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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145 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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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58 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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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 ...
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295 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 ...
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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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Damages and two defendants — how would a beit din resolve?

A friend recently sat on a jury in a civil case where there were two defendants in the case of an injured party, each claiming the other was responsible, and the jury had to decide. I'm curious how a ...
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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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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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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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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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Are observant Jews of today more pious than observant Jews of the Sanhedrin period?

Allow me to explain the logic of the question: During the time of the Sanhedrin, a Jew could be put to death for not following the law. While it was certainly enforced for things like murder, it ...
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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 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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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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(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 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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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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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 ...
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What is the source of the obligation to listen to the Sanhedrin once it left Jerusalem?

The source of listening to the high court typically comes from Devarim 17:8-10: If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between ...
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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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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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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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Is one allowed to kill false witnesses to his own capital crime?

Reuven and Shimon conspire to execute Levi in Beis Din (court) for killing Yehuda by their testimony. There were no Eidei Hazama (counter-witnesses) who will expose Reuven and Shimon to be liable to ...
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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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85 views

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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693 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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112 views

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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The process of the evaluation of the Sages' wisdom when electing for the Sanhedrin?

Mishnah Sanhedrin 4,4: "ושלש שורות של תלמידי חכמים יושבין לפניהם כל אחד ואחד מכיר את מקומו" Three rows of the Sages sit before [the Sanhedrin of 71], every one of them knows his place ...

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