THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) THE SEVERITY OF A FALSE "SHEVU'AS BITUY"
QUESTION: The Gemara says that before administering a Shevu'as Modeh
b'Miktzas, the Beis Din warns the defendant about the severity of making a
false Shevu'ah. The Beis Din describes to him how the entire earth trembled
at the moment that Hashem gave the Mitzvah, "Lo Sisa Es Shem Hashem...
la'Shav" (Shemos 20:7), at Sinai.
2) ACCEPTANCE OF FUTURE MITZVOS
The Shevu'ah that Beis Din administers is equivalent to a Shevu'ah about a
past event (Shevu'as Bituy). The Gemara earlier (20b) cites Rav Dimi who
states that when one makes a false Shevu'ah about a past event, he
transgresses the Isur of "Lo Sisa." However, Ravin there (21a) argues with
this and says that one transgresses "Lo Sisa" only when he makes a Shevu'as
Shav, but not when he makes a false Shevu'ah about a past event. Rather,
when one makes a false Shevu'as Bituy, he transgresses, "ve'Lo Sishav'u
vi'Shmi la'Shaker" (Vayikra 19:12). Why, then, according to Ravin, does the
Beraisa teach that Beis Din warns the defendant about the severity of the
Isur of "Lo Sisa?" (RAMBAN)
(a) The RAMBAN explains that the Beis Din mentions the verse of Shevu'as
Shav because the severity of a Shevu'as Shav is more commonly known.
However, the Chachamim understood that the same severity applies to a false
Shevu'ah about a past event.
(b) The RASHASH adds that the source for comparing a Shevu'as Bituy to a
Shevu'as Shav is the verse that the Gemara cites earlier (21a) that teaches
us to compare a Shevu'as Bituy (Shevu'as Sheker) to a Shevu'as Shav. That
source is the second word, "la'Shav," at the end of the verse of "Lo Sisa."
The Beraisa, according to this, is merely citing the beginning of the verse,
but its intention is that Beis Din is to mention the entire verse.
QUESTIONS: The Beraisa discusses the way in which we make the witnesses make
a Shevu'as ha'Edus, and, tangentially, it explains the verse that describes
the covenant that was made with the people to reinforce their acceptance of
the Torah at Sinai (in Devarim 29:13-14; see TORAS CHAIM). The Beraisa says
that the covenant was made not only to reinforce their acceptance of the
Mitzvos that they received at Har Sinai, but also to reinforce their
acceptance of the Mitzvos that would be given at a later time. This is
derived from the verse, "Kiyemu v'Kiblu" (Esther 9:27), which teaches that,
at the time of the Purim miracle, the Jewish people "fulfilled that which
they had already accepted" at Har Sinai. It seems that the Gemara is
explaining the letter Vav in the word "v'Kiblu" to mean the same as the
letter Shin ("she'Kiblu"), meaning that they fulfilled *that which* they had
accepted (see Beitzah 7b). A similar Gemara in Megilah (19b) tells us that
Hashem alluded in the Luchos to all of the Mitzvos, even the Mitzvos that
the Nevi'im would later institute, such as the reading of the Megilah.
There are a number of questions on this Gemara.
(a) How could the Jewish people in the Midbar have accepted to keep the
Mitzvah of reading the Megilah? If this Mitzvah was given to them by Hashem
in the Midbar, then it should be considered a Mitzvah d'Oraisa!
(b) The Gemara in Shabbos (88a) seems to give an entirely different
interpretation for the verse "Kiyemu v'Kiblu." The Gemara says that the
Jewish people were forced to accept the Torah at Har Sinai, and they
accepted it willingly only at the time of Purim. "Kiyemu v'Kiblu" means,
"They fulfilled willingly that which they were forced to accept earlier."
The Gemara in Shabbos implies that the verse is discussing not only the
Mitzvos that were given in later generations, but *all* of the Mitzvos, even
those that the Jewish people accepted at Har Sinai. All of the Mitzvos
needed to be re-accepted willingly.
How are these two Gemaras to be reconciled? (TOSFOS (DH Kiyemu) cites the
Gemara in Shabbos but does not seem to be bothered by the inconsistency.)
