As we continue to learn about the types *Shevuot* (oaths), one *Mishnah*
discusses a case that combines two different types. The *Mishnah* (3:9)
explains that if one made a *shevuah* to eat a particular loaf of bread,
then followed it with a second *shevuah* not to eat it, then the first
*shevuah* is considered a *shevuat bitui* and the second is considered a
*shevuat shav*. The *shevuat bitui* we discussed last week. In order not
to violate this *shevua* he must eat some of the bread. The second
*shevua* is a *shevuat shav* – a *shevua* taken in vain – and is
violated immediately. This is because he is making a *shevua* not to
fulfil a *mitzvah* (of satisfying the *shevuat bitui*).

The *Tosfot* (29b, s.v. *shevua*) however asks that each *shevuah*
should be considered a *shevuat bitui*. The first *shevuah* was termed
"*she'ochel*" (that I will eat). We learnt previously that if someone
made a *shevuah "she'lo ochel*" (that I will not eat) then the *shevua*
is violated if one ate a *kezayit* (size of an olive). By extension, the
first *shevuah* implies that he will eat a *kezayit* from the bread. The
second *shevuah,* "*she'lo ochlena*" (that I will eat it), is understood
that he will not eat the entire loaf. Consequently, the two *shevuat* do
not contradict one another; he can certainly eat a *kezayit* amount from
the loaf and not eat the entire loaf. Why then is the second *sheuvah* a
*shevuat shav*?

The *Tosfot* suggest that there is a difference between a *shevuah
"she'ochel*" and *"she'lo ochel*". In other words, a *shevua*
*"she'ochel*" means that one wants to the eat the entire loaf.
Consequently following this *shevua* with a *shevua "she'ochlena*"
contradicts the first *shevua*.

Given that *"she'ochel*" is the compliment of *"she'lo ochel*", why
should the amount for the first be the entire loaf, while the second be
a *kezayit* from it? The *Tosfot R' Akiva Eiger* explains that when one
makes a *shevua "she'lo ochel*" the *shevua* applies to every *ke'zayit*
of that loaf, consequently eating a *kezayit*'s amount violates the
*shevua*. When one makes a *shevua "she'ochel*' it similarly applies to
every *kezayit*. Consequently, it is only when he eats every *kezayit* –
the entire loaf – that the *shevua* is fulfilled.

What then is the difference between *shevua "she'ochlena*" and a
*shevua* "*she'ochel*" if both imply the entire loaf? *R' Akiva Eiger*
explains that the difference is found if the loaf was partially burnt.
Since "*she'ochel*" applies to every *kezayit*, he must eat every
*kezayit* available to be consumed. "*She'ochlena*" however obligates
one to eat the entire loaf. Since part of the loaf was burnt, he can no
longer eat the entire loaf and is not required to eat that which
remains.

The *Tifferet Yisrael* provides a different answer to *Tosfot's*
questions. He explains that the meaning of *she'ochel* is understood by
the context. Even if normally it would imply a *kezayit*, since it this
case it was followed with the opposite *shevuah*, if he really intended
that his first *shevua* be understood as meaning only a *kezayit*
amount, then he should have been more explicit.

Interestingly the *Tosfot HaRosh* cites the *Ramah* that has the
opposite explanation. He explains the *she'ochel* always implies a
*kezayit*. When he follows it with "*she'lo ochlena*" it implies that he
is referring to the same quantity in the first *shevua*. *She'lo
ochlena* only implies the entire loaf when the *shevua* is made on its
own with the loaf resting in front of him.

The *Tosfot HaRosh* however answer the *Tosfot's* question while
maintaining the original assumptions about the amounts implied by each
*shevua* - the first *shevua* implies he will eat a *kezayit* while the
second implies he will not eat the entire loaf. The *Tosfot HaRosh*
explains that even though for a such a *shevuah* one would not be
*chayav* to bring a *korban* until they ate the entire loaf, it is still
forbidden to eat a small amount of it (see last week's article on
*chatzi shiur*). Consequently, the second *shevua* is indeed in conflict
with the first.

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Kuntrus on Masechet Kinim (Updated: 2014/5774)