• Rav Shmuel Shimoni
            This summer we will be studying the third chapter of tractate Shevuot. In the first shiur, we will try to define the prohibition and the liability to bring a sin-offering for an oath relating to the past and for an oath relating to the future.
            See the Torah verses, Shemot 20:7; Vayikra 5:4; 19:12; Bemidbar 30:3. See also the Mishna in Shevuot 19b, until "ve-shelo akhalti"; Mishna, Shevuot 25a; 26a (in the framework of understanding the view of Rabbi Yishmael), "Ipukh anashe-ha-ma'aseh kodem li-shevua."


            Shalom to all the participants in this shiur. This summer we will be studying part of tractate Shevuot. This short tractate deals with various different topics. The first two chapters deal with the ritual impurity of the Temple and of the sacrificial offerings, and other matters, and there is no essential connection between them and the name of the tractate. Chapters 4-5 and 6-8 of the tractate deal with special cases of liability that the Torah imposes in specific situations connected to a false oath: shevuat ha-eidut, an oath denying that one has knowledge regarding a monetary claim brought against another person, and shevuat ha-pikadon, an oath concerning an entrusted object. Perhaps we will touch upon these issues in the future. Chapters 6-7 discuss in a most fundamental manner the matter of shevuat ha-dayyanim, an oath that is imposed by the court in certain situations, a topic that is treated also in other places in tractate Bava Metzia and elsewhere. Our study will focus on the third chapter of the tractate. This chapter deals with shevuat bitui: a person swears about the correctness of a certain fact, or he swears that he will behave in a certain manner. In so far as one accepts upon himself a future obligation, there is a great similarity to the central issue of another talmudic tractate – tractate Nedarim. It is only natural then that from time to time we will refer to the relevant passages in that tractate.
We will send the first shiur in this series next week. Shabbat shalom.
(Translated by David Strauss)