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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

To’en veNit’an - Chapter 1, To’en veNit’an - Chapter 2, To’en veNit’an - Chapter 3

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To’en veNit’an - Chapter 1

Introduction to Hilchos To`en veNit`an

It contains one mitzvah, the laws when a person issues a claim against a colleague and he either admits or denies the claim. This mitzvah is explained in the following chapters.

רמב"ם הלכות טוען ונטען - הקדמה הלכות טוען ונטען. מצות עשה אחת היא והיא דין טוען ומודה או כופר. וביאור מצוה זו בפרקים אלו.

1

When a person who issues a claim against a colleague with regard to movable property, and the defendant acknowledges a portion of the claim, he must pay what he acknowledged, and take an oath with regard to the remainder. This is a Scriptural obligation, as Exodus 22:8 states: "That this is it."

Similarly, if the defendant denies the entire obligation and says: "Such a thing never happened," and one witness testifies that the defendant is obligated to the plaintiff, the defendant is obligated by Scriptural Law to take an oath. The Oral Tradition teaches: Whenever two witnesses would obligate the person to pay money, one witness obligates him to take an oath.

Similarly, it was derived through the Oral Tradition that one witness shall not rise up against any man for any iniquity or any sin. He may, however, rise up against him to obligate him to take an oath.

א

הַטוֹעֵן אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין וְהוֹדָה לוֹ בְּמִקְצָת הֲרֵי זֶה מְשַׁלֵּם מַה שֶּׁהוֹדָה בּוֹ וְנִשְׁבָּע עַל הַשְּׁאָר מִן הַתּוֹרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כב ח) "אֲשֶׁר יֹאמַר כִּי הוּא זֶה". וְכֵן אִם כָּפַר בַּכּל וְאוֹמֵר לֹא הָיוּ דְּבָרִים מֵעוֹלָם וְעֵד אֶחָד מֵעִיד [שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לוֹ] הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע מִן הַתּוֹרָה. ומִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁכָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁשְּׁנַיִם מְחַיְּבִין אוֹתוֹ מָמוֹן אֶחָד מְחַיְּבוֹ שְׁבוּעָה. וְכֵן לָמְדוּ מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה שֶׁעֵד אֶחָד לְכָל עָוֹן וּלְכָל חַטָּאת אֵינוֹ קָם אֲבָל קָם הוּא לִשְׁבוּעָה:

2

There are only three individuals who are obligated by Scriptural Law to take an oath: a person who denied a portion of a claim of movable property, a person obligated by one witness, and a watchman. For with regard to a watchman, Exodus 22:10 states: "The oath of God shall be between them." We have already explained the oath required of watchman in Hilchot Sechirut.

Each of these three individuals takes an oath and becomes free of his obligation to pay. In contrast, those who take an oath and collect the money they claim, e.g., an employee, a person who was injured, a person who impairs the legal power of his promissory note and the like, and similarly, those who take an oath because there is a possibility of a claim being lodged against them, e.g., partners and sharecroppers, all take oaths because of our Sages' ordinances. Although all these oaths were ordained by Rabbinic decree, they all resemble a Scriptural oath, and all must be taken while holding a sacred article.

ב

אֵין לְךָ מְחֻיָּב שְׁבוּעָה מִן הַתּוֹרָה חוּץ מִשְּׁלֹשָׁה. מִי שֶׁהוֹדָה בְּמִקְצָת הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין. וּמִי שֶׁחִיְּבוֹ עֵד אֶחָד. וְהַשּׁוֹמֵר. שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר בְּשׁוֹמֵר (שמות כב י) "שְׁבֻעַת ה' תִּהְיֶה בֵּין שְׁנֵיהֶם". וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שְׁבוּעַת הַשּׁוֹמְרִין בְּהִלְכוֹת שְׂכִירוּת. וְכָל אֶחָד מִן הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה נִשְׁבָּע וְנִפְטָר מִלְּשַׁלֵּם. אֲבָל כָּל הַנִּשְׁבָּעִין וְנוֹטְלִין כְּגוֹן שָׂכִיר וְנֶחְבָּל וּפוֹגֵם אֶת שְׁטָרוֹ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל הַנִּשְׁבָּעִין בְּטַעֲנַת סָפֵק כְּגוֹן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין וְהָאֲרִיסִין. כֻּלָּן נִשְׁבָּעִין בְּתַקָּנַת חֲכָמִים. וְכָל אֵלּוּ הַשְּׁבוּעוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים הֲרֵי הֵן כְּעֵין שֶׁל תּוֹרָה בִּנְקִיטַת חֵפֶץ:

3

A defendant is not liable to take a Scriptural oath when a colleague claims that he owes movable property and the defendant:

a) denies the entire matter, saying: "Such a thing never occurred";

b) admitted a portion of the claim and gave it to him immediately, saying: "This is all I owe you; here it is";

c) admits that he had originally owed the plaintiff the debt, but claims that the plaintiff waived payment, gave him the object claimed as a present, or that he already returned the debt;

d) admits owing barley, while the plaintiff claims wheat.

Nevertheless, the Sages of the Gemara ordained that in all these situations, the defendant should take a sh'vuat heset, before being freed of liability. This oath does not resemble a Scriptural oath, because one need not hold a sacred article while taking it. We have already described the process of taking a Scriptural oath and that of taking a sh'vuat heset in Hilchot Sh'vuos.

ג

הַטּוֹעֵן מִטַּלְטְלִין עַל חֲבֵרוֹ וְכָפַר בַּכּל וְאָמַר לֹא הָיוּ דְּבָרִים מֵעוֹלָם. אוֹ שֶׁהוֹדָה בְּמִקְצָת וּנְתָנוֹ מִיָּד וְאָמַר אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֶלָּא זֶה וְהֵילָךְ. אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר אֱמֶת שֶׁהָיָה לְךָ אֶצְלִי אֲבָל מָחַלְתָּ לִי אוֹ נָתַתָּ לִי אוֹ מָכַרְתָּ לִי אוֹ הֶחְזַרְתִּי לְךָ. אוֹ שֶׁטְּעָנוֹ חִטִּים וְהוֹדָה לוֹ בִּשְׂעוֹרִים. בְּכָל אֵלּוּ פָּטוּר מִשְּׁבוּעַת הַתּוֹרָה. אֲבָל חַכְמֵי הַגְּמָרָא תִּקְּנוּ שֶׁיִּשָּׁבַע הַנִּתְבָּע בְּכָל אֵלּוּ שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת וְיִפָּטֵר. וְאֵינוֹ כְּעֵין שֶׁל תּוֹרָה לְפִי שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶן נְקִיטַת חֵפֶץ. וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ דֶּרֶךְ שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁל תּוֹרָה וְדֶרֶךְ שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת בְּהִלְכוֹת שְׁבוּעוֹת:

4

Whenever anyone is required to take an oath by Scriptural Law, he may take the oath and free himself of obligations. If he does not desire to take the oath, we attach his property and expropriate everything the plaintiff claims. For the plaintiff will say: "I will not budge from the Torah's ruling. Either take the oath or pay me." He may, however, have a conditional ban of ostracismissued against anyone who makes a false claim. He must then pay.

Different laws apply when, by contrast, a person is obligated to take an oath by Rabbinic degree. If he was one of those who must take an oath and collect his due, he cannot reverse the oath and require the defendant to take it. For the defendant will tell him: "Take the oath and collect as the Sages ordained for you." If he does not desire to take an oath, he should depart.

My masters ruled that if the plaintiff says: "I do not desire the ordinance which the Sages ordained on my behalf. Instead, I am no different than any other plaintiff," he may require the defendant to take a sh'vuat heset. If the defendant desires to reverse this oath and require the plaintiff to take it, we obligate the plaintiff to take the oath or to depart.

