DailyHalacha.com for Mobile Devices Now Available

Select Halacha by date:

Or by subject:

Or by keyword:
Search titles and keywords only
Search All    

Weekly Perasha Insights
Shabbat Morning Derasha on the Parasha
Register To Receive The Daily Halacha By Email / Unsubscribe
Daily Parasha Insights via Live Teleconference
Syrian Sephardic Wedding Guide
Download Special Tefilot
A Glossary Of Terms Frequently Referred To In The Daily Halachot
About The Sources Frequently Quoted In The Halachot
About Rabbi Eli Mansour
Purchase Passover Haggadah with In Depth Insights by Rabbi Eli Mansour and Rabbi David Sutton
About DailyHalacha.Com
Contact us
Useful Links
Refund/Privacy Policy
Back to Home Page

Halacha is For Refuah Shelemah for
 Yonah HaLevy ben Feyga Shimma

Dedicated By
Ilya

Click Here to Sponsor Daily Halacha
  Clip Length: 3:38 (mm:ss)
      
(File size: 856 KB)
(File size:1.69 MB)
Verifying a Couple’s Status as Husband and Wife Based on a “Hazaka”

When verifying a person’s status with respect to Halachic matters, the highest form of proof is the testimony of two valid witnesses. For example, if a man and woman engage in relations, and two witnesses testify to the fact that they are brother and sister, this testimony authorizes Bet Din to administer capital punishment to the man and woman for an incestuous relationship – even though Bet Din does not know them or their family. In Torah law, there is no stronger proof than the formal testimony of two valid witnesses.

However, testimony is not the only means of verifying personal status. The Halachic concept of “Hazaka” refers to a situation where a person’s status, or the relationship between two people, is widely known and accepted. For example, if there is a family which everybody in the community assumes to be a father, mother and their children, then this widely-acknowledged presumption suffices as proof to their status with respect to Halacha. Therefore, if a boy and girl from the same family have relations, they are liable to capital punishment even without formal testimony to their relationship as siblings. Since they grew up in the same family and were known to everybody in the community as brother and sister, they are treated as such by Halacha, even with respect to capital punishment.

The Rambam (Rabbi Moshe Maimonides, Spain-Egypt, 1135-1204) proves this Halachic concept from the law in the Torah that one who curses or beats his father or mother, Heaven forbid, is liable to capital punishment. The Torah authorizes a Bet Din to administer capital punishment to somebody who curses or beats his father even though there is no possibility of proving that the he is actually his father. This relationship is established based on the common presumption by all who know them that they are father and son. Clearly, then, “Hazaka” suffices to verify a person’s relationship to somebody else, even in the absence of testimony.

The Shulhan Aruch (Eben Ha’ezer 19) applies this principle to the case of adultery. If a man and woman are presumed to be married to one another, and the woman has a relationship with another man, she and that man are liable to capital punishment. Since the woman has a “Hazaka” – the presumed status of a married woman, she is liable to punishment for adultery. The Shulhan Aruch rules that if a man and woman come to a community from afar and claim they are married, and nobody knows them or can verify their status as a married couple, they establish a “Hazaka” after living in the community as a married couple for thirty days. Even though there are no witnesses to their marriage, the woman and the man with whom she had the forbidden relationship are liable to capital punishment on the basis of the “Hazaka” that was established by their living together as a married couple for thirty days.

Summary: The Halachic concept of “Hazaka” allows us to presume a familial or marital relationship between two people for Halachic purposes even without formal testimony. Thus, if a couple and children live together as a family, the children are considered siblings, and the adults are considered their parents and married to one another, with respect to Halacha. If a man and woman move into a community and claim to be married, and nobody knows them or can verify their married status, they establish a “Hazaka” as a married couple after living as a married couple in the community for thirty days. Therefore, after that point, if the woman has an extramarital affair, she is considered an adulteress and is thus liable to capital punishment.

 


Recent Daily Halachot...
May the Mohel, Sandak and Father Eat on Tisha B’Ab Which is Delayed Until Sunday?
When Does One Remove His Leather Shoes When Tisha B’Ab Begins on Mosa’eh Shabbat?
Should Children Under the Age of Bar Misva Fast on Tisha B’Ab?
Tisha B’Ab on Mosa’eh Shabbat – The Procedure for Habdala if One is Exempt from Fasting
The Se’uda Mafseket When Tisha B’Ab Begins on Mosa’eh Shabbat
Freshly-Laundered Clothing When Tisha B’Ab Falls on Sunday
Listening to Music and Haircutting on Fast Days
If Somebody Forgot to Add “Ata Honantanu” in the Amida When Tisha B’Ab is Mosa’eh Shabbat
May an Ashkenazi Have a Sepharadi Wash His Clothes During the Nine Days?
The Shabbat Meals When Shabbat is the Day Before Tisha B’Ab
Tisha B’Ab – Applying Skin Creams, Perfume and Deodorant
Tisha B’Ab – If Someone Flies to a Different Time Zone During the Fast
Tisha B’Ab – The Custom to Dim the Lights and Announce the Number of Years Since the Hurban
Tisha B’Ab on Mosa’eh Shabbat – Reciting Habdala if One is Exempt From Fasting
Must Pregnant and Nursing Women Fast When Tisha B’Ab is Delayed From Shabbat to Sunday?
Page of 166
2480 Halachot found