web analytics
August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
Bibi conf call
Bibi: ‘Keep or Cheat,’ This Deal Will Give Iran the Bomb
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

By internalizing the Exodus, it is as if we ourselves were redeemed from Egypt.

Neihaus-073115

Each Shabbos we add the tefilla of “Ritzei” to Birchas HaMazon. In it we ask Hashem that on this day of Shabbos He should be pleased with us and save us. What exactly do we want to be saved from? Before we answer this question, let’s talk about this Friday, the 15th of Av. Many […]

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Amongst the greatest disagreements in Judaism is the understanding of the 1st of the 10 Commandments

Daf-Yomi-logo

The Day He Heard
‘One May Seek Revocation Of A Confimation’
(Nedarim 69a)

The director picked up the phone to Rabbi Dayan. “One of our counselors lost his check,” he said. “Do we have to issue a new one or is it his loss?”

Six events occurred on Tu B’Av, the 15th of Av, making it a festive day in the Jewish calendar.

Why would Moshe Rabbeinu have thought that the vow that disallowed him to enter Eretz Yisrael was annulled simply because he was allowed to conquer and enter the land of Sichon and Og?

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Snow in Jerusalem! For many New Englanders like me, snow pulls at our nostalgic heartstrings like nothing else can.

Man has conflicting wishes and desires. Man has forces pulling him in competing directions.

Perhaps the admonition here is that we should not trivialize the events of the past by saying that they are irrelevant to the modern Jew.

One must view the settlement of Israel in a positive light. Thinking otherwise is a grievous sin.

Reaching a stronger understanding of what Moses actually did to prevent him from entering the land

Anti-Zionism, today’s anti-Semitism, has gone viral, tragically supported globally & by many Jews

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-NEW

The director picked up the phone to Rabbi Dayan. “One of our counselors lost his check,” he said. “Do we have to issue a new one or is it his loss?”

Business-Halacha-NEW

The two decided to approach Rabbi Dayan. “What is the halachic status of conquered territory?” asked Shalom.

“Does that mean a person can simply renege after payment was made?” asked Benjy incredulously.

“But I’m already dwelling in the apartment,” said Mr. Gold. “Shouldn’t that count? I’m no worse than a neighbor!”

“Is there a difference between rescuing and other services?” asked Ploni.

“What difference does that make?” replied Shraga. “What counts is the agreement that we made. I said two hundred fifty and you accepted.”

“Is the invoice signed by the students?” asked the principal. “They said they didn’t get the pizza.”

“The answer depends on the terms of the purchase agreement and local customs,” replied Rabbi Dayan.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: