Sunday, July 20, 2008

Suspected of Lying

The Mishna (Daf Yomi: Gittin Daf 10a) had stated: Any document that has a Cuthean witness signed on it is disqualified (for he is suspected of lying) except that of a get for a woman and for the freeing of a slave.

The Pnei Yehoshua asks: Since they are suspect of lying, they should be regarded as a rasha (wicked person) with respect of monetary matters, and the halacha is that a thief is disqualified form all testimony!?

He answers that the Yerushalmi says that the Cutheans are eligible to sign on a get because they are only suspect with regards to monetary matters, but not with respect of illicit relations. The Pnei Yehoshua explains: The Yerushalmi holds that a witness who is suspected of stealing is only disqualified from testifying with regards to money matters, but he would still be eligible to testify on arayos (relationships). However, l’halacha we hold that such a person is ineligible to testify on all matters, so accordingly, how could the Mishna rule that the get is valid?

He answers that in truth, we do not know definitely that they would lie; it is only that they are suspect of lying. The halacha is that if they are suspected of lying, they are disqualified from testifying with respect of monetary matters, but not with respect of other testimonies.