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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Judicial System During the First Temple period

The Sanhedrin was a Jewish high court that was the supreme authority for Jewish law during the second Temple period. There seem to be a references to a central group of Sages in Exodus 24 and ...
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Changing the requirements of a monetery case

In Sanhedrin 23: Rashi: נמצאת כת שניה קרובים או seems to imply that if the בעל דין states that he has 2 sets (4 people) of kosher עדים that he now is required to bring forth 2 sets of kosher עדים. It'...
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91 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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161 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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181 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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80 views

erroneous decisions by beit din for which korbanot must be brought by beit din and the people

In masechet horayot we learn that korbanot must be brought if the beit din makes an erroneous decision that is followed by the people. Do we know of such a mistake that was made by a beit din? If so, ...
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58 views

Devarim Rabbah 2:24 - conversion without beit din?

In Devarim Rabbah 2:24, there is a story where the Rabbis pay condolences to a Roman senator who committed suicide to save the Jews. The Rabbis hint that it was a shame that the senator died ...
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44 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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77 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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71 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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212 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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Beis Din - peshara and Za.B.L.A

In an actual Beis Din case these days, if someone is summoned to Beis Din, can the nitva (respondent) insist on using a different Beis Din than the plaintiff sent the hazmana (summons) from? Does ...
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Must all parts of Hatarat Nedarim be said in a language which we understand, or only some parts?

Introduction Before Rosh Hashanah, it's customary to do the "annulment of vows" ceremony. There are good reasons for this ceremony. Though the ArtScroll Siddur commentary warns: Annulment is ...
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35 views

What do the different terms for “judges” indicate?

In a few places in the chumash, the word "elohim" is translated as "judges". Rashi does this on Bereishit 6:2 and many meforshim do this on the uses in Shemot (such as in 22:7 and 8) saying that the ...
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30 views

How frequently should Shatnez laboratories be checked?

Many cities have a laboratory where individuals can take their clothes to check if there is shatnez and if necessary to remove it. Often these laboratories are under the supervision of the local Beis ...
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52 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 face....
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120 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 ...
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68 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 ...
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38 views

Zaken Mamrei vs. Par He'elem Davar

This past weekend I was reading through the Torah Temimah on Vayikra and a paradox occurred to me. The Zaken Mamre is specifically applied to one who is in a position of authority over a community. ...
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38 views

Flint, Michigan: Who would be HALACHICALLY Liable?

As a hypothetical scenario, we assume that the events of the Flint water crisis are taking place in a location where Beis Din and Jewish law are ascendant. Here's a quick summary of the facts: The ...
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41 views

Where did the sanhedrin get its power from?

I guess we always assume that the power invested in the Sanhedrin comes from "Lo Sasur". However, this posuk is talking about either the Kohanim, or the shofet. Now, I know originally the cohen gadol ...
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46 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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111 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 ...