SHEVUOS 45 - Two weeks of study material have been dedicated by Mrs. Estanne Abraham Fawer to honor the Yahrzeit of her father, Rav Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Rabbi Morton Weiner) Z'L, who passed away on 18 Teves 5760. May the merit of supporting and advancing Dafyomi study -- which was so important to him -- during the weeks of his Yahrzeit serve as an Iluy for his Neshamah.

[45a - 55 lines; 45b - 35 lines]

1)[line 1]העדות שבועתSHEVU'AS HA'EDUS

(a)One of the litigants in a court case has the right to force a person to take an oath when he feels that the person is concealing testimony about the case. The oath that the alleged witness takes to claim that he is not harboring any testimony is called a Shevu'as ha'Edus (Vayikra 5:1).

(b)For example, a person asks two witnesses to testify on his behalf, in order to oblige the opposing litigant to pay him. The witnesses deny all knowledge of the case and even swear in court to that effect. If they admit afterwards that they did know testimony, they must bring a Korban Oleh v'Yored. If they are wealthy they each bring a female sheep or female goat. If they cannot afford the animal, they may each bring two turtledoves or two common doves, one as a Chatas and one as an Olah. If they cannot even afford birds, they may each bring an offering of 1/10 of an Eifah of flour as a Minchas Chatas (ibid. 5:5-13).

2)[line 1]הפקדון שבועתSHEVU'AS HA'PIKADON

(a)If one of the litigants in a court case claims that his opponent owes him money or is unjustly holding onto an item that belongs to him, the claimant has the right to force the accused to take an oath that he holds no such money. The oath that the accused takes to assert that he is not harboring any money or item is called a Shevu'as ha'Pikadon. If the accused later admits to his sin, he must return what he stole, pay a fine of Chomesh (a fifth of the ensuing total, or a fourth of the original value of the money he withheld) and bring a Korban Asham to receive atonement (Vayikra 5:20-26).

(b)If five different claimants accuse him of unjustly holding onto items that belong to them, and he makes a false oath that he is not holding their items, he must bring a Korban Asham for each oath, but only if he said the words, "I swear...," to each one. If he said to all of them, "I swear that I have nothing of yours in my possession," then he only brings one Korban Asham.

3)[line 2]שבועת שואSHEVU'AS SHAV

(a)It is forbidden to swear in vain, as the Torah states, "Lo Sisa Es Shem HaSh-m Elokecha la'Shav" (Shemos 20:7). There are four types of oaths that are in vain:

1.a false oath about something known; e.g. that a marble pillar is made of gold

2.a true oath about something known; e.g. that a stone is a stone oath to transgress a Mitzvah oath which is impossible to keep; e.g. not to sleep for three days or not to eat for seven days.

(b)If a person swears in vain b'Mezid he receives lashes. If he swears b'Shogeg he does not bring a Korban (SEFER HA'CHINUCH Mitzvah #30).


(a)The Mishnah (Sanhedrin 24b, and Gemara there; Rosh Hashanah 22a) lists the people who are Pesulei Edus, those people who are disqualified to judge or to give testimony.

(b)A Mesachek b'Kuvya is a person who gambles with dice (or other forms of gambling - RAMBAM Hilchos Edus 10:4) as his only livelihood. He is disqualified mid'Rabanan from giving testimony. One opinion rules that he is disqualified because gambling is deemed Asmachta, which is considered stealing (see Background to Sanhedrin 24:51a-b). Another opinion rules that the Mesachek b'Kuvya is disqualified since he is not Osek b'Yishuvo Shel Olam, (lit. he is not working for the settlement of the world) i.e. he is not an active member of the civilized world (Sanhedrin 24b).

5)[line 3]ומלוה ברביתU'MALVEH B'RIBIS - and one who lends with interest

(a)It is forbidden to lend money with interest (Shemos 22:24, Vayikra 25:36, Devarim 23:20). Even if interest is charged conditionally, and it is eventually not collected, the transaction is prohibited (and possibly mid'Oraisa, according to some Tana'im).

(b)The Torah forbids lending with interest only if the rate or amount of interest was fixed at the time that the loan was made. This is called Ribis Ketzutzah. If interest was paid but the amount paid was not fixed at the time of the loan, or if a higher price was paid in a sale in order that the seller should allow the buyer more time to complete his payment for the purchase, it is called Avak Ribis or Ribis d'Rabanan. In addition to these, certain payments that are not actually Ribis mid'Oraisa or mid'Rabanan were prohibited because they have similarities to Ribis. Chazal refer to this as "Ha'aramas Ribis."

(c)It is also forbidden to take money in order to allow the borrower more time to complete the payment of the loan. (Such payment is known as "Agar Natar.") Any reward for waiting [to receive one's money] is prohibited. This is the general principle that sums up the prohibitions of Ribis. d'Oraisa and Ribis d'Rabanan.