ד

כָּל מִי שֶׁנִּתְחַיֵּב שְׁבוּעָה מִן הַתּוֹרָה הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע וְנִפְטָר. וְאִם לֹא רָצָה לְהִשָּׁבַע יוֹרְדִין לִנְכָסָיו וְגוֹבִין מֵהֶם כָּל מַה שֶּׁתָּבַע חֲבֵרוֹ עָלָיו. שֶׁהֲרֵי הַתּוֹבֵעַ אוֹמֵר לוֹ אֵינִי זָז מִדִּין תּוֹרָה אוֹ הִשָּׁבַע אוֹ תֵּן לִי. וְיֵשׁ לוֹ לְהַחֲרִים עַל מִי שֶׁטָּעַן עָלָיו דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ כֵּן וְנוֹתֵן. אֲבָל מִי שֶׁנִּתְחַיֵּב שְׁבוּעָה מִדִּבְרֵיהֶן אִם הָיָה מִן הַנִּשְׁבָּעִין וְנוֹטְלִין אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהַפֵּךְ אֶת הַשְּׁבוּעָה שֶׁהֲרֵי הַנִּתְבָּע אוֹמֵר לוֹ הִשָּׁבַע וְטל כְּמוֹ שֶׁתִּקְּנוּ לְךָ. וְאִם לֹא רָצָה לְהִשָּׁבַע יֵלֵךְ לוֹ. וְהוֹרוּ רַבּוֹתַי שֶׁאִם אָמַר הַתּוֹבֵעַ אֵינִי רוֹצֶה בְּתַקָּנָה זוֹ שֶׁתִּקְּנוּ לִי חֲכָמִים אֶלָּא הֲרֵינִי כִּשְׁאָר הַתּוֹבְעִים הֲרֵי זֶה מַשְׁבִּיעַ אֶת הַנִּתְבָּע הֶסֵּת. וְאִם רָצָה לְהָפְכָהּ עַל הַתּוֹבֵעַ מְחַיְּבִין אֶת הַתּוֹבֵעַ לְהִשָּׁבַע אוֹ יֵלֵךְ לוֹ:

5

If a defendant was obligated by Rabbinic decree to take an oath to be released from responsibility, e.g., those who must take an oath because of a doubt or those required to take a sh'vuat heset, and he did not want to take an oath, he is placed under a ban of ostracism for 30 days. If he does not come and seek to be released from his ban, he is given stripes for rebellious conduct.

Similarly, whenever a person has been placed under a ban of ostracism for 30 days, he is given stripes for rebellious conduct and then his ban is lifted. His property is not attached, because he is not required to take an oath by Scriptural Law.

ה

הָיָה מְחֻיָּב שְׁבוּעָה מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם מִן הַנִּשְׁבָּעִין וְנִפְטָרִין כְּגוֹן הַנִּשְׁבָּעִין עַל טַעֲנַת סָפֵק אוֹ מִן הַנִּשְׁבָּעִין הֶסֵּת וְלֹא רָצָה לְהִשָּׁבַע מְשַׁמְּתִין אוֹתוֹ שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם אִם לֹא בָּא וְלֹא תָּבַע נִדּוּיוֹ מַלְקִין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת. וְכָל מִי שֶׁחָלָה עָלָיו שַׁמְתָּא שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת וְאַחַר כָּךְ מַתִּירִין נִדּוּיוֹ. וְאֵין יוֹרְדִין לִנְכָסָיו לְפִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְחֻיָּב שְׁבוּעָה מִן הַתּוֹרָה:

6

Whenever a person is obligated to take a sh'vuat heset, if he desires, he may reverse the oath and obligate the plaintiff. The plaintiff may take the sh'vuat heset and then collect his claim from his colleague.

There is no other person who takes a sh'vuat heset and collects his claim from his colleague except this person for whom the obligation to take a sh'vuat heset. A Scriptural oath and a Rabbinic oath that resembles a Scriptural oath may not be reversed.

ו

כָּל הַמְחֻיָּב שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת אִם רָצָה לַהֲפֹךְ הַשְּׁבוּעָה עַל הַתּוֹבֵעַ הֲרֵי הַתּוֹבֵעַ נִשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת וְנוֹטֵל מֵחֲבֵרוֹ. וְאֵין לְךָ מִי שֶׁנִּשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת וְנוֹטֵל מֵחֲבֵרוֹ אֶלָּא זֶה שֶׁנֶּהְפְּכָה עָלָיו שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת. וְאֵין לְךָ שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁתֵּהָפֵךְ אֶלָּא שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת בִּלְבַד. אֲבָל שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁל תּוֹרָה אוֹ שֶׁל דִּבְרֵיהֶם שֶׁהִיא כְּעֵין שֶׁל תּוֹרָה אֵין הוֹפְכִין שְׁבוּעָתָן:

7

A person cannot be required to take a sh'vuat heset unless a definite claim is lodged against him. If, however, the plaintiff's claim is doubt, the defendant is not liable for the oath.

What is implied? The plaintiff says: "It appears to me that you owe me a maneh," "I lent you a maneh, it appears to me that you did not repay me," "My father said that you owe me a maneh, "My father declared to me in the presence of witnesses that you owe me a maneh," "A certain article was stolen from my house. You were the only person there. In my eyes, it is likely that you stole it," "I calculated the money I have and I found that I was lacking some. Perhaps you caused me to err in the accounting," and to all these complaints, the defendant states: "I do not owe you anything," he is not liable even for a sh'vuat heset. The same applies in all analogous situations.

ז

אֵין מַשְׁבִּיעִין שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת אֶלָּא עַל טַעֲנַת וַדַּאי אֲבָל עַל טַעֲנַת סָפֵק פָּטוּר. כֵּיצַד. כִּמְדֻמֶּה לִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִי אֶצְלְךָ מָנֶה אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר מָנֶה הִלְוֵיתִיךָ וְכִמְדֻמֶּה לִי שֶׁלֹּא פְּרַעְתַּנִי. אָמַר לִי אַבָּא שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִי אֶצְלְךָ מָנֶה אוֹ צִוָּה לִי בִּפְנֵי עֵדִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִי אֶצְלְךָ מָנֶה. דָּבָר פְּלוֹנִי נִגְנַב מִבֵּיתִי וְלֹא הָיָה שָׁם אֶלָּא אַתָּה קָרוֹב בְּעֵינֵי שֶׁאַתָּה גְּנָבַתּוּ. חִשַּׁבְתִּי מָעוֹת וּמָצָאתִי חָסֵר שֶׁמָּא אַתָּה הִטְעֵיתַנִי בְּחֶשְׁבּוֹן. וְהַנִּתְבָּע אוֹמֵר אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי כְּלוּם הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר אַף מִשְּׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

8

The defendant is required to take a sh'vuat heset in the following situations. The plaintiff claims: "You definitely owe me a kor of wheat," and the defendant replies: "I don't know. Maybe I owe you, maybe I do not owe you," the defendant must take a sh'vuat heset that he does not know of the obligation. He is then released. He is not liable, because he did not definitely obligate himself. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

Similarly, if the plaintiff claims: "You definitely owe me a kor of wheat," and the defendant replies: "I don't know whether I owe you a kor of wheat or barley," the defendant must take a sh'vuat heset that he does not know and pay the plaintiff a kor of barley. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

ח

כּוֹר חִטִּים יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ בְּוַדַּאי וְהַנִּתְבָּע אוֹמֵר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁמָּא יֵשׁ לְךָ שֶׁמָּא אֵין לְךָ הֲרֵי הַנִּתְבָּע יִשָּׁבַע שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ וְנִפְטָר. לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא חִיֵּב עַצְמוֹ בְּוַדַּאי. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. כּוֹר חִטִּים יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ בְּוַדַּאי וְהַנִּתְבָּע אוֹמֵר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ אִם חִטִּים הוּא אוֹ שְׂעוֹרִים הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ וּמְשַׁלֵּם שְׂעוֹרִין. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

9

Different rules apply when the plaintiff claims: "You definitely owe me a maneh," and the defendant replies: "I did owe you a maneh. I do not know, however, if I returned it to you or did not return it to you yet." The defendant is obligated to pay. The plaintiff is not obligated to take an oath at all, not even a sh'vuat heset.

The rationale is that the defendant knows that he was liable and the plaintiff is lodging a definite claim against him, and he does not know whether he fulfilled his obligation or not. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

This stringency does not apply if there is no plaintiff, i.e., on his own initiative, the defendant said: "I stole from you...", "You lent me a maneh...", "Your father entrusted me with a maneh, and I do not know if I returned it to you or not, he is not liable at all. If he desires to fulfill his moral and spiritual obligations, he is liable to make restitution.

