Saturday, March 29, 2014

The prohibition against false testimony


The Torah's prohibition against lying is not limited to courtroom testimony, but the specification of “false testimony” serves as an additional prohibition for court cases. A witness who is caught testifying falsely may, depending on circumstances, be incriminated as an ed zomeim; such a person is punished according to the suffering he intended to cause with his testimony.

The Torah stressed the harm of lying in court, specifically, because undermining the courts undermines Torah and civilization. For this reason, the neviim spent considerable time inveighing against corruption in the beit din (Jewish court).

Pirkei Avot 1:18 echoed this point in noting that honest testimony is part of the foundation on which the world rests: “The world exists on three things: Law, Truth and Peace.” Our Torah is a Torah of Truth, and G-d's seal is Truth.

Have a great day,

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