1

When a person takes an oath that so-and-so threw a stone into the sea and he did not do so, or [he took an oath that] he did not throw it and he did, he is liable for taking a [false] sh'vuat bitui. [This applies] even though there is no [possibility of him taking such an oath] with regard to the future.1 For he cannot take an oath that so-and-so will throw [an article] or will not throw it.

[Indeed,] any person who takes an oath with regard to other people's [conduct - that they will or will not perform a particular activity is not liable for taking a [false] sh'vuat bitui. [This applies even if the person concerned] is his son or wife. For it is not within his potential to keep or nullify the oath. He is given stripes for rebellious conduct since it is not within his potential to keep this oath. Thus he is causing an oath to be taken in vain.2

א

מִי שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּע שֶׁזָּרַק אִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי צְרוֹר לַיָּם וְהוּא לֹא זָרַק. אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא זָרַק וְהוּא זָרַק. הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב בִּשְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ בִּלְהַבָּא שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהִשָּׁבַע שֶׁיִּזְרֹק וְשֶׁלֹּא יִזְרֹק אִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי. וְכָל מִי שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּע עַל אֲחֵרִים שֶׁיַּעֲשׂוּ כָּךְ וְכָךְ אוֹ לֹא יַעֲשׂוּ אֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ בָּנָיו אוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב בִּשְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי. שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין בְּיָדוֹ לֹא לְקַיֵּם וְלֹא לְבַטֵּל. וּמַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין בְּיָדוֹ לְקַיֵּם שְׁבוּעָה זוֹ וְנִמְצָא גּוֹרֵם לִשְׁבוּעַת שָׁוְא:

2

Why isn't he liable for lashes for taking an oath in vain? For it is possible for those other people to heed his [words] and keep his oath. Thus when he is given a warning at the time he takes the oath, the warning is of doubtful status. In such an instance, one is not given lashes because of it unless the prohibition is explicitly stated in the Torah, as will be explained in Hilchot Sanhedrin.3 Other people are not bound to fulfill the words of the person who took the oath unless they responded Amen, as we explained.4

ב

וְלָמָּה אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּעַת שָׁוְא שֶׁהֲרֵי אֶפְשָׁר לְאוֹתָן אֲחֵרִים שֶׁיִּשְׁמְעוּ מִמֶּנּוּ וְתִתְקַיֵּם שְׁבוּעָתוֹ. וְנִמְצָא כְּשֶׁמַּתְרִים בּוֹ בְּעֵת שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּע הַתְרָאַת סָפֵק שֶׁאֵין לוֹקִין עָלֶיהָ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיָה לָאו שֶׁבּוֹ מְפֹרָשׁ בַּתּוֹרָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת סַנְהֶדְרִין. וְאֵין אוֹתָן אֲחֵרִים נִזְקָקִין לְקַיֵּם דִּבְרֵי זֶה הַנִּשְׁבָּע אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן עָנוּ אָמֵן כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

3

If they fulfilled his words,5 they are praiseworthy, for [in this manner,] they did not habituate [the person who took the oath] to take an oath in vain.6

ג

וְאִם קִיְּמוּ דְּבָרָיו הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מְשֻׁבָּחִין שֶׁלֹּא הִרְגִּילוּ לְהוֹצִיא שְׁבוּעָה לַשָּׁוְא:

4

When does the above apply? When he took an oath concerning a matter that was not in his domain. For example, Reuven took an oath that Shimon would not go on a commercial journey, not eat meat, or the like.7 [Different laws apply,] however, should Reuven take an oath that Shimon may not enter his home and may not derive any benefit from his property. If Shimon transgressed and entered Reuven's house and benefited from his property without Reuven's knowledge, Reuven is exempt, for [his oath was violated] due to forces beyond his control.8 Shimon is liable, for he performed a deed prohibited to him. For Reuven took an oath only with regard to a matter within his property.9 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

