Thursday, May 07, 2009


By: Rabbi Avi Lebowitz

Rabbi Chiya says that included in the case of modeh b’miktzas where the person partially admits and partially denies is also a case of “heilech”. Meaning, Reuven claims that Shimon owes him one hundred zuz. Shimon responds by denying fifty and admitting on the other fifty, saying “heilech”. Rabbi Chiya holds that Shimon is required to take an oath on the fifty that he denies. Rav Sheishes disagrees and holds that heilech is exempt, because the fifty that he is admitting on is as if it has already been returned to the lender and the entire claim is only on the fifty that is being denied, so it is a case of kofer hakol, which does not require an oath.

Rashi implies that in order to qualify as heilech in a case of a loan, the borrower must say that he didn’t spend the money, but if he would have spent the money and is presenting the lender with other money, that would not qualify as heilech.

The Hagahos Ashri understands Rashi exactly like this, and therefore holds that if the borrower spent the money and is now replacing it by returning other money, even though we rule in accordance with Rav Sheishes that heilech is exempt, the borrower would have to swear because this isn’t a case of heilech.

However, the Bach on the Rosh says that Rashi is not coming to define heilech, rather he is coming to explain Rabbi Chiya who says that even by heilech the borrower must swear. Rashi is coming to say that even if the money has never been spent and it is a supercharged heilech, Rsbbi Chiya would still hold that the borrower must swear. But it is entirely possible that Rashi would hold that according to Rav Sheishes that heilech is exempt, it would even be exempt if the original money was spent so long as now the borrower is presenting the lender with other money in its place.

The Gr”a quotes from the Ran that a case of a loan is always considered as if the money has been spent since it is given to spend, and therefore a loan never qualifies as heilech. The only situation of heilech is when one gives another something to watch, and then presents him with only part of it at the time he returns it and denies the other part of it. Based on these Rishonim, in a case of a loan, even if it hasn’t yet been spent, the borrower would have to swear.