Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Center for Action and Contemplation of Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States Richard Rohr Meditation for Thursday, 17 August 2017: "Existence"

The Center for Action and Contemplation of Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States Richard Rohr Meditation for Thursday, 17 August 2017: "Existence"
Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation
"True Self and False Self: Week 2"
"Existence"
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Guest writer and CAC faculty member James Finley continues exploring insights on the true self and false self that he gleaned from Thomas Merton.
The contemplative journeys within, to discover “that if you descend into the depths of your own spirit . . . and arrive somewhere near the center of what youare, you are confronted with the inescapable truth that, at the very roots of your existence, you are in constant and immediate and inescapable contact with the infinite power of God Who is Pure Actuality and Whose creative and personal will keeps you, every moment, in existence.” [1]
And how does God display this power? Above all, by existence itself. “The One Who Is” sustains us in many ways, but above all God sustains us in existence. Our reality is truly our own, given to us by God, but it is nevertheless a received reality.
This vision is not apprehended as a theory but as an irreversible and immediate intuition. Merton writes:
It [metaphysical consciousness] starts not from the thinking and self-aware subject but from Being. . . . Underlying the subjective experience of the individual self there is an immediate experience of Being. This is totally different from an experience of self-consciousness. . . . It has in it none of the split and alienation that occurs when the subject becomes aware of itself as a quasi-object. The consciousness of Being . . . is an immediate experience that goes beyond reflexive awareness. It is not “consciousness of” but pure consciousness, in which the subject as such “disappears.” [2]
In the immediate intuitive awareness of existence, a tree and I are seen as one, for that act by which the tree is and that by which I am is the same act; namely, existence. Surely, the tree’s act of existence is proper to the tree; it is the tree that exists. Likewise, my act of existence is unique to me. But existence itself is the one common denominator that binds all together in the unity of being.
Thus, in this mode of vision, there is no subject-object division, for the vision enters into the flow of being which is “beyond and prior to subject-object division.” It enters into the flow of existence as The-One-Who-Is-Existence gives existence to all that exists. This is the vision of the true self which subsists in God as presence created in Presence, as love created in Love.
In the moment of this existential realization, the statement “I Am” takes on an explosive, shattering, yet peace-giving force. In utter simplicity, we intuitively realize within ourselves that our existence, though truly our own, is as the waves are to the sea, as the light is to the flame. Our prayer becomes our basking in this light, our being quietly warmed by it, our being consumed by it. Our prayer becomes our silent sinking in the sea of being that is at once God and ourselves.
Gateway to Silence: I am one with God.
References:
[1] Thomas Merton, “The Contemplative Life: Its Meaning and Necessity,” reprinted in Thomas Merton: Early Essays, 1947-1952, ed. Patrick F. O’Connell (Liturgical Press: 2015), 107. Emphasis in original.
[2] Thomas Merton, Zen and the Birds of Appetite (New Directions: 1968), 23-24. Emphasis in original.
Adapted from James Finley, Merton’s Palace of Nowhere: A Search for God through Awareness of the True Self (Ave Maria Press: 1978), 135-136, 137-139.
“All great spirituality teaches about letting go
of what you don’t need and who you are not.” [
Richard Rohr]
Join our self-paced online study of spirituality and the Twelve Steps. It's an opportunity to surrender to your Higher Power and find greater freedom to be your True Self.
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August 30-October 25, 2017
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The God Pause Daily Devotional from The Luther Seminary of Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States for Thursday, 17 August 2017 - Matthew 15:21-28


The God Pause Daily Devotional from The Luther Seminary of Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States for Thursday, 17 August 2017 - Matthew 15:21-28
Matthew 15:21 Yeshua left that place and went off to the region of Tzor and Tzidon. 22 A woman from Kena‘an who was living there came to him, pleading, “Sir, have pity on me. Son of David! My daughter is cruelly held under the power of demons!” 23 But Yeshua did not say a word to her. Then his talmidim came to him and urged him, “Send her away, because she is following us and keeps pestering us with her crying.” 24 He said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Isra’el.” 25 But she came, fell at his feet and said, “Sir, help me!” 26 He answered, “It is not right to take the children’s food and toss it to their pet dogs.” 27 She said, “That is true, sir, but even the dogs eat the leftovers that fall from their master’s table.” 28 Then Yeshua answered her, “Lady, you are a person of great trust. Let your desire be granted.” And her daughter was healed at that very moment.(Complete Jewish Bible)
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Is there anyone who hasn't felt the hurt that comes from being snubbed? Rejection is the
unkindest cut of all. In our reading, a woman with an agonizing family problem steps outside her religious comfort zone and comes toward Jesus with the cry, "Have mercy!" Her plea is met with--silence! If there is to be any answer at all, she will have to wait. And wait some more.
What christian hasn't experienced this? You pray, but wonder if anyone is listening. You get the feeling that few if any of your prayers go anywhere but up into thin air. You wonder why God seems to be hiding from you. The silence this woman met didn't snatch hope from her soul. She let her faith carry her past uncertainty, past silence, past rejection, past humiliation and right into those words of Jesus, "Great is your faith!" Her daughter's inner torment found instant healing. God heard her cry, after all. Times of silence can let us know just how carefully God is listening.
Gracious God, We ask that our courage not back up, nor let up, nor give up. Keep our faith grounded in your faithfulness. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Paul D. Opsahl, '60
Pastor Emeritus, Community Lutheran Church, Sterling, Virginia
Matthew 15:
21 Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon.
22 Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon."
23 But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, "Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us."
24 He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me."
26 He answered, "It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs."
27 She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."
28 Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed instantly.
 [New Revised Standard Version]
The Luther Seminary
2481 Como Avenue
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55108, United States
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TODAY IN JUDAISM: Menachem Av 25, 5777 - Thursday, August 17, 2017 - Chabad.org of New York, New York, United States - - ב"ה - Today in Judaism - Today is Thursday, Av 25, 5777 · August 17, 2017

Chabad.org
ב"ה
TODAY IN JUDAISM: Menachem Av 25, 5777 - Thursday, August 17, 2017 - Chabad.org of New York, New York, United States -  - ב"ה - Today in Judaism - Today is Thursday, Av 25, 5777 · August 17, 2017Torah Reading:
Re'eh: Deuteronomy 11:26 - 12:10
Re'eh: Deuteronomy 11:
26 “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse — 27 the blessing, if you listen to the mitzvot of Adonai your God that I am giving you today; 28 and the curse, if you don’t listen to the mitzvot of Adonai your God, but turn aside from the way I am ordering you today and follow other gods that you have not known.
29 “When Adonai your God brings you into the land you are entering in order to take possession of it, you are to put the blessing on Mount G’rizim and the curse on Mount ‘Eival. 30 Both are west of the Yarden, in the direction of the sunset, in the land of the Kena‘ani living in the ‘Aravah, across from Gilgal, near the pistachio trees of Moreh. 31 For you are to cross the Yarden to enter and take possession of the land Adonai your God is giving you; you are to own it and live in it. 32 And you are to take care to follow all the laws and rulings I am setting before you today.
12:1 Here are the laws and rulings you are to observe and obey in the land Adonai, the God of your ancestors, has given you to possess as long as you live on earth. 2 You must destroy all the places where the nations you are dispossessing served their gods, whether on high mountains, on hills, or under some leafy tree. 3 Break down their altars, smash their standing-stones to pieces, burn up their sacred poles completely and cut down the carved images of their gods. Exterminate their name from that place.
4 “But you are not to treat Adonai your God this way. 5 Rather, you are to come to the place where Adonai your God will put his name. He will choose it from all your tribes; and you will seek out that place, which is where he will live, and go there. 6 You will bring there your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tenths [that you set aside for Adonai], the offerings that you give, the offerings you have vowed, your voluntary offerings, and the firstborn of your cattle and sheep. 7 There you will eat in the presence of Adonai your God; and you will rejoice over everything you set out to do, you and your households, in which Adonai your God has blessed you. 8 You will not do things the way we do them here today, where everyone does whatever in his own opinion seems right; 9 because you haven’t yet arrived at the rest and inheritance which Adonai your God is giving you. 10 But when you cross the Yarden and live in the land Adonai your God is having you inherit, and he gives you rest from all your surrounding enemies, so that you are living in safety;
Daily Quote:
Remember what Amalek did to you on the road, on your way out of Egypt. That he encountered you on the way and cut off those lagging to your rear, when you were tired and exhausted; he did not fear G-d. And it shall come to pass, when the L-rd your G-d has given you rest from all your enemies round about, in the land which the L-rd your G-d is giving you for an inheritance to possess it, that you shall obliterate the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. Do not forget. [Zachor reading, Deuteronomy 25:17-19]
Daily Torah Study:
Chumash: Re'eh, 5th Portion Deuteronomy 14:22-14:29 with Rashi
English / Hebrew Linear Translation
Video Class
Daily Wisdom (short insight)
Deuteronomy Chapter 14
22You shall tithe all the seed crop that the field gives forth, year by year. כבעַשֵּׂ֣ר תְּעַשֵּׂ֔ר אֵ֖ת כָּל־תְּבוּאַ֣ת זַרְעֶ֑ךָ הַיֹּצֵ֥א הַשָּׂדֶ֖ה שָׁנָ֥ה שָׁנָֽה:
You shall tithe [all the seed crop]: What has one matter to do with the other [i.e., the prohibition of cooking a kid, and tithing]? The Holy One, blessed is He, said to Israel: Do not cause Me to destroy the [developing] kernels (גְּדָיִים) of grain, while they are yet in their “mother’s womb” [i.e., in the husks], for if you do not tithe your produce properly, when it is near ripening I will bring forth an easterly wind, which will blast them, as it is said, “and blast before becoming standing grain” (II Kings 19:26) (Tanchuma). [And just as cooking the kid in its mother’s milk and the tithes are juxtaposed,] so is the topic of the first fruits (בִּכּוּרִים) [juxtaposed to cooking the kid in its mother’s milk (see Exod. 23:19, 34:26), to teach us that, if you do not bring your first fruits to the Temple as commanded, your fruit produce will wither].
עשר תעשר: מה ענין זה אצל זה, אמר להם הקב"ה לישראל, לא תגרמו לי לבשל גדיים של תבואה עד שהן במעי אמותיהן, שאם אין אתם מעשרים מעשרות כראוי, כשהוא סמוך להתבשל אני מוציא רוח קדים והיא משדפתן. שנאמר (מלכים ב' יט, כא) ושדפה לפני קמה, וכן לענין בכורים:
[You shall tithe…] year by year: From here, we derive [the ruling] that one may not give tithes from the new [crop] for the old [i.e., from this year’s crop for last year’s]. — [Sifrei]
שנה שנה: מכאן שאין מעשרין מן החדש על הישן:
23And you shall eat before the Lord, your God, in the place He chooses to establish His Name therein, the tithes of your grain, your wine, and your oil, and the firstborn of your cattle and of your sheep, so that you may learn to fear the Lord, your God, all the days. כגוְאָֽכַלְתָּ֞ לִפְנֵ֣י | יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ בַּמָּק֣וֹם אֲשֶׁר־יִבְחַר֘ לְשַׁכֵּ֣ן שְׁמ֣וֹ שָׁם֒ מַעְשַׂ֤ר דְּגָֽנְךָ֙ תִּֽירשְׁךָ֣ וְיִצְהָרֶ֔ךָ וּבְכֹרֹ֥ת בְּקָֽרְךָ֖ וְצֹאנֶ֑ךָ לְמַ֣עַן תִּלְמַ֗ד לְיִרְאָ֛ה אֶת־יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ כָּל־הַיָּמִֽים:
And you shall eat [before the Lord your God, in the place He chooses… the tithes of your grain…]: This refers to ma’aser sheini , “the second tithe,” for we have already learned to give ma’aser rishon , “the first tithe,” to the Levites, as it is said, “[Speak to the Levites…] when you take from the children of Israel [the tithe]… ” (Num. 18:26), and it gives them permission to eat it anywhere [not only in Jerusalem], as it is said,“and you may eat it in any place” (Num. 18:31). Thus you must conclude that this one [which may be eaten by its owners and must be eaten in Jerusalem,] is another tithe [namely, the second tithe].