ד

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁנִּשְׁבַּע עַל דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ. כְּגוֹן שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּע רְאוּבֵן עַל שִׁמְעוֹן שֶׁלֹּא יֵלֵךְ בִּסְחוֹרָה אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יֹאכַל בָּשָׂר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. אֲבָל אִם נִשְׁבַּע רְאוּבֵן שֶׁלֹּא יִכָּנֵס שִׁמְעוֹן בְּבֵיתוֹ וְשֶׁלֹּא יֵהָנֶה מִנְּכָסָיו וְעָבַר שִׁמְעוֹן וְנִכְנַס לְבֵיתוֹ שֶׁל רְאוּבֵן וְנֶהֱנָה מִנְּכָסָיו שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעַת רְאוּבֵן רְאוּבֵן פָּטוּר שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא אָנוּס וְשִׁמְעוֹן חַיָּב שֶׁעָבַר עַל דָּבָר הָאָסוּר לוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ. שֶׁלֹּא נִשְׁבַּע זֶה אֶלָּא עַל דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

5

[When a person says: "I am taking] an oath that I will not eat," and he ate, but he ate articles that were not fit to be eaten10 or drank beverages that were not fit to be drunk, he is exempt.11 If he partook of foods that are forbidden to be eaten by the Torah, for example, he ate an olive-sized portion of a nevelah,12 a trefe,13 teeming animals, or creeping animals, he is not liable for a [false] sh'vuat bitui.14

[When a person says: "I am taking] an oath that I will eat," and he ate articles that were not fit to be eaten or drank beverages that were not fit to be drunk, or he partook of a nevelah, a trefe, or the like, he is not liable for a false sh'vuat bitui. He is considered to have fulfilled [his commitment to] eat. Since they are important in his eyes, eating them is considered as eating.15

ה

שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁלֹּא אֹכַל וְאָכַל אֳכָלִין שֶׁאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לַאֲכִילָה וְשָׁתָה מַשְׁקִים שֶׁאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לִשְׁתִיָּה פָּטוּר. אָכַל דְּבָרִים הָאֲסוּרִין מִן הַתּוֹרָה בַּאֲכִילָה כְּגוֹן שֶׁאָכַל כְּזַיִת נְבֵלוֹת וּטְרֵפוֹת שְׁקָצִים וּרְמָשִׂים פָּטוּר מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי. שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁאֹכַל וְאָכַל אֳכָלִין שֶׁאֵינָן רְאוּיִים לַאֲכִילָה וְשָׁתָה מַשְׁקִין שֶׁאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לִשְׁתִיָּה אוֹ שֶׁאָכַל נְבֵלוֹת וּטְרֵפוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן פָּטוּר מִשְּׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי שֶׁהֲרֵי יָצָא יְדֵי אֲכִילָה מֵאַחַר שֶׁהֵן חֲשׁוּבִין אֶצְלוֹ אֲכִילָתָן שְׁמָהּ אֲכִילָה:

6

[When a person said: "I am taking] an oath that I did not eat," and he ate articles that were not fit to be eaten or he partook of a nevelah or a trefe, he is liable. Eating them is considered eating, because they are important to him, as evidenced by his having eaten them.16 With regard to the future, by contrast, i.e., he took an oath that he would not eat and then in an extraordinary instance, he ate them, this is not considered eating, as we explained [above].

ו

שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁלֹּא אָכַלְתִּי וְהוּא אָכַל דְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לַאֲכִילָה אוֹ נְבֵלוֹת וּטְרֵפוֹת חַיָּב שֶׁאֲכִילָתָן שְׁמָהּ אֲכִילָה שֶׁכְּבָר הֵן חֲשׁוּבִין אֶצְלוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי אֲכָלָן. אֲבָל לְהַבָּא שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּע שֶׁלֹּא יֹאכַל וְנִקְרָה מִקְרֶה וַאֲכָלָן אֵינָהּ אֲכִילָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

7

[When a person says: "I am taking] an oath that I will not eat even the slightest amount of a nevelah or a trefe," and he ate less than an olive-sized portion, he is liable for taking a [false] oath, for he is not bound by an oath from Mount Sinai17 for half the measure [which makes him liable].18

