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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20
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2answers
280 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
3answers
352 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?
14
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4answers
314 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. ...
13
votes
2answers
201 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
999 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 ...
12
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2answers
114 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?
10
votes
3answers
353 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
173 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
129 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?
8
votes
1answer
239 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
2answers
219 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
190 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
76 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
111 views

Why is the hard limit for the size of the sanhedrin - 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
153 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
159 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, ...
6
votes
0answers
48 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?
5
votes
1answer
58 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
297 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
votes
0answers
112 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
151 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
98 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
101 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: ...
3
votes
2answers
101 views

Can a judge take an equal bribe from both sides?

It says in CH"M Siman 9 that it is forbidden for a Dayan to take a shochad (bribe.) What about if a particular Dayan is dealing with a case between Reuvan and Shimon that they both want to give the ...
3
votes
1answer
91 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
71 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
243 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), ...
2
votes
0answers
53 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
72 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
81 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
43 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
63 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
124 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?
1
vote
0answers
46 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
73 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
64 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
111 views

Quotes about justice in Neviim [closed]

I'm looking for some quotations in Neviim about justice. Of course the most famous is probably "צֶדֶק צֶדֶק, תִּרְדֹּף", but that is in דְּבָרִים. Anything jump out at anyone? Something in ...
0
votes
1answer
95 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
88 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 ...
-3
votes
3answers
366 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 ...