ואכלת וגו': זה מעשר שני. שכבר למדנו ליתן מעשר ראשון ללוים, שנאמר (במדבר יח, כו) כי תקחו מאת בני ישראל וגו', ונתן להם רשות לאכלו בכל מקום, שנאמר (שם יח, לא) ואכלתם אותו בכל מקום, על כרחך זה מעשר אחר הוא:
24And if the way be too long for you, that you are unable to carry it, for the place which the Lord, your God, will choose to establish His Name therein, is too far from you, for the Lord, your God, will bless you כדוְכִֽי־יִרְבֶּ֨ה מִמְּךָ֜ הַדֶּ֗רֶךְ כִּ֣י לֹ֣א תוּכַל֘ שְׂאֵתוֹ֒ כִּֽי־יִרְחַ֤ק מִמְּךָ֙ הַמָּק֔וֹם אֲשֶׁ֤ר יִבְחַר֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ לָשׂ֥וּם שְׁמ֖וֹ שָׁ֑ם כִּ֥י יְבָֽרֶכְךָ֖ יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ:
For [the Lord your God] will bless you: so that your produce will be too much to carry.
כי יברכך: שתהא התבואה מרובה לשאת:
25Then you shall turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and you shall go to the place the Lord, your God, will choose. כהוְנָֽתַתָּ֖ה בַּכָּ֑סֶף וְצַרְתָּ֤ הַכֶּ֨סֶף֙ בְּיָ֣דְךָ֔ וְהָֽלַכְתָּ֙ אֶל־הַמָּק֔וֹם אֲשֶׁ֥ר יִבְחַ֛ר יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ בּֽוֹ:
26And you shall turn that money into whatever your soul desires; cattle, sheep, new wine or old wine, or whatever your soul desires, and you shall eat there before the Lord, your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household. כווְנָֽתַתָּ֣ה הַכֶּ֡סֶף בְּכֹל֩ אֲשֶׁר־תְּאַוֶּ֨ה נַפְשְׁךָ֜ בַּבָּקָ֣ר וּבַצֹּ֗אן וּבַיַּ֨יִן֙ וּבַשֵּׁכָ֔ר וּבְכֹ֛ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר תִּשְׁאָֽלְךָ֖ נַפְשֶׁ֑ךָ וְאָכַ֣לְתָּ שָּׁ֗ם לִפְנֵי֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ וְשָֽׂמַחְתָּ֖ אַתָּ֥ה וּבֵיתֶֽךָ:
[And you will turn that money] into whatever your soul desires: This is a כְּלָל, a general statement [not limited to anything in particular. Whereas the next expression,]
בכל אשר תאוה נפשך: כלל:
cattle, or sheep, new wine or old wine: [represents a] פְּרָט, a“specification” [that is, it details particular things, limiting the matter to those things. After this, the verse continues,]
בבקר ובצאן וביין ובשכר: פרט:
or whatever your soul desires: [The verse] again reverts to a כְּלָל, a“general statement.” [Now we have learned that when a verse expresses a כְּלָל, a פְּרָט, and then a כְּלָל again, as in this case, we apply the characteristics of the פְּרָט to the whole matter. That is,] just as the items listed in the פְּרָט 1) are products of things themselves produced by the earth [e.g., wine comes from grapes], and 2) are fitting to be food for man, [so must the money replacing them be used to purchase such products]. — [Eruvin 27a]
ובכל אשר תשאלך נפשך: חזר וכלל. מה הפרט מפורש ולד ולדות הארץ וראוי למאכל אדם וכו':
27And [as for] the Levite who is in your cities you shall not forsake him, for he has neither portion nor inheritance with you. כזוְהַלֵּוִ֥י אֲשֶׁר־בִּשְׁעָרֶ֖יךָ לֹ֣א תַֽעַזְבֶ֑נּוּ כִּ֣י אֵ֥ין ל֛וֹ חֵ֥לֶק וְנַֽחֲלָ֖ה עִמָּֽךְ:
And [as for] the Levite… - you shall not forsake him: By not giving him the first tithe.
והלוי וגו' לא תעזבנו: מליתן לו מעשר ראשון:
for he has neither portion nor inheritance with you: This excludes gleanings (Lev. 19:9), forgotten sheaves (Deut. 24:19), the end of the field (Lev. 19:9), [all of which are left for the poor,] and ownerless things, for the Levite does have a portion in these things, just as you do, and [consequently,] they are not subject to tithing.
כי אין לו חלק ונחלה עמך: יצאו לקט שכחה ופאה והפקר, שאף הוא יש לו חלק עמך בהן כמוך, ואינן חייבין במעשר:
28At the end of three years, you shall take out all the tithe of your crop in that year and place it in your cities. כחמִקְצֵ֣ה | שָׁל֣שׁ שָׁנִ֗ים תּוֹצִיא֙ אֶת־כָּל־מַעְשַׂר֙ תְּבוּאָ֣תְךָ֔ בַּשָּׁנָ֖ה הַהִ֑וא וְהִנַּחְתָּ֖ בִּשְׁעָרֶֽיךָ:
At the end of three years [you shall take out all the tithe of your crop in that year]: This comes to teach us that if one kept his tithes from the first and the second year of the shemitah [cycle], he has to remove them from his house in the third [year].
מקצה שלש שנים: בא ולמד שאם השהה מעשרותיו של שנה ראשונה ושנייה לשמטה, שיבערם מן הבית בשלישית:
29And the Levite because he has no portion or inheritance with you and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are in your cities, will come and eat and be satisfied; so that the Lord, your God, will bless you in all the work of your hand that you will do. כטוּבָ֣א הַלֵּוִ֡י כִּ֣י אֵין־לוֹ֩ חֵ֨לֶק וְנַֽחֲלָ֜ה עִמָּ֗ךְ וְ֠הַגֵּ֠ר וְהַיָּת֤וֹם וְהָֽאַלְמָנָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בִּשְׁעָרֶ֔יךָ וְאָֽכְל֖וּ וְשָׂבֵ֑עוּ לְמַ֤עַן יְבָֽרֶכְךָ֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ בְּכָל־מַֽעֲשֵׂ֥ה יָֽדְךָ֖ אֲשֶׁ֥ר תַּֽעֲשֶֽׂה:
And the Levite… will come: And take the first tithe.
ובא הלוי: ויטול מעשר ראשון:
and the stranger, and the orphan… [will come]: And take the second tithe, which this year [the third in the seven year cycle], belongs to the poor, and you [yourself] may not eat it in Jerusalem, in the manner you were required to eat the second tithe in the [first] two years [of this cycle].
והגר והיתום: ויטלו מעשר שני, שהוא של עני של שנה זו, ולא תאכלנו אתה בירושלים כדרך שנזקקת לאכול מעשר שני של שתי שנים:
will come and eat and be satisfied: Give them enough to satisfy them. From here [our Rabbis] said: One must not give the poor from the threshing floor less [than half a kav of wheat, or a kav of barley] (Sifrei). And you go up to Jerusalem with the [second] tithe of the first and the second years which you have delayed [to bring], and you shall confess: “I have removed the sanctified things from the house” (see Deut. 26:13), as is stated in [the section beginning with]“When you have finished tithing…” (Deut. 26:12).
ואכלו ושבעו: תן להם כדי שביעה. מכאן אמרו אין פוחתין לעני בגורן וכו'. ואתה הולך לירושלים למעשר של שנה ראשונה ושנייה שהשהית ומתודה (דברים כו, יג) בערתי הקדש מן הבית, כמו שמפורש (שם כו, יב) בכי תכלה לעשר:
Tehillim: Psalm Chapter 119, Verses 1-96
Hebrew text
English text

Chapter 119, Verses 1-96
David composed this prominent psalm in alphabetical sequence-eight verses for each letter. Every verse contains one of the following words (referring to different aspects of Torah): Way; Torah; Testimony; Precept; Commandment; Statement (translated here as Word or Promise); Word; Judgement (or Laws); Righteousness; Statute. Replete with morals and prayers, this psalm should be recited daily, as a powerful preparation for the service of God. (In verses beginning with one of the letters of the mnemonic PeReTZ BeN DaMaH, the word "עדותיך" is pronounced "eidvotecha.")
1. Fortunate are those whose way is artless, who walk with the Torah of the Lord.
2. Fortunate are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with all their hearts.
3. Indeed, they have not done iniquity; they walk in His ways.
4. You have commanded Your precepts to be observed diligently.
5. My wish is that my ways be directed to keep Your statutes.
6. Then I will not be ashamed, when I behold all Your commandments.
7. I will give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgments.
8. I will keep Your statutes; do not utterly forsake me
9. How can a young man keep his way pure? By observing Your word.
10. With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me stray from Your commandments.
11. I have harbored Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
12. Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your statutes.
13. With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth.
14. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as I would with all riches.
15. I will speak of Your precepts, and gaze upon Your ways.
16. I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.
17. Deal kindly with Your servant, that I may live to keep Your word.
18. Unveil my eyes, that I may behold wonders from Your Torah.
19. I am a sojourner on earth; do not hide Your commandments from me.
20. My soul is crushed with a longing for Your judgments every moment.
21. You have rebuked the accursed scoffers, those who stray from Your commandments.
22. Remove insult and contempt from me, for I have kept Your testimonies.
23. Though princes sat and spoke against me, Your servant speaks of Your statutes.
24. Indeed, Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counsellors.
25. My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me in accordance with Your word.
26. I have spoken of my ways, and You answered me; teach me Your statutes.
27. Make me understand the way of Your precepts, and I will speak of Your wonders.
28. My soul drips away out of grief; sustain me according to Your word.
29. Remove from me the way of falsehood, and graciously endow me with Your Torah.
30. I have chosen the way of faith; Your judgments have I laid before me.
31. I held fast to Your testimonies, O Lord; put me not to shame.
32. I will run on the path of Your commandments, for You will broaden my heart.
33. Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I will keep it to the last.
34. Grant me understanding and I will keep Your Torah; I will observe it with all my heart.
35. Direct me in the path of Your commandments, for that is my desire.
36. Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to greed.
37. Avert my eyes from seeing vanity; by Your ways give me life.
38. Fulfill for Your servant Your promise, which brings to the fear of You.
39. Remove my shame which I fear, for Your judgments are good.
40. Behold, I have longed for Your precepts; give me life in Your righteousness.
41. And let Your kindness come to fruition for me, O Lord, Your salvation as You promised.
42. I will offer a retort to those who taunt me, for I trust in Your word.
43. Do not at all remove the word of truth from my mouth, for I hope [to fulfill] Your judgments.
44. I will keep Your Torah continually, for ever and ever.
45. And I will walk in spacious paths, for I seek Your precepts.
46. I will speak of Your testimonies before kings, and I will not be ashamed.
47. And I will delight in Your commandments, which I love.
48. I will lift up my hands to Your commandments, which I love, and I will speak of Your statutes.
49. Remember the word [promised] to Your servant, by which You gave me hope.
50. This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.
51. [Though] the wicked ridicule me severely, I have not strayed from Your Torah.
52. When I remember Your judgments of old, O Lord, I take comfort.
53. Trembling seized me because of the wicked, those who forsake Your Torah.
54. Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my wanderings.
55. At night I remembered Your Name, O Lord, and I kept Your Torah.
56. All this came to me because I kept Your precepts.
57. The Lord is my portion; I pledged to keep Your words.
58. I pleaded before You with all my heart: have compassion upon me according to Your word.
59. I contemplated my ways, and returned my feet to Your testimonies.
60. I hurried and did not delay to keep Your commandments.
61. Bands of wicked men plundered me, [but] I did not forget Your Torah.
62. At midnight, I rise to thank You for Your righteous judgments.
63. I am a friend to all who fear You, and to those who keep Your precepts.
64. Your kindness, O Lord, fills the earth; teach me Your statutes.
65. You have dealt goodness to Your servant, O Lord, in accord with Your promise.
66. Teach me the goodness and wisdom of the [Torah's] reasons, for I believe in Your commandments.
67. Before I afflicted myself, I would blunder; but now I observe Your word.
68. You are good and benevolent; teach me Your statutes.
69. The wicked have smeared me with lies, [when in truth] I keep Your precepts with all my heart.
70. Their hearts grew thick as fat; but as for me, Your Torah is my delight.
71. It is for my good that I was afflicted, so that I might learn Your statutes.
72. The Torah of Your mouth is better for me than thousands in gold and silver.
73. Your hands have made me and prepared me; grant me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.
74. Those who fear You will see me and rejoice, because I hoped in Your word.
75. I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are just; righteously have You afflicted me.
76. Let Your kindness be my comfort, as You promised to Your servant.
77. Let Your mercies come upon me, that I may live, for Your Torah is my delight.
78. Let the scoffers be shamed, for they have maligned me with falsehood; but I will meditate upon Your precepts.
79. May those who fear You return to me, and those who know Your testimonies.
80. May my heart be perfect in Your statutes, so that I not be shamed.
81. My soul longs for Your salvation; I hope for Your word.
82. My eyes long for Your promise, saying, "When will You comfort me?”
83. Though I became [dried out] like a wineskin in smoke, I did not forget Your statutes.
84. How many are the days of Your servant? When will You execute judgment upon my pursuers?
85. The wicked have dug pits for me, in violation of Your Torah.
86. All Your commandments teach truth, [yet] they pursue me with lies, help me!
87. They nearly consumed me upon the earth, but I did not forsake Your precepts.
88. As befits Your kindness, grant me life, and I will keep the testimony of Your mouth.
89. Forever, O Lord, Your word stands firm in the heavens.
90. Your faithfulness persists for all generations; You established the earth, and it stands.
91. They stand ready today [to execute] Your judgments, for all are Your servants.
92. Had Your Torah not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.
93. Never will I forget Your precepts, for through them You have sustained me.
94. I am Yours; save me, for I have sought Your precepts.
95. The wicked hope to destroy me, but I meditate upon Your testimonies.
96. To every goal I have seen a limit, but Your commandment is immensely broad.
Tanya: Iggeret HaKodesh, beginning of Epistle 8
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Thursday, Menachem Av 25, 5777 · August 17, 2017
Today's Tanya Lesson
Iggeret HaKodesh, beginning of Epistle 8
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זורע צדקות, מצמיח ישועות
[It is written:] “He sows tzedakot and causes deliverance to sprout forth.”1
Tzedakot, the plural form of tzedakah, can mean both “acts of righteousness” and “acts of charity.”
הנה מה שכתוב לשון זריעה במצות הצדקה
The use of the idiom “sowing” in relation to the commandment of charity,
וכמו שכתוב בפסוק: זרעו לכם לצדקה גו׳
and likewise in the verse,2 “Sow for yourselves for tzedakah, [and reap according to the measure of Chesed],”
יובן על פי מה שאמרו רז״ל: רבי אליעזר יהיב פרוטה לעני, והדר מצלי, דכתיב: אני בצדק אחזה פניך
may be understood in the light of a teaching of our Sages:3 “Rabbi Eliezer would give a coin to a poor person, and would then pray, for it is written,4 ‘Through tzedek will I behold Your face,’” and tzedek (“righteousness”) is closely related to tzedakah (“charity”).
פירוש
This means, i.e., the reason prayer is deemed “seeing G‑d’s face,” and the reason why this is attained by prefacing prayer with charity is:
כי גילוי אלקותו יתברך, המתגלה במחשבתו של אדם וכונתו בתפלה
that the manifestation of Divinity — which is revealed in the thought of man and in his devotion during prayer,
כל חד לפום שיעורא דיליה
in each individual according to his own measure —
הוא בתורת צדקה וחסד ה׳ מעולם ועד עולם על יראיו
is [granted to man] by way of Divine charity, and by [the descent of]5 “G‑d’s lovingkindness from world to world upon those who fear Him....”
כלומר, שאור ה׳ אין סוף ברוך הוא, המאיר למעלה בעולמות עליונים בהארה רבה, בבחינת גילוי רב ועצום
This means that the light of G‑d, the [infinite] Ein Sof, radiates with so (quantitatively)great and so (qualitatively) intense a manifestation in the higher worlds above,
עד שבאמת הן בטלין במציאות, וכלא ממש חשיבי קמיה
that they (and the beings which inhabit them) are truly in a state of self-nullification, and considered as truly naught before Him,
ונכללין באורו יתברך
and are absorbed in His light.
והן הן ההיכלות עם המלאכים והנשמות שבהן, המבוארים בזהר הקדוש בשמותם למקומותם, בסדר התפלה שסדרו לנו אנשי כנסת הגדולה
These [higher worlds] are the heichalot, with the angels and souls within them, that are spoken of in the sacred Zohar by their names and according to their places [and levels, as alluded to] in the liturgy arranged for us by the Men of the Great Assembly.
הנה משם מאיר האור כי טוב לעולם השפל הזה
Now, this6 “light, which is good,” radiates from there to this lowly world,
על יראי ה׳ וחושבי שמו
upon7 “those that fear G‑d and meditate upon His Name,”
החפצים לעבדו בעבודה שבלב, זו תפלה
who desire to worship Him with the8 “service of the heart, meaning prayer.”
וכמו שכתוב: וה׳ יגיה חשכי
As it is written,9 “And G‑d will enlighten my darkness,” even in this world, which is so lowly that G‑dliness is generally not manifest here.
והנה ירידת הארה זו למטה, לעולם הזה, נקראת בשם חסד ה׳
Now, the descent of this illumination downwards to this world, is called “G‑d’s kindness,”
For though this illumination is drawn down as a response to the divine service of the Jew, it outshines it out of all proportion. Its bestowal upon the lower worlds is thus truly an act of “G‑d’s kindness,”
המכונה בשם מים, היורדים ממקום גבוה למקום נמוך כו׳
which is referred to as water,10 for it descends from a high place to a low place....11
“G‑d’s kindness” is drawn down through man’s “arousal initiated from below.” It is thus the coin that one gives a pauper that grants the giver the gift of “beholding G‑d’s face” — the internal aspect of G‑dliness — during prayer. In this way, man’s kindness and tzedakah elicit G‑d’s kindness and tzedakah.
FOOTNOTES
1. Liturgy, the morning prayers (Siddur Tehillat HaShem, p. 44).
2. Hoshea 10:12.
3. Bava Batra 10a.
4. Tehillim 17:15.
5. Ibid. 103:17.
6. Cf. Bereishit 1:4.
7. Cf. Malachi 3:16.
8. Beginning of Tractate Taanit.
9. II Samuel 22:29.
10. Zohar II, 175b.
11. Cf. Tikkunei Zohar 69:105a.
Rambam:
• Sefer Hamitzvot:
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Today's Mitzvah
Thursday, Menachem Av 25, 5777 · August 17, 2017
A daily digest of Maimonides’ classic work "Sefer Hamitzvot"
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Negative Commandment 241
Taking Collateral from a Widow
"Nor shall you take a widow's garment as security"—Deuteronomy 24:17.
It is forbidden for a creditor to take collateral for a debt from a widow—whether she is wealthy or poor.
Full text of this Mitzvah »

Taking Collateral from a Widow
Negative Commandment 241
Translated by Berel Bell
The 241st prohibition is that we are forbidden from taking a security deposit from a widow, regardless of whether she is rich or poor.
The source of this prohibition is G‑d's statement,1 "Do not take a widow's garment as security for a loan."
In the words of the Mishneh:2 "One may not take a security deposit from a widow, regardless of whether she is rich or poor, as the verse says, 'Do not take a widow's garment as security for a loan.' "
The details of this mitzvah are explained in the 9th chapter of tractate Bava Metzia.
FOOTNOTES
1.Deut. 24:17.
2.Bava Metzia 115a.
Negative Commandment 242
Taking Food Preparation Utensils as Collateral
"One shall not take the upper or lower millstone for a pledge, for he is taking a life as a pledge"—Deuteronomy 24:6.
It is forbidden for a creditor to take food preparation utensils – e.g., grinders, kneading bowls, pots, and knives – as collateral for a debt.
Full text of this Mitzvah »
Taking Food Preparation Utensils as Collateral
Negative Commandment 242
Translated by Berel Bell
The 242nd prohibition is that we are forbidden from taking as security any objects that are used in food preparation, such as those used for grinding, kneading, cooking, slaughtering animals, or any other type of food preparation.
The source of this prohibition is G‑d's statement1 (exalted be He), "Do not take an upper or lower millstone as security for a loan, since that is like taking a life as security."
In the words of the Mishneh,2 "The verse does not refer only to millstones, but to anything used in food preparation, as the verse says, 'since that is like taking a life as security.' "3
We now need to explain the statement of our Sages,4 "A person transgresses for both items, as the verse says, 'Do not take an upper or lower millstone.' " From this, one could be mislead into thinking that they count as two mitzvos. This is indicated even more strongly in their statement,5 "One transgresses one prohibition for the upper millstone and one for the lower millstone."
The explanation of these statements is as follows: if a person takes an object used for food preparation as security, he transgresses this prohibition, as we explained. If he took many articles, of which all are used for preparing food — such as one article that is used for grinding, another that is used for baking, and a third that is used for kneading — he would be committing a separate transgression for each article. This is [obvious and] unnecessary to explain. It is as if the person took one garment as security from Reuven's widow, one from Shimon's widow, and one from Levi's widow, in which case he would be guilty of 3 transgressions.
