Questions tagged [edim-witnesses]

edim, witnesses, those who witness/testify

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26
votes
5answers
1k views

Why is the torah so misleading without the oral law

In Parshas Ki Teitze (Devarim 22:13-21) it says if a man takes a wife, hates her, accuses her of not being a virgin, etc. Then the elders spread out the bedsheet to see if there is blood of virginity. ...
24
votes
8answers
670 views

Is one allowed to kill false witnesses to his own capital crime?

Reuven and Shimon conspire to execute Levi in Beis Din (court) for killing Yehuda by their testimony. There were no Eidei Hazama (counter-witnesses) who will expose Reuven and Shimon to be liable to ...
20
votes
4answers
518 views

Can you walk and chew gum at the same time?

Rambam (Hil. Edus 11:4) writes (translation from here): ...base people are disqualified as witnesses by Rabbinic decree. This refers to people who walk through the marketplace eating in the ...
17
votes
2answers
556 views

Why aren't Yemenites an ed echad on locusts?

I've heard that the reason we (most of us) don't eat the locusts enumerated as kosher in the Torah is that we cannot identify them. That is, we don't know what type of locust is referred to by the ...
14
votes
1answer
295 views

Can I trust a random internet user?

Does the halacha of עד אחד נאמן באיסורין (a single witness is trusted in matters of prohibition) apply to a random internet users? If someone presents themselves as being a practicing Jew, can I take ...
13
votes
4answers
394 views

Coerced testimony in halacha

My chavrusa and I were going through Sanhedrin (40b) this evening, and the topic of how to get accurate statements from witnesses. Rashi mentioned the concept of moving the witnesses around in order ...
12
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5answers
2k views

Why are women invalid as Halachic witnesses?

Why are women Pasul leEidus ? Does this still apply?
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Edim Zomemim - Why Not Believe Them?

There is a concept of Edim Zomemim (Wikipedia has it translated as "Collusive Witnesses") (עדים זוממים). Basically, if two witnesses testify about someone, and then two other witnesses come and say ...
12
votes
1answer
255 views

No obligation of counting birthdays and knowing one's age?

Age is a very important part of Jewish Halakha, with many dates being critical for one's responsibility, including Misos Beis Din (capital punishment). E.g. 3 year old girl can be betrothed and a male ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How can there be only two Halachic witnesses at a large wedding?

By what power or logic can the mesader kiddushin saying that two specific, designated people are the only witnesses to a wedding change the fact that all assembled have seen all that transpired at the ...
10
votes
1answer
182 views

How did they establish in the USA, post-WW II, that a Rav had smicha prior to the Holocaust?

This is probably something that happened many times after World War II, when documentation was lost. Here's the scenario: A rabbi, who had led a kehila (congregation) in a small town in ...
10
votes
2answers
162 views

Eating outside at a restaurant

The Gemara in Kidushin 40b writes that if one eats in the marketplace (public) is considered like a dog, and his testimony is not accepted. The Rambam in Hilchos Edus 11:5 codified this as halacha. ...
10
votes
2answers
204 views

How can a rapist in the field be executed, if there were no witnesses?

The pasuk in Devarim 22:25 says But if a man finds the betrothed girl in the field, and the man overpowers her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. Now, the man can ...
9
votes
1answer
107 views

Why would a third witness ever testify?

D'varim 17:6 tells us that "at the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses" a transgressor can be put to death. The mishna in Makkot 1:7 (and following) asks why it says "or three" if two is enough ...
9
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0answers
97 views

What is the status of professional video game players?

A friend remarked to me that playing video games professionally today is the equivalent of professional gamblers in the times of the talmud, specifically in that both are not involved in "Yishuvo shel ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Legally speaking, do we really have so few friends?

Sanhedrin chapter 3 talks about categories of people who are disqualified from being judges or witnesses in a case. They include some people who are never trustworthy, various relatives of the ...
8
votes
1answer
503 views

Marriage Where Witnesses can Never be Found

Suppose a Jewish man and Jewish woman end up stranded on an island in the South Pacific as a result of a plane crash or ship wreck, with no other survivors, and no hope of rescue. In fact, respective ...
8
votes
1answer
143 views

are you obligated to give testimony if you know you are pasul l'eidus?

