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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22 views

In the Golden Calf massacre, were the Levites only the executioners or also the judges?

After the Golden Calf worshipping, Moses commands the Leviites to go out and kill the infidels: וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם כֹּה־אָמַר ה' אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל שִׂימוּ אִישׁ־חַרְבּוֹ עַל־יְרֵכוֹ עִבְרוּ וָשׁוּבוּ ...
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Why did Moses command the Levites to go out to slay instead of bringing the idolaters to the court?

After the Golden Calf worshipping, Moses commands the Leviites to go out and kill the infidels: וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם כֹּה־אָמַר ה' אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל שִׂימוּ אִישׁ־חַרְבּוֹ עַל־יְרֵכוֹ עִבְרוּ וָשׁוּבוּ ...
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Did Pharisee Semichah tradition (rabbinic ordination) include tests?

IIRC, God commanded Moses to ordain Joshuah, so the latter hadn't had to pass any exams. The next 20 generations were all [considered] prophets, so I guess they had divine revelations also. The ...
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In Golden Calf tragedy, who was hit with Heavenly plague?

Th the aftermath of the Golden Calf there were two rounds of executions: the massacre of 3000 fellow Jews and the Heavenly plague: "וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בְנֵי־לֵוִי כִּדְבַר מֹשֶׁה וַיִּפֹּל מִן־הָעָם ...
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How were the 3000 victims of the Golden Calf Massacre different from the rest?

In the Golden Calf massacre roughly 3000 people were killed: "וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בְנֵי־לֵוִי כִּדְבַר מֹשֶׁה וַיִּפֹּל מִן־הָעָם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא כִּשְׁלֹשֶׁת אַלְפֵי אִישׁ׃" "The Levites did ...
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How Golden Calf massacre can be reconciled with the Halachah

In Moses' words, God ordered a massacre in a very specific way: infidels should be executed with swords, and one should target his own relatives first: ".וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם כֹּה־אָמַר ה' אֱלֹהֵי ...
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Why would a malicious declaration of Rosh Hachodesh be legal (R"H 25a)?

R' Akiva famously interpreted a verse to legalize malicious rulings of Kiddush Hachodesh: "אתם אפילו שוגגין אתם אפילו מזידין אתם אפילו מוטעין:" "[You are authorized to determine the ...
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92 views

Legitimacy of rulings accepted through spontaneous rabbinic gatherings

The Torah prescribes settling the law in a very special place: "If a case is too baffling for you to decide, be it controversy over homicide, civil law, or assault—matters of dispute in your ...
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Doctors losing their licence/ r'shut beit din

Various sources refer to doctors acting with the permission of the beit din; some suggest that this is a mandatory requirement and that it is forbidden to practice medicine without such permission (eg ...
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1answer
54 views

Is Yitroh's judicial structure mentioned anywhere else in the Tanakh?

Yitro advised to divide the people into groups of 10, 50, 100,1000 and appoint a corresponding judge for every group. Is the legal process of any of such judges mentioned in the Tanakh? I mean, does ...
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Why does Yitroh's advice disregard the tribal structure of the Hebrews?

IMHO, Yitroh's advice that was supported by Moses and God, of dividing the people into groups of 10,50, 100,1000 completely disregards the tribal structure: וְאַתָּה תֶחֱזֶה מִכָּל־הָעָם אַנְשֵׁי־...
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Can a kofer be a dayan on a giyur beis din?

Assuming a person meets the Rambam's definition of a kofer as outlined in Hilchos Teshuvah Chapter 3, can such a person serve as dayan on a giyur beis din?
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When is the "insanity defense" applicable in Jewish Law? [duplicate]

In regards to the Halimi murder in France, a person made the assertion that Jewish law would agree with the recent verdict, as someone judged to lack discernment is not culpable. My memory is that ...
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Is there any Appeal Process after a Ruling of a Beis Din

Granted Avram Avinu didn't accept the initial sentence, but that was regarding a decree of Hashem. Nowadays, is there in the legal structure an appellate Beis Bin where one can have recourse to have a ...
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How come that nobody could oppose to R' Gamliel in Halachah but could boot him promptly as the President?

