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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Shevuos 29



(a) Our Mishnah defines a 'Shevu'as Shav' - as one that negates something that people know, such as swearing that a stone pillar is made of gold, or that a specific man is a woman (or vice-versa).

(b) The Tana rules that if someone swears that ...

1. ... he saw a flying camel - or that he saw a snake as big as the beam of the olive-press, he is guilty of a Shevu'as Shav, who is Chayav Malkos be'Meizid, but Patur be'Shogeg, and the same will apply to someone who swears that ...
2. ... he will not testify on Shimon's behalf, or that he will not shake Lulav or make a Succah on Succos.
3. ... he will eat a loaf of bread, and then swears that he will not (since all of these cases are examples of a Shevu'ah that is impossible).
(c) Abaye amends 'Shevu'ah she'Lo Ra'isi Gamal Pore'ach be'Avir' in our Mishnah to 'Shevu'ah she'Ra'isi'. Rava explains that what he really said was - 'Ye'asru Kol Peiros she'be'Olam Alai Im Lo Ra'isi ... ' (see Tosfos DH 'be'Omer').
(a) We learned in a Beraisa that when Beis-Din make someone swear a Shevu'as ha'Dayanim, they specify that the Shevu'ah is not according to what he thinks, but according to what they think ('al Da'ateinu ve'al Da'as Beis-Din'). Initially we think that Beis-Din are afraid that he may abuse words, to give them meanings that he has adapted (like a debtor referring to the wooden cubes that he gave his creditor as money).

(b) Based on this Beraisa, Ravina asked Rav Ashi why, in the Mishnah of 'Gamal ha'Pore'ach be'Avir' too - we do not validate the Shevu'ah on the grounds that perhaps the Nishba saw a large bird, which he referred to as a 'flying camel'.

(c) Rav Ashi answers that the Beraisa has in mind 'Kanya de'Rava' - referring to a case that actually occurred on Rava's Beis-Din, where a guardian of money handed the owner a hollow cane filled with coins to hold for him whilst he swore that he had returned the deposit, with the intention of taking it back after the oath.

(d) The 'Shevu'ah she'Lo Ra'isi Gamal Pore'ach ba'Avir' however - we take at surface value. Consequently even if the Nishba saw a large bird, which he refers to by that name, we will ignore his intentions and accept only what he actually said.

(a) The Beraisa interprets the Pasuk (in connection with the Shevu'ah that Moshe made Yisrael swear) "ve'Lo Itchem Levadchem" to mean - that Moshe told K'lal Yisrael that he was making them swear 'according to his intentions and the intentions of Hashem (and not on theirs).

(b) From the fact that Moshe needed to say that, we try to prove - that it would not have sufficed to make them swear that they would do whatever 'Elokim' said, because they might refer to other gods by the name 'Elohim' (a Kashya on what we just said regarding 'Gamal ha'Pore'ach be'Avir').

(c) We refute the Kashya however, on the basis of the Pasuk in Yisro "Elope Kesef v'Elohei Zahav Lo Sa'asu Lachem", from which we see that the Torah itself refers to other gods as Elohim.

(d) Moshe did not make them swear that they would keep the Torah (not because he was afraid that they would adapt the word 'Torah' to mean sins, but) - because Torah implies one Torah, whereas Yisrael was commanded to observe two Toros (she'bi'K'sav and she'be'al Peh').

(a) He did not make them swear that they would keep ...
1. ... 'two Toros' - because that could be interpreted to mean 'Toras Chatas' and 'Toras Asham'.
2. ... 'the entire Torah' - because that could be interpreted to mean the Mitzvah of not worshipping Avodah-Zarah, which is considered equivalent to the entire Torah.
(b) If making them swear that they would keep 'Mitzvah' implies one Mitzvah, Moshe did not make them swear that they would keep ...
1. ... 'Mitzvos' - since that could refer to two Mitzvos.
2. ... 'all the Mitzvos' - since this could refer to the Mitzvah of Tzitzis, which is considered equivalent to all the Mitzvos.
(c) In fact, to solve the current problem, Moshe might have made Yisrael swear - that they will observe 'all the Taryag Mitzvos'.
(a) And we solve our initial problem by creating another one. The problem with Moshe's wording 'al Da'ati ve'Al Da'as ha'Makom' is - having said 'al Da'ati', why he needed to add 've'al Da'as ha'Makom'.

