'on our and Beth Din's intent' ? In addition this Mishnah precedes sequentially all the other proofs.


Mordechai Schwimmer, Brooklyn, USA

The Kollel replies:

The proof from the Gemara in Yoma is no better than the proof from the Beraisa. We say by each Shevu'ah in Beis Din that we are having him swear Al Da'as Bais Din, but this is to exclude tricks such as Kanya d'Rabah, and not "extraneous explanations."

(By the way, Rashi and Rambam there explain that they did not actually tell the Kohen Gadol that his Shavuah was on Da'as Beis Din. Rather, that is how the Gemara explains the words of the Mishnah "Atah Shelucheinu".)

Dov Zupnik

Mordechai Schwimmer asked:

Can you elaborate some more on your answer ?

In order to correlate the elements of the answer to the question, following is a breakdown of the question into its components.

a) The Gemara would quote the text from Mesecht Yoma and then continue, "to exclude what, don't we mean to exclude something extraneous and far-fetched, and since they say (or mean to say) 'on our intent' we can deduce that one can make an oath on 'his' intent", thus refuting Rav Ashi.

b) The Gemara would not be able to answer "no, we are excluding 'reasonable' intents such as Kanya d'Rava", because these are already excluded through their statement 'do not deviate from anything that we told you' which is all inclusive.

c) By lack of choice, the Gemara would have to resort to 'Milsa d'Tricha' - they went overboard and said more than strictly needed. (Possibly, this would be followed by a discussion regarding the possibility that a Tzedoki Cohen Gadol would attempt a Hatarah of the Shevuah. This last point is a broad subject in itself, hinging in part on what exactly the Tzedokim accepted and believed in.)

Why did the Gemara not attempt this ?

Mordechai Schwimmer, Brooklyn, USA

The Kollel replies:

Just as a Shevu'ah in Beis Din does not exclude "Kanya d'Rabah" without the condition of "Al Da'ateinu," so too the Shevu'ah of the Kohen Gadol would not exclude such cases without "Al Da'ateinu." It is therefore still not proven that a person can swear "Al Da'as Atzmo."

D. Zupnik