ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Shevuos 31
SHEVUOS 31 - sponsored by Uri Wolfson with warm Mazel Tov wishes to Carey (Kalman)
and Tammy Wolchok on the occasion of their wedding (on 22 Adar I 5763). May they
merit to build together a Bayis Ne'eman b'Yisrael!
(a) The Beraisa continues with its numerous interpretations of "mi'Devar Sheker
Tirchak", and includes a case of a Din Merumeh - where the Dayan understands from the
words of one the litigants that he is lying, yet he rules in his favor, based on the
testimony of the witnesses, allowing them to take the blame.
(b) And the Tana applies the Pasuk to a Talmid sitting in front of his Rebbe, who
will contravene this Asei if he remains silent - after seeing a 'Z'chus' on behalf of
a poor man (a point in his favor) or a 'Chov' on the part of a rich one (a point
proving his claim false).
(c) In order to fulfill the Mitzvah in question, if a Talmid perceives his Rebbe
issuing an erroneous ruling - he should speak up immediately, and not wait for him to
finish his discourse, in order to resume from scratch and demonstrate his own
(a) According to the original text, the Beraisa forbids a Talmid to become a second
witness to testify that his Rebbe had lent someone money, even if his Rebbe reminds
him that he would not lie if he was offered a hundred Manah, as long as he himself
did not actually witness the loan.
(b) The problem with that is - that the Talmid would contravene the La'av of "Lo
Sa'aneh be'Re'acha Eid Shaker" (in the Aseres ha'Dibros), and would hardly need the
additional Azharah of "mi'Devar Sheker Tirchak"!
(c) So we amend the Beraisa to read - that his Rebbe asked him to just stand with the
first witness without actually testifying.
(a) The reason that ...
1. ... a creditor would claim two hundred Zuz from someone who owes him a Manah,
knowing that the defendant will swear and only pay a hundred anyway might be - in
order to apply the principle of 'Gilgul Shevu'ah' (where one can force someone who
'owes him' a Shevu'ah anyway, to swear on another claim that he has against him [and
that is what the creditor had in mind]).
(b) Both of these are forbidden - because of ''mi'Devar Sheker Tirchak".
2. ... a debtor would deny a claim in Beis-Din with the intention of admitting to it
outside Beis-Din might be - in order to avoid having to swear on another claim (via a
(c) If three people lent one person money - they are not permitted to split up, one
of them appearing in Beis-Din as the creditor, the other two as witnesses, to obtain
the money that is rightfully theirs, because the Torah writes ''mi'Devar Sheker
(a) If one litigant arrives in a smart suit, and the other in tatters - Beis-Din give
the former the option of either wearing tatters or lending his fellow-litigant a
smart suit like his own.
(b) The source of this Halachah is - ''mi'Devar Sheker Tirchak" (because a litigant
in tatters will become tongue-tied when he sees how important the other one looks).
(c) Rava bar Rav Huna would instruct litigants who arrived in court wearing expensive
socks - to change into regular ones before their case opened.
(a) The Beraisa includes a Dayan hearing out a litigant or of the litigant stating
his case to the Dayan, before his fellow litigant has arrived in "mi'Devar Sheker
Tirchak". Rav Kahana learns the latter from the Pasuk in Mishpatim "Lo Sisa Sheima
Shav" (which we read as 'Lo Sasi" a prohibition to cause falsehoods to be said).
(b) Rav applies the Pasuk "va'Asher Lo Tov Asah" to someone who claims money by means
of a Harsha'ah - where Reuven receives the power of attorney from Shimon to claim his
debt from Levi.
(c) It is not right to do that - (assuming that Shimon asks him to do it because he
is more powerful than Shimon [see Tosfos DH 'Zeh ha'Ba ... ']) because he is entering
into a Machlokes that does not concern him.
(d) Shmuel interprets the Pasuk with regard to - the sale of property which others
claim, belongs to them.
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that Shevu'as ha'Eidus is confined to people who are
fit to testify. According to Rav Papa, this precludes a king, who is disqualified -
because testifying entails standing before the judge, and this would detract from the
awe of the king's majesty, in contravention of the Pasuk in Shoftim "Som Tasim Alecha
Melech" (from which Chazal derive 'she'Tehei Eimaso Alecha').
(b) According to Rav Acha bar Ya'akov - it precludes a gambler (who is Pasul because
of the principle 'Asmachta Lo Kanya', causing the winner to acquire illegally
[against the will of the loser]), or because Chazal disqualified him for his
(c) Even though Rav Acha bar Ya'akov agrees with Rav Papa, Rav Papa does not agree
with Rav Acha bar Ya'akov - because a gambler is only Pasul mi'de'Rabbanan (as
opposed to a king, who is Pasul min ha'Torah [as we explained]).
(d) Assuming that a gambler is Pasul because he does not acquire the money legally,
he is not Pasul mi'd'Oraysa - since the Torah only disqualifies a robber who steals
(a) We learned in our Mishnah, in connection with Shevu'as ha'Eidus, the Machlokes
between Rebbi Meir ('bi'Fnei Beis-Din ve'she'Lo bi'Fenei Beis-Din') and the Chachamim
('ad she'Yachperu be'Veis-Din'). The Rabbanan explained to Rav Papa that the
Machlokes is based on whether we say 'Don Minah u'Minah' or 'Don Minah ve'Ukeih
be'Asrah'. 'Don Minah u'Minah' means - that once we learn a. from b., we learn it
together with all its details.