(d)The Mishnah here deals with people who are Pasul mid'Rabanan from giving testimony. Accordingly, "ha'Malveh b'Ribis" refers to Ribis she'Einah Ketzutzah, or even Ribis Ketzutzah, but the borrower is not disqualified mid'Oraisa since he feels that he is doing nothing wrong when he Pays Ribis of his own volition.

6)[line 5]ומפריחי יוניםU'MAFRICHEI YONIM- (a) a person who races pigeons (or any other animals) as his only livelihood; (b) "Ara," (O.F. estalon - a baiting bird) a person who uses a trained pigeon (or any other animal) to entice other pigeons (or animals) into leaving their dovecote (or pens) and coming to the house of the owner of the Ara

7)[line 3]וסוחרי שביעיתV'SOCHAREI SHEVI'IS - and sinners who sell the produce of the Shemitah year (SHEVI'IS)

(a)The Torah requires that farmers desist from working the land every seventh year, as described in Vayikra 25:1-7. The fruits that grow during the seventh (Shevi'is) year are holy to the extent that 1. They must be considered ownerless; anyone may come into any field and pick the fruit that he intends to eat. 2. The fruits may not be bought and sold in a normal fashion (see Insights to Sukah 39:2). 3. The Torah requires that the fruits of Shevi'is be used only for eating or drinking (in the normal manner of eating for that type of fruit) or for burning to provide light (in the case of oil). They may not be wasted or used for medicinal purposes or animal fodder, etc.

(b)One may not do any work with the land or with trees growing from the land that makes improvements.

(c)The Shemitah year is meant to teach the Jewish people to rely on HaSh-m for their sustenance, a fact that is not always clear to them during the six years in which they work their own fields.

(d)According to the Ramban, people who buy and sell produce of Shevi'is transgress the Mitzvas Aseh of "l'Ochlah" - one must eat the fruit, as opposed to bartering or selling it (RAMBAN, Mitzvos added to the Sefer ha'Mitzvos of the Rambam, third Mitzvah). The money with which the produce is bought becomes Kadosh with Kedushas Shevi'is and must be used to buy foods that will be treated in the above manner.

8)[line 7]פנקסיPINKASI- my ledger; a folded-up slate (usually wax-covered, where notes could be etched). The Gemara explains that in the case of the storekeeper who swears about his ledger, the storekeeper does not say that "my ledger says that Levi owes me 200 Zuz," rather, Levi told him to give a measure of wheat to his son or money to his workers, and he claims that he gave it already, but the son or workers say that they did not receive it.

9)[line 15]לחנוניL'CHENVANI- to the storekeeper

10)[line 17]באונפליB'UNFALEI- in a pouch that holds money

11)[line 21]לשולחניL'SHULCHANI- to the moneychanger

12)[line 28]הפוגמת כתובתהHA'POGEMES KESUVASAH- a woman who admits that she received partial payment of her Keusvah

13)[line 41]השותפיןHA'SHUTAFIN- the partners

14)[line 42]והאריסיןVEHA'ARISIN- and the hired field laborers who receive a percentage (1/2, 1/3 or 1/4) of the produce of the field

15)[line 42]והאפוטרופיןVEHA'APOTROFIN- and the stewards or managers of the household (RASHI to Sukah 27a)

16)[line 46]נתגלגל לו שבועה ממקום אחרNISGALGEL LO SHEVU'AH MI'MAKOM ACHER - [once he is obligated to make one Shevu'ah,] a Shevu'ah from another claim is placed upon him (GILGUL SHEVU'AH)

(a)If a defendant must take an oath in Beis Din in response to one claim of a plaintiff, he may be required to include within his oath a response to another outstanding claim from the same plaintiff, even though the second claim is not the type of claim which normally requires an oath. This Halachah is learned from the Shevu'ah of the Sotah woman (see Background to Shevuos 5:4), who is obligated to swear that she did not have relations with the man whom her husband suspects. Beis Din is Megalgel onto her oath the additional details that she did not have relations with any other man, while she was an Arusah, etc., to which she must swear as well (Sotah 18a).

(b)Examples of claims that can be included in a person's oath through Gilgul are Shevu'os that pertain to land, a claim of Kofer ba'Kol (denying an entire loan), and even an oath that the defendant is not the slave of the claimant (Kidushin 28a).

(c)The Halachah of Gilgul Shevu'ah applies whether the Shevu'ah is a Shevu'ah d'Oraisa such as the Shevu'ah brought about by the testimony of a solitary witness, or a Shevu'ah d'Rabanan such as Shevu'as Heses (Shevu'os 48b; see RASHI there).

