סקר
הסבב ה-14 - באיזה סבב של דף יומי אתה?
ראשון
שני
שלישי
רביעי ומעלה


 

Steinsaltz

and there is room to say that it belongs entirely to one of them, and there is also room to say that it belongs entirely to the other one, and nevertheless Sumakhos says that since it is property of uncertain ownership they divide it without taking an oath, then here, where the litigants have no financial association with the item, as there is room to say that it belongs to both of them, all the more so is it not clear that they should divide it without taking an oath?

The Gemara answers: You may even say that the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Sumakhos: This oath is instituted by rabbinic law in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Yoḥanan. As Rabbi Yoḥanan says: This oath, administered in the case of two people holding a garment, is an ordinance instituted by the Sages so that everyone will not go and seize the garment of another and say: It is mine.

§ The Gemara suggests: Let us say that the mishna is not in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei. As, if you say that the ruling is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei, doesn’t he say that a case cannot be decided in a manner in which there is no deterrent for one taking a false claim to court (37a)? He says this with regard to a case where two people deposited money with the same person. One deposited one hundred dinars and one deposited two hundred, and the bailee forgot which of them deposited the larger sum. Subsequently, each claimed ownership of the larger sum and was prepared to take an oath to that effect. The Rabbis say that each should receive the smaller sum and the remainder should be held until Elijah the prophet prophetically resolves the uncertainty. Rabbi Yosei says: If so, what did the swindler lose? Rather, the entire deposit will be placed in a safe place until Elijah comes.

The Gemara counters: Rather, what is suggested? Is it suggested that the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, who disagree with Rabbi Yosei? Since the Rabbis say there: The remainder is placed in a safe place until Elijah comes, this case of the mishna concerning the garment is also comparable to the remainder in the case of the deposit, as it is uncertain to whom the entire garment belongs. It should therefore be placed in a safe place until the matter is resolved.

The Gemara answers: What is this comparison? Granted, if you say that the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis there, in the case of the depositors, where these one hundred dinars certainly belong to only one of them and the Rabbis say that it is placed in a safe place until Elijah comes, here, in the case of this mishna, where there is room to say that it belongs to both of them, the Rabbis say that they divide it with the proviso that they take an oath.

But if you say that the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei, there is a difficulty. Now consider, if there, in a case where it is certain that there are one hundred dinars that belong to one of the litigants and there are one hundred dinars that belong to the other one, nevertheless, Rabbi Yosei says that the entire sum is placed in a safe place until Elijah comes, here, where there is room to say that it all belongs to only one of them, all the more so is it not clear that it should be placed in a safe place until Elijah comes, as one of the claims may be entirely fraudulent?

The Gemara rejects this suggestion: You may even say that the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei: There, in the case of the deposit, there is certainly a swindler between the two depositors. By contrast, here, in the case of the mishna, who is to say that there is a swindler? Say that both of them lifted the garment at the same time, and therefore there is no reason to penalize them by placing the garment in a safe place.

Alternatively, there is room to distinguish between the cases: There, Rabbi Yosei penalizes the swindler by confiscating his deposit so that he will admit that he lied in order to receive his original deposit of one hundred dinars from the bailee. Here, in the case of the garment, what loss would a swindler incur that would prompt him to admit that he is lying? If the item is placed in a safe place, he loses nothing.

The Gemara rejects this alternative explanation: This distinction works out well in the case of a found item where he did not pay anything for it. Consequently, he has no incentive to admit that he lied. But in a case of buying and selling, what is there to say? Both parties paid for the item and prefer to receive the item. Rather, the distinction is clearly as we explained initially. The difference between the cases is that in the mishna, there is no certainty that one of them is lying.

The Gemara asks: Both according to the opinion of the Rabbis and according to the opinion of Rabbi Yosei, there, with regard to the case of a storekeeper relying on his ledger, it is unclear why the money is not held until the matter is clarified. This is referring to a case where an employer tells a storekeeper to give food to his laborer in lieu of his salary, and later the storekeeper claims that he gave it to him but the laborer claims that he did not receive it. Both parties therefore claim payment from the employer. As the mishna (Shevuot 45a) teaches that this one, the storekeeper, takes an oath that he gave the food to the laborer and receives payment from the employer, and that one, the laborer, takes an oath that he was not given the food and takes his salary from the employer.

What is different in that case, that we do not say: Appropriate the money from the employer, and it is placed in a safe place until Elijah comes? Apparently, we should say this because there is certainly a swindler among the litigants, since it is impossible that both the storekeeper and the laborer are telling the truth.

The Sages say in response: There, this is the reason that the money is not set aside: Because the storekeeper can say to the employer: I carried out your agency to give the food to the laborer, and I have dealings only with you. What business do I have with the hired laborer? Even if he takes an oath to me that he did not receive the food, he is not trustworthy to me by virtue of his oath. You are the one who trusted him, as you did not say to me: Give him the food in the presence of witnesses. Therefore, you are obligated to pay me. If you have a grievance, settle it with your employee.

And the hired laborer can also say to the employer: I worked for you. What relationship do I have with the storekeeper? Even if he takes an oath to me that he gave me the change, he is not trustworthy to me by virtue of his oath. Therefore, both parties take an oath and take payment from the employer.

§ Rabbi Ḥiyya taught a baraita: If one says to another: I have one hundred dinars [maneh] in your possession that you borrowed from me and did not repay, and the other party says: Nothing of yours is in my possession, and the witnesses testify that he has fifty dinars that he owes the claimant, he gives him fifty dinars and takes an oath about the remainder, i.e., that he did not borrow the fifty remaining dinars from him.

This ruling is derived via an a fortiori inference from the halakha that one who admits to part of a claim that is brought against him is obligated to take an oath that he owes no more than the amount that he admits to have borrowed. The inference is: As the admission of one’s own mouth should not carry greater weight than the testimony of witnesses. Since in this case witnesses testify that he owes an amount equal to part of the claim, he is all the more so obligated to take an oath with regard to the rest of the sum.

The Gemara comments: And the tanna of the mishna also taught a similar halakha: In a case of two people who came to court holding a garment, where this one says: I found it, and the other one says: I found it, each litigant takes an oath and they divide the garment. And here, in the case of a found item, since each litigant is holding part of the garment, it is clear to us that what is in this one’s grasp is his, and what is in that one’s grasp is his. This is tantamount to witnesses testifying that part of the claim of each litigant is legitimate. And the mishna teaches that each of them takes an oath.

The Gemara clarifies: For what reason is it necessary to have the a fortiori inference: As the admission of one’s own mouth should not carry greater weight than the testimony of witnesses? Isn’t the comparison to the case of an admission to part of a claim self-evident? The Gemara answers: It is necessary so that you will not say that it is only in a case of the admission of one’s own mouth that the Merciful One imposes an oath upon him, in accordance with the explanation of Rabba.

As Rabba says: For what reason did the Torah say that one who admits to part of the claim must take an oath? It is because there is a presumption that a person does not exhibit insolence by lying in the presence of his creditor, who had done him a favor by lending money to him. And this person who denies part of the claim actually wants to deny all of the debt, so as to be exempt, and this fact that he does not deny all of it is because a person does not exhibit insolence.

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
אדם סלומון
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