The explanation of the phrase "both items," is that it refers to a case where both items are used in preparing food, and one cannot be used without the other. In this case, since they are only effective when used together, we would be uncertain whether to count them as one case; or, since they are two articles, to count them as two transgressions. Therefore, our Sages explained to us that the person is punished for two transgressions, even though the act can only be done with the two together — such as the upper and lower millstone, where one cannot be used to grind without the other. If a person took these millstones as security, it would be as if he took a kneading trough and a slaughtering knife, each of which are used for different acts. This is the intention of the phrase, "A person transgresses for both items" — not that they count as two separate mitzvos.
The language of the Sifri regarding this that I've just explained: "Just as the upper and lower millstones are two articles that are used for a single act, and nevertheless each counts as a separate prohibition; so too for any two articles that are used for a single act, each counts as a separate prohibition." This means that although they are used for a single act, each one nevertheless counts as a separate prohibition.
If one transgresses this prohibition and takes the object as security, we take it back from him and return it to the poor person.6 If the object was lost or burned before he was able to return it, he receives lashes. The same applies to taking a widow's garment as security.
The details of this mitzvah are explained in the 9th chapter of tractate Bava Metzia.
FOOTNOTES
1.Deut. 24:6.
2.Bava Metzia, ibid.
3.From this phrase we see that the verse does not care only about millstones, but about anything that involves sustaining life, i.e. food preparation.
4.Bava Metzia 115a.
5.Ibid., 116a.
6.See Kapach, 5731, footnote 31. Following the Rav Kook version, Chavel translates, "owners."
Rambam:
• 1 Chapter A Day: Edut Edut - Chapter 15
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Edut - Chapter 15
1
Whenever a person will benefit from giving testimony, he may not give such testimony for it is as if he is testifying concerning himself. Therefore when a person comes to the inhabitants of a city with a complaint concerning the public bathhouse or thoroughfare, none of the inhabitants of the city can testify regarding this matter nor serve as a judge regarding this matter until they undertake a contractual act removing themselves from any connection to the property in question. Afterwards, they may testify or serve as a judges.
א
כל עדות שתבא הנאה לאדם ממנה אינו מעיד בה שזה הוא כמעיד על עצמו לפיכך בני העיר שבא מערער לערער עליהם במרחץ או ברחוב של עיר אין אחד מבעלי העיר מעיד בדבר זה ולא דן עד שיסלק עצמו בקנין גמור ואחר כך יעיד או ידין:
2
The following rules apply when a communal Torah scroll is stolen from the inhabitants of a city. Since it is intended to be listened to by all the members of the community, it is impossible for a person to withdraw his share of ownership of it. Hence, the matter should not be adjudicated by the judges of the city, and the inhabitants of the city may not testify to prove the city's ownership. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.
ב
בני העיר שנגנב ספר תורה שלהן הואיל ולשמיעה הוא עשוי שאי אפשר לאדם לסלק עצמו ממנו אין דנין בדייני אותה העיר ואין מביאין ראיה מאנשי אותה העיר וכן כל כיוצא בזה:
3
When a person says: "Give a manah to the poor people of my city," the matter may not be adjudicated by the judges of that city and the inhabitants of the city may not testify to prove that the pledge was made.
When does the above apply? When the poor people depend upon them and they allocate charity to them. In such a situation, even if two members of the city promised: "We will give the fixed amount required of us regardless; let us testify," we do not heed their request. For they receive benefit from the fact that these poor people become wealthier for the poor are dependent on the inhabitants of the city. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.
ג
האומר תנו מנה לעניי עירי אין דנין בדייני אותה העיר ואין מביאין ראיה מאנשי אותה העיר בד"א כשהיו העניים סמוכים עליהם ופוסקין עליהן צדקה אפילו אמרו שנים מאנשי אותה העיר אנו נתן דבר הקצוב עלינו ונעיד אין שומעין להם שהנאה הוא להם שיתעשרו עניים אלו הואיל והן סמוכין על בני העיר וכן כל כיוצא בזה:
4
The following rules apply when a person raises a protest and seeks to expropriate land that is owned by two partners from the possession of one of the partners. The other partner may not testify on behalf of his partner concerning the land unless he withdraws from ownership of the land and undertakes an act of contract affirming that he gave his portion to his partner and committing himself to reimburse him for its value if his own creditor expropriates it from his partner. After undertaking such an agreement, he may testify concerning the field. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.
ד
קרקע שבין שני שותפין שבא מערער להוציאה מתחת יד השותף אינו מעיד לשותפו עליה אלא אם סילק עצמו ממנה וקנו מידו שנתנה לשותף ושאם בא בעל חוב שלו וטרפה מיד השותף משלם לו דמיה ואח"כ מעיד לו עליה וכן כל כיוצא בזה:
5
The following rules apply when a person protests the ownership of a field. If it contains produce, a sharecropper may not testify with regard to it. For the sharecropper wishes it to remain in the possession of the owner so that he will receive his portion of the crops. If there is no produce in the field, he may testify concerning it.
Different rules apply with regard to a renter. If he brings the rent with him and says: "Let whoever is established as the owner of this field take this," he may offer testimony. If, however, he already paid the rent to the owner of the field he may not testify. For if the field is expropriated by the claimant, he would have to pay him rent for all the years he dwelled in it. Hence, he may not offer testimony. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.
ה
העורר על השדה אם יש בה פירות אין האריס מעיד לו עליה שהרי רוצה האריס להעמידה ביד בעליה כדי שיטול חלקו בפירות ואם אין בה פירות מעיד אבל השוכר אם לקח השכירות בידו ואמר כל מי שתתקיים שדה זו בידו יטול הרי זה מעיד ואם כבר נתן השכירות לבעל השדה אינו מעיד כיון שאם תצא השדה למערער חייב ליתן לו שכר כל השנים שישב בה אינו מעיד וכן כל כיוצא בזה:
6
The following rules apply if Shimon borrowed money and Reuven guaranteed the debt. Yehudah entered into litigation against Shimon and sought to expropriate landed property from his possession. If Shimon possesses another field equal in value to the debt guaranteed by Reuven, Reuven may testify with regard to the land, asserting that it belongs to Shimon. He does not derive any benefit from this, for even if Yehudah would expropriate the field, Shimon possesses another field from which the creditor could derive payment.
Similarly, a person who purchased a field may testify on behalf of another person who purchased a field from the same seller and affirm that the field is his. This applies provided the seller owns a field that is not on lien that is equivalent to the value of the field acquired by the first purchaser. In such a situation, the first purchaser does not derive any benefit from the field remaining in the possession of the second purchaser, for even if the field he purchased is expropriated from him, he may seek reimbursement from the seller and the seller possesses another field from which he could expropriate his due.
ו
שמעון שלוה והיה ראובן ערב ובא יהודה לערער על שמעון הלוה והוציא קרקע מתחת ידו אם יש לשמעון שדה אחרת כנגד החוב הרי ראובן הערב יש לו להעיד על אותו קרקע שהיא של שמעון שאין לו הנאה בזה שאם לקחה יהודה הרי שדה אחרת שיפרע ממנה בעל חובו וכן לוקח ראשון מעיד ללוקח שני שלקח אחריו שזה השדה שלו והוא שיש למוכר שדה בן חורין כנגד דמי שדה של לוקח ראשון שאין ללוקח ראשון הנאה בעמידת זה השדה ביד לוקח שני שאפילו נטרף לוקח הראשון על המוכר הוא חוזר והרי יש לו שדה אחרת שיגבה ממנה:
Rambam:
• 3 Chapters A Day: Malveh veLoveh Malveh veLoveh - Chapter 13, Malveh veLoveh Malveh veLoveh - Chapter 14, Malveh veLoveh Malveh veLoveh - Chapter 15
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Malveh veLoveh - Chapter 13
1
The following laws apply when a lender comes to expropriate property on the basis of a promissory note in his possession and the borrower is not present: If it is possible to send a messenger to the borrower and notify him so that he can confront the lender in judgment, we send a messenger and notify him.
If it is impossible to notify the borrower speedily, we instruct the lender to take an oath, and then to expropriate property belonging to the borrower, either landed property or movable property. We do not consider the possibility that the borrower repaid the debt and the lender gave him a receipt.
This law is an ordinance of the Sages, enacted so that people at large would not take money belonging to a colleague and go to dwell in another city. For this would hinder the possibilities of loans being granted in the future
א
מלוה שבא להפרע בשטר שבידו שלא בפני לוה אם יכולין ב"ד לשלוח אליו ולהודיעו עד שיעמוד עמו בדין שולחין ומודיעין לו, ואם אי אפשר להודיעו במהרה אומרים למלוה שישבע ויטול מנכסיו בין מן הקרקע בין מן המטלטלים ואין חוששין לשובר, ודין זה תקנת חכמים הוא כדי שלא יהיה כל אחד ואחד נוטל מעותיו של חבירו והולך ויושב לו במדינה אחרת ונמצא נועל דלת בפני לוין.
2
The lender must bring proof of three matters to the court before he can expropriate property from the borrower outside his presence:
a) he must verify the authenticity of the promissory note in his possession; b) he must prove that the debtor is in another city and is not present to defend himself in court;
c) he must prove that the property that he wishes to expropriate belongs to so-and-so, the borrower.
ב
שלש ראיות צריך להביא לב"ד ואחר כך יפרע שלא בפניו, ראיה ראשונה לקיים השטר שבידו ראיה שניה שבעל חובו במדינה אחרת ואינו מצוי בכאן לעמוד עמו בדין, ראיה שלישית שאלו נכסים של פלוני הלוה הם.
3
The following rules apply when a lender comes to the court, bringing security that is in his possession" and says: "This security belongs to so-and-so, and I desire to sell it to receive payment of the debt he owes me." The court does not take action and does not tell him: "Wait until the borrower comes and lodges his claim." The rationale is that had the lender desired to say that the security had been purchased his word would be accepted. The court advises him to sell the security in the presence of witnesses, so that the borrower will know for how much the security was sold.
Similarly, when a person gives a loan to a colleague and receives security in return, and then both the borrower and the lender die - regardless of whether the borrower or the lender dies first the lender's heirs may take an oath and collect the debt.
The lender's heir must take an oath holding a sacred object, before he takes payment from the security, as is done by all those who take an oath and collect their due. His word is accepted, because he is taking payment from property that is in his physical possession. Had he desired, he could have said that he had purchased the property.
Why is the creditor not required only to take a sh'vuat hesset? Because he is not taking an oath that the security is his, but rather that the money is owed him. If he lodged a claim concerning the article itself, saying "You sold it to us," or "You gave it to us," he would be able to take a sh 'vuat hesset and be freed of responsibility. If, by contrast, there were witnesses who would testify that this article was given to the lender as security, but they did not know for what amount, he would be able to collect the money only after taking an oath. Since there are no witnesses, the lender would be able to claim: "It is mine." Therefore, we accept his word when he says: "So-and-so much money is owed to me and this is security for that debt," provided that he takes the same oath he would take if there were witnesses who would testify that the article was given as security.
We do not free him of the responsibility of the oath, because we do not employ the principle of miggo to free a person of the responsibility to take an oath, but only to free him of financial responsibility - i.e., he is not required to return the security before he takes what he claim.