ז

שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁלֹּא אֹכַל כָּל שֶׁהוּא מִנְּבֵלוֹת וּטְרֵפוֹת וְאָכַל פָּחוֹת מִכְּזַיִת חַיָּב בִּשְׁבוּעָה שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינוֹ מֻשְׁבָּע עַל חֲצִי שִׁעוּר מֵהַר סִינַי:

8

[When a person says: "I am taking] an oath that I will eat even less than an olive-sized portion of a nevelah or a trefe," he may be liable for taking a false sh'vuat bitui.19

[When a person says: "I am taking] an oath that I will not eat earth and the like from substances that are not fit to be eaten," if he eats an olive-sized portion, he is liable. If he ate less than an olive-sized portion, there is a doubt [concerning the ruling]. Perhaps he is liable even for [eating] the smallest amount. Since these substances are not usually eaten so that a full measure must be eaten [for him to be held liable].20

ח

שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁאֹכַל פָּחוֹת מִכְּזַיִת נְבֵלָה וּטְרֵפָה חַיָּב בִּשְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי. שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁלֹּא אֹכַל עָפָר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ מִדְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לַאֲכִילָה אִם אָכַל כְּזַיִת חַיָּב. אָכַל פָּחוֹת מִכְּזַיִת הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק שֶׁמָּא יִתְחַיֵּב בְּכָל שֶׁהוּא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין זֶה דַּרְכּוֹ לַאֲכִילָה כְּדֵי לְהַצְרִיכוֹ שִׁעוּר:

9

Similarly, when one takes an oath that he would not eat grape seeds and he eats less than an olive-sized portion, there is a doubt [concerning his liability].21If the one taking the oath was a nazirite who is forbidden to eat an olive-sized portion of grape seeds,22 he is not liable for a [false] sh'vuat bitui if he ate less than an olive-sized portion. [The rationale is that] his intent in taking the oath is only concerning the olive-sized portion for which he is already liable and [hence] the oath does not take effect.23 Therefore if one said: "[I am taking] an oath that I will not eat even one grape seed," and ate it, he is liable.24

ט

וְכֵן הַנִּשְׁבָּע שֶׁלֹּא לֶאֱכל חַרְצָן וְאָכַל מִמֶּנּוּ פָּחוֹת מִכְּזַיִת הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק. הָיָה הַנִּשְׁבָּע נָזִיר שֶׁהוּא אָסוּר בְּחַרְצָן בִּכְזַיִת וְאָכַל מִמֶּנּוּ פָּחוֹת מִכְּזַיִת אֵינוֹ חַיָּב בִּשְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי. שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין דַּעְתּוֹ בִּשְׁבוּעָתוֹ אֶלָּא עַל (כָּל) כְּזַיִת שֶׁהוּא מֻשְׁבָּע עָלָיו וְאֵין שְׁבוּעָה חָלָה עָלָיו. לְפִיכָךְ אִם פֵּרֵשׁ וְאָמַר שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁלֹּא אֹכַל חַרְצָן אֶחָד וַאֲכָלוֹ חַיָּב:

10

[When a person says: "I am taking] an oath that I will not eat dates, a nevelah or a trefe," and he ate an olive-sized portion of a nevelah or a trefe, he is liable also25 for [taking] a [false] sh'vuat bitui.26 For he included forbidden entities together with permitted entities. Since the oath took effect with regard to the dates, it also takes effect with regard to the forbidden entities, as we explained.27

י

שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁלֹּא אֹכַל תְּמָרִים וּנְבֵלוֹת וּטְרֵפוֹת וְאָכַל כְּזַיִת נְבֵלָה אוֹ טְרֵפָה חַיָּב אַף מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי שֶׁהֲרֵי כָּלַל דְּבָרִים הָאֲסוּרִין עִם דְּבָרִים הַמֻּתָּרִין. וּמִתּוֹךְ שֶׁחָלָה שְׁבוּעָה עַל הַתְּמָרִים חָלָה עַל דְּבָרִים הָאֲסוּרִים כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

11

If, however, a person took an oath that he would not eat a nevelah, a trefe, or the like,28 regardless of whether he partook of [the forbidden substance] or not, there is no obligation for an oath at all, neither a sh'vuat bitui,29 nor an oath taken in vain.30

יא

אֲבָל אִם נִשְׁבַּע שֶׁלֹּא יֹאכַל נְבֵלָה וּטְרֵפָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן בֵּין אָכַל בֵּין לֹא אָכַל אֵין כָּאן חִיּוּב שְׁבוּעָה כְּלָל לֹא שְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי וְלֹא שְׁבוּעַת שָׁוְא:

12

When a person takes an oath that he will partake of a nevelah, a trefe, or another similar substance forbidden by the Torah, he is liable for lashes for taking an oath in vain31 whether he partook of the substance or not.32

יב

נִשְׁבַּע שֶׁיֹּאכַל נְבֵלָה וּטְרֵפָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן מֵאִסּוּרֵי תּוֹרָה הֲרֵי זֶה לוֹקֶה מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּעַת שָׁוְא בֵּין אָכַל בֵּין לֹא אָכַל:

13

[When a person says: "I am taking] an oath that I will eat this loaf. [I am taking] an oath that I will not eat it," the second oath is an oath taken in vain, for he is commanded to eat it.33 He is liable for lashes for the second oath whether he partakes of [the loaf] or not.34 If he does not eat it,35 he is liable also for [not fulfilling] a sh'vuat bitui.36

יג

שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁאֹכַל כִּכָּר זוֹ שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁלֹּא אֹכָלֶנָּה הַשְּׁנִיָּה שְׁבוּעַת שָׁוְא שֶׁהֲרֵי מִצְוָה עָלָיו לְאָכְלָהּ וְלוֹקֶה עַל שְׁבוּעָה שְׁנִיָּה בֵּין אָכַל בֵּין לֹא אָכַל. וְאִם לֹא אֲכָלָהּ חַיָּב אַף בִּשְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי:

14

[When a person says: "I am taking] an oath that I will not eat this loaf. [I am taking] an oath that I will eat it," the second oath is an oath taken in vain, for he is forbidden to eat it.37 He is liable for lashes for the second oath whether he partakes of [the loaf] or not. If he eats it, he is liable also for [not fulfilling] a sh'vuat bitui.

Similarly, whenever one takes an oath to neglect a mitzvah and does not neglect it, he is exempt for [violating] a sh'vuat bitui.38 He is, however, liable for lashes for taking an oath in vain.39 He should perform the mitzvah that he took an oath to neglect.

יד

שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁלֹּא אֹכַל כִּכָּר זוֹ שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁאֹכָלֶנָּה. הַשְּׁנִיָּה שְׁבוּעַת שָׁוְא שֶׁהֲרֵי זוֹ אֲסוּרָה עָלָיו לְאָכְלָהּ וְלוֹקֶה עַל שְׁבוּעָה שְׁנִיָּה זוֹ בֵּין אֲכָלָהּ בֵּין לֹא אֲכָלָהּ. וְאִם אֲכָלָהּ לוֹקֶה אַף מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי. וְכֵן כָּל הַנִּשְׁבָּע לְבַטֵּל אֶת הַמִּצְוָה וְלֹא בִּטֵּל פָּטוּר מִשְּׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי וְלוֹקֶה מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּעַת שָׁוְא וְעוֹשֶׂה הַמִּצְוָה שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּע לְבַטְּלָהּ:

15

What is implied? For example, a person took an oath that he would not make a sukkah, he would not put on tefillin, he would not give charity, he is liable for lashes for taking an oath in vain.40 Similarly, [one is liable] if he takes an oath for a colleague that he will not give testimony that he knows or that he will not testify if he will know testimony, for he is commanded to testify.41 Similarly, if he tells a colleague: "[I am taking] an oath that I will never know testimony concerning you," it is an oath taken in vain, for it is not within his capacity [to be certain] that he will never know of testimony concerning him. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

