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SANHEDRIN 31
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SANHEDRIN 31 - Dedicated by Mrs. G. Kornfeld for the Yahrzeit of her mother, Mrs. Gisela Turkel (Golda bas Chaim Yitzchak Ozer), on 25 Av. Mrs. Turkel was an exceptional woman with an iron will who loved and respected the study of Torah.

SUMMARY

1. If two sets of witnesses testify that a person borrowed money, and they agree that he owes at least one hundred Zuz but they differ on the exact amount, Beis Din obligates him to pay one hundred Zuz.
 
2. If one witness testifies that a person borrowed one hundred Zuz and another witness testifies that he borrowed two hundred Zuz, there is a Machlokes whether Beis Din should obligate him to pay at all.
 
3. Even if two witnesses contradict each other completely, their testimony is sometimes accepted.
 
4. A judge should not reveal his own personal position if it differs from Beis Din's ruling.
 
5. If a person is found to be Chayav and subsequently brings proof that he is Patur, the Din is overturned.
 
6. There is a difference of opinion as to whether a litigant may bring witnesses on his behalf if he has previously claimed that he has no witnesses to bring.
 
7. The Halachah follows the opinion of Rebbi Shimon Ben Gamliel whenever he is mentioned in the Mishnah.
 
8. If the borrower produces a receipt signed by witnesses that attests that he repaid the lender, the signatures must be authenticated.
 
9. A Yevamah must travel to the Yavam's location.
 
10. A borrower is considered like a slave to the lender.

A BIT MORE

1. Rebbi Shimon Ben Elazar rules that if two witnesses testify that a person borrowed one hundred Zuz and another two witnesses testify that the amount he borrowed was two hundred Zuz, both Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel agree that he must pay one hundred Zuz. In such a case, Beis Din does not consider the two sets of witnesses to have contradicted each other completely, which would cause their testimony to be rejected and the defendant to be acquitted. Rather, since the amount on which the first set of witnesses testified (one hundred Zuz) is included in the amount on which the second set of witnesses testified (two hundred Zuz), both sets of witnesses are considered to have testified on the same debt of one hundred Zuz.
 
2. According to Rebbi Shimon Ben Elazar, in a case in which one witness testifies that the defendant is Chayav to pay one hundred Zuz and another witness testifies that he is Chayav to pay two hundred Zuz, Beis Shamai maintains that he is Patur but Beis Hillel maintains that he must pay one hundred Zuz. Beis Hillel's reason is that the debt of one hundred Zuz to which the first witness testified is included in the debt on which the second witness testified.
 
3. In an incident in which one witness testified that the defendant had borrowed money on an upper balcony and another witness testified that he had borrowed money on a lower balcony, Rebbi ruled that he was Chayav to pay even though the witnesses had contradicted each other in the Bedikos.
 
4. Due to the prohibition of Rechilus, it is forbidden for a judge to tell a litigant that he personally considered him Zakai but the other judges found him to be Chayav.
 
5. The Rabanan maintain that a Din can be overturned only if the litigant brings additional witnesses or proofs before the deadline set by Beis Din. Rebbi Shimon Ben Gamliel maintains that a litigant may bring witnesses or proofs on his own behalf even after the deadline has passed, provided that he was unable to bring them before the deadline.
 
6. The Rabanan maintain that once a litigant states in Beis Din that he has no witnesses or proofs to bring, he will no longer be permitted to bring witnesses or proofs. Rebbi Shimon Ben Gamliel maintains that even in such a case, a litigant may still bring witnesses or proofs that he did not previously know he had. However, even Rebbi Shimon Ben Gamliel agrees that if a litigant claims to have no witnesses or proofs to bring, but then he realizes that Beis Din is about to rule against him and he suddenly claims that he does have witnesses or proofs, Beis Din does not permit him to bring them. In such a case, since the litigant knew about the witnesses or proofs and did not bring them earlier, Beis Din assumes that the witnesses are lying and that the proofs are falsified.
 
7. According to one opinion of Rebbi Yochanan, the Halachah follows Rebbi Shimon Ben Gamliel's view in all cases except the case of a litigant who wishes to adduce additional witnesses or proofs after he has claimed that he has none. According to another opinion of Rebbi Yochanan there are three exceptions to the rule.
 
8. If a third party is in possession of a receipt that attests that the borrower repaid the loan, Beis Din accepts the receipt even if it is not signed by witnesses because the third party has the credibility to establish that the loan was repaid. Similarly, a receipt that is written in the Shtar below the witnesses' signatures is accepted as proof that the borrower repaid his debt. Since a Shtar is kept in the lender's possession, Beis Din assumes that the lender would not have allowed a receipt to be written in the Shtar unless the loan had truly been repaid.
 
9. A Yevamah must go to the Beis Din of the Yavam's city in order to perform Chalitzah. This is true even if the Beis Din in her city is greater than the Beis Din in the Yavam's city. For example, a Yevamah who lives in Teveriyah would still be required to travel to Tzipori if the Yavam lives there, even though the Beis Din in Teveriyah is greater than the Beis Din in Tzipori.
 
10. Ameimar rules that if a lender refuses to have his Din heard by the local Beis Din and insists on traveling to a greater Beis Din, he can coerce the borrower to travel to the greater Beis Din because a borrower is like a slave to the lender. A borrower, however, may not force the lender to travel to the greater Beis Din if the lender wishes to use the local Beis Din.

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