ג
מלוה שבא לב"ד והביא משכון בידו ואמר זה משכונו של פלוני הוא ואני רוצה למכרו ולהפרע חובי אין ב"ד נזקקין לומר לו המתן עד שיבא לוה ויטעון שאם רוצה לומר לקוח הוא בידי אומר ומשיאין לו עצה למכרו בפני עדים כדי שידע לוה בכמה נמכר, וכן המלוה את חבירו על המשכון ומת הלוה והמלוה בין שמת הלוה תחלה בין שמת מלוה תחלה הואיל והוא נפרע ממה שתחת ידו ואילו רצה לומר לקוח הוא בידי אומר ה"ז נשבע בנקיטת חפץ ונוטל כדרך כל הנשבעין ונוטלין, ומפני מה אינו נשבע היסת לפי שאינו נשבע על עצמו של משכון אלא על הממון שלוקח שאילו אמר על עצמו של חפץ זה אתה מכרתו לי אתה נתתו לי היה נשבע היסת ונפטר, אבל אם היו שם עדים שחפץ זה משכון בידו ולא ידעו על כמה וכמה אינו יכול ליטול אלא בשבועה והואיל ואין שם עדים ויכול לומר שלי הוא נאמן לומר יש לי עליו כך וכך בשבועה עצמה שהיה נשבע אם היו שם עדים שהוא משכון שאין אומרין מגו לפטרו משבועה אלא לפטרו מממון שלא יחזיר המשכון עד שיטול מה שטען. 1
4
The following rules apply when a person lends money to a colleague and receives security for the loan. Should the security be lost or stolen in a manner that is not beyond the lender's control, the lender is liable for the value of the security, as explained. If the lender says: "I lent you a sela for that security, but it was worth only two dinarim" and the borrower says: "You lent me a sela for that security, and it was worth a sela" the lender must first take the oath taken by watchmen that the article is not in his possession. The borrower then must take a sh'vuat hesset that the security was worth the amount of the debt, and he is freed of responsibility.
If the lender says: "I lent you a sela for that security, but it was worth only two dinarim" and the borrower says: "You lent me a sela for that security, and it was worth three dinarim" the lender must first take an oath that the article is not in his possession. Afterwards, the borrower must take a Scriptural oath how much the article was worth; this is required because he acknowledged a portion of the plaintiff's claim.33 He then pays the dinar that he admits to owing.
If the borrower says: "You lent me a sela for that security, and it was worth two sela'im" and the lender says: "I lent you a sela for that security, and it was worth a sela" the lender must take an oath that the article is not in his possessions and include in that oath that the security was worth only the amount of the debt.
If the borrower says: "You lent me a sela for that security, and it was worth two sela'im," and lender says: "I lent you a sela for that security, and it was worth only five dinarim, the lender must take an oath that the article is not in his possession and include in that oath that the security was not worth more than five dinarim. He must then pay the dinar.
If the lender says: "I lent you a sela for that security, but it was worth only two dinarim" and the borrower says: "I do not know how much it was worth," the lender must take an oath that the article is not in his possession and include in that oath that the security was worth only two dinarim. The borrower must then pay the remainder of the debt. The rationale is that he definitely knows that he is liable for the two dinarim and does not know whether or not he repaid the debt.
If the borrower says: "You lent me a sela for that security, and it was worth two sela'im" and lender says: "I lent you a sela for that security, and I do not know how much it was worth," the lender must take an oath that the article is not in his possession and include in that oath that he does not know that the security was worth even a p'rutah more than the debt. He is then freed of responsibility, because he did not obligate himself at all. If, however, the lender said; "I know that the security was worth more than the loan, but I do not know how much more," he must pay everything that the borrower demands; the borrower is not even required to take an oath. This resembles an instance when a plaintiff lodges a claim for a 100 zuz, and the defendant responds: "I owe you 50, but I do not know whether or not I owe you the other 50." Such a person is obligated to take an oath, but cannot take the oath. Therefore, he must pay, as will be explained. He may, however, have a ban of ostracism issued against anyone who makes a false claim.
ד
המלוה את חבירו על המשכון ואבד או נגנב בלא אונס שהרי המלוה חייב בדמי המשכון כמו שביארנו, ואמר המלוה סלע הלויתיך עליו ושני דינרין היה שוה ולוה אומר סלע הלויתני עליו ושקל היה שוה, הרי המלוה נשבע תחלה שבועת השומרין שאינו ברשותו והלוה נשבע היסת שהיה שוה כנגד החוב ונפטר. אמר המלוה סלע הלויתיך עליו ושקל היה שוה והלוה אומר סלע הלויתני עליו ושלשה דינרין היה שוה ישבע המלוה תחלה שאינו ברשותו ואח"כ ישבע הלוה כמה היה שוה שהרי הודה במקצת וישלם הדינר, אמר הלוה סלע הלויתני עליו ושתים היה שוה והמלוה אומר סלע הלויתיך עליו וסלע היה שוה ישבע המלוה שאינו ברשותו וכולל בשבועתו שהיה המשכון כנגד החוב, אמר הלוה סלע הלויתני עליו ושתים היה שוה והמלוה אומר סלע הלויתיך עליו וחמשה דינרין היה שוה ישבע המלוה שאינו ברשותו ויכלול שלא היה שוה יתר על ה' דינרים וישלם הדינר, סלע הלויתיך עליו ושני דינרין היה שוה והלוה אומר איני יודע דמיו ישבע מלוה שאינו ברשותו וכולל בשבועתו ששני דינרין היה שוה וישלם הלוה שאר החוב שהרי הוא יודע בודאי שהוא חייב לו ואינו יודע אם פרעו אם לא פרעו, סלע הלויתני עליו ושתים היה שוה והמלוה אומר איני יודע דמיו ישבע המלוה שאינו ברשותו ויכלול שאינו יודע שדמיו יתר על החוב אפילו פרוטה אחת ויפטר שהרי לא חייב עצמו בכלום, אבל אם אמר המלוה אני יודע שהיה שוה יתר על החוב אבל איני יודע כמה ה"ז משלם כל מה שטען הלוה בלא שבועה כמי שאמר חמשים יש לך בידי וחמשים איני יודע שהוא מחוייב שבועה ואינו יכול להשבע כמו שיתבאר, ויש לו להחרים על מי שטוען שקר. 2
5
When a person lends money to a colleague and establishes a date when the loan must be repaid, even though he does not affirm the matter with a kinyan, he may not demand payment until the conclusion of that period of time. This applies regardless of whether the loan is supported merely by an oral commitment, by a promissory note, or by security, or whether the borrower or the lender dies.
When no other term is mentioned, the term of a loan is 30 days. This applies regardless of whether the loan is supported merely by an oral commitment, by a promissory note or by security. If the lender stipulated that he could demand payment whenever he desires, he has the right to demand payment even on the day the loan was given. The rationale is that this is a stipulation involving monetary issues.
ה
המלוה את חבירו וקבע לו זמן לפרעו אע"פ שלא קנו מידו אינו יכול לתבעו עד סוף הזמן בין במלוה על פה בין במלוה בשטר בין שהלוהו על המשכון בין שמת לוה בין שמת מלוה, וסתם מלוה ל' יום בין בשטר בין על פה בין על המשכון, ואם התנה שיתבע בכל זמן שירצה יש לו לתבעו ביומו שתנאי ממון הוא.
6
If the lender claims: "Today is the conclusion of the term I established for the loan," and the borrower responds: "You granted me another ten days," the borrower must take a sh'vuat hesset to support his claim. If there is one witness who testifies that the loan was due that day, the borrower must take a Scriptural oath, as is the law with regard to other claims.
If the lender claims: "There are only five days left before the loan is due," and the borrower responds: "There are ten days left," we tell the lender: "Wait until the end of the five days and then have the borrower take an oath that five days remain."
ו
טען המלוה ואמר היום סוף הזמן שקבעתי והלוה אומר עד י' ימים קבעת הלוה נשבע היסת, ואם היה שם עד אחד שהיום סוף זמנו ה"ז נשבע שבועת התורה כשאר הטענות, זה אומר ה' ימים נשאר מן הזמן וזה אומר י' אומרים למלוה המתן עוד עד סוף החמשה וישבע היסת שנשאר עוד ה' ימים.
7
If the loan was supported by a promissory note and the borrower claims: "You established a time for me to pay the debt," it appears to me that the creditor should take a sh'vuat hesset that he did not place any time limit on the loan. He may then collect the loan immediately.
ז
היתה המלוה בשטר וטען הלוה שזמן קבעת לי, יראה לי שישבע בעל חוב היסת שלא קבע לו זמן ויטול המלוה מיד.
8
Payment for a loan may be demanded in any place.
What is implied? When a person lends money to a colleague in a settled place and demands payment from him in a desert, the borrower may not postpone payment. Instead, he is obligated to pay him wherever he demands payment.
If the borrower seeks to repay the loan in the desert, the lender is given the option. If he desires, he may accept payment. If he desires, he may tell him: "Pay me back only in a settled area, just as I gave you the money in a settled area." The money then remains the borrower's responsibility until he pays the lender in a settled area.
ח
המלוה נתנה ליתבע בכל מקום כיצד המלוה את חבירו בישוב ותבעו במדבר אינו יכול לדחותו אלא חייב לפרוע לו בכל מקום שיתבענו, בא הלוה לפרעו במדבר הרשות ביד המלוה אם רצה מקבל ואם רצה אומר לו איני נפרע אלא בישוב כדרך שנתתי לך בישוב והרי הן ברשותו עד שיפרענו בישוב.
FOOTNOTES
1.מלוה שבא לב"ד וכו' עד מה שטען. א"א יש כאן שבושין עכ"ל.
2.אבל אם אמר המלוה אני יודע וכו' עד על מי שטען שקר. א"א על שיטתו הוא הולך ואין אנו נסכמים עמו לפי שלא בא איני יודע של זה על ברי של זה שאינו אומר אתה יודע ששנים היה שוה אבל ודאי אם אמר לו כן הדין כדבריו עכ"ל.
Malveh veLoveh - Chapter 14
1
In the following situations, despite the fact that he possesses a promissory note, a lender may collect payment only after taking an oath that resembles one required by Scriptural Law:
a) a person who impairs the legal power of a promissory note;
b) a person who produces a promissory note that one witness testifies has been paid.
c) a person who seeks to collect payment outside the borrower's presence;
d) a person who expropriates property from purchasers;
e) a person who seeks to collect a debt from heirs, whether below majority or above majority.
When such a person comes to take the oath, we tell him: "Take the oath and collect your due." If the loan was not due until a specific time, and he demands payment on the day the loan was due, he may collect payment without taking an oath. Once the day the loan is due has passed, he may collect payment only after taking an oath.
א
הפוגם את שטרו, או שעד אחד מעיד על שטרו שהוא פרוע, והבא ליפרע שלא בפני הלוה, והטורף מיד הלוקח, והנפרעים מן היורש בין קטן בין גדול לא יפרע אלא בשבועה כעין של תורה (ואומר) לו כשיתבע השבע ואח"כ תטול, ואם היה החוב לזמן ותבע בזמנו יפרע שלא בשבועה, עבר זמנו לא יגבה אלא בשבועה.
2
The following rules apply when a person demands payment from a colleague for a debt recorded in a promissory note, the borrower claims that he paid this promissory note, and the possessor of the note claims that he did not pay anything. The court tells the borrower: "Pay him."
If the borrower demands: "Have him take an oath for me that I did not pay him and then collect the debt," the court requires the lender to take an oath while holding a sacred object, that he did not pay him at all or that he paid him only such-and-such. Afterwards, he may collect his claim. If the lender is a Torah scholar, the court does not require him to take an oath.