(b) The reason that Moshe found it necessary to say this is - in order to turn the Shevu'ah into a 'Neder al Da'as Acherim', to prevent Yisrael from annulling it (see Tosfos 'DH Ki Heichi').




(a) The man-eating snake that lived in the days of Shavur Malka (King of Persia) was so big - that it was able to swallow thirteen stables-full of hay.

(b) They destroyed it - by adding a variety of animals to the huge bundles of hay that they prepared for it, among which they hid burning coals which burned out the snake's stomach when it swallowed them.

(c) Even though snakes that size existed, our Mishnah nevertheless declares a Shevu'ah that someone saw a snake the size of the beam of the olive-press, a Shevu'as Shav - only in a case where the Nishba added that its entire body was speckled, when normally, it is only its belly (Rashi should read 'Gechono' and not 'Gerono') that is speckled (see also Tosfos ha'Rosh and Ritva).

(a) We learned in our Mishnah (regarding the case of 'Shevu'ah she'Ochal Kikar Zu, Shevu'ah she'Ochlenah') 'Lo Achlah, Avrah al Shevu'as Bituy'. The problem with this statement is - why the Nishba does not also transgress Shevu'as Shav the moment he declared 'Shevu'ah she'Ochlenah'.

(b) Rebbi Yirmiyah therefore amends the Mishnah to read - 'Lo Achlah, Avrah *Af* al Shevu'as Bituy'.

(a) Our Mishnah - incorporates 'men and women', 'Kerovim and Rechokim', 'Kesheirim and Pesulim', 'bi'Fenei Beis-Din ve'she'Lo bi'Fenei Beis-Din' in the Din of Shevu'as Bituy.

(b) And the same applies to Shevu'as Shav, too.

(c) The Tana finds it necessary to say this - because the following Mishnah will draw a distinction in all the cases with regard to Shevu'as Eidus.

(a) The other detail mentioned by the Tana that pertains to both Shevu'as Bituy and to Shevu'as Shav is - 'mi'Pi Atzmo'.

(b) When the Tana says 'Mushba mi'Pi Acherim Chayav' - he is referring to where the Mushba responds 'Amen'. If he responds in any other way, (such as by saying 'Achalti' or 'Lo Achalti'), he is Patur.

(a) Shmuel states that if someone answers 'Amen' after a Shevu'ah - it is as if he had declared the Shevu'ah himself.

(b) And he said this - regarding any kind of Shevu'ah, even ...

1. ... a Shevu'as Bituy (which needs to be verbalized).
2. ... Shevu'as ha'Eidus which he made outside Beis-Din, and which is valid, according to Rebbi Meir.
(a) Rav Papa Amar Rava supports Shmuel's statement from an apparent discrepancy between two statements of Rebbi Meir. In the next Mishnah, Rebbi Meir confines 'mi'Pi Acherim' by Shevu'as Eidus to in front of Beis-Din. In a Beraisa however, he rules that 'Mushba mi'Pi Acherim is also acceptable, provided he answers 'Amen'.

(b) Rav Papa Amar Rava resolves the contradiction - by applying Shmuel's principle, because it is only by responding to a Shevu'ah with 'Amen' that Mushba mi'Pi Acherim is considered as if he had declared the Shevu'ah himself.

(c) Ravina Amar Rava makes the identical point from our Mishnah - which first requires 'mi'Pi Atzmo' (by Shevu'as Bituy and Shevu'as Shav), and then incorporates 'Mushba mi'Pi Acherim' where the Mushba responds with 'Amen'.

***** Hadran Alach Shevu'as ha'Edus *****

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