[29a - 51 lines; 29b - 47 lines]
1)[line 2]הויא להו ענבים חצי שיעורHAVYA LEHU ANAVIM CHATZI SHI'UR- the grapes [at this point] have become half of that which is necessary to transgress [the oath, since they cannot combine with the figs once a Korban has been designated]
2)[line 8]שבועת שואSHEVU'AS SHAV- see Background to 27:26:c
3)[line 8]לשנות את הידוע לאדםL'SHANOS ES HA'YADU'A LA'ADAM- to change that which is known to man; i.e., to deny the obvious
4)[line 9]אמר על העמודAMAR AL HA'AMUD- (if, for example) he swore regarding a pillar
5)[line 12]שפורח באוירPORE'ACH BA'AVIR- flew through the air
6)[line 13]נחש כקורת בית הבדNACHASH K'KORAS BEIS HA'BAD- a snake similar [in appearance] to the beam of an olive press [which presses the olives]. The Gemara (29b) explains the meaning, and inherent impossibility, of this assertion.
7)[line 14]והעידוניHA'IDUNI- testify for me
8)[line 14]שבועה שלא נעידךSHEVU'AH SHE'LO NE'IDECH- we swear that we will not testify for you. This is an example of one who swears not to fulfill a Mitzvah.
9)[line 22]והוא שניכר לג' בני אדםV'HU SHE'NIKAR L'SHELOSHAH BNEI ADAM- and [the case of one who swears that a pillar of stone is gold etc. is a Shevu'as Shav only] when it is recognized by three people [to really be of stone etc.]
10)[line 25]תניTENI- teach
11)[line 28]ציפורא רַבָּא חזיTZIPORA RABA CHAZI- he saw a large bird
12)[line 29]ואסיק ליה שמא גמלאASIK LEI SHMA GAMLA- and he gave it the name of a camel [to stress its great size]
13)[line 31]בתר פומיהBASAR PUMEI- we follow the [simplest meaning of the words that exit] his mouth
14)[line 32]כשמשביעין אותוKESHE'MASHBI'IN OSO - when [Beis Din] administers an oath to him (MODEH B'MIKTZAS HA'TA'ANAH)
(a)If one admits to owing part of what another claims is due him, we must suspect that he truly owes the amount of the entire claim. Although he does not have the funds to pay now, he does not have the audacity to deny the claim completely either. He therefore partially acknowledges the debt in an effort to postpone his repayment. Due to this suspicion, he is required to swear that he does not owe the remainder of the claim (Shemos 22:8; Kesuvos 18b).
(b)The Beraisa cited in our Gemara refers to this oath that Beis Din requires of a Modeh b'Miktzas ha'Ta'anah.
15)[line 35]איסקונדריISKUNDREI- small wooden game tokens
16)[line 36]ואסיק להו [שמא] זוזיASIK LEHU [SHMA] ZUZEI- he [decided to] call them by the name "coins"
17)[line 37]קניא דרבאKANYA D'RAVA- the cane of Rava. This refers to a case in which a man claimed in the Beis Din of Rava that he had returned money to his creditor. When Rava required him to swear that this was true, he asked his creditor to hold his cane while he held a Sefer Torah in order to take the oath. When the creditor heard what he understood to be a false oath, he became so enraged that he broke the cane. Money spilled forth from the broken cane, and it transpired that the oath was not untrue (Nedarim 25a).
18)[line 38]כשהשביע משה את ישראלKESHE'HISHBI'A MOSHE ES YISRAEL- when Moshe placed Klal Yisrael under oath [to uphold the entire Torah] (see Devarim 29:9-28)
19)[line 40]המקוםHA'MAKOM- lit. the place; i.e., HaSh-m, who is "the location" of the world (see BEREISHIS RABAH cited by RASHI to Shemos 33:21)
20)[line 42]דמסקי אדעתייהו עבודת כוכביםMASKEI A'DAITAIHU AVODAS KOCHAVIM- they would have idols in mind [when swearing to "god"]
21)[line 44]"[לֹא תַעֲשׂוּן אִתִּי;] אֱלֹהֵי כֶסֶף וֵאלֹהֵי זָהָב [לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ לָכֶם]""[LO SA'ASUN ITI;] ELOHEI CHESEF VE'LOHEI ZAHAV..."- "[Do not fashion images of those heavenly bodies that are with Me; do not fashion for yourselves] gods of silver and gods of gold" (Shemos 20:20).
22)[line 44]ולימא להו, "קיימו תורה"?V'LEIMA LEHU, "KAIMU TORAH"?- and why did Moshe not [simply] say to [Klal Yisrael], "Uphold the Torah" [which could not be misinterpreted]?
