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Questions tagged [maseches-sanhedrin]

The fourth tractate in the Order of Nezikin, focusing primarily on questions of jurisdiction, criminal law and punishments

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(How) can a prophet sit in Sanhedrin?

Please help me to understand the principle of "Not in Heaven" better. As I (we) clearly imagine that many leading prophets participated and even headed the High courts, like Yehoshua and David. As ...
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1k views

A rebellious elder is executed on the festival? How does that work?

The mishna in Sanhedrin 11:4 says that the rebellious elder is not executed by his local court but is instead taken to Yerushalayim and executed on the next festival in front of all the people. ...
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Why does the mishna assume blind parents can't identify their son?

Sanhedrin 8:4 lists a bunch of things that can prevent parents from declaring their son a ben sorer umoreh, a stubborn and rebellious son. These include lame parents (because they cannot bring him ...
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522 views

How many sin-offerings are due for one who (unintentionally) sleeps with his mother while she's married to his father?

Sanhedrin 7:4 lists several types of transgressor who are stoned, and then talks about some unintentional sexual transgressions: הַבָּא עַל הָאֵם, חַיָּב עָלֶיהָ מִשּׁוּם אֵם וּמִשּׁוּם אֵשֶׁת אָב. ...
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How do we know that one must give up his life for any immoral relationship?

Sanhedrin 74a teaches that one must give up his life rather than be intimate with a forbidden relationship. It derives this from Devarim 22:26, in the context of a man who raped a young woman: ...
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45 views

Why is וחי בהם taught in the context of one of its exceptions?

Yoma 85b expounds from Vayikra 18:5 that one should violate mitzvos if the other option is death. Sanhedrin 74a gives three major exceptions to this rule: idolatry, immorality, and murder. Now, let's ...
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101 views

Why do the sages care if the condemned continues to deny his guilt to the end?

The mishna in Sanhedrin 6:2 explains how, when the condemned is being led out to be executed, they urge him to confess so he can have a portion in the world to come. This mishna ends: רַבִּי ...
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434 views

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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405 views

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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39 views

Why isn't there a specific number given for the amount of horses and gold/silver that a king is allowed to own?

The Rambam in Hilchos Melachim 3:2 writes how a king can't have more than 18 wives: לֹא יַרְבֶּה לוֹ נָשִׁים. מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁהוּא לוֹקֵחַ עַד שְׁמוֹנֶה עֶשְׂרֵה נָשִׁים בֵּין ...
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508 views

Understanding the reasoning for “be killed rather than kill”

Sanhedrin 74a teaches us the source for how we know a person should be killed rather than kill: סברא הוא [...] מי יימר דדמא דידך סומק טפי דילמא דמא דהוא גברא סומק טפי It's based on logical ...
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2k views

Legally speaking, do we really have so few friends?

Sanhedrin chapter 3 talks about categories of people who are disqualified from being judges or witnesses in a case. They include some people who are never trustworthy, various relatives of the ...
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When can the brother of a man who died childless do neither yibbum nor chalitzah?

I was under the impression that if a man dies childless and has a brother, then the brother must do either yibbum (marrying his wife) or chalitzah (rejecting the marriage) -- his choice, but he has to ...
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102 views

Application of the baraita about “Don't profane daughter for Zenut” Leviticus 19:29 reported in Sanhredin 76a?

I'm an Italian Noahide. The topic in question manifests my purely intellectual interest, concerning the Jews and not the Gentiles. We read in Talmud Bavli-Sanhredrin 76a (English translation from “...
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Why didn't the Gemara generalize its explanation of why man was created “alone”? [duplicate]

I'm copying part of my answer from here Sanhedrin 37a explains (excerpt from Sefaria): Therefore, Adam the first man was created alone, to teach you that with regard to anyone who destroys ...
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It says that ‘Adam was created alone to teach you…’ alone as opposed to what?

Adam was created alone to teach you that whoever takes a human life is considered to have destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a human life is considered as if he preserved an entire world (...
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670 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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106 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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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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142 views

How many Jews were in Egypt before the Exodus?

In Sanhedrin 111a, we read: It is taught in a baraita with regard to the few that are destined to be redeemed: Rav Simai says that it is stated: “And I will take you to Me as a people” (Exodus 6:7),...
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64 views

Why King Solomon wasn't worthy of a share in Olam Haba? [duplicate]

In Sanhedrin 104, the members of the Great Assembly decided that Shlomo does not deserve a share in the World to Come. [Sages enumerated a list of kings that do not deserve a share in Olam Habah] ...
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(How) was Joshua allowed to trick Achan?

