Translation:Shulchan Aruch/Choshen Mishpat/91
Paragraph 1- A storekeeper is believed with respect to his ledger. How so? If a homeowner tells the storekeeper to give his workers a selah and the homeowner admits that he said this or there are witnesses on the instruction, and the storekeeper says I already gave it to them and the workers say they did not take anything from the storekeeper, both the storekeeper and the workers would take a biblical-type oath and collect from the homeowner. They each must swear in the presence of the other- the storekeeper in the presence of the workers and the workers in the presence of the storekeeper, so that there will be greater shame. This only applies where they are both here. The same would apply where one says to another to lend him a maneh and pay back his creditor and the lender says I gave the creditor the maneh and the creditor says he never received it, and both would swear in the presence of the other and the homeowner must pay both. They would not swear simultaneously, but one after the other.
Paragraph 2- When is this true? Where both parties are present and they are making a claim against the homeowner. If, however, the storekeeper died and only the workers are making a claim or the workers died and only the storekeeper is making the claim, the plaintiff would collect without an oath because the homeowner is not losing anything since he is only making one payment. There are those that say that only in the case where the storekeeper died and the workers are making the claim would they collect without an oath because the homeowner definitely owed them money and we are just unsure whether he paid them. If, however, the workers died and the storeowner is making the claim, he cannot collect what he gave without an oath because he may not have given anything.
Paragraph 3- When is this true? With respect to a storekeeper who gave on credit to the homeowner and pays the homeowner’s debt and the homeowner then pays him. If, however, the homeowner first gave money to the storekeeper and said give a selah to the worker and he directed the workers to the storekeeper in the presence of all three of the parties, the workers have no claim against the homeowner. If the homeowner directed the workers not in the presence of all three parties, the storekeeper would swear a heses oath to the homeowner that he fulfilled his messengership and the workers would swear a biblical-type oath that they did not take anything from the storekeeper and they would collect from the homeowner. There are those that says that such oath is also a heses oath. If one incurs expenses on his friend’s property with his friend’s consent and makes a claim on the expenses, and the defendant does not know if the expenses are accurate, the plaintiff would swear and collect. The same would apply in any case where one party is certain and one is not and the certain party would swear.
Paragraph 4- There are those that say that even if the storekeeper does not make a certain claim that he gave to the workers, but says that he found in his ledger that he gave such and such amount, he is considered as if he made a certain claim since there is a basis for the claim because the homeowner instructed him to give to the workers and the storekeeper can swear on such a claim. In the same vein, the storekeeper can swear on anything written in his ledger that he relies on as true.
Paragraph 5- We can judge on the basis of a person’s ledger in which he is accustomed to write his dealings on, even if it is used to remove money from minor orphans, in a situation where is there is a basis to determine that that which is written in the ledger is accurate.
Paragraph 6- If the storekeeper says that the homeowner told him to give the homeowner’s worker a maneh and the homeowner denies it and says I did not say anything, the homeowner would take a heses oath and be exempt. If the homeowner confesses to 50, he would take a biblical oath that he only told the storekeeper 50. If the homeowner says he instructed the storekeeper to give 50 and is unsure about the other 50, because he cannot swear he must pay.
Paragraph 7- If the homeowner did not provide the storekeeper with a set amount that he should give to the homeowner’s workers but simply said to give them what they need and the workers are not present or had died, the storekeeper is believed to say I gave this and this amount and would collect from the homeowner without an oath. There are those that say that even if the workers were present and the storekeeper gave them more than their wages, because the homeowner did not provide a set amount for the storekeeper to give, the storekeeper would swear and collect.
Paragraph 8- If a minor hired workers and told the storekeeper to pay them and the storekeeper said he gave it and the workers say they did not accept, there are those that say that the rule is the same as in the case of an adult homeowner. According to the Rambam, the workers would swear and collect from the minor, but not the storekeeper.
Paragraph 9- If a buyer told the storekeeper to give him a dinar worth of fruit and the storekeeper gave it and the fruit is now in a public domain and the storekeeper makes a claim on the dinar and the buyer says he already paid and tossed it into the storekeeper’s wallet, the buyer would swear while holding a holy item as the rabbis have instituted, and would collect the fruit. If the buyer gave a dinar to the storekeeper and now comes to claim the fruit that is placed in the public domain and the storekeeper says this dinar is for fruit that I already gave you and brought to your home, the storekeeper would swear while holding a holy item. The same rule applies where one gives a dinar to the moneychanger to take money that is piled up in a public domain. If the moneychanger confessed that he sold them but claims he did not yet take the dinar, the buyer would swear while holding a holy item that he gave the dinar and he can then take the money. If the moneychanger does not confess that he sold him the money, the moneychanger would swear while holding a holy item, even if he confesses that he took the dinar from the buyer but claims the dinar was for money he already brought to the buyer. This is all where the fruit or money is placed in a public domain. If, however, the homeowner already brought the item to his home and the storekeeper makes a claim on the dinar, the homeowner would swear a heses oath and be exempt. If the fruit or money was in the storekeeper’s possession and the homeowner makes a claim, the storekeeper would take a heses oath and be exempt.