Translation:Shulchan Aruch/Choshen Mishpat/51

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Paragraph 1- A written witness and an oral witness (without a kinyan) may be combined. If the witness that did not write his testimony said that he made a kinyan from the party on this issue and the lender did not request he write his testimony, the witnesses can be combined to make the loan a documented one and the borrower would not be able to claim that he paid back. If the party that testified orally says that the document was given over in front of him, the document is a complete document and can be used to collect from encumbered properties. This is only true where they are able to say that the document was also given over in front of the written witness so that you now have two witnesses on the transfer. If, however, the document was only given over in front of one witness, the witnesses would not be combined to allow for collection from encumbered properties, even if there were two separate documents which each had one witness and were each handed over in front of one witness.

Paragraph 2- If one produces a loan document on another with a single witness and the borrower claims he paid back, he is obligated to swear but he is unable to do so and therefore must pay. If the borrower says that the lender should swear that he did not pay back, the lender must swear. If, however, the borrower claims he never borrowed, he would swear to refute the witness and would be exempt. There are those that say that the borrower is believed with an oath, even in a case where he claims he paid back.

Paragraph 3- If a document only contained two signatures and one of them turned out be a relative or otherwise disqualified, the document has the status of pottery, even if there were witnesses to the transfer. There are those that say that it has the status of a document with only one witness. This is only in a situation where the entire testimony would not become void as will be explained shortly.

Paragraph 4- If a document contained numerous witnesses and one of them was discovered to be a relative or otherwise disqualified and the witnesses are not around to be interrogated, and there is clear testimony that they all sat down to sign because they had the intention to testify, the document is void. Otherwise, the testimony can be verified with the remaining witnesses because it is possible that the valid witnesses signed and left space for an elder to sign and this relative or disqualified witness signed without their knowledge. All of this was already explained above in 45:12.

Paragraph 5- If a will was discovered to have a relative or an otherwise disqualified witnesses and is voided in the manner that was explained, the non-related witness may come in front of the court and testify if he remembers the testimony. If there is another witness that heard the will being given from outside, he can join with this witnesses to testify even though the deceased did not designate them as witnesses.

Paragraph 6- If one writes all of his property to two different individuals in one testimony and the witnesses are related to one of the recipients but not the other, the document is invalid because it is one testimony unless the recipient whom the witnesses are disqualified to withdraws himself from that money. Oral witnesses in such a case may testify for the recipient who is not their relative. If, however, one document says “I gave Reuven this courtyard and I gave Shimon this courtyard,” and the witnesses are related to one but not the other, the gift is valid with respect to the recipient that they are not related to because these are two separate testimonies, notwithstanding the fact that it is one document. Similarly, if a document had two or three matters written in it and the document was voided for one matter, the other matters would not be voided.

Paragraph 7- If a document was given over in front of two witnesses, the lender can collect from encumbered properties with it, even if the witnesses did not sign the document. Nevertheless, if the witnesses that signed were discovered to be disqualified- even if only one witness was disqualified- the document is invalid even if it was given in front of two valid witnesses because it is inherently forged.