Questions tagged [beit-din-court]

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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28 views

What punitive powers, if any, does a modern day Beit Din posses?

If a person is summoned to a Beit Din today for a legal or monetary dispute and refuses to come to the Beit Din or participate in the process in any way, what punitive powers does a Beit Din in ...
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If G-d is the final judge, what's the point of human courts?

If G-d is the final judge, what's the point of human courts in Judaism? Aside from their obvious function in practical matters like divorce that need to be taken care of here and now and not decided ...
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Charity given to poor person who then becomes wealthy

If someone decided to help a poor family out by giving them a substantial amount of money (years worth) and then subsequently the poor gets yerusha or wins the lottery, according to the halacha does ...
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When is ignorance of the law an excuse?

In capital cases (say, murder or adultery), ignorance of the law is a valid defense. A Jewish court requires two witnesses to give evidence that the defendant was taught ahead of time that his action ...
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Do decentralized arbitration markets satisfy mitzvah to set up courts?

Do decentralized arbitration markets like Aragon satisfy the noahide mitzvah to set up courts? Context: Aragon is a decentralized arbitration market, rather than being tied to any one nation-state it ...
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R' Meir of Rotenburg responsum cited by Mahari Bruna

At the end of Mahari Bruna responsum 111 (שו"ת מהר"י מברונא סימן קיא) he refers to a responsum by R' Meir of Rotenburg in which it was held that anyone could demand, on pain of cherem, a copy of any ...
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How can having witnesses to a crime lessen the punishment?

This answer describes a scenario where if a sin (relations with a non Jew for purposes of marriage) is committed without witnesses, one gets punished with kares, but if there are witnesses he gets ...
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Is plea-bargaining allowed in Judaism?

Consider this form of plea-bargaining: "Plead guilty to a lesser crime. In exchange, we won't prosecute you further and you give us information about your bosses and testify against them." This is ...
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Meaning of “Don't deviate from the verdict to the right or to the left”

Wile completely understood metaphorically, the sentence makes no sense Halachically, for example: "You should pay this man $20, but don't deviate to the right or to the left." "This tool is Tamei, ...
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Why do we say Dayanim Mumhim in Hatarat Nedarim (Canceling vows)?

The text of Hatatarat Nedarim starts like this: שִׁמְעוּ נָא רַבּותַי דַּיָּנִים מֻמְחִים "Please hear, expert Dayanim (court) It's not just that usually we gather three random people to be ...
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How should the 23rd judge vote?

Capital cases go to a court of 23 judges. A majority is required to convict, except that if all 23 vote to convict, the defendent goes scot-free. If 22 judges have already voted to convict, and the ...
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Considerations for impeachment of the Nassi of Sanhedrin

While cynically coincidental, my business is exclusively with the Sugya of the [temporary] impeachment of Rabban Gamliel in his Maariv Chova argument with R' Yahoshua (Brochos 27b). אמרי עד כמה ...
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Tribes' Nessi'im and can a judge sit in two Sanhedrins simultaneously?

Following and completing "order-of-promotion-of-judges" In what Sanhedrin did the tribes' Nesi'im sit - tribal (23) or common (23 at Temple Mt) or the Great (73)? And, therefore, should every Sage ...
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Examples of a decision ruled by voting of Sanhedrin in the Talmud

If I understand correctly the Peshat of the Torah (Deut 17), when a Machlokes raises, there's a simple and Kosher way of resolving it - gathering the High Court and voting on it and, of course, ...
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Examples of a functioning Sanhedrin in the Talmud

We find many references in the Talmud to what could be perceived as a Sanhedrin, like Chachamim or Beis-Din, or that Hillel and his descendants were the Nessi'im (of a Sanhedrin presumably), but I don'...
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Why does the Torah have to explain why judges shouldn't take bribes?

The Torah says: לֹא־תַטֶּ֣ה מִשְׁפָּ֔ט לֹ֥א תַכִּ֖יר פָּנִ֑ים וְלֹא־תִקַּ֣ח שֹׁ֔חַד כִּ֣י הַשֹּׁ֗חַד יְעַוֵּר֙ עֵינֵ֣י חֲכָמִ֔ים וִֽיסַלֵּ֖ף דִּבְרֵ֥י צַדִּיקִֽם׃ You shall not judge unfairly: ...
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Do we have Hilchot Shotrim (Policemen laws)?

"מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁל תּוֹרָה לְמַנּוֹת שׁוֹפְטִים וְשׁוֹטְרִים בְּכָל מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה וּבְכָל פֶּלֶךְ וּפֶלֶךְ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים טז יח) "שֹׁפְטִים וְשֹׁטְרִים תִּתֶּן לְךָ בְּכָל שְׁעָרֶיךָ". ...
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When did Jewish court systems replace Yisro's “chiefs” system?

The Jews in the desert implemented Yisro's "chiefs" system to act as judges, but we know at some point the nation transitioned to the courts system with judges of 3, 23, 71, etc. At what point and ...
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To what extent can a Beit Din actually force someone to get married?

In an answer on this site regarding the obligation to procreate, R. Hershel Schachter is quoted as saying (emphasis mine), And although Beth Din could force someone to get married even if he did ...
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(Why) May a Beit Din refuse to bury a body in order to coerce a man into giving a divorce?

I read recently of a case where a Rabbi (I assume as head of a Beit Din) instructed a Jewish burial society not to bury the body of a woman who is the mother of a man who refuses to give his wife a ...
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Why does a “hung jury” have to go through the motions of persuading someone to change his vote, instead of just acquitting?

In a capital case, a verdict to condemn must be by a majority of at least two. If the sanhedrin votes 12-11 to condemn they add a pair of judges and vote again, and keep doing this until they reach ...
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Why is the talmud concerned about judges being swayed by each other only for capital cases?

Sanhedrin 4:2 teaches that in a monetary case or one involving (im)purity, judges give their opinions starting with the most senior, while in a capital case they begin with the most junior. In the g'...
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Is one liable for murdering after being sentenced to death?

If one was sentenced to death by a Sanhedrin. After leaving the court to his death execution he kills a bystander. Is he liable for that murder? If yes, is he re-judged? Or it depends on what kind ...
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Legal status of one sentenced to death until execution?

What's the legal status of one who's sentenced to death by a court (say smoked on Shabbos) from the moment of the verdict till the actual death: What're his economical rights (his property, estate, ...
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(How) did the South African rabbinate deal with non-white conversion candidates during apartheid?

As I understand it, during apartheid, the South African government treated the Jews as "white." Did it ever happen that someone in a different racial group expressed interest in converting to Judaism ...
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What is the penalty for raping (or seducing) an unmarried non virgin girl in “Halaca”?

In this question, the penalty for seducing or raping a virgin is 50 shekels + pain damage and other torts + mandatory marriage. The bible has 2 verses dealing with raping a virgin but does not talk ...
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Are Deuteronomy 22:28-29 regading Oneis and Exodus 22:15-16 regarding Mefateh regulating similar issues?

If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they ...
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Does a witness in a criminal case have to “volunteer” information?

I have to admit, that I have never been a witness in a criminal case in U.S. However, I asked a lawyer about the swearing to "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." Truth is ...
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676 views

Why does a small sanhedrin have 23 judges rather than 21?

Sanhedrin 1:6 explains the size of the small sanhedrin, but I'm having trouble following the reasoning. It says (my notes in brackets): From where do we learn that the little Sanhedrin should be ...
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Is there an idea of Beit Din unlawfully pardoning, as opposed to unlawfully killing?

A Jewish Court is allowed to kill a person if it considers the killing worthy even if it is unlawful by the existing Jewish Halacha. This is called עונשין שלא מן הדין (Meggilat Taanit 86, also ...
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Can a Judge Issue a Ruling After his Death?

In a recent decision (No. 18-272, Yovino v. Rizo, decided February 25, 2019 Per Curiam, properly cited as 586 U. S. ___ (2019)), the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) dealt with the matter of a ...
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Why must a convicted Jew be executed immediately?

Here are some speculations why I would think Judaism would never execute [rightfully] convicted Jews right away: We don't like killing people (even those who deserve it) and try everything within our ...
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Obligation of a Beis Din to judge and decide on Issurim?

THe question about the baby switch made me think of this question: In the realm of Issurim (Arayos, Mamzerim, conversion, Kohen, etc) when new evidence arises, is a Beis Din and what Beis Din ...
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“Where's the court's power to assess?” Who cares?

