The story regarding idol worshippers trying to get regarding in the World to Come continues and at the end God gives them one last chance but they blow it. The gemara tangents to discuss what God’s daily schedule is and then discusses the importance of learning Torah.
The mishna forbids all sorts of business dealings with idol worshippers three days before their holidays. Rav and Shmuel discuss the exact spelling of the word used for holidays – “eidaihem” – is it with an aleph or ayin and from which verse in the Torah is the term learned from? One of the verses mentioned is the subject of a long agada about the nations coming before God in the World to Come looking to get rewarded for Torah and God reprimanding them for never having kept the Torah. Various claims are mentioned trying to justify why they didn’t keep the Torah.
Oath of the bailees are discussed – the bailee is not responsible on a case where one took a false oath that either didn’t change the level of responsibility or obligated one instead of exempting one. The gemara discusses if the person is exempt from responsibility in these cases from an oath of the bailees, would one be responsible for an oath of expression, as one expressed an untruth, even if it had no financial repercussions.
Rav and Shmuel held that orphans can’t collect a loan of their parent’s from other orphans if the parent of the debtor died first as a parent can’t pass an oath on to one’s children. Rabbi Elazar disagrees with them. The rabbis in later generations tried to override Rav and Shmuel’s opinion without success but managed to limit it in various ways. Can one do a gilgul shvua in a case where the oath is a rabbinic oath?
What does one do in a case where both sides are not allowed to take an oath? There is a debate in the mishna and there is a further debate in the mishna how to explain one of the opinions in the gemara. The two opinions are attributed by Rabbi Ami to Israel and Babylonia and Rav Pappa proves which specific rabbis in Babylonia and Israel match the opinions. Shimon ben Tarfon makes a few statements regarding associating with the right people and not with the wrong ones. The gemara discusses the case of the storekeeper who was asked to pay someone’s workers and the workers claim they never got paid and the storekeeper claims he paid them. The gemara raises a question whether Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi agreed with the opinion in the mishna that each swear and get paid by the employer? A case is raised of two groups of witnesses who contradict each other in court – are they believed to testify in a different case or since we know that one for sure lied, do we not accept other testimony of theirs. 4 options of cases are brought and one is compared to the case of the workers and the storekeeper.
The mishna continues its list of cases where oaths were instituted by the rabbis. The gemara explains why the worker is believed to say he/she didn’t get paid. However this halacha is qualified as only applying in a case where the time in which the worker should have been paid hasn’t passed yet – once that time passes, there is an assumption that the employer paid the worker. Shmuel and Rav both hold that the worker can swear only if there were witnesses that saw the worker being hired. If not, the employer can claim he/she never hired the worker at all and therefore is believed by saying the worker was already paid because of a “migo.” Rava disagrees with this.
Does Shmuel’s opinion fit into a tannatic argument? 2 such arguments are brought but are rejected as the basis for their argument can be something else. Various oaths were instituted by the rabbis in unique cases to allow one to take an oath in order to receive a payment (the claimant), even though generally oaths are meant to exempt one from payment (for the defendant). These cases are the subject of the mishna.
What categories of items are excluded from oaths of the judges? How is this derived from the Torah? What is the argument between Rabbi Meir and the rabbis in the mishna regarding items that are or are not considered like land (to exempt from oaths)? Another criterion for oaths is that it must be regarding an item that is measurable – the gemara explains the cases described in the mishna relating to this and Rava and abaye debate a particular case. If one loans money with collateral and the item gets lost, what type of responsibility does the creditor assume for the item? What if the creditor and debtor disagree regarding the value of the lost item? Shmuel holds that the creditor no longer owes any money even if the item is worth significantly less than the loan. How does his opinion work with the mishna?
Various cases are brought where stipulations were made by either the creditor or the debtor and the gemara discusses what happened when the condition wasn’t exactly fulfilled but the loan was returned – who is believed. The gemara tries to resolve the contradiction in the mishna that one can’t swear for a minor and yet it also says that one can swear to a minor.
Even though the Torah doesn’t demand one take an oath if one entirely denies a claim against him/her, the rabbis obligated one to take an oath (shvuat heset). The gemara tries to figure out the difference between an oath that the Torah demands and one that the rabbis instituted. In what cases can a creditor insist that the debtor return the money in front of witnesses and if one did not, then one’s claim that the money was already paid back is ignored completely. Two different versions of Rav Asi are brought as well as two different versions of Shmuel’s opinion are brought. Their opinions are questioned in light of our mishna and explained.