ט

מָנֶה יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ בְּוַדַּאי וְהַנִּתְבָּע אוֹמֵר כֵּן הָיָה לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֲבָל אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ אִם הֶחְזַרְתִּי לְךָ אוֹ עֲדַיִן לֹא הֶחְזַרְתִּי לְךָ חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם וְלֹא יִשָּׁבַע הַתּוֹבֵעַ כְּלָל אֲפִלּוּ שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא יוֹדֵעַ בְּוַדַּאי שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב וַהֲרֵי זֶה טוֹעֵן אוֹתוֹ טַעֲנַת וַדַּאי וְנִסְתַּפֵּק אִם נִפְטַר אוֹ לֹא נִפְטַר. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. אֲבָל אִם אֵין לוֹ תּוֹבֵעַ וְהוֹדָה מֵעַצְמוֹ וְאָמַר גְּזַלְתִּיךָ אוֹ הִלְוֵיתַנִי מָנֶה. אָבִיךָ הִפְקִיד אֶצְלִי מָנֶה וְאֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ אִם הֶחְזַרְתִּיו אוֹ לֹא הֶחְזַרְתִּיו. אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם. וְאִם בָּא לָצֵאת יְדֵי שָׁמַיִם חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם:

10

As mentioned above, a sh'vuat heset can be reversed. Thus if a plaintiff claims: "You owe me a maneh," and the defendant responds: "I do not owe you anything," the plaintiff may tell him: "Take a sh'vuat heset and go on your way." And the defendant may respond: "You take the sh'vuat heset and collect your claim." If the plaintiff says: "I do not desire to take the oath," the defendant may tell him: "Either take the oath and collect your claim or go away without anything." The obligation to take the oath may not be reversed again. The plaintiff may, however, have a conditional bill of ostracism issued against anyone who owes him money and refuses to pay.

י

מָנֶה לִי בְּיָדְךָ. אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי כְּלוּם. הִשָּׁבַע הֶסֵּת וְלֵךְ. הִשָּׁבַע אַתָּה הֶסֵּת וְטל. וְאָמַר הַתּוֹבֵעַ אֵינִי רוֹצֶה לְהִשָּׁבַע הֲרֵי הַנִּתְבָּע אוֹמֵר לוֹ הִשָּׁבַע וְטל אוֹ תֵּלֵךְ בְּלֹא כְּלוּם. וְאֵין שָׁם הִפּוּךְ אַחֵר וְיֵשׁ לוֹ לְהַחֲרִים סְתָם עַל מִי שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לִי וְלֹא יִתֵּן לִי:

11

My masters ruled that anyone who is obligated to take an oath - whether a Scriptural oath or a Rabbinic oath, even a sh'vuat heset - may, before taking the oath, have a conditional ban of ostracism issued against anyone who lodges a claim against him for money which he does not owe so that he will have to take an oath unnecessarily. The person requiring him to take the oath must answer Amen. Afterwards, the defendant must take that oath.

This is a proper ordinance for litigants so that they will refrain from making false claims and not cause God's name to be mentioned for no purpose, thus preventing them from lodging spurious suits.

יא

הוֹרוּ רַבּוֹתַי שֶׁכָּל מִי שֶׁנִּתְחַיֵּב שְׁבוּעָה בֵּין שֶׁל תּוֹרָה בֵּין שֶׁל דִּבְרֵיהֶם אֲפִלּוּ הֶסֵּת. יֵשׁ לוֹ לְהַחֲרִים סְתָם קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּשָּׁבַע עַל מִי שֶׁיִּטְעֹן עָלָיו דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ חַיָּב בּוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּשְׁבִּיעַ אוֹתוֹ בְּחִנָּם וְיַעֲנֶה הַמַּשְׁבִּיעַ אָמֵן וְאַחַר יִשָּׁבַע. וְתַקָּנָה טוֹבָה לְבַעֲלֵי דִּינִין כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּמָּנְעוּ מִטַּעֲנַת שֶׁקֶר וְלֹא יִגְרְמוּ לְהוֹצִיא שֵׁם שָׁמַיִם לְבַטָּלָה וְלֹא יַשִּׂיאוֹ שֵׁמַע שָׁוְא:

12

Whenever a person is required to take an oath - whether a Scriptural oath or a Rabbinic oath - the plaintiff can require him to include in his oath a denial of any other claim that he desires which would obligate the defendant financially.

To what extent can he be forced to include a claim? Until the plaintiff has him include in the oath that he was not sold to the plaintiff as a Hebrew servant and is still under his bond.

As mentioned, a worker who is required to take an oath cannot be forced to include other claims in that oath.

יב

כָּל מִי שֶׁנִּתְחַיֵּב שְׁבוּעָה בֵּין שֶׁל תּוֹרָה בֵּין שֶׁל דִּבְרֵיהֶם מְגַלְגֵּל עָלָיו הַמַּשְׁבִּיעַ כָּל מַה שֶּׁיִּרְצֶה מִדְּבָרִים שֶׁאִם יוֹדֶה בָּהֶן יִתְחַיֵּב מָמוֹן. וְעַד הֵיכָן כֹּחַ גִּלְגּוּל עַד שֶׁיֹּאמַר וּבִכְלַל שְׁבוּעָה זוֹ שֶׁלֹּא נִמְכַּרְתָּ לִי בְּעֶבֶד עִבְרִי וַעֲדַיִן עַבְדִּי אַתָּה. וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁאֵין מְגַלְגְּלִין עַל הַשָּׂכִיר:

13

The following principle applies whenever a person is obligated to take an oath, even a sh'vuat heset, and the plaintiff begins to demand that he include in the oath matters which were not included in the original claim. If the defendant sees this and says: "I do not desire to take the oath. Instead, I will pay the original claim whose denial obligated me to take the oath," we do not accept his request. Instead, we tell him: "Either pay all the definite claims he asked you to include in the oath or take the oath and be released of responsibility."

יג

מִי שֶׁנִּתְחַיֵּב שְׁבוּעָה אֲפִלּוּ הֶסֵּת וְהִתְחִיל הַתּוֹבֵעַ לְגַלְגֵּל עָלָיו דְּבָרִים אֲחֵרִים שֶׁלֹּא טָעַן אוֹתָם. וְרָאָה הַנִּתְבָּע כָּךְ וְאָמַר אֵינִי רוֹצֶה לְהִשָּׁבַע אֶלָּא הֲרֵינִי מְשַׁלֵּם הַטַּעֲנָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה שֶׁנִּתְחַיַּבְתִּי עַל כְּפִירָתָהּ שְׁבוּעָה. אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ אֶלָּא אוֹמְרִים לַנִּתְבָּע אוֹ תֵּן לוֹ כָּל מַה שֶּׁגִּלְגֵּל עָלֶיךָ מִטְּעָנוֹת הַוַּדָּאִיּוֹת אוֹ הִשָּׁבַע וְהִפָּטֵר:

14

When a person lodges many claims against a colleague, the defendant cannot be forced to take an oath on each claim individually. Instead, he includes all the claims in one oath. If a person was obligated to take two oaths on two different claims, one lenient and one more severe, he is required to take the more severe oath and include in it the other claims based on the principle of gilgul sh'vuah.

יד

הַטּוֹעֵן אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ טְעָנוֹת הַרְבֵּה אֵין מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתוֹ עַל כָּל טַעֲנָה וְטַעֲנָה אֶלָּא שְׁבוּעָה אַחַת עַל הַכּל. נִתְחַיֵּב שְׁתֵּי שְׁבוּעוֹת עַל שְׁתֵּי טְעָנוֹת קַלָּה וַחֲמוּרָה. מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתוֹ עַל הַחֲמוּרָה וּמְגַלְגְּלִין בָּהּ שְׁאָר דְּבָרִים:

15

When a person lodges a claim against a colleague which would not result in a financial obligation if he would acknowledge its truth, even if the defendant denies the claim, we do not require him to take a sh'vuat heset, nor do we issue a conditional ban of ostracism.

What is implied? The plaintiff claims: "You promised to give me a maneh," and the defendant states: "That never happened," the defendant is not required to take a sh'vuat heset, nor is a conditional ban of ostracism issued against him. The rationale is that even were he to have acknowledged making such a promise, he would not be obligated to fulfill it. Similarly, if a plaintiff claimed: "You cursed me," or "You spread a disparaging report about me," and the defendant replied: "That never happened," a ban of ostracism is not issued in such a situation. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.

טו

כָּל הַטּוֹעֵן אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ טַעֲנָה שֶׁאִם הוֹדָה אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם מָמוֹן. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכָּפַר אֵין מְחַיְּבִין אוֹתוֹ שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת וְלֹא חֵרֶם סְתָם. כֵּיצַד. אָמַרְתָּ שֶׁתִּתֵּן לִי מָנֶה. לֹא הָיוּ דְּבָרִים מֵעוֹלָם. אֵין מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתוֹ הֶסֵּת וְלֹא חֵרֶם שֶׁאִלּוּ הוֹדָה בְּדָבָר זֶה אֵינוֹ חַיָּב כְּלוּם. אַתָּה קִלַּלְתָּ אוֹתִי אַתָּה הוֹצֵאתָ עָלַי שֵׁם רַע לֹא הָיוּ דְּבָרִים מֵעוֹלָם אֵין מַחְרִימִין עַל זֶה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה מִדְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ:

16

If a plaintiff claims: "You injured me," and the defendant states: "That never happened," the defendant is required to take a sh'vuat heset. The rationale is although the defendant is not liable to pay a k'nas because of his own admission alone, he would be liable to pay the injured party for his unemployment, his medical expenses, and the embarrassment he suffered.

The following rule applies when a plaintiff claims: "You embarrassed me," and the defendant states: "That never happened." If they were in a place where claims involving k'nasot were collected, the defendant is required to take a sh'vuat heset, for if he would acknowledge the truth of the claim, he would be required to pay for the embarrassment he caused.

טז

אַתָּה חָבַלְתָּ בִּי לֹא הָיוּ דְּבָרִים מֵעוֹלָם הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם קְנָס עַל פִּי עַצְמוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם שֶׁבֶת וְרִפּוּי וּבשֶׁת. אַתָּה בִּיַּשְׁתַּנִי לֹא הָיוּ דְּבָרִים מֵעוֹלָם. אִם הָיוּ בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁגּוֹבִין בּוֹ קְנָסוֹת הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת. שֶׁאִלּוּ הוֹדָה הָיָה מְשַׁלֵּם הַבֹּשֶׁת:

17

When do we apply the above statement: "A person who admits his guilt with regard to a claim involving a k'nas is not liable"? When the defendant says: "I injured this person."

If, however, the defendant says: "I injured this person. He brought witnesses against me in court and it obligated me to pay so and so much for his damages," he is liable. Accordingly, were the plaintiff to claim that a court obligated the defendant to pay him 100 dinarim because he injured him, and the defendant denied the claim, the defendant would be required to take a sh'vuat heset. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.

יז

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים שֶׁהַמּוֹדֶה בִּקְנָס פָּטוּר כְּשֶׁהוֹדָה בְּדָבָר שֶׁחַיָּב עָלָיו קְנָס כְּגוֹן שֶׁאָמַר חָבַלְתִּי בָּזֶה. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר חָבַלְתִּי בָּזֶה וְהֵבִיא עָלַי עֵדִים בְּבֵית דִּין וְחִיְּבוּנִי לִתֵּן כָּךְ וְכָךְ בִּנְזָקַי הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם. לְפִיכָךְ אִם טָעַן הַטּוֹעֵן שֶׁבֵּית דִּין חִיְּבוּךָ לְשַׁלֵּם לִי מֵאָה דִּינָרִין מִשּׁוּם שֶׁחָבַלְתָּ בִּי וְהוּא אוֹמֵר לֹא הָיוּ דְּבָרִים מֵעוֹלָם. הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

To’en veNit’an - Chapter 2

1

Whenever it is suspected that a person might take a false oath,no oath - neither a Scriptural oath, a Rabbinic oath, nor a sh'vuat heset - is administered to him. Even if the plaintiff desires that he take this oath, we do not heed his request.

א

כָּל חָשׁוּד עַל הַשְּׁבוּעָה אֵין מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתוֹ לֹא שְׁבוּעַת הַתּוֹרָה וְלֹא שְׁבוּעָה מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם וְלֹא שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת. וַאֲפִלּוּ רָצָה הַתּוֹבֵעַ אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ:

2

A person who took a false oath - whether a sh'vuat bitui, a sh'vuat edut, or a sh'vuat hapikadon - or an unnecessary oath, he is considered suspect to take a false oath.

Similarly, a person who is not acceptable to serve as a witness because he committed a transgression, whether disqualified because of a Scriptural prohibition, e.g., a person who lends at interest, one who eats meat from an animal that was not ritually slaughtered, or a thief, or because of a Rabbinic prohibition, e.g., a dice-player or a dove racer, is considered suspect to take a false oath and we do not administer an oath to him.

ב

אֶחָד הַנִּשְׁבָּע לַשֶּׁקֶר שְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי. אוֹ שְׁבוּעַת עֵדוּת. אוֹ שְׁבוּעַת הַפִּקָּדוֹן. אוֹ שְׁבוּעַת שָׁוְא. הֲרֵי הוּא חָשׁוּד עַל הַשְּׁבוּעָה. וְכֵן כָּל הַפָּסוּל לְעֵדוּת מִשּׁוּם עֲבֵרָה. בֵּין פַּסְלָנוּת שֶׁל תּוֹרָה כְּגוֹן בַּעֲלֵי רִבִּית וְאוֹכְלֵי נְבֵלוֹת וְגַזְלָנִין. בֵּין פַּסְלָנוּת שֶׁל דִּבְרֵיהֶם כְּגוֹן מִשְׂחָק בְּקֻבִּיָּא וּמַפְרִיחֵי יוֹנִים. הֲרֵי הוּא חָשׁוּד עַל הַשְּׁבוּעָה וְאֵין מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתוֹ:

3

A person is not deemed suspect to take a false oath until witnesses testify that he violated the transgression for which he is disqualified. Different rules apply, however, if a person himself admits that he is suspect to take a false oath, because he committed a transgression that disqualifies him.

We consider him under suspicion and it is not appropriate to make him a witness at the outset. Nevertheless, if he is obligated to take an oath, we administer that oath. For we tell him: "If you are telling the truth, take the oath. The fact that you committed a sin does not make it forbidden for you to take a truthful oath. And if you are lying, acknowledge the other litigant's claim." When a person is deemed suspect because of the testimony of witnesses, we do not believe that he will take a truthful oath.

ג

אֵין אָדָם נַעֲשֶׂה חָשׁוּד עַד שֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ עָלָיו עֵדִים שֶׁהוּא עָבַר עֲבֵרָה שֶׁנִּפְסַל בָּהּ. אֲבָל הַמּוֹדֶה מִפִּי עַצְמוֹ שֶׁהוּא חָשׁוּד וְשֶׁעָבַר עֲבֵרָה שֶׁנִּפְסַל בָּהּ. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁחוֹשְׁשִׁין לוֹ וְאֵין רָאוּי לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ עֵד בַּתְּחִלָּה. אִם נִתְחַיֵּב שְׁבוּעָה מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹמְרִים לוֹ אִם אֱמֶת אַתָּה אוֹמֵר הִשָּׁבַע וְלֹא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁעָבַרְתָּ עֲבֵרָה אָסוּר לְךָ לְהִשָּׁבַע בֶּאֱמֶת. וְאִם שֶׁקֶר אַתָּה אוֹמֵר הוֹדֵה לְבַעַל דִּינְךָ. אֲבָל הַנֶּחְשָׁד בְּעֵדִים אֵין אָנוּ מַאֲמִינִים אוֹתוֹ שֶׁיִּשָּׁבַע:

4

Our Sages ordained that whenever a person who is suspect to take a false oath is obligated to take a Scriptural Oath because of a definite claim, the plaintiff is given the option of taking a Rabbinic oath and may then collect what he claims.

If they were both suspect, the responsibility for taking the oath returns to the one obligated to take it, i.e., the defendant. Since he cannot take the oath, he is required to pay.

If the person who was suspect was a watchman who claims that the entrusted article was lost or stolen, the plaintiff cannot take an oath, because he does not have a definite claim that the watchman consumed it. Therefore, if the owner of the entrusted object claims: "He used my entrusted article for his own purposesin my presence," or "I know that he was negligent," the plaintiff may take an oath as ordained by our Sages and collect the money he claims.

