OATHS OF EXAGGERATION
Answer (Rav Ashi): A person swears according to our Da'as (understanding). We do not refer to ants the way we refer to people.
Question: Is it really true that a person does not swear according to his own Da'as?
(Beraisa): When Beis Din makes someone swear, we tell him 'we do not impose this oath based on a condition in your heart. Rather, it is according to the Da'as of Hash-m and Beis Din.'
Question: What do we exclude by saying this?
Suggestion: He cannot use 'coins' as a nickname for wood chips (and swear that he gave the coins to his creditor).
Inference: We needed to say that he swears based on our Da'as. This shows that a person normally swears on his own Da'as!
Answer to both questions: No, we exclude Rava's case of the reed;
Reuven claimed that he paid his debt to Shimon; Rava told him to swear. Reuven had hidden coins in a reed, and was using it for a cane. Before swearing, he asked Shimon to take the reed. Reuven held a Sefer Torah and swore that he paid Shimon.
Upon hearing the oath, Shimon broke the reed in anger. The coins fell out, and it was seen that the oath was true.
Question: The following shows that a person swears based on his own Da'as!
(Beraisa): When Moshe Rabeinu made Yisrael swear at Arvos Mo'av, he told them that they are not swearing on their Da'as, rather on Moshe's and Hash-m's Da'as.
Suggestion: Moshe needed to say this, lest they nickname idolatry 'Elokah' (and have this in mind when swearing to serve Elokim), because a person swears based on his own Da'as.
Answer (and Rejection): No, idolatry really is called 'Elokah' - "against all Elokei Mitzrayim..."
Question: Why didn't Moshe make them swear to keep Mitzvos?
Answer: This could be interpreted to mean (only) the Mitzvos of appointing a king.
Question: Why didn't Moshe make them swear to keep all the Mitzvos?
Answer: This could be interpreted to mean the Mitzvah of Tzitzis, which measures up to all the Mitzvos.
Question: Why didn't Moshe make them swear to keep Torah?
Answer: This could be interpreted to mean only one Torah (written or oral).
Question: Why didn't Moshe make them swear to keep Toros?
Answer: This could be interpreted to mean only Toros (the laws) of kinds of Korbanos.
Question: Why didn't Moshe make them swear to keep Toros and Mitzvos?
Answer: This could be interpreted to mean only Toros of Korbanos and the Mitzvos of appointing a king.
Question: Why didn't Moshe make them swear to keep the entire Torah?
Answer: This could be interpreted to mean (observing the Isurim of) idolatry;
(Beraisa): Idolatry is severe. Anyone who denies idolatry is like one who confirms the entire Torah.
Question: Why didn't Moshe make them swear to keep the Isurim of idolatry and the entire Torah; or, to keep 613 Mitzvos?
Answer: It was easier to make them swear based on the Da'as of Moshe and Hash-m.
OATHS OF EXAGGERATION
(Mishnah): If I did not see a snake like a beam of an olive-press...
Question: Why can't this be true?
In the days of Shvor Malka, there was a snake that ate 13 storehouses of straw!
Answer (Shmuel): He means, a snake that is Taruf (Ran - creviced; Rosh - wide, not round) like a beam of an olive press.
Objection: All snakes are like this!
Answer: He refers to its back, which is never Taruf.
Question: The Mishnah should say '...if I did not see a snake whose back was Taruf!'
Answer: The Mishnah teaches, in passing, that the back of a beam of an olive press should be Taruf.
This is relevant to one who sells a beam of an olive press. Its back must be Taruf.
(Mishnah): The following are Nedrei Shegagos (mistaken vows): 'If I ate or drank (I forbid...)', and later he remembered that he had done so;
'If I will eat or drink (I forbid...)', and later he forgot that he said this and ate or drank;
'I forbid my wife to benefit from me, for she stole my wallet or hit my son', and later he learned that she did not;
Beis Shamai say, if a man saw people eating his figs, and said 'the figs are forbidden to them like a Korban'; and he found that his father and brothers were among the people, only his father and brothers are permitted;
Beis Hillel say, the vow is totally void.
(Gemara - Beraisa): Just like mistaken vows are permitted, also mistaken oaths.
Question: What is a case of a mistaken oath?
Answer: It is like the case of Rav Kahana and Rav Asi;
They argued about what Rav had said. Each swore that he was right.
Each believed that he swore truthfully.
(Mishnah): If he saw people eating...
(Mishnah): We are Pose'ach with Shabbos and Yom Tov (the person overlooked that his vow will include these days).
At first, Chachamim said that those days are permitted and other days are forbidden. Later, R. Akiva taught that a vow that was partially permitted is totally permitted.
(Rabah): If he says 'had I known that father was among them, I would have said 'they are all forbidden except for father'', Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel agree that are all forbidden except for his father;
They argue when he says 'had I known that father was among them, I would have said that Ploni and Almoni are forbidden, and father is permitted'. (Beis Hillel permit everyone, for he would not have forbidden the others with the same expression (they or everyone, rather, he would have specified them by name). This is like R. Akiva.)