In Sanhedrin 43b it says that Joshua tells Achan that if he confesses he will be pardoned (והיפטר). Rashi explains that Joshua verbally deceived Achan into confessing, making Achan think he would not ...
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419 views

Didn't the lottery of Achan make G-d an informant?

In Sanhedrin 43b God says he will not tell Yehoshua who took of the cherem of Yericho because God is not an informer אמר לפניו רבש"ע מי חטא אמר ליה וכי דילטור אני Joshua said to G-d: Master of ...
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35 views

According to those who argue on R’ Yehudah, why do we bring the Shtei HaLechem on Shavuos?

Rosh Hashanah 16a quotes the following teaching: א"ר יהודה משום ר"ע ... מפני מה אמרה תורה הביאו שתי הלחם בעצרת מפני שעצרת זמן פירות האילן הוא אמר הקב"ה הביאו לפני שתי הלחם בעצרת כדי שיתברכו לכם ...
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88 views

How does frequency of a Sanhedrin killing make sense in light of the concept of “Kippah”?

The mishnah on Makkos 7a states: סנהדרין ההורגת אחד בשבוע נקראת חובלנית רבי אליעזר בן עזריה אומר אחד לשבעים שנה רבי טרפון ורבי עקיבא אומרים אילו היינו בסנהדרין לא נהרג אדם מעולם רשב"ג אומר אף הן ...
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76 views

What happens if a Jewish king marries a 19th wife?

The mishna on Sanhedrin 21a teaches us that a king may not have more than 18 wives, and this is also codified by The Rambam (Hilchos Malachim 3:2): לֹא יַרְבֶּה לוֹ נָשִׁים. מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה ...
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29 views

Name of avoda zara in the mishna?

Avoda Zara 3, 4: שאל פרוקלוס... שהיה רוחץ במרחץ של אפרודיטי Proclus asked... because he was washing in the bathroom of aphroditi ... Given it is forbidden to say name of avoda zara (Sanhedrin ...
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Why for a sorceress does the Torah say “shall not live” instead of “shall be put to death?”

In Exodus 22:17 the Torah tells us: מְכַשֵּׁפָ֖ה לֹ֥א תְחַיֶּֽה׃ A sorceress you shall not let live. We learn from Sanhedrin 67a that (man or woman) the punishment for sorcery is death by ...
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156 views

Do any Rishonim or Achronim view Rava’s opinion of Mordechai as a negative one?

Recently I was browsing some source sheets on Sefaria regarding Purim, and I stumbled upon this sheet, which, based on various comments of Rava’s throughout Shas, argues that, in Rava’s opinion, ...
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The ordination of the five students of Rebbi Yehuda Ben Bava

In Sanhedrin 14a, the Gemara is explaining how semicha is given. It gives the story of how Rebbi Yehuda Ben Bava gave semicha to his five talmidim. The Gemara asks: how can Rebbi Yehuda Ben Bava give ...
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Why did Geviha ben Pesisa give the response that he gave to the Mitzri'im?

Sanhedrin 91a records the following exchange: שוב פעם אחת באו בני מצרים לדון עם ישראל לפני אלכסנדרוס מוקדון אמרו לו הרי הוא אומר (שמות יב, לו) וה' נתן את חן העם בעיני מצרים וישאילום תנו לנו כסף ...
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651 views

Why is one not obligated to give up his life rather than violate Lashon Hara?

The Gemara in Erchin 15b compares Lashon Hara to the Big Three: תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל כל המספר לשון הרע מגדיל עונות כנגד שלש עבירות עבודת כוכבים וגילוי עריות ושפיכות דמים כתיב הכא לשון מדברת גדולות ...
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Why would the Torah give us mitzvot that will never actually happen?

The Gemara in Sanhedrin 71a tells us a few mitzvot in the Torah that will never happen: First, a ben sorer u'moreh בן סורר ומורה לא היה ולא עתיד להיות ולמה נכתב דרוש וקבל שכר There has never ...
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How was the Mekalel given the death penalty if the punishment wasn’t known?