I remember learning that there is a mitzvah to give testimony if you know of something which it requires. My question is if you know about yourself, with certainty, that you are pasul l'eidus in ...
7
votes
3answers
195 views

Is God a kosher witness?

Moshe's death is attested to by God Deutoronimy 34,5 (see Sotah 13b), There were no other witnesses. At what point did Gershom and Eliezer inherit his posessions and Assuming he and Tzippora were ...
7
votes
1answer
122 views

Can an affidavit be used in Beit Din?

An affidavit, from what i understand, is basically a signed document given by a witness to be used as evidence in a trial, without the witness themselves needing to take a stand. Can an affidavit be ...
7
votes
3answers
120 views

Should the groom say what the ketuba says he says? If not, are the witnesses that sign it lying?

Should the groom SAY the statement in the kesuba to his bride on the day the kesuba is being written? the statement in the kesuba On the day .... the bridegroom ... said to this [...] daughter of [...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Witnesses and the Ketubah

I heard from a chief rabbi of an Israeli city, who was officiating at a wedding I was at, that a Ketubah must be signed by two witnesses who are shomer mitzvos. What is the legal definition of this ...
6
votes
1answer
119 views

התראה by phone?

Can warning for a capital crime be accomplished by telephone? Hello? Are you aware that it is currently שבת where you are? Yes. I am aware of the punishment and prepared to do it anyway. Are ...
6
votes
1answer
169 views

Can one be compelled to testify?

Can a witness be compelled to testify? The Torah says you must testify [Lev. 5:1] but the Talmud says punishment for not doing so can only come from God [Bava Kamma 55b]. You may not want to testify ...
6
votes
1answer
183 views

What is/are the Halachic standard(s) of proof

This answer suggests a standard of "beyond a shadow of a doubt". That type of term is very popular from an English Law perspective, which has varying standards of "proof". Among them: Probable cause (...
6
votes
0answers
70 views

Can a witness at Kiddushin have had committed inconsequential crimes?

I remember hearing in the name of Rav Moshe Feinstein that a criminal who-- by normal and objective standards-- should be invalidated from testifying can still be considered a Kosher witness if his ...
6
votes
0answers
90 views

Is plea-bargaining allowed in Judaism?

Consider this form of plea-bargaining: "Plead guilty to a lesser crime. In exchange, we won't prosecute you further and you give us information about your bosses and testify against them." This is ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How would intercourse be verified as a form of marriage?

The first Mishnah in Talmud Kiddushin says that a woman can be bought (betrothed) via intercourse. As I understand, there must always be 2 witnesses to verify that one of the 3 methods mentioned in ...
5
votes
2answers
243 views

Eidim Zomemim in a case of seeing a new moon

As discussed in Maseches Rosh Hashanah, if two witnesses saw the new moon, they'd go to Beis Din to testify they saw it and Beis Din would then declare when Rosh Chodesh would be. But what if these ...
5
votes
2answers
273 views

When Eidim Zomemim are found guilty who do they pay if it was a monetary case?

When Eidim Zomemim are found guilty who do they pay if it was a monetary case? I can think of reasons to say it's the initial accused, the court, or the person who was said to have been owed the money....
5
votes
2answers
80 views

Source for the requirement for an action to be within “toch k'dei dibbur” of a warning for Capital Punishment

In order for a person to be killed by Beis Din via a capital punishment, there needs to be: a) 2 witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15) that saw him transgress a sin that is liable to death. b) a warning ("...
5
votes
1answer
186 views

Is Gezel Hager a Knas?

A knas (penalty) is never paid through the admission of the one who would pay it. For example, if someone steals $1 he has to pay $2 back, but if he returns the money by himself, he only pays $1 back, ...
5
votes
2answers
199 views

How can inanimate objects function as “witnesses” in the Tanakh?

How can inanimate objects function as edim and/ or edot in the Tanakh? For example, הַגַּל (Gen. 31:48) הַשִּׁירָה (Deut. 31:19) הַתֹּורָה (Deut. 31:26) הַשָּׁמַיִם והָאָֽרֶץ (Deut. 31:28) הָאֶבֶן (...
5
votes
1answer
102 views

What medical condition was this “epilepsy that causes mental instability at all times”?