23)[line 45]חדא תורהCHADA TORAH- (the Gemara answers) [this would have implied only] one Torah [and they had to uphold two - the Written Torah and the Oral Torah]
24)[line 46]תורת חטאת תורת אשםTORAS CHATAS, TORAS ASHAM- [this could have been interpreted to mean] the laws of a Korban Chatas and the laws of a Korban Asham (these terms are those found in Vayikra 6:18 and ibid. 7:1 respectively)
25)[line 47]שכל הכופר בה כמודה בכל התורה כולהKOL HA'KOFER BAH K'MODEH B'CHOL HA'TORAH KULAH- any who deny it are as those who have validated the entire Torah [since the verse (Bamidbar 15:22) equates idol worship with transgressing the entire Torah]
26)[line 49]שקולה מצות ציצית כנגד כל המצות כולןSHEKULAH MITZVAS TZITZIS KENEGED KOL HA'MITZVOS KULAN- [fulfillment of] the Mitzvah of Tzitzis is equivalent to fulfilling all of the Mitzvos [since the verse (Bamidbar 15:39) states that the sight of Tzitzis reminds one of all of the Mitzvos]. The Gematriyah of "Tzitzis" is 600, and there are eight strings and five knots in each corner. This totals 613.
27)[line 1]כי היכי דלא תהוי הפרה לשבועתייהוKI HEICHI D'LO TEHEVEI HAFARAH L'SHEVU'ASAIHU - [an oath taken upon the knowledge of the public] so that no annulment of their oath will be possible (NEDER SHE'HUDAR AL DA'AS RABIM)
(a)If one vows "Al Da'as Rabim" - "upon the knowledge of the public" - it cannot be annulled (see Background to 27:34). Some explain that this is because it is impossible to gain the consent of the entire public, which would be necessary in order to annul the oath (see Insights to Gitin 36:1 for the explanation of this and other opinions).
(b)Our Gemara explains that it was for this reason that Moshe Rabeinu mentioned that the oath that he placed upon Klal Yisrael was both "Al Daiti v'Al Da'as ha'Makom" - so that there would be no future possibility of annulling it.
28a)[line 3]ההוא דהוה בשני שבור מלכאHA'HU D'HAVAH BI'SHNEI SHEVOR MALKA- that [snake] that was in the times of King Shapur II, king of Persia (reigned 309-379 CE, during the Sassanid Dynasty)
b)[line 3](הוה חד) דאחזיק תליסר אורוותא תיבנא(HAVAH CHAD) D'ACHZIK TELEISAR URVASA TIVNA- (there was one [snake]) that was able to contain (i.e., consume) thirteen horse stables-full of hay. The snake had been attacking people, and they laid a trap for it by hiding glowing coals inside animal corpses, and the corpses inside bales of hay. After consuming them all, the snake burned to death from the inside.
29)[line 5]בטרוףB'TARUF- [the oath in question stated that the snake was] (a) speckled [as the beam of an olive press is grooved (RASHI); (b) notched with grooves [like the beam of an olive press] (RAN to Nedarim 25a); (c) so wide as to no longer be round [like the beam of an olive press] (ROSH to Nedarim 25a)
30)[line 6]בשגבו טרוףBESHE'GABO TARUF- (the Gemara answers) [the oath stated that] the back [of the snake] was (a) speckled [and only the throat of a snake is speckled] (RASHI); (b) notched with grooves [and only the belly of a snake is grooved] (RAN to Nedarim 25a); (c) so wide as to no longer be round [and only the belly of a snake is flattened] (ROSH to Nedarim 25a)
31)[line 7]השתאHASHTA- now [that he has not eaten the loaf of bread that he had previously sworn to eat]
32)[line 9]הרי יצתה שבועה לשוא!HAREI YATZESAH SHEVU'AH LA'SHAV!- his oath [taken earlier not to eat the loaf] was in vain [even if he eventually did not eat it, since it contravened his obligation to eat the loaf as per his earlier oath]!
33)[line 11](בקרובים וברחוקים) [ברחוקים ובקרובים](B'KEROVIM UV'RECHOKIM) [B'RECHOKIM UV'KEROVIM]- (with both relatives and those to whom he is unrelated) [with both those to whom he is unrelated and relatives]. The oath referred to here is one which features one of these individuals as a subject; e.g., an oath in which one swears that he will give something to his brother. This non-distinction, as well as those that follow, is mentioned in our Mishnah to contrast Shevu'os Bituy and Shevu'os Shav to Shevu'os ha'Edus (Mishnah 30a, cited below on this Amud).
34)[line 12]ובפסוליןPESULIN - those who are disqualified from giving testimony (PESULEI EDUS)
(a)One who transgresses a Torah law in order to increase his wealth has the Halachic status of a "Rasha" - a wicked person (see Shemos 23:1) - and he is disqualified as both a judge and a witness.