(d)In the case of the Gemara here, if the former partner (or sharecropper) must swear about something else, he may be forced to swear about the partnership through Gilgul.

17)[line 49]שכירSACHIR- a hired laborer

18)[line 50]הלכות גדולותHALACHOS GEDOLOS- great laws (connoting a tradition from Moshe from Sinai) [were taught here]

19)[line 51]תקנות גדולותTAKANOS GEDOLOS- great enactments (of the Rabanan) [were taught here]

20)[line 52]עקרוה רבנן לשבועה מבעל הבית ושדיוה אשכירAKRUHA RABANAN L'SHEVU'AH MI'BA'AL HA'BAYIS V'SHADYUHA A'SACHIR- the Rabanan uprooted the [obligation to make a] Shevu'ah from the employer and case it upon the worker

21)[line 52]כדי חייוKEDEI CHAYAV- according to his basic needs for sustenance to stay alive

22)[line 53]דאיתגרון ליה פועליןD'ISGARON LEI POALIN- so that workers will want to hire themselves out to him. If the workers will have to swear in order to obtain their wages, they will not want to work for him and he will need to go out and find other workers.

23)[line 56]כדי להפיס דעתו של בעל הביתKEDEI L'HAFIS DA'ATO SHEL BA'AL HA'BAYIS- in order to appease the worries of the employer (so that he will not suspect that the worker is lying)


24)[line 1]אומןUMAN- a craftsman or worker

25)[line 3]המוציא מחבירו עליו הראיהHA'MOTZI ME'CHAVEIRO ALAV HA'RE'AYAH

The general rule in monetary claims is that the burden of proof rests with the one who wishes to extract payment or other items of value from the other person. Hence, when ownership is in doubt, all money or real estate remains with the one who has possession.

26)[line 4]קציצה ודאי מידכר דכיר ליהKETZITZAH VADAI MIDKAR DACHIR LEI- a person certainly remembers the agreed-upon wages


(a)There are two places in the Torah in which an employer is commanded not to withhold the wages of his hired worker. First, the Torah commands, "Lo Sa'ashok Es Re'acha v'Lo Sigzol; Lo Salin Pe'ulas Sachir Itcha Ad Boker" - "You shall not defraud your neighbor, and you shall not rob him; you shall not leave overnight the wage of a worker with you until the morning" (Vayikra 19:13). The Gemara (Bava Metzia 110b) teaches that this verse refers to a Sechir Yom, a hired day worker. Such a worker comes in from his work at the end of the day, when the night has begun. The employer has all night to pay the worker his wages. If the morning arrives, though, and the employer has not yet paid the worker, then the employer transgresses the Lav of "Lo Salin." The employer also transgresses the additional Lavim mentioned in the verse of "Lo Sa'ashok" and "Lo Sigzol."

(b)Second, the Torah commands, "Lo Sa'ashok Sachir Ani v'Evyon me'Achecha O mi'Gercha Asher b'Artzecha bi'Sh'arecha. B'Yomo Siten Secharo v'Lo Savo Alav ha'Shemesh, Ki Ani Hu, v'Elav Hu Nosei Es Nafsho; v'Lo Yikra Alecha El HaSh-m, v'Hayah Vecha Chet" - "You shall not defraud the wages of a poor or destitute hired worker who is your brother or a convert living in your land within your gates. On his day you shall give him his wages, and you shall not let the sun set on him waiting, for he is poor, and on it his life depends; he should not have to cry out against you to HaSh-m and cause you to have a sin" (Devarim 24:14-15). The Gemara (ibid.) teaches that this verse refers to a Sechir Lailah, a hired night worker. Such a worker comes in from his work at the end of the night, when they day has begun. The employer has all day to pay the worker his wages. If the next night arrives (at sunset), and the employer has not yet paid the worker, then the employer transgresses the Lav of "Lo Savo Alav ha'Shemesh." The employer also transgresses the additional Lavim mentioned in the verse of "La Sa'ashok" and "Lo Sigzol" (in Vayikra 19:13).

28)[line 8]מקמי דלימטי זמן חיובאMEKAMEI D'LIMTEI ZEMAN CHIYUVA- before the time of the obligation [to pay] arrives, [the employer is so busy that he does not remember whether or not he paid his workers]

29)[line 13]משהאMESHAHEI- withhold

30)[line 17]יישרYEYASHER- well-said!

31)[line 19]מישתא הוה שתי ליה ושתיקMISHTA HAVAH SHASI LEI V'SHASIK- he (Reish Lakish) was drinking [when Rebbi Yochanan stated his ruling] and he was quiet

32)[line 25]כמה מעליא הא שמעתאKAMAH ME'ALYA HA SHEMA'ATA- how wonderful is this teaching