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SANHEDRIN 41
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SANHEDRIN 41 (4 Elul) - Dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Chaim Yisachar (ben Yaakov) Smulewitz of Cleveland on his Yahrzeit, by his daughter and son in law, Jeri & Eli Turkel of Raanana, Israel.

SUMMARY

1. A person can become Chayav Misah only if he is Matir himself for Misah.
 
2. If witnesses are Huzam after testifying that a married woman or a Na'arah ha'Me'orasah was Mezaneh, they are not Chayav Misah if they indicated in their testimony that they did not give her Hasra'ah.
 
3. Rebbi Yosi Bar Yehudah maintains that the wife of a Chaver (a Talmid Chacham) can be executed by Beis Din even if she did not receive Hasra'ah.
 
4. Rav Chisda maintains that if the witnesses in a murder case contradict each other with regard to what was used as the murder weapon, their testimony is Batel.
 
5. Rebbi Yochanan Ben Zakai lived for one hundred twenty years.
 
6. The Sanhedrin was exiled forty years prior to the destruction of the second Beis ha'Mikdash.
 
7. There is a Machlokes between the Tana'im regarding whether Beis Din may accept the testimony of a group of three witnesses when two of them are able to answer a Chakirah but the third does not know the answer.
 
8. Even though Beis Din is required Min ha'Torah to perform both Chakiros and Bedikos, if a witness does not know the answer to a question that Beis Din asks, the testimony is invalidated only if the question is one of the Chakiros but not if it is one of the Bedikos.
 
9. Even if one witness says that the incident occurred on the second day of the month and the other witness says that it occurred on the third day of the month, their testimony is still Kosher.
 
10. Kidush Levanah may be recited only until the moon becomes full.

A BIT MORE

1. When a person is warned that he should not commit a transgression because it carries a penalty of a Misah, he incurs the penalty only if he says that he is performing the Aveirah with the knowledge that he will be Chayav Misah.
 
2. If two people testify in Beis Din that a married woman was Mezaneh but they did not give her Hasra'ah, even if she is the wife of a Talmid Chacham (who can be put to death for a sin, according to Rebbi Yosi Bar Yehudah, even if she did not receive Hasra'ah) the witnesses can claim that their intention was merely to cause her to become prohibited to her husband but not to cause her to be killed. Thus, if the witnesses are Huzam, Beis Din does not put them to death because they can claim that they were not attempting to cause the woman to be executed. (On the other hand, if they do testify that they gave Hasra'ah, they would not be able to claim that their intention was not to cause the woman to be killed.) Since the witnesses would not be put to death if they are Huzam, the Na'arah ha'Me'orasah is also not put to death as a result of their testimony, because testimony that cannot be subject to Hazamah is not accepted by Beis Din. The only situation in which a married woman would be put to death even though she was not given Hasra'ah is if witnesses testify that she committed a second act of Zenus with a person to whom she is already prohibited (either a relative or the same Bo'el with whom she committed the first act of Zenus). Since she is already forbidden to both her husband, due to the original Zenus, and to the Bo'el, the witnesses who testify against her cannot claim that their intention was to cause her to become prohibited to anyone, and it is clear that their intention is to cause the woman to be killed. Consequently, the witnesses themselves would be put to death if they are Huzam, and since their testimony is potentially subject to Hazamah, the woman herself can be executed on the basis of their testimony.
 
3. According to Rebbi Yosi Bar Yehudah, Hasra'ah is required only in order to ascertain that the perpetrator of a sin committed the act b'Mezid and is therefore deserving of punishment. It can be assumed that the wife of a Chaver is definitely aware that her act is forbidden, and Hasra'ah is not needed to determine that she committed her sin b' Mezid.
 
4. According to Rav Chisda, the testimony of witnesses is rejected only when they contradict each other in the Bedikos which pertain to their testimony itself, but if they contradict each other with regard to other details on which Beis Din questions them (such as the color of the clothes the murderer was wearing), their testimony does not become invalidated. Rebbi Yochanan Ben Zakai, however, maintains that Bedikos are like Chakiros and the testimony is rejected even if the witnesses contradict each other about a detail that is extraneous to the actual testimony itself.
 
5. Rebbi Yochanan Ben Zakai was engaged in business pursuits during the first forty years of his life. For the next forty years he learned Torah, and during his final forty years he taught Torah, acted as a judge and instituted decrees.
 
6. The Sanhedrin no longer judged capital cases after they were exiled from the Lishkas ha'Gazis because Dinei Nefashos may be judged only while the Sanhedrin is in the Lishkas ha'Gazis.
 
7. Rebbi Akiva maintains that a group of three witnesses can incur the penalty of Edim Zomemim only if all three are Huzam. Consequently, according to Rebbi Akiva, if one witness in a group of three witnesses is unable to answer one of the Chakiros, none of the witnesses have the potential to become Zomemim and the testimony of the entire group must be rejected. However, according to the Tana'im who maintain that the Din of Edim Zomemim can be applied to two members of a group of witnesses even if the entire group is not Huzam, Beis Din may accept the testimony of two witnesses in a group even if the third witness does not know the answer to one of the Chakiros.
 
8. If a witness is unable to answer one of the Chakiros, the testimony is Pasul because it lacks the potential to be subject to Hazamah. The Chakiros relate to the time and location of the incident on which the witnesses are testifying, and that information is necessary in order for the witnesses to be Huzam. The Bedikos, however, relate to other details of their testimony which are not relevant to Hazamah. Consequently, even if the witnesses cannot provide the answer to one of the Bedikos, their testimony is still fully susceptible to Hazamah and does not become disqualified.
 
9. Until the majority of the month has passed, if the witnesses contradict each other regarding the date of the incident with a disparity of one day, Beis Din assumes that they are both referring to the same day but that one of them is mistaken with regard to whether the previous month was twenty-nine days long or thirty days long. However, if the majority of the month has passed or if there is a discrepancy of two days between the witnesses' answers, Beis Din does not assume that one of them is merely mistaken about the date and their testimony is rejected.
 
10. Rav Yehudah maintains that Kidush Levanah may be recited only until the seventh of the month because he maintains that it may be recited only until the moon becomes partially full. The Nehardai disagree and maintain that Kidush Levanah may be recited until the sixteenth of the month. According to the Nehardai, Kidush Levanah may be recited as long as the moon is not completely full.

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