Inspired by How was the Mekoshesh given the death penalty if the punishment wasn't known yet? The OP there asks how the Mekoshesh, the one who chopped wood on Shabbos could be put to death if he ...
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Who is ההוא דהוה in the Gemara?

The gemara in Sanhedrin 7a brings a bunch of statements from ההוא דהוה(there was a man) who we learn many lessons from . One can learn that this is one person in all instances,or it is a different ...
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28 views

Do non-Jews have the same value as Jews? [duplicate]

In Gemara of Sanhedrin on daf 74a it discusses a famous Jewish thought that one can not value himself over another. As it says: רוצח גופיה מנא לן סברא הוא דההוא דאתא לקמיה דרבה ואמר ליה אמר לי מרי ...
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152 views

“Worship idols or I kill another Jew” - what should one do?

The Halacha is that one may not serve Avodah Zarah even on pain of death (Sanhedrin 74a). I was staying by a family for Shabbos, and their 11-year-old son asked a genius question. What happens if ...
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27 views

What happens if one isn’t sure if ten Jews are watching? [duplicate]

The Gemara (Sanhedrin 74a-b) rules that if ten Jews are present when a non-Jew threatens a Jew to perform any sin - even to dress like a non-Jew - on pain of death, the Jew is obligated to give up his ...
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73 views

What is considered religious persecution vis-a-vis giving up one’s life?

According to an alternate reading of Sanhedrin 74a cited by Mesoras HaShas §20 ad. loc., in a time of religious persecution, one must give up his life even for a “light mitzvah.” The Gemara 74b ...
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43 views

Why is one obligated to give up one’s life for all mitzvos only with a decree against Judaism and not just persecution?

Sanhedrin 74a quotes R’ Yochanan as saying that one is obligated to give up his life even for a minor mitzvah in a period of Gezeiras HaMalchus - a decree of the king. Rashi (DH v’afilu mitzvah kala) ...
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1k views

What are the parameters of the prohibition against a non-Jew learning Torah?

The Gemara (Sanhedrin 58a) declared that a non-Jew is liable to death for learning Torah (at least the parts not relevant to him practically). If you read the passuk תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה literally, “...
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42 views

Is Mashiach going to come in Nissan/Tishrei, or can he come at any time?

The Gemara in Rosh HaShanah 10b-11a says: תניא רבי אליעזר אומר בתשרי נברא העולם בתשרי נולדו אבות בתשרי מתו אבות בפסח נולד יצחק בראש השנה נפקדה שרה רחל וחנה בראש השנה יצא יוסף מבית האסורין בר"ה בטלה ...
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26 views

Was the Sanhedrin open to the public?

Besides the 3x23 rows of the students, were the Sanhedrin meetings open to the public as a rule?
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159 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 ...
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57 views

Exact wording to commit to death penalty

To incriminate a person for a capital sin requires a warning, to distinguish between intentional and unintentional transgression (שוגג או מזיד, Makot 6). A person should be warned that the action he ...
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2answers
138 views

Why didn't King Shlomo get lashes for marrying more than 18 wives?

It states in the 364th prohibition that a king is forbidden from having too many wives. The limit is that he may not have more than 18 wives legally bound by kesubah and kiddushin. The ...
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1answer
75 views

Sanhedrin 108b: What type of bird is the tushlami?

The Gemara in Sanhedrin 108b says the following: (Source from Sefaria.org) (בראשית ו, יב) כי השחית כל בשר את דרכו על הארץ א"ר יוחנן מלמד שהרביעו בהמה על חיה וחיה על בהמה והכל על אדם ואדם על הכל א"...
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59 views

How far do we take the principle of “so that the daughters of Israel not be promiscuous toward immorality”?

The Gemara (Sanhedrin 75a) discusses a case of a man who became so lovesick for a woman that he fell deathly ill. The Chachamim said it would be better to let him die than to be intimate with her, and ...
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82 views

Is there a principle as “so that the sons of Israel not be promiscuous toward immorality”?

The Gemara (Sanhedrin 75a) discusses a case of a man who became so lovesick for a woman that he fell deathly ill. The Chachamim said it would be better to let him die than to be intimate with her, and ...
2
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1answer
93 views

How Sanhedrin was possible if there was no agreement about the juridical procedures?

Learning the [beginning of the] Sanhedrin tractate is difficult for me to see the never-ending disagreements between the Tannoyim and/or Ammoroyim (any combination) about the very procedure of ...