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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Shevuos 48


(a) Question (Rav Huna bar Yehudah - Beraisa): Two witnesses saw the new moon:
1. If to one it appeared two plowshares above the horizon, to the other, three plowshares, we accept their testimony (we attribute the difference to inaccuracy, the testimonies concur);
2. If to one it appeared three plowshares above, to the other, five, we reject their testimony (we do not attribute the difference to inaccuracy, this is contradictory testimony);
i. The witnesses can join for other testimony.
ii. Suggestion: This means that either witness can testify with someone else in a monetary case (like Rav Huna, he is a valid witness)!
(b) Answer (Rava): The Beraisa means, if someone else agrees with one of them about the moon, they join and we accept their testimony to sanctify the new month;
1. We ignore the other witness, since two witnesses disagree with him.
(a) (Mishnah): Reuven asked Shimon (a grocer) for a Dinar's worth of produce...(Reuven swears that he paid a Dinar, and keeps the produce.)
(b) (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): This is when the produce is in front of them and they are fighting over them, but if Reuven put them in his bag and slung them over his shoulder, Shimon can only take them if he brings a proof (if he does not, Reuven need not swear).
(c) (Mishnah): Reuven asked Shimon (a moneychanger) for a Dinar's worth of smaller coins...(Reuven swears that he gave him and keeps the coins).
(d) We must teach both cases.
1. If we only taught regarding a grocer, one might have thought that Chachamim say that a grocer is believed (when the buyer holds the produce) because fruit rots (so he gives the produce before receiving the money, lest the buyer retract), but they admit regarding a moneychanger;
(e) If we only taught regarding a moneychanger, one might have thought that R. Yehudah only says that a moneychanger is never believed, for he never gives change before receiving the money, but admits regarding a grocer (because fruit rots, as we said above).
(a) (Mishnah): Just as a woman who wants to collect the rest of a Kesuvah which was already partially paid...must swear, also orphans must swear to collect.
(b) Question: From whom do they (need to swear in order to) collect?
1. Suggestion: From (Shimon,) the one who borrowed from their father (Reuven).
2. Rejection: Reuven could have collected without swearing, why must his orphans swear?!
(c) Answer: Rather, they must swear in order to collect from Shimon's orphans.
(d) (Rav and Shmuel): This is only if Reuven died before Shimon;
1. But if Shimon died first, Reuven could not have collected from the orphans without swearing that he was not paid;
i. One does not inherit (a claim to) money which the father could only collect through swearing (Rashi - because the orphans do not know if the loan was paid, they cannot take the oath).
(e) Question: Why doesn't it suffice for them to take the oath of orphans ('Our father did not tell us that this document was paid, nor did we find a receipt saying that the document was paid')?
(f) Answer #1(R. Elazar): Indeed, they can swear thusly and collect! (He argues with Rav and Shmuel.)
(g) Answer #2 (R. Ami): If Reuven tried collecting in Beis Din from Shimon's orphans, and Beis Din ruled that he must swear first, and he died before swearing, his heirs do not inherit the right to collect through swearing;
1. If Reuven never tried to collect and he died, his heirs inherit the money owed to him, they take the oath of orphans and collect.
(h) Objection (Rav Nachman): The law does not depend on whether or not he tried collecting in Beis Din - the moment Shimon's died, the law is that he can only collect if he swears!
(i) (Rav Nachman): Rather, if the Halachah follows Rav and Shmuel, they cannot collect even if Reuven never tried collecting; if the Halachah is not like Rav and Shmuel, they can collect even if Reuven tried collecting in Beis Din.
(j) Question: Rav Nachman is unsure whether the Halachah follows Rav and Shmuel!
1. But Rav Yosef bar Minyomi said that a case occurred, and Rav Nachman ruled that they collect half!
(k) Answer: Rav Nachman meant, if Rav and Shmuel's explanation of R. Meir is correct, we do not distinguish whether Reuven tried collecting;
1. Rav Nachman himself holds that the Halachah follows R. Yosi.
(l) (The following questions are against Rav and Shmuel, for we see that heirs can inherit money which could only have been collected by swearing to orphans.)
(m) Question #1 (Rav Oshaya - Mishnah): If a widow died without collecting her Kesuvah, her heirs must express within 25 years their intent to collect it (if they do not, this shows that they waived their right to collect from the other orphans).
(n) Answer: The case is, she swore that she did not collect any part of her Kesuvah, but died before collecting it.
(o) Question #2 (Mishnah): Reuven married Leah; she died. He married Rachel, and he died - Rachel or (if she died) her heirs have precedence (to collect her Kesuvah) before Leah's sons collect (Kesuvas Benin Dichrin, the right to collect the dowry she brought into the marriage).
(p) Answer: Here also, Rachel swore and died before collecting.
(q) Question #3 (Mishnah): (Even if Reuven wrote in Leah's Kesuvah that he waives the right to make her or her heirs swear that she did not receive part of her Kesuvah, if Reuven died before it was collected, his heirs can demand an oath before paying her, her heirs, or anyone who acquired the rights to her Kesuvah. (Since his heirs can make her swear, the case is that she did not swear already!)
