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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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30
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3answers
811 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 ...
21
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5answers
740 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 considered "destructive",...
9
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2answers
465 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 ...
26
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5answers
973 views

Why is the torah so misleading without the oral law

In Parshas Ki Teitze (Devarim 22:13-21) 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. ...
24
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5answers
876 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?
22
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10answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
432 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 ...
14
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4answers
922 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 ...
8
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5answers
727 views

Etymology of the word sanhedrin

what is the root and source of the term "sanhedrin," the name of the Jewish high court and of a tractate in the Talmud? As far as I know, it is not from scripture.
15
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4answers
2k views

Can conversion be revoked?

In a recent case the Israeli Rabbinical Court has revoked someone's conversion to Judaism on the grounds that they were deceptive. This decision was "...Based on the fact that she completely ...
10
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1answer
700 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 ...
16
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2answers
277 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 ...
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0answers
45 views

Questions on Yitroh's Advise to Moses on appointing judges [closed]

Without further ado: Bney Noah are commanded on establishing a legal system and courts. I would expect Bney Israel in Egypt and through the Exodus to comply with this commandment. What Chidush did ...
14
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2answers
164 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?
4
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1answer
64 views

Why does Yisro recommend so many judges?

In Shemos 18:21 Yisro tells Moshe that he shouldn't judge Bnei Yisrael himself, instead he should appoint: וְאַתָּ֣ה תֶחֱזֶ֣ה מִכָּל־הָ֠עָם אַנְשֵׁי־חַ֜יִל יִרְאֵ֧י אֱלֹהִ֛ים אַנְשֵׁ֥י אֱמֶ֖ת ...
3
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1answer
84 views

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, ...
14
votes
1answer
355 views

Napoléon's Sanhedrin

In 1806, Napoléon Bonaparte convened a synod of French rabbinim (mainly Alsatiens and Bordelais) to ascertain halachic opinions on a set of questions. What is the halachic standing of this synod's ...
3
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3answers
158 views

Fitting the Sanhedrin (150) into Lishkat Hagazit (10x15 feet chamber)?

Here's the Tifferes Isroel's plan of the Temple drown to scale (on the bottom), which aligns with the plan of the Second Temple on the WIKI, According to those plans, the size of the whole Lishkat ...
11
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2answers
255 views

How would the 'split the baby in half' situation be resolved according to halacha?

In 1 Kings 3:16-27 there is a story of two prostitutes who appear before King Shlomo, each having a newborn baby. One of the babies died and there was a dispute as to which one. There were no ...
10
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1answer
665 views

What should a conversion candidate expect at an Orthodox beit din?

This question about conversion before a Reform beit din made me wonder about other cases: what does the examination of a prospective ger by an Orthodox beit din look like today? Does the beit din ...
8
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2answers
134 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
302 views

Ben Noah and his obligations regarding vows

A hypothetical case (based on a somewhat similar real one): Ben Noah in the process of giyur. Stood before the Beis Din and was asked question 'Will you follow the mitzvot as fully as a goy can up ...
12
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1answer
748 views

How do you “take someone to beis din”?

Reuvain and Shimon are having a monetary dispute. Reuvain wants to take Shimon to beis din to settle the dispute, how does this work in practical terms? Does Reuvain have to tell Shimon first? Can he ...
11
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2answers
257 views

Why is precedent set by individual rabbis, but 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
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2answers
688 views

Can you convert without a rabbi?

Disclaimer: I am already Jewish. This question for curiousity only. Obviously it is always the best idea to convert to Judaism with a proper, official beit din. Three Jewish males over the age of bar ...
9
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1answer
230 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?
7
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1answer
747 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 non-...
5
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1answer
479 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), ...
4
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4answers
433 views

Zaken Mamrei vs. Par He'elem Davar

This past weekend I was reading through the Torah Temimah on Vayikra and a paradox occurred to me. The Zaken Mamre is specifically applied to one who is in a position of authority over a community. ...
4
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3answers
250 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 ...
4
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1answer
3k views

What should a conversion candidate expect in a Reform three-judge rabbinic court (Bet Din)?

What should a conversion candidate expect in a Reform three-judge rabbinic court (Bet Din)? I was told it was to determine the Jewish knowledge of the conversion candidate, but do you have any ...
3
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2answers
258 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
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3answers
728 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 ...
1
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1answer
101 views

Mi La'Hashem Eilai - Was this an appropriate response?

This question weaves together a couple different sources. The first nekudah comes from 32:32 where we have the phrase: וְאִם-אַיִן--מְחֵנִי נָא, מִסִּפְרְךָ אֲשֶׁר כָּתָבְתָּ - If you will not [...
13
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2answers
2k views

(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 ...
9
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1answer
123 views

Does Beis Din have the authority to quarantine?

In light of the recent discussions about the legality of quarantining potential Ebola patients, I was wondering if Halacha has the mechanism for such a thing. In an autonomous Jewish society, in ...
9
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0answers
137 views

Looking for a particular idea from Reb Yonason Eibshitz

I recall reading a quote from Reb Yonason Eibshitz concerning a judge on a beis din of 23 faced with a strange situation. The defendant seems to the judge to be guilty of murder, but this judge is the ...
8
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1answer
492 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 civil ...
6
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0answers
85 views

Prison in Halacha [duplicate]

I realized that nowhere (as far as I can tell) is there a reference to prison being a punishment in the Torah. The closest I even come to someone being kept in prison is the man found gathering sticks ...
6
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1answer
824 views

How does “getting a heter” work?

I have heard of the concept of "getting a heter" to do something that is not ordinarily permitted, but I don't have a good idea of what it means. I am interested in explanations of what this process ...
5
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0answers
262 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
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1answer
286 views

What are the requirements to be killed in Beis Din?

It is my understanding that it is incredibly difficult to be killed in Beis Din - so much so that one that kills once every seven (or seventy) years is a murderous one (Makkos 1:10). What exactly are ...
4
votes
1answer
223 views

Why is it often Claimed a Forced Get is Invalid?

I've read that part of the problem of agunot ( women who are refused a divorce ) is that if we force the man to give a get then the get is invalidated, and thus Beitai Din in Israel refrain from using ...
3
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3answers
151 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'...
3
votes
1answer
144 views

May a person with a nature of getting angry be a dayan?

I sit in a beis din with a dayan who gets angry very easily. He can't seem to control his anger, causing great anguish to the litigants, and a big chilul Hashem at times. I have been asked to approach ...
3
votes
1answer
773 views

Beis Din observing a female convert's immersion in the Mikvah

The practice today is that the Beis Din overseeing the conversion of a woman will observe her head going below water for the required Tevilah. Given the potential modesty issue - I know that they put ...
3
votes
2answers
79 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
87 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
162 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
2answers
91 views

Where in the torah is contempt of court condemned?

I looked at google for contempt of court and torah. Two sources that I see is this: https://www.ou.org/torah/mitzvot/taryag/mitzvah69/ It has a rule saying you shouldn't curse the elohim. Not only ...