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, ...
The Gemara (Gittin 81b) learns that according to Beis Hillel, witnesses on the seclusion are like witnesses of the actual action. That is, watching the couple walk into a room together is enough for Kiddushin.
The Rambam (Ishus 3:5) writes as follows:
וְאִם קִדֵּשׁ בְּבִיאָה אוֹמֵר לָהּ הֲרֵי אַתְּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לִי אוֹ הֲרֵי אַתְּ מְאֹרֶסֶת לִי אוֹ הֲרֵי ...
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.
The Ritva in Kiddushin 43a brings the custom of designating specific witnesses at a ceremony where there are invalid witnesses present, to get around the problem of עדות שבטלה מקצתה בטלה כולה (the dictum that any single witness from a group of witnesses who is found invalid invalidates the entire group).
מיהו כל היכא שיש באותו מעמד כשרים ופסולים או קרובים ...
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 ...
According to Rabbi Akiva Eiger, (Shu"t RA"E Mahadura Kama 176, cited here) they are not punished by the hand of man:
וגם משום מלקות, נראה דלא לקו, דלא שייך בזה 'לא תענה ברעך' דהא לא העידו כלל על רעהו להפסידו בשום דבר
And also with regard to lashes, it would appear that they were not lashed, for [the verse - Exodus 20:12] "though shalt not testify ...
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 ...
In Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 140:4 we learn that there is no difference whether your witnesses are dead, non-existent or unreachable.
In all these cases they are treated as if they do not exist.
That fact that you once had witnesses seems to have no practical application in Halacha.
We actually have a fascinating case in Ketubos 23a (bottom of the ...
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.
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.
Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 38:1
שנים שהעידו באחד שחייב לפלוני מנה ובאו שנים והכחישום או הזימום ה"ז פטור
if the witnesses he needs to pay 100 ($) are zomemim, he needs not to pay.
Nowadays the punishment of Eidim Zomemim is NOT applied because it's a k'nas and we cannot enforce dinei knasot in today's times. Nonetheless the Eidim ...
This is an argument in Rishonim. The answer is not directly stated anywhere in the Talmud. The Sefer Yereim in Siman 178 says that it is comparable to the fifth added to Teruma, where it is paid to the Beis Din to distribute to whomever they want. However, he isn't certain about it. The other option is that it is paid to the initially accused.
The תועפות ...
There is argument among the commentaries about exactly what happened. Some say (like Rashi on verse 14) that Moshe killed the Egyptian by saying the sacred name of God. Others (like the Ibn Ezra on verse 12) say that this is patently wrong and Moshe hit the Egyptian with a stone. The Ramban on verse 14 walks a middle route saying that Moshe might have ...
"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 ...
Sending an "affidavit" it is a dispute between Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam.
לא יקום עד אחד באיש לכל עון ולכל חטאת בכל חטא אשר יחטא על פי שני עדים או על פי שלשה עדים יקום דבר
ולא שיכתבו עדותם באגרת וישלחו לבית דין
And not that they write their testimony in a letter and send it to Beis Din
Tosefos Bava Basra 40a (continued from ...
The ketubah, like any Jewish legal document, requires the signature of two witnesses. Besides being Jewish men who are unrelated to each other (or to the bride or groom), there are other qualifications.
The Shulchan Arukh (חושן משפט הלכות עדות סימן לד) rules that
רשע פסול לעדות
A rasha is invalidated from serving as a witness
What is a rasha? ...
Rambam in Mishneh Torah Hilchos Eidus 9 (1) gives
ten categories of disqualifications. Any person belonging to one of
them is not acceptable as a witness.
The tenth one is
people who have a vested interest in the matter
So we see that someone with a vested interest in the outcome of the case is disqualified as a witness.
In Kesubos 33a Rava says that warning has to be done toch kedei dibbur (within several seconds) so that we know the perpetrator did not forget the warning and act erroneously:
אמר רבא תדע ניתרי בהו אימת ניתרי בהו מעיקרא אמרי אישתלין
Rashi and Yad Rema in Sanhedrin 40b quote this reason as well:
המית בתוך כדי דיבור כדי שאילת שלום להתראה דאי לאחר כדי ...
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 ...
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 ...
The witnesses who sign the ketubah are witnessing the ketubah -- that is, the husband's obligations to the wife. Witnesses serve the same function here as with any other legal document (debt, property sale, or even a get).
The witnesses at the chupah, on the other hand, testify to the completion of that stage of the marriage. While today we generally ...
There are two issues at play here.
1) Who actually saw the event.
2) Who are the members of the "official group" ("Kaht") of witnesses that not only saw the event, but also serve as a specific group capable of authenticating the event for a Court of Law.
Everyone present probably saw the event. They are all witnesses.
However, the mesader kiddushin is ...
The simple answer is that the eidei kiddushin witness the chupa, bideken and yichud, which between them constitute nissuin too.
However, there is very convincing argument that nissuin does not require eidim lkiyum. Although by all chaluyos of dovor sh'berva we need eidim lkiyum (like gerushin and kiddushin, and others), there are two reasons why nissuin is ...
The mishna is indeed speaking of one's best friend since they were the ones to be grooms in the time. R Adin Steinsaltz explains here
The example that Rabbi Yehuda offered for someone who is a very close
friend, or, in the language of the Mishna, who loves him, is shushbino
– his “best man.” Shushbinin referred to in this case are the closest
The quote is found in Yesodei Hatorah 7:7 and is repeated in 8:2.
Excerpt from 8:2
כְּמוֹ שֶׁצִּוָּנוּ לַחְתֹּךְ הַדָּבָר עַל פִּי שְׁנַיִם עֵדִים וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין אָנוּ יוֹדְעִין אִם הֵעִידוּ אֱמֶת אִם שֶׁקֶר.
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 ...
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 ...
It seems from Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 34 that the prohibition against testifying in a situation of being ineligible to do so, at least in a case where the disqualifier is because the witness is a "rasha," is incumbent on the witness himself. The case there is where a kosher witness knows that his fellow witness is ineligible to testify, but is ...
The Ohr Somayach writes that logically one would have assumed they would pay the person who they testified was owed money. Meaning, do to them what they tried to do - they tried to make A owe money to B, so they should owe money to B.
However, the Ohr Somayach concludes that because of דרכיה דרכי נועם, the ways of the Torah are pleasant, it would offer the ...
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 ...