A PROTEST ABOUT A JUDGE
(R. Aba): If three judges sat to validate a document and there was an objection that one of them is invalid:
If they did not yet sign, the other two may testify that the third is valid, then all may sign;
If they already signed, they may not. (Their testimony is biased, for it is shameful to be on a Beis Din with an invalid judge.)
Question: What was the accusation?
Answer #1: They say that he stole.
Objection: After the other judges defend him, there are two witnesses who say that he is valid, and two who disagree. (He is Safek Pasul. Such a judge may not be used!)
Answer #2: They say that his lineage disqualifies him (he is a slave).
This is easily verifiable. (They should be able to defend him even after they signed!)
Defense of Answer #1: Really, they say that he stole. The other judges testify that he did Teshuvah.
MAKING IT CLEAR THAT THERE WERE THREE JUDGES
(R. Zeira): If three judges sat to validate a document and one died, they must write 'three of us sat, and one is no longer.'
(Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): It suffices if it says 'this document came before Beis Din.'
Question: Perhaps it was an impudent Beis Din (of two)!
(Shmuel): If two judged the verdict stands, just it is called a brazen Beis Din.
Answer: It says 'the Beis Din of Rav Ashi.'
Question: Perhaps Rabanan of Rav Ashi's academy hold like Shmuel!
Answer: It says 'Rav Ashi told us to validate this document.' (Surely, he told three.)
THE ONE WHO FORBIDS IS BELIEVED TO PERMIT
(Mishnah): If a woman says 'I was married and divorced', she is believed. The one who forbids is believed to permit;
If there are witnesses that she was married, and she says that she was divorced, she is not believed.
If a woman says 'I was taken captive, but I am Tehorah (I was not defiled)', she is believed. The one who forbids is believed to permit;
If there are witnesses that she was taken captive and she says that she is Tehorah, she is not believed;
If witnesses come after she married, she may remain married.
(Gemara - R. Asi): The Torah teaches that the one who forbids is believed to permit - "I gave my daughter to this man for a wife".
Once he said "I gave her", he forbade her (to all men). By saying "to this man", he permits her to him.
Objection: Why must a verse teach this? Logic dictates that since he forbade her, he can permit her!
Retraction: Rather, the verse teaches Rav Huna's law:
(Rav Huna): "I gave my daughter" teaches that a man can forbid his daughter.
Question: Why does it say "to this man"?
Answer: This teaches the following law:
(R. Yonah - Beraisa): "To this man", not to a Yavam (Motzi Shem Ra does not apply to a brother who did Levirate marriage).
(Beraisa): If a woman said 'I am married' and later she said 'I am single'; she is believed.
Question: She declared herself to be forbidden. How can she retract this?
Answer (Rava bar Rav Huna): She gave an Amasla (a plausible reason why she lied).
Support (Beraisa): If a woman said 'I am married' and later she said 'I am single'; she is not believed. If she gave an Amasla, she is believed.
A case occurred in which many men were proposing to be Mekadesh an important, beautiful woman. She said 'I am Mekudeshes.' Days later, she accepted Kidushin.
Chachamim: Why did you do this?
The woman: At first, improper men came to me, so I said that I was Mekudeshes (to divert them). Now that proper men came, I was Mekadesh myself.
Rav Acha said this law in front of the Chachamim in Usha. They said that if she gives an Amasla, she is believed.
Question (Shmuel): If a woman tells her husband that she is Nidah and later she says that she is Tehorah, what is the law?
Answer (Rav): Also here, she is believed to give an Amasla.
Shmuel learned this teaching from Rav 40 times. Still, he himself did not rely on it in practice.
A DISPUTE ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT A WOMAN IS MARRIED
(Beraisa): If two witnesses say that a woman's husband died or divorced her and two say that he did not, she may not remarry. If she remarried, she may remain married;
R. Menachem bar Yosi says, she must leave her husband;
This is only if witnesses (the ones who forbid) came before she remarried. If she remarried before they came, she may remain married.
Question: We have contradictory testimony. Perhaps she is still married to the first man! One who has Bi'ah with her must bring a Korban Asham Taluy (for a Safek Chiyuv Kares. How can we let her stay married to the second man?)!
Answer (Rav Sheshes): She married one of the witnesses who say that she was widowed or divorced.
Question: She (who is in doubt) must bring an Asham. How can we let her stay married?
Answer: The case is, she is sure.
(R. Yochanan): If two witnesses say that a man died and two say that he did not die, his wife may not remarry. If she remarried, she may remain married;
If two say that she was divorced and two say that she was not divorced; she may not remarry. If she remarried, she must leave.
Question: Why is the law different in the two cases?
Answer #1 (Abaye): Really, only one witness says that she was widowed or divorced and one contradicts him. Chachamim believe one witness who says that a man died to permit his wife to remarry, like Ula taught;
(Ula): Wherever the Torah believes one witness, he is believed like two.
The witness who says that he didn't die is like one witness against two, so we ignore him. (She may remain married.)
Question: If so, she should be allowed to get married!
Answer: She may not, due to Rav Asi'a teaching;
(Rav Asi): "Divert from yourself harsh talk and distance from yourself accusations."
In the second case of R. Yochanan, both testify that she was married, but only one says that she was divorced. We do not believe one against two.
Answer #2 (Rava): Really, there are two witnesses on each side. R. Yochanan holds like R. Menachem regarding divorce, but not regarding death.
He holds that she checks carefully about his death, for if he returns she cannot refute that he never died;
She does not check carefully about divorce. If he contradicts her, people will not know what truly happened.
Question: Does a wife have the nerve to lie to her husband about this?!
(Rav Hamnuna): If a woman told her husband 'you divorced me', she is believed. There is a Chazakah that a wife lacks the audacity to lie to him about this!
Answer: That is when witnesses do not support her. In R. Yochanan's case, two witnesses say that she was divorced.
Answer #3 (Rav Asi): The witnesses say that just now she was widowed or divorced.
Regarding death, we cannot clarify which witnesses are lying;
Regarding divorce, if she really was divorced she would be able to show her Get!
(Beraisa): If two witnesses say that a woman became Mekudeshes and two deny it; she may not marry (someone else). If she married, she may remain married;
If two say that she was divorced and two say that she was not, she may not remarry. If she remarried, she may not remain married.