(a) The MAHARATZ CHAYOS suggests that since the Chachamim derived -- by
using the Torah's own thirteen Midos she'ha'Torah Nidreshes ba'Hen -- the
thirteen exegetical principles of expounding Torah law -- that it is
permitted to write down the Megilah (as described in Megilah 7a), it is as
if this Mitzvah was accepted at Har Sinai along with all of the other
Mitzvos of the Torah.
However, the Gemara here implies that even *reading* the Megilah (and not
just writing it) is alluded to in the Torah.
The RAMBAM and RAMBAN (Sefer ha'Mitzvos, Shoresh Rishon) quote these Gemaras
to show that when the Jewish people accepted the Torah, they also accepted
to follow all of the institutions of the Chachamim of each generation. This
is what the Gemara means when it says that the Jewish people accepted at Har
Sinai even to fulfill the Mitzvos that would be given to them later by the
(According to the Rambam in Sefer ha'Mitzvos (Shoresh Rishon; Lo Sa'aseh
#312; Mitzvas Aseh #174), the prohibition of "Lo Sasur" -- "Do not turn away
from what they (the Chachamim) instruct you" (Devarim 17:11) -- obligates a
person to keep the Mitzvos d'Rabanan. Nevertheless, the Jewish people also
accepted upon themselves the yoke of Mitzvos d'Rabanan, just as they
accepted upon themselves the Mitzvos of the Torah. According to the Ramban
there, there is no Mitzvah d'Oraisa to follow the Mitzvos d'Rabanan. Rather,
what obligates us to follow the Mitzvos d'Rabanan is the Kabalah, the
acceptance, which our Gemara discusses.)
(b) HE'OROS B'MASECHES SHEVUOS suggests that the Chachamim can learn
multiple Derashos from a single verse (as the Gemara implies in Sanhedrin
34a). He seems to learn that the two Gemaras indeed differ about what is
learned from the verse, "Kiyemu v'Kiblu."
Perhaps we can reconcile the Gemaras based on what the TORAS CHAIM here
suggests. The Toras Chaim explains that the source for what our Gemara
learns from the verse is from the order of the words in the verse. It is the
normal manner to first accept a Mitzvah, and then to fulfill it.
Accordingly, the verse should say, "Kiblu v'Kiyemu" (and not "Kiyemu
v'Kiblu"), in order to show that the Jewish people accepted the Mitzvah of
Megilah and then observed it. Since, instead, the verse first writes
"Kiyemu," this implies that the Mitzvah was given earlier, and it was
necessary only to accept it later. According to this understanding, both the
Derashah of our Gemara and the Derashah of the Gemara in Shabbos may be
learned from the same verse.
Our Gemara is inferring from the fact that "Kiblu" is written after "Kiyemu"
that it was not necessary to accept the Mitzvah of reading the Megilah in
the times of Purim, because it was already accepted at the time of Kabalas
ha'Torah. The Gemara in Shabbos is learning from the fact that the verse
adds the word "v'Kiblu" after it says that they fulfilled the Mitzvah of
Megilah that the Jewish people made a second acceptance once they began to
observe the Mitzvah of Mikra Megilah. That second acceptance was a willing
acceptance of the entire Torah which they had received originally under
2) THE SOURCE FOR THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR "SHEVU'AS MODEH B'MIKTZAS"
QUESTIONS: Rav and Shmuel argue about the minimum requirements for being
obligated to make a Shevu'ah of Modeh b'Miktzas. According to Shmuel, the
Shevu'ah can be applied whenever the claimant demands at least two Ma'os or
more, and the defendant admits to owing a Perutah or more and denies owing a
Perutah or more. According to Rav, the Shevu'ah is applied only when the
defendant admits to a Perutah or more of the total sum that is claimed, and
denies at least two Ma'os of the claim.
That is, Shmuel maintains that the two Ma'os are the minimum amount that the
claimant must claim, while Rav maintains that the two Ma'os are the minimum
amount that the defendant must deny.
