Authors
Sol Azuelos-Atias
University of Haifa
Abstract
The use of the oath in Jewish law reflects the religious nature of this system of law: in case a litigant cannot receive justice from the human judges s/he is entitled to call on God by swearing an oath. I begin this survey of the use of oaths in Jewish law with a discussion of the nature of “swearing an oath” based on biblical stories and biblical rules that regulate the use of oaths outside court. I then focus on the use of the oath in court; I survey the domain of circumstances in which an oath is accepted by Jewish law as evidence according to the Bible, the Mishna, Gemara, and codifications. Finally, I exemplify how the oath is used in practice in the 20th century by one case from Rabbi Saul Ibn Dannan’s responsa book “Hagam Shaul”.
Keywords Judicial oath  Jewish law  Rules of evidence  Biblical oath  Jewish civil law
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DOI 10.1007/s11196-016-9468-7
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