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Yevamos 31

YEVAMOS 31 - has been dedicated towards a Refu'ah Shelemah to Yakov ben Chana, by the Tavin family.

1) [line 14] MAPOLES - a structure that collapsed

(a) When two pairs of witnesses ("Trei u'Trei") contradict each other, a situation of doubt (Sefeikah) is created. The Amora'im argue as to whether we may follow the Chazakah (the situation as it stood until now) in order to resolve the doubt.
(b) The opinion that rules "Trei u'Trei Sefeikah d'Oraisa" holds that an absolute situation of doubt is created by the contradiction. It is impossible to resolve the doubt even on the basis of a Chazakah (i.e., the maintenance of the status quo). The opinion that argues and rules "Trei u'Trei Sefeikah d'Rabanan" holds that the Torah allows us to rely on the Chazakah to resolve the doubt that is created by the contradictory testimonies of the two pairs of witnesses. Only mid'Rabanan are we Machmir to consider the situation a Safek.

*3*) [line 33] IY BI'SHTEI KITEI EDIM, TISYABEM V'EIN B'CHACH KELUM - (According to Rashi, the Gemara is asking that when two pairs of witnesses contradict each other we should rely on the Chazakah to permit the woman to have Yibum. The Gemara immediately counters that, as was stated just a few lines earlier, we do *not* rely on a Chazakah when two pairs of witnesses contradict each other. Rather, "Trei u'Trei Sefeikah *d'Oraisa*.")

4) [line 38] BAR SHATYA - a person who was at times normal and at times mad or deranged (lit. a fool)
5) [line 40] KESHE'HU CHALIM ZAVIN - he sold his properties when he was sane

6) [line 40] SHOTEH - (lit. a fool) a person who is mad or deranged
(a) A person is classified as a Shoteh if he regularly, because of madness, destroys or loses that which is given to him, sleeps in a cemetery, goes out alone at night or tears his clothes (Chagigah 3b). According to the RAMBAM (Hilchos Edus 9:9), a person is a Shoteh if he regularly exhibits a form of irrational behaviour.
(b) A Shoteh is exempt from performing Mitzvos and is not punished for his transgressions. His purchases and sales are meaningless and are not binding.


7) [line 2] "YAGID ALAV REI'O..." - "The noise of the storm tells of it..." (Iyov 36:33) - Abaye takes this verse out of context, using it to mean, "His companion will testify about it," as he proceeds to explain.

8) [line 23] MI'PIHEM V'LO MI'PI KESAVAM - "From their mouths but not from their writings"
(a) With regard to giving testimony, the Torah commands that testimony be accepted specifically from the mouths of the witnesses themselves, and not from any document or written report that they send to Beis Din.
(b) The Rishonim argues as to the limitations of this Halachah:

1. RASHI (Commentary to the Torah, Devarim 19:15) writes categorically that witnesses may not send to Beis Din any written testimony. (This does not disqualify the use of a Shtar (document of sale or transfer) in court, because a Shtar is prepared with the consent of the parties involved, and not by the witnesses themselves -- BA'AL HA'ME'OR, ad loc.)
2. According to Rabeinu Tam (cited by TOSFOS DH d'Chazu), the Halachah of mi'Pihem v'Lo mi'Pi Kesavam does not invalidate written testimony. Rather, it only restricts testimony in two situations: 1. Witnesses who are mute and cannot testify and 2. witnesses who forgot their testimony and must use notes or written reports in order to testify (such as in a case where they recorded details of what they saw before they forgot the incident).
3. RI (TOSFOS ibid.) claims that even if witnesses forgot the incident, they may still give testimony based upon notes or a written report, as long as they testify about *what they saw* in the written report. They may not testify about *the incident* itself, as if they remember it presently.
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