21

In this particular case R. Lau was upholding the UOR’s ruling. The latter’s ruling (viewable here) was based on Rema (EH 154:21), citing earlier authorities, who permits to withhold any aid to a “sarvan” (one refusing to grant a get) including circumcising or burying his children. Upon this precedent the UOR ruled that preventing the mother’s burial is ...


15

The RaMBa"M is likely quoting this directly from the Gemara in Sanhedrin 2A (Hebrew, English): סנהדרין גדולה היתה של שבעים ואחד וקטנה של עשרים ושלשה מנין לגדולה שהיא של שבעים ואחד שנאמר אספה לי שבעים איש מזקני ישראל ומשה על גביהן ר' יהודה אומר שבעים The Great Sanhedrin consisted of seventy-one members; the small sanhedrin of twenty-three. Whence do we ...


14

See https://judaism.stackexchange.com/a/48512/21 for more. If we have some magical machine that can tell us that a person is completely sincere about their conversion, then it can't be revoked by their behavior afterwards. But if we have reason to suspect an insincere conversion, then their behavior immediately afterwards could be used as an indication. ...


13

My understanding of the Mishnah is as follows: The court must contain at least 20 members because the court must be able to simultaneously contain an "assembly" of convicters and an "assembly" of pardoners. If it didn't need to have the potential for both simultaneously then we shouldn't need 20 to begin with – e.g. a court of 15 can ...


12

According to Rabbi Noson Auerbach, Napoleon's Sanhedrin had no halakhic importance whatsoever. The greatest scholar to be part of the Sanhedrin was R' David Zinsheim, whose works on Shas are edited by R' Noson Auerbach (a descendant of R' Avraham Auerbach, R' Zinsheim's in-law), and in the introduction to one of those works, "Michas Ani" (pg 21-24) he writes ...


11

From TheSanhedrin.org: Etymologically, Sanhedrin is a late Hebrew representation of the Greek word synedrion συνέδριον meaning "sitting together" as a legislative assembly or Senate.


11

According to Rabbi Akiva Eiger, (Shu"t RA"E Mahadura Kama 176, cited here) they are not punished by the hand of man: וגם משום מלקות, נראה דלא לקו, דלא שייך בזה 'לא תענה ברעך' דהא לא העידו כלל על רעהו להפסידו בשום דבר And also with regard to lashes, it would appear that they were not lashed, for [the verse - Exodus 20:12] "though shalt not ...


10

From Torah.org (quoting Pischei Choshen, Halvahah 2, note 72): The legal concept of "statute of limitations" is not recognized by the halachah From Daas Torah blog: There is no statute of limitation for crimes in halacha From Matzav.com (concerning loans: In principle, there is no statute of limitations on a loan in halacha (other than sh’...


10

There's a whole article by Rabbi Yaacov Feit about this in the Journal of Beth Din of America, vol. I called, unsurprisingly, "The Prohibition Against Going to Secular Courts." It begins: The Torah states (Exodus 21:1), “Ve’eleh ha-mishpatim asher tasim lifneihem,” “And these are the statutes which you shall place before them.” The Talmud (Gittin 88b), ...


10

Jastrow supports Yishai's answer, that "סנהדרין" derives from the Greek συνέδριον: ‎‫סַנְהֶדְרִין,‬ ‫סַנְהֶדְרֵי‬ f. (also pl.) (συνέδριον) Sanhedrin, the supreme council of the Jews; ס‫'‬ גדולה the Great S., consisting of seventy-one members; ס‫'‬ קטנה the Small S., a judicial court of twenty-three. Snh. I, 6. Ib. ראויה לס‫'‬ fit to be a seat of the S....


10

I'm a layperson (not a rabbi) who's spoken with and helped teach Reform conversion candidates. This answer is based on that experience; see also the CCAR's guidelines for conversion. The beit din will, nearly universally, require successful completion of an introduction-to-Judaism class early in the process (~3 hours/week for 6 months or so). This class ...


10

Tosafot on Sanhedrin 36a s.v. dinei nefashot is bothered by your question as to why we're not concerned that junior judges can't argue on the senior judge in monetary cases. They suggest two possible resolutions: A junior judge is always allowed to argue on the senior judge b'derech she'elah (through asking leading questions, rather than directly ...


9

R' Samson Raphael Hirsch, when describing your case about a thief's slavery, writes that the Torah's system of punishment is much better than the prevailing system of imprisonment, which basically destroys the perpetrator. This implies that jail is never found as a punishment in Judaism. That being said, there are times where someone is guilty of a severe ...


9

They meant "other than a Kohen, she can marry any Jewish man that a born-Jewess can marry"; her status as a convert poses no additional issues. (In fact, she can marry more men than a born-Jewess, as she can marry a mamzer if she so desires, for whatever that's worth.) That's just how they wrote it, that's how the form is set up (and what the rabbanut will ...


9

The Mishna in Sanhedrin 9:4 says that one can be obligated in a more severe death penalty for a second offence that occurred after being sentenced to a less severe death penalty for a different action. מִי שֶׁנִּתְחַיֵּב בִּשְׁתֵּי מִיתוֹת בֵּית דִּין, נִדּוֹן בַּחֲמוּרָה. עָבַר עֲבֵרָה שֶׁנִּתְחַיֵּב בָּהּ שְׁתֵּי מִיתוֹת, נִדּוֹן בַּחֲמוּרָה. רַבִּי ...


9

As noted in this question, Ohr HaChaim to Shemot 23:2 writes that the 23rd judge must vote guilty, as he believes, even though that will result in the accused going free. He explains the reason behind this: if someone is being wrongly accused in such a way that the judges cannot find any reason to acquit, G-d will orchestrate matters such that all the ...


8

Encyclopedia Talmudit discusses this question, at the entry "הפקר בית דין," section ד. Some ראשונים hold1, based on the gemara Gittin 36b, that הפקר בית דין can only be done with a בית דין of the caliber of that of רב אמי and רב אסי, and hence it cannot be done today. Others posit that the comparison to רב אמי ורב אסי is not literal, but is really meant ...


8

Introduction What could be contained in this question, and manner in which we answer it, is going to depend on several things. First of all, we should clarify what we're asking about: your specific question mentioned only phrases that needed 'reinterpretation', but there are many more cases that deserve inquiry, such as gezairah shavas (see the Rambam's ...


8

Rambam Hilchot Rotzeach 4:3: הַמַּכֶּה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ בְּאֶבֶן אוֹ בְּאֶגְרוֹף וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן אוֹמְדִין אוֹתוֹ. אִם אֲמָדוּהוּ לְחַיִּים נוֹתֵן חֲמִשָּׁה דְּבָרִים וְנִפְטָר. וַאֲפִלּוּ חָלָה הַמֻּכֶּה וְהִכְבִּיד וּמֵת מֵחֲמַת הַמַּכָּה הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר. וְאִם אֲמָדוּהוּ לְמִיתָה אוֹסְרִין אֶת הַמַּכֶּה בְּבֵית הַסֹּהַר מִיָּד וּמַמְתִּינִים לָזֶה. אִם ...


7

Punishment doesn't (and didn't) work the way I think you're assuming. Ancient Israel didn't have a "police force" to deal with violations of halacha. Any transgression punishable by a court was acted on only if witnesses came forward to bring an accusation. As part of doing that, the witnesses would certainly have to know if the person they accuse is ...


7

R' Hershel Schachter was quoted in an interview with Ami Magazine, lamenting how Batei Din often (mal)function (emphasis mine): Q: Do you have a problem with the borerim system [in which two of the dayanim are chosen by the litigants and the two dayanim choose a third]? A: The borerim system is also a shanda. A lot of the borerim act like toanim. I was ...


7

The Otzar Beit Din is when the Beit Din pays the farmer to collect their produce for the community. The farmer is then a shaliach, and you are not buying the fruit. You're paying him for his effort. Then, when the consumer buys it, he is paying back the Beit Din, again, not buying the fruit. Otzar Beit Din, however, still has kedushat shvi'it, so it cannot ...


7

In maseches Sanhedrin chapter one, mishna 6, the word is presented as sanhedrei. The Tiferes Yisroel #43 quotes the Aruch who writes this is the Latin version of the name. He also quotes the Maharil as saying Chazzal chose this word because in notrikin it stands for Sonei Hadras Din. The actual words of the Maharil are found in the Likutei Maharil #6 אמר ...


7

I too was always bothered as to the origins of this word, until I saw the following Midrash Lekach Tov on Parshas Beha'aloscha: ומהו לשון סנהדרין, סין זה תורה שניתנה מהר סיני, הדרין שמהדרין התורה במדרשה ומיפים ומישרין הכתוב זה עם זה-"What is the meaning of the term 'Sanhedrin'? 'Sin' refers to the Torah which was given from Mount 'Sin'ai, 'hadrin': since ...


7

There was a Tzeduki Sanhedrin in the times of Shimon ben Shatach, but he got them to disband, and the day this happened (28th of Teves) was declared a Yom Tov. (Megillas Taanis) According to the Eshel Avraham there, this 'sanhedrin' of Tzedukim is mentioned in maseches Sanhedrin 52a, see Rashi at the end of the mishna. This is also the 'sanhedrin' that ...


7

Rambam writes in Hilchot Melachim uMilchamoteihem 9:14 that non-Jews are commanded to establish courts to try those that transgress the seven Noachide commandments (which include murder). A non-Jew can be convicted on the basis of a single witness’ testimony, and there is no requirement to warn him first. The punishment for transgressing any of the Noachide ...


7

--Part 1: Aggadah/Kabbalah As explained in Who says Moshe sinned for killing the Egyptian and why, the Zohar (Raayah Meheimna, Parshas Mishpatim) explains that one who kills in this way is liable for the death penalty. Here is my rough translation (copied from there), with emphasis on the pertinent part: With this introduction, these Pesukim can be ...


7

My personal experience in the program gives me the following perspective: Overall, it's an incredible program which empowers the Talmid with tons of time to learn and grow in his Torah and leadership skills, under the guidance of Torah personalities of world renown. 1) Yes, but it's more fluid in many ways if you went through the system via college. Those ...


7

Yes. Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 38:1 שנים שהעידו באחד שחייב לפלוני מנה ובאו שנים והכחישום או הזימום ה"ז פטור if the witnesses he needs to pay 100 ($) are zomemim, he needs not to pay. However Nowadays the punishment of Eidim Zomemim is NOT applied because it's a k'nas and we cannot enforce dinei knasot in today's times. Nonetheless the Eidim ...


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