Rambam's Laws of Testimony 9:8 (written about 800 years ago) describe disqualification for testimony (eidut) due to mental instability. He writes: The epileptic is disqualified when having a ...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

Does the nascent Sanhedrin in Israel sanctify the new moon with witnesses?

In 2004, a group of rabbis in Israel attempted to begin the process of re-establishing the Sanhedrin using the Rambam's method of universal consensus to re-establish the line of semikha. Rabbi Moshe ...
5
votes
3answers
92 views

Who can witness the sale of chametz?

Our shul's practice (which I imagine is very common) is for members of the community to appoint the rabbi as their agent for selling chametz. The rabbi then sells everything to a local priest, along ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

Eidei Nisuin at weddings?

At a wedding, we designate both eidei kiddushin (witnesses for the kiddushin) and eidei ketubah (witnesses for the ketubah). However, I haven't really seen the practice of designating eidei nisuin at ...
4
votes
1answer
322 views

Could video be considered as a valid halachic witness in court?

My understanding is that court cases require a minimum of two witnesses to testify against someone. Could one of these witnesses be a video, or does it need to be specifically a live human? Would ...
4
votes
1answer
109 views

Is a woman believed to say she had an affair

if a married woman claims to have committed adultery, but there is no other corroborating evidence (witnesses) is she believed by beit din such that the husband is now forbidden to sleep with her?
4
votes
3answers
485 views

If two kosher witnesses are not specified at a wedding is the marriage valid?

In a wedding ceremony, where many different people are present and many people see a wedding ring (or any item worth a shaveh peruta) being given by the man to the woman, do two kosher witnesses need ...
4
votes
1answer
103 views

Can a person who killed by accident subsequently be a witness?

If a person kills and there are only two witnesses and one witness has killed by accident before, are there two witnesses, or does the one who killed before not count?
4
votes
1answer
409 views

What are the parameters of Kiddush ha-shem?

Kiddush Hashem, the sanctification of the name of God, is often associated with choosing death rather than violating a core tenet of Judaism (this is known as dying "al kiddush Hashem"). However, more ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Could a secular marriage contract conceivably be considered a shtar kiddushin?

Suppose a secular Jewish couple got civilly married- no halachik ceremony- and they get their marriage license. Could this marriage license serve as a Halachik Shtar, ie they'd need a Get if they ...
4
votes
1answer
148 views

How can one who contradicted witnesses use those witnesses later?

Case 1 Plaintiff Reuvein made a claim against Shimon that Shimon owes $100 to Reuvein through a loan. Shimon said: "I never borrowed anything from you". Reuvein brought two witnesses (Pair A) that ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

Why does the gemara not consider the possibility that someone will warn his wife about seclusion when he's mad at her?

The gemara in Sotah 2b discussed two different versions of a statement by Rabbi Eliezer: one from the mishna on 2a and one from a beraisa. In the mishna, Rabbi Eliezer states that in order for a woman ...
4
votes
0answers
65 views

10 men for Chazarat Hashats, needs the Chazan himself to count?

A case: I am Chazan and finished the silent Shmona Esre, someone say me to begin the Chazara because there are already 9 who finished their Shmona Esre, but I don't believe him, I want to count by ...
4
votes
0answers
41 views

Loshon Hora: The allowance of B'apei t'lasa (in front of 3)

Although they are governed by very strict limitations, there are numerous 'hetterim' for the prohibition of lashon hora, such as apei t'lasa, l'toieles, etc. The Chofetz Chaim (Klal 2, §3 - see there ...
3
votes
5answers
859 views

Moshe killing the Egyptian

The Torah says “And it was in those days that Moshe grew up and went out to his brothers and saw their burdens. He saw an Egyptian man strike a Hebrew man, (one) of his brethren. (Moshe) turned this ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

Can halacha of Eidim Zomemim be applied in today's times? (ex: $ cases)

Scenario: Reuven & Shimon are at the Beth Din of America in Manhattan and are testifying that Levi completely wrecked Yehuda's Manhattan apartment on March 17. Suddenly: Dan & Naftali ...
3
votes
1answer
149 views

Saying Va'yechulu with a woman

The Mishna Brurah 268:19 writes that one should say va'yachulu with two people minimum since there are those who hold you can't say it by yourself (he does note that one can read by himself if done as ...