1

Whenever a person takes one of these four types of oaths under compulsion, he is exempt from all liability. This applies to a person who at the outset took a false oath because of factors beyond his control as we explained, one who took an oath and then was subjected to compulsion and was not given the opportunity to fulfill his oath, or he was compelled to take an oath by a man of force. Therefore one may take an oath when compelled to by robbers, potential murders, and tax collectors.

א

כל הנשבע שבועה מארבע מיני שבועות אלו באונס הרי זה פטור מכלום, ואחד הנשבע מתחלתו באונס כמו שבארנו, או שנשבע ונאנס ולא הניחוהו לקיים שבועתו, או שהשביעו אנס, לפיכך נשבעין לחרמין ולהורגין ולמוכסין.

2

To which tax collector did we refer? To a tax collector that assumed the position on his own, who takes money without the license of the king or who takes money with the king's license, but takes more for himself than the fixed measure, as explained in Hilchot Gezelah.

ב

באי זה מוכס אמרו, במוכס העומד מאליו שלוקח ממון שלא ברשות מלך המדינה, או שלוקח ברשות המלך אבל מוסיף לעצמו על הדבר הקצוב כמו שיתבאר בהלכות גזלה.

3

When a person is compelled to take an oath, to be exempt, while taking the oath, he must have the intent in his heart for the oath to apply to something for which he is exempt. Although generally, words in a person's heart are of no consequence, since he cannot express his intent because of the forces beyond his control, he can rely on the intent in his heart.

ג

וצריך הנשבע באונס להיות כונתו בלבו בעת השבועה לדבר הפוטרו, ואע"פ שהדברים אלו שבלב אינן דברים, הואיל ואינו יכול להוציא בשפתיו מפני האונס, הרי זה סומך על דברים שבלבו.

4

What is implied? One took an oath to a man of force that would not eat meat without qualifying his statement, it is permitted if in his heart, he had the intent that he was saying that he would not eat the meat of pigs, or that he would not eat meat that day. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

ד

כיצד כגון שנשבע לאנס שלא יאכל בשר סתם, ובלבו שלא יאכל היום או שלא יאכל בשר חזיר הרי זה מותר וכן כל כיוצא בזה.

5

Similarly, one is not liable for oaths involving exaggerations or unintentional oaths. What is meant by oaths involving exaggerations? A person saw vast armies and tall walls and he took an oath that "I saw the armies of King So-and-So and they are as vast as those who left Egypt," "I saw the wall of this-and-this city and it was as high as the heavens," or the like. He is exempt, because he did not resolve within his heart that this was the measure of the subject in question, no more and no less. His intent was only to describe the height of the wall or the multitude of the people.

ה

וכן שבועת הבאי ושל שגגות פטור עליהן, שבועת (של) הבאי כיצד כגון שראה חיילות גדולות וחומה גבוהה ונשבע שראיתי חיל פלוני המלך והם כיוצאי מצרים, ושראיתי חומת עיר פלונית גבוהה עד לרקיע וכיוצא בדברים אלו, שזה לא גמר בלבו שהדבר כך בלא פחות ולא יותר ולא נתכוון אלא לספר את גובה החומה או רוב העם. 1

6

What is meant by an oath taken inadvertently? With regard to a sh'vuat hapikadon or a sh'vuat ha'edut, it refers to a situation where the person forgot about the entrusted article or the testimony. He is entirely exempt, as we explained.

With regard to an oath taken in vain, it refers to a situation where the person took an oath not to wear tefilin, but did not know that tefilin are a mitzvah. With regard to a false oath, it refers to a situation where the person took an oath that he did not eat and then remembered that he did in fact eat, he took an oath that he would not eat and then forgot and ate, he took an oath that he would not give any satisfaction to his wife because she stole his wallet or beat his son and afterwards, he found out that she did not steal it or beat him. Similar concepts apply in all analogous situations.

