R. Aqiba and the relatives disqualified from giving testimony

Mordekhai Sabato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


M. San. 3:4 records two lists of relatives who are disqualified from giving testimony: a list attributed to “the first Mishnah” and one assigned to R. Aqiba. The first Mishnah disqualifies relatives who are eligible to be the person’s heir, to the maximum degree of a cousin. R. Aqiba abolished the inheritance criterion and drew up a list that includes even relatives who are ineligible to be heirs. Based on an analysis of expositions from which the sages derived the disqualification of relatives from giving testimony, this article examines the reason for the change introduced by R. Aqiba. It concludes that, in R. Aqiba’s view, the relevant criterion is not the possibility of inheritance but only the degree of kinship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalReview of Rabbinic Judaism - Ancient, Medieval, and Modern
StatePublished - 2022

RAMBI Publications

  • RAMBI Publications
  • Akiba ben Joseph -- approximately 50-approximately 132
  • Mishnah -- Sanhedrin -- 3, mishnah 4 -- Commentaries
  • Witnesses (Jewish law)


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