Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Chulin 10b - Eid Echad Ne'eman B'issurin

Rashi says that the source for eid echad being trusted for issurim is the pasuk that speaks of an individual shechting a korban, and all the kohanim eating from the shechita. Since we don't find that the pasuk requires there to be witnesses watching the shechita, we see that the shochet himself who is the eid echad is believed. Tosafos in Gittin 2b writes that the source of an eid echad being believed is the pasuk of וספרה לה by a woman who is a zava - she checks herself and her husband trusts her.
Rashi in Yevamos 88a writes that if an individual says that he knows that a piece of meat is שומן and not חלב he is trusted - דאי לאו הכי, אין לך אדם אוכל משל חברו, ואיןלך אדם סומך על בני ביתו. If we didn't allow the concept of eid echad, no person would be able to eat in their own home. This Rashi is usually quoted to be arguing on Tosafos and holding that the source of eid echad is merely a sevara, since otherwise it would be impossible to function normally. However, in light of Rashi in chulin who also cites a pasuk in the context of shechita, it seems that rashi in Yevamos isn't claiming to cite a source, rather proving that it must be true that we rely on an eid echad.
There is a very interesting Hagahos Ashri (Rosh 14) who writes that an eid echad isn't believed when there is a chezkas issur, but this is only if he is the class of people who are אנשים ריקים ופוחזים. Meaning, the same level of witnesses who the Torah believes if they are two, which includes even empty people who aren't at all learned, are not believed as individuals when there is a chezkas issur. But one who is kasher is believed even against a chazaka. According to the hagahos ashri, in a situation of chezkas issur, there are two classes of Jews, the lower of which isn't trusted unless they testify as a group of 2 witnesses.

1 comment:

Chana Luntz said...

There seems to be some irony here, given your comment on daf 2 quoting the Pri Megadim saying that women are suspected of lifnei iver. Being suspected of lifnei iver is to a certan extent the converse of eid echad ne'eman b'issurin. Of course this is not completely true, eg the case of the Kusim, who were suspected of lifnei iver, but not of issurim, the solution vis a vis shechting being to have them eat from their own shechita, and if they did then it could be assumed to be OK. Similarly you could say that in the case v'safra la that not only her husband but she would be over on a serious issur if they had relations when not permitted to do so, so no need to go into the question of lifnei iver. However understanding v'safra la as the basis for eating in other people's houses (or even for a man to eat from his own kitchen at any time he has not seen his wife eat) assumes that we do not apply this limitation on eid echad vis a vis a woman.

Note of course that with v'safra la, there is definitely a chezkas issur (if she is counting, she is an extablished zava). Now a woman is definitely not somebody who is believed if there are two, given their exemption from eidus, so it would seem that the hagahos Ashri is not learning from v'safra la or if he is, his category of anashim rekim needs to be further defined (and would that mean that according to the Hagahos Ashri, a woman who did fall within this category could not be allowed to marry due to lifnei iver problems?)(note that the ability to activated the change b'yadaim as a solution to these problems is less true by v'safra la, after all the bedika might not come up clean, something out of her control, than by a knife which can be checked).

Regards Chana