one witness

What a Story: Kiddushin 66

One of the fascinating, exciting even suspenseful aspects of learning Gemara is how a detailed discussion on the minutiae of Jewish law can without notice transition into philosophical, historical or theological issues and transition right back without missing a beat. Each facet of the discussion is deemed no less or more important than the other. Theory and practice, law and story, philosophy and history, theology and science all blend in seamlessly finding their place in the sea of Talmud.

One is Enough: Gittin 6

One would not expect the laws of divorce to be affected by one's location. Thus it comes as a bit of a surprise to open masechet Gittin and read "one who brings a get from across the sea must say 'in front of me it was written and in front of me it was signed" (Gittin 2a). Such a declaration is absent when the get is being written and delivered in Israel. Why the difference?

Yevamot 116: One Witness Is Enough

We have previously referred to the special leniency that allows a woman to remarry on the testimony of one witness. This was a most revolutionary innovation, one that seemingly violates a fundamental precept of the Torah: the basic requirement for two witnesses. Compounding the problem was the fact that the stakes were so high--adultery, illegitimate children, and the undermining of the holiness of marriage--and it is no wonder this law was not readily accepted.

Yevamot 88: One Equals Two

"A woman whose husband went overseas, and one[1] came and told her, 'Your husband has died' and she marries [another]..." (Yevamot 87b). Whereas Jewish law requires two witnesses in all matters of criminal and family law, when it comes to freeing a woman who is "chained" to her missing husband, this law is relaxed, allowing the woman to remarry based on the testimony of only one witness.

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