Bucket of Questions for Makkot Class

Bucket of Questions:

1. Why does the Torah say 2 or 3 people serve on a "kot" of witnesses instead of 2 or more? Does this mean 3 is the limit of how many witnesses can be on a kot? Do we believe 3 witnesses over 2 since there are more people giving testimony?

2. Why would we believe the testimony of the second kot of witnesses over the first kot? If the eidim zomemim (conspiring witnesses) are to be executed because they gave testimony that the defendant killed someone, would we really kill them simply based on the testimony of the second kat of witnesses? Why would we not believe the first kat?

3. Why does this mishnah not include the convert on the list of women that the kohein may not marry and only include the divorcee or the halitzah?

4. In the case of makkot (lashes), who does the lashing? Is it a "professional lasher" or someone from the beit din?

5. Since the Torah says one should get no more than 40 lashes, why does this Mishnah say that the eidim zomemim get 40 lashes? Couldn't it have chosen a smaller number?

6. We've been discussing issues related to the accuracy of testimony and the consequences of perjury. Does the Mishna deal with the possibility of error in a capital case?...i.e., what if it should be discovered that an innocent person was erroneously executed? This might apply to the primary alleged offender, or to one accused of perjury.