web analytics
July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

When To Go To The High Court

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

In this week’s parshah, Shoftim, the Torah teaches the halachos of a zaken mamrei – someone who disagrees with the Beis Din Hagadol of 71 judges, which convenes on Har Habayis. The pesukim say that when there is a matter that is unclear to us in any topic, we must ascend to the Beis Hamikdash and present the quandary to the High Court.

The pasuk says that the Beis Din Hagadol is the final authority and everyone must adhere to its ruling. A beraisa in Sanhedrin 88b says that originally there were no machlokesim in klal Yisrael, for everyone ultimately was obligated to follow the rulings of the Beis Din Hagadol. If a lower beis din could not resolve an issue, the litigants would take the case to a higher beis din until it reached the Beis Din Hagadol. After the Beis Din Hagadol ruled, there was no room for disagreements.

The Rashash asks several questions on this fact. First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict. The halacha is that in order to rule guilty in a death penalty case, there must be at least one judge who believes that the defendant is innocent. If all the judges believe that the man is guilty, he does not receive capital punishment. (The Torah Temimah in Parshas Shemos disagrees with this and says that if all the judges agree that he is guilty, he will be put to death; however, most authorities do not agree with him.) Since the beis din is torn on what to do in this scenario, the members should take their case to the Beis Din Hagadol. Additionally, the halacha requires that in cases of capital punishment, we must always search for ways of vindicating someone who is found guilty.

The Rashash asks a second question. The halacha is that one may not rely on a rov – majority – if there is a way of finding the solution without relying on the rov. For example if one found a piece of meat that he is unsure of where it came from and the rov dictates that it came from a kosher store he may eat it. But if there is way to find out by other means – e.g. asking people who may have been there – then one may not utilize the rov. Why then may one utilize the rov of a regular beis din (following the majority opinion of the judges) when he could find out the actual answer by asking the Beis Din Hagadol?

Tosafos in Baba Kama 27b asks why we do not follow a rov in halachic disputes relating to finances. Why would it be different from following the majority opinion of judges in a financial case. Tosafos answers that following the majority opinion of judges is different, for in that case we view it as if the minority opinion was not even there.

Rav Chaim Soloveitchik, zt”l, explains the Tosafos this way: The way beis din operates is not by following the majority opinion. For example, if 16 judges rule guilty and seven rule innocent, we do not issue a guilty verdict based on the 16 judges who ruled that way. Rather, the beis din in its entirety hands down the verdict. Even the judges who ruled that the man was innocent are part of the beis din that has ruled guilty. The beis din as a whole rules. Rav Chaim says that this is the concept of rubo k’kulo – the majority is considered the entire thing. If one drinks a majority of his cup of wine by Kiddush we consider it as if he drank the entire cup.

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “When To Go To The High Court”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
“Praised is the nation that understands the quavering sound of the shofar.” (Psalms 89:16).
Orthodox Rabbis to Lobby near Rosh HaShanah against Deal with Iran
Latest Judaism Stories
011-OT-Maps-Israel-Tribes

One must view the settlement of Israel in a positive light. Thinking otherwise is a grievous sin.

Vaetchanan

Reaching a stronger understanding of what Moses actually did to prevent him from entering the land

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Anti-Zionism, today’s anti-Semitism, has gone viral, tragically supported globally & by many Jews

The 10 Statements main point was not content but the encounter between G-d & His nation, Israel

Before going in, I had told R’ Nachum all of the things we were doing in Philly, and how it was very important to receive a good bracha on behalf of our newest venture, a Russian Kollel.

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

(JNi.media) Tisha B’Av (Heb: 9th of the month of Av) is a fast day according to rabbinic law and tradition, commemorating the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE by the army of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 CE by the Roman army led […]

Devarim often parallels the stories in Bereishit but in reverse & can be considered as a corrective

‘Older’ By A Month
‘…Until The Beginning Of Adar’
(Nedarim 63a)

We realize how much we miss something only after it’s gone.

Because the words of Torah gladden the heart, studying Torah is forbidden when Tisha B’Av is on a weekday, except for passages in Scripture that deal with the destruction of the Temple and other calamities.

On Super Bowl Sunday itself, life seems to stop. Over one hundred million people watch the game. About half of the households in the country show it in their living rooms and dens.

Moses begins Sefer Devarim reviewing much of the 40 years in the desert & why he can’t enter Israel

While they are definitely special occurrences, why are they cause for a new holiday?

Torah wasn’t given to be kept in Sinai; Brooklyn or Beverly Hills-It was meant to be kept in Israel!

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

In addition to the restrictions of Tisha B’Av, there are several restrictions that one may not perform during the week that Tisha B’Av falls in.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

We do not find that Pinchas was chastised for what he did; on the contrary he was greatly rewarded.

The Shulchan Aruch in the very first siman states that one should rise in the morning like a lion, implying that simply rising form bed requires strength of a lion, in line with the Midrash.

Tosafos answers that nevertheless the sprinkling is a part of his taharah process.

Performing ketores outside the Beis Hamikdash, and at the wrong time is an aveirah.

Ten of the twelve spies returned with a negative report, stating that this would be impossible.

The flavor of the mon was not artificial; the mon would now consist of the actual flavors from the desired food.

Tosafos suggests several answers as to how a minor can own an item, m’d’Oraisa.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/when-to-go-to-the-high-court/2014/08/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: