Are there any retroactive ramifications in a case where Ch"v there is fullproof evidence (or admission) of a Dayan being corrupt or committing sins such as breaking shabbat/adultery/murder or עבירות like theft/non-kosher?

Would any of these put into question the rulings of a Bet Din (in which this Dayan was part of) in regards to weddings, divorces and conversions?

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    Possible duplicate of Retroactive psak and conversions Apr 3, 2019 at 1:25
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    Weddings and divorces don't actually require a beis din, so unless the rabbi in question was one of the only two witnesses the ceremony would still be valid. Divorce would be a problem if the court required the husband to divorce, because then the validity of the divorce is dependent on the validity of the court.
    – simyou
    Apr 3, 2019 at 11:23
  • Let me clarify your question. 1. Only another Beis Din's Psak can invalidate a Psak, it does not invalidate itself. There should be another hearing to decide on the status. 2. We should not confuse witnessing with judgment - your examples are not Psakim, BD just witnesses someone doing the right procedure. If a witness is Posul that would invalidate the act as if "nobody saw it". But again this should be Pasken by a Bais Din that the witness is Posul.
    – Al Berko
    Apr 3, 2019 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


Rav Herschel Schachter (quoted in the OU's Jewish Action magazine) seems to indicate that yes, a Rabbi/Dayan's rulings can be annulled:

Jewish Action: Can one still follow the piskei halachah of a fallen rabbi?

Rabbi Schachter: No. The pasuk in Navi (Malachi 2:7), as expounded by the gemara (Moed Katan 17a), says that a Torah teacher must be sinless and righteous like a malach (angel). According to the Torah, we only follow a rabbi’s ruling if he properly models Torah behavior. If he is a ba’al aveirah, if he knowingly violates Biblical or rabbinic laws, he is not qualified to teach and render halachic rulings. When members of the public become aware of his improper behavior, they may no longer rely on his judgment for any rulings, unless it can be verified that such rulings were rendered before the rabbi’s sinful conduct began. Since it is often not possible to ascertain when these rulings were rendered, one should ask another rabbi for a new pesak.

While Rav Schachter does say that if we can verify the rulings took place BEFORE the improper behavior we can rely on said person's ruling, this is pretty much impossible and there's no way to know when said sinful conduct began.

NOTE: This is referring to a singular person, and not a group where a Dayan was part of (ie a Beis Din).

Worth checking out the article for more details.

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    Does this really answer the question - which was explicitely about a Bet Din ?
    – mbloch
    Apr 3, 2019 at 3:11
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    The question was about specific cases ie weddings, divorces, and conversions. This article is talking about piskei dinnim.
    – Lo ani
    Apr 3, 2019 at 5:37
  • @mbloch it addresses a singular person's actions, but you're right- it does not address the Beis Din as a whole. Wouldn't want to make the extension to BD without a source (should I delete?)
    – alicht
    Apr 3, 2019 at 6:33
  • @Loani you're right it is- but don't think it's a huge stretch to make the extension to weddings/ divorces/ conversions- especially divorces & conversions
    – alicht
    Apr 3, 2019 at 6:34

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