14 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 "...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.3k
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 ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.3k
12 votes
Accepted

Declare a leap year due to coronavirus?

There are two problems, both are discussed (among others) in Sanhedrin 11a. The first is that you need a Sanhedrin with a Nasi to intercalate a year. The second is that there are certain reasons for ...
Kazi bácsi's user avatar
  • 7,684
11 votes

How will the next Sanhedrin function if we lost the original Semicha?

Rambam writes in Hilchot Sanhedrin 4:11 that he believes that semichah can be re-instituted if all the sages in Eretz Yisrael agree to bestow it on an individual. This was in fact attempted in the ...
Joel K's user avatar
  • 43.4k
10 votes

Declare a leap year due to coronavirus?

The rabbis currently do not have the authority to declare a leap year because there is no Sanhedrin. The current calendar was set up by Hillel II and is completely fixed by calculation. Indeed, even ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.1k
7 votes

How will the next Sanhedrin function if we lost the original Semicha?

If it is not possible to restart semicha like the Rambam says, as brought in the previous answer, we will need a musmach from the past. The Radvaz, in his commentary on the Rambam while stating his ...
Mordechai's user avatar
  • 3,462
6 votes

Examples of a functioning Sanhedrin in the Talmud

There are at least several specific functioning Sanhedrins mentioned in the Talmud: King David's Sanhedrin They at once took counsel with Ahithofel and consulted the Sanhedrin and questioned the ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.3k
6 votes
Accepted

When the Messiah comes, will Sanhedrin be able to overturn Gezairos (Rabbinic decrees) that are not relevant today?

The general rule, according to Maimonides (Laws of Rebels 2:2-3), is that the Sanhedrin would have to be greater in wisdom and number in order to reverse a previous decree: בֵּית דִּין שֶׁגָּזְרוּ ...
Loewian's user avatar
  • 17.8k
6 votes

Was Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakkai a priest? And was he Nasi of a sanhedrin?

1) Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai was almost certainly Nasi for some time after the destruction of the Second Temple. Per the Iggeret of Rav Shrira Gaon (written 987CE): "ולא מצאנו אדם שנקרא "רבן" חוץ ...
Nic's user avatar
  • 3,705
5 votes

Was Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakkai a priest? And was he Nasi of a sanhedrin?

To answer the second question (Nic answered the first question in depth so see his great answer) Raban Yochanan Ben Zakai was the Nasi - head of the Sanhedrin according to Tosfos Avoda Zara 13a: ...
user15464's user avatar
  • 11.5k
5 votes

אנשי כנסת הגדולה and סנהדרין relationship

From what I've read, there are a lot of disagreements among both rabbis and academics about what the exact role of the Knesset Hagedolah was, particularly in light of the Sanhedrin/Beit Din Hagadol (...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.6k
5 votes

Why did the model of Rabbinic Pairs (Zugot) emerge and why was it abolished?

I came across a fascinating suggestion by Prof. Y. M. Grintz in his book פרקים בתולדות בית שני (Chapters in the History of the Second Temple), p. 36. He pointed out that in the first three generations ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.6k
5 votes
Accepted

Can a Judge Issue a Ruling After his Death?

The Mishna in Sanhedrin 5/4 writes (copied from Sefaria) אָמַר אֶחָד מִן הַתַּלְמִידִים יֶשׁ לִי לְלַמֵּד עָלָיו זְכוּת, מַעֲלִין אוֹתוֹ וּמוֹשִׁיבִין אוֹתוֹ בֵינֵיהֶן, וְלֹא הָיָה יוֹרֵד מִשָּׁם ...
פרי זהב's user avatar
5 votes

Which Scripture is being talked about in: He who destroys one soul of a human being, the Scripture considers him as if he should destroy a whole world

The Mishnah you cited in your question cites a posuk (verse) in Genesis (4:10): And He said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood cries to Me from the ground. The Mishnah goes on to ...
Shmuel's user avatar
  • 9,953
5 votes

Talmud Yerushalmi vs Bavli

The following is one approach as to why our practice (for the most part) follows the Bavli over the Yerushalmi. Those practicing current, normative Judaism today are, in general, the inheritors and ...
Joel K's user avatar
  • 43.4k
4 votes

Is there a limit to the number of consecutive leap years?

Depends who you ask. The Gemara, Sanhedrin 12a, says: אין מעברין את השנה לא משנה לחברתה ולא שלש שנים זו אחר זו אמר רבי שמעון מעשה ברבי עקיבא שהיה חבוש בבית האסורים ועיבר שלש שנים זו אחר זו אמרו לו ...
Meir's user avatar
  • 9,356
4 votes

Judaism position on Mishmeret HaTzniut

The Shulchan Aruch 529:4 says: חייבים ב"ד להעמיד שוטרים ברגלים שיהיו משוטטים ומחפשים בגנות ופרדסים ועל הנהרות שלא יתקבצו שם לאכול ולשתות אנשים ונשים ויבואו לידי עבירה וכן יזהירו בדבר זה לכל העם ...
Chatzkel's user avatar
  • 12.9k
4 votes
Accepted

Did Hillel get rid of the year of Jubilee?

