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Sa’if 25, Mechaber: If before taking a Shevuat Heiset oath that he does not owe the plaintiff any money, the defendant asks the court to require the plaintiff to revoke all witnesses who might testify against the defendant, the court will not accede to his request.

Ner Eyal: We have seen in Sa’if 24 that if a defendant is concerned that if he takes the Shevuat Heiset oath of denial the plaintiff will then produce a promissory note, the defendant may ask the court to require the plaintiff to revoke any promissory note ever issued to him by the defendant. This will render any note the plaintiff may subsequently produce null and void and remove the defendant’s fear that he will have to pay despite having taken the Shevuat Heiset oath of denial.

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Although the court will require the plaintiff to revoke all such promissory notes, it will not, at the request of the defendant, require the plaintiff to revoke all witnesses who might testify in favor of the plaintiff after the defendant takes the Shevuat Heiset oath of denial, unless the defendant can name those witnesses. If he can, the plaintiff must either bring them to court to testify against the defendant before the defendant takes the Shevuat Heiset oath of denial or revoke such witnesses.

But if the defendant cannot name the plaintiff’s witnesses, he cannot ask the court to require the plaintiff to revoke any witness who might testify in his favor before taking the Shevuat Heiset oath. Whereas a plaintiff can be expected to know whether or not a promissory note is in his possession, he cannot be expected to know who may come forward to testify in his favor.

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Raphael Grunfeld received semicha in Yoreh Yoreh from Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem of America and in Yadin Yadin from Maran Hagaon Harav Dovid Feinstein, Shlitah. A partner at the Wall Street law firm of Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP, where he specializes in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, Raphael is the author of “Ner Eyal, a Guide to Seder Nashim, Nezikin, Kodashim, Taharot and Zerayim” (2016) and “Ner Eyal, a Guide to the Laws of Shabbat and Festivals in Seder Moed” (2001), both of which are available for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/dp/057816731X Questions for the author can be sent to rafegrunfeld@gmail.com