POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question on the daf
Previous daf Sanhedrin 28
SANHEDRIN 28 (3 Cheshvan) - dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Malka bas Menashe (and
Chana) Krause, in honor of her second Yahrzeit, by her daughter Gitle
(Bekelnitzky). Under both material and spiritual duress, she and her husband
raised their children in the spirit of our fathers, imbuing them with a love
for Torah and Yiddishkeit. Her home was always open to the needy, even when
her family did not have enough to feed themselves.
1) A RELATIVE CANNOT TESTIFY (cont.)
(a) We have shown that fathers cannot testify for sons, nor
sons for fathers, and all the more so fathers (who are
brothers) for each other;
2) HOW MANY GENERATIONS ARE DISQUALIFIED?
(b) Question: What is the source that sons (of Reuven) cannot
testify for sons (of Reuven's brother)?
(c) Answer: If they could testify for each other, the Torah
would have written 'Lo Yumesu Avos Al *Ben*';
1. Rather, it wrote "Al *Banim*", to teach that sons
cannot testify for each other.
(d) We have shown that sons cannot testify for sons;
(e) Question: What is the source that two relatives cannot
testify together (about someone else)?
(f) Answer (Rami bar Chama): Reasoning teaches this.
1. (Beraisa): Witnesses are not made Zomemim unless
both are Huzmu.
(g) Objection (Rava - Mishnah): If David testified about
three years of Chazakah, and three brothers testified,
each about one of the three years, (this is testimony of
Chazakah, for) testimony of each year is separate (the
brothers are not testifying together);
2. If relatives can testify about someone else, they
can be killed on account of each other's testimony!
1. Regarding Hazamah, it is like one testimony (they
are exempt unless all of them are Huzmu).
(h) Answer #2 (Rava): Rather, the Torah could have said 'Ben
Al Avos', or 'Hem Al Avos';
2. If they are Huzmu, the brothers will pay on account
of each other's testimony!
3. You must say, they pay on account of the Hazamah,
not on account of each other's testimony;
4. Likewise, if relatives testified together and were
Huzmu, they are killed on account of the Hazamah,
not on account of each other's testimony!
1. Instead, it says "U'Vanim" to teach that Banim (i.e.
relatives) cannot testify with each other.
(i) Question: This teaches about paternal relatives - what is
the source for maternal relatives?
(j) Answer: It says 'Avos' twice - if we do not need it to
teach about paternal relatives, we use it to teach about
(k) Question: This teaches that relatives cannot testify to
Mechayev each other - what is the source that they cannot
testify to Mezakeh each other?
(l) Answer: It says 'Yumesu' twice - if we do not need it to
teach about Chiyuv, we use it to teach about Zechus.
(m) Question: This teaches about capital cases - what is the
source for monetary cases?
(n) Answer: "Mishpat Echad Yihyeh Lachem" - the law is the
(a) (Rav): My paternal uncle cannot testify for me, nor his
son or son-in-law;
3) OTHER DISQUALIFIED RELATIVES
1. I cannot testify for my uncle, nor can my son or
son-in-law testify for him.
(b) Question: Why can't Rav's son testify for him - the son
is a Shelishi (third generation (i.e. grandson) of Rav's
father), and the uncle is a Rishon (first generation,
i.e. a brother of Rav's father);
1. The Mishnah says that a Sheni (e.g. Ploni's son)
cannot testify for a Sheni (Ploni's nephew) or a
Rishon (Ploni's brother), it does not say that a
Shelishi cannot testify for a Rishon!
(c) Answer #1: When the Mishnah says '(Their sons and)
Choseneihem (their sons-in-law)', this means, the
sons-in-law *of the sons* (of the relatives listed
above), i.e. a Shelishi.
1. Question: Why didn't the Mishnah simply teach the
grandsons (of these relatives)?
(d) Objection: R. Chiya taught, there are eight primary
relatives, (i.e. those in the first clause of the
Mishnah), which lead to 24 disqualified relatives;
2. Answer: By the way, it teaches that a husband is
like his wife (he is disqualified to anyone
disqualified to testify about her).
