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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1answer
629 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 ...
5
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1answer
74 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 ...
-5
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1answer
66 views

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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1answer
82 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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1answer
61 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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35 views

(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 ...
14
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1answer
418 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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33 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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71 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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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 ...
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1answer
151 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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64 views

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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644 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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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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“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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71 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, “...
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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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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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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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55 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
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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
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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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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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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 ...
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1answer
85 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 ...
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Does the defendant give his testimony in Nefoshos trials?

The Gemmorah dedicates pages for discussing interrogation of witnesses in Nefoshos trials (NOT MAMONOS, NOT ISHUS), but I don't recall a discussion about the testimony of the defendant. Although the ...
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Egel Hazahav and idolatry: Ramban vs Rashi

Shemot 32:1 says When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, the people gathered against Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who shall go before us, for ...
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Was Adam allowed to eat the meat of an animal which he did not kill?

The Gemara in SANHEDRIN 59b says: אמר רב יהודה אמר רב אדם הראשון לא הותר לו בשר לאכילה דכתיב (בראשית א, כט) לכם יהיה לאכלה ולכל חית הארץ ולא חית הארץ לכם § Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: Meat was ...
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Who is Queen Cleopatra in Sanhedrin 90b?

The Gemara in Sanhedrin 90b relates: (Source from Sefaria.org) (Partial Quote) .....שאלה קליאופטרא מלכתא את ר"מ Queen Cleopatra asked Rabbi Meir..... My Question: What Queen Cleopatra was ...
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“Do this sin or I’ll kill your family” [duplicate]

Generally speaking, if Reuven tells Shimon to violate a mitzvah on pain of death, Shimon may - possibly must - violate it. Let’s say that Reuven comes to Shimon and says that if he doesn’t violate a ...
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3answers
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Sanhedrin/Makkot - One masechta?

I remember hearing that originally Sanhedrin and Makkot formed one masechta. This is also mentioned by Wikipedia (without citation) [Sanhedrin] originally formed one tractate with Makkot, which ...
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Did the entire generation of the wilderness lose their Olam Haba

What does the Gemara mean when it says (Sanhedrin 108), The generation of the wilderness have no share in the future world and will not stand at the [last] judgement, as it is written in this ...
4
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1answer
163 views

Sorcerers, wizards, warlocks… what are the differences?

The mishna in Sanhedrin 53a lists, among those subject to stoning: a necromancer -- בעל אוב a wizard (Soncino translation) or sorcerer (Sefaria) -- ידעוני a sorcerer (Soncino) or warlock (Sefaria) --...
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1answer
187 views

How did the talmud's description of stoning work in practice?

I am trying to understand the description of stoning given in Sanhedrin 45a (starting here). To summarize: They take the condemned to a place that is twice a man's height, the first witness pushes ...
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4answers
378 views

Why the Sanhedrin has a greek name?

This bothers me since a long time. The biggest Jewish halachic authority, arguably, the peak of the Torah world which can be ever imagined, which has its most basic definitions in the Chumash (70 ...
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1answer
269 views

Is v'chai bahem a mitzvah?

The passuk says one should "do the mitzvos to live by them" (Vayikra 18:5), from which the Gemara (Sanhedrin 74a) learns that one, in general, must violate the mitzvos rather than die. Is this a ...
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1answer
107 views

Why must one give up his life to avoid idolatry, according to Rashi?

The Gemara (Sanhedrin 74a) derives that one must give up his life to avoid idolatry from the passuk in Va'Eschanan (Devarim 6:5): ואהבת את ה׳ אלקיך ... בכל נפשך You should love HaShem your G-...
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1answer
104 views

Whose life comes first? Apparently contradictory Rabbinical statements

There seem to be two contradictory statements of the Rabbis. One is: Sanhedrin 74a מי יימר דדמא דידך סומק טפי דילמא דמא דההוא גברא סומק טפי who knows whether your blood is redder than his ...
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28 views

Does the Midrash imply that one should give up his life for “smaller” mitzvos?

The Midrash (Bamidbar Rabbah 14:6) expounds the Pesukim in Koheles (8:2-3): Based on several incidents, the Midrash interprets "ani" as indicating that one's awe should be over you. Thus, "Ani, the ...
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1answer
136 views

Paskening Shlomo out of Shamayim?

R' Yehudah tells us in the name of Shmuel (Sanhedrin 104b) that the Anshei Kenesses HaGedolah wanted to include Shlomo HaMelech on the list of kings who lost their portion of Olam Haba. An image of ...
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1answer
88 views

Why does the Gemara go through each death penalty?

The Gemara Sanhedrin 50a writes the order of the death penalties. It starts with Stoning, proving that Stoning is more severe than any other form of death penalty. Then it moves to Burning, proving ...