Court of Jewish Law. Nowadays, they mostly adjudicate civil disputes, and are composed of 3 judges. Their decisions are halachically binding, and in most cases, legally as well.

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Etymology of the word sanhedrin

what is the root and source of the term "sanhedrin," the name of the Jewish high court and of a tractate in the Talmud? As far as I know, it is not from scripture.
6
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1answer
52 views

Why do we call the “judges” experts?

The hataras nedarim of Erev Rosh Hashanah starts with "Listen now my masters, expert judges" ("שמעו נא רבותי, דיינים מומחים"). In practice, these judges are usually ordinary people. So why do we make ...
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0answers
66 views

Can a Beis Din deny conversion if a person cannot physically perform a mitzvah?

As far as I know if a male is unable to have children due to body damage, he cannot become a ger. I have also heard of Beitei Din not allowing deaf people to convert since they cannot do certain ...
5
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1answer
73 views

What is/are the Halachic standard(s) of proof

This answer suggests a standard of "beyond a shadow of a doubt". That type of term is very popular from an English Law perspective, which has varying standards of "proof". Among them: Probable cause ...
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1answer
58 views

Why is it often Claimed a Forced Get is Invalid?

I've read that part of the problem of agunot ( women who are refused a divorce ) is that if we force the man to give a get then the get is invalidated, and thus Beitai Din in Israel refrain from using ...
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3answers
57 views

Saving an innocent person from being wrongly executed by a Beis Din

There is already a question on this site asking about saving a person from being executed (fairly) by a beis din, as well as a question regarding the criminal himself, if he may/must attempt to save ...
3
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1answer
93 views

May a person with a nature of getting angry be a dayan?

I sit in a beis din with a dayan who gets angry very easily. He can't seem to control his anger, causing great anguish to the litigants, and a big chilul Hashem at times. I have been asked to approach ...
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1answer
76 views

are you obligated to give testimony if you know you are pasul l'eidus?

I remember learning that there is a mitzvah to give testimony if you know of something which it requires. My question is if you know about yourself, with certainty, that you are pasul l'eidus in ...
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1answer
79 views

Is there a penalty under the law for attempted adultery?

If a married man or woman propositions sexual misconduct to a person, or a man or woman propositions a person they know is married, is there a prescribed penalty according to the law, i.e. would a a ...
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4answers
445 views

Can conversion be revoked?

In a recent case the Israeli Rabbinical Court has revoked someone's conversion to Judaism on the grounds that they were deceptive. This decision was "...Based on the fact that she completely ...
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0answers
33 views

Looking for a particular idea from Reb Yonason Eibshitz

I recall reading a quote from Reb Yonason Eibshitz concerning a judge on a beis din of 23 faced with a strange situation. The defendant seems to the judge to be guilty of murder, but this judge is the ...
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2answers
196 views

When Eidim Zomemim are found guilty who do they pay if it was a monetary case?

When Eidim Zomemim are found guilty who do they pay if it was a monetary case? I can think of reasons to say it's the initial accused, the court, or the person who was said to have been owed the ...
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0answers
49 views

Is one allowed to kill false witnesses to his own capital crime?

Reuven and Shimon conspire to execute Levi in Beis Din (court) for killing Yehuda by their testimony. Levi asks around and there are no witnesses who will come forward, and a few people told him that ...
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1answer
367 views

What are the chief sources for requiring Jews to litigate in a beis din rather than in a civil court?

If I were to try to disuade a Jew from suing another Jew in court, without first going to a beis din, what Biblical and rabbinic sources should I cite as proof?
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0answers
35 views

What is the best way to keep updated with status of hechsheirim in Israel?

There are many halachic (and sociopolitical, agricultural, religious, economical, etc.) kashrut issues pertinent to Israel alone, leading to a great variety of challenges that kashrut authorities ...
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1answer
149 views

Napoléon's Sanhedrin

In 1806, Napoléon Bonaparte convened a synod of French rabbinim (mainly Alsatiens and Bordelais) to ascertain halachic opinions on a set of questions. What is the halachic standing of this synod's ...
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71 views

Does Beis Din have the authority to quarantine?

