סקר
עם סיום מסכת עירובין






 

Steinsaltz

MISHNA: The oath of testimony is practiced with regard to men but not with regard to women, with regard to non-relatives of the litigants but not with regard to relatives, with regard to those fit to testify but not with regard to those unfit to testify due to a transgression that they performed. And the oath of testimony is practiced only with regard to those fit to testify.

The oath of testimony is practiced both in the presence of a court and not in the presence of a court, when the potential witness takes the oath on his own. But if the oath is administered by others and those denying that they witnessed the incident in question neither take an oath nor answer amen to the administered oath, they are not liable until they deny any knowledge of the incident in question in court. This is the statement of Rabbi Meir. And the Rabbis say: Whether one of the witnesses takes the oath on his own or whether the oath is administered by others, the witnesses are not liable until they deny any knowledge of the incident in question before the litigants in court.

And one is liable for the act of taking a false oath with intent and for an unwitting act of taking a false oath, i.e., he is unaware of the liability for taking a false oath, provided that he takes the oath with intent in terms of the testimony, i.e., he takes an oath that he has no knowledge of the matter even though he knows that he witnessed the incident. But witnesses are not liable for taking the oath if they were unwitting in terms of the testimony, i.e., they believe that they have no knowledge of the matter. And what are they liable for by taking a false oath with intent? They are liable to bring a sliding-scale offering.

GEMARA: The mishna teaches that the oath of testimony is not practiced with regard to women because they are unfit to testify. The Gemara asks: From where is this matter, that women do not testify, derived? The Gemara answers: It is as the Sages taught in a baraita: When the verse states: “If an unrighteous witness rises up against any man…then the two men shall stand” (Deuteronomy 19:16–17), it is with regard to witnesses that the verse is speaking. Apparently, men, not women, may testify.

The baraita continues: Do you say that it is with regard to witnesses, or perhaps it is only with regard to litigants that the verse is speaking? When it states: “Between whom the controversy is” (Deuteronomy 19:17), the litigants are already stated in the verse. How do I realize the meaning of the phrase “then the two men shall stand”? Apparently, it is with regard to witnesses that the verse is speaking. And if it is your wish to say that this is not a proof, another proof may be cited. It is stated here: “The two men,” and it is stated there: “On the basis of two witnesses” (Deuteronomy 19:15); just as there, it is with regard to witnesses that the verse speaks, so too here, it is with regard to witnesses that the verse speaks.

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the statement of the baraita: And if it is your wish to say? Why is the initial proof inadequate? The Gemara answers: And if you would say that from the fact that the verse did not write: Then the two men and those between whom the controversy is shall stand, which would indicate that the verse changes its focus from the witnesses to the litigants, perhaps throughout the entire verse it is with regard to litigants that it is speaking. Therefore, the tanna cites an additional proof. It is stated here: “The two men,” and it is stated there: “On the basis of two witnesses”; just as there, it is with regard to witnesses that the verse speaks, so too here, it is with regard to witnesses that the verse speaks.

It is taught in another baraita: When the verse states: “Then the two men shall stand,” it is with regard to witnesses that the verse is speaking. The baraita continues: Do you say that it is with regard to witnesses, or perhaps it is only with regard to litigants that the verse is speaking? The tanna asks: Did you say that? If the reference is to litigants, why does the verse mention two? Do two people come to court for judgment but three people do not come to court for judgment? And if it is your wish to say that this is not a proof, another proof may be cited. It is stated here: “The two men,” and it is stated there: “On the basis of two witnesses”; just as there, it is with regard to witnesses that the verse speaks, so too here, it is with regard to witnesses that the verse speaks.

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of: And if it is your wish to say? Why is the initial proof inadequate? The Gemara answers: And if you would say that even though there are cases where there are more than two litigants, it is with regard to a plaintiff and a defendant that the verse is speaking. Therefore, the tanna cites an additional proof. It is stated here: “The two men,” and it is stated there: “On the basis of two witnesses”; just as there, it is with regard to witnesses that the verse speaks, so too here, it is with regard to witnesses that the verse speaks.

It is taught in another baraita: When the verse states: “Then the two men shall stand,” it is with regard to witnesses that the verse is speaking. The baraita continues: Do you say that it is with regard to witnesses, or perhaps it is only with regard to litigants that the verse is speaking? The tanna asks: Did you say that? If the reference is to litigants, why does the verse mention men? Do men come to court for judgment but women do not come to court for judgment? And if it is your wish to say that this is not a proof, another proof may be cited. It is stated here: “The two men,” and it is stated there: “On the basis of two witnesses”; just as there, it is with regard to witnesses that the verse speaks, so too here, it is with regard to witnesses that the verse speaks.

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of: And if it is your wish to say? Why is the initial proof inadequate? The Gemara answers that it means: And if you would say that with regard to a woman, it is not typical conduct for her to appear in court due to the verse that is stated with regard to women: “All the glory of the king’s daughter is within” (Psalms 45:14), and that is why the verse addressed a situation that is prevalent, i.e., a case where the litigants are men, and there is no proof that women are unfit for testimony. Therefore, the tanna cites an additional proof. It is stated here: “The two men,” and it is stated there: “On the basis of two witnesses”; just as there, it is with regard to witnesses that the verse speaks, so too here, it is with regard to witnesses that the verse speaks.

§ The Gemara cites another interpretation of the verse. The Sages taught: “Then the two men shall stand”; this indicates that there is a mitzva for the litigants to stand during the court proceedings. Rabbi Yehuda said: I heard that if the judges wished to seat both of the litigants, they may seat them. What, then, is prohibited for the judges? They must ensure that there will not be a situation where one litigant is standing and one litigant is sitting, or a situation where one litigant says everything that he needs to say to present his case and one litigant, the judge says to him: Curtail your statement.

The Sages taught: The verse states: “But in righteousness shall you judge your colleague” (Leviticus 19:15), from which it is derived: The court must ensure that there will not be a situation where one litigant is sitting and one litigant is standing, or a situation where one litigant says everything that he needs to say to present his case and one litigant, the judge says to him: Curtail your statement. Alternatively, it is derived from the verse: “But in righteousness shall you judge your colleague,” that you should judge another favorably, and seek to find justification for his actions, even if when interpreted differently his actions could be judged unfavorably.

Rav Yosef teaches that from the verse: “But in righteousness shall you judge your colleague [amitekha],” it is derived: With regard to one who is with you [im she’itekha] in observance of Torah and in fulfillment of mitzvot, try to judge him favorably, in the manner that the Gemara will now explain.

The Gemara relates: Rav Ulla, son of Rav Ilai, had a trial pending before Rav Naḥman. Rav Yosef sent a message to Rav Naḥman: Ulla our friend is a colleague in Torah and mitzvot, with regard to whom the verse states that you should judge him favorably. Rav Naḥman said: For what purpose did he send this message to me? Does he expect me to grant him preferential treatment? Every judgment must be undertaken with righteousness. Rav Naḥman then said: Rav Yosef sent me the message to ensure I would open with Rav Ulla’s dispute in the event that other cases come before me for judgment, in deference to the Torah because he is a Torah scholar.

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
© כל הזכויות שמורות לפורטל הדף היומי | אודות | צור קשר | הוספת תכנים | רשימת תפוצה | הקדשה | תרומות | תנאי שימוש באתר | מפת האתר