Torah Riddles Test #170

1.       Question: Why can one of the witnesses who sign on a get marry the divorced woman later on in life but two witnesses that sign on a document of sale of a piece of land can never buy that land?


A.      The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 12:1) says that the messenger who hands a get to the wife, who needs to say, “it was written and signed in front of me”, also, the single witness who testifies to a woman that her husband died, can’t marry her because of suspicions that might arouse. But if they do get married, they don’t have to separate. But if a messenger brings a get and is not required to say, “it was written and signed in front of me,” he is permitted to marry her since he’s not marrying her based on his own words. So too, two witnesses who testify that her husband died, one of them can marry her because two don’t normally coerce to sin for one. However, the Rema argues and says that even though it’s technically permitted for one of the two witnesses to marry her but a ba’al nefesh, one who holds himself to higher standards should distance himself from this.

B.      However, the Taz (2) holds that even a ba’al nefesh can marry her, he just cannot buy the land he had signed with someone else as witnesses of a document of sale since people will say he’s involved in a scam to just acquire that land. What’s the difference?

Answer: The Taz holds that two witnesses can both be involved in coercion over a piece of land since they can both partner in benefiting from it but only one person is allowed to be married to a woman at a time so we wouldn’t expect two people to be involved in coercion over testimony of a wife and therefore even if you normally have higher standards one of the witnesses can marry the widow.