Crime and Punishment in Jewish Law: Essays and Responsa

By Walter Jacob; Moshe Zemer | Go to book overview

when a Jew chose to take his case to a non-Jewish court, something that was decried by the Jewish authorities.

The earliest record of a Jew handing a Jewish criminal who had injured non-Jews to a gentile court came from the Gaonic period (700-1000 C.E.; J. Mueller, Mafteah, p. 182). The responsa literature contains numerous examples of Jews testifying in nonJewish courts and doing so willingly when the law of the land demanded it.

The codes summarize various other considerations. Clearly, one may testify to save oneself if punishment is threatened; then one is moser be-ones, and should testify before a non Jewish court ( Tur, Hoshen Mishpat 388; Shulhan Arukh, Ch.M. 388.8ff; Yad, Hil. Chovel 8.2).

Furthermore, if the withholding of testimony will harm the community, then handing such an individual over to the government, as well as testimony, is mandatory ( Isserles to Shulhan Arukh, Hoshen Mishpat 388.11). Testimony in criminal cases is every witness' obligation ( Lev. 5:1; B.K. 55b), while in civil cases a witness may wait until summoned ( Shulhan Arukh, Ch.M. 28.1). A witness must possess personal knowledge of the events ( Isserles to Shulhan Arukh, Ch.M. 19, 28.1).

In our instance, it seems that we are not dealing with a government demand for testimony -- as that would certainly have to be met -- but with a request to volunteer testimony. The decision then rests in the hands of the individual involved.

He may wish to be guided by the principles surrounding family witnesses in a purely Jewish court. Members of the immediate family are not eligible to act as witnesses and are disqualified. The tradition interpreted the statement of Deuteronomy 24:16 that parents should not be put to death for their children or children for their parents as a prohibition against parents testifying against children or children against parents ( San. 27b; Sifrei Deut.280). The Mishna expanded this list of disqualified relatives considerably so that it included father, brother, uncle, brother-in-law, stepfather, father-in-law, their sons, and sons-in- law ( San. 3.4). Later the rule was extended still further to include nephews and first cousins ( Yad, Hil. Edut 12.3; Shulhan Arukh, Hoshen Mishpat 33.2).

A husband was disqualified in cases involving his wife ( Yad, Hil. Edut 13.6; Shulhan Arukh, Hoshen Mishpat 33.3). Testimony from the individuals listed above for or against the accused was

-101-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Crime and Punishment in Jewish Law: Essays and Responsa
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 142

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.