ד

תַּקָּנַת חֲכָמִים הִיא שֶׁכָּל הַמְחֻיָּב שְׁבוּעָה מִן הַתּוֹרָה עַל טַעֲנַת וַדַּאי. אִם הָיָה חָשׁוּד הֲרֵי הַתּוֹבֵעַ נִשְׁבָּע מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם וְנוֹטֵל מַה שֶּׁטָּעַן. הָיוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם חֲשׁוּדִין חָזְרָה שְׁבוּעָה לַמְחֻיָּב לָהּ שֶׁהוּא הַנִּתְבָּע וּמִתּוֹךְ שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִשָּׁבַע מְשַׁלֵּם. הָיָה הֶחָשׁוּד שׁוֹמֵר וְטָעַן שֶׁאָבַד הַפִּקָּדוֹן אוֹ נִגְנַב שֶׁכְּנֶגְדוֹ אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהִשָּׁבַע וְלִטּל שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינוֹ טוֹעֲנוֹ וַדַּאי שֶׁאֲכָלוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ אִם טָעַן בַּעַל הַפִּקָּדוֹן וְאָמַר בְּפָנַי שָׁלַח יָד בְּפִקְדוֹנִי אוֹ פָּשַׁע בּוֹ הֲרֵי הַתּוֹבֵעַ נִשְׁבָּע בְּתַקָּנַת חֲכָמִים וְנוֹטֵל:

5

The following laws apply if the person suspect to take a false oath was liable to take a Rabbinic oath. If he is one of those who takes an oath and collects, he may not take the oath and collect. Instead, the defendant is allowed to take a sh'vuat heset and then is freed of liability.

Similarly, when a person who is suspect impairs the legal power of his promissory note or the like and the borrower claims to have paid and requires the plaintiff to take an oath, the defendant is given the option of taking the oath, and in that way becoming released from the obligation of the promissory note.

ה

נִתְחַיֵּב הֶחָשׁוּד שְׁבוּעָה מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם אִם הָיָה מִן הַנִּשְׁבָּעִין וְנוֹטְלִין אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהִשָּׁבַע וְלִטּל אֶלָּא הַנִּתְבָּע שֶׁכְּנֶגְדוֹ יִשָּׁבַע הֶסֵּת וְיִפָּטֵר. וְכֵן פּוֹגֵם שְׁטָרוֹ וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה שֶׁהָיָה חָשׁוּד וְטָעַן הַלּוֶֹה שֶׁפְּרָעוֹ וְאָמַר יִשָּׁבַע לִי הֲרֵי הַנִּתְבָּע נִשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת וְיִפָּטֵר מִן הַשְּׁטָר:

6

If the person who is suspect was one of those who is required to take an oath because of an indefinite claim, he is not allowed to take the oath, nor does the plaintiff take the oath. The rationale is that the defendant was not obligated to take an oath by Scriptural Law and the plaintiff is not lodging a definite claim against him that he could support with an oath.

ו

הָיָה הֶחָשׁוּד מִן הַנִּשְׁבָּעִין בְּטַעֲנַת סָפֵק אֵינוֹ נִשְׁבָּע וְאֵין שֶׁכְּנֶגְדוֹ נִשְׁבָּע לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא נִתְחַיֵּב זֶה שְׁבוּעָה מִן הַתּוֹרָה. וּלְפִי שֶׁאֵין הַתּוֹבֵעַ טוֹעֲנוֹ טַעֲנַת וַדַּאי כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּשָּׁבַע עַל טַעֲנָתוֹ:

7

When a person who is suspect becomes obligated to take a sh'vuat heset, the plaintiff is not given the option of taking the oath and collecting what he claims. The rationale is that a sh'vuat heset is itself a measure ordained for the benefit of the plaintiff. Therefore we did not ordain a second measure for his benefit. Instead, the defendant is released from liability without taking an oath.

ז

נִתְחַיֵּב הֶחָשׁוּד שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת אֵין שֶׁכְּנֶגְדוֹ נִשְׁבָּע וְנוֹטֵל. שֶׁשְּׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת עַצְמָהּ תַּקָּנָה הִיא וְלֹא עָשׂוּ לָהּ תַּקָּנָה אַחֶרֶת שֶׁיִּשָּׁבַע הַתּוֹבֵעַ אֶלָּא הֲרֵי הַנִּתְבָּע נִפְטָר בְּלֹא שְׁבוּעָה:

8

When a person is obligated to take a sh'vuat heset and the plaintiff is suspect to take a false oath, the defendant does not have the option of reversing the responsibility to take the oath. For the plaintiff is unable to take the oath. Instead, the defendant must pay the claim or take a sh'vuat heset.

We do not accept his request to make the judgment dependant on an impossible factor. This is comparable to a person who seeks to reverse the responsibility of an oath and place it upon a minor. We do not heed him. Instead, he must either take a sh'vuat heset or pay.

ח

מִי שֶׁנִּתְחַיֵּב שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת וְהָיָה הַתּוֹבֵעַ חָשׁוּד. אֵין הַנִּתְבָּע יָכוֹל לַהֲפֹךְ עָלָיו הַשְּׁבוּעָה שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין יָכוֹל לְהִשָּׁבַע. אֶלָּא יְשַׁלֵּם אוֹ יִשָּׁבַע הֶסֵּת. וְאֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לָזֶה לִתְלוֹת בְּדָבָר שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר. וַהֲרֵי זֶה כְּמִי שֶׁהָפַךְ שְׁבוּעָתוֹ עַל הַקָּטָן שֶׁאֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ אֶלָּא אוֹ יִשָּׁבַע הֶסֵּת אוֹ יְשַׁלֵּם:

9

The following principle applies when a person was obligated to take an oath - whether of Scriptural or Rabbinic origin - and he took the oath and either collected his claim or was released and afterwards, witnesses came and testified that he was suspect to take a false oath. The oath which he took is of no consequence. The other litigant may expropriate the money which the person who was suspect collected from him or the other litigant may take an oath and collect his claim.

ט

מִי שֶׁנִּתְחַיֵּב שְׁבוּעָה בֵּין שֶׁל תּוֹרָה בֵּין שֶׁל דִּבְרֵיהֶם וְנִשְׁבַּע וְנָטַל אוֹ נִשְׁבַּע וְנִפְטַר. וְאַחַר כָּךְ בָּאוּ עָלָיו עֵדִים שֶׁהוּא חָשׁוּד. אֵין שְׁבוּעָתוֹ שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּע כְּלוּם וְיֵשׁ לְבַעַל דִּינוֹ לְהוֹצִיא מִיָּדוֹ מַה שֶּׁנָּטַל אוֹ יִשָּׁבַע זֶה שֶׁכְּנֶגְדוֹ וְיִטּל מִמֶּנּוּ:

10

These principles are applied with regard to a person suspect of taking a false oath until he receives lashes in court. If there are witnesses that he received lashes and repented, his status is restored and he is acceptable both as a witness and to take an oath.

י

לְעוֹלָם כָּזֶה דָּנִין לֶחָשׁוּד עַד שֶׁיִּלְקֶה בְּבֵית דִּין. אִם הָיוּ עָלָיו עֵדִים שֶׁלָּקָה וְעָשָׂה תְּשׁוּבָה יַחְזֹר לְכַשְׁרוּתוֹ בֵּין לְעֵדוּת בֵּין לִשְׁבוּעָה:

11

The following rules apply when a person lodges a claim against a colleague, the defendant denies the claim and supports his denial by taking either a Scriptural oath or a Rabbinic oath. If afterwards, witnesses come and testify that he took a false oath, he must pay the claim and is deemed suspect of taking a false oath.

We already explained in Hilchot Sh'vuot, that anyone who takes a false oath with regard to money belonging to his colleague and repents must add an additional fifth.

יא

מִי שֶׁטָּעַן עַל חֲבֵרוֹ וְכָפַר בּוֹ וְנִשְׁבַּע בֵּין שְׁבוּעַת הַתּוֹרָה בֵּין שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת. וְאַחַר כָּךְ בָּאוּ עֵדִים וְהֵעִידוּ עָלָיו שֶׁעַל שֶׁקֶר נִשְׁבַּע. הֲרֵי זֶה מְשַׁלֵּם וְהֻחְזַק חָשׁוּד עַל הַשְּׁבוּעָה. וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ בִּשְׁבוּעוֹת שֶׁכָּל הַנִּשְׁבָּע עַל מָמוֹן חֲבֵרוֹ וְעָשָׂה תְּשׁוּבָה חַיָּב לְהוֹסִיף חֹמֶשׁ:

12

The following rule applies when a plaintiff claims that a defendant owes him a debt which was undertaken in the presence of witnesses and affirmed by a kinyan, and the defendant agrees that originally this was so, but claims to have paid the debt, or the defendant says: "I do not owe you anything," and takes an oath to support either of these claims. If, afterwards, witnesses to the kinyan testify or the plaintiff produces a promissory note and verifies its authenticity, the defendant is obligated to pay. He is not, however, considered as suspect to take a false oath. For the witnesses did not testify that he did not pay. And the defendant did not say: "This never happened." Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.