I'm trying to understand the mechanics of the Jewish Presidency as presented in Berakhot.28a. In the story R"G asks if there is anybody who could object to him in a Halachic issue, and nobody ...
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Selection of pupils under R' Gamliel in Berakhot 28a

"תָּנָא אוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם, סִלְּקוּהוּ לְשׁוֹמֵר הַפֶּתַח וְנִתְּנָה לָהֶם רְשׁוּת לַתַּלְמִידִים לִיכָּנֵס. שֶׁהָיָה רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל מַכְרִיז וְאוֹמֵר: כׇּל תַּלְמִיד שֶׁאֵין תּוֹכוֹ כְּבָרוֹ, ...
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What was the Halachic base for establishing the inheritance of the Great Sanhedrin Presidency?

In the line of Nesi'im from Hillel to Gamliel IV, the position passed from father to son even if the son wasn't the brightest sage of the Sanhedrin (see R' Gamliel's testimony to R' Yehoshua). Of ...
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How to understand the requirement for Supreme Judge to be tall and handsome?

Just as the members of a court of law must be cleared with respect to uprightness, so must they be clear of any physical defect. Every effort should be exerted in an intensive search for sufficiently ...
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At what age is a judge too old for the Sanhedrin?

A man who is advanced in years ... must not be appointed member of any Sanhedrin, since he is required to be compassionate. Hil. Sanhedrin 2.2 This is based on several Mishnaic (Horayot 1.4) and ...
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How much wisdom is the priesthood worth for the judges of the Sanhedrin?

It is a mitzvah to have priests and Levites included in the Great Sanhedrin... And if none can be found, it is permissible to have a court of exclusively Israelite judges. Rambam's Hil. Sanhedrin 2.2 ...
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Why did the model of Rabbinic Pairs (Zugot) emerge and why was it abolished?

In What was the position of Av Beis Din vs Nassi in Rabbinic Pairs? I asked about the description of the two positions in the Sanhedrin. However, why did this model suddenly emerge after almost 1500 ...
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What was the position of Av Beis Din vs Nassi in Rabbinic Pairs?

Traditionally, from Moses and on there was always only one head of the Sanhedrin, the president, the prince, the king, the Supreme Judge, Av Beis Din, etc. No other members or titles or names are ever ...
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When can you disregard a Jewish court's ruling?

Tractate Horayot discusses cases where rabbis and Jewish courts issue wrong rulings about Jewish observance, and what they must do to remedy. In particular, it rules: This is the principle: One who ...
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Are expert witnesses allowed in Jewish law?

The Mishna says: If one takes payment to ... give evidence, his evidence is void. (Bekhorot 4:6) So if you are paid to testify, your testimony is invalid. Does this apply to paid "expert ...
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184 views

Does the Torah allow lack of modesty?

The Talmud [Sanhedrin 46a; Yevamot 90b] mentions a case in which a man was flogged for having intercourse with his wife in public, which is not forbidden by the Torah. The judges decreed that when &...
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When must we go beyond the Torah?

We are taught that we must sometimes go “beyond the letter of the law” (לפנים משורת הדין) to do "what is right and good in the sight of the Lord" [Deut. 6:18]. The Talmud says: Rabbi ...
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92 views

Toen Rabbani in Halacha

My understanding that a To’ein Rabbani is the equivalent of an attorney representing one in the beis din who has the required familiarity and certification of both state law and halacha. Is this okay ...
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60 views

Does birchat hachodesh need three people?

Does birchat hachodesh need three (or four) people preferably as a commemoration to Beth Din?
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44 views

What is a majority that forces the Sanhedrin to bring an offering?

The Mishna states that a majority who followed an erroneous decision is needed to force the Beit Din to bring an offering. Is this an absolute majority? The majority of people cannot carry out many ...
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Why does the gemara seem to care more about erasing God's name than getting the correct ruling for a sotah?

In the mishna on Sotah 7a , we learn that the beis din intimidates the sotah in order to try to get her to admit to wrongdoing and avoid drinking the sotah water. The gemara on 7b asks why our mishna ...
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Why doesn't the Talmud consider the possibility that the later court was greater in wisdom and number?

In discussing the source that Megillat Esther may be read on the 11th, 12th, or 13th of Adar in addition to the 14th and 15th of Adar, the Talmud (Megillah 2a) has the following exchange: What we ...
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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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239 views

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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65 views

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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33 views

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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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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183 views

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: you ...
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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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181 views

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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