Audio by Shloimy Zelcer

Witnesses are not to be put to death as attested Zomemim until [after] the termination of the trial; because the Sadducees contended that Zomemim were put to death only after the accused had [actually] been executed, pursuant to the scriptural text, `life for life`. Said the [pharisee] Sages to them: but does not the context read: then shall ye do unto him as he purposed to do unto his brother, which clearly implies when his brother is still alive? If so, what is the purport of life for life`? You might argue that Zomemim are liable to be put to death from the moment their [perfidious] evidence had been taken, therefore the words `life for life` are a pointed instruction that Zomemim are not to be put to death until [after] the termination of the trial

 מכות 1.6
אין העדים הזוממין נהרגין, עד שייגמר הדין-- שהרי הצדוקיים אומרין, עד שייהרג, שנאמר ''נפש, תחת נפש''  (שמות כא,כג) ׃ אמרו להם חכמים, והרי כבר נאמר ''ועשיתם לו, כאשר זמם לעשות לאחיו''  (דברים יט,יט) , והרי אחיו קיים׃ אם כן למה נאמר ''נפש, תחת נפש'', יכול משעה שקיבלו עדותן ייהרגו׃ תלמוד לומר, ''נפש, תחת נפש''-- הא אינן נהרגין, עד שייגמר הדין

[It is prescribed:] at the mouth of two witnesses or three witnesses shall he that is to die be put to death. If the fact is sufficiently established by two witnesses, wherefore does Holy Writ [further] specify three? this is only to show their comparative competency, that just as three are competent to incriminate two as Zomemim, so are two competent to incriminate three. How do we know that [two or three] can even incriminate a hundred? From the instructive context which has [twice] `witnesses`. R. Simeon says that just as two witnesses are not put to death as Zomemim until both have been incriminated, so three are not put to death until all three have been incriminated as Zomemim. How do we know that this also applies even in the case of a hundred? from the instructive context which has [thrice] `witnesses` . R. Akiba observes that the third witness was superadded here [not to make his responsibility the lighter], but to render it as serious for him and make his legal liability equal to that of the others. Now, if Holy Writ thus penalises one who consorts with malefactors, as one of the malefactors, how much more shall he who consorts with benefactors receive a reward as one of the benefactors

מכות 1.7
''על פי שניים עדים, או שלושה עדים-- יומת המת''  (דברים יז,ו) -- אם מתקיימת העדות בשניים, למה פרט הכתוב ''בשלושה''׃ אלא להקיש שלושה לשניים-- מה שלושה מזימין את השניים, אף השניים מזימין את השלושה׃ מניין אפילו הן מאה-- תלמוד לומר, ''עדים''׃ רבי שמעון אומר, מה שניים אינן נהרגין, עד שיהו שניהם זוממין-- אף השלושה אינן נהרגין, עד שיהו שלושתם זוממין׃ מניין אפילו מאה-- תלמוד לומר, ''עדים''׃ רבי עקיבה אומר, לא בא השלישי אלא להחמיר עליו, ולעשות דינו כיוצא באלו׃ אם כך ענש הכתוב לנטפל לעוברי עבירה כעוברי עבירה, על אחת כמה וכמה ישלם שכר לנטפל לעושי מצוה כעושי מצוה.

To subscribe click here To unsubscribe, click here
To view our archived/previous mesechtos click here
To learn about our program for Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Yomi click here