The mishna, K'subos 11:5, quotes Raban Shim'on ben Gamliel as saying that a court's property assessment is effective even when found to be far off the mark. The reason he gives is "otherwise, where's ...
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What is the source for Beis Din's obligation to enforce mitzvos

The Gemarra in Kesubos 86a and Chullin 132b teaches the following: במצות עשה כגון שאומרין לו עשה סוכה ואינו עושה לולב ואינו עושה מכין אותו עד שתצא נפשו With regard to positive mitzvot, for ...
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Why did the Rambam leave out Beis Din's obligation to enforce mitzvos

The Gemarra in Kesubos 86a and Chullin 132b teaches the following: במצות עשה כגון שאומרין לו עשה סוכה ואינו עושה לולב ואינו עושה מכין אותו עד שתצא נפשו With regard to positive mitzvot, for ...
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Why isn't a warning required to obligate a fine?

The Torah says that by capital punishment (Hilchos Issurei Bi'ah 1:2) and by lashes (Hilchos Sanhedrin 16:4) a person must be given proper hasra'ah (warning) before a punishment can be administered. ...
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Can halacha of Eidim Zomemim be applied in today's times? (ex: $ cases)

Scenario: Reuven & Shimon are at the Beth Din of America in Manhattan and are testifying that Levi completely wrecked Yehuda's Manhattan apartment on March 17. Suddenly: Dan & Naftali ...
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Why does the mishna prescribe an indirect measure of whether somebody knew about a court ruling?

The mishna in Horayot 1:2 discusses a case where a court made a ruling that something is permitted and then later rescinded the ruling. Meanwhile, somebody did the thing they initially said is ...
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Jewish man serve on Beis Din for woman he's dating

Shalom everyone, I'm just curious, if a Jewish man is dating a woman who is converting I assume it wouldn't be appropriate to serve on her beis din, but is it prohibited halachically?
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In the time of the mishna, were there Jewish cities without courts?

In a discussion of the heifer ritual when a murder victim is found between two cities, Sotah 9:2 lists some cases when a city does not bring a heifer, including a city where a majority of the ...
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Did Rabban Shim'on ben Gamli'el accept the stipulation of the court?

The Mishna (Demay 7:3) gives the case of a worker who doesn't trust his employer to separate tithes. The worker has to separate tithes himself, i.e. 1% (1 fig out of 100) for terumat ma'aser, and ma'...
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Can a Bet Din's Halachic rulings be retroactively annulled if a Dayan is found to be corrupt or a grave sinner?

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 ...
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Yeshiva University RIETS Semicha Yorei and Yadin

1) Who is eligible to join this program? If I learnt my whole "Bachur Years" in ordinary schools and Yeshivot will I be accepted? (I have a diploma and a BTL). 2) What is a classic Seder HaYom for ...
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Why is halitzah mandatory and is subsequent marriage allowed?

Some batei din make halitzah mandatory and do not allow levirate marriage, even threatening jail if the surviving brother refuses halitzah and wants a levirate marriage. What is the law if the couple ...
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The purpose of punishment in the Afterlife

This follows my previous question "can-one's-merits-in-the-world-to-come-be-traded" In my humble understanding, the general purpose of punishment is to make someone better, to make a person change, ...
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Whatever happened to the Chiefs of the 10, 50, 100 and 1,000?

In Parshas Yisro (Shemos 18:25) Moshe appoints the Chiefs of the 10, 50, 100 and 1,000. "וַיִּבְחַר מֹשֶׁה אַנְשֵׁי־חַיִל מִכָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּתֵּן אֹתָם רָאשִׁים עַל־הָעָם שָׂרֵי אֲלָפִים שָׂרֵי ...
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When and how a court's sale is invalidated?

The topic of דיינים שטעו is common in the Gemmorah. Numerous passages discuss what happens when a court gives a "wrong" ruling as a result of different mistakes, either in Halachic knowledge, common ...
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The assessment (שומה) of the judges - how it's done?

There are a lot of Mishnayos and Gemoros discussing שומת דיינים. E.g. Kesubos 99b: "מתני׳: שום הדיינין שפיחתו שתות או הוסיפו שתות מכרן בטל" "The assessment of the judges of the value of a ...
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Eidim Zomemim in a case of seeing a new moon

As discussed in Maseches Rosh Hashanah, if two witnesses saw the new moon, they'd go to Beis Din to testify they saw it and Beis Din would then declare when Rosh Chodesh would be. But what if these ...