12th CYCLE DEDICATION
KESUVOS 104-105 (5 Teves) - Dedicated in memory of Max (Meir Menachem ben Shlomo ha'Levi) Turkel, by his children Eddie and Lawrence and his wife Jean Turkel/Rafalowicz. Max was a warm and loving husband and father and is missed dearly by his family and friends. His Yahrzeit is 5 Teves.

1)

JUDGES WHO MADE DECREES

(a)

(Mishnah): There were two judges in Yerushalayim who made decrees, Admon and Chanan ben Avishalom. Chanan said two laws. Admon said seven.

(b)

If a man went overseas and his wife demands food, Chanan says that she swears when she collects the Kesuvah in the end, not at the beginning;

(c)

The sons of Kohanim Gedolim said that she swears at the beginning and the end;

(d)

R. Dosa ben Harkinas agrees with the sons of Kohanim Gedolim;

(e)

R. Yochanan ben Zakai says, Chanan is correct. She swears only at the end.

(f)

(Gemara - Beraisa) Contradiction: There were three judges of burglaries in Yerushalayim: Admon ben Gedai, Chanan ha'Mitzri, and Chanan ben Avishalom.

1.

There is a contradiction about the number of judges, and also about whether they made decrees or judged burglaries.

(g)

Resolution - part 1 (regarding the numbers): The Tana of the Mishnah listed only the most important judges (Rashi; Tosfos - the judges who taught laws in our Perek).

(h)

Resolution - part 2 (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): They made decrees about burglaries;

1.

(Beraisa - R. Yosi): For cutting down a sapling, the judges who made decrees in Yerushalayim ruled that one pays two silver coins for a first year sapling, and four silver coins for a second year sapling. (Rashi explains that the Beraisa discusses an animal that cut down a tree, because 'Kitmah' is feminine. Our Gemara calls this burglary, for it knows that the same fine applies to a person who cut down a tree. Chachamim do not decree solely for unusual cases.)

(i)

Contradiction (Beraisa #1): There were three judges in Yerushalayim who made decrees: Admon, Chanan, and Nachum.

(j)

Answer (Rav Papa): The Tana of Beraisa #1 is R. Nasan.

1.

(Beraisa - R. Nasan): Also Nachum ha'Midi made decrees in Yerushalayim;

2.

Chachamim did not agree.

(k)

Question: There were more judges!

1.

(R. Pinchas): There were 394 Batei Din in Yerushalayim, and the same number of Batei Kenesiyos, Batei Medrash, and schools for children.

(l)

Answer: There were many other judges. Only these made decrees.

(m)

(Rav Yehudah): The judges who made decrees in Yerushalayim received stipends from the coins brought to buy Korbanos, 9900 Zuz in all. If they were unhappy with this, they received more.

(n)

Objection: Do we discuss wicked judges (who take more money than they need)?!

(o)

Correction: Rather, if this was not enough they received more, even if they didn't want more.

2)

MAY JUDGES RECEIVE MONEY FOR JUDGING?

(a)

Karna used to receive a Selah from both parties when he judged a case.

(b)

Question: It says, "Don't take a bribe"!

1.

Suggestion: Perhaps that is only when a judge takes only from one party, lest it bias his judgment. Karna took from both parties, so he would be unbiased.

2.

Rejection: Even a bribe to give an unbiased judgment is forbidden!

i.

(Beraisa): "Do not take a bribe" does not discuss one who intends to acquit the guilty and convict the innocent. It already says "Do not pervert judgment"!

ii.

Rather, bribes are forbidden even with intent to acquit the innocent and convict the guilty!

(c)

Answer #1: Karna did not take the money as a bribe, rather for wages.

(d)

Objection: Even for wages, it is forbidden!

1.

(Mishnah): If one receives wages for judging, his judgments are void.

(e)

Answer: That refers to one who takes wages for the ruling itself. Karna took compensation for what he could have earned in the time he judged.

(f)

Question: Is such compensation really permitted?!

1.

(Beraisa): A judge who takes wages to judge is repulsive, but his ruling is valid.

2.

Question: What is the case?

i.

If the wages are for the ruling, the ruling is void!

3.

Answer: Rather, he takes compensation for what he could have earned. The Beraisa calls this repulsive!

(g)

Answer: It is repulsive when it is unclear what he could have earned in the time. People used to pay Karna a Zuz to smell wine and evaluate it (how long it will be before it spoils), so it was clear what he could have earned in the time.

1.

When people would come to Rav Huna for judgment, he would ask them to get someone to draw water in his stead.