ב
התובע את חבירו לפרעו וטען הלוה שפרע שטר זה או מקצתו ובעל השטר אומר לא פרעת כלום אומרים לו שלם לו, טען הלוה ואמר ישבע לי שלא פרעתיו ויטול משביעין אותו בנקיטת חפץ שלא פרעו כלום או שלא פרעו אלא כך וכך ואחר כך יטול, ואם היה המלוה תלמיד חכם אין נזקקין לשבועתו.
3
There is a difference of opinion among the Geonim in the following situation. The lender produces a promissory note whose authenticity has been verified. The borrower claims: "This promissory note is false, I never wrote it," "This promissory note involves interest," "... or a shade of interest," "It was given on faith," "I wrote it with the intention of borrowing, but I never took the loan" - i.e., he issues a claim that if acknowledged by the lender would nullify the promissory note. The lender maintains that the promissory note is genuine and that the borrower is issuing a false claim. The borrower demands that the lender take an oath before collecting.
There is one opinion that rules that the holder of the promissory note is obligated to take an oath that resembles a Scriptural oath, just as when the borrower claimed that he paid the debt. My teachers by contrast ruled that the lender should not be compelled to take an oath unless the borrower claims that he paid him. The rationale is that he acknowledged the validity of the promissory note, and that debt is fit to be repaid. We do not, by contrast, accept the borrower's word with regard to all these other claims to nullify the legal power of a promissory note whose authenticity has been verified. Instead, the borrower should pay, and afterwards lodge any claim against the lender that he desires. If the lender acknowledges the claim, he will return the money to him. If he denies it, he will take a sh'vuat hesset. My opinion also leans towards this view.
ג
הוציא עליו שטר מקויים והלוה טוען ואומר שטר מזויף הוא ומעולם לא כתבתי שטר זה, או שטען שחוב זה רבית הוא או אבק רבית, או שטען שהוא שטר אמנה או שאמר כתבתי ללוות ולא לויתי, כללו של דבר טוען טענה שאם הודה בעל השטר היה השטר בטל, והמלוה עומד בשטרו ואומר שזה שקר טוען ואמר הלוה ישבע לי ויטול ה"ז מחלוקת בין הגאונים יש מי שהורה שחייב בעל השטר להשביע כעין של תורה כמי שטען עליו שפרעו, ורבותי הורו שלא ישבע המלוה אלא אם טען עליו הלוה שפרעו בלבד, שהרי הודה בשטר ולפרעון הוא עומד, אבל כל אלו הטענות לא כל הימנו לבטל שטר מקויים אלא ישלם ואחר כך יטעון על המלוה במה שירצה שאם יודה יחזיר לו ואם כפר ישבע היסת ולזה דעתי נוטה. 1
4
Our Sages issued these rulings in the following situation: A lender produced a promissory note, demanding payment from a colleague. He claims that he was not paid at all. The borrower claims that he repaid half the debt, and witnesses testify that the entire debt was repaid. The borrower must take an oath and then pay the other half. The rationale is that he admits to owing a portion of the debt. He is not considered to be comparable to a person who returns a lost object, because the promissory note causes him to be afraid. The lender may expropriate this half of the debt only from landed property that is within the borrower's possession. He may not attach property that has been sold. The rationale is that the purchasers will say: "We rely on the testimony of the witnesses and they have nullified the legal power of this promissory note."
ד
המוציא שטר חוב על חבירו מלוה אומר לא נפרעתי כלום ולוה אומר פרעתי מחצה והעדים מעידים שפרעו כולו נשבע הלוה ונותן מחצה שהרי הודה במקצת ואינו כמשיב אבידה מפני שאימת השטר עליו, ואין המלוה גובה המחצה אלא מבני חורין שהרי הלקוחות אומרים אנו על העדים נסמוך והרי בטלו שטר זה.
5
The following rules apply when a lender produces a promissory note whose authenticity he is not able to verify, and the borrower says: "It is true that I wrote this promissory note, but I repaid it," "It was given on faith," "I wrote it with the intention of borrowing, but I never took the loan," or another claim of this nature. Since the borrower could have claimed, "This never happened," and our acceptance of the promissory note is dependent on his statements, his word is accepted. He may take a sh'vuat hesset and be freed of responsibility.
If the lender is able to verify the authenticity of the promissory note afterwards in court, it is considered as any other promissory note.
ה
הוציא עליו שטר חוב שאינו יכול לקיימו ואמר הלוה אמת שאני כתבתי שטר זה אבל פרעתיו או אמנה הוא או כתבתי ללוות ועדיין לא לויתי וכל כיוצא בזה הואיל ואם רצה אמר לא היו דברים מעולם והרי מפיו נתקיים הרי זה נאמן וישבע היסת ויפטר, ואם קיימו המלוה אח"כ בב"ד הרי היא כשאר השטרות.
6
The lender's claim is not accepted in the following situation. The lender produces a promissory note whose authenticity has been verified, and the borrower claims: "It is a forgery, and I never wrote it," or "It was given on faith." The lender states: "That is true, but I had an acceptable promissory note and it was lost." Although it was the lender who invalidated his promissory note, and had he desired, he could have said: "It is not a forgery," for its authenticity was verified by the court, he cannot use it to expropriate property at all. Instead, the borrower may take a sh'vuat hesset and be freed of responsibility, for the promissory note is likened to a shard.
ו
הוציא עליו שטר מקויים ואמר הלוה מזויף הוא ומעולם לא כתבתיו או שטר אמנה הוא ואמר המלוה כן הדברים אבל שטר כשר היה לי ואבד אע"פ שהמלוה הוא ששבר את שטרו ואילו רצה אמר אינו מזויף שהרי נתקיים בב"ד אינו גובה בו כלום אלא נשבע הלוה היסת ונפטר שהרי זה השטר כחרס הוא חשוב.
7
When a promissory note was used for a loan and then repaid, it may not be used again. For the lien it created was already waived, and it is likened to a shard.
ז
שטר שלוה בו ופרעו אינו חוזר ולוה בו שכבר נמחל שעבודו ונעשה כחרס.
8
The following laws apply when the lender produces a promissory note whose authenticity has been verified demanding payment from a colleague, the borrower replies: "Did I not pay you," and the lender answers: "You did, but I returned the money to you and then lent it to you a second time." The promissory note that he repaid is nullified, and it is likened to a shard.
If, however, the lender says: "I returned the money to you, because the coins were not good so that you could exchange them," he did not nullify the promissory note, and the lien it created still exists.
ח
המוציא שטר חוב מקויים על חבירו ואמר הלוה הלא פרעתיך ואמר לו המלוה כן היה אבל חזרתי והחזרתי לך המעות והלויתי אותך פעם שניה הרי בטל השטר שנפרע והרי הוא כחרס, אבל אם אמר לו החזרתי לך המעות מפני שלא היו טובות עד שתחליפם לא בטל השטר ועדיין שעבודו קיים.
9
A promissory note is disqualified in the following situation. A lender produces a promissory note whose authenticity has been verified that indicates that the borrower owes him a maneh. The borrower states: "Did I not pay in the presence of so-and-so and so-and-so." Those witnesses come and testify that the borrower indeed repaid the lender, but did not mention the promissory note. The lender replies: "It is true that you paid me, but you repaid me for another debt that you owed me." The lender's word is not accepted, and the promissory note is nullified.
When does the above apply? When the witnesses testify that the borrower gave the lender the money as repayment of a debt. If, however, they saw him give him money, but did not know whether it was given as repayment of a debt, for safekeeping or as a present different rules apply.
If the possessor of the promissory note says: "He never repaid me," he is established as a liar, and the promissory note is nullified. If he says: "It was payment for another debt," his word is accepted. He must take an oath and then he may collect the money mentioned in the promissory note. The rationale is that the borrower did not repay him in the presence of witnesses. Hence, since the borrower can claim: "You gave them to me as a present," his word is accepted if he says that the money was given him as repayment for another debt.
A promissory note is, by contrast, nullified in the following situation. The borrower told the lender: "This promissory note was composed for the price of a steer that I purchased from you, and you collected the money for its meat already." The lender replied: "Yes. The promissory note was composed for that purpose, but I collected the money for that debt with the understanding that the promissory note would apply to another debt that you owe me." The rationale is that the lender himself admitted that the debt mentioned in the promissory note was for the meat of the steer, and that he received payment for that debt. This applies even if there are no witnesses that the money was given for the payment of that debt. Hence, all that is necessary is that the borrower take a sh'vuat hesset that he paid the debt. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.
ט
הוציא עליו שטר מקויים שיש לו עליו מנה ואמר לו הלוה הלא פרעתיך בפני פלוני ופלוני ובאו אלו והעידו שפרעו אבל לא הזכיר לו את השטר ואמר לו המלוה כן הוא שפרעת אבל חוב אחר פרעת שהיה לי אצלך הרי בטל השטר, בד"א כשהעידו שנתן לו בתורת פרעון אבל אם ראוהו נותן לו מעות ולא ידעו אם הוא בתורת פרעון או בתורת פקדון או בתורת מתנה, אם אמר בעל השטר לא היו דברים מעולם הרי הוחזק כפרן ובטל השטר, ואם אמר פרעון של חוב אחר הוא הרי זה נאמן ונשבע ונוטל מה שבשטר שהרי לא פרעו בעדים מתוך שיכול לומר מתנה נתנם לי נאמן לומר פרעון של חוב אחר הן, אמר לו הלוה והלא שטר חוב זה דמי שור שלקחתי ממך הוא ואתה גבית דמי בשרו, ואמר לו בעל השטר כן אני גביתי את דמיו מחוב אחר שהיה לי אצלך הואיל והודה מעצמו שדמי השור הוא החוב ומדמיו נפרע בטל השטר, ואע"פ שאין עליו עדים שפרע מדמיו ישבע הלוה היסת שפרעו וכן כל כיוצא בזה.
10
When a lender produces a promissory note that is signed by one witness and the borrower claims that he paid the debt, the borrower is obligated to take an oath. And since he cannot take that oath, he must make financial restitution.
If the borrower demands of the lender: "Take an oath that I did not pay the debt," he must take the oath. The rationale is that even if two witnesses were signed on the promissory note and the borrower demanded: "Take an oath that I did not pay the debt," the lender would be obligated to take that oath, as we have explained.
י
הוציא עליו שטר חוב בעד אחד ולוה טען פרעתי הרי זה מחוייב שבועה ואיני יכול לישבע ומשלם, טען ואמר ישבע לי שלא פרעתיו ה"ז נשבע שאפילו היו בשטר שני עדים ואמר ישבע לי שלא פרעתיו הרי זה נשבע כמו שביארנו.
11
Similarly, my teachers ruled that when a person denies a loan supported by an oral commitment in a court, and one witness testifies that he borrowed the money, the defendant is required to take a Scriptural oath. If the defendant reversed his position and said: "Yes, I took the loan, but I repaid it," "... the lender waived payment in my favor," or "... owes me money because of another matter," we consider him to be a person who is required to take an oath, but who cannot take the oath, and must therefore make financial restitution.
יא
וכן הורו רבותי שהכופר במלוה על פה בבית דין ובא עד אחד שלוה ה"ז ישבע שבועת התורה, חזר ואמר כן היה לויתי ופרעתי או מחל לי או נתחייב לי ממקום אחר ה"ז מחוייב שבועה ואינו יכול לישבע ומשלם. 2
12
The following rules apply when a defendant claims that he paid a promissory note, but says: "Let the lender take an oath. If he does, he can collect the debt." We tell the defendant: "Bring your money to the court. Then he will take the oath and collect the debt." If the defendant does not have the funds to pay, we require him to take an oath, as ordained by the Geonim, that he has no financial resources. When he acquires resources, he must pay the creditor, but first he may require him to take an oath that the debtor did not repay him previously. Afterwards, the debtor must pay him.
יב
מי שטען שפרע השטר ואמר ישבע המלוה ויטול אומרים לו הבא מעותיו ואחר כך ישבע ויטול, אם אין לו כלום לשלם משביעין אותו כתקנת הגאונים שאין לו ולכשתשיג ידו יתן לבעל חובו וישביעו שלא פרע ואח"כ יתן לו.
13
The following laws apply when a person is owed a debt by a colleague that is supported by a promissory note, the promissory note becomes lost, but the witnesses are still present. Even though the debt was affirmed in the presence of the witnesses by a kinyan, if the borrower claims that he paid the debt, he is required only to take a sh'vuat hesset.
My teachers ruled that even if the debt was given for a specific time, and the due date had not yet arrived, when a promissory note was written, it is no longer in his possession and the borrower claims that he repaid the debt, the borrower's word is accepted provided that he takes an oath that he paid the lender. The rationale is that we suspect that he paid him and for that reason he tore the promissory note or destroyed it by fire.
Similarly, my teachers ruled that even if the promissory note is in the possession of another person and the borrower claims: "It fell from my possession after I paid it," he must take a sh'vuat hesset, and then he is released from all obligations. This applies even if the due date of the promissory note has not arrived. Since the promissory note is not in the possession of the lender, we do not operate under the presumption that the debt is outstanding.
יג
מי שהיה לו חוב על חבירו בשטר ואבד השטר והרי העדים קיימין אע"פ שקנו מידו וטען שפרע ה"ז נשבע היסת, והורו רבותי שאפילו היה החוב לזמן ועדיין לא הגיע זמנו להפרע הואיל וכתבו לו השטר ואין בידו שטר והלוה טוען פרעתי נאמן ונשבע היסת שפרעו שאנו חוששין שמא פרעו ולפיכך קרע השטר או שרפו, וכן הורו רבותי שאפילו היה השטר יוצא מתחת ידי אחר והלוה טוען ממני נפל אחר שפרעתי אע"פ שהוא בתוך זמנו נשבע היסת ונפטר שכיון שאין השטר ביד המלוה אין שם חזקה. 3
14
The following laws apply when both the borrower and the lender are holding on to the promissory note, and the lender says: "It is mine and I took it out to demand payment from you," and the borrower says: "I repaid you and it fell from my possession." If the authenticity of the promissory note can be verified, both claimants are each required to take an oath that no less than half the value of the promissory note belongs to them. The borrower then pays half. If the authenticity of the promissory note cannot be verified, the borrower must take a sh'vuat hesset, and then he is released from all obligations.
יד
שנים שהן אוחזין בשטר המלוה אומר שלי הוא והוצאתיו להפרע בו ממך והלוה אומר פרעתיו וממני נפל, אם היה השטר שיכול לקיימו זה נשבע שאין לו בדמים אלו פחות מחציין וזה ישבע שאין לו בדמים פחות מחציין וישלם הלוה מחצה, ואם אינו יכול לקיימו ישבע הלוה היסת שפרעו וילך לו.
15
Our Sages ordained that precautions be adopted to protect the borrower's interest in the following situation. A person claims of his colleague: "You owe me a maneh." The colleague responds: "I do not owe you anything" or "I paid you." The plaintiff demands: "Take a sh'vuat hesset for me," and the borrower responds: "You have a promissory note concerning this debt. You want to compel me to take an oath first and then produce the promissory note and use it to collect payment."
We tell the lender: "Produce the promissory note." If the lender says: "I never had a promissory note against this person," or "I had a promissory note and I lost it," my teachers ruled that we tell the lender: "Nullify the legal power of any promissory note you possess until the present time. Afterwards, you can require him to take a sh'vuat hesset. Alternatively, have a conditional ban of ostracism issued and go and seek until you find the promissory note.
טו
האומר לחבירו מנה יש לי בידך והלה אומר אין לך בידי כלום או שאומר פרעתיך אמר לו התובע השבע לי היסת אמר לו הנתבע והלא שטר יש לך עלי ואתה רוצה להשביע אותי תחלה ואחר כך תוציא השטר הפרוע ותגבה בו אומרים לו הבא השטר, אמר המלוה אין לי שטר עליו מעולם או שטר היה לי ואבד הורו רבותי שאומרים למלוה בטל כל שטר שיש לך קודם זמן זה ואחר כך תשביעהו היסת או החרם חרם סתם ולך ובקש עד שתמצא השטר.
FOOTNOTES
1.הוציא עליו שטר מקויים עד זה מחלוקת בין הגאונים יש מי שהורה וכו' ורבותי הורו וכו' עד ולזה דעתי נוטה. א"א הרב ז"ל כתב זה בתשובה והיתה השאלה שטען הלוה העלאה לזמן ואפשר שלא אמר הרב ז"ל אלא על אותה הטענה בלבד לפי שבני אדם מתפרצין בזה וסומכים על מה שראו דמר אמר טרשא שרי ומר אמר טרשא דידי ודאי שרי אבל על שאר הטענות לא אמר הרב ויש דמות ראיה לזה כי הפוגמת כתובתה נשבעת והפוחתת נוטלת בלא שבועה לפי שהשטר מצוי יותר בפרעון עכ"ל.
2.וכן הורו רבותי וכו' עד ומשלם וכו'. א"א אני אפרש מכיון שאמר בתחלה לא לויתי כאילו אמר לא פרעתי ואילו לא חזר והודה היה נשבע להכחיש את העד ועכשיו שחזר והודה לעד שלוה שוב אינו יכול לחזור ולהכחיש ולומר שפרע שהרי הודה לו בראשונה שלא פרע ואילו לא הכחישו העד בתחלה לא היינו אומרים כבר הודה שלא פרע הואיל ויכול לעמוד בטענתו בלא שבועה ועכשיו שנתחייב שבועה הוה ליה מחוייב שבועה שאינו יכול לישבע שכבר חזר והודה לעדות הראשונה שלוה ולא פרע כמו שאמר העד.
3.מי שהיה לו וכו' עד ולפיכך וכו'. א"א אין דין זה מחוור ומלובן (דאם איתא דאפילו באבד כל תוך זמנו לא חיישינן לפריעה מה טעם לא מהדרינן ליה כשנפל דאמרינן בהדיא פ"ק דמציעא דאפילו כתוב בו ביום לא מהדרינן ליה אלא ודאי כל דנפל איתרע ליה וכל שכן אבד דאיתרע ליה ורגלים לדבר) דבשבועה מיהא יטול עכ"ל. /השגת הראב"ד/ וכן הורו רבותי וכו' עד אין שם חזקה. א"א ואף זה לא נהיר ולא בהיר ולא צהיר עכ"ל.
Malveh veLoveh - Chapter 15
1
When a person lends money to a colleague in the presence of witnesses and tells the borrower: "Do not repay me outside the presence of witnesses," the borrower must repay him in the presence of witnesses because of this stipulation. This applies whether he made this stipulation at the time the loan was given or after the loan was given.
If the borrower claims: "I fulfilled the stipulation and repaid you in the presence of so-and-so and so-and-so, and they journeyed overseas or died," his word is accepted. He may take a sh'vuat hesset, and then he is freed of responsibility.
Similarly, if the lender states: "Repay me only in the presence of Torah scholars," or "... in the presence of doctors," and the borrower claims: "I repaid you in their presence, but those witnesses in whose presence I repaid you died or journeyed overseas," his word is accepted. He may take a sh'vuat hesset, and then he is freed of responsibility.
If, however, the lender stipulates: "Do not repay me except in the presence of so-and-so and so-and-so and so," and the borrower claims: "I repaid you in the presence of other witnesses, and they died or journeyed overseas," his word is not accepted. Indeed, the lender stipulated: "Do not pay me except in the presence of Reuven and Shimon," who are standing with him, so that the borrower will not rebuff him, saying: "I repaid you in the presence of other people, and they journeyed away."
א
המלוה את חבירו בעדים ואמר אל תפרעני אלא בעדים בין שאמר לו בשעת הלואה בין שאמר לו אחר שהלוהו ה"ז צריך לפרעו בעדים מפני התנאי, טען הלוה ואמר לו וכן עשיתי ופרעתיך בפני פלוני ופלוני והלכו להם למדינת הים או מתו הרי זה נאמן ונשבע שבועת היסת ונפטר, וכן אם אמר אל תפרעני אלא בפני תלמידי חכמים או בפני רופאים ואמר לו בפניהם פרעתיך ואותן העדים שפרעתיך בפניהם מתו או הלכו להם למדינת הים הרי זה נאמן ונשבע היסת ונפטר, אבל אם אמר לו אל תפרעני אלא בפני פלוני ופלוני ואמר לו פרעתיך בפני אחרים ומתו או הלכו להם למדינת הים אינו נאמן שמפני טענה זו התנה עליו ואמר לו אל תפרעני אלא בפני ראובן ושמעון שהם עומדים עמו כדי שלא ידחה אותו ויאמר בפני אחרים פרעתי והלכו להם. 1
2
There are versions of the Talmud that state that when a person tells a colleague: "Do not repay outside the presence of witnesses," and the borrower claims: "I fulfilled the stipulation and repaid you in the presence of so-and-so and so-and-so, and they journeyed overseas or died," his word is not accepted. This is a scribal error. For this reason, the halachic authorities erred because of those texts. I have researched ancient versions of the text and I found that they state that the borrower's word is accepted. In Egypt, a portion of an ancient text of the Talmud written on parchment, as was the custom in the era approximately 500 years before the present era, came to my possession. I found two versions of this law among those parchments. Both state: "If he claims: 'I fulfilled the stipulation and repaid you in the presence of so-and-so and so-and-so, and they journeyed overseas or died,' his word is accepted."
Because of the error that occurred with regard to some texts, there are several Geonim who ruled that if the lender stipulates: "Do not repay me except in the presence of so-and-so and so-and-so," and the borrower repaid him in the presence of others, the borrower's word is not accepted even if he brought witnesses, and they testify that he paid him in their presence. This is also a great mistake. The true law is that if witnesses come and testify that he paid the lender in their presence, the borrower is freed from responsibility; there is no place for suspicion.
This ruling also stems from those texts that state with regard to a lender who tells his colleague: " 'Repay me in the presence of witnesses who study Torah law,' and the borrower repaid him in the presence of ordinary witnesses...." This is also a scribal error. In the above-mentioned parchments, I found it written: "And he went and paid him in private."
Although these texts have been carefully edited, this appears to be the ruling based on the judgment of the Talmud. Moreover, these concepts make sense: "What should the borrower do? The lender told him: "Do not repay me except in the presence of witnesses," and he repaid him in the presence of witnesses. Should he have locked the witnesses in prison for their entire lives so that they do not depart? Besides, what could he do if they died? Thus, the borrower will be forced to pay the lender time after time until he brings witnesses to court. This makes this testimony equivalent to testimony recorded in a legal document. Thus, by saying: "Do not repay except in the presence of witnesses," the lender endows the loan with the strength of a loan recorded in a promissory note. There is no one who would think that this is correct.
