(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

Previous daf

Sanhedrin 9



(a) Rav Ashi and Ravina too, hold like Abaye. Rav Ashi establishes the Machlokes between Rebbi Meir (who requires three judges by Motzi-Shem-Ra) and the Rabbanan (who require twenty-three), when the witnesses warned the woman that she would receive Malkos, and Rebbi Meir's reason is - because he holds that Malkos requires only three judges.

(b) This conforms with the opinion of the Tana Kama in our Mishnah. The Rabbanan hold like Rebbi Yishmael - who requires twenty-three.

(c) Although we rule that one does not receive Malkos for a La'av that is subject to Miysah - this Tana holds that one does.

(a) Ravina establishes the case when one of the witnesses is found to be a relative of the woman or who is disqualified from testifying for some other reason. That transforms the case from Diynei Nefashos into Diynei Mamonos according to Rebbi Meir - because he holds that once one of the witnesses is disqualified, all the witnesses become disqualified at the same time, so she can no longer be sentenced to death.

(b) The Rabbanan agree with this on principle, but they restrict this to where the third witness participated in the warning; otherwise, they say, he is not considered part of the group of witnesses, when it comes to Diynei Nefashos.

(c) This conforms with the Machlokes in the Mishnah in Makos between Rebbi Yossi and Rebbi, explaining Rebbi Akiva, who extrapolates from the Pasuk in Shoftim "al-Pi Shenayim Eidim *O Sheloshah Eidim* ... " - that an accessory to a group of sinners is considered part of the group (even though the sin would have been executed even without him).

(d) And he learns from a 'Kal va'Chomer' - that if that is the case by sinners, it should certainly apply to someone who joins a group of people performing a Mitzvah (due to the principle 'Midah Tovah Merubah mi'Midas Pur'anus).

(a) Rebbi Akiva then adds the Halachah (that we referred to earlier) 'u'Mah Shenayim, Nimtza Echad Meihem Karov O Pasuk, Eidusan Beteilah, Af Sheloshah ... Eidusan Beteilah', which Rebbi Yossi qualifies - by confining it to Diynei Nefashos, but not to Diynei Mamonos.

(b) The S'vara behind Rebbi Yossi's distinction is - based on the Pasuk "ve'Hitzilu ha'Eidah", from which we derive the obligation upon Beis-Din to do whatever they can to save the defendant's life.

(c) Rebbi disagrees. He does not differentiate. He does however - restrict Rebbi Akiva's ruling to where the Pasul witness participated in the warning. Otherwise, he will not disqualify the other witnesses.

(d) Rebbi's reason is - because otherwise 'what should two brothers who witnessed a murder do' (it is ridiculous to suggest that neither of them may act as a witness).

(e) Ravina now connects the Machlokes between Rebbi Meir and the Rabbanan in our Mishnah with the Machlokes Rebbi Yossi and Rebbi - by equating Rebbi Meir with Rebbi Yossi, and the Rabbanan with Rebbi.




(a) Another alternative is that they repeat the Machlokes between Rebbi Yossi and the Rabbanan. Rebbi Yossi learns from the Pasuk "al-Pi Shenayim Eidim" - that the two witnesses must be the ones who warn the sinner.

(b) Accordng to the Rabbanan, anyone is eligible to do so?

(c) And the Machlokes in our Mishnah concerns - a case where it was a third person who warned the woman. According to Rebbi (who holds like Rebbi Yossi), the woman can no longer be put to death, and three witnesses will suffice; whereas the Rabbanan, who hold like the Rabbanan, require twenty-three.

(a) And a final alternative is that they argue over the same point as ben Zakai and the Rabbanan in the Mishnah in 'Hayu Bodkin', in connection with whether a discrepancy in 'Bedikos' is considered a discrepancy or not.
1. Bedikos are - the questions that Beis-Din ask the witnesses during the cross-examination, which are not connected with the time or the place of the crime, nor are they crucial to prove the guilt of the accused.
2. Chakiros - are questions to do with the time and place of the crime.
(b) The significance of the Tana's statement 'Ma'aseh u'Badak ben Zakai be'Uktzei Te'einim' - is that ben Zakai considers Bedikos an intrinsic part of the evidence, and any discrepancy in their answers disqualifies their testimony.
(a) ben Zakai - actually questioned the witnesses about whether the stalks of the figs of the tree under which the crime took place were thick or thin?

(b) Had the witnesses not known the answer to such a question - they should have declined to answer (by saying 'I don't know'), since this would not have disqualified their testimony.

(c) According to the Rabbanan - even though one does ask the witnesses such questions, they are not considered an intrinsic part of the evidence, and the testimony remains intact even following a discrepancy.

(d) Our Mishnah too, speaks when the witnesses who testified against the woman contradicted each other in the Bedikos - Rebbi Meir holds like ben Zakai, in which case the woman can no longer be sentenced to death, and three judges will suffice, whereas the Rabbanan here hold like the Rabbanan there.

(a) In a case where the husband brings witnesses who testify that his newly-wed wife committed adultery after the betrothal, and the father then brings witnesses who render them Eidim Zomemin, Rav Yosef rules that the first set of witnesses are sentenced to death, but are not obligated to pay. Despite the fact that they attempted to make the woman lose her Kesuvah, they are not obligated to pay - due to the principle 'Kam Leih bi'de'Rabah Mineih' (someone who is Chayav two punishments, receives the stricter one, and is absolved from the lighter one.

(b) In a case where the husband then brings witnesses who render the father's witnesses Zomemin - the latter are sentenced to death (for attempting to have the husband's witnesses put to death), and have to pay the hundred Sela (that they tried to make the husband pay).

(c) The reason that they are obligated to pay, in spite of the fact that they too, are sentenced to death is - because the death-sentence is for what they tried to do to the witnesses, whereas the payment is for what they tried to make the husband himself pay ('Miysah la'Zeh u'Mamon la'Zeh').

(d) The reason that the husband's witnesses are not also obligated to pay the father the hundred Sela (of a Motzi-Shem-Ra) that they attempted to make him pay with their testimony is - because in fact, the husband's obligation to pay only comes into effect after they become Zomemin. That in turn is - because, based on the principle 'Modeh bi'Kenas, Patur', even if the husband had admitted that he had lied, he would have been Patur from paying.

(a) In a case where Reuven claims that Levi raped him ...
1. ... against his will - he is believed to join Shimon to have Levi sentenced to death.
2. ... with his consent - he is not believed, because his testimony implies that he is a Rasha, and the Pasuk states in Mishpatim "Al Tashes Rasha Eid" (disqualifying a Rasha's testimony).
(b) Rava disagrees with this - on the basis of the principle 'Palginan Diburei' (which means that we believe that Levi raped him, but not that he consented to the rape).
(a) Rava also rules that in a case where he, together with Shimon, witnesses Levi have relations with his wife -he is believed to testify that Levi committed adultery with a married woman, but not that the married woman was his wife.

(b) We cannot infer the latter ruling from the former one - because we would not have known that a man's wife is considered like himself in this regard. In fact, we would have thought that, since he is believed with regard to Levi, he is also believed with regard to his wife.

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,