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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sanhedrin 3



(a) The problem caused by establishing the two statements of 'bi'Sheloshah' in our Mishnah by Gezeilos va'Chavalos ...
1. ... to exclude Hoda'os ve'Halva'os - is that, seeing as the two sets are now different, it would have been more logical to establish the former by Hoda'os and Halva'os (which do need expert judges), since the latter speaks by Gezeilos va'Chavalos, whose judges must be experts.
2. ... with the Lashon is - that it would then not have been necessary to repeat the word 'bi'Sheloshah'. The Tana could have written, 'Diynei Mamonos she'Hein Gezeilos va'Chavalos ... bi'Sheloshah'.
(b) Based on Rebbi Chanina and on what we just learned, Rava therefore establishes '*Diynei Mamonos* bi'Sheloshah' - by Hoda'os ve'Halva'os. The Tana divides them into two cases - because whereas the latter require experts, the former do not.

(c) Rav Acha B'rei de'Rav Ika agrees with Rava's interpretation of the Mishnah in principle. He argues with him though - regarding the Din of three, which he maintains is only mi'de'Rabbanan.

(d) His source for that is the Pasuk in Kedoshim "be'Tzedek Tishpot Amisecha" (which is written is the singular).

(a) The Rabbanan instituted three judges - because they were afraid that, if only one judge was permitted to rule in money-matters, ignorant merchants would end up issuing ruling that had no basis in Halachah.

(b) The fact that there are three judges alleviate the problem - inasmuch as out of three judges, at least one is bound to be conversant with the Halachos.

(c) They are nevertheless obligated to pay in the event that they erred (in spite of the Kashya that we asked earlier) - because otherwise, there would be no incentive to learn the Halachos, and the Chachamim's Takanah would be in vain.

(a) Rava and Rav Acha B'rei de'Rav Ika argue over Shmuel, who states that if two people (or even one person, for that matter) judged - their ruling is valid, though they are deemed a 'Beis-Din Chatzuf'.

(b) Rav Acha holds like Shmuel, as we just explained, whereas Rava holds like Rebbi Avahu (who maintains that the rulings of a Beis-Din of two are void, as we discussed earlier).

(c) The basis of their Machlokes is - whether we say 'Eiruv Parshiyos' (Rava) or not (Rav Acha).

(a) Having learned Chavalos (as we just explained), the Tana nevertheless finds it necessary to insert 'Nezek' in our Mishnah - as a prelude to Chatzi Nezek, which he needs to mention, as we shall now see.

(b) We query the explanation, that the Tana mentions Chatzi Nezek in addition to Chavalos, because he wishes to make a distinction between Mamon and K'nas - based on the opinion that holds that Chatzi Nezek is Mamon and not K'nas.

(c) Palga Nizka might be Mamon and not K'nas - because of the possibility that even domesticated animals possess a streak of wildness, and need to be guarded.

(d) He mentions it (even according to those who hold that Palga Nizka is Mamon - because it is similar to the four or five times that someone is obligated to pay, if he stole a sheep or a cow and Shechted or sold it (which is certainly a K'nas), inasmuch as like it, Chatzi Nezek does not pays a different sum than the principle.




(a) Rebbi Yashiyah learns from the Pesukim "ve'Nikrav Ba'al ha'Bayis el ha'Elohim", "ad ha'Elohim Yavo Dvar Sh'neihem" and "Asher Yarshi'un Elohim" - that Gezeilos and Chavalos (at least) require three expert judges.

(b) Rebbi Yonasan disagrees with the first Pasuk - on the grounds that, in a sequence such as this, he never Darshens the first Pasuk (because it is needed for itself).

(c) *He* learns the third judge by Gezeilos and Chavalos require three judges - from the fact that once we know two judges from the two words, we apply the principle 'Ein Beis-Din Shakul, Mosifin Aleihen Od Achad' (whenever there is an even number of judges we have to add one).

(d) We refute the suggestion that they argue over whether, or not 'Dorshin Techilos' - because, we conclude, everyone holds 'Ein Dorshin Techilos'. Nevertheless, Rebbi Yashiyah learns the third judge (not from the basic word "ha'Elohim", but) - from the fact that the Torah uses the word "ha'Elohim" rather than "ha'Shofet".

(a) Rebbi Yonasan explains the Torah's use of the word "ha'Elohim" - as a manner of speech.

(b) The problem with Rebbi Yashiyah's rejection of Rebbi Yonasan's D'rashah - is the fact that he disagrees with the concept of 'Ein Beis-Din Shakul' (also referred to as 'Notin'), as is expressed by Rebbi Eiezer B'no shel Rebbi Yossi ha'Gelili in a Beraisa ...

(c) ... where he learns it from the word "*li'Netos* Acharei Rabim le'Hatos".

(d) We answer that Rebbi Yashiyah holds like Rebbi Yehudah, who says in our Mishnah - that a Sanhedrin constitutes seven judges (even though this an even number).

(a) Rebbi Shimon in our Mishnah requires three judges with regard to 'Semichas Zekeinim' and 'Arifas Eglah Arufah'. Rebbi Yehudah learns from the Pasuk "ve'Samchu" and "Ziknei" - that Semichas Zekeinim requires four judges.

(b) Rebbi Yehudah concludes - that five judges are require there (because of 'Ein Beis-Din Shakul).

(c) We reconcile Rebbi Yehudah here with his opinion (that we just cited), accepting a Beis-Din of seventy - by confining his leniniency in this regard to a Sanhedrin Gedolah. But he concedes that a Sanhedrin ha'Ketanah, must have an odd number of judges.

(d) And as for Rebbi Yashiyah, who, as we just explained, does not even require Netiyah by the Sanhedrin ha'Ketanah - he extends Rebbi Yehudah's ruling to the Sanhedrin ha'Ketanah, even though Rebbi Yehudah himself does not.

(a) Rebbi Yashiyah establish "li'Netos" - by restricting it to cases of Diynei Nefashos.

(b) And the significance of the three judges is - that they must reach an unanimous decision.

(c) The Mishnah in 'Zeh Borer', in a case where ...

1. ... two judges maintain that he is innocent (and does not deserve Malkos), and one, that he is guilty - rules that he is declared innocent.
2. ... two judges maintain that he is guilty, and one, that he is innocent - rules that he is innocent.
(d) This Mishnah could well conform with the opinion of Rebb Yashiyah - who will learn that we follow the majority, from a 'Kal va'Chomer' from Diynei Nefashos.
(a) The Tana Kama in the Beraisa requires three for Diynei Mamonos. Rebbi says - five.

(b) We object however, to Rebbi's stated reason 'K'dei she'Yigamar ha'Din bi'Sheloshah' on the grounds that, by the same token, if we required three judges, then we would conclude the case with two (and so what if we do?).

(c) So we amend it to read - 'Mipnei she'Gemar Din bi'Sheloshah' (meaning that the final ruling requires three judges (even if the remaining two diagree).

(d) If, Rebbi really requires a Beis-Din of three at the time of the G'mar-Din, Rebbi Avahu's problem from ...

1. ... the Sanhedrin ha'Gadol is - that it ought then to require a hundred and forty one judges, so as to conclude with a majority of seventy.
2. ... the Sanhedrin ha'Ketanah is - that by the same token, it ought to require forty-five, so as to conclude with a majority of twenty-three.
(a) We learn from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Esfah Li Shiv'im Ish" - that the Torah requires seventy judges at the time of Techilas Din ('mi'Sha'as Asifah').
2. ... "ve'Shaftu ha'Eidah ... ve'Hitzilu ha'Eidah' - that the Torah requires twenty-three judges at the time of Techilas Din ('mi'Sha'as Shefitas ha'Eidah').
3. ... "ve'Nikrav Ba'al ha'Bayis el ha'Elohim" - that it requires three judges at the time of Techilas Din (mi'Sha'as K'reivah').
(b) So we suggest that Rebbi learns five judges from the two Pesukim "Asher Yarshi'un Elohim" and "ad ha'Elohim Yavo D'var Sheneihem". We omit the first Pasuk "ve'Nikrav Ba'al ha'Bayis el ha'Elohim" - because of the principle 'Ein Dorshin Techilos' (which we discussed earlier).

(c) Rebbi learns it from those two Pesukim - by first of all comparing the latter Pasuk from the former regarding the plural (two judges), and then adding a fifth judge, on the basis of the principle 'Ein Beis-Din Shakul ... '.

(d) The Rabbanan counter Rebbi however - because, they go after the traditional way the wrd "Yarshi'un" is written (the Mesores), in which the Pesukim only indicate two judges and not four. And they learn the third judge from 'Ein Beis-Din Shakul ... '.

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