יב

טְעָנוֹ שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ חוֹב אֶצְלוֹ בְּעֵדִים וְקִנְיָן וְאָמַר כֵּן הָיָה וּפְרַעְתִּיךָ. אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר אֵינִי חַיָּב לְךָ כְּלוּם וְנִשְׁבַּע. וְאַחַר כָּךְ בָּאוּ עֵדֵי הַקִּנְיָן אוֹ הוֹצִיא הַשְּׁטָר וְנִתְקַיֵּם הֲרֵי זֶה מְשַׁלֵּם וְאֵינוֹ חָשׁוּד. שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הֱעִידוֹ שֶׁלֹּא פְּרָעוֹ וְלֹא אָמַר הַנִּתְבָּע לֹא הָיוּ דְּבָרִים מֵעוֹלָם. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

To’en veNit’an - Chapter 3

1

A person who admits a portion of a claim is not liable to take a Scriptural oath until he admits an obligation of a p'rutah or more and denies owing two silver me'in or more.

How much is a p'rutah worth? The weight of half a barleycorn of pure silver. How much is two me'in worth? The weight of 32 barleycorns of pure silver.

א

אֵין מוֹדֶה בְּמִקְצָת חַיָּב שְׁבוּעָה מִן הַתּוֹרָה עַד שֶׁיּוֹדֶה בִּפְרוּטָה אוֹ יֶתֶר וְיִכְפֹּר בִּשְׁתֵּי מָעִין כֶּסֶף אוֹ יֶתֶר. וְכַמָּה הִיא פְּרוּטָה מִשְׁקַל חֲצִי שְׂעוֹרָה שֶׁל כֶּסֶף נָקִי. וְכַמָּה הֵם שְׁתֵּי מָעִין מִשְׁקַל שְׁתַּיִם וּשְׁלֹשִׁים שְׂעוֹרוֹת כֶּסֶף מְזֻקָּק:

2

Whenever the Torah speaks of kessef it refers to a holy shekel which is worth 20 me'in. Whenever the term kessef is used with regard to Rabbinic law, the intent is a coin used in Jerusalem referred to as a sela. This coin was one eighth silver and the remainder copper as we explained. A meah, by contrast, even in Jerusalem was pure silver; it was the smallest silver coin used in Jerusalem in that era.

Since the requirement that the claim denied be two measures of silver is Rabbinic in origin, the Sages established it as two silver coins of Jerusalem, i.e., two me'in, rather than two "holy" shekalim. This is the interpretation that appears correct with regard to the amount of money from the claim that must be denied for an oath to be required.

My teachers ruled that the amount of money from the claim that must be denied for an oath to be required is 19 and ½ barleycorns of silver. I have several proofs to refute the path of reasoning they adopted which led to their arriving at this figure. I think that it is an error.

ב

כָּל כֶּסֶף הָאָמוּר בַּתּוֹרָה הוּא שֶׁקֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ וְהוּא עֶשְׂרִים מָעָה וְכָל כֶּסֶף שֶׁל דִּבְרֵיהֶן מִמַּטְבֵּעַ יְרוּשָׁלַיִם שֶׁהָיָה הַסֶּלַע שֶׁלָּהֶן אֶחָד מִשְּׁמֹנֶה בּוֹ כֶּסֶף וְהַשְּׁאָר נְחשֶׁת כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. אֲבָל הַמָּעָה הִיא הָיְתָה כֶּסֶף נָקִי אֲפִלּוּ בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם וְהִיא כֶּסֶף שֶׁל יְרוּשָׁלַיִם. וּלְפִי שֶׁזֶּה שֶׁהִצְרִיכוּ לִהְיוֹת כְּפִירַת הַטַּעֲנָה שְׁתֵּי כֶּסֶף הִיא מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם עָשׂוּ אוֹתָהּ שְׁתֵּי כֶּסֶף שֶׁל יְרוּשָׁלַיִם שֶׁהֵן שְׁתֵּי מָעִין וְלֹא עָשׂוּ אוֹתָהּ שְׁנֵי שְׁקָלִים בְּשֶׁקֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ. זֶהוּ הַדָּבָר הַנִּרְאֶה בְּשִׁעוּר כְּפִירַת הַטַּעֲנָה. וְרַבּוֹתַי הוֹרוּ שֶׁכְּפִירַת הַטַּעֲנָה הוּא מִשְׁקַל תְּשַׁע עֶשְׂרֵה שְׂעוֹרוֹת וַחֲצִי שְׂעוֹרָה מִן הַכֶּסֶף. וְיֵשׁ לִי כַּמָּה רְאָיוֹת לִסְתֹּר אוֹתָהּ הַדֶּרֶךְ שֶׁתָּפְסוּ עַד שֶׁיָּצָא לָהֶם זֶה הַחֶשְׁבּוֹן. וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁהוּא טָעוּת:

3

When the plaintiff claims: "You owe me two me'in and a p'rutah," and the defendant responds: "I owe you only two p'rutot," he is not obligated to take this oath. The rationale is that he denied owing less than two me'in.

When the plaintiff claims: "You owe me a maneh," and the defendant responds: "I owe you only half a p'rutot," he is not obligated to take this oath. The rationale is that whenever a person acknowledges a debt of less than a p'rutah, it is as if he did not acknowledge any debt at all.

ג

שְׁתֵּי מָעִין וּפְרוּטָה יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֶלָּא פְּרוּטָה חַיָּב. אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֶלָּא שְׁתֵּי פְּרוּטוֹת פָּטוּר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁכָּפַר בְּפָחוֹת מִשְּׁתֵי מָעִין. מָנֶה לִי בְּיָדְךָ אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֶלָּא חֲצִי פְּרוּטָה פָּטוּר שֶׁכָּל הַמּוֹדֶה בְּפָחוֹת מִפְּרוּטָה כְּאִלּוּ לֹא הוֹדָה בִּכְלוּם:

4

When the plaintiff claims: "You owe me 100 dates," and the defendant responds: "I owe you only ninety," we make calculations. If the ten dates that he denies are worth two me'in, he must take an oath. If they are not, he is not liable.

When the plaintiff claims: "You owe me five or six nuts," and the defendant responds: "I owe you only one," we make calculations. If the nut that he admits owing is equivalent to p'rutah, he must take an oath. If it is not, he is not liable. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.

ד

מֵאָה תְּמָרִים יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֶלָּא תִּשְׁעִים. רוֹאִים אִם הָיוּ שָׁוִין שָׁם הָעֶשֶׂר שֶׁכָּפַר בָּהֶן שְׁתֵּי מָעִין נִשְׁבָּע וְאִם לָאו פָּטוּר. חֲמִשָּׁה אוֹ שִׁשָּׁה אֱגוֹזִים יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ אֵין לְךָ [בְּיָדִי] אֶלָּא אֱגוֹז אֶחָד רוֹאִין אִם שָׁוֶה הָאֶחָד פְּרוּטָה נִשְׁבָּע וְאִם לָאו פָּטוּר. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

5

When does the above apply? With regard to money, merchandise, produce, or the like. With regard to utensils, by contrast, we do not evaluate their worth. Even when ten needles are being sold for a p'rutah, if a plaintiff claims two needles and the defendant admits owing one and denies owing the other, he is liable to take an oath.

This is derived from Exodus 22:6 which speaks of "money or utensils...." Implied is that all utensils are like money.

The following rules apply when the plaintiff claims that he is owed both money and utensils and the defendant admits owing the utensils, but denies owing the money. If the money he denies is equivalent to two me'in, he is obligated to take this oath. If not, he is under no obligation. Conversely, if he admits owing the money, but denies owing the utensils, he is liable if he admits owing a p'rutah. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.

