21 votes
Accepted

"Anyone who saves a life is as if he saved an entire world": Jewish life or any life?

In the manuscript Parma 3173 there is no "מישראל"; In the manuscript Budapest Kaufman A50 no more; The Mishna of Mechon Mamre, Mishna Sanhedrin 4:5 based on Rambam manuscript idem; לפיכך נברא ...
user avatar
  • 22.3k
16 votes

Sanhedrin/Makkot - One masechta?

A number of Rishonim quote from Makkot but call it Sanhedrin, implying they considered them to be one tractate. See Ramban to Devarim 21:13 and Rashba to Kiddushin 22a who refer to what we have in the ...
user avatar
  • 95.6k
14 votes
Accepted

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

R. Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg has a responsum that deals with this question. It is a lengthy responsum (and you should read it in it's entirety if you can) but one key point is what he derives from ...
user avatar
  • 48k
13 votes
Accepted

Why does a small sanhedrin have 23 judges rather than 21?

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 "...
user avatar
  • 48k
13 votes

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein member of Sanhedrin

This law is codified by Rambam in Hilchot Sanhedrin 2:6: כשם שבית דין מנוקין בצדק כך צריכין להיות מנוקין מכל מומי הגוף וצריך להשתדל ולבדוק ולחפש שיהיו כולן בעלי שיבה בעלי קומה בעלי מראה נבוני לחש ...
user avatar
  • 48k
12 votes

Etymology of the word sanhedrin

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.
user avatar
  • 31.4k
11 votes
Accepted

How can Eliyahu say that almost no one in the market has a share in Olam Haba?

Rabbi Avraham Chayim Schorr (Toras Chayim to Sanhedrin 90a) addresses this question and concludes that this refers to people who would merit immediate admission to olam haba without any prior ...
user avatar
  • 16.3k
11 votes

Etymology of the word sanhedrin

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 ...
user avatar
  • 18.7k
10 votes
Accepted

How did Jerusalem get bigger without the Sanhedrin?

Halachic Yerushalyim is indeed still the same size (eg. for Maaser Sheni purposes). Shushan Purim is celebrated both in an ancient walled city and "adjacent" to it (Megilla 2b).
user avatar
  • 95.6k
10 votes
Accepted

Why is the talmud concerned about judges being swayed by each other only for capital cases?

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 ...
user avatar
  • 38.5k
9 votes
Accepted

Sanhedrin/Makkot - One masechta?

Rambam seen here in his introduction to his pirush on mishnayos seems to be the first who mentions an opinion like this. Rambam himself however disagreed with this. אבל מסכת מכות היא נקשרת בנוסתאות ...
user avatar
  • 32.3k
9 votes

Hillel was a student of Ezra?

Rambam in his introduction to Mishneh Torah provides the chain of transmission from Moses through the end of the Talmud. He lists Hillel as a seventh-generation student of Ezra: בית דינו של עזרא הם ...
user avatar
  • 48k
8 votes

Etymology of the word sanhedrin

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 ...
user avatar
  • 32.3k
8 votes
Accepted

Etymology of the word sanhedrin

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 ...
user avatar
8 votes

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

This is an excellent question, and is asked in many places such as here, here, here, here, and many other places. By far the best set of answers are found in the second link above, from Daf-yomi.com, ...
user avatar
8 votes

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

Artscroll answers your questions in their notes to this Mishna In general, once someone has been sentenced to death, the court must execute him on the same day to spare him the emotional agony of ...
user avatar
  • 43.6k
7 votes

Etymology of the word sanhedrin

Other answers have already noted that this comes from the Greek συνέδριον ("synedrion"). I'll add more detail: That word comes from the Greek σύνεδρος ("sitting together"), from σύν ("with", also ...
user avatar
  • 73.2k
7 votes

Pekuach nefesh and punishment

We have similar concepts in the Mishna. One is the exiled murderer who is not allowed to leave his city of refuge, even if the entire nation needs him. See Makos פרק ב - משנה ז וַאֲפִלּוּ ...
user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Paskening Shlomo out of Shamayim?

R. Yosef Chaim of Baghdad discusses this in his commentary to this Talmudic passage. His answer is that the whole thing was a mere ploy. The Sages actually knew that Shlomo was a worthy person and ...
user avatar
  • 48k
7 votes
Accepted

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

Rambam, Hilchos Melachim 3:2: ואם הוסיף אחת ובעלה לוקה If he adds an extra wife and has relations with her, he gets lashed. So that answers question #3. As for the others: On the face of it, ...
user avatar
  • 7,382
7 votes

Hillel was a student of Ezra?

The gemara says in Berachot 6b: אמר רבי חלבו אמר רב הונא כל הקובע מקום לתפלתו אלהי אברהם בעזרו וכשמת אומרים לו אי עניו אי חסיד מתלמידיו של אברהם אבינו R. Helbo said in the name of Rab Huna : Whoever ...
user avatar
7 votes

How can we reconcile the Gemara saying that Daniel was NOT a Navi, with all the Obvious (Very Intense) Prophecies of Daniel written in Sefer Daniel?

There have been various rabbinic interpretations on this issue. In addition to Tamir's note on Rashi's commentary (to Megillah 3a) - that Daniel was not technically considered a prophet since he didn'...
user avatar
  • 10.7k
7 votes
Accepted

Why will the Galilee be destroyed? - Sanhedrin 97a

Shir haShirim Rabbah (2:61, p. 121), also records the same tradition concerning the destruction of the Galilee. A commentary thereon, באור כנפי יונה (by Rabbi Jonah Etilzohn), cites the Meor Enayim of ...
user avatar
  • 4,080
6 votes

What Happens to People Who Don't Have a Portion in Olam Haba?

The Rambam explains, in line with his explanation of what Kares is, that they are cut off from their own spiritual component, and they remain physical. When the physical world comes to an end (as it ...
user avatar
6 votes

Creating things with the Sefer Yetzira?

It is documented in the R' Aryeh Kaplan translation of the sefer yetzeira regarding forming a humanoid from earth/clay (Golem) and engraving the name of God on his forehead then there are specific ...
user avatar
6 votes

Why does the Gemara go through each death penalty?

Ever play scissor paper rock...? Sometimes if A is greater than B and B is greater than C then certainly A is greater than C. This is true if we compare something like mathematical amounts (like ...
user avatar
  • 10.4k
6 votes

Why the Sanhedrin has a Greek name?

The book - The Great Sanhedrin (Sidney B. Hoenig) suggests that the original term was Bais Din Hagadol, which is a Hebrew term. However, he notes that due to Greek influence the term synedrion was ...
user avatar
  • 39.8k
6 votes

How was the Mekalel given the death penalty if the punishment wasn’t known?

The Chasam Sofer Kovetz Teshuvos 85 says that even though they did not know whether the Mekalel (blasphemer) was Chayav Misa(liable to death) or not, they still warned him that transgressing could ...
user avatar
  • 11.2k
6 votes

How many Jews were in Egypt before the Exodus?

R. Judah Loewe explains in his commentary to this passage that the Talmud is referring to all the people who died in Egypt over the entire course of time the Israelites were there: והם כל הדורות ...
user avatar
  • 48k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible