משנה כיצד העדים נעשים זוממין


(Mishnah) Question: How do witnesses become false witnesses?

מעידים אנו באיש פלוני שהוא בן גרושה או בן חלוצה אין אומרין ייעשה זה בן גרושה או בן חלוצה תחתיו אלא לוקה ארבעים


Answer: We testify about Ploni that he is the son of a divorcee (who married a Kohen and the son is consequently disqualified from all Kohen privileges). We do not say that those witnesses are punished by becoming disqualified as Kohanim instead of him; rather, we give them 40 lashes.

מעידים אנו באיש פלוני שהוא חייב גלות אין אומרים יגלה זה תחתיו אלא לוקה ארבעים


We testify that Ploni is obligated to go to a City of Refuge (because he accidently killed a person). We do not say that those witnesses must be sent into exile in his place, but instead they receives 40 lashes.

מעידין אנו באיש פלוני שגירש את אשתו ולא נתן לה כתובתה והלא בין היום בין למחר סופו ליתן לה כתובתה


If two (false) witnesses said, "We testify about Ploni that he divorced his wife and did not pay her Kesuvah money"; whether today or tomorrow, he will eventually need to pay her (so it cannot be said that the false witnesses obligated him to pay something that he would not have paid, as if he would eventually divorce her or he would die, he would anyway have paid it)...

אלא אומדים כמה אדם רוצה ליתן בכתובתה של זו שאם נתאלמנה או נתגרשה ואם מתה יירשנה בעלה:


Rather, we evaluate how much a person would be willing to pay to acquire her Kesuvah (document), based on the possibility that either she will be widowed or divorced (and the new document owner can now collect 200 zuz) or she will die (first before her husband and the document owner will not be able to collect anything as) her husband will inherit her.

גמרא א"ר יוסי בן חנינה הכל היה בכלל לא תענה ברעך עד שקר יצא ועשיתם לו כאשר זמם לעשות לאחיו את שאת יכול לקיים בו ועשיתם לו כאשר זמם [אין] את מקיים בו לא תענה ואת שאין את יכול לקיים בו ועשיתם לו כאשר זמם לעשות לאחיו (אין) את מקיים בו לא תענה ברעך


(Gemara) (R. Yosi ben Chaninah): Everything is included in the prohibition of (Shemos 20:13), "Do not give false witness against your friend". The Torah also stated separately (Devarim 19:19), "and you shall do to him as he intended to do to his brother" - this teaches that anytime you can fulfill the punishment of 'and you shall do to him as he intended', he does not receive lashes for "do not give false witness"; anytime you cannot fulfill the punishment of 'and you shall do to him as he intended', he receives lashes for "do not give false witness".

(דבר אחר ועשיתם לו לא לזרעו( [לא כן אמר רבי אבהו בשם רבי יוחנן מזיד בחלב ושוגג בקרבן מתרין בו לוקה ומביא קרבן


Question: Why can't the false witnesses receive two punishments (by receiving lashes both for 'do not give false witness' and 'you shall do to him as he intended')? Didn't R. Abahu say in the name of R. Yochanan that if a person intentionally ate Chelev (an animal's forbidden fats) and was warned beforehand, but he didn't know that it involves the punishment of Kares, he receives lashes for the intentional eating and he brings a sacrifice for inadvertent eating...?

רבי בון בר חייה בשם רבי שמואל בר רב יצחק כדי רשעתו


Answer (R. Bun bar Chiya citing R. Shmuel bar R. Yitzchak): The pasuk states (Devarim 25:2) "(the judge will make him lean over and have him flogged before him) according to his evil (by a count)"...

שני דברים מסורין לבית דין את תופש אחד מהן יצא דבר שהוא מסור לשמים]


For a sin that warrants two punishments that are given by Beis Din, the Beis Din only give one of the punishments. (But if one of the punishments is to bring a sacrifice, which is not something that is given by Beis Din, he must both bring the sacrifice and receives lashes.

