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14

Rambam (Mishna Torah, Hil. Edim 18:3) notes that this rule is a g'zeiras hakasuv and gives no reason. According to Ramban (Devarim 19:18)(as expounded upon by Ralbag and Abarbanel), the logic is as follows: When we have two pairs of witnesses in contradiction (i.e. "Reuven did X" vs. "Reuven did not do X") then we have no reason to believe one pair over ...


14

Ari Zivotofsky and I have worked hard to collect tens of testimonies from Yemenites and North Africans on the ID and traditions of which chagav (locust-like insect) is kosher. There is no question, as there are still many people alive who can remember them from their countries of origin. Birds as the paradigm As mentioned in Isaac Moses' response above, ...


11

The Talmud in Shavuot 30a derives this directly from Deuteronomy 19:17 וְעָמְדוּ שְׁנֵי-הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר-לָהֶם הָרִיב לִפְנֵי יְהוָה לִפְנֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים וְהַשֹּׁפְטִים אֲשֶׁר יִהְיוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם. And they shall stand the two men, who have them the conflict, before God. Before the priests, and the judges, that will be, in those days. Three ...


8

No the disqualification does not apply. The Rambam in Hilchot Edut Chapter 11 Paragraph 7 writes: עד אחד נאמן באיסורין, אף על פי שהוא פסול לשאר עדייות (my translation) A single witness is beleived regarding forbidden matters even if he is disqualified for other testimonies. The Rambam makes similar statements regarding the validity of the testimony of one ...


7

We need direct witnesses. Oh by the way, a simple "yes" is not enough of a response to a warning, it must be "yes I am aware of the punishment and prepared to do anyway." (Rambam Sanhedrin 12:3, אפילו אמר יודע אני, פטור: עד שיתיר עצמו למיתה, ויאמר על מנת כן אני עושה) As for the warning, the Gemara says "even if a demonic voice said don't do that or you'll ...


6

No, eidim are witnesses, not lawyers. Their function is to give testimony as to what they observed, not to serve as a partisan defender of one side or another. Nevertheless, in a criminal case it might be argued that the eidim who witnessed the crime are effectively the prosecutors, but I think it is more accurate to simply call them accusers.


5

"Married in G-d's eyes" is an awfully hazy phrase. We believe that G-d gave us laws that tell us what marriage is (and isn't). What effects marriage between a Jewish man and woman, in theory, could be relations, but that would require intent and witnesses (well witnessing seclusion). Maimonides, Laws of Husbandry Ch. 3 And the Talmud says this is a ...


5

The author of Or HaChayim writes (Pri To'ar 85) that he discouraged the members of his city from eating them for a few reasons, one of them being because their tradition was not completely reliable. I later happened to come across this article which discusses this topic more extensively.


5

I think you're confused. If someone stole and then confessed, they just pay it back. If one FALSELY SWORE after stealing something, then felt guilty, then in addition to a guilt sacrifice, one must pay it back plus "a fifth" (actually a quarter, but that's a story for another day). See Leviticus 5:20. Gezel HaGer (Numbers 5:5) is simply a special case of ...


5

The main point of Smicha is to prove that you know Halacha. Many famous poskim (who didn't work as official city Rabbonim) didn't have Smicha until needed (by government etc.) Therefore, if one is knowledgeable enough to pasken, he should be able to pass a rudimentary Smicha test. If he doesn't, he can't pasken even if he has Smicha.


4

The Shalo Hakadosh (Parshas Vayeshiev) writes that from the words "ויבא יוסף את דיבתם רעה" (Yosef brought evil reports to his father), it seems that Yosef did not fabricate these stories (otherwise it should have said he "made up" the reports). The Midrash relates that Yosef would tell his father that his brothers were guilty of eating meat that was not ...


4

Chewing gum is not halachic eating. It is less than a Kzayit You do not swallow it. It does not nourish you. So chewing gum and walking in the street would not disqualify you. As for candies and the like, this is really talking about the Marketplace. The gemora says that a person who eats in the Shuk is like a dog. The person has no patience and can ...


4

If you're referring to the Biblical case of "motzee shem ra": Deuteronomy 22:13--19; see Rabbi Kaplan's translation and notes, The Rambam explains (in Hilchos Na'ara Besula 3:6) that the case is in fact that the husband has two witnesses falsely testify against his wife; the witnesses are indeed "zamam"-ified and potentially executed. The husband arranged ...


4

Probably each example you cite above could be answered separately; here are some thoughts: Gen. 31:48: The Alshich asks your exact question and explains that גלעד is equivalent in Mispar Koton (a form of Gematria) to 17 - Hashem's Great and Holy Name - in order to hint that the true witness in this case is Hashem (see Rashi to 31:44). Alternatively, ...


3

The Rambam in Moreh Nevukhim 3:41 (2nd paragraph) explains the reason behind "an eye for an eye" literally, then says that we should not be bothered that the law is that one pays, because his goal is to explain the written Torah, not the halakhah, and one who wants an explanation of the halakhah should consult the Rambam in person. The commentator Narboni ...


3

Loosely translated from Kipa.co.il Women are disqualified because of a gezeirat haKatuv, [an inference from the Biblical text], as the Rambam says in Hilchot Eidut 9:2, based on Devarim 16:6 and 19:15, where it uses the male gender, and not the female. Thus we see that women are not disqualified because of their competency or trustworthiness, rather ...


3

The Limmud for "before the punishment" is from Kaasher Zamam, not Kaasher Asu (what they planned to do, not what they succeeded in doing). With a Challal, when the Eidim are made Zomminim, the whole Challal is undone and it is as if it never happened. So in the end they were only planning, they didn't succeed, so they are still under to the din of Kaasher ...


3

Killing by accident does not make one invalid for testimony. It is not listed among those who are invalid for testimony in Maseches Sanhedrin (nor in Rosh Hashanah). The general rule for invalidation for testimony is record of actions that involve dishonesty. There are exceptions even for that according to some.


3

It doesn't seem to have a fixed formal definition, but perhaps reading Maimonides' description of it will help you get the right picture. At the end of the fifth chapter of Yesodei haTorah (which discusses mostly the laws of "dying al kiddush hashem"), he writes (5:10-11): כל העובר מדעתו בלא אונס על אחת מכל מצוות האמורות בתורה, בשאט בנפש להכעיס--הרי זה ...


2

Based on the answer to this question May one chew gum in the bathroom? that one may chew gum in the bathroom, then it is obviously not called eating and therefore it would not disqualify one from being a witness.


2

It doesn't make a difference that according to him the Eidim are Posul as Beis Din needs to believe the Eidim. We also can not stop him from bringing the Eidim, as Shavye Anafshei Chaticha De'isura is only applicable by someone prohibiting something on himself. (See the Sheeta Mekubetzes on Ksubos 9a who says that it is derived from the Din of Neder)


2

Maybe this? From a Danish professor's page on epilepsy: Hallucinations People with temporal lobe epilepsy, more often than others, may develop a mental condition which resembles schizophrenia. This manifests itself most often when the person has had complex partial seizures with convulsions for about 15 years. The person gets the feeling that they ...


2

Their are different explanations given. Some give the technical reason that the zomemin are being testified against directly, while their testimony is on some other matter. The 2nd group's testimony falls directly on the 1st group, and they can't defend themselves from a an edus against them. (Compare this with regular contradicting testimonies, where both ...


2

I once heard an explanation of this halacha from Rabbi Orlofsky, in which it has nothing to do with women's competence or lack there of, and never implied a former lack of competence (as your question does). Women are created with a stronger emotional sense, and are meant to be that way. They are meant to be in touch with their emotional side and not ...


2

Introduction What could be contained in this question, and manner in which we answer it, is going to depend on several things. First of all, we should clarify what we're asking about: your specific question mentioned only phrases that needed 'reinterpretation', but there are many more cases that deserve inquiry, such as gezairah shavas (see the Rambam's ...


1

Your question is an important one, which can be directed towards many laws found in the Torah, as you seem to suggest. The principle which would answer it is this: the Torah was given along with the Oral Law (see Mishne Torah intro). Moshe Rabbeinu was the one who explained the Torah for the Israelites throughout their wanderings in the wilderness. It was ...


1

Based on Rabbi J. David Bleich's class here: If there is known to be more than one "Yosi ben Shimon" (Talmud's example) in a given community, they must resort to either an additional generation "Yosi ben Shimon ben Moshe" or another descriptor "Yosi ben Shimon HaRofe". (My own addition: In the current age, listing a family name would seem to be another good ...



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