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Sanhedrin 36



(a) Rav testified - that when he once particiated in Rebbi's Beis-Din in a case where a Sikrikun took somebody's field - they began the count with his opinion.

(b) Rabah B'rei de'Rava (or Rebbi Hillel B'rei de'Rebbi Valas) reconciles this with our Mishnah 'Maschilin min ha'Gadol' - by differentiating between others and Rebbi, who, as a result of his deep humility (see also Yefei Einayim), always stated his opinion last.

(c) Rabah B'rei de'Rava (or Rebbi Hillel B'rei de'Rebbi Valas) also says that from Moshe to Rebbi there was nobody who were unique in both Torah and greatness like them.

(d) Yehoshua, Pinchas and Shaul are precluded from the list - because Elazar ha'Kohen, the Elders (Osniel ben K'naz and Bo'az) and Shmuel, respectively, were their equals (in one or the other of the two).

(a) But Shmuel died during Shaul's reign, we ask, and so did Ira ha'Ya'iri (David's equal), and Shimi ben Geira (whom Shlomoh killed), and Shevna (who were on a par with Shlomoh and Chizkiyah respectively). The fact remains, we answer - that all of these do not compare with Moshe and Rebbi, who were unique throughout their lives (whereas the above had equals during part of their lives, at least).

(b) Rabah B'rei de'Rava does not include Ezra in his list - because Nechemya ben Chachalya was his equal (in greatness).

(c) Rav Ada bar Ahavah said the same about Rebbi and Rav Ashi, as Rabah Brei de'Rava about Moshe and Rebbi. We refute the suggestion that Rav Huna bar Nasan (who was an exilarc) was equal to Rav Ashi (in greatness) - on the grounds that he was nevertheless subservient to Rav Ashi.

(a) Rav Acha bar Papa learns from the Pasuk "Lo Sa'aneh al Riv" - (which he reads as "Rav" because it is missing a 'Yud') that one should avoid crossing swords with one's superior in Diynei Nefashos (which one achieves by asking for the senior Dayan's opinion last).

(b) Rabah bar bar Chanah learns this from David Hamelech, who, when judging Naval Hakarmeli - asked his men to state their opinions on the matter before declaring his own (as we learn from the Pasuk in Shmuel).

(a) Rav permits a Rebbe to teach a Talmid Halachos pertaining to Diynei Nefashos, and then to sit together with him on the same Beis-Din and judge Diynei Nefashos.

(b) The Beraisa rules that if a father and a son, or a Rebbe and a Talmid, issue rulings in matters of ...

1. ... Taharos and Teme'os - they are considered two opinions.
2. ... Diynei Mamonos, Nefashos and Diynei Makos, Kidush ha'Chodesh and Ibur Shanah - they are considered one opinion.
(c) The reason for this distinction is - that in the former cases, one judge could have ruled (and it is only because they chose to include more judges, whose opinions were divided, that voting was necessary), whereas in the latter cases, three judges were mandatory.
(a) We resolve Rav with the Beraisa - by restricting his ruling to Talmidim of the caliber of Rav Kahana and Rav Asi, who only required Rav's breadth of knowledge, but not his depth, because the S'varos they could work out themselves ...

(b) ... otherwise, how could anyone have sat on Moshe's Beis-Din, seeing as he had taught him all he knew?




(a) The only one of the ten distinctions between Diynei Mamonos and Diynei Nefashos that pertains to an ox which killed a person and which must be stoned is - that it requires twenty-three judges ...

(b) ... as we learned in the first Perek from the Hekesh 'ki'Miysas Ba'alim Kach Miysas ha'Shor'.

(c) Rav Acha bar Papa learns from the Pasuk in Mishpatim "Lo Sateh Mishpat Evyoncha be'Rivo" - 'Mishpat Evyoncha I Atah Mateh, Aval Atah Mateh Mishpat shel Shor ha'Niskal' (that we do not learn the remaining nine things from the above one) ...

(d) ... because *it* is a Halachah in Mishpat, whereas *they* are all connected with saving the defendant's from the death-penalty, which does not apply by an ox.

(a) What is strange about the Kashya 'Asarah!', Ha Tish'ah Havu?' is - that there are in fact, ten.

(b) When we answer that 'Ein ha'Kol Kesherin la'Dun' is synonymous with twenty-three, we mean - that the reason that people who are not Meyuchas are disqualified from judging Diynei Nefashos is due to the fact that Diynei Nefashos require a Sanhedrin of twenty-three, which inherently precludes them from judging (as we learned from "ve'Nas'u Itach", 'be'Domin Lach').

(c) And we answer by inserting another case which the Tana omitted - namely, that of an old man (who has long since had no children at home), a Saris (a eunuch) and someone who has no children. These are all disqualified from sitting on a Sanhedrin of twenty-three, because they inevitably lack the quality of mercy that comes with having children and bringing them up.

(d) Rebbi Yehudah adds - a cruel person to this list.

(a) All of the above permitted (perhaps even encouraged) to sit - when judging a Meisis ...

(b) ... from "Lo Sachmol ve'Lo Sechaseh Alav" as we have already learned (regarding the other Pesulim).

(a) We learned in our Mishnah 'ha'Kol Kesherin La'dun Diynei Mamonos'. Rav Yehudah explains - that 'ha'Kol' comes to include a Mamzer.

(b) We already cited the Mishnah in Nidah ' ... ve'Yesh Ra'uy La'dun Diynei Mamonos ve'Ein Ra'uy La'dun Diynei Nefashos'. There too, Rav Yehudah explains - that 'ha'Kol' comes to include a Mamzer.

(c) Seeing as we do not need two Mishnayos to teach us the same thing, we amend one of them to - a Ger (a convert).

(d) Even though the Tana has included ...

1. ... a Ger, he nevertheless needs to add a Mamzer - who is not fit to marry a Kasher Jewess (like a Ger is).
2. ... a Mamzer, he needs to add a Ger - who does not descend from Kasher ancestors (like a Mamzer does).
(a) The Beraisa quoted by Rav Yosef learns (initially) from the Pasuk in "Kulach Yafah Raya'si, u'Mum Ein Bach" - that a Mamzer is disqualified from sitting on the Sanhedrin.

(b) We are forced to amend that source to the Pasuk ...

1. ... "ve'Hisyatzvu Sham Imach", quoted by Rav Acha bar Ya'akov - because there is no indication that the Pasuk in Shir ha'Shirim is not speaking about physical blemishes exclusively.
2. ... in Yisro "ve'Nas'u Itach" (from the Pasuk in Beha'aloscha) as quoted by Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak - because for all we know, that Pasuk is speaking exclusively to the judges mentioned there, who were about to experience Hashra'as ha'Shechinah, but not to other judges.
(a) When our Mishnah describes the way the Sanhedrin (ha'Ketanah as well as the Sanhedrin ha'Gedolah) sat as 'ka'Chatzi Goren Agulah', it means - that they sat in the shape of a semi-circle ...

(b) ... so that they should be able to see both each other and the litigants and the witnesses (in order to watch them carefully as they spoke).

(c) They did not sit in a full circle - because then, the litigants and the witnesses would not have been able to enter to stand in the middle, as we just explained.

(a) According to the Tana Kama, two Sofrim stood in front of the Dayanim, each of whom recorded both the words of the Dayanim who supported the defendant, and the words of those who considered him guilty (to keep check on each other in case one of them erred).

(b) Rebbi Yehudah disagrees - because if they did that, the pressure of having to write so much would cause them to make mistakesb.

(c) So he requires three Sofrim - one to record the words of the Dayanim who supported the defendant, the other, to record the words of those who considered him guilty, whilst the third, recorded both (in order to keep check of the first two Sofrim).

(a) Our Mishnah describes the three rows of Talmidei-Chachamim who sat in front of the Sanhedrin ha'Gedolah - three rows, each comprising twenty-three, who sat in order of importance. Consequently, the last person in each row was superior to the first person in the row behind him, and the last judge in the last row was superior to the first Talmid-Chacham in the first row.

(b) The latter sat on he floor - as opposed to the former, who sat on benches.

(c) They needed so many Talmidei-Chachamim - in case some members of the Sanhedrin had to leave the courtroom, leaving anything between a minimum of twenty- three (who had to remain in the courtroom) and seventy-one. The Talmidei-Chachamim would supplement the numbers, two at a time up to seventy-one.

(d) And the reason that they needed three rows of twenty-three (despite the fact that the maximum number needed to supplement the Sanhedrin was forty-eight) was - to conform with etiquette; because it would not be correct to have two rows of twenty-four, which would be bigger than the rows of the Sanhedrin itself. Neither would it do to have four rows of seven, say (to differ so drastically from the rows of the Sanhedrin), or to have two rows of twenty-three, and a third row consisting of two (as that would be unaesthetic).

(a) In the event that a member of the Sanhedrin died - they would move everyone up one place, starting with the Dayan who had sat next to the one who died, and appoint a new Talmid-Chacham from the congregation.

(b) The new appointee would sit in the last seat of the last row of Talmidei-Chachamim, after the Talmid-Chacham who had sat there had moved up one place.

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