ו

שבועה של שגגות כיצד, אם שבועת העדות או הפקדון היא כגון ששגג בפקדון ובעדות שהוא פטור מכלום כמו שבארנו, ואם שבועת שוא היא כגון שנשבע שלא ילבש תפילין ולא ידע שהתפילין מצוה, ואם שבועת שקר היא כגון שנשבע שלא אכל ונזכר שאכל, או שנשבע שלא יאכל ושכח ואכל, או שלא תהנה אשתו לו מפני שגנבה כיסו או שהכתה את בנו ונודע שלא גנבה ושלא הכתה וכן כל כיוצא בזה.

7

If so, what is a sh'vuat bitui taken inadvertently for which one is liable to bring an adjustable guilt offering with regard to the past? One took an oath that he did not eat although he knew that he in fact had eaten and he knew that it is forbidden to have taken this false oath, but he did not know that he is liable to bring a sacrifice for it. This is the inadvertent violation for which one is liable to bring an adjustable guilt offering for taking a sh'vuat bitui with regard to the past.

ז

אם כן אי זהו שגגת שבועת בטוי שחייבין עליה קרבן עולה ויורד לשעבר, כגון שנשבע שלא אכל והוא יודע שאכל, וששבועת שקר זו שנשבע אסורה אבל לא ידע שחייבין עליה קרבן, זו היא השגגה שחייבין עליה קרבן עולה ויורד בשבועת בטוי לשעבר.

8

What is meant by an inadvertent violation for which one is liable for an adjustable guilt offering for breaking an oath involving the future? For example, one took an oath that he would not eat bread from wheat and forgot and thought that he had taken an oath that he would eat bread from wheat and then ate it. In this instance, he became unaware of the content of the oath although he remembered the article concerning which he took the oath. This is an inadvertent violation of a sh'vuat bitui involving the future which obligates him to bring a sacrifice.

ח

וכיצד היא השגגה שחייבין עליה קרבן להבא, כגון שנשבע שלא יאכל פת חטים ושגג ודמה שנשבע שיאכל פת חטים ואכלה שזה נעלמה ממנו השבועה היאך היתה והרי הוא זוכר את החפץ שנשבע עליו, זו היא שגגת שבועת ביטוי להבא שחייבין עליה קרבן.

9

If, however, he took an oath that he would not eat bread from wheat and he ate bread from wheat thinking that it was made from barley, he is considered to have transgressed due to forces beyond his control and he is exempt. For he did not become unaware of the oath, but instead of the article concerning which he took the oath.

ט

אבל אם נשבע שלא יאכל פת חטים ואכל פת חטים על דעת שהוא פת שעורים הרי זה אנוס ופטור, שהרי לא נעלמה ממנו שבועה ולא נעלם ממנו אלא חפץ שנשבע עליו.

10

If he lost awareness of the oath he took and he lost awareness of the article concerning which he took the oath, he is not liable for a sacrifice.

What is implied? For example, one took an oath that he would not eat bread from wheat and thought that he had taken an oath that he would eat bread from wheat and ate bread from wheat thinking it was barley. He is not liable, because he became unaware of both the oath and the article it concerned. It is considered as if he he transgressed due to forces beyond his control.

י

נעלמה ממנו שבועה היאך היתה, ונעלם ממנו חפץ שנשבע עליו הרי זה פטור מן הקרבן, כיצד כגון שנשבע שלא לאכול פת חטים ודמה שנשבע שיאכל פת חטים ואכל פת חטים על דעת שהוא פת שעורים שהרי העלם שבועה וחפץ בידו הרי זה כאנוס ופטור.

11

The following laws apply if a person took an oath concerning a loaf of bread, swearing that he would not eat it and then suffered discomfort because of it. Should he eat the loaf because of his discomfort, because he thought that it is permitted for him to eat it because of discomfort, he is considered to have transgressed inadvertently. He is exempt from bringing a sacrifice, because he is not repenting because of his new knowledge. Instead, he knew that it was forbidden and ate it in error.

יא

נשבע על ככר שלא יאכלנו ונצטער עליו ואכלו מפני הצער והוא שוגג שהרי דמה שמותר לו לאכלו מפני הצער הרי זו פטור מן הקרבן לפי שאינו שב מידיעתו אלא ידע שאסורה היא ואכלה בטעות.