3)

THE HAZARD OF BRIBES

(a)

(R. Avahu): See how much bribes blind the eyes of those who take them!

1.

A person whose eyes hurt him pays a doctor, even though he is unsure whether or not he will cure them. One who takes a bribe of a Perutah blinds his own eyes!

(b)

(Beraisa): "Bribery blinds the eyes of Chachamim", all the more so, of fools. "And it perverts the words of Tzadikim", all the more so, of the wicked.

(c)

Objection: Fools and the wicked may not be judges!

(d)

Answer: Rather, "bribery blinds the eyes of Chachamim", even a great Chacham. If he takes a bribe, his heart will be blinded before he dies;

105b----------------------------------------105b

1.

"And it perverts the words of Tzadikim", even a total Tzadik. If he takes a bribe, he will become foolish before he dies.

(e)

(Rav Dimi): "A king will establish the land in judgment; a man of Terumos will ravage it" - if a judge is like a king, who does not need anyone, he will establish the land. If he is like a Kohen who runs to granaries to collect Terumah, he will demolish it.

(f)

(Rabah bar Rav Shila): A judge who often borrows things may not judge.

1.

This is only if he has nothing to lend in return. If he has, there is no problem.

(g)

Objection: Rava often borrowed from Rebbi bar Meryon, and didn't lend to him!

(h)

Answer: Rava only borrowed from him to elevate Rebbi bar Meryon's reputation.

(i)

(Rava): The Torah forbids bribery, because one who receives a bribe feels close to the giver, like to himself, and a person does not see that he himself is guilty.

1.

"Shochad" (bribe) is like 'Shehu Chad (he is like one with the giver).'

(j)

(Rav Papa): One may not judge someone he loves or someone he hates;

1.

If he loves Ploni, he will not see that Ploni is guilty;

2.

If he hates Ploni, he will not see that Ploni is innocent.

(k)

(Abaye): If a Chacham sees that people of his city love him, this does not show that he is praiseworthy. Rather, he does not rebuke them in spiritual matters.

(l)

(Rava): I used to think that everyone in my city loved me. When I became a judge, I thought that the ones I convicted hate me, and the ones I acquitted love me.

1.

When I saw that the same people I convict today, I acquit tomorrow, I concluded that either they all love me, or all hate me.

(m)

(Beraisa): "Do not take a bribe." Clearly, one cannot take money! The verse forbids even non-monetary bribes.

(n)

Shmuel was walking on a bridge, and a man lent to him a hand. The man had a case; Shmuel disqualified himself from judging him.

(o)

A feather blew onto Ameimar's head, and a man removed it. Ameimar disqualified himself from judging his case.

(p)

Mar Ukva spit, and a man covered the spit. Mar Ukva disqualified himself from judging his case.

(q)

R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi's sharecropper used to bring to him a basket of produce from R. Yishmael's orchard every Erev Shabbos. Once he brought it on Thursday.

1.

R. Yishmael: Why did you bring it early?

2.

The sharecropper: I had to come for judgment anyway.

3.

R. Yishmael refused to take the produce and disqualified himself from judging him. R. Yishmael got other judges to judge him. He heard the case, and kept thinking how his sharecropper should claim in order to win.

4.

R. Yishmael: Cursed are those who take bribes! I did not take, and had I took, it would have been my own, and still, I was biased. Those who take bribes, how much the more so!

(r)

A man who came for judgment brought the first shearings of his flock (which must be given to a Kohen) to R. Yishmael bar Elisha. When R. Yishmael heard that the man was from far away and could have given them to other Kohanim, he refused to take them and disqualified himself from judging him.

1.

R. Yishmael got other judges to judge him; he heard the case, and kept thinking how this man should claim in order to win.

2.

R. Yishmael: Cursed are those who take bribes! I did not take, and had I took, it would have been my own, and still, I was biased. Those who take bribes, how much the more so!

(s)

Ploni came for judgment and brought fish to Rav Anan. Rav Anan refused to take them and disqualified himself from judging him.

1.

Ploni: You need not judge me, but take the fish, or else you will stop me from bringing Bikurim.

i.

(Beraisa) Question: "A man brought... Bikurim (to Elisha)" - did Elisha eat Bikurim?! (He was not a Kohen. He was from Shevet Gad!)

ii.

Answer: Rather, if one gives a gift to a Chacham, it is as if he brought Bikurim.

2.

Rav Anan: I was not going to accept the fish. Now, I will accept them.

3.

Rav Anan sent Ploni to Rav Nachman. He enclosed a note saying that he himself could not judge him. Rav Nachman assumed that this was because they were relatives. Rav Nachman also had a case of orphans to judge.

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