ר' יהושע בן לוי אמר ועשיתם לו [ולא לזרעו] (שני דברים מסורין לבית דין את תופש אחד מהן יצא דבר שהוא מסור לשמים)


R. Yehoshua ben Levi: (Why don't false witnesses who testified to disqualify a Kohen become themselves disqualified?) The pasuk states (Devarim 19:19), "you shall do to him" - but not to his offspring. (But here, if you punish the false witness, you also punish his offspring, as they are now disqualified from being Kohanim.)

כתיב ולא יחלל זרעו בעמיו אין לי אלא זרע שהוא מתחלל היא עצמה מניין


(Beraisa): The pasuk states when discussing a Kohen Gadol who married a widow (Vayikra 21:15), "So he shall not desecrate his offspring amongst his people" - this only indicates that his offspring are desecrated; from where do we know that the widow herself is desecrated?

ודין הוא מה אם הזרע שלא עבר עבירה הרי הוא מתחלל היא שעברה עבירה אינו דין שתתחלל


Answer: It is a Kal Vechomer - if his offspring, who did not commit a sin, become desecrated; she who did commit a sin should certainly become desecrated!

הוא עצמו יוכיח שעבר עבירה ואינו מתחלל


Question: The Kohen Gadol himself should disprove this, as he committed the sin, but he does not become desecrated?

לא אם אמרתם באיש שאינו מתחלל בכל מקום תאמר באשה שהיא מתחללת בכל מקום הואיל והיא מתחללת בכל מקום דין הוא שתתחלל.


Answer: This does not disprove it, as a man does not usually become desecrated; can you say this about a woman who usually does become desecrated; if so, she should also become desecrated here!

ואם נפשך לומר לא יחול ולא יחלל אף מי שהיה כשר ונתחלל.


Question: The offspring was born through a prohibition, so it should be disqualified from the Kehunah, but the woman was not born through a prohibition, so perhaps she is not disqualified. Rather, it is learned from the wording in the pasuk in Vayikra 21:15 about desecration - it could have said 'Yichol' and it instead said 'Yichalel', implying two desecrations - one to the child and one to the woman, since she had forbidden relations with a Kohen.

בר פדייה אומר המחלל לא נתחלל היאך זה מתחלל.


Bar Padaya: (Giving another reason for the Mishnah's law that the false witnesses are not disqualified from the Kehunah) If the one who causes the desecration (the Kohen who marries a divorcee) does not himself become disqualified, this (false witness) who did not successfully desecrate should certainly not become disqualified?!

עדים שנזדממו [ונשתקרו] (רבי יוחנן אמר שקר שקר עדים שנזדממו וחזרו ונשתקרו)


If witnesses testified, 'Ploni died and these are his inheritors' or 'his wife can receive her Kesuvah money' and they were then found to be false (as they were elsewhere at the time), they are now obligated to pay. If after that the 'dead' man came into Beis Din - their testimony is completely negated and they become liable for lashes for giving false witness...

רבי יוחנן אמר שקר שקר


(R. Yochanan): They are exempt from payment because whenever one is liable for the two punishments of payment and lashes, one only receives lashes. This is learned through a Gezeirah Shavah from the word 'sheker' - 'false' (Shemos 20:13) from the case of false witnesses (in Devarim 19:18). Even though they are liable to pay and to receive the death penalty, they do not pay; here also, where they are liable to pay and receive lashes, they do not pay.

רבי לעזר אמר רשע רשע נאמר רשע במחוייבי מיתות ונאמר רשע במחוייבי מכות מה רשע שנאמר במחוייבי מיתות אין ממון אצל מיתה אף רשע שנאמר במחוייבי מכות אין ממון אצל מכות.


(R. Elazar): There is a Gezeirah Shavah from the word 'evil' that appears in the case of those who are sentenced to the death penalty. Just as over there (Bamidbar 35:31), there is no payment when there is the death penalty, so here (in Devarim 25:2), there is no payment when there are lashes.

בר פדייה אמר הוא ינוס לא זוממיו


(Bar Pedaya): (The reason for the second ruling of the Mishnah (above (c)) that false witnesses do not go to a City of Refuge, is because the pasuk states) (Devarim 19:5), "He will flee to one of these cities" - he, but not false witnesses.