(b)The Mishnah (Rosh Hashanah 22a and Sanhedrin 24b; see also Gemara ibid.) lists those who fall into this category. They include thieves, gamblers, those who loan money with interest, and those who do business with Shemitah produce.
35)[line 13]מפי עצמוMI'PI ATZMO- [a Shevu'as Bituy is one that is] taken of his own initiative
36)[line 15]ברחוקים ובקרוביםB'RECHOKIM UV'KEROVIM- with both those to whom he is unrelated and relatives; i.e., he swore that a certain man - whether related to him or not - is a woman
37)[line 20]משביעך אני!MASHBI'ACHA ANI!- I place an oath upon you!
38)[line 23]"... וְאָמְרָה הָאִשָּׁה, 'אָמֵן, אָמֵן'""... V'AMRAH HA'ISHAH, 'AMEN, AMEN'" - "And the [suspected adulteress] shall say, 'Amen, Amen'" (Bamidbar 5:22) (SOTAH)
(a)A Sotah is a woman suspected of committing adultery when she was witnessed secluding herself (Setirah) with a certain man after being warned by her husband (Kinuy) against just such an action in front of witnesses. Until she is proven innocent of adultery (see below), she is forbidden to both her husband and the suspected adulterer, even should her husband die or divorce her at that point.
(b)The husband of such a woman brings his wife to the Beis ha'Mikdash, along with a sacrifice consisting of 1/10 of an Eifah (approx. 2 quarts) of barley meal as a Minchah offering. Following this, the seventy-one member Sanhedrin (Supreme Court) that sits in the Beis ha'Mikdash frightens her with the description of the fate of a guilty Sotah (see (c) below). A Kohen reads Parshas Sotah - the portion of the Torah which describes the horrific fate that befalls a Sotah her if she is guilty - in front of her, in any language that she understands. The Sotah is made to swear that she has been faithful to her husband, and she answers in response to the recitation of the Kohen, "... and the woman replies, Amen, Amen" (Bamidbar 5:22). She is then humiliated in various ways, such as through having her clothing ripped and then held together with a rope of woven branches. The purpose of these actions is to persuade her to admit her guilt, if she is indeed guilty, and thereby avoid erasing the name of HaSh-m (see below).
(c)If the Sotah maintains her innocence, then an earthenware jug is filled with half a Log (approximately .17 or .3 liters, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions) of water from the Kiyor (the large basin of water in the Azarah), and dirt from the floor of the Azarah (large courtyard of the Beis ha'Mikdash) is placed into the water. Parshas Sotah (which contains numerous appearances of HaSh-m's name) is written on parchment and then immersed in the water, causing the ink to dissolve and the holy names to be erased. The Sotah then drinks from the water. If she had been unfaithful to her husband, the water enters her body and causes her belly to swell and her thighs to rupture. If, however, she had been faithful to her husband, she not only remains unharmed, but is blessed with children (Bamidbar 5:11-31).
39)[line 24]מתניתין וברייתא נמי דיקאMASNISIN U'VERAISA NAMI DEIKA- [the only possible explanation to the seeming contradiction between] a Mishnah and a Beraisa also implies that this is true
40)[line 25]שבועת העדותSHEVU'AS HA'EDUS - An Oath of Denial of Testimony
(a)One who is able to testify on behalf of another must do so. If one suspects another of concealing testimony that can benefit him, he has the right to place him under oath. This oath is called a Shevu'as ha'Edus (Vayikra 5:1).
(b)If a witness denies any knowledge of the case, under oath, in Beis Din, and then later admits that he swore falsely, then he must offer a Korban. This Korban is a Korban Oleh v'Yored, which means that the makeup of the Korban varies depending upon the means of the penitent:
1.A wealthy individual must offer a female sheep or goat as a Korban Chatas (Korban Ashir).
2.One who cannot afford a sheep must offer a pair of turtledoves (Torim) or common doves (Bnei Yonim), one as a Korban Olah and one as a Korban Chatas (Korban Oleh v'Yored b'Dalus).
3.If he cannot afford even a pair of birds, he may offer one-tenth of an Eifah of fine flour as a Minchas Chatas (Korban Oleh v'Yored b'Dalei Dalus) (Vayikra 5:5-13).
41)[line 28]ובפני בית דין ושלא בפני בית דין, מפי עצמוBIFNEI BEIS DIN VESHE'LO BIFNEI BEIS DIN, MI'PI ATZMO- whether before Beis Din or not before Beis Din, when it is taken of his own initiative
42)[line 29]עד שיכפרו בהן בבית דיןAD SHE'YICHPERU BAHEN B'VEIS DIN- until [the witnesses] deny [knowledge of testimony that will benefit] them in Beis Din