1. (Previously, we understood, the other 16 are the
sons and sons-in-law of the eight);
(e) Answer #2: Indeed, Choseneiheim means (simply) the
sons-in-law of the eight;
2. But if 'Choseneihem' means, the sons-in-law *of
their sons* and all the more so their grandsons),
there are 24 *more*, making 32! (In truth, also the
eight sons-in-law of the sons-in-law are
disqualified, since husbands are like their wives;
some relatives are counted more than once; in any
case, it should not say 24.)
1. We called them sons-in-law *of the sons* of the
relatives, because (since a son-in-law is not a
man's own child,) he is considered like a third
(f) Objection: If a son-in-law is like a Shelishi, then the
son-in-law of a paternal uncle (one of the eight primary
relatives) is like a Shelishi with a Sheni - Rav was
(g) Answer #3: Rav's law is like R. Elazar.
1. (Beraisa - R. Elazar): Just as my paternal uncle,
his son and son-in-law cannot testify for me, also
the son of my paternal uncle, his son and
(h) Objection: Still, the grandson of a paternal uncle is a
Shelishi with a Sheni, and Rav was Machshir this!
(i) Answer: Rav holds like him in one aspect (that a Shelishi
is disqualified from testifying), he argues with him in
one aspect (Rav only disqualifies a Shelishi with a
Rishon, R. Elazar disqualifies even with a Sheni).
(j) Question: What is Rav's reason?
(k) Answer: "Lo Yumesu Avos Al Banim u'Vanim" - this comes to
include another generation (Shelishi).
1. R. Elazar expounds, "Al Banim" - this
disqualification (of a Shelishi) to the father also
applies to his children (Sheniyim).
(a) (Rav Nachman): The brother of my mother-in-law and his
son cannot testify for me, the son of my mother-in-law's
sister cannot testify for me.
(b) Support (Beraisa): The husbands of a man's sister and
(paternal and maternal) aunts, and their sons and
sons-in-law cannot testify for him. (If Ploni is the son
(or nephew) of Almoni's mother-in-law, Almoni is the
son-in-law of Ploni's sister (or aunt).)
(c) Question (Rav Ashi): What is the law of the
father-in-law's brother and (paternal and maternal)
(d) Answer (Ula - Mishnah - R. Akiva): A brother, a paternal
or maternal uncle...and their sons and sons-in-law (are
disqualified). (If Ploni is the brother (or nephew) of
Almoni's father-in-law, Almoni is the son-in-law of
Ploni's brother (or uncle).)
(e) Question: Can Ploni testify about his step-son's wife
4) ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE GIS DISQUALIFIED?
(f) Answer: A husband is like his wife (therefore, he is like
Leah's mother-in-law); a wife is like her husband
(therefore, a mother-in-law is like a father-in-law, i.e.
(g) (Rav Huna) Question: What is the source that a wife is
like her husband?
(h) Answer: "Ervas Achi Avicha...Ishto...Dodascha Hi"
1. Question: She is not his aunt, she is his uncle's
(i) (Mishnah): His step-father...and his son and son-in-law.
2. Answer: This teaches that a wife is like her
(j) Question: His step-father's son is his (maternal) brother
(which was already taught)!
(k) Answer (R. Yirmeyah): This teaches about (his
step-father's son from a different woman, i.e.) the
(paternal) brother of his (maternal) brother.
(l) Rav Chisda ruled that the brother of a brother may
testify - he argues with R. Yirmeyah.
(m) Question: If so, what is the Chidush of the step-father's
(n) Answer: This teaches about a maternal brother, when the
Mishnah said 'brother', it referred to a paternal
(o) (Rav Chisda): Ploni's father can testify for Ploni's
(p) (Rabah bar bar Chanah): A man can testify for his
(q) (Ravina): This is only to Mechayev her money, not to
(r) This is wrong - he cannot testify for her at all.
(s) They thought that he is not considered a relative, on
account of R. Chiya bar Ami's law.