ה

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּכֶסֶף אוֹ בְּמִינֵי סְחוֹרוֹת וּפֵרוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. אֲבָל הַכֵּלִים אֵין מְשַׁעֲרִין אֶת דְּמֵיהֶן וַאֲפִלּוּ הֵן עֶשֶׂר מְחָטִין בִּפְרוּטָה וּטְעָנוֹ שְׁתֵּי מְחָטִין הוֹדָה בְּאַחַת וְכָפַר בְּאַחַת חַיָּב. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כב ו) "כֶּסֶף אוֹ כֵלִים" כָּל הַכֵּלִים כְּכֶסֶף. טְעָנוֹ כֶּסֶף וְכֵלִים וְהוֹדָה בַּכֵּלִים וְכָפַר בַּכֶּסֶף אִם יֵשׁ בַּכְּפִירָה שְׁתֵּי מָעִין חַיָּב וְאִם לָאו פָּטוּר. הוֹדָה בַּכֶּסֶף וְכָפַר בַּכֵּלִים אִם הוֹדָה בִּפְרוּטָה חַיָּב. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

6

When one witness testifies against a colleague, stating that he owes money, he is required to take an oath even when he denied owing only a p'rutah. The rationale is that whenever the testimony of two witnesses would require a person to make a payment, the testimony of one witness obligates him to take an oath.

What is implied? The plaintiff claims: "You owe a p'rutah," or "...merchandise worth a p'rutah," the defendant responds: "I don't owe you anything," and a witness testifies that he does owe the plaintiff, he is required to take an oath.

Similar concepts apply with regard to an oath taken by a watchman. Even if a person entrusted a p'rutah or the worth of a p'rutah to a colleague and that person claimed that it was lost, he is required to take an oath. Anything less than a p'rutah is not financially significant and the court does not concern itself with it. Similarly, all those who take oaths and collect their claim, they take their oaths and collect any claim equivalent to a p'rutah or more.

ו

הֵעִיד עָלָיו עֵד אֶחָד אֲפִלּוּ לֹא כָּפַר אֶלָּא פְּרוּטָה הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע שֶׁכָּל מִי שֶׁשְּׁנַיִם מְחַיְּבִים אוֹתוֹ מָמוֹן אֶחָד מְחַיְּבוֹ שְׁבוּעָה. כֵּיצַד. פְּרוּטָה אוֹ שְׁוֵה פְּרוּטָה יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי כְּלוּם וְעֵד אֶחָד מֵעִיד שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע. וְכֵן בִּשְׁבוּעַת הַשּׁוֹמְרִים אֲפִלּוּ הִפְקִיד אֶצְלוֹ פְּרוּטָה אוֹ שְׁוֵה פְּרוּטָה וְטָעַן שֶׁאָבְדָה נִשְׁבָּע. וְכָל פָּחוֹת מִפְּרוּטָה אֵינוֹ מָמוֹן וְאֵין בֵּית דִּין נִזְקָקִין לוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל הַנִּשְׁבָּעִין וְנוֹטְלִין נִשְׁבָּעִין וְנוֹטְלִין מִפְּרוּטָה וָמַעְלָה:

7

My teachers' ruled that a person who takes an oath and collects his claim does not have to issue a claim equivalent to two silver me'in. I differ and maintain that the defendant must deny a claim equivalent to two silver me'in for the plaintiff to be required to take an oath as ordained by the Sages to collect his claim. The rationale is that those who must take an oath because of a claim concerning which doubt exists are not required to take that oath unless there is a sum equivalent to two silver me'in which is denied.

ז

הוֹרוּ רַבּוֹתַי שֶׁהַנִּשְׁבָּעִין וְנוֹטְלִין אֵינָן צְרִיכִין טַעֲנַת שְׁתֵּי כֶּסֶף. וַאֲנִי אוֹמֵר שֶׁצָּרִיךְ הַנִּתְבָּע שֶׁיִּכְפֹּר בִּשְׁתֵּי מָעִין וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִשָּׁבַע הַתּוֹבֵעַ בְּתַקָּנַת חֲכָמִים וְיִטּל. שֶׁהֲרֵי הַנִּשְׁבָּעִין בְּטַעֲנַת סָפֵק צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בֵּינֵיהֶם כְּפִירַת שְׁתֵּי מָעִין וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִשָּׁבַע מִסָּפֵק:

8

A person who admits a portion of a claim is not obligated to take an oath unless the admission is of the same nature as the claim.

What is implied? The plaintiff claims: "You owe me a kor of wheat." If the defendant responds: "I only owe you a letach of wheat," he is liable to take the oath. If, however, the defendant responds: "I only owe you a kor of barley," he is not liable. The rationale is that the defendant did not admit owing the species which the plaintiff claimed, and the plaintiff did not claim the species which the defendant admitted owing.

If the plaintiff claims: "I gave you golden dinarim for safekeeping," and the defendant responds: "You entrusted me only with silver dinarim," or the plaintiff claims: "I gave you a silver meah for safekeeping," and the defendant responds: "You entrusted me only with a p'rutah, the defendant is not liable, because the plaintiff claimed one species and the defendant admitted owing another.

Similarly, if the plaintiff claims: "I gave you 10 Egyptian dinarim for safekeeping," and the defendant responds: "You entrusted me only with Tyrian dinarim," he is not obligated to take an oath. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

ח

אֵין מוֹדֶה בְּמִקְצָת חַיָּב שְׁבוּעָה עַד שֶׁתִּהְיֶה הוֹדָיָה מִמִּין הַטַּעֲנָה. כֵּיצַד. כּוֹר חִטִּים יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֶלָּא לֶתֶךְ חִטִּים חַיָּב. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר לוֹ אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֶלָּא כּוֹר שֶׁל שְׂעוֹרִים פָּטוּר שֶׁהַמִּין שֶׁטְּעָנוֹ לֹא הוֹדָה לוֹ בּוֹ וְהַמִּין שֶׁהוֹדָה לוֹ בּוֹ לֹא טְעָנוֹ. דִּינַר זָהָב יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ פִּקָּדוֹן לֹא הִפְקַדְתָּ אֶצְלִי אֶלָּא דִּינַר כֶּסֶף. מָעָה כֶּסֶף הִפְקַדְתִּי אֶצְלְךָ לֹא הִפְקַדְתָּ אֶצְלִי אֶלָּא פְּרוּטָה פָּטוּר שֶׁטְּעָנוֹ מִין אֶחָד וְהוֹדָה לוֹ בְּמִין אַחֵר. וְכֵן אִם אָמַר לוֹ עֲשָׂרָה דִּינָרִים מִצְרִיּוֹת הִפְקַדְתִּי אֶצְלְךָ לֹא הִפְקַדְתָּ אֶצְלִי אֶלָּא עֲשָׂרָה צוֹרִיּוֹת פָּטוּר. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

9

If the plaintiff claims: "You have a large lamp of mine," and the defendant responds: "I have only a small lamp of yours," he is not liable. If, however, the plaintiff claimed a lamp weighing ten liter, and the defendant admitted owing a lamp weighing five liter, he is considered as one who has admitted a portion of a claim. The rationale is that one can cut away the larger lamp and cause it to weigh only five.

Similarly, if the plaintiff claimed being owed a large belt, and the defendant replied: "I have only a small belt," he is not liable. If he claimed a curtain that was 20 cubits long and he admitted owing a curtain ten cubits long, he is required to take an oath, because it can be cut and limited to ten. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.

ט

מְנוֹרָה גְּדוֹלָה יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֶלָּא מְנוֹרָה קְטַנָּה הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר. אֲבָל אִם טְעָנוֹ מְנוֹרָה בַּת עֶשֶׂר לִיטְרִין וְהוֹדָה לוֹ בִּמְנוֹרָה בַּת חָמֵשׁ לִיטְרִין הֲרֵי זֶה מוֹדֶה בְּמִקְצָת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיָּכוֹל לְגָרְרָהּ וּלְהַעֲמִידָהּ עַל חָמֵשׁ. וְכֵן אִם טְעָנוֹ אֵזוֹר גָּדוֹל וְאָמַר לוֹ אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֶלָּא אֵזוֹר קָטָן פָּטוּר. אֲבָל אִם טְעָנוֹ יְרִיעָה בַּת עֶשְׂרִים אַמָּה וְהוֹדָה לוֹ בִּירִיעָה בַּת עֶשֶׂר אַמּוֹת הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיָּכוֹל לְחָתְכָהּ וּלְהַעֲמִידָהּ עַל עֶשֶׂר. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

10

If the plaintiff claims: "You have a kor of wheat of mine in your possession," and the defendant answers: "I have only a kor of barley," he is not liable, not even for the barley. The rationale is that the plaintiff states: "You do not owe me barley." Thus the situation resembles one in which a person tells a colleague in court: "I have a maneh of yours," and that colleague replies: "You do not owe me anything." In such a situation, the court does not require the person making the admission to pay his colleague anything.