In light of the recent discussions about the legality of quarantining potential Ebola patients, I was wondering if Halacha has the mechanism for such a thing. In an autonomous Jewish society, in ...
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2answers
105 views

Threatening to sue with no intention to do so

Let's say that a person is rightfully owed a sum of money, and the debtor refuses to pay them. Can they threaten to take the person to Beis Din or a secular court, even if they have no intention of ...
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1answer
43 views

Must a beit din be exactly 3 people?

Must a small court be exactly 3 people, or could it be larger, like 4 or 5?
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1answer
247 views

What is Otzar Beis Din?

During shmittah, some stores sell otzar beis din produce which is ok to eat. What is otzar beis din and why does it make the produce permissible to eat?
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1answer
88 views

Clarification on “The Bloody Court”

If a beit din executes more than 1 person in 70 years, it is considered a bloody court. Does this axiom refer to only the 4 kinds of executions involving the 2 witnesses or does it include the ...
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2answers
120 views

Ben Noah and his obligations regarding vows

A hypothetical case (based on a somewhat similar real one): Ben Noah in the process of giyur. Stood before the Beis Din and was asked question 'Will you follow the mitzvot as fully as a goy can up ...
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1answer
248 views

Beis Din observing a female convert's immersion in the Mikvah

The practice today is that the Beis Din overseeing the conversion of a woman will observe her head going below water for the required Tevilah. Given the potential modesty issue - I know that they put ...
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0answers
40 views

Source for split between דיני ממונות and דיני נפשות

There's a fairly commonly quoted idea in נזיקין masechtos, that a difference exists between דיני ממונות (monetary cases) and דיני נפשות (capital cases); that by דיני ממונות the חייב [whoever is חייב] ...
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34 views

Beis Din in Monsey? [closed]

What are some reliable batei dinim in Monsey? How much do they charge for services and how does someone get in touch with them?
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1answer
86 views

How can you get Ka'asher Zamam if you became a Chalal

There is a rule that Ka'asher Zamam vilo Ka'asher Asa: the second set of witnesses have to appear in court "before the punishment" in order that the first witnesses get the punishment Ka'asher Zamam. ...
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1answer
95 views

How do you “take someone to beis din”?

Reuvain and Shimon are having a monetary dispute. Reuvain wants to take Shimon to beis din to settle the dispute, how does this work in practical terms? Does Reuvain have to tell Shimon first? Can he ...
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1answer
87 views

What is the role of a shofet (as in the book of Shoftim)?

In the book of Shoftim (Judges) we are introduced to a the role of a shofet ("judge"). At first glance, it's a very vague role. Hashem uses judges to prevent the Jews from sinning. But not much else ...
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6answers
1k views

Does the Torah ever mention jail as a punishment for a crime?

I have learned that punishments in the Torah often (always?) have a rehabilitative aspect to them as well as providing justice to the victim, e.g. someone who steals and can't pay back the value of ...
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1answer
161 views

How is the body of a androginus or tumtum hung?

If an androginus (person possessing both sex organs) or tumtum (person of unspecific gender) is punished by beis din for a capital case and then hung, how is the body displayed? Like a man (naked but ...
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1answer
162 views

Why is the hard limit for the size of a beis din 71 members?

When a beis din is undecided (e.g. when adjudicating monetary cases or Dinei Nefashos), judges can be added until the beis din reaches a maximum size of 71. Why is a beis din's maximum size 71? Why ...
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0answers
92 views

How could they stone with esrogim without a court case?

The mishnah in Sukkah (48b) tells of a Tzadukki who, on Sukkot, performed a service in the temple incorrectly and all the people in the temple stoned him to death with their esrogim. I would like to ...
5
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1answer
70 views

How does Beis Din handle loans with interest?

If a borrower and a lender go to Beis Din with a loan document that stipulates interest, but the borrower claims he can at least collect the principle, how does Beis Din look at that? Do they ...
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1answer
132 views

Pregnant and not recommended to get a get

I recently heard of a case where a couple were planning on getting divorced: the wife was pregnant and they were given a psak (via the Beth Din) that the husband can not give her a get until the baby ...
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2answers
254 views

What is the punishment for receiving a seruv from a Bais Din?

What is the punishment for receiving a seruv from a Bais Din for litigating B'Arkoas (in non-Jewish courts) without a heter?
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1answer
96 views

Does one require a non-Jew to use beit din

Often, Jewish organizations have as a contract clause that employees agree to take issues to beit din and not (or at least, before) secular courts. But if the employee is not Jewish, is that ...
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0answers
59 views

Historical Calendar Records

Are there any records of the Beis Din's decisions regarding the Hebrew Calendar (e.g. to add months, how long the month would be), before Hillel Hakatan established the fixed calendar?
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1answer
120 views

How exactly were Sabbath laws enforced during ancient times?

I've heard Jews must obey the Sabbath and gentiles must not keep it (which is why I am typing a little bit here and there). So in ancient times, how was this actually enforced? Would Jews wear a ...
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4answers
356 views

Why is the torah so misleading without the oral law

In parsha ki tetze (Devarim 22) it says if a man takes a wife, hates her, accuses her of not being a virgin, etc. Then the elders spread out the bedsheet to see if there is blood of virginity. If not, ...
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4answers
78 views

why are kohanim mentioned in connection with judgement

In Devarim 17:8-9 we read: If there arise a matter hidden from thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between verdict and verdict, and between plague and plague, even matters of controversy ...
4
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1answer
179 views

Does Judaism have a default rule about child custody in the case of divorce?

In many marriages in modern times, a couple will sign a prenuptial agreement that outlines what should happen if they (chas v'shalom) get divorced. Among the things commonly agreed upon in a ...
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2answers
122 views

Is it a mitzvah to save someone from execution by Beth Din?

I am wondering how the laws of pikuach nefesh might apply to a situation of mitath beth din. Would bystanders be obliged to save the condemned from his lawful execution? What about members of the beth ...
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0answers
90 views

Turn yourself in for a capital offense?

This question assumes that one should accept his punishment after being convicted of a capital offense. Should one turn himself in to (Jewish) authorities after committing an offense for which he ...
6
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1answer
407 views

What forms of evidence do batei din accept to establish that someone is Jewish?

I am interested in the question, what forms of evidence do contemporary Orthodox batei din accept to establish that someone is Jewish? In particular, if you, your parents and grand-parents are ...
5
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3answers
155 views

Can a judge take an equal bribe from both sides?

It says in Choshen Mishpat Siman 9 that it is forbidden for a Dayan (judge) to take a shochad (bribe). What about if a particular Dayan is dealing with a case between Reuven and Shimon, both of whom ...
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1answer
155 views

What are quotes in Neviim that mention justice? [closed]

I'm looking for some quotations in Neviim that discuss the idea of justice. Are there any verses in Neviim that discuss justice?
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1answer
234 views

Is there a Statute of Limitations in Jewish Law?

From Wikipedia: A statute of limitations is an enactment in a common law legal system that sets the maximum time after an event that legal proceedings based on that event may be initiated. In ...
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2answers
82 views

Dressing similarly at a Din Torah - When did this change and why?

Gemara Shevuos 31a says that if two people come to Bais Din one dressed in rags and the other dressed in expensive clothing, we make them dress similarly. Sefer Hachinuch Mitzva 235 indicates that ...
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2answers
215 views

How were judges appointed in the times of the Bais Hamikdash?

In the times of the Bais Hamikdash, were judges appointed by the king, or were they elected by the people? And was the system different based on which size court (i.e., courts comprised of 3, 23, or ...
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2answers
179 views

Why is precedent set by individual rabbis, not courts?

The headline on this obituary for R' Eliyashiv ("A One Man Supreme Court") got me thinking - why do we invest so much power in precedents set by individual rabbis, as great as they may be, but not in ...