ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
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.
(a) "Avos u'Vanim" automatically disqualifies - an uncle testifying for a
nephew and vice-versa.
(b) We know that brothers are disqualified too - because the relationship
between uncle and nephew stems from the fact that they are the offspring of
two brothers (who are therefore disqualified through a 'Kal va'Chomer').
(c) We learn from the fact that the Torah writes "Banim" in the plural -
that cousins are disqualified too.
(d) Rami bar Chama initially learns from a Beraisa - which requires both
witnesses to become Zomemin, for the Din of Zomemin to take effect. From
there, Rami bar Chama extrapolates that two relatives cannot testify for a
stranger - because if they could, then each witness would become a Zomem
through the testimony of a relative.
(a) The Mishnah in Bava Basra 'Sheloshah Achin ve'Echad Mitztaref Imahen ...
' concludes - Harei Eilu Sheloshah Iduyos, ve'Hein Eidus Achas le'Hazamah'.
(b) From there, Rava refutes Rami bar Chama's source - because by the same
token, each of the witnesses there would become an Eid Zomem through his
brother's testimony (which ought to be discounted).
(c) According to Rava therefore, it is not the co-witnesses' testimony that
makes them Zomemin - but the witnesses who are Mazim them.
(d) And Rava learns Rami bar Chama's Din from the Lashon "u'Vanim" (when it
could have written "u'Vein al Avos" or "ve'Heim al Avos"), teaching us that
brothers cannot testify for strangers.
(a) From the second ...
1. ... "Banim" ("u'Vanim Lo Yumsu al Avosam") via 'Im Eino Inyan', we
learn - that the relatives of one's mother have the same Din as those of
(b) And we learn from the Pasuk "Mishpat Echad Yih'yeh Lachem" - that
relatives are even disqualified from testifying in Diynei Mamonos, as well
as Diynei Nefashos.
2. ... "Yumsu" (when it could have written "u'Vanim al Avosam"), we learn -
that just as one cannot testify *against* one's relatives, so can one not
testify *on their behalf* either.
(a) When we say that our Mishnah ...
1. ... disqualifies 'Sheini be'Rishon and Sheini be'Sheini', we are
referring to - 'Achi Aviv' and 'B'no', respectively.
(b) Rav disqualifies a person, as well as his son or his son-in-law, from
testifying for 'Achi Aba, Hu u'Beno ve'Chasno ... and his father's brother
from testifying for him, his son or his son-in-law.
2. ... does not disqualify 'Shelishi be'Rishon', we mean - that the Tana
does not disqualify a person's son from testifying for his father's brother.
(c) To reconcile Rav with our Mishnah, we reinterpret 'Achi Aviv Hu u'Beno
ve'Chasno' to mean - that neither he, nor his son nor his son's son-in-law
(a Shelishi be'Rishon) may testify for his father's brother.
(d) And the reason that the Tana presented the case of Chasan B'no (rather
than that of Ben B'no) is - to teach us that a husband has the same status
as his wife.
(a) When Rebbi Chiya says that our Mishnah lists eight Avos which are
twenty-four, he means - that although the Tana lists only eight relations
that are disqualified from testifying, seeing as this incorporates each
one's son and son-in-law, there are really twenty-four.
(b) This disproves Rav's earlier statement equating 'Chasno' with 'Chasan
B'no' - because Rebbi Chiya ought then to have referred to eight Avos which
are thirty-two (incorporating himself, his son, his son-in-law and his son's
(c) Even though 'Chasno' does not in fact, mean Chasan B'no, Rav
nevertheless refers to him as such, because whoever is not a blood-relation,
descends one rung in the ladder.
(d) We might then have asked on the Mishnah's ruling which forbids one's
son-in-law to testify for his own father's brother - that based on this
theory, this would be a case of Revi'i be'Rishon (which nobody would ever
dream of disqualifying).
(a) We finally disprove Rav completely from the Mishnah's ruling forbidding
one's father's brother's son-in-law from testifying on his behalf - because
again, based on the current theory, this would be a case of Shelishi
be'Sheini, whose testimony Rav himself validates.
(b) So we finally establish Rav like Rebbi Elazar, who says in a Beraisa -
'ke'Shem she'Achi Aba Lo Ya'id Li, Hu, u'Beno ve'Chasno, Kach ben Achi Aba
Lo Ya'id Li, Hu, u'B'no ve'Chasno' (although he is only a Shelishi
(c) Rav extrapolates from there - that a Shelishi be'Rishon is certainly
forbidden (and with that he agrees).
(d) Rav derives this from the extra 'Vav' in the Pasuk "Lo Yumsu Avos al
Banim *u'Vanim"* - disqualifying a man from testifying, not only on behalf
of his father's brother, but also on behalf of his grandfather's brother (a
(a) Rebbi Elazar extends the D'rashah of Rav - by Darshening "al Banim" to
mean that the P'sul of the fathers extends to the children (thereby
disqualifying even a Shelishi be'Sheini).
(b) We rule like Rav, but not like Rebbi Elazar.
(c) Rav Nachman rules that the brother of a person's mother-in-law, the
latter's son and his sister's son - may not testify on his behalf.
(d) And we prove it from our Mishnah - which disqualifies the testimony of
'Ba'al Achoso, Ba'al Achos Aviv u'Ba'al Achos Imo, Hein u'Veneihen
ve'Chasneihen' (which are synonymous with the three above cases).
(e) 've'Tana Tuna' means - 'and our Tana learns (in the Mishnah)'.
(a) When they asked Rav whether a person may testify on behalf of his
stepson's wife, if her Nechsei Milug were being disputed - he was coming to
sell Gevilin (parchment for Sifrei-Torah).
(b) They did not ask him the same She'eilah about the wives of other
relatives - because seeing as their sons are forbidden to testify on his
behalf, and the sons inherit their mothers, it is obvious that he would not
be able to testify on her behalf.
(c) In Sura they replied 'Ba'al ke'Ishto', in Pumbedisa' - Ishah ke'Ba'alah,
which is effectively the same thing (either way, disqualifying a man from
giving testimony on behalf of his stepson's wife).
(d) Rav Huna Amar Rav learns from the Pasuk "Ervas Achi Avicha Lo Segaleh,
el Ishto Lo Sikrav, Dodascha Hi" - the principle 'Ishah ke'Ba'alah'.
(a) We learned in our Mishnah 'u'Ba'al Imo Hu u'Beno ... ', which Rebbi
Yirmiyah explains to mean - Achi ha'Ach (i.e. the son of his step-father
from another wife [so as not to be synonymous with 'Achiv']), who is Pasul
because he is his half-brother's half-brother.
(b) Rav Chisda disagreed with this ruling. According to him, the Kashya
that we just asked remains. In his opinion - the Tana presents the case
twice, once by a paternal brother and once by a maternal brother.
(c) Rav Chisda - permits the father of a Chasan and the father of the Kalah
to testify on each other's behalf, since they are no closer than the lid of
a barrel that is placed on the barrel, but not cemented on.
(a) Rabah bar bar Chanah permits a man to testify in a case involving his
betrothed wife. Ravina qualifies this ruling - by restricting it to
extracting the Nechsei Milug from her with his testimony, but not of
establishing them in her possession (since he then stands to gain and is
(b) Ravina probably proves this from a statement of Rav Chiya bar Ami in the
name of Ula, who rules - that the laws of Onan (the prohibition of eating
Kodshim), burial, and inheritance do not come into effect by an Arusah (and
that they basically still considered strangers).
(c) He does however, allow her to claim her Kesuvah in the event that her
husband dies - provided he wrote her one.
(d) We reject the proof from there however - on the grounds that whereas
there, the criterion is whether the woman is considered 'She'eiro' (his real
wife) or not (and an Arusah is not), whereas the criterion with regard to
testifying is whether he stands to gain or not.
(a) One Beraisa states 'Chorgo Levado. Rebbi Yossi Omer Giyso'. Bearing in
mind that it is Rebbi Yehudah who argues with Rebbi Yossi, another Beraisa
says - 'Giyso Levado. Rebbi Yehudah Omer Chorgo Levado'.
(b) Rebbi Yossi cannot possibly permit the son of Giyso to testify - because
it is synonymous with 'Ba'al Achos Imo'.
(c) He nevertheless says 'Giyso Levado' - because as far as ben Giyso is
concerned, he is not disqualified, and the ramifications of this statement
are that Chasan Giyso is permitted to testify.
(d) Rebbi Yossi cannot be referring to the son of Giyso but from a different
wife (to solve the above problem) - because a. all the 'Beneihem' mentioned
by the Tana'im refer to the son from the same woman, and b. since it would
imply that the Tana Kama disqualifies even such a son, how could Rav Chisda
validate the testimony of Achi ha'Ach, which is closer than ben Achos Ishto?
(a) Nor can both Tana'im be saying that neither the son nor the son-in-law
may testify on behalf of either Chorgo or Giyso - because then the author of
our Mishnah 'Giyso, Hu u'Beno ve'Chasno' will be neither Rebbi Yehudah nor
(b) And the Tana Kama of the first Beraisa cannot hold 'Chorgo Levado', Aval
Giyso, Hu u'Veno ve'Chasno, and Rebbi Yossi, the reverse - because then
Rebbi Chiya's Beraisa (that we quoted earlier) 'Shemoneh Avos she'Hein Esrim
ve'Arba'ah', will hold like neither Tana, since according to both, there are
nine Avos, and not eight?
(a) Both the Mishnah and the Beraisa will be served, if we explain the
Beraisa 'Chorgo Levado, Aval Giyso, Hu, u'Veno ve'Chasno. Rebbi Yossi Omer
Giyso Levado, ve'Kol she'Kein Chorgo' (and that is how we will the second
Beraisa, too) - because then our Mishnah will go like Rebbi Yehudah, and the
Beraisa, like Rebbi Yossi.
(b) Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel rules - like Rebbi Yossi.
(c) Rav Yosef wanted to validate a Sh'tar Matanah on which two
brothers-in-law had signed - because he thought that Rav Yehudah Amar Rav's
previous ruling was referring to Rebbi Yossi in our Mishnah who validates
Giyso (since he confines the prohibition to those who inherit, and one does
not inherit the husband of a wife's sister).
(d) Abaye challenged Rav Yosef's ruling however - because he argued - that
maybe Rav Yehudah was referring to Rebbi Yossi in the Beraisa, who ('Giyso
Levado') who disqualifies him.
(a) We repudiate Abaye's Kashya however, on the basis of Shmuel, who with
regard to Rebbi Yossi's ruling in the Beraisa declared 'K'gon Ana
u'Pinchas', who - besides being brothers-in-law, were also (half) brothers,
which is why Rebbi Yossi disqualified them, but other brothers-in-law would
be eligible to testify on each other's behalf.
(b) We reject this proof however - since we have no proof that Shmuel
disqualified him on those grounds only. Perhaps he meant that Rebbi Yossi
would disqualify them on the basis of their being brothers-in-law,
(c) When Rav Yosef advised the recipient of the Sh'tar Matanah to claim with
the Sh'tar using Eidei Mesirah (like Rebbi Elazar, who holds 'Eidei Mesirah
Karsi' even when there are no Eidei Chasimah - Abaye argued that Eidei
Mesirah are only valid in a case where the Sh'tar merely lacks Eidei
Chasimah, but not where it contains Pasul witnesses, which the Chachamim
refer to as 'Mezuyaf mi'Tocho'.
(d) Rav Yosef reluctantly instructed the recipient of the Matanah - to leave
without the Sh'tar (and to relinquish his claim), since the Chachamim would
not let him validate it.
(a) According to Rebbi Yehudah in our Mishnah, even if a man's daughter
dies, and she leaves over children, his son-in-law is still considered a
relation with regard to testifying on his behalf. Rebbi Tanchum ... Amar Rav
rules like Rebbi Yehudah. Rava Amar Rav Nachman (as well as Rabah bar bar
Chanah Amar Rebbi Yochanan) rules - that the Halachah is not like Rebbi
(b) Others quote the latter's ruling in connection with Rebbi Yossi
Hagelili, who explains in a Beraisa the Pasuk "u'Vasa el ha'Kohanim Asher
Yih'yeh ba'Yamim ha'Heim" (which otherwise appears meaningless) - to mean
that one may take one's lawsuit to the Kohen of those days, even though he
had once been a relation (Karov ve'Nisrachek).
(c) When Mar Ukva refused to accept his brothers-in-laws' lawsuit - they
concluded that, despite the fact of his wife (their sister) having died, he
must hold like Rebbi Yehudah, and they informed him that they had a letter
from Eretz Yisrael, which declared 'Ein Halachah ke'Rebbi Yehudah'.
(d) He answered them however that he too, was aware that they were no longer
bound by their relationship, and - that he had disqualified them because
they refused to accept the Beis-Din's rulings (known as 'Lo Tzaysi Diyni').