Let's finish Mishnayos in memory of those who were murdered in Israel.
Pledge Mishnayos
Mishnah.org Logo

Mishnayos Shevuos Perek 7 Mishnah 1

שבועות פרק ז׳ משנה א׳


All those who take an oath that is legislated by the Torah take an oath and do not pay. By Torah law, one takes an oath only in order to exempt himself from a monetary claim. And these litigants take a rabbinically instituted oath and receive possession of the disputed funds or property, i.e., their claim is upheld by means of the oath, even though they are not in possession of the property in question: A hired worker who claims that he has not received his wages; and one who was robbed and sues the person who robbed him; and one who was injured, who claims compensation from the person who injured him; and one whose opposing litigant is suspect with regard to the taking of an oath. When a person suspected of taking false oaths is liable to take an oath in order to exempt himself, the claimant takes an oath instead and receives payment. And a storekeeper relying on his ledger also takes an oath and is paid. How does this halakha apply to the hired worker? The case is where one says to his employer: Give me my wages that are still in your possession. The employer says: I already gave them to you. And that worker says: I have not received them. In such a case, the worker takes an oath that he has not received his wages, and he receives payment from his employer. Rabbi Yehuda says: This oath cannot be administered unless there is partial admission on the part of the employer. How so? The case is where the worker said to him: Give me my wages, fifty silver dinars, which are still in your possession. And the employer says: You have already received one golden dinar, which is worth twenty-five silver dinars. Since the employer has admitted that he owes part of the sum, the worker takes an oath and is paid the whole sum.

כָּל הַנִּשְׁבָּעִין שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה, נִשְׁבָּעִין וְלֹא מְשַׁלְּמִין. וְאֵלּוּ נִשְׁבָּעִין וְנוֹטְלִין, הַשָּׂכִיר, וְהַנִּגְזָל, וְהַנֶּחְבָּל, וְשֶׁכְּנֶגְדּוֹ חָשׁוּד עַל הַשְּׁבוּעָה, וְהַחֶנְוָנִי עַל פִּנְקָסוֹ. הַשָּׂכִיר כֵּיצַד, אָמַר לוֹ תֶּן לִי שְׂכָרִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִי בְיָדֶךָ, הוּא אוֹמֵר נָתַתִּי, וְהַלָּה אוֹמֵר לֹא נָטַלְתִּי, הוּא נִשְׁבָּע וְנוֹטֵל. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, עַד שֶׁתְּהֵא שָׁם מִקְצָת הוֹדָאָה. כֵּיצַד, אָמַר לוֹ תֶּן לִי שְׂכָרִי חֲמִשִּׁים דִּינָר שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִי בְיָדֶךָ, וְהוּא אוֹמֵר הִתְקַבַּלְתָּ דִינַר זָהָב:


כל הנשבעין. נשבעין ולא משלמין – The Torah did not institute for the person making a claim to take an oath and to take/regain their due, but rather for the one investigated that he takes an oath and does not pay, as it is written (Exodus 22:10): “[an oath before the LORD shall decide between the two of them that one has not laid hands on the property of the other;] the owner must acquiesce, and no restitution shall be made.” Whomever that it is upon him to pay is the one who must take an oath.

ואלו נשבעין ונוטלין – that the Sages established for them to take an oath and to regain their due. And all of this is explained further on in our Mishnah.

השכיר – The Sages established for him to take an oath and to take his due because the owner of the house/employer is preoccupied with all of his workers and does not remember. And these words are when he makes a claim at the present time. The hired day laborer (see Tractate Bava Metzia, Chapter 9, Mishnah 12) his present time is all day long that is after him , but if they made a claim against him after his time, the owner of the house takes an equitable oath (which is applied if one is sued for a debt, denies the later entirely (כופר הכל), in contradistinction to the legal oath which is required when the defendant admits a part of the time ( מודה במקצת) . It being presumed that nobody will go to the law unless he has a claim, it is a matter of equity to put the opponent to an oath, to which he may in return put the claimant (see Talmud Shevuot 40b) – that he paid him and departed, but if he had been hired without witnesses being present, also, the hired person cannot take an oath and take his due because he (i.e., the owner of the house/employer) can say to him: “I never hired you.” He also can say to him: “I hired you and gave you your wages.”

והוא אומר נתתי – but he said to him: “I stipulated/agreed upon two [Zuz] and he (i.e., the employer) says, “I stipulated for you only one (see Talmud Shevuot 45b). The owner takes the oath of the Torah that it is according to his words, and he only gives him one.

כל הנשבעין. נשבעין ולא משלמין. לא תקנה תורה לתובע לישבע וליטול, אלא לנתבע שישבע ולא ישלם, דכתיב (שמות כ״ב:י׳) ולקח בעליו ולא ישלם, מי שעליו לשלם הוא נשבע:

ואלו נשבעין ונוטלין. שתקנו להם חכמים לישבע וליטול. וכולהו מפרש להו לקמן במתניתין:

השכיר. תקנו לו חכמים לישבע וליטול, מפני שבעל הבית טרוד בפועליו ואינו נזכר. והני מילי כשתובעו בזמנו, שכיר יום זמנו כל הלילה שאחריו, ושכיר לילה זמנו כל היום שלאחריו. אבל תבעו לאחר זמנו, בעל הבית נשבע היסת שפרעו ונפטר. ואם שכרו שלא בעדים, נמי אין השכיר נשבע ונוטל, דמתוך שיכול לומר לו לא שכרתיך מעולם, יכול לומר לו נמי שכרתיך ונתתי לך שכרך:

הוא אומר נתתי. אבל אמר לו שנים קצצת לי והוא אומר לא קצצתי לך אלא אחד, נשבע בעל הבית שבועת התורה שהוא כדבריו ואינו נותן לו אלא אחד:

ר׳ יהודה אומר. ואין הלכה כר׳ יהודה לא בשכיר ולא בנגזל ולא בנחבל: