Torah Riddles Test #171

2.       Question: The Pnei Yehoshua asked in Bava Kamma 23b: Why are eidim zomimin liable to pay full damages for testifying that an ox is a muad, a habitual gorer for goring 3 times, even though he has not gored the fourth time yet, but if let say two witnesses testify that a person has two pubic hairs which means he’s bar mitzvah and they are found to be eidim zomimin, why wouldn’t they be put to death since if this kid did a sin deserving of capital punishment, for example murder, or breaking Shabbos, then he would be put to death since he is bar mitzvah based on their testimony?


A.      Eidim zomimin are false witnesses who are proven wrong by two other witnesses who say you were with us on that day and so could not have the ability to testify what you testified. There punishment is what they were trying to give the defendant.

B.      An ox is considered habitual to gore after 3 goring but only after the fourth one is the ox owner liable to pay full damages, before that he only has to pay half damages.

C.      What is each scenario trying to testify and judge?

 Answer: Capital punishment is only the consequences of becoming a bar mitzvah but the testimony was strictly about his status of bar mitzvah so giving them the death penalty won’t be exactly punishing them with what they were trying to do to him. But the witnesses of a muad status was trying to create a status of needing to pay full payments for the animal’s violence so even if it didn’t actually gore a fourth time yet but the witnesses tried getting a status of muad on this animal which is considered as if full damages was sentenced based on their testimony if it happens again so they have to pay for that full damage status.