Season Three‎ > ‎Class #24‎ > ‎

Reading Assignment - Class #24

Please read mitzvot #521,523 – 524, 530 – 531, and 535 – 537.  Please consider the following questions:


Mitzvah #523:

In criminal cases, a beit din can only convict based on the testimony of two qualified witnesses who give identical testimony. 


1.       How do the requirements for witnesses in civil cases differ from the requirements for witnesses in criminal cases?  In particular, consider the role of:

a.      Testimony in different courts?

b.      Signatures of witnesses on a document that records a financial transaction?

c.       Discrepancies in the testimony given by the two witnesses?

d.      The role of the testimony of a sole witness in financial cases (i.e. sometimes the role of one witness changes the trial.  When and how?)

e.      One witness in cases that are neither criminal or financial, for example personal status cases, cases about whether particular behavior is ritually required or permitted, etc.?


2.      A court may be faced with groups of witnesses.  The witnesses in each group agree with each other, but the different groups of witnesses contradict each other. 

a.       What is the general rule when one group of witnesses contradicts another group of witnesses?

b.      There is one situation that is an exception to that general rule?  What is that situation?  What happens in that situation?