(r) Answer (Rav Shemayah): The Mishnah puts together the laws of two different cases:
1. His heirs can make her swear whether she was widowed or divorced;
2. They can make her heirs swear (the oath of orphans) if she was divorced (a divorcee need not swear to collect; but a widow must swear to collect, her heirs do not inherit her Kesuvah).
(s) Question #4 (Rav Noson bar Hoshaya - Beraisa): A son has greater ability to collect (debts owed to his father, after the father died) than his father:

1. A son sometimes collects through swearing, sometimes he collects without swearing (this will be explained shortly);
2. A father only collects through swearing.
3. Question: What is the case?
4. Answer: The borrower died before the father (therefore, the father could only collect through swearing).
5. Summation of question: A son collects without swearing, when his father told witnesses just before dying that he was not paid - this is like R. Shimon ben Gamliel;
i. All other times, he collects through swearing the oath of orphans (even though his father would have had to swear that he was not paid)!
(t) Answer: The Beraisa is Beis Shamai, who say that a document is considered to be paid (even though the father must swear to collect, it is as if he bequeaths money to his son; Beis Hillel would say, the father only has the right to collect through swearing, the son does not inherit this).
(a) Suggestion (Rav Chisda and Rabah bar Rav Huna): Let us overturn the ruling of Rav and Shmuel!
(b) Rejection (Rav Nachman): No, but let us ensure that (even those who rule like Rav and Shmuel) do not extend the law to other cases.
(c) Question: What other cases might one have thought to extend it to?
(d) Answer: Rav Papa's case.
1. (Rav Papa): If Reuven lent money with a document and partially collected the loan, even though Reuven must swear to collect the rest, his heirs inherit the (right to collect) the money.
(e) (Rav Papa): Shimon lent money to Levi, Yehudah was an Arev; Levi died. (Even though Shimon must swear in order to collect from Yehudah,) Shimon's heirs inherit the money.
(f) Rejection (Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua): No - since Yehudah can collect what he pays from Levi's heirs, this is precisely the law of Rav and Shmuel (the heirs do not inherit it).
(g) (Rami bar Chama): Shimon lent money to Levi; Levi died, then Shimon died, and his brother inherited him. We do not extend Rav and Shmuel's law to say that the brother cannot collect.
(h) Rejection (Rava): We do extend it, there is no difference between 'Our father did not tell us...' and 'Our brother did not tell us...'
(i) (Rav Chama): Since the Halachah was not decided to be like Rav and Shmuel, nor like R. Elazar, whichever way a judge rules, the ruling stands.
(j) (Rav Papa): Orphans have a loan document that they want to collect from the orphans of the borrower - we do not tear up the document, nor do we collect the debt for them;
1. We do not collect the debt for them, perhaps the Halachah follows Rav and Shmuel (because we are in doubt, it is better not to act);
2. We do not tear up the document, perhaps they will find a judge that rules like R. Elazar.
(k) A judge ruled like R. Elazar; a Chacham told him 'I will bring a letter from Eretz Yisrael saying that the Halachah does not follow R. Elazar'.
1. The judge: Until you bring the letter, my ruling stands.
2. The Chacham told this to Rav Chama.
3. Rav Chama: Whichever way a judge rules, the ruling stands.
(a) (Mishnah): The following swear even when there is no claim...
(b) Objection: If there is no claim, there is no reason to swear!
(c) Answer: The Mishnah means, the following swear even when the claim against them is uncertain: partners, sharecroppers...
(d) (Beraisa): When the Mishnah says 'A member of the household who goes in and out...', this does not mean that he walks in and out, rather, he conducts business with workers and produce.
(e) Question: Why must the people listed swear even when there is no claim?
(f) Answer: Because they toil, they think they are entitled to take (extra) compensation for themselves.
(g) (Rav Yosef bar Minyomi): They are obligated to swear only if there is a claim of (perhaps you took) at least two Ma'os (for then this resembles a mid'Oraisa oath).
(h) Question: This is like Shmuel, who says that the claim must be at least two Ma'os;
1. But R. Chiya's teaching supports Rav (who says that the denial must be at least two Ma'os)!
(i) Answer: Rav Yosef means, there must be a denial of a claim of at least two Ma'os.
(j) (Mishnah): After the partners split up (or the others desist their positions)...
(k) Question: If a defendant must take a mid'Rabanan oath, can the claimant Megalgel (force him to swear about other matters)?
(l) Answer (Beraisa): If Reuven borrowed from Shimon before Shemitah, and became his partner (or sharecropper) after Shemitah, Shimon (can make Reuven swear about the partnership, but he) cannot Megalgel (force him to swear about the loan);
1. Inference: This is because Shemitah cancels the loan, if not for this (e.g. if he borrowed after Shemitah), he could Megalgel, even though the oath of partners is mid'Rabanan!
(m) Question: Perhaps the inference is that if Reuven became Shimon's partner before Shemitah, and borrowed from him after Shemitah (and admitted to part of the loan), Shimon could (make Reuven swear mid'Oraisa about the loan, and) Megalgel (an oath about the partnership)!
(n) Answer: That cannot be, for end of the Beraisa explicitly teaches this.
1. (End of the Beraisa): If Reuven became Shimon's partner before Shemitah, and borrowed from him after Shemitah, Shimon can Megalgel.
2. We conclude that one can Megalgel, even from a mid'Rabanan oath.
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