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), I've never seen anyone stop and ask, "excuse me please but are you a convert?" (Generally a good idea as this would be incredibly hurtful.) I'd strongly assume this is okay, but does anyone have a source?

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    I've since seen the newly-published Aruch HaShulchan in Hilchos Nedarim who says relatives can be on a panel for hataras nedarim too.
    – Shalom
    Sep 15, 2010 at 18:07
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/16813
    – msh210
    Jun 4, 2012 at 7:03

1 Answer 1


The isur comes from som tasim alecha melech- all appointment that you do should be from your brethren. This refers to positions where you are forcing people into judgement. But in a "non-appointed" position where the baal din or the noder comes of his own volition, that isn't a problem. (Aruch Hashulchan C.M. 7:1)

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    Would that apply to any court that doesn't exercise summoning power? For example, in a zabla (and therefore by definition pre-agreed-to by the parties) court convened for an actual litigation, would there be no restriction? ... Is there any reason a woman couldn't serve, particularly on the lay b"d for Erev R"H?
    – Isaac Moses
    Sep 8, 2010 at 18:12
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    On my side point: It occurs to me that "'melech' - velo malka" is likely not the only technical barrier to women serving on even lay b"d. The fact that they can't testify probably disqualifies them, too. (And of course there are also the broader sociological considerations.)
    – Isaac Moses
    Sep 8, 2010 at 18:18
  • Your second comment about women serving as dayan is correct (SMA). (The other exclusion is technically from me'achecha and not me'achosecha)
    – YDK
    Sep 8, 2010 at 19:30
  • Even in a zabla, the party who didn't choose dayan x is being forced. So even there it would not work without explicit: "Do you accept this convert as a dayan?" But erev RH, the beit din is not forcing you to do anything, just annuling vows. Similarly, other times a person wants his vows annulled, a convert can be on the beit din. Also the beit din for a bad dream. May 12, 2011 at 15:37

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