Instead, certainly, if the lender stipulated: "Do not repay me except in the presence of so-and-so and so-and-so," the borrower caused himself a loss if he repaid the loan in the presence of other witnesses who departed. If, however, these witnesses come and testify that he repaid the debt, there is no question that the borrower should not be held responsible. This is the manner in which judgment should be rendered and instruction should be given.
ב
יש נוסחאות מן הגמרא שכתוב בהן שהאומר לחבירו אל תפרעני אלא בעדים ואמר לו פרעתיך בפני פלוני ופלוני והלכו למדינת הים אינו נאמן וטעות ספרים הוא ולפיכך טעו המורים על פי אותן הספרים וכבר חקרתי על הנוסחאות הישנות ומצאתי בהן שהוא נאמן והגיע לידי במצרים מקצת גמרא ישנה כתוב על הגוילים כמו שהיו כותבין קודם לזמן הזה בקרוב חמש מאות שנה ושתי נוסחאות מצאתי מן הגוילים בהלכה זו ובשתיהם כתוב ואם אמר פרעתי בפני פלוני ופלוני והלכו להן למדינת הים נאמן, ומפני טעות זו שאירע למקצת הספרים הורו מקצת גאונים שאם אמר לו אל תפרעני אלא בפני פלוני ופלוני ופרעו בפני אחרים שאינו נאמן אע"פ שהביא עדים שפרעו בפניהם וגם זו טעות גדולה והדין האמת שאם באו עדים שפרעו בפניהם נפטר ואין כאן מקום חשש. גם ההוראה הזאת על פי ספריהן שכתוב בהן באותו שאמר לחבירו פרעני בפני עדים ששנו הלכות והלך ופרעו בפני עדים וטעות ספרים הוא ומצאתי בגוילים כתוב אזל פרעיה ביניה לבין דיליה אע"פ שהספרים מוגהין כמו שביארנו כך יראה מדין הגמרא, ועוד דברים של דעת הן וכי מה היה לו לעשות אמר לו אל תפרעני אלא בעדים פרעו בעדים וכי יש לו לאסור את העדים בבית הסוהר כל ימיהם שלא ילכו ועוד אם מתו מה יעשה נמצא זה פורע פעם אחר פעם לעולם עד שיביא עדים א"כ נעשית עדות זו עדות בשטר ונמצא זה כיון שאמר אל תפרעני אלא בעדים נעשת מלוה בשטר ואין מי שעלה על לבו זה, אבל ודאי אם אמר בפני פלוני ופלוני הוא הפסיד על עצמו שפרע בפני אחרים והלכו להם, אבל אם באו והעידו שפרעו אין כאן בית מחוש וכזה ראוי לדון ולהורות.
3
If the lender had the borrower agree to the stipulation that the lender's word would be accepted whenever he claimed that the borrower did not pay him, he may collect the debt without taking an oath. This applies even though the borrower claims that he paid him. If, however, the borrower brings witnesses who testify that he paid him, the lender is not entitled to expropriate any funds.
ג
התנה המלוה על הלוה שיהיה נאמן בכל עת שיאמר שלא פרעו ה"ז נוטל בלא שבועה אע"פ שטען שפרעו, ואם הביא עדים שפרעו אינו נוטל כלום.
4
If the lender had the borrower agree to the stipulation that the lender's word would be accepted as the testimony of two witnesses, even if the borrower brings witnesses who testify that he paid him, he may collect the debt without taking an oath. For he accepted his word as that of two witnesses. ) This law applies even if the borrower brought 100 witnesses that he paid the lender, for the legal power of two witnesses is the same as that of 100 witnesses.
If, however, the borrower told the lender: "I accept your word as that of three witnesses," since he mentioned a number, if the borrower pays the lender in the presence of four witnesses, we consider the debt to be paid. When a person accepted the lender's word as equivalent to that of two witnesses, how can he correct the matter? When he pays, he should have the promissory note ripped up, the lender testify that he nullifies every promissory note he has against so-and-so, the borrower, or the lender give testimony against himself outside the presence of the borrower that he received payment for all debts owed to him by so-and-so the borrower.
ד
התנה עליו שיהיה המלוה נאמן כשני עדים אע"פ שהביא עדים שפרעו ה"ז גובה ממנו בלא שבועה שהרי האמינו כשני עדים, ואפילו הביא מאה עדים (שפרעו הרי גובה ממנו בלא שבועה ואפילו הביא מאה עדים) שפרעו בפניהם שהשנים כמאה, אבל אם אמר לו הרי אתה נאמן עלי כשלשה הואיל וירד למנין אם פרעו בפני ארבעה ה"ז פרוע, זה שהאמין המלוה כשני עדים מה תהיה תקנתו כשיפרע יקרע השטר או יעיד זה המלוה על עצמו שבטל כל שטר שיש לו על פלוני, או יעיד על עצמו שלא בפני הלוה שקיבל כל חוב שיש לו אצל פלוני.
5
If the borrower pays the lender, the lender claims that he was not paid, and the borrower paid him a second time because of the stipulation, the borrower can lodge a suit against the lender claiming: "You owe me such and such, because I paid you twice." If the lender acknowledges the borrower's claim, he must repay him. If he denies the claim, he is required to take a sh'vuat hesset, stating that the borrower paid him only once. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.
ה
הרי שפרעו וטען המלוה שלא נפרע ופרעו פעם שניה מפני התנאי הרי הלוה חוזר ותובע את המלוה בדין ואומר לו כך וכך אתה חייב לי מפני שפרעתיך שתי פעמים אם הודה ישלם ואם כפר ישבע שבועת היסת על כך שלא פרעו אלא פעם אחת וכן כל כיוצא בזה.
6
When the borrower had the lender agree to the stipulation that the borrower's word would be accepted whenever he claimed that he paid the debt, the lender may not collect this debt on the basis of this promissory note - neither from the borrower's heir, nor from a person who purchased property from him. Moreover, even if the borrower said: "I did not pay this debt," the lender may not use this promissory note to expropriate property from a person who purchased property from the borrower. The rationale is that we suspect that the lender and the borrower perpetrated an act of deception to take the purchaser's property.
If the borrower claims to have paid a portion of the debt recorded in this promissory note, and the lender claims that he did not pay anything, the borrower is required to pay the portion that he admitted to owing. With regard to the remainder, he is required to take a sh 'vuat hesset. The rationale is that the lender accepted his word. If he originally stipulates that his word would be accepted without having to take a sh'vuat hesset, he is not required to take that oath.
ו
התנה הלוה שיהיה נאמן בכל עת שיאמר פרעתי אינו גובה בשטר זה לא מן היורש ולא מן הלוקח, ואפילו אמר לוה לא פרעתי אין המלוה טורף בשטר זה מן הלקוחות שמא עשו קנוניא על נכסיו של זה, טען הלוה בשטר זה ואמר פרעתי מקצתו והמלוה אומר לא פרע כלום משלם המקצת שהודה בו ונשבע שבועת היסת שהרי האמינו, ואם התנה עליו שיהיה נאמן בלא שבועת היסת אינו נשבע.
7
If the lender stipulates that his word will be accepted without his having to take an oath, he may collect the debt without taking an oath. If, however, he must collect the debt from the borrower's heirs, he must take an oath; only afterwards may he collect the debt. If, however, he stipulated that he would also be able to collect from the heirs without taking an oath, he may collect the debt from them without an oath.
Similarly, if the lender stipulates that he will be able to expropriate the most valuable property owned by the borrower, he may expropriate that property, even from the heirs. The rationale is that any stipulation made with regard to financial matters is binding.
If the lender comes to collect from a person who purchased property from the borrower, he may expropriate the property only after taking an oath. The rationale is that the borrower may not accept a stipulation that will cause a colleague a loss.
ז
התנה המלוה שיהיה גובה בלא שבועה ה"ז גובה ממנו בלא שבועה, אבל אם בא לגבות מיורשיו ישבע ואחר כך יגבה, ואם התנה שיגבה אף מן היורש בלא שבועה גובה בלא שבועה, וכן אם התנה שיגבה מן העידית גובה מן העידית אף מן היורשין שכל תנאי שבממון קיים, בא לגבות מן הלוקח לא יטרוף אלא בשבועה שאין זה מתנה לאבד ממון חבירו. 2
FOOTNOTES
1.המלוה את חבירו וכו' ועוד אם מתו מה יעשה וכו' אבל ודאי וכו' עד וכזה ראוי לדון ולהורות. א"א אמת הוא שהנוסחאות מתחלפות בזה ואני קיימתי את שתיהן שאם יש עדים על התנאי שאמר לו אל תפרעני אלא בעדים ואמר פרעתי והלכו להם אינו נאמן ואם אין שם עדים נאמן מגו דיכול לומר לא התנה עמי אבל כשאמר לא תפרעני אלא בפני פלוני ופלוני באמת נראין דברי הרב ז"ל דאמר פסלינהו לכ"ע לגבי האי פרעון וכי אתו אחריני ואמרי קמן פרעיה מצי אמר סטראי נינהו והתימה שתמה זה החכם על זה ואמר שאפילו אמר בפני פלוני ופלוני אם יבואו עדים שפרעו בפניהם אין כאן בית מיחוש ותמה על מה שאמרו מהימנת עלי כבי תרי שיפרע לו פעם אחר פעם אלא אם יש לו שטר יקרע שטרו ואם אין לו שטר יכתוב לו שטר שובר בכתב ידו וזו היא תקנתו לכל ענין עכ"ל.
2.התנה המלוה שיהיה גובה וכו' עד לאבד ממון חבירו. א"א אלו הם דברי הרב ז"ל ולא הסכמנו עמו ויש לנו ראיות גדולות לדברינו שמאחר שהם לקחו ממנו אחר התנאי אינהו הוא דאפסידו אנפשייהו.
Hayom Yom:
English Text | Video Class
Thursday, Menachem Av 25, 5777 · 17 August 2017
"Today's Day"
Thursday, Menachem Av 25, 5703
Torah lessons: Chumash: Re'ei, Chamishi with Rashi.
Tehillim: 119, 1-96.
Tanya: Now "The beauty of (p. 427) ...as explained elsewhere. (p. 429).
My father writes in a letter: "I heard in the name of our holy fathers the Rebbe'im, that also1 when a daughter is born we are to say the words "to Torah," (May her parents bring her up to Torah, to marriage and to good deeds. p. 186). This is based on the statement by our Sages (Berachot 17a), "How do women earn merit?2 By seeing to it that their children go to study Torah, that their husbands go to the Study Hall and by awaiting (their husbands' return, etc.").
FOOTNOTES
1.I.e. not only at the birth of a boy.
2.I.e. how do they share in the merit of the mitzva of Torah-study?
Daily Thought:
Nameless

High upon her precipice, the soul is nameless, for she has no form—she will be whatever she must be.
Peering below, beneath the clouds, she perceives a faint shimmering of her light in the deep, wet earth. There she finds form, and she calls it a name, and she is called when that name is called, for she says, “This is me.”
But it is not her. It is only a faint glimmering of her light within the frame of a distant world.
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