If the plaintiff who claims the wheat seizes possession of the barley, we do not expropriate it from him.

י

כּוֹר חִטִּים יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֶלָּא כּוֹר שְׂעוֹרִים פָּטוּר אַף מִדְּמֵי שְׂעוֹרִים. שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹמֵר לוֹ אֵין לִי בְּיָדְךָ שְׂעוֹרִים וְנִמְצָא זֶה דּוֹמֶה לְמִי שֶׁאָמַר לַחֲבֵרוֹ בְּבֵית דִּין מָנֶה לְךָ בְּיָדִי וְאוֹמֵר לוֹ הָאַחֵר אֵין לִי בְּיָדְךָ שֶׁאֵין בֵּית דִּין מְחַיְּבִין אוֹתוֹ לִתֵּן לוֹ כְּלוּם. וְאִם תָּפַס הַתּוֹבֵעַ דְּמֵי הַשְּׂעוֹרִים אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדוֹ:

11

When a person claims that a colleague owes him two types of produce and the colleague admits owing only one, his admission is considered as the same type of the claim and he is required to take an oath. What is implied? The plaintiff claims: "You have a kor of wheat and a kor of barley of mine in your possession," and the defendant answers: "I have only a kor of wheat," he is liable.

The following rules apply when the plaintiff begins saying: "You have a kor of wheat in your possession," and before the plaintiff can complete his statements and add: "And you have a kor of barley of mine in your possession," the defendant answers: "I have only a kor of barley." If it appears to the judges that the defendant is seeking to deceive, he is required to take the oath. If it appears, that he acted in good faith, he is not liable.

יא

הַטּוֹעֵן אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ שְׁנֵי מִינִין וְהוֹדָה בְּאֶחָד מֵהֶן הֲרֵי הַהוֹדָיָה מִמִּין הַטַּעֲנָה וְנִשְׁבָּע. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן כּוֹר חִטִּין וְכוֹר שְׂעוֹרִין יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֶלָּא כּוֹר חִטִּין חַיָּב. הִתְחִיל הַטּוֹעֵן וְאָמַר כּוֹר חִטִּין יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ וְקֹדֶם שֶׁיַּשְׁלִים דְּבָרָיו וְאָמַר כּוֹר שְׂעוֹרִים יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ אָמַר לוֹ הַנִּטְעָן אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֶלָּא כּוֹר שְׂעוֹרִים. אִם נִרְאֶה לַדַּיָּנִין שֶׁהַנִּטְעָן הֶעֱרִים חַיָּב שְׁבוּעָה. וְאִם לְפִי תֻּמּוֹ פָּטוּר:

12

Different rules apply if the plaintiff does not issue both claims at once. For example, he claims: "You have a kor of wheat of mine in your possession," and the defendant answers: "Yes." And then he says: "and a kor of barley," to which the defendant replies: "I have no wheat of yours." He is not considered as admitting a portion of the claim unless the defendant makes these statements at one time. For an oath to be required, the plaintiff must claim: "You have a kor of wheat and a kor of barley of mine in your possession," and the defendant must answer: "I have only a kor of barley." Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

יב

כּוֹר חִטִּין יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ אָמַר לוֹ הֵן וְכוֹר שְׂעוֹרִים אָמַר לוֹ אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי שְׂעוֹרִין. הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר וְאֵין זֶה מוֹדֶה בְּמִקְצָת עַד שֶׁיֹּאמַר לוֹ בְּבַת אַחַת כּוֹר חִטִּים וְכוֹר שְׂעוֹרִין יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ וְיֹאמַר לוֹ הַנִּטְעָן אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֶלָּא כּוֹר שְׂעוֹרִים. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

13

Similarly, the defendant is not held liable for an oath when the plaintiff claims: "You have a quantity of oil large enough to fill ten jugs of mine in your possession," and the defendant answers: "I owe you only ten empty jugs." The rationale is that the plaintiff claimed oil and the defendant admitted owing only earthenware.

Different rules apply if the plaintiff claimed: "You have ten jugs of oil of mine in your possession," and the defendant answers: "I owe you only ten empty jugs." The defendant is liable to take an oath. The rationale is that the plaintiff claimed both jugs and oil and the defendant admitted owing the jugs. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

יג

מְלֹא עֲשָׂרָה כַּדִּין שֶׁמֶן יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֶלָּא עֲשָׂרָה כַּדִּין בְּלֹא שֶׁמֶן פָּטוּר. שֶׁהֲרֵי טְעָנוֹ שֶׁמֶן וְהוֹדָה לוֹ בָּחֲרָסִים. עֲשָׂרָה כַּדִּין שֶׁמֶן יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֶלָּא עֲשָׂרָה כַּדִּין רֵיקָנִין חַיָּב שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁהֲרֵי טְעָנוֹ הַכַּדִּין וְהַשֶּׁמֶן וְהוֹדָה לוֹ בַּכַּדִּין. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

14

My teachers ruled that the defendant is considered as admitting a portion of a claim and is required to take an oath when the plaintiff claims: "You owe me a maneh which was given to you as a loan," and the defendant answers: "That never happened. I never borrowed from you. I do, however, owe you 50 dinarim which you entrusted to me for safekeeping," "...because of damages," or the like. The rationale is that the plaintiff claimed that the defendant owed him 100 and the defendant admitting owing 50. What difference does it make to me if he became liable because of a loan, as a trustee of an entrusted article, or because of damages? I also favor this approach.

יד

מָנֶה לִי אֶצְלְךָ הַלְוָאָה לֹא הָיוּ דְּבָרִים מֵעוֹלָם וְלֹא לָוִיתִי מִמְּךָ אֲבָל חֲמִשִּׁים דִּינָרִין יֵשׁ לְךָ בְּיָדִי פִּקָּדוֹן אוֹ מִשּׁוּם נֵזֶק וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ הוֹרוּ רַבּוֹתַי שֶׁזֶּה מוֹדֶה בְּמִקְצָת וְיִשָּׁבַע. שֶׁהֲרֵי טְעָנוֹ שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לוֹ מֵאָה וְהוֹדָה לוֹ שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב חֲמִשִּׁים וּמַה לִּי נִתְחַיֵּב לוֹ מִשּׁוּם הַלְוָאָה אוֹ מִשּׁוּם פִּקָּדוֹן אוֹ מִשּׁוּם נֵזֶק. וְלָזֶה דַּעְתִּי נוֹטָה:

15

When a plaintiff claims: "You owe me a maneh and a utensil" and the defendant responds: "I owe you only the utensil. Here it is," the defendant is not required to take a Scriptural oath. He must, however, take a sh'vuat heset that this is all he owes him.

If the owner of the utensil claims that the utensil the defendant seeks to give him is not his own, the defendant must include in his oath that the utensil belongs to the plaintiff. If the defendant admits that this utensil is not the plaintiff's, but was exchanged for it, he is obligated to take an oath.

Whenever we have mentioned above that the defendant is not obligated, the intent is that he is not obligated to take a Scriptural oath. He is, however, obligated to take a sh'vuat heset as we explained on several occasions.

טו

מָנֶה וּכְלִי יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֶלָּא הַכְּלִי וְהֵא לְךָ. הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר וְנִשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת שֶׁאֵין לוֹ אֶצְלוֹ אֶלָּא זֶה. אָמַר בַּעַל הַכְּלִי אֵין זֶה הַכְּלִי כּוֹלֵל בִּשְׁבוּעָתוֹ שֶׁזֶּה כֶּלְיוֹ. הוֹדָה הַנִּטְעָן שֶׁאֵין זֶה כֶּלְיוֹ וְנִתְחַלֵּף לוֹ בְּאַחֵר הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב שְׁבוּעָה. כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בְּעִנְיָן זֶה פָּטוּר הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר מִשְּׁבוּעַת הַתּוֹרָה וְחַיָּב שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ כַּמָּה פְּעָמִים:

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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