WOMEN CANNOT TESTIFY
(Mishnah - R. Meir): Shevu'as ha'Edus applies to men, but not to women; to strangers, but not to relatives; to Kosher witnesses, but not to invalid witnesses, and only to people proper to testify;
When he swears himself, he is liable in or outside of Beis Din; if the oath is imposed on him, he is liable only if he denies in Beis Din.
Chachamim say, whether he swears himself or the oath is imposed on him, he is liable only if he denies in Beis Din.
One is liable for swearing falsely b'Mezid (he really remembers the testimony), whether or not he knows the punishment for it;
He is exempt if he did not remember the testimony.
When he is liable, he brings a Korban Oleh v'Yored.
(Gemara) Question: What is the source (that the oath does not apply to women, because they are invalid witnesses)?
Answer #1 (Beraisa #1): "V'Omdu Shnei ha'Anashim" refers to the witnesses.
Question: Perhaps it refers to the parties in the case (the claimant and defendant)!
Answer #1: "Asher Lahem ha'Riv" refers to them, so "v'Omdu Shnei ha'Anashim" must refer to witnesses.
Answer #2: If you prefer, you can learn from "(Al Pi) Shnei (Edim)", which refers to witnesses.
Question: What objection might one have to the first answer (to prefer a different source)?
Answer: If 'Shnei ha'Anashim' refers to witnesses, it should have said 'va'Asher Lahem ha'Riv.' ("Asher Lahem ha'Riv" connotes the ones just mentioned, i.e. the whole verse refers to the parties.)
Answer #2 (Beraisa #2): "V'Omdu Shnei ha'Anashim" refers to the witnesses.
Question: Perhaps it refers to the parties!
Answer #1: If so, the Torah would not say "two", for the parties could be comprised of many people (but normally, only two witnesses testify).
Answer #2: If you prefer, you can learn from "Shnei", which refers to witnesses.
Question: What objection might one have to the first answer?
Answer: 'Shnei ha'Anashim' could mean the two parties, even if each party is composed of several people.
Answer #3 (Beraisa #3): "V'Omdu Shnei ha'Anashim" refers to the witnesses.
Question: Perhaps it rather refers to the parties in the case!
Answer #1: The Torah would not say "men", for also women need to come for judgment!
Answer #2: If you prefer, you can learn from "Shnei."
Question: What objection might one have to the first answer?
Answer: Women do not normally come to Beis Din for judgment (rather, they send a man to plead their case) - "Kol Kevudah Vas Melech Penimah."
NOT FAVORING ONE PARTY IN COURT
(Beraisa): "V'Omdu Shnei ha'Anashim" - the parties must stand;
R. Yehudah says, the judges may choose to have them sit;
One may not make one party stand while the other party sits.
(Beraisa): "B'Tzedek Tishpot Amisecha" - the judge cannot make one party stand while the other party sits, or allow only one party to speak as long as it wants;
Alternatively: the verse commands everyone to judge his fellowman favorably (when he sees him do something that might be wrong).
(Rav Yosef): "B'Tzedek Tishpot Amisecha" - one who acts like one of your nation, i.e. he observes Torah and Mitzvos, you must judge very well.
Ula brei r'Rav Ila'i had to go for judgment in front of Rav Nachman. Rav Yosef sent to Rav Nachman 'Ula is our colleague in Torah and Mitzvos.'
Rav Nachman: Surely, Rav Yosef did not intend for flattery (to tilt the verdict)!
Rather, he informed me, so I will know to judge his case before that of an ignoramus.
Alternatively, it is so I will be inclined to pick him if the verdict is Shuda (Rashi - if we cannot prove to which of two people Ploni gave something, the judge estimates whom Ploni preferred; Tosfos - the judge gives the disputed property to whomever he himself prefers).
(Ula): R. Yehudah and Chachamim argue only about the parties, but all agree that the witnesses must stand - "v'Omdu Shnei ha'Anashim."
(Rav Huna): They argue only about the time of deliberations. All agree that when the final verdict is given, the judges must sit and the parties stand;
Version #1: We learn from "va'Yeshev Moshe... va'Ya'amod ha'Am."
Version #2: We learn from witnesses. Their testimony is like the final verdict (they do not do anything after this) and they must stand - "v'Omdu Shnei ha'Anashim."
Rav Huna's widow came for judgment in front of Rav Nachman. He was thinking what he should do.
If I stand to honor her, her opponent will be taken aback and unable to plead his case;
I cannot sit (while she stands). A Chacham's wife is like a Chacham (and Rav Huna was greater than me)!
He told his servant 'make a goose flutter upon me', so it would seem that Rav Nachman rises due to the goose.
Question: The judge must sit and the parties must stand at the time of the final verdict!
Answer: He sat half-way, like one untying his shoe, and said 'Ploni is liable, Almoni is exempt.'
(Rabah bar Rav Huna): If a Chacham and ignoramus have a case with each other, we tell the Chacham to sit, and also the ignoramus;
If the ignoramus wants to stand, we do not insist that he sit.
Rav Papa was judging Rav bar Sharbiya. He seated him, and told his opponent (Reuven) to sit. A messenger of the Beis Din kicked Reuven so he would stand. Rav Papa kept quiet.
Question: Reuven will be confounded, and unable to claim!
Answer (Rav Papa): No. He saw that I seated him. He realizes that only the messenger is upset with him.
(Rabah bar Rav Huna): If a Chacham and ignoramus (Shimon) have a case with each other, the Chacham may not come in front of the judge before Shimon, lest Shimon suspect that the Chacham was pleading his case;
If the Chacham normally learns with the judge at this time, it is permitted. Shimon will assume they were learning.
(Rabah bar Rav Huna): If a witness is a greater Chacham than the judges, and it is a disgrace for him to go to testify in front of them, he should not go.
Support (Rav Shisha brei d'Rav Idi - Mishnah): If one finds a bag or box (in a situation where the Mitzvah of returning a lost object applies), if it is below his dignity to carry it (he would not take it if it was his own), he is exempt.
Rabah's law applies only to monetary cases, but if the testimony will prevent people from transgressing, "Ein Chachmah v'Ein Tevunah v'Ein Etzah l'Neged Hash-m" - we do not honor a Chacham if it will cause Chilul Hash-m (transgressions).
Rav Yeimar knew testimony for Mar Zutra. Ameimar told everyone to sit.
Question (Rav Ashi): Ula taught that R. Yehudah and Chachamim argue only regarding the parties, but all agree that the witnesses must stand!
Answer (Ameimar): It is a Mitzvas Aseh for the witnesses to stand, and an Aseh to honor Chachamim;
The Aseh to honor Chachamim takes precedence.
DISTANCING ONE'S SELF FROM FALSEHOOD
(Beraisa): We learn the following laws from "mi'Devar Sheker Tirchak":
A judge may not strive to defend his ruling if he believes that he erred;
A judge may not deliberate the case with an unlearned Talmid (lest this lead the judge to err);
A judge may not sit on a Beis Din with a judge whom he knows is a thief;
A witness may not give testimony with a witness whom he knows is a thief (even if the testimony is true, testimony of a thief is invalid);
If a judge knows that the testimony is false, he may not rule based on it (and let the witnesses bear the blame).