CONDITIONS OF LIABILITY
(Gemara - Shmuel): If the claimant was running after witnesses, and they said 'why chase us? We swear that we do not know testimony for you!', they are exempt;
One is liable only if the claimant asked him to testify.
Question: What is the Chidush? A Mishnah teaches this!
(Mishnah): If the claimant sent his slave to ask the witnesses to testify, or the defendant made them swear, they are exempt;
One is liable only if the claimant asked him to testify.
Answer: The case when he runs after them is a Chidush;
One might have thought that this is like asking them to testify. Shmuel teaches that it is not.
Question: Also this is learned from our Mishnah!
(Mishnah): Shevu'as ha'Edus is when Reuven told the witnesses 'come testify for me'...
Inference: Had he not told them, they would be exempt!
Answer: No. (If not for Shmuel,) one could say that telling them is not essential, and they are liable even if he did not ask them to testify.
Support: We must say so about Shevu'as ha'Pikadon!
(Mishnah): Shevu'as ha'Pikadon is when Shimon told Levi 'give to me the deposit you are holding for me... '
We cannot say that this is only if he told him. "V'Chichesh ba'Amiso" discusses any denial (i.e. even if there was no claim).
Rather, we must say that 'told' in that Mishnah is not essential. The same applies to our Mishnah!
Objection: If 'told' in our Mishnah is essential, we can say that the Tana taught it also in that Mishnah for parallel structure;
However, the Tana would not teach it in both Mishnayos if it is not essential in either!
Answer: Perhaps the Tana teaches the normal case (he does not swear until he hears a claim).
Support (for Shmuel -- Beraisa): If the claimant was approaching witnesses, and they said 'why pursue us? We swear that we do not know testimony for you!', they are exempt;
In a similar case of swearing to deny a deposit, they would be liable.
(Mishnah): If Reuven made them swear five times...
Question: What is the source that they are liable only for denial in Beis Din?
Answer (Abaye): "Im Lo Yagid v'Nasa Avono" applies only where their testimony would have obligated the defendant to pay, i.e. in Beis Din.
Question (Rav Papa): If so, we should say that also the oath must be in Beis Din!
Answer (Abaye - Beraisa): "L'Achas" teaches that they are liable for every oath;
This must be outside of Beis Din, for in Beis Din, they are liable only once!
(Mishnah): If Reuven made them swear five times in Beis Din, they are liable only once.
R. Shimon: This is because once they swear that they do not know, they can no longer testify.
We must say that only the denial is in Beis Din, but the oath can be outside of Beis Din.
WHICH WITNESSES ARE LIABLE FOR DENYING?
(Mishnah): If both witnesses simultaneously denied knowing, they are liable.
Question: It is impossible for two events (their denials) to occur simultaneously!
Answer #1 (Rav Chisda): The Mishnah is R. Yosi ha'Galili, who says that two events can occur simultaneously.
Answer #2 (R. Yochanan): The Mishnah can even be Chachamim. The case is, they denied within Toch Kedei Dibur of each other;
Anything said Toch Kedei Dibur is a continuation of the previous statement.
Question (Rav Acha mi'Difti): Toch Kedei Dibur is the time needed to greet one's Rebbi, i.e. to say three or four words;
One cannot say 'we swear that we do not know testimony for you' in this time! (In Hebrew, this is six words!)
Answer (Ravina): It suffices that each witness begin swearing Toch Kedei Dibur of the previous witness.
LIABILITY OF A LONE WITNESS
(Mishnah): If one witness denied after the other, the first is liable, and the latter is exempt.
Suggestion: Our Mishnah is not like R. Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon.
(Beraisa): If there is only one witness, he is exempt for Shevu'as ha'Edus;
R. Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon says, he is liable. (Therefore, in our Mishnah, even after the first witness denied, the second would be liable.)
Suggestion: Chachamim hold that one witness obligates only the defendant to swear, and R. Elazar holds that he obligates paying money (Rashi; Rashba - since he could join with another witness to obligate money, we consider that he comes to obligate money).
Rejection: Abaye holds that all agree that one witness does not obligate money! (The explanation of the following proves this.)
(Abaye): Chachamim and R. Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon agree about one witness (who denied knowing testimony) about a Sotah (all these cases will be explained later), and about (two) witnesses about a Sotah. They argue about witnesses about a Sotah;
They agree about one witness, and when he (the defendant) is suspected to swear falsely (and is therefore disqualified from swearing).
Answer: Rather, all agree that one witness merely obligates the defendant to swear;
R. Elazar holds that something that enables one to get money is considered like money (had the witness testified, presumably the defendant would have paid. He would not swear falsely);
Chachamim say, something that enables one to get money is not like money.
