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Talmud Study - Lesson 12

Resolving Rav Huna's Oath (Part 2)

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Talmud Study - Lesson 12: Resolving Rav Huna's Oath (Part 2)

In this second-to-last class of this series, we finally lay to rest all the objections raised against "Rav Huna's Oath."
Lesson 12: Handout  
Lesson 12: Talmud Text  
Lesson 12: Talmud Text in English  
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Bava Metzia, Talmud

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Eli Maine February 12, 2022

I love this series! I've watched many of the classes several times. Finding this material was a huge part of me connecting with Judaism and my subsequent conversion. Thank you for being an engaging teacher, Rabbi Wolf! Reply

Stanley August 26, 2019

I would be grateful for your help. Does a witness have to make an oath? If yes is there not a possibility that he is lying and that a later date there maybe evidence that proves he was lying? Reply

Rabbi EK for August 30, 2019
in response to Stanley :

See Dvarim 19:16-21 and Rambam laws of Edut chapter 18: Reply

Anonymous Monreal March 6, 2011

Super I also Iike the frankness and clarity with which you present the classes and the ilustrations, THANK YOU. Reply

Michael Basel, Switzerland January 8, 2011

thank you and please continue...... Dear Rabbi Wolf,

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I was looking for something like this. I appreciate your clearleness and keeness in bringing Torah to people who didn't have the merit to go to a yeshiva.

May you continue doing good deeds, and Chaba please continue with this.... Reply

Eliezer Wolf NY July 14, 2010

To Tony, Alvin, and everyone Don't get lost. Stay tuned to future courses, coming soon! Reply

Tony Brown Albuquerque, NM USA July 10, 2010

Talmud for beginers I have enjoyed thses classes very much. I'm going to feel lost without them. Can we go on to Talmud for second level? Reply

Eliezer Wolf NY July 14, 2010

To Maria Thank you for your feedback.

I'm happy that you are benefiting from these classes. Reply

Maria Martinez Monte Vista, Colorado July 9, 2010

Talmud For Beginners Lesson 12 Rabbi, I enjoyed this lesson very much. I learned new things. I am looking forward to the next lesson. Thank you very much. Reply

Eliezer Wolf July 14, 2010

To Luther In one of the classes we discussed that there is a dispute in the Talmud over whether the lender has the status of a paid or unpaid guardian over the collateral that he is safeguarding.

If he is considered an unpaid guardian, then so long as negligence was not a factor in the disappearance of the item, then the borrower still needs to repay the entire loan.

If, however, we consider the lender as a paid guardian, then he is responsible for theft, etc., and so the value of the collateral is deducted from the loan owed by the borrower.

As mentioned, the Mishnah cited in our Talmud can only be understood in the context of considering the lender as having the status of a paid guardian. Reply

luther nashman ny, ny/usa July 8, 2010

Lesson 12 question for Rabbi Wolf Basic question Since the purpose of collateral is to protect the lender from default by the borrower, what is the responsibility of the borrower if his collateral is stolen? Does he have to pay back his entire loan to the lender? Or nothing? Reply

Eliezer Wolf July 14, 2010

To Joshua You and I, living in the year 5770 (2010 CE), feel that if this would have indeed been the intention of the Mishnah's query, then it should have written it explicitly.

However, for a Sage living in the first few centuries of the Common Era, the Mishnah is very clear as it is.

It might be hard for us to appreciate it, but think about this: When you ask your friend "what time is it?", what is the intention of that question? What time is what? What/who is "it"?

Yet somehow, in the process of the evolution of the English language and all its slang usages, everybody today knows that the "it" mentioned in the question is a reference to the here and now, as if to say "what time is it now?"

But imagine asking this question to someone in the early days of English speakers. Someone from those times might respond "What time is what? My date tonight? My meeting tomorrow?"

So language evolves. At all times, new usages/intentions of words are being created.

Any clearer now? Reply

Joshua Kleinmaster Belmont, MA July 8, 2010

A bit of a stretch in reading the Mishnah? How can we say that the Mishnah meant "who should make the oath first?" when it definitely seems to ask "who should make the oath?" It wouldn't be hard to make that distinction if the Mishnah had wanted to - it seems, at least on the surface, that it did not. That is solves some of the other problems does not make it an intuitive reading, which it does not seem to be. (Of course, I am disagreeing with scholars more knowledgeable than I, but I have to either way...) The same way the person asking "why" about the dress could easily clarify what they meant or were referring to, so could the Mishnah if it had wanted to, or so it seems. Reply

Mr. Richard Raff July 7, 2010

Lesson 12 Great lesson this keeps getting more inviting every time, don't you think? In my mind view this lesson goes to prove that there can be a magician in every circumstance. Just trying to get the possession to appear can be the real trick. Odd enough i want to name my son after one of those sages mentioned by Rabbi Wolf. The name came to me after listening to some mp3s on the Torah(Audio Bible). The combination of Hebrew and Yiddish has a very powerful meaning that just feels right, another superb job and solid presentation. Reply

alvin lazarus boynton beach, fl July 5, 2010

Lesson 11 At first, the lessons of the Talmud seem obsolete for today's times. But a closer look reveals we need these lessons more than ever! Please continue to give us these insights for many years to come Reply

Maria Martinez Monte Vista, Colorado July 2, 2010

Talmud for Beginners Lesson 11 Pt.1 Todah Rabbi for the very exciting class. I enjoyed it and learned new things. I am looking forward to Lesson 12. Have a good Shabbos. Reply

These Talmud classes will be studying and analyzing the third chapter of tractate Bava Metzia, which presents the Jewish approach in many matters of civil law, particularly vis-à-vis the different degrees of liability assumed by guardians, renters and borrowers.
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