טו

כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּע שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲשֶׂה סֻכָּה וְשֶׁלֹּא יִלְבַּשׁ תְּפִלִּין וְשֶׁלֹּא יִתֵּן צְדָקָה. וְכֵן הַנִּשְׁבָּע לַחֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁלֹּא אָעִיד לְךָ עֵדוּת זוֹ שֶׁאֲנִי יוֹדְעָהּ אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא אָעִיד לְךָ אִם אֵדַע לְךָ עֵדוּת הֲרֵי זֶה לוֹקֶה מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּעַת שָׁוְא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מְצֻוֶּה לְהָעִיד. וְכֵן הָאוֹמֵר לַחֲבֵרוֹ שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁלֹּא אֵדַע לְךָ עֵדוּת הֲרֵי זוֹ שְׁבוּעַת שָׁוְא שֶׁאֵין בְּיָדוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יֵדַע לוֹ עֵדוּת. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

16

When a person takes an oath to fulfill a mitzvah and fails to fulfill it, he is not liable for not fulfilling a sh'vuat bitui.42

What is implied? A person took an oath to make a lulav or a sukkah, to give charity, or to testify on behalf [of a colleague] if he knew testimony [that could affect him]. If he did not make [these articles], give [the charity], or testify, he is exempt for [not fulfilling his] sh'vuat bitui. For a sh'vuat bitui takes effect only with regard to matters left to one's choice - [i.e., matters that] if he wants to, he may perform and if he does not want to, he need not perform, as implied by [Leviticus 5:4]: "whether he will do harm or do good."

Therefore whenever anyone takes an oath to harm another person, he is exempt from a sh'vuat bitui, e.g., he takes an oath to strike so-and-so, to curse him, steal his money, or deliver him to the control of a man of force. [The rationale is that] he is commanded not to do [these things]. It appears to me that he is liable for lashes for taking an oath in vain.43

טז

נִשְׁבַּע לְקַיֵּם אֶת הַמִּצְוָה וְלֹא קִיֵּם פָּטוּר מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּע שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה לוּלָב אוֹ סֻכָּה אוֹ שֶׁיִּתֵּן צְדָקָה לְעָנִי אוֹ שֶׁיָּעִיד לוֹ אִם יֵדַע לוֹ עֵדוּת וְלֹא עָשָׂה וְלֹא נָתַן וְלֹא הֵעִיד הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי. שֶׁאֵין שְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי חָלָה אֶלָּא עַל דִּבְרֵי הָרְשׁוּת שֶׁאִם רָצָה עוֹשֶׂה וְאִם לֹא רָצָה אֵינוֹ עוֹשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ה ד) "לְהָרַע אוֹ לְהֵיטִיב". לְפִיכָךְ כָּל הַנִּשְׁבָּע לְהָרַע לַאֲחֵרִים פָּטוּר מִשְּׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי כְּגוֹן שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּע שֶׁיַּכֶּה אֶת פְּלוֹנִי אוֹ יְקַלְּלֶנּוּ אוֹ יִגְזל מָמוֹנוֹ אוֹ יִמְסְרֶנּוּ בְּיַד אַנָּס מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מְצֻוֶּה שֶׁלֹּא לַעֲשׂוֹת. וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁהוּא לוֹקֶה מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּעַת שָׁוְא:

17

If a person took an oath to harm himself, e.g., he took an oath to inflict injury upon himself, the oath takes effect even though he is not allowed to do so.44If he does not harm himself, he is liable for [not fulfilling] a sh'vuat bitui.

If he took an oath to help others with regard to a matter with which he could help them,45 e.g., to speak to the ruling authorities or to show him honor, the oath takes effect. If he transgresses and does not carry out [his promise], he is liable for [not fulfilling] a sh'vuat bitui.

