Sunday, December 21, 2008

Witness to Disqualify from Kehunah - Kiddushin 63

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The Mishna stated: If a man said, “My daughter was in captivity and I ransomed her,” whether she is now a minor or whether she is an adult, he is not believed (and she will not be disqualified from the Kehunah).

The Tosfos Rid holds that in order to testify that a woman is a divorcee (and therefore she is disqualified for Kehunah), two witnesses are required, for there cannot be testimony regarding a davar she’b’ervah with less than two witnesses. The Rambam, however, maintains that one witness is believed to testify that a woman is a divorcee, or a chalalah, and based upon this testimony, she will be disqualified from the Kehunah.

The Shaar Hamelech asks on the Rambam from our Mishna. Why isn’t the father believed that his daughter was taken into captivity? Is the father any worse that an ordinary witness?

He answers that our Mishna is discussing a case where the daughter asserts that she was taken as a captive. Even in cases where we believe one witness, that is only if there isn’t any contradicting witness.