(Abaye): Chachamim and R. Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon agree about one witness about a Sotah, and about witnesses about a Sotah. They argue about witnesses about a Sotah. They agree about one witness, and when he is disqualified from swearing.
They agree that one witness about a Sotah is liable, if he saw that she sinned in seclusion, for the Torah believes him like two witnesses. (His testimony would have exempted the husband from her Kesuvah);
"V'Ed Ein Bah", but if even one witness testifies (that she sinned), he is believed.
They agree that (two) witnesses about a Sotah are exempt, i.e. witnesses who saw the husband warn her. Their testimony only enables that something else (seclusion) can enable him to profit (if she will refuse to drink, or drink and die).
They argue about witnesses about a Sotah, i.e. witnesses who saw seclusion (their testimony would enable him to profit if she would refuse to drink or die);
R. Elazar holds that this is like (testimony about) money, so they are liable. Chachamim hold that it is not like money, so they are exempt.
They agree that one witness (is liable) when the other party is disqualified from swearing.
Question: Who is disqualified?
Answer #1: (Only) the borrower (the defendant) is disqualified. Had the witnesses testified, the lender would have sworn instead and collected.
Rejection: This only enables money. Perhaps the lender would not want to swear (so Chachamim would argue)!
Answer #2: Rather, both parties are disqualified;
When both are disqualified, the obligation to swear reverts to the defendant. Since he cannot swear, he must pay.
They agree about one witness (that he is liable) in a case like the following.
One witness testified in front of R. Ami that Reuven grabbed an ingot from Shimon. Reuven said 'yes, I grabbed it. It is mine!'
Question (R. Ami): What is the law? We cannot obligate Reuven based on one witness, nor can we totally exempt him!
Suggestion: He should swear to contradict the testimony.
Version #1 (Rashi) Rejection: He cannot contradict it, for he admits that he took it. He is not believed to say 'Shimon was holding my ingot.'
He is unable to swear (in this case), just like a thief (is never believed to swear).
Version #2 (Tosfos) Rejection: Since he admits that he took it, and we assume that it was Shimon's (for Shimon was holding it), Reuven is like a thief (who is not believed to swear). (end of Version #2)
Answer (R. Aba): He is obligated to swear, but he cannot, therefore he must pay.
(Rav Papa): Chachamim and R. Elazar agree that one witness that a man died (he is believed to permit the widow to remarry, and to collect her Kesuvah) is liable (we will explain the case), they agree that (in a different case) he is exempt.
He is exempt if he told her that her husband died, but when she brought him to Beis Din to testify, he swore that he does not know;
(Mishnah): A woman who says that her husband died (even if she just heard from someone else) is believed to remarry or (if it is a situation of Yibum) to do Yibum. (Since she would have been believed to say 'I heard that my husband died', when she asked him to testify, his testimony would not have helped her. Therefore he is exempt, even though now that he denied, she is not believed, and she cannot remarry or collect her Kesuvah.)
He is liable if he did not tell her that her husband died, and swore in Beis Din that he does not know.
Inference: Rav Papa holds that a witness who swears that he does not know testimony about land is liable! (Kesuvos are collected only from land.)
Rejection: Perhaps he teaches only about when she was holding Metaltelim from which to collect.
(Mishnah): If one denied and the other admitted (the former is liable, and the latter is exempt).
Question: We already learned that if the second witness denied longer than Toch Kedei Dibur after the first, he is exempt. We need not teach that he is exempt if he admits that he knows!
Answer: If both denied, and Toch Kedei Dibur one retracted and admitted that he knows, the Mishnah teaches that he is exempt.
This teaches that anything said Toch Kedei Dibur is considered connected to the previous statement (it is as if he admitted before he finished denying).
We understand according to Rav Chisda, who explained that the Mishnah is R. Yosi ha'Galili;
The Reisha teaches that it is possible for two events to occur simultaneously. The Seifa teaches that anything said Toch Kedei Dibur is connected to the previous statement.
Question: R. Yochanan said that the Mishnah can be like Chachamim. (In the Reisha) they denied within Toch Kedei Dibur of each other;
The Reisha and Seifa both teach that anything said Toch Kedei Dibur is connected to the previous statement!
Answer: One might have thought that two denials Toch Kedei Dibur of each other are like one, but an admission Toch Kedei Dibur of a denial is like a new matter. The Mishnah teaches that this is not so.
LIABILITY WHEN THERE ARE TWO PAIRS OF WITNESSES
(Mishnah): If there were two pairs of witnesses, and one pair denied after the other (both pairs are liable).
Question: We understand why the second pair is liable. The first pair already denied, so the denial of the second pair stops the claimant from collecting;
However, when the first pair denied, this did not stop the claimant from collecting. The second pair could have testified!