יז

נִשְׁבַּע לְהָרַע לְעַצְמוֹ כְּגוֹן שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּע שֶׁיַּחֲבל בְּעַצְמוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי שְׁבוּעָה חָלָה עָלָיו. וְאִם לֹא הֵרַע לְעַצְמוֹ חַיָּב מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי. נִשְׁבַּע לְהֵיטִיב לַאֲחֵרִים הֲטָבָה שֶׁבְּיָדוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹתָהּ כְּגוֹן שֶׁיְּדַבֵּר עָלָיו לַשִּׁלְטוֹן אוֹ יְכַבְּדֶנּוּ שְׁבוּעָה חָלָה עָלָיו. וְאִם עָבַר וְלֹא עָשָׂה חַיָּב מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי:

18

One who takes an oath not to eat matzah for a year or two is forbidden to eat matzah on the nights of Pesach.46 If he eats it, he is liable, for violating a sh'vuat bitui. This is not considered as an oath taken in vain, since he did not take an oath [specifically] not to eat matzah on the nights of Pesach. Instead, he included the times when eating matzah is a matter of choice together with those when it is a mitzvah. Since the oath takes effect with regard to the other days, it also takes effect with regard to Pesach. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations,47 e.g., one took an oath not to sit in the shade of a sukkah forever,48 or not to wear a garment for a year or two.49

יח

נִשְׁבַּע שֶׁלֹּא יֹאכַל מַצָּה שָׁנָה אוֹ שְׁנָתַיִם. הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר לֶאֱכל מַצָּה בְּלֵילֵי הַפֶּסַח וְאִם אָכַל חַיָּב מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי. וְאֵין זֶה שְׁבוּעַת שָׁוְא שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא נִשְׁבַּע שֶׁלֹּא יֹאכַל מַצָּה בְּלֵילֵי הַפֶּסַח אֶלָּא כָּלַל עִתִּים שֶׁאֲכִילַת מַצָּה בָּהֶם רְשׁוּת עִם עֵת שֶׁאֲכִילָתָהּ בּוֹ מִצְוָה וּמִתּוֹךְ שֶׁחָלָה שְׁבוּעָה עַל שְׁאָר הַיָּמִים חָלָה עַל לֵיל הַפֶּסַח. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. כְּגוֹן שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּע שֶׁלֹּא יֵשֵׁב בְּצֵל סֻכָּה לְעוֹלָם אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲלֶה עָלָיו בֶּגֶד שָׁנָה אוֹ שְׁנָתַיִם:

19

If one took an oath that he put on tefillin that day or did not put them on, or wrapped himself in tzitzit or did not wrap himself in them, he is taking a sh'vuat bitui with regard to the past.50 For he is describe something which happened. He is not taking an oath whether to fulfill or not to fulfill a mitzvah.

יט

נִשְׁבַּע שֶׁהֵנִיחַ תְּפִלִּין הַיּוֹם אוֹ לֹא הֵנִיחַ. שֶׁנִּתְעַטֵּף בְּצִיצִית אוֹ לֹא נִתְעַטֵּף. הֲרֵי זֶה שְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי לְשֶׁעָבַר. שֶׁזֶּה מַגִּיד דָּבָר שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה וְלֹא נִשְׁבַּע עַל הַמִּצְוָה לֹא לְקַיְּמָהּ וְלֹא לְבַטְּלָהּ:

20

If a person took an oath that he will not sleep for a three-day period, he will not eat for seven days, or the like, it is an oath taken in vain.51 We do not say that the person should remain awake until he is overcome by pain or fast until he is overcome by pain and [only] when he no longer has the strength to bear [the suffering], eat or sleep.52 Instead, he is liable for lashes53 immediately for taking an oath in vain. He may eat and sleep whenever he desires.54

כ

נִשְׁבַּע שֶׁלֹּא יִישַׁן שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים. אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יֹאכַל כְּלוּם שִׁבְעַת יָמִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה שֶׁהִיא שְׁבוּעַת שָׁוְא. אֵין אוֹמְרִין יֵעוֹר זֶה עַד שֶׁיִּצְטַעֵר וְיָצוּם עַד שֶׁיִּצְטַעֵר וְלֹא יִהְיֶה בּוֹ כֹּחַ לִסְבּל וְאַחַר כָּךְ יֹאכַל אוֹ יִישַׁן. אֶלָּא מַלְקִין אוֹתוֹ מִיָּד מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּעַת שָׁוְא וְיִישַׁן וְיֹאכַל בְּכָל עֵת שֶׁיִּרְצֶה:

