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Mishnayos Yevamos Perek 15 Mishnah 4

יבמות פרק ט"ו משנה ד׳


All are deemed credible when they come to give testimony with regard to the death of a woman’s husband, apart from her mother-in-law, the daughter of her mother-in-law, her rival wife, the wife of her yavam, and her husband’s daughter, her stepdaughter. The reason is that these women are likely to hate her and will lie to her detriment. The mishna explains: In the case of a divorce all people, including these women, may bring her bill of divorce and testify that it was written appropriately. What, then, is the difference between a bill of divorce and death? The mishna answers: The difference is that in the case of a bill of divorce the writing proves the accuracy of the testimony, i.e., her testimony is supported by the text of the document itself, whereas with regard to the death of her husband there is no proof apart from the statement of the woman herself. If one witness says: The man died, and the wife married based on this testimony, and one other witness came and said: He did not die, she need not leave her new husband due to this testimony. However, if one witness comes and says: The husband died, and two witnesses say: He did not die, then even though she married based on the first witness she must leave her new husband. If two witnesses say: He died, and one witness says: He did not die, the testimony of the two witnesses is accepted, and even though she did not yet marry, she may marry.

הַכֹּל נֶאֱמָנִים לַהֲעִידָהּ, חוּץ מֵחֲמוֹתָהּ, וּבַת חֲמוֹתָהּ, וְצָרָתָהּ, וִיבִמְתָּהּ, וּבַת בַּעְלָהּ. מַה בֵּין גֵּט לְמִיתָה, שֶׁהַכְּתָב מוֹכִיחַ. עֵד אוֹמֵר מֵת, וְנִשֵּׂאת, וּבָא אַחֵר וְאָמַר לֹא מֵת, הֲרֵי זוֹ לֹא תֵצֵא. עֵד אוֹמֵר מֵת, וּשְׁנַיִם אוֹמְרִים לֹא מֵת, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּשֵּׂאת, תֵּצֵא. שְׁנַיִם אוֹמְרִים מֵת, וְעֵד אוֹמֵר לֹא מֵת, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִשֵּׂאת, תִּנָּשֵׂא:


חוץ מחמותה – the reason for all of them is because they hate her and that she intends to disgrace herself. Her mother-in-law hates her for she says in her heart (i.e., to herself): “this one will consume all of my labor.” The daughter of her mother-in-law states that this one will inherit all the fruit of the labor/achievements of my mother and father. Her sister-in-law will view her that perhaps she will end up being her co-wife. The daughter of her husband states, this comes in place of my mother and will consume all the fruits of her labor.

מה בין גט למיתה – for we say that even the women who are not believed to state that her husband died are believed to bring her Jewish bill of divorce.

שהכתב מוכיח – For we rely upon the essence of the Jewish bill of divorce. And even though that it is upon them also that we rely that they must state “in my presence it was written and in my presence it was signed.”

עד אחד אומר מת ונשאת – not exactly that she got married, but rather that they permitted her to get married even though she didn’t get married. But after that, one witness came and staed that he did not die, she does not go forth from the first legal permission.

עד אחד אומר מת ושנים אומרים לא מת – as for example that they are disqualified for testimony, and we teach that since the Torah believed one witness, there is no legal testimony here, for just as one [witness] is considered disqualified for testimony, they are also considered [disqualified for testimony]. Therefore, he followed after the majority of opinions, whether legal or disqualified.

שנים אומרים מת ואחד אומר לא מת וכו' – this comes to tell us that we follow after the majority of opinions of those disqualified for testimony, whether for leniency or for stringency.

חוץ מחמותה. טעמא דכולהו, מפני ששונאות אותה ומתכוונות לקלקלה. חמותה שונאתה, שאומרת בלבה זאת תאכל כל עמלי. בת חמותה אומרת זאת תירש כל עמל אבי ואמי. יבמתה יראה שמא סופה להיות צרתה. בת בעלה אומרת זאת באה במקום אמי ותאכל כל עמלה:

מה בין גט למיתה. דאמרינן אף הנשים שאין נאמנות לומר מת בעלה, נאמנות להביא גיטה:

שהכתב מוכיח. דסמכינן עיקרא על הגט. ואע״ג דעלייהו נמי סמכינן שצריכות לומר בפני נכתב ובפני נחתם:

עד אחד אומר מת ונישאת. לאו דוקא נישאת, אלא התירוה להנשא אע״פ שלא נישאת, ואחר כך בא עד אחד ואומר לא מת, לא תצא מהתירה הראשון:

עד אחד אומר מת ושנים אומרים לא מת. כגון שהם פסולי עדות. ואשמועינן הואיל והאמינה תורה עד אחד אין כאן תורת עדות, וכי היכי דחד חשיב, פסולי עדות נמי חשיבי, הלכך הלך אחר רוב דעות, בין כשרים בין פסולים:

שנים אומרים מת ואחד אומר לא מת וכו׳ הא קמשמע לן, דאזלינן אחר רוב דעות בפסולי עדות, בין לקולא בין לחומרא: