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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778 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.
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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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Chain of tradition for stories/parables told by Rashi

I've already asked one question about where Rashi got a particularly troubling interpretation of an obscure reference in the Gemara, telling a very detailed and gruesome story about R' Meir and his ...
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4answers
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“Anyone who saves a life is as if he saved an entire world”: Jewish life or any life?

I am puzzled by the Mishnah's original text of the famous Jewish idea that "whoever saves one life [...] saves an entire world" (Sanhedrin 4:5). The English from sefaria.org reads thus: "It was for ...
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Coerced testimony in halacha

My chavrusa and I were going through Sanhedrin (40b) this evening, and the topic of how to get accurate statements from witnesses. Rashi mentioned the concept of moving the witnesses around in order ...
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683 views

Returning Lost Property to a Gentile

Why is it forbidden to return lost property to a non-Jew? Its been a while since I learnt the discussion about hashovas aveido (returning lost property) in Baba Metzia; but I just learnt Sanhedrin ...
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1answer
256 views

what are Sifrei Minim today?

in Sanhedrin 100b: Rabbi Akivah says "Even one who reads foreign Seforim (has no chelek in Olam Haba)". Beraitha there "He refers to Sifrei Tzedukim" (or "Sifrei Minim" according to all of the old, ...
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549 views

How could Avraham feed his guests milk?

According to the gemarah (Sanhedrin 21 I think) milk was considered the limb of a living being - eiver min ha'chai - until matan torah. If so, how could Avraham serve it to his guests if a ben Noach ...
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124 views

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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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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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
110 views

How do you violate the intermediate days of the festivals?

The Talmud (Sanhendrin 99a) states: He who defiles sacred objects, he who violates the intermediate days of the festivals, or he who embarrasses another person in public, even if they are learned ...
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Why was the kipa a justified way to execute criminals?

The Mishna Sanhedrin 81B brings a form of execution where the convicted person is placed in a tight chamber, fed minimal amounts of food to shrink the stomach, and then fed a lot to cause the stomach ...
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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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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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1answer
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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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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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How do we understand Talmudic predictions of Moshiach?

There are some predictions in the Talmud for when Moshiach/Messiah will come. Avoda Zara 9b brings a Beraisa and Rabbi Chanina that say when Moshiach will come (the opinions are a few years apart), ...
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1answer
165 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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1answer
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Can an autopsy be performed on a Jewish body?

Halachically can one perform an autopsy on a Jewish body? One one hand, the Talmud Sanhedrin 47a explains that the verses in Deuteronomy 21:22-23 we can learn that one must not delay a burial and ...
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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. ...
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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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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 ...
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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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The Permissibility of Purim Torah [duplicate]

Saying Purim Torah, funny (or unfunny) puns based off a misreading of a verse, is an age old tradition in the spirit of Mishenichnas Adar Marbin Besimcha. However, the Gemara in Sanhedrin 99b states: ...
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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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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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Could any of the lamed-vovniks be a non-Jew?

I am referring to the concept of Tzadikim Nistarim (lamed-vovniks)—the 36 hidden saints in the world because of whose righteousness the world continues to exist—addressed in this passage: As a ...
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Siyum of Bava Kama/Metzia/Basra or Sanhedrin/Makkos

I have been told that originally, Bava Kama, Bava Metzia and Bava Basra were one masechta called Maseches Nezikin and that Makkos was part of Maseches Sanhedrin. A siyum of a masechta of Gemora is ...
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How did Jerusalem get bigger without the Sanhedrin?

The Mishna in Sanhedrin 1:5 states: אין מוסיפין על העיר ועל העזרות, אלא על פי בית דין של שבעים ואחד. They may not add [annex] to the city [Jerusalem] or [Temple] Courtyards, except by a court ...
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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
110 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
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How do we know that Zimri was the same person as Shlumiel ben Tzurishaddai?

Sanhedrin 82b says that Zimri is the same person as Shlumiel ben Tzurishaddai, and that Zimri is simply a derogatory nickname. But in the passuk that identifies him, he is described as "נשיא בית אב ...
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Sanhedrin 99a: אין להם משיח לישראל שכבר אכלוהו בימי חזקיה

In Sanhedrin 99a, we find the phrase אין להם משיח לישראל שכבר אכלוהו בימי חזקיה. ר' הילל אומר אין להם משיח לישראל שכבר אכלוהו בימי חזקיה אמר רב יוסף שרא ליה מריה לרבי הילל חזקיה אימת הוה בבית ראשון ...
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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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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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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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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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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 (...