21

When a person takes an oath that he saw a camel flying in the sky and when questioned: "How could you have taken an oath in vain?", he responded: "I saw a huge bird and because of its size, I called it a camel. This was my intent," [his words] are of no consequence. For when all people mention a camel that is their intent. His intention is nullified because of that of people at large55 and he is liable for lashes.56 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

כא

נִשְׁבַּע שֶׁרָאָה גָּמָל פּוֹרֵחַ בָּאֲוִיר. אָמְרוּ לוֹ הֵיאַךְ נִשְׁבַּעְתָּ לַשָּׁוְא וְאָמַר עוֹף גָּדוֹל רָאִיתִי וּמִגָּדְלוֹ קְרָאתִיו גָּמָל וְכָךְ הָיָה בְּדַעְתִּי אֵין זֶה כְּלוּם. שֶׁאֵין כָּל אָדָם קוֹרְאִין גָּמָל אֶלָּא לְגָמָל וּבָטְלָה דַּעְתּוֹ אֵצֶל כָּל אָדָם וְלוֹקֶה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

22

It is a known matter to the sages who are masters of wisdom and knowledge that the sun is 170 times greater than the earth.57 [Nevertheless,] if one of the common people takes an oath that the sun is greater than the earth, he is not liable for taking an oath in vain.58 For even though this is the fact, this concept is not known to people at large, only to great sages. One is liable [for an oath taken in vain] only when he takes an oath concerning a matter that is known and obvious to three ordinary people, e.g., [an oath that] a man is a man or a stone is a stone.

Similarly, when he takes an oath that the sun is smaller than the earth, he is not liable for lashes [for an oath taken in vain] although this is not the reality. For this matter is not known to all people.59 Such a person is not comparable to one who takes an oath that a man is a woman. For he took the oath according to his perception, for the sun looks small. Similar laws apply to other comparable concepts from the reckoning of the factors determining the calendar, astronomy, geometry, and other abstract concepts of the like that can be perceived only by other people.

כב

דָּבָר יָדוּעַ אֵצֶל הַחֲכָמִים בַּעֲלֵי שֵׂכֶל וּמַדָּע שֶׁהַשֶּׁמֶשׁ גְּדוֹלָה מִן הָאָרֶץ מֵאָה וְשִׁבְעִים פְּעָמִים. נִשְׁבַּע אֶחָד מִן הָעָם שֶׁהַשֶּׁמֶשׁ גְּדוֹלָה מִן הָאָרֶץ אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּעַת שָׁוְא שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַדָּבָר כֵּן הוּא אֵין דָּבָר זֶה גָּלוּי וְיָדוּעַ לְכָל הָעָם אֶלָּא לִגְדוֹלֵי הַחֲכָמִים בִּלְבַד. וְאֵינוֹ חַיָּב אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן נִשְׁבַּע עַל דָּבָר שֶׁגָּלוּי וְיָדוּעַ לִשְׁלֹשָׁה בְּנֵי אָדָם מִשְּׁאָר הָעָם כְּגוֹן אִישׁ שֶׁהוּא אִישׁ וְאֶבֶן שֶׁהוּא אֶבֶן. וְכֵן אִם נִשְׁבַּע שֶׁהַשֶּׁמֶשׁ קְטַנָּה מִן הָאָרֶץ אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין הַדָּבָר כֵּן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין זֶה יָדוּעַ לְכָל אָדָם וְאֵינוֹ כְּמִי שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּע עַל הָאִישׁ שֶׁהוּא אִשָּׁה שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא נִשְׁבַּע אֶלָּא עַל רְאִיַּת עֵינָיו שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא רוֹאֶה אוֹתָהּ קְטַנָּה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה מִדִּבְרֵי חֶשְׁבּוֹן תְּקוּפוֹת מַזָּלוֹת וְגִימַטְרִיָּאוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן מִדִּבְרֵי חָכְמָה שֶׁאֵין נִכָּרִין אֶלָּא לַאֲנָשִׁים אֲחֵרִים: