1) YOUR FATHER HID MONEY
QUESTION: The Beraisa discusses a case in which a person says to the Yesomim of a man who died that he saw their father hide money in a certain place, and their father said at that time that the money belongs to another person or is money of Ma'aser Sheni. If the money was hidden in a place accessible to all (such as in a field), then the person's words are believed. If the money was hidden in an inaccessible place (such as in the house of the Yesomim), then the person is not believed.
Even if the money is in a place accessible to the person who makes the statement, and even if Beis Din believes the person that this is what the father said, why should Beis Din give the money to the person to whom the father admitted that it belongs? Why does Beis Din not say that the father's admission was said only "she'Lo l'Hasbi'a Es Atzmo," to make himself look poor (see previous Insight)? (Even though the Yesomim do not present this claim themselves, Beis Din should present it on their behalf. Beis Din would make such a claim even for their father, as Tosfos says on 29b, DH Kach.) (RABEINU YONAH)
(a) The CHIDUSHEI HA'RAN explains that the Beraisa later differentiates between an admission made in a manner which shows that the person is serious, and an admission made in a manner that is not serious. In the case of the Beraisa, the person states not only that the Yesomim's father admitted, but that he admitted in a way that showed he was serious about the other person's rights to the money.
(b) The Chidushei ha'Ran further suggests that whenever the money was hidden in the house, a private place, it is assumed that the admission was not serious, because the father knew that the person listening would not be able to take the money himself. The reason the children are allowed to keep the money indeed is because of "she'Lo l'Hasbi'a," because even if the father did make such a statement, he might have done so in order to make himself look poor. However, when the money was hidden in a field, then even if there is doubt about the intent of the father, it is assumed that he was serious since he knew that the person who was listening to him might take the money himself and give it to the one who he thinks is the rightful owner.
(c) RABEINU YONAH answers that the person who testifies about the money says that the father not only told him whose money it is, but that the father also showed him the money. Therefore, the father's intention could not have been to hide his wealth, because if he intended to hide his health, he should not have shown his money in the first place. (That is, the father should not have revealed his money and shown that he is rich in order to make it necessary to hide it so that people will think he is poor!)
2) THE MONEY BELONGS TO "MA'ASER SHENI"
QUESTION: The Beraisa discusses a case in which a person says to the Yesomim of a man who died that he saw their father hide money in a certain place, and their father said at that time that the money belongs to another person or is money of Ma'aser Sheni. If the money was hidden in a place accessible to all (such as in a field), then the person's words are believed (see previous Insight). RASHI explains that this trustworthiness is based on a Migu. If the person wanted to lie, then he simply would have taken the money himself and given it to the person to whom he wanted it to belong. He did not have to tell the Yesomim that he saw the father hide it.
TOSFOS (DH Kol) explains that this indeed must be the Migu of the Gemara. The Migu cannot be that the person must be telling the truth because if he is lying then he simply would have remained silent. This Migu would not work, because the person wanted not only to keep the money away from the Yesomim but also to give it to a third party, and by remaining silent the money would not have been given to the third party. (See ARUCH LA'NER.)
The Migu which Rashi describes clearly explains why the person is believed to say that the money belongs to the third party. Why, though, is he believed to say that the money belongs to Ma'aser Sheni? What could the person have done differently to make the money that of Ma'aser Sheni without telling the Yesomim that it is Ma'aser Sheni? He could not have taken it himself and eaten it in Yerushalayim, since he is not trying to steal the money but rather to make it the Ma'aser Sheni of the Yesomim. If his intention is simply to make it harder for the Yesomim to use the money, and he has a Migu that he could have remained silent thereby making it impossible for them to use the money (since they never would have found it without his statement), then (as Tosfos points out) he should be trusted with the same Migu even when the money was hidden in the house! (TOSFOS HA'ROSH)
ANSWER: Although the Tosfos ha'Rosh leaves this question unanswered, perhaps an answer may be suggested as follows. The intention of the person indeed is to make it harder for the Yesomim to use the money. Nevertheless, when the money is in the house, he does not have a Migu that he could have remained silent, because he is afraid that the Yesomim eventually will find the money that was hidden there, since it is private property and no one else can find it before them. Therefore, the only way for him to keep the money away from the Yesomim is by telling them about it and by adding that it is money of Ma'aser Sheni.
The same logic may be applied in the case in which the person claims that the money belongs to a third party. Even if he is merely trying to keep the money away from the Yesomim, he cannot remain silent and accomplish his goal when the money is hidden in the house, because he is afraid that the Yesomim will find the money. Perhaps this is the intention of TOSFOS (DH Kol).
