Jul 242017

The gemara extrapolates the verses at the beginning of sefer devarim when Moshe discusses setting up the court system.  The gemara learns from here all sorts of laws relating to judges to ensure fair judgments (not showing favoritism, etc.  and that the people listen to the courts (implements used by judges for enforcement purposes).  The gemara now goes back to the mishna.  double payment is in a court of three.  Since it is a payment of a fine, can it be judged by one specialist as in theft and injuries?  The debate regarding one who accuses his wife about not being a virgin is disucssed – what is at the root of the debate?  A number of explanations are given, most of them narrowing the focus of the debate to more specific cases.

Jul 232017

Study Guide Sanhedrin 6

Is compromise/mediation something that is a viable option?  Is it ideal?  Is it forbidden?  If it is allowed, at what point in the course of the case is it too late to use mediation?  Various opinions are suggested.  Various statements are brought regarding the seriousness with which a judge should have when ruling and the level of responsibility that he bears.

Jul 212017

Even though it says in the mishna that a court is made up of three judges, exceptions are made.  An expert can judge on one’s own.  Rabbi Abahu and Shmuel debate if 2 judges ruled in a case, would their judgment be effective?  in what cases does a judge who makes a mistake, need to pay out of pocket to fix the mistake?  When mediation is done, how many people are needed to mediate?  Is mediation looked upon as a favorable solution or not?

Jul 202017

According to Rabbi Yochanan there are five rabbis who all hold that when there is a contradiction between the way the text is read/pronounced and the way it is written, we follow the way it is pronounced.  Each case where is it said is brought and explained.  Then the gemara questions whether or not anyone holds differently than that – doesn’t everyone follow the pronunciation (proof from cooking milk in meat – it is read as milk – chalev – and not forbidden fat – cheilev).  This assumption is disproven and a different explanation is brought to explain why everyone agrees in the milk/meat verse.

Jul 192017

Three different reading of the mishna are brought regarding the first 6 words of the mishna – monetary laws are judged by 3, theft and injuries by 3.  All conclude the same bottom line law – that for loans and admissions you would need 3 regular people and for theft and injuries you would need 3 judges.  However how they read this into the words of the mishna and what the original Torah laws and how the Rabbis changed it and why is a subject of debate.  What are damages and half damages listed separately – why isn’t it included in injuries?  From where do we derive that courts should be 3 judges?  There is a debate between Rabbi Yoshia and Rabbi Yonatan – is there debate just about the derivation or do they have a different understanding of how judgments are decided?

Jul 182017

Study Guide Sanhedrin 2

This shiur includes an introduction to Masechet Sanhedrin.  The mishnayot of the first perek explain both what issues are brought to which size courts and how the number of judges in each court can be derived from the Torah.  The gemara starts to deal with the first item on the list – robbery and damages to a person.  The assumption is that loans and admissions are excluded – why and what are they excluded from?

Jul 172017

Today’s shiur was sponsored by Ilana Kurshan and Daniel Feldman in honor of the siyum.

Study Guide Bava Batra 175-176

What are the differences between a loan with a contract and a loan with an oral agreement?  If a guarantor signs after the loan takes place, can one collect from the guarantor?  An interesting exchange between Rabbi Yishmael and ben Nanas may shed light on the masechet as a whole.

Jul 162017

Daniel Mann, Esq. speaks about how halacha in modern times grapples with the issue of wills.  He begins with the halacha in the Torah which dictates how property should be distributed and how it developed in the mishna/gemara and through to the shulchan aruch and Rema and then to modern day poskim.  What rabbinic attempts were made to find solutions to create a system that better matches common law?  What are the advantages/disadvantages of each solution?

Jul 162017

More discussions regarding different types of guarantors for different types of situations.  In which cases do we assume the guarantor will have to pay and in which do we not assume?  Do we take into consideration whether or not the debtor had money at the time of the transaction?  If one says on one’s deathbed that money is owed to someone – is that statement believed or should we assume that the person was only trying to make it look like his/her sons don’t have a lot of money.  Would the same apply in a case where all the money was dedicated to the temple rather than to his sons?  Another law is brought regarding the inheritor’s ability to claim that the bequeather may have said he/she owed someone money but then said that they had paid them back – in what case are they believed and in what case are they not believed.