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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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?
-3
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1answer
126 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 ...
11
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4answers
392 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, ...
2
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4answers
82 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
232 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 ...
2
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3answers
165 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
99 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
votes
1answer
464 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
163 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 ...
0
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1answer
178 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?
7
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1answer
250 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
84 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 ...
14
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2answers
218 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
188 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
204 views

Which beis din can declare items Hefker?

There is a rule that Hefker Beis Din Hefker, that a court can declare items ownerless. What are the requirements for a Beis Din to declare items ownerless? Are there any courts nowadays with such ...
8
votes
1answer
389 views

Can a convert serve as a dayan?

I believe that there are specific restrictions placed on a ger (convert) being a legal decisor on a beit din. What are these restrictions and do those, ipso facto, preclude that individual from ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

How can the prohibition against murder be reconciled with capital punishment in the Torah (mitath beth din)?

How can the prohibition on murder be reconciled with capital punishment in the Torah, i.e., mitath beth din? I understand that the death penalty was effectively abolished by the Sanhedrin in 30 CE. ...
9
votes
1answer
161 views

Is there still yibum if executed by beis din?

If a married man who is childless is executed by beis din, does his brother still have an obligation to perform yibum?
2
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0answers
62 views

If a Beis Din Makes a Mistake When Calculating Kiddush HaChodesh, Does it Count?

On one hand, the Rambam says (in 2:10) Once the court sanctifies the new month, it remains sanctified regardless of whether they erred unwittingly, they were led astray [by false witnesses], or ...
5
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0answers
195 views

Relations among King David, the Sanhedrin, and the high priest

Do we have any historical source that discusses the relations among King David, the Sanhedrin during his reign, and the high priest during his reign? Were they on friendly terms? Was there a power ...
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votes
3answers
456 views

Should anyone be burned to death?

In Leviticus 20:14, it states that a man who has relations with a woman and also with her mother is a despicable lech, whose punishment is to be burned to death. This is one of two transgressions ...
23
votes
2answers
406 views

Is it a mitzva to escape the death penalty?

If someone is being led to his death by bes din (a Jewish court), is he supposed to try to escape, since, in general, saving one's own life is paramount? More: normally, we say that if someone is out ...
19
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2answers
418 views

Is it a sin to escape the death penalty?

If someone is sentenced to death by a Jewish court and is being held prisoner until the sentence can be carried out, if he escapes, is that a sin for him?
10
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3answers
460 views

DNA and Jewish Law

Why isn't DNA seen as a valid source of Halachic decision making? Is it because it's too small for the naked eye? A margin of error problem? What? Normally, physical evidence is plenty of information ...
12
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2answers
118 views

Are Jewish Court Rulings subject to Appeal?

Is there such a thing as an appeal in Jewish law, or are rulings issued by Jewish courts absolutely final?
6
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2answers
165 views

Why can't All Cases be Solved with a Drink?

In the case of a סוטה (wayward wife) we have an amazing and miraculous way to figure out if the woman is guilty or innocent. What's so special about the case of סוטה that we have a very special method ...
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0answers
69 views

When did the Talmudic penalty of death stop being carried out? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: History of Capital Punishment When did the Talmudic penality of death stop being carried out? For example, the opening verses of Tractate Sotah describe death penalty ...
17
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4answers
455 views

Did courts ever execute?

The laws of capital crimes elucidated in Sanhedrin and elsewhere make conviction very unlikely. Makkot 1:10 famously tells us that a court that executes once in seven years is bloodthirsty, R. ...
3
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4answers
114 views

Why does Yisro appear to have higher standards for judges than Moshe does?

First Yisro says: וְאַתָּה תֶחֱזֶה מִכָּל הָעָם (1)אַנְשֵׁי חַיִל (2)יִרְאֵי אֱ־לֹהִים (3)אַנְשֵׁי אֱמֶת (4)שֹׂנְאֵי בָצַע וְשַׂמְתָּ עֲלֵהֶם Then when He selected it says he got: ...
7
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2answers
270 views

History of Capital Punishment

When is the most recent documented occurrence in Jewish history of a beit din carrying out the death penalty? Or if historical documentation is lacking, when is the most recent time in Jewish history ...
4
votes
1answer
369 views

Can a convert (ger tzedek) serve on a beis din to annul a non-convert's vows?

If I understand correctly, there are certain cases where a convert can't serve on a beis din judging a native-born Jew. Yet when we break into groups of three for hataras nedarim (annulment of vows), ...