(b) According to them, we learn Shevu'as ha'Eidus from Shevu'as ha'Pikadon (with a
'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Secheta" "Secheta", and Rebbi Meir now learns from Shevu'as
ha'Pikadon - that it even extends to outside Beis-Din too.
(c) After learning Shevu'as ha'Eidus from Shevu'as ha'Pikadon 'mi'Pi Atzmo', the
Chachamim hold - 'Don Minah ve'Uki be'Asrah', which means that even though we learn
'mi'Pi Atzmo' from Shevu'as ha'Pikadon, 'the buck stops there', and like 'mi'Pi
Acherim', it only applies in front of Beis-Din.
(d) Rav Papa disagrees with the Rabbanan. In his opinion, the Chachamim learn 'mi'Pi
Atzmo' (not from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah', but) - from a 'Kal va'Chomer' from 'mi'Pi
(e) In principle - they too, hold 'Don Minah u'Minah', like Rebbi Meir.
(a) In the Mishnah in Shevu'as ha'Pikadon, Rebbi Meir incorporates all cases
(ba'Anashim u've'Nashim ... mi'Pi Atzmo and mi'Pi Acherim') in 'Shevu'as ha'Pikadon',
provided the latter takes place in front of Beis-Din. The Chachamim hold - that
'mi'Pi Acherim is valid even Chutz le'Beis-Din'.
We learned in our Mishnah that Shevu'as ha'Eidus is ...
(b) Bearing in mind that by Shevu'as ha'Pikadon, the Torah writes "Asher Yishava Alav
la'Shaker" (implying 'al-Pi Atzmo'), the Rabbanan must learn 'mi'Pi Acherim from a
'Gezeirah-Shavah', not from a 'Kal va'Chomer from 'mi'Pi Atzmo' - because it is
'Mushba mi'Pi Atzmo' that is more stringent than mi'Pi Acherim (and not
(c) And the basis of their Machlokes must be - whether we say 'Don Minah u'Minah'
(Rebbi Meir), or 'Don Minah ve'Ukeih be'Asrah' (the Rabbanan [the very interpretation
that Rav Papa just rejected]).
(d) When the Rabbanan proved to Rav Papa from here that the Chachamim's reasoning is
based on the principle of 'Don Minah ve'Ukeih be'Asrah' and not on a 'Kal va'Chomer
(as he maintained) - he conceded that, to be sure, they had a sound proof from
*there*, but not from our Mishnah, as he explained.
1. ... Chayav a Korban for Z'don Shevu'ah. Despite the fact that the other cases
comprising Korban Oleh ve'Yored (Shevu'as Bituy and Tum'as Mikdash) are only Chayav
for a Shogeg, we know that Shevu'as ha'Eidus is different - because the Torah does
not write "ve'Ne'elam" (like it does by the other cases).
2. ... not Chayav for a pure Shogeg (if at the time when the witnesses swore, they
genuinely forgot that they had witnesses whatever it was that they were asked to
testify on), then they are Patur. Nevertheless, in Perek Shevu'as Shetayim, Rav
needed to inform Rav Kahana and Rav Asi that they whoever had misquoted him did not
need to worry ... - because they could not have learned it from our Mishnah), which
is different because the Torah does not write "ve'Ne'elam" (as we just explained),
and we would have thought that specifically there, one would be Patur, because it not
similar to 'Meizid'. But by a Shevu'as Bituy, which is Chayav for a Shogeg, one would
be Chayav for every level of Shogeg.
(a) We have already discussed the issue of 'mi'Pi Atzmo u'mi'Pi Acherim'. We can
infer from our Mishnah that in a case where, following the witnesses denial, the
litigant makes an oath and they remain silent, or repeat that they know nothing about
it - they are Patur (unless they respond with 'Amen').
(b) If the litigant makes the witnesses swear outside Beis-Din and they answer
'Amen', but then admit in front of Beis-Din - they are Patur, because only a denial
in front of Beis-Din counts as a denial.
(c) If the litigant makes the witnesses swear five Shevu'os outside Beis-Din, which
they deny in front of Beis-Din, the Tana obligates them to bring five Korbanos;
whereas should they deny the five Shevu'os that he makes them make in front of
Beis-Din - they are Chayav only one Korban. Rebbi Shimon bases this latter ruling on
the principle - 'Keivan she'Higid, Shuv Eino Chozer u'Magid'. Consequently, the first
denial disqualifies them from testifying, and all subsequent denials are
(d) If both witnesses testify together, they are Chayav. Our Mishnah rules, that in
a case where ...
1. ... one denies and one admits - the former is Chayav, the latter, Patur.
2. ... first one pair of witnesses deny knowledge of the testimony, and then a second
pair do likewise - both pairs are Chayav (all this will be explained later in the
(a) In a case where the witnesses face the litigant who has been running after them
and, before he has a chance to say anything, they swear that they know nothing,
Shmuel rules - that they are Patur from a Korban, because they are only Chayav
following the litigant's claim.
(b) The Mishnah will later rule that, if a litigant sends his Eved to fetch the
witnesses, and he makes them swear, or if the defendant does so on behalf of the
claimant - they are Patur.
(c) In spite of this Mishnah, Shmuel is coming to teach us - that running after the
witnesses does not constitute claiming from them.