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Mishnayos Sotah Perek 6 Mishnah 4

סוטה פרק ו׳ משנה ד׳


The mishna discusses the halakha in a case where two single witnesses contradict each other concerning her defilement. If one witness says: She was defiled, and another witness says: She was not defiled, or similarly in the case of those normally disqualified from bearing witness, if one woman says: She was defiled, and another woman says: She was not defiled, she would drink the bitter water of a sota, due to the uncertainty engendered by the contradictory testimonies. Similarly, if one witness says: She was defiled, and two witnesses say: She was not defiled, she would drink the bitter water. However, if two would say: She was defiled, and one says: She was not defiled, the testimony of the two witnesses is accepted and she would not drink the bitter water, and the husband must divorce her.

עֵד אוֹמֵר נִטְמֵאת וְעֵד אוֹמֵר לֹא נִטְמֵאת, אִשָּׁה אוֹמֶרֶת נִטְמֵאת וְאִשָּׁה אוֹמֶרֶת לֹא נִטְמֵאת, הָיְתָה שׁוֹתָה. אֶחָד אוֹמֵר נִטְמֵאת וּשְׁנַיִם אוֹמְרִים לֹא נִטְמֵאת, הָיְתָה שׁוֹתָה. שְׁנַיִם אוֹמְרִים נִטְמֵאת וְאֶחָד אוֹמֵר לֹא נִטְמֵאת, לֹא הָיְתָה שׁוֹתָה:


עד אומר נטמאת ועד אומר לא נטמאת – establish one near one, and there is doubt regarding her and she drinks, and especially when they come one in the presence of the other. But this one after that one, when the first stated that she was defiled, he is believed as two [witnesses]. But the second who states that was not defiled, is just considered as one, for the words of the one are not in place of two [witnesses].

ושנים אומרים לא נטמאת – meaning to say that she was not defiled in your presence, that when you came and found that they retired under suspicious circumstances together and we also were with you and in your presence she was not defiled, the one witness was dismissed and his words were voided because of the two [witnesses] and she remains in a state of “doubt” if she had been defiled before they came and found them [together] and therefore, she drinks [the bitter waters]. And we are taught by the Tanna–teacher in these two clauses of our Mishnah that they are ineligible for [providing] testimony, they went after the majority opinion whether for leniency or stringency, meaning to say, whether to cause her to drink or not to cause her to drink.

עד אומר נטמאת ועד אומר לא נטמאת. אוקי חד להדי חד, והרי היא בספיקה ושותה. ודוקא בי אתו בהדי הדדי, אבל בזה אחר זה, כשאמר הראשון נטמאת, הוי מהימן כבתרי. והשני האומר לא נטמאת הוי ליה חד, ואין דבריו של אחד במקום שנים:

ושנים אומרים לא נטמאת. כלומר לא נטמאת בפניך, שכשבאת ומצאת שנסתרו יחד גם אנו היינו עמך ובפנינו לא נטמאת, הרי נסתלק העד ובטלו דבריו מפני השנים, והרי היא בספיקה אם נטמאת קודם שבאו אלו ומצאום, ולפיכך שותה. ואשמועינן תנא בהני תרי בבי דמתניתין דבפסולי עדות הלך אחר רוב דעות בין לקולא בין לחומרא כלומר בין להשקותה בין שלא להשקותה: