People who participate in certain activities that are bad for society are disqualified from testifying. Also, those who've commit certain sins whose punishment is corporal, and haven't yet repented, are disqualified from testifying. Does either disqualification apply even to cases where a single witness can testify, as on the status of food as kosher or the status of someone as dead?

As always, this question is theoretical; if the issue is practical for you, consult your rabbi.

  • Inspired by the comments at judaism.stackexchange.com/a/14098.
    – msh210
    Feb 9, 2012 at 19:22
  • I'll try bl"n to find sources for each claim made in the question. I don't have time at the moment, though.
    – msh210
    Feb 9, 2012 at 19:23
  • 1
    I think that the question needs to be filled out a bit. For example, the classic "eid echad ne'eman b'isurin" (one witness is believed regarding prohibitions) is that one may rely on an observant Jewish woman's word that the food she cooked is kosher. This is true, even though women cannot testify in beit din. (Jewish court). Yet, I'm not sure that one may rely on a child's word that the food he/she cooked alone is kosher, and certainly one cannot rely on a single mentally ill person that food he/she cooked is kosher.
    – user1095
    Feb 9, 2012 at 19:32
  • 1
    @Will The rule is regarding certain witnesses that are excluded for formal reasons (such as women and slaves) whereas someone who is lacking 'daat' is clearly excluded in all cases.
    – Double AA
    Feb 9, 2012 at 19:34
  • 1
    :-( I'd perhaps -1 this if I could. It was, as I mentioned, prompted by recent comments elsewhere, and I asked it on the spur of the moment. But it's a poor question: it lacks references (so far, and likely will, now, since they're in the answer below) and is easily answered (in the sense that if I have a source on which to base the question then I can probably easily find the answer also).
    – msh210
    Feb 9, 2012 at 20:05

1 Answer 1


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 witness in all other contexts in Hilchot Edut Chapter 5 Paragraph 2 and Paragraph 3.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .