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Home -- Content: Series 7 (Laws) -- Translation: English -- Book: 1 (Tora) -- Part: 2 (Negative) -- Prohibition: 62 -- Text
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The Sharia of Moses in the TORA
Part 2 - The 365 Prohibitions of the Tora

61 - VIOLATING A SHEBUAT BITTUI


Leviticus 19:12 -- “And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.”

The Gemara explains in the third chapter of Shebuoth, and also in Tractate Temurah, that shebuat sheker (a false oath) is the non-performance of a shebuat bittui. The passage runs as follows: “This false oath – what is meant by a false oath which entails no action? – ‘Shall we say that what is meant is swearing not to eat and then eating? But in that case, an action is performed. We must, then, conclude that what is meant is swearing to eat and then not eating. But is there a penalty of whipping for breach of a prohibition involving no action? Surely we are told…’ etc.”*

* Sheb. 21a (Sonc. ed. p. 109), Tem. 3b (Sonc. ed. pp. 11f). Thus, we see that the case of a shebuat bittui (as where one swears he will eat a certain thing, and does not eat it, or the opposite) is regarded by the sages as a form of shebuat sheker.
Maimonides’ object is to justify basing the prohibition of a shebuat bittui on the verse, you shall not swear by My name falsely (lashaker), which suggests the shebuat sheker.

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