Shmuel proves his view from the verse (Shemos 22:8) that states that if the
claimant gave the defendant two Ma'os of money to watch, and the defendant
admitted to owing part of it, then he must make a Shevu'as Modeh b'Miktzas.
Rav replies that the verse does not mean that the claim was only two Ma'os.
Rather, the verse means that the claim was enough such that the defendant
was able to deny two Ma'os (besides what he admitted to owing).
At this point in the Gemara, we would expect Shmuel to retort that the
implication of the verse is that the claim was only a total of two Ma'os.
This indeed is the way Shmuel proves his view in the conclusion of the
discussion. However, Shmuel does not immediately mention this point.
Instead, he says that the verse says two words, "Hu" and "Zeh," which imply
that only when he denies part and admits to part is he obligated to swear.
It seems that Shmuel is asserting that the extra word "Zeh" in the verse is
intended to teach that the claim does not have to be more than two Ma'os.
Rav replies that the extra word teaches a different Halachah; it teaches
that the defendant's partial admission must be of the same type of object
that was claimed in order for him to be obligated to swear.
Finally, Shmuel responds that in any case the verse clearly implies that the
total claim was only two Ma'os, thereby refuting Rav's view.
(a) Why does Shmuel not use this argument immediately after the first time
that Rav responds to his proof? (KOS HA'YESHU'OS)
(b) When Shmuel answers Rav's first response by saying that there is an
extra verse, why does he present this in such an unusual way? He should say
simply that there is an extra verse to teach an extra Halachah. Instead, he
says that the verse says the word "Hu" and it says the word "Zeh" to teach
that he is obligated to make a Shevu'ah for denying half of the claim. From
the words of Shmuel, we would not have understood that he is trying to learn
a Halachah based on an extra verse! (PARDES YITZCHAK)
(a) The CHASAM SOFER explains that Shmuel is not able to infer from the
verse that the defendant must swear even when he denies less than two Ma'os
(in contrast to the view of Rav) until *after* he proves that the admission
must be from the same type of object that the claimant demanded from the
defendant. If the defendant is obligated to make a Shevu'ah even when he
admits to owing a type of object other than the type that was claimed from
him, then the case in the Torah might be one in which the claimant demanded
money or an object that was worth two Ma'os, and the defendant admitted to
owing a different object (worth at least a Perutah) which was not mentioned
in the claim. In such a case, the claim was only two Ma'os, and yet the
defendant admitted to owing a Perutah's worth and denied two Ma'os. That is
why Shmuel first needs to prove from the verse that the admission must
involve the same type of object as the claim.
(b) We may understand Shmuel's response regarding the words "Hu" and "Zeh"
based on the words of the VILNA GA'ON (in KOL ELIYAHU). The Vilna Ga'on
explains that the words "[Ki] Hu Zeh" in the verse imply Modeh b'Miktzas,
because the word "Hu" refers to an object that is not in our presence, while
the word "Zeh" refers to something that is in our presence. When the Torah
says "Hu Zeh," it means that the defendant is saying that part of the money
is *not* present (this is the denial), and that part of the money *is*
present (this is the admission). Since the verse juxtaposes the money that
is admitted with the money that is denied, it implies that these monies are
comparable in that both were included in the original claim. This
necessarily implies that the denial may be less than the original claim of
two Ma'os. (This might be the intention of the KOS HA'YESHU'OS.)
Rav responds that the admission is compared to the denial only insofar as
they must involve the same type of object. However, the amounts of the claim
and of the admission are not both included in the claim. For example, the
claimant demands two chairs, and the defendant admits to owing a third chair
which was not included in the claim.
Shmuel replies that this cannot be the case that the verse is discussing.
Since Rav agrees that the admission must be to the same type of object as
the claim, it is obvious that the Torah requires a Shevu'ah only when the
Hoda'ah was an admission to something that was claimed in the claim.
Accordingly, it will not suffice for the admission to be to something that
was the same type of object of the claim; the admission must be to one of
the objects that was actually claimed. An admission to owing an object of
the same type but which was not claimed is equivalent to an admission to an
object of a different type. Therefore, Shmuel asserts, it can be proven from
the verse that the denial may be less than two Ma'os.