3) ANSWERING REBBI YOCHANAN'S QUESTION
QUESTIONS: Rebbi Shimon ben Elyakim sought to arrange for Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina to receive Semichah. The opportunity arose while they were sitting before Rebbi Yochanan, who asked if anyone knew whether the Halachah follows the view of Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah. Rebbi Shimon ben Elyakim said that "this one knows," referring to Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina. When Rebbi Yochanan asked Rebbi Yosi to speak and to teach the Halachah, Rebbi Shimon ben Elyakim said to Rebbi Yochanan, "Let the master give him Semichah first." After Rebbi Yochanan gave him Semichah, Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina said that Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah agrees with Rebbi Nasan that two witnesses do not have to see the event together. Rebbi Yochanan responded with disappointment, saying that he did not need to hear that, because it is obvious that Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah agrees with Rebbi Nasan (through a "Kol she'Ken").
(a) Why did Rebbi Shimon ben Elyakim try to "blackmail" Rebbi Yochanan into giving Semichah by withholding the Halachah from him? If Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina had something to teach, then he should have said it whether or not he would receive Semichah!
(b) If all that Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina knew was that Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah agrees with Rebbi Nasan, then his answer has nothing to do with the question of Rebbi Yochanan. Rebbi Yochanan asked whether the Halachah follows Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah or not! Why, then, did Rebbi Shimon ben Elyakim say that Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina knows something about the matter, and why did Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina tell Rebbi Yochanan what he knew as if it was an answer to Rebbi Yochanan's question? (MAHARSHAL)
(a) The MAHARSHAL answers that Rebbi Shimon ben Elyakim meant that if Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina would state the Halachah without having Semichah, people would not rely on his statements attesting to the tradition that he received from his teachers. Therefore, Rebbi Shimon ben Elyakim said to Rebbi Yochanan that if he wants the Halachah to be decided by Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina, then he should give Semichah to Rebbi Yosi, showing that he is a reliable scholar and is a dependable teacher of the tradition. (The granting of Semichah shows not only that a scholar knows the Halachah but that he knows how to say it over properly; see Sanhedrin 5b.)
(b) It is clear from the Gemara that Rebbi Yochanan understood that the answer of Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina in some way did relate to the question he posed. He did not protest that Rebbi Yosi's statement "has nothing to do with what I asked," but rather that "what you said is obvious." The Acharonim suggest a number of ways to understand how Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina's statement related to the question of Rebbi Yochanan.
1. The MAHARSHAL and CHAMRA V'CHAYEI explain that Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina thought that the reason his teachers found it necessary to teach that Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah agrees with Rebbi Nasan was not that they wanted to make a point about Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah's opinion, since, as Rebbi Yochanan says, that point is obvious. Rather, they wanted to teach that the converse is not true: Rebbi Nasan does not agree with Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah.
Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina deduced from this that the Halachah should not follow the opinion of Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah, since his is a minority opinion, with which even Rebbi Nasan disagrees. The Chamra v'Chayei adds that since Rebbi Nasan was a Dayan, the Halachic ruling in monetary law usually followed his opinion, as the Gemara says in Bava Kama (53a). Thus Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina found further proof in his teacher's statement that the Halachah should not follow the view of Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah.
Rebbi Yochanan was upset with Rebbi Yosi's response. He said that even without any tradition from his teachers he would have known that Rebbi Nasan does not agree with Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah. This is because Rebbi Nasan is not mentioned in the Beraisa which discusses Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah's opinion, and thus he presumably is one of the Chachamim who argue with Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah.
What Rebbi Yochanan wanted to know was whether anyone had a tradition that the Halachah is like Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah. He felt that Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah's ruling was more logically sound, and therefore he wanted to find someone who ruled in accordance with Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah even though the Chachamim argued with him.
(The Maharshal's explanation for Rebbi Yochanan's retort does not fit well with the text of the Gemara, since Rebbi Yochanan does not say that "it is obvious that Rebbi Nasan disagrees with Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah," but rather that "it is obvious that Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah agrees with Rebbi Nasan.")
2. The KOS YESHU'OS suggests a slightly different approach. He explains that Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina meant to say that since the Rabanan found it necessary to teach that Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah agrees with Rebbi Nasan, it must be that the Halachic ruling follows Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah, and therefore it is important to know how he rules with regard to the second Machlokes.
Rebbi Yochanan replied that this could not have been the intention of the Mesores, the tradition that was taught, since it is obvious that Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah agrees with Rebbi Nasan (because of the "Kol she'Ken"). Rather, the opposite must be true: the purpose of the Mesores was to show that Rebbi Nasan does not agree with Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah, as the Maharshal points out. Consequently, the Halachah should not be like Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah.
(According to the Kos Yeshu'os, it is not clear how Rebbi Yochanan saw that this was Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina's intention. Perhaps Rebbi Yosi, too, meant to say that the Halachah is not like Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah.)
3. A third possibility is that Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina did not accept the reasoning (the "Kol she'Ken") of Rebbi Yochanan, who said that if the witnesses do not have to see the event together, then certainly they do not have to testify about the event together. Perhaps the presentation of the testimony is indeed more important than seeing the event.
How, then, did Rebbi Yosi's teachers know that Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah agrees with Rebbi Nasan? It must be that they maintained that all agree (the Rabanan and Rebbi Nasan) that Hagadah (the presentation of the testimony) is compared with Re'iyah (the actual seeing of the event itself) through a Hekesh (mentioned earlier on the Daf), and, therefore, whoever rules that the witnesses do not have to see the event together will also rule that they do not have to present the testimony together. The opposite is also true: whoever rules that witnesses do not have to present their testimony together in court rules that way because he maintains that witnesses do not need to see the event together. Consequently, just as Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah agrees with Rebbi Nasan, the converse is true -- Rebbi Nasan agrees with Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah. Since Rebbi Nasan is a Dayan, the Halachah should follow Rebbi Nasan and Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah, and not the Chachamim who argue.
Rebbi Yochanan protested that the converse cannot be inferred from what Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina taught, since his teaching is based on a "Kol she'Ken" which assumes that it is more important for witnesses to see the event together than to testify about it together. Hence, the Halachah might follow the Chachamim and not Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah, since theirs is the majority opinion.
4) "HODA'AH ACHAR HODA'AH"
QUESTION: Rav teaches that when two witnesses testify about two admissions, one after the other ("Hoda'ah Achar Hoda'ah"), or when the first witness testifies that he saw a loan take place and the second witnesses testifies about an admission ("Hoda'ah Achar Halva'ah"), their testimonies can be combined, and the combined testimony is accepted by Beis Din. In contrast, when each witness testifies about a loan ("Halva'ah Achar Halva'ah"), or when the first witness testifies about an admission and the second witnesses testifies about a loan ("Halva'ah Achar Hoda'ah"), their testimonies cannot be combined.
Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua explains that Rav follows the view of the Rabanan who say that an event must be witnessed together by the two witnesses. When two witnesses testify about two admissions, their testimony is not accepted because they are testifying about two different coins that were loaned. The reason why Rav accepts their testimony in a case of "Hoda'ah Achar Hoda'ah" is that the borrower (who admitted to the loan) told the second witness that he said an admission about the same loan in front of another witness, and then he went back and told the first witness that he told a second witness about this loan.
Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua then says that Rav Sheshes posed a strong question on this explanation of Rav. According to Rav, the case of "Hoda'ah Achar Hoda'ah" is the same as the case of "Halva'ah Achar Halva'ah," and there should be no need for Rav to teach both cases.
Rav Sheshes did not mean to say that the two cases are entirely identical, because in the first case the first witness heard only an admission, Hoda'ah, while in the second case the first witness actually saw the loan. What Rav Sheshes meant was that there is no added Chidush in seeing the loan over hearing an admission, and therefore Rav should not have mentioned that case separately.
If there is no difference between seeing a loan and hearing an admission, then Rav Sheshes' question should not have been posed specifically on the way that Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua explains Rav's words. It could be posed directly on Rav's statement! Regardless of what Rav means, why is it necessary to mention both a case in which the first witness heard an admission, and a case in which the first witness saw the loan? There is no difference between the two cases! (MAHARSHAL)
(a) The MAHARSHAL answers that if Rav would have meant that the first witness does not need to know about the second witness, then there would have been a reason for him to mention a second case (i.e. in which the first witness saw the loan), because seeing a loan is not the same as hearing about it. However, since Rav explains that the testimony of the first witness may be combined with the testimony of the second witness only when the borrower later tells him, "I told another witness about this loan," it must be that the first witness' testimony is also based on the Hoda'ah of the borrower (i.e. that he told another person about the loan) and it is not based entirely on what the witness saw. Consequently, it is simply another case of "Hoda'ah Achar Hoda'ah."
(b) The MAHARSHA does not accept this answer. The Maharsha says that without the explanation of Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua, one could have explained that when the first witness testifies about seeing the loan, he testifies that he was the only one present at the time of the loan. Consequently, there is an added Chidush: in the first case -- when the borrower admits that he owes money -- it is not known how many people saw the loan; perhaps two people saw the loan. In the second case, however, the first witness testifies that only one person saw the loan, and yet Beis Din accepts his testimony about the loan. However, according to Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua's explanation, each witness knows that there is another witness, and therefore it is as if the loan took place in front of two people, even if only one person was physically present at the time of the loan.
(c) Without the explanation of Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua, one might have thought that the witness to the Hoda'ah heard from the borrower not only that there was a loan, but he heard from the borrower all of the details involved as well, including the fact that the borrower told another person (the other witness) about the loan. In contrast, when a person testifies that he saw the loan take place, it is not assumed that he heard all the details from the borrower; he simply saw the event take place. Therefore, he presumably does not know about any other witness to the loan (such as a witness to the borrower's Hoda'ah). Accordingly, the second case of Rav is teaching that even though the first witness does not know about the second witness (and presumably vice versa), nevertheless the testimony is valid. However, Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua insists that even the witness who saw the loan take place must hear from the borrower that he admitted to the loan in front of another person. What, then, is the point of mentioning the case of "Hoda'ah Achar Halva'ah"? For this reason, the question of Rav Sheshes applies only to the explanation of Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua. (M. KORNFELD)