Truth is priceless, lies are free. The N.T. loves to paint Jews as nasty, and poor unsuspecting readers buy it without a second thought. According to Rambam, the mitzvot of the Jubilee came to an end ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
  • 9,885
4 votes

What's the source for unanimous decision of the Sanhedrin?

Sanhedrin 17a is the original source, here elucidated by R Steinsalt Rav Kahana says: In a Sanhedrin where all the judges saw fit to convict the defendant in a case of capital law, they acquit him. ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 51.8k
3 votes

Why did the model of Rabbinic Pairs (Zugot) emerge and why was it abolished?

Doros Harishonim (vol. 1 p. 200) traces it to the appointment of the Hellenist Yosef ben Toviah as chief tax collector of Eretz Yisrael (Josephus, Antiquities 12:4:2ff), and the resulting growth of ...
Meir's user avatar
  • 9,356
3 votes

Was the bat kol right?

Sefer HaChinuch §496 cites the Ramban’s understanding and explicitly connects it with the story at hand: ועל דרך ענין זה שעוררתיך, בני, עליו אפרש לך אגדה אחת שהיא בבבא מציעא בסוף פרק הזהב (בבא ...
DonielF's user avatar
  • 34.3k
3 votes

Does the nascent Sanhedrin in Israel sanctify the new moon with witnesses?

What I have been told, by people who have seen this many times, is that every Rosh Chodesh, Rav Ariel of Machon Hamikdash, who is on the "Sanhedrin", goes up to Har Habayis with a couple of others and ...
Mordechai's user avatar
  • 3,462
3 votes

Rabbinical knowledge of idolatry

Another reference in the Rambam (Hilchos Avoda Zara 3:2) עבודות הרבה קבעו עובדי כוכבים לכל צלם וצלם, ולכל צורה וצורה, ועבודת זה אינה כעבודת זה, כגון פעור שעבודתו שפוער אדם עצמו לו, ומרקוליס ...
IsraelReader's user avatar
  • 4,989
3 votes
Accepted

Rabbinical knowledge of idolatry

As Mordechai pointed out, the Rambam Sanhedrin (2:1) writes אֵין מַעֲמִידִין בְּסַנְהֶדְרִין בֵּין בִּגְדוֹלָה בֵּין בִּקְטַנָּה אֶלָּא אֲנָשִׁים חֲכָמִים וּנְבוֹנִים. מֻפְלָגִין בְּחָכְמַת ...
NJM's user avatar
  • 14.3k
3 votes

Why doesn't the Talmud consider the possibility that the later court was greater in wisdom and number?

The Men of the Great Assembly included Neviem (prophets) They were the last group that included prophets Generally speaking, each generation is smaller than the previous generation. It is taken for ...
Schmerel's user avatar
  • 5,190
3 votes
Accepted

Tanaim in the Sanhedrin

The 2nd Mishna in the 2nd Perek of Chagiga gives a list of the last 5 sets of Av Bet Din and Nasi of the Sanhedrin before the second Churban - for a total of 11 Tanaim; members of the Sanhedrin whose ...
Danny Schoemann's user avatar
3 votes

Which Scripture is being talked about in: He who destroys one soul of a human being, the Scripture considers him as if he should destroy a whole world

Hi and welcome to Mi Yodeya. It seems, there is no specific verse this is referring to, but rather the concept that Adam was created alone. E.g. Genesis 1:27 וַיִּבְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים ׀ אֶת־הָֽאָדָם֙ ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
  • 9,885
2 votes

Examples of a functioning Sanhedrin in the Talmud

Eduyos 5:6 tells us about four issues on which Akavya ben Mahalalel disagreed with the other Sages. In Sanhedrin 88a there's an argument between Rav Kahana and Rabbi Elazar as to why the rules of ...
Meir's user avatar
  • 9,356
2 votes

Examples of a functioning Sanhedrin in the Talmud

סנהדרין עא א אמר ר' יונתן אני ראיתיו וישבתי על קברו...אמר רבי יונתן אני ראיתיה וישבתי על תילה Sanhedrin 71a R' Yonatan said, I saw him (Ben Sorer U-Moree) and sat on his grave...I saw it and ...
Alaychem goes to Codidact's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Who accepted new great sanhedrin judges?

Avraham Büchler in his book "Hasanhedrin" ("The Sanhedrin" or "Das Grosse Synedrion in Jerusalem und das Beth-Din in der Quaderkammer des Jerusalemischen Tempels" in the ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.6k

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