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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23
votes
2answers
415 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
461 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. ...
11
votes
4answers
396 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, ...
19
votes
2answers
430 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?
7
votes
2answers
271 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
572 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
464 views

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.
14
votes
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
1answer
128 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
462 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
395 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
207 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
470 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
133 views

What should a conversion candidate expect at an Orthodox beit din?

This question about conversion before a Reform beit din made me wonder about other cases: what does the examination of a prospective ger by an Orthodox beit din look like today? Does the beit din ...
8
votes
1answer
171 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
160 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
458 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
119 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?
8
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
371 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), ...
3
votes
1answer
272 views

What should a conversion candidate expect in a Reform three-judge rabbinic court (Bet Din)?

What should a conversion candidate expect in a Reform three-judge rabbinic court (Bet Din)? I was told it was to determine the Jewish knowledge of the conversion candidate, but do you have any ...
3
votes
1answer
102 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
354 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
168 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
100 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. ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

Where in the torah is contempt of court condemned?

I looked at google for contempt of court and torah. Two sources that I see is this: https://www.ou.org/torah/mitzvot/taryag/mitzvah69/ It has a rule saying you shouldn't curse the elohim. Not only ...
1
vote
0answers
100 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 ...