1. (R. Chiya bar Ami): If a Mekudeshes wife dies, her
husband does not become an Avel (mourner), he is not
commanded (if he is a Kohen, he is forbidden) to
become Tamei by engaging in her burial, he does not
(t) One cannot learn from there - regarding Tum'ah and
inheritance it says "Sh'eiro", this is not until Nisu'in;
2. If he dies, she does not become an Avelah, (she is
not commanded to become Tamei - some delete this
from the text), she collects her Kesuvah.
1. Disqualification from testimony depends on feeling
affinity, he feels this from the time of Kidushin.
(a) (Mishnah): A step-son is disqualified, just himself (but
not his son or son-in-law).
(b) (Beraisa #1): A step-son is disqualified, just himself;
(c) R. Yosi says, Giso (just he is disqualified).
(d) (Beraisa #2): Giso is disqualified, just himself;
(e) R. Yehudah says, a step-son is disqualified.
(f) Question: What does Beraisa #1 mean?
1. Suggestion: A step-son is disqualified, just
himself, and (the first Tana (i.e. R. Yehudah, as we
see from Beraisa #2) did not teach Giso, but) the
same applies to Giso;
(g) Answer #1: A step-son is disqualified, just himself - but
Giso, his son and his son-in-law are all disqualified;
i. R. Yosi teaches Giso, just he is disqualified,
and (he did not teach a step-son, but) the same
applies to a step-son.
2. Rejection: If so, our Mishnah (which disqualifies
Giso, his son and his son-in-law) is neither like R.
Yehudah nor like R. Yosi!
1. R. Yosi says, Giso is disqualified, just himself -
but a step-son, his son and his son-in-law are all
(h) Objection: R. Chiya taught, there are eight primary
relatives, (i.e. those in the first clause of the
Mishnah), which lead to 24 disqualified relatives (also
their sons and sons-in-law);
1. This is not like R. Yosi, nor like R. Yehudah! (Each
teaches a ninth primary relative.)
(i) Answer #2: A step-son is disqualified, just himself - but
Giso, his son and his son-in-law are all disqualified;
1. R. Yosi says, Giso is disqualified, just himself,
and all the more so a step-son (is disqualified,
(j) (Rav Yehudah citing Shmuel): The Halachah follows R.
2. The Mishnah is like R. Yehudah, R. Chiya is like R.
(k) Two Gisim signed on a gift document; Rav Yosef wanted to
Machshir it, because Rav Yehudah said that the Halachah
follows R. Yosi (in the Mishnah, who says that only
relatives fitting to inherit are disqualified).
1. Abaye: Perhaps he did not refer to R. Yosi of the
Mishnah, rather, R. Yosi of the Beraisa (who
(l) Rav Yosef: The giver should give the document to the
recipient with Edei Mesirah (witnesses who saw it given,
for they empower a document), according to R. Elazar.
2. Objection: That cannot be - Shmuel said, I cannot
testify for Pinchas, for we are brothers and Gisim;
i. Inference: A Gis that is not a brother is not
3. Answer: Perhaps Shmuel meant, I cannot testify for
Pinchas because we are Gisim (this itself
(m) Objection: But R. Aba taught, R. Elazar admits that a
document signed by invalid witnesses is invalid!
(n) Rav Yosef: Sorry, I cannot help you (the document is
(o) (Mishnah - R. Yehudah): (If Reuven has children from Leah
he is considered a relative of her father even after she
(p) (R. Tanchum): The Halachah follows R. Yehudah.
(q) (Rava): The Halachah does not follow R. Yehudah.
(r) Version #1 (Rabah bar bar Chanah): The Halachah does not
follow R. Yehudah.
(s) Version #2 (R. Yosi ha'Galili) Question: "U'Vasa...El
ha'Shofet Asher Yihyeh ba'Yamim ha'Hem" - obviously, one
can only go to a judge in his day!
1. Answer: Rather, this permits a judge that was a
relative, and now is unrelated.
2. (Rabah bar bar Chanah): The Halachah follows R. Yosi