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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Hillel was a student of Ezra?

Sanhedrin 11a says: אמרו עליו הי חסיד הי עניו תלמידו של עזרא How could Hillel have been a disciple of Ezra? Didn't Ezra die several generations before Hillel was even born?
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Why did the Jewish sages understand “Daniel 7:13” as the coming of the Messiah, and not the Messiah's ascension to “God” in heaven?

The term "The Ancient of Days" appears three times in the Book of Daniel and is used in the sense of God being eternal. "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of ...
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שכבת זרע and the purification of the world

In Sanhedrin 108b:3, it says: אמר רב חסדא ברותחין קלקלו בעבירה וברותחין נידונו Rav Ḥisda says: With hot semen they sinned, and with hot semen they were punished. In Torah Ohr 8c-d, the Alter Rebbe ...
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Rabbi Moshe Feinstein member of Sanhedrin

On page 198 of "Reb Moshe" published by Artscroll, it is told of Reb Moshe that he "needed a cardiac pacemaker inserted in his chest....Reb Moshe said, 'I know that I am not worthy to ...
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Hadasim: Righteous or not?

The Midrash (Vayikra Rabba 30:12) says Hadasim refer to Jews who have good deeds but lack Torah: וַעֲנַף עֵץ עָבֹת, אֵלּוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל, מָה הֲדַס יֵשׁ בּוֹ רֵיחַ וְאֵין בּוֹ טַעַם, כָּךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל ...
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Are Jews responsible only for one another or for the whole world?

The Talmud teaches that All Jews are responsible for one another -- כל ישראל ערבים זה בזה . [Sanhedrin 27b]. It also teaches that Anyone who can protest [the sinful conduct] of the members of his ...
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135 views

Non Jew and Torah Study

"Rabbi Meir would say: ‘From where is it derived that even a non-Jew who engages in Torah study is considered like a High Priest? It is derived from that which is stated: “[You shall therefore ...
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Migdal Bavel during the times of the Gemara?

In the Gemara Sanhedrin 109a, it states R. Yonatan said: A third of the tower was burnt, a third sunk, and a third is still standing. Rav said: The atmosphere of the tower causes forgetfulness. ...
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Mashiach in physical form? [duplicate]

I have just watched a "Stump the Rabbi" video about whether mashiach is actually a physical person. Rabbi Shloma Majeski states that mashiach can even be someone that has passed away, and especially ...
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Benefitting from desecrated tombstones

We learn in Sanhedrin 48a: ת"ש נפש שבנאו לשם חי מותר בהנאה הוסיף בו דימוס אחד לשם מת אסור בהנאה הכא במאי עסקינן דרמא ביה מת Come and hear! A tomb built for a man still alive, may be used. If, ...
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How did the altar indicate that the sons of Shaul were to be killed?

In Yerushalmi Sanhedrin 6:7 (also found in bYevamot 78b with an alternate girsa) King David uses the altar to indicate which of Shaul's son's should be given over to the Gibeonim. אמר להן הריני ...
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Why would the Jewish sages, in Talmud Sanhedrin 98b, link the name of the Messiah to Isaiah 53:4?

Why would the Jewish sages (who don't believe that the messiah will suffer and die), in Talmud Sanhedrin 98b, link the name of the Messiah to Isaiah 53:4, where the context talked about someone that ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 reasoning (...
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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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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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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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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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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? [closed]

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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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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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] Rav ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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 stoning. ...
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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 וזהב ...
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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 been a ...
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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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“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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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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109 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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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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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, “...