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Yevamot 88: The Original Agunot

How stringent are the standards of accepting the testimony of those who testify that a woman’s husband has died? There are advantages and disadvantages to being “lenient” and accepting one witness’s account, for example, depending on whether complications develop later, like that testimony turning out to have been wrong. Which leads to a discussion about witnesses in general, and their reliability. Also, a beraita on the case of a prohibited woman… With possible cases including kohanim, of course, and testimony about the husband having died. There are times the decision will be stringent, of course, and the kohen would be forced to separate. Including what happens when new witnesses follow some time later and say that the husband is alive. That is, no malice, but conflicting accounts, especially over time. Plus, establishing the testimony of women against that of men.

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Anne and Yardaena

Anne Gordon is the deputy editor of Ops & Blogs at The Times of Israel. She is a veteran educator, having taught in high school and post-high school institutions in Israel and America for several decades. Yardaena Osband is a pediatrician and teaches in her community and online. They both hail from Boston, proud alumna of Maimonides School, where they first learned Gemara. Talking Talmud is their conversation (via podcast) on the daf yomi. They say: "Learning the daf? We have something for you to think about. Not learning the daf? We have something for you to think about! (Along with a taste of the daf...) Join the conversation with us!"
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