Albert Battat asked:

TRANSLATION: shalom uvracha. I would like to aske the Kollel about Rashi at the beginning of the Amud, "Etzel Chenvani..."

Is one enough? In the previous Rashi, "Afilu Orchim..." he might be referring to two Orchim, but is the Chenvani alone enough?

Thank you

[HEBREW: bati beze l=B4ishol et hakolel al rashi betechilat ha amud `` etsel = chenvani`` deleica ela chenvani veculo;

haim ed echad maspic ???? meila berashi hakodem `` afilu orchim `` =

miut orchim shenaim aval bechenvani levad maspik??]

yorenu hamore.

toda merosh

The Kollel replies:

Sorry for the delay. We discussed this in our Insights to the Yevamos 107b. Here is a copy of what we wrote about this.

Best wishes, Mordecai Kornfeld, and the Kollel.


Yevmos 107b


OPINIONS: The Gemara records an argument regarding how many witnesses must be present when a Ketanah performs Mi'un. The Beraisa first says that, according to Beis Hillel, three people must be present. It concludes that there are other Tana'im who say that two witnesses suffice and that the Halachah follows that view. The Rishonim argue about what the Beraisa means.

(a) TOSFOS (DH Machshirin) says that Mi'un may be done even in front of one person. The reason the Gemara mentions that it must be done in front of two is because without two witnesses, it cannot proven that she did Mi'un. The Mi'un itself, though, would be valid even if two witnesses were not present and it cannot be proven in Beis Din. If Mi'un is performed in front of a single person and there are two witnesses hiding nearby who witness the Mi'un, the Mi'un would be valid, and it could even be proven in Beis Din. This also seems to be the view of RASHI (108a, DH Chenvani) and the RASHBA there.

The RITVA adds that even if there are not two witnesses watching the Mi'un from behind a fence, a girl is believed if she admits that she perform Mi'un in front of one person. She is believed from now on (and not retroactively from the time that she says she did Mi'un), because it is in her hands to do Mi'un now in any case.

The OR ZARU'A (1:673) cites RABEINU SIMCHAH who mentions another case of Mi'un before a single person, for which proof will not be necessary. He says that the Mi'un is valid even when she does it in front of only the husband. When both she and her former husband later admit in court that she did Mi'un, no further proof of the Mi'un is necessary.

(b) The RAMBAM rules (in Perush ha'Mishnayos 13:2, and in Hilchos Gerushin 11:8 and Hilchos Ishus 4:9) that Mi'un must be done in front of two people. This is also the view of RABEINU CHANANEL as cited by Tosfos (DH Halachah), the Rashba, and other Rishonim.

Rabeinu Chananel adds that two witnesses are sufficient only b'Di'eved; l'Chatchilah, Mi'un must be done in front of three people.

According to the Rambam, the two witnesses are required not merely to prove that the Mi'un occurred, but actually to effect the Mi'un, because without them, the Mi'un is not valid. Apparently, Mi'un has a status of a "Davar sh'b'Ervah," similar to Kidushin (and Gerushin), and therefore it must be done in front of two witnesses in order for it to be effective. Without those witnesses, it does not take effect at all. (That is, the witnesses are not "Edei Ra'ayah," witnesses her serve to prove that the event occurred, but they are "Edei Kiyum," witnesses who play a part in making the act take effect; see Kidushin 65b.)

The CHAZON ISH (111:8) adds that according to this, even if there are two witnesses present when Mi'un is done but they are hidden from view, the Mi'un is not valid, because witness who are hiding are not valid for Kidushin and any other act that requires "Edei Kiyum."

HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (EH 155:4) cites both opinions.