web analytics
November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Half The Truth!

Business-Halacha-logo

“Today we will continue learning about oaths,” Rabbi Dayan began his shiur. “Does anyone remember what we learned last lesson? How many cases are there in which the Torah imposes an oath in beis din?”

Sruli raised his hand. “You taught us that there are three cases,” he answered, “but we only discussed one.”

“Very good,” said Rabbi Dayan. “The first case we discussed was an oath to contradict the testimony of a single witness. Can anybody tell me another case in which the Torah imposes an oath?”

Dani raised his hand. “There’s also something called modeh b’miktzas,” he replied, “but I’m not exactly sure what that case is.”

“That’s correct; let’s explain,” said Rabbi Dayan. “Modeh b’miktzas is a case in which there is a partial admission.”

“What do you mean by a partial admission?” asked Sruli. “Either you admit or you don’t!”

“There’s also a possibility of a partial admission,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “Let’s say that someone claims he loaned you $500. You admit he loaned you $200, but deny the remaining $300, and there are no witnesses. This is called a partial admission, since you admit $200 out of the $500. What is the ruling here? Can you help us, Dani?”

“Since you admit the claim partially,” answered Dani, “you require an oath to exonerate yourself from the remaining $300.”

“Beautiful,” said Rabbi Dayan. “We suspect that you might have borrowed the full amount, but can only pay part and are trying to buy time to pay the remainder. The oath will force you to admit the full truth or confirm your claim.” (B.M. 3b)

“And if I don’t want to take the oath?” asked Sruli.

“Then you have to come to a compromise agreement with the plaintiff or pay the $300,” said Rabbi Dayan.

Sruli sank into thought for a moment. He recalled something that just happened. Before Purim, a seforim store had given him some boxes of Megillas Esther with commentaries to sell in his shul and yeshiva. He had picked up the seforim and taken then home in friend’s car. He then moved them to a room in the yeshiva, and from there to the shul. The seforim store owner said there were ten boxes, 200 seforim in all, but Sruli could only account for nine boxes.

“It seems one box is missing,” he told the storeowner. “Are you sure that you gave me all 200 copies?”

“Absolutely,” said the storeowner. “Why do you ask?”

“One box is missing. I’m not sure whether you made a mistake or I lost it somewhere along the way,” said Sruli. He tried to remember whether he had taken the right number of boxes, but couldn’t.

The storeowner wanted him to pay for all 200 copies, but Sruli had refused to pay for more than the nine boxes. “Prove to me that you gave me all 200 copies,” he had insisted. “You have no evidence at all; it’s your word alone. You can’t make me pay just based on your word.”

Sruli now wondered whether he was correct. After all, he acknowledged having received nine out the ten boxes.

“What happens if the borrower can’t swear because he doesn’t remember whether he borrowed $500 or $200?” Sruli finally asked Rabbi Dayan. “Can he swear that he remembers only $200?”

“That touches on a fascinating concept: mitoch she’aino yachol lishava – meshalem (since he is unable to swear, he must pay),” replied Rabbi Dayan. “The partial admission gives credence to the plaintiff’s claim, if not countered with an oath, so the defendant must pay. The same applies when there is a single witness; if the defendant cannot swear to contradict his testimony, he must pay.” (C.M. 75:12-13)

“I guess I’m going to have to pay for all the boxes,” Sruli said to himself.

“What if the defendant doesn’t remember whether he borrowed at all?” asked Dani. “I know the sages imposed an oath (shevuas heses) even if the person denies having received the loan entirely. Would we also say here that since I don’t remember I have to pay?”

“No, this is one of the differences between a Torah-imposed oath and one imposed by the sages,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “The rule of mitoch she’aino yachol lishava meshalem is applied only to a Torah-imposed oath. Thus, a person who admits partially but does not remember clearly enough to swear about the remainder must pay, whereas a person who does remember whether he borrowed does not have to pay. The sages allowed him to swear that he does not remember.” (C.M. 75:13-14)

About the Author: Rabbi Meir Orlian is a faculty member of the Business Halacha Institute, headed by HaRav Chaim Kohn, a noted dayan. To receive BHI’s free newsletter, Business Weekly, send an e-mail to subscribe@businesshalacha.com. For questions regarding business halacha issues, or to bring a BHI lecturer to your business or shul, call the confidential hotline at 877-845-8455 or e-mail ask@businesshalacha.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Half The Truth!”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The Holy Ark in the Knesset synagogue.
Knesset Synagogue Bars Reform and Conservative Jews from ‘Mixed Prayer’
Latest Judaism Stories
Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

The Jew, from the perspective of the name Yaakov, is dependent on the non-Jewish world. This can be seen today in the relationship between the State of Israel and the United States

Lessons-Emunah-logo

Yet, ultimately, looking back, these “setbacks” turned out to be really for the patient’s best – for the good.

Business-Halacha-logo

In the afternoon, he reached into his pocket to check for the money, but it was empty. “The $50 bill must have fallen out,” Alex exclaimed. “It’s got to be in one of the rooms I was just at.”

Although the conversion ceremony involves more than circumcision and immersion, these are the two essential requirements, without which the conversion is ineffective.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Rashi in Shabbos 9b writes that the reason why the tefillah of Ma’ariv is a reshus is because it was instituted corresponding to the burning of the eimurim from the korbanos – which was performed at night.

It almost sounds as if Hashem is saying, “I have to keep Yaakov from getting too comfortable; otherwise he will forget Me. I can’t promise him sustenance because then he won’t need Me. He won’t write. He won’t call. He won’t love Me anymore.”

The Decree Of 1587
“Two Kabs Of Dinars Were Given…To King Yanai”
(Yevamos 61a)

Simply too many cases of prayers being answered to deny it makes a difference to our fate. It does.

Prayer is our language: Hakol kol Yaakov – the voice is the voice of Jacob – the voice of prayer.

Jacob cries, overcome by the knowledge that his great love for Rachel will end in unbearable pain.

There’s a perfect mirror between Jacob running away from Esav to when he reunites with his brother.

Yitzhak called you Esav and you answered him, then he called you Yaakov and you also answered him!”

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

In the afternoon, he reached into his pocket to check for the money, but it was empty. “The $50 bill must have fallen out,” Alex exclaimed. “It’s got to be in one of the rooms I was just at.”

Business-Halacha-logo

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

“That’s what I thought, so I returned the money to Aharon,” said Reuven. “But this morning, Shimon, who owes me $70, told me he left $70 for me under the table last week! Now I don’t know whether the $70 was connected to the note, and was Aharon’s for the purchase of sefarim, or was repayment to me from Shimon, unrelated to the note.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Ross picked up the bris kit. While driving home, he was stopped by armed thugs. They forced him out of the car and drove off with the bris kit inside.

“ ‘We’re almost out of stamps,’ I said. ‘I’ll be happy to run over to the post office and pick up a supply.’ ”

Noach felt a tug, and then heard a rip. His jacket had been caught on the nail, and the beautiful suit had a tear.

Shimon started adjusting the branches on the roof. In doing so, a branch fell off the other side of the car and hit the side-view mirror, cracking it.

Some seforim on a nearby bookcase toppled over and knocked the esrog out of Lev’s hand. It fell to the ground and a piece broke off.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/half-the-truth/2013/02/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: