From the Chumash it sounds like the two witnesses come as a team. But I'm sure there are cases when two witnesses come individually, they don't know each other. Can they be מצורף? From reading the chumash it always sounds like there are two witnesses coming together and therefore if one is a נוגע בדבר then they are both disqualified. So the question is here, what if two separate witnesses come who haven't spoken to each other?


2 Answers 2


The Gemara Makkos 6B clarifies that for capital punishment they would need to be together, while for monetary things they can be separate;

אמר רב נחמן עדות מיוחדת כשירה בדיני ממונות דכתיב לא יומת על פי עד אחד בדיני נפשות הוא דאין כשירה אבל בדיני ממונות כשירה

Rav Naḥman says: Disjointed testimony of two witnesses, each of whom observed an incident independent of the other, is valid in cases of monetary law, as it is written: “He shall not die at the mouth of one witness” (Deuteronomy 17:6). This indicates that it is only with regard to cases of capital law that disjointed testimony is not valid, but with regard to cases of monetary law that testimony is valid.


Two examples where we see that two separate individuals can join together as a set of witnesses are as follows:

Shulchan Orach, Choshen Mishpat 34:26

לוה שהעיד על המלוה שהלוה לו ברבית ויש עד אחר עמו מצטרפין לפוסלו אף ע"פ שעושה עצמו רשע פלגינן דיבוריה ומאמינים אותו לגבי מלוה ולא לגבי עצמו וכן אם העיד שפלוני רבעו אפילו לרצונו או שבא על אשתו או שרבע שורו הוא ואחר מצרפין לפסלו (וה"ה שהנגזל יכול להעיד על הגזלן כמו הלוה על המלוה ובלבד שלא יהא לו הנאה מעדותו) (מרדכי פרק זה בורר)

If a borrower testified against a lender that he lent him with interest and the borrower has another witness join with him to disqualify the lender, although a person cannot establish himself as wicked, we can split his words and we believe him with respect to the lender but not with respect to himself. Similarly, if he testifies that so and so had sexual relations with him- even if consensual, or he testifies that so and so had sexual relations with his wife or animal, he and another person may join together and testify to disqualify him. (The same applies with respect to a theft victim who may testify against the thief just like a borrower can testify against the lender, so long as he gets no gain out of his testimony.) (Sefaria translation and notation)

Also refer to Mishna Rosh Hashana 1:7

אָב וּבְנוֹ שֶׁרָאוּ אֶת הַחֹדֶשׁ, יֵלְכוּ. לֹא שֶׁמִּצְטָרְפִין זֶה עִם זֶה, אֶלָּא שֶׁאִם יִפָּסֵל אֶחָד מֵהֶן, יִצְטָרֵף הַשֵּׁנִי עִם אַחֵר. רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן אוֹמֵר, אָב וּבְנוֹ וְכָל הַקְּרוֹבִין, כְּשֵׁרִין לְעֵדוּת הַחֹדֶשׁ. אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי, מַעֲשֶׂה בְטוֹבִיָּה הָרוֹפֵא, שֶׁרָאָה אֶת הַחֹדֶשׁ בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם, הוּא וּבְנוֹ וְעַבְדּוֹ מְשֻׁחְרָר, וְקִבְּלוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים אוֹתוֹ וְאֶת בְּנוֹ, וּפָסְלוּ אֶת עַבְדּוֹ. וּכְשֶׁבָּאוּ לִפְנֵי בֵית דִּין, קִבְּלוּ אוֹתוֹ וְאֶת עַבְדּוֹ, וּפָסְלוּ אֶת בְּנוֹ

If a father and his son saw the new moon, they should both go to the court in Jerusalem. It is not that they can join together to give testimony, for close relatives are disqualified from testifying together, but they both go so that if one of them is disqualified, the second may join together with another witness to testify about the new moon. Rabbi Shimon says: A father and his son and all their relatives are fit to combine together as witnesses for testimony to determine the start of the month. Rabbi Yosei said: There was an incident with Toviyya the doctor. When he saw the new moon in Jerusalem, he and his son and his freed slave all went to testify. The priests accepted him and his son as witnesses and disqualified his slave, for they ruled stringently that the month may be sanctified only on the basis of the testimony of those of Jewish lineage. And when they came before the court, they accepted him and his slave as witnesses and disqualified his son, due to the familial relationship. (Sefaria translation and notation)

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