1

What is the difference between the chakirot and the derishot and the bedikot? With regard to the chakirot and the derishot, if one witness gave specific testimony and the second said: "I do not know," their testimony is of no consequence. With regard to the bedikot, by contrast, even if both of them say: "I don't know," their testimony is allowed to stand. If, however, they contradict each other, even with regard to the bedikot, their testimony is nullified.

What is implied? The witnesses testified that one person killed another. One of the witnesses specified the year of the seven year cycle, the year, the month, the date, the day of the week, Wednesday, the time, 12 noon, and the place of the murder. Similarly, they asked him: "With what did he kill him?", and he answered: "With a sword." If the second witnesses outlined his testimony in the same manner except for the time, i.e., he said: "I do not know the time of day at which the murder took place," or he was able to specify the time, but said: "I don't know what he used to kill him. I did not take notice of the murder weapon," their testimony is nullified. If, however, they outlined all the above factors identically, but were asked: "Was he dressed in black or white?" their testimony is allowed to stand if they replied: "We don't know. We did not pay attention to factors like these which are of no consequence."

א

מַה בֵּין חֲקִירוֹת וּדְרִישׁוֹת לִבְדִיקוֹת. בַּחֲקִירוֹת וּדְרִישׁוֹת אִם כִּוֵּן הָאֶחָד אֶת עֵדוּתוֹ וְהַשֵּׁנִי אוֹמֵר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ עֵדוּתָן בְּטֵלָה. אֲבָל בִּבְדִיקוֹת אֲפִלּוּ שְׁנֵיהֶן אוֹמְרִין אֵין אָנוּ יוֹדְעִין עֵדוּתָן קַיֶּמֶת. וּבִזְמַן שֶׁהֵן מַכְחִישִׁין זֶה אֶת זֶה אֲפִלּוּ בִּבְדִיקוֹת עֵדוּתָן בְּטֵלָה. כֵּיצַד. הֵעִידוּ שֶׁהָרַג זֶה אֶת זֶה וְאָמַר הָאֶחָד כְּשֶׁנֶּחְקַר בְּשָׁבוּעַ פְּלוֹנִי. בְּשָׁנָה פְּלוֹנִית. בְּחֹדֶשׁ פְּלוֹנִי. בְּכָךְ וְכָךְ בְּחֹדֶשׁ. בִּרְבִיעִי בְּשַׁבָּת. בְּשֵׁשׁ שָׁעוֹת בַּיּוֹם. בְּמָקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי הֲרָגוֹ. וְכֵן כְּשֶׁדָּרְשׁוּ בַּמֶּה הֲרָגוֹ אָמַר הֲרָגוֹ בְּסַיִף. וְכֵן הָעֵד הַשֵּׁנִי כִּוֵּן עֵדוּתוֹ בַּכּל חוּץ מִן הַשָּׁעוֹת שֶׁאָמַר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ בְּכַמָּה שָׁעוֹת הָיָה בַּיּוֹם. אוֹ שֶׁכִּוֵּן אֶת הַשָּׁעוֹת וְאָמַר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ בַּמֶּה הֲרָגוֹ וְלֹא הֵבַנְתִּי בַּכְּלִי שֶׁהָיָה בְּיָדוֹ. הֲרֵי עֵדוּתָן בְּטֵלָה. אֲבָל אִם כִּוְּנוּ הַכּל וְאָמְרוּ לָהֶן הַדַּיָּנִים כֵּלָיו הָיוּ שְׁחוֹרִים אוֹ לְבָנִים וְאָמְרוּ אֵין אָנוּ יוֹדְעִים וְלֹא שַׂמְנוּ לִבֵּנוּ לִדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶן מַמָּשׁ הֲרֵי עֵדוּתָן קַיֶּמֶת:

2

If one of the witnesses said: "He was wearing black clothes," and the second one said: "That is not so," he was wearing white clothes, their testimony is nullified. It is as one said: "It took place on Wednesday," and the other said: "It took place on Thursday," in which instance, the testimony is of no consequence. Or it can be compared to a situation where one said: ""He killed him with a sword," and the other says: "He killed him with a lance." The need for corroboration of the witnesses' testimony is derived from Deuteronomy 13:15 which states: "And the matter is precise." If they contradicted each other in any matter, their testimony is not precise.

ב

אָמַר אֶחָד כֵּלִים שְׁחוֹרִים הָיָה לָבוּשׁ וְהַשֵּׁנִי אָמַר לֹא כֵן אֶלָּא לְבָנִים הָיָה לָבוּשׁ הֲרֵי עֵדוּתָן בְּטֵלָה. וּכְאִלּוּ אָמַר אֶחָד בִּרְבִיעִי בְּשַׁבָּת וְהַשֵּׁנִי בַּחֲמִישִׁי שֶׁאֵין כָּאן עֵדוּת. אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר הָאֶחָד בְּסַיִף הֲרָגוֹ וְהַשֵּׁנִי אָמַר בְּרֹמַח שֶׁאֵין כָּאן עֵדוּת. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יג טו) "נָכוֹן הַדָּבָר" וְכֵיוָן שֶׁהִכְחִישׁוּ זֶה אֶת זֶה בְּאֵי זֶה מִכָּל הַדְּבָרִים אֵין זֶה נָכוֹן:

3

The following rules apply if there were many witnesses. If two of them testified in a like manner with regard to the chakirot and the derishot, their testimony is allowed to stand and the defendant is executed, even though the third witness says: "I don't know." If, however, that witness contradicts the other two, even with regard to the bedikot, their testimony is nullified.

ג

הָיוּ הָעֵדִים מְרֻבִּים שְׁנַיִם מֵהֶן כִּוְּנוּ עֵדוּתָן בַּחֲקִירוֹת וּבִדְרִישׁוֹת וְהַשְּׁלִישִׁי אוֹמֵר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ תִּתְקַיֵּם הָעֵדוּת בִּשְׁנַיִם וְיֵהָרֵג. אֲבָל אִם הִכְחִישׁ אֶת שְׁנֵיהֶן אֲפִלּוּ בִּבְדִיקוֹת עֵדוּתָן בְּטֵלָה:

4

If one witness says: "The murder took place on Wednesday, the second of the month," and another says: "It took place on Wednesday, the third of the month," their testimony is allowed to stand. Although there is a contradiction between them, we assume that one knew that an extra day was added to the month, and one did not know.

Until when does the above apply? Until the middle of the month. After the middle of the month, by contrast, e.g., one said: "It took place on the sixteenth of the month," and the second said: "It took place on the seventeenth of the month," their testimony is nullified even though both of them spoke about the same day of the week. The rationale is that by the middle of the month, every one knows when Rosh Chodesh was commemorated.

ד

עֵד אֶחָד אוֹמֵר בִּרְבִיעִי בְּשַׁבָּת בִּשְׁנַיִם לַחֹדֶשׁ וְהַשֵּׁנִי אוֹמֵר בִּרְבִיעִי בְּשַׁבָּת בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה לַחֹדֶשׁ עֵדוּתָן קַיֶּמֶת. שֶׁזֶּה יוֹדֵעַ בְּעִבּוּרוֹ שֶׁל חֹדֶשׁ וְזֶה אֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים עַד חֲצוֹת הַחֹדֶשׁ. אֲבָל אַחַר חֲצוֹת הַחֹדֶשׁ כְּגוֹן שֶׁאָמַר הָאֶחָד בְּשִׁשָּׁה עָשָׂר בַּחֹדֶשׁ וְהַשֵּׁנִי אוֹמֵר בְּשִׁבְעָה עָשָׂר בַּחֹדֶשׁ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכִּוְּנוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם יוֹם אֶחָד מִימֵי הַשַּׁבָּת עֵדוּתָן בְּטֵלָה. שֶׁאֵין חֲצִי הַחֹדֶשׁ בָּא וּכְבָר יָדְעוּ הַכּל אֵימָתַי הָיָה רֹאשׁ הַחֹדֶשׁ:

5

If, however, one witness says: "It took place on the third of the month," and the other says: "It took place on the fifth of the month," their testimony is nullified.

If one witness says: "It took place during the second hour of the day," and the other says: "It took place during the third hour," their testimony is allowed to stand. The rationale is that it is common for people to err with regard to one hour. If, however, one says: "It took place during the third hour," and the other says: "It took place during the fifth hour," their testimony is nullified.

If one witness says: "It took place before sunrise," and the other says: "It took place at sunrise," their testimony is nullified. Even though the discrepancy between them is less than one hour, the matter is evident to all. Similar concepts apply with regard to sunset.

ה

אָמַר הָאֶחָד בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה וְהַשֵּׁנִי אוֹמֵר בַּחֲמִשָּׁה עֵדוּתָן בְּטֵלָה. אָמַר עֵד אֶחָד בִּשְׁתֵּי שָׁעוֹת בַּיּוֹם וְהַשֵּׁנִי אוֹמֵר בְּשָׁלֹשׁ שָׁעוֹת הֲרֵי עֵדוּתָן קַיֶּמֶת שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ הָעָם לִטְעוֹת בְּשָׁעָה אַחַת. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר הָאֶחָד בְּשָׁלֹשׁ שָׁעוֹת וְהַשֵּׁנִי אוֹמֵר בְּחָמֵשׁ עֵדוּתָן בְּטֵלָה. אָמַר עֵד אֶחָד קֹדֶם הָנֵץ הַחַמָּה וְאֶחָד אוֹמֵר בְּהָנֵץ הַחַמָּה עֵדוּתָן בְּטֵלָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא שָׁעָה אַחַת שֶׁהַדָּבָר נִכָּר לַכּל. וְכֵן אִם נֶחְלְקוּ בִּשְׁקִיעָתָהּ: