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1)

What exactly is the meaning of "Lo Sih'yeh Acharei Rabim Lera'os"?

1.

Rashi #1, Seforno and Targum Yonasan: It means that, on the basis of a majority of one, 1 Beis-Din may not sentence someone to death. 2

2.

Rashi #2 and Rashbam: If the Dayan believes that his fellow-Dayanim are ruling falsely, one may not vote with them, in spite of the fact that they are the majority, and it is their opinion that will ultimately be accepted. 3

3.

Moshav Zekenim citing R. Yeshayah: If you see many doing evil and the minority doing good, do not follow the majority for evil.

4.

Oznayim la'Torah: If a Dayan sees that the majority are about to rule erroneously, he should not remain silent since there is no point in stating his opinion; Rather he should state his opinion, in the hjope that he will influence the others to accept his opinion.


1

Twelve against eleven.

2

Therefore the Pasuk concludes "Acharei Rabim Lehatos" - thatwith a majority of two, they may (Rashi citing Sanhedrin, 2a).

3

Refer to 23:2:2:3.

2)

What is the meaning of "ve'Lo Sa'aneh al Riv"?

1.

Rashi #1: It is a prohibition against arguing with the head of Beis-Din 1 (in matters that involve the death-sentence). 2

2.

Rashi #2 (citing Targum Onkelos) 3 : 'If you are asked to adjudicate, do not withdraw, but judge truthfully'.

3.

Rashi #3: Refer to 23:2:1:3. If the defendant asks the Dayan for his opinion, he should not answer him according to the majority opinion, but should state the truth. 4

4.

Seforno: Refer to 23:2:1:1. If eleven Dayanim rule that the defendant is guilty and ten that he is innocent, one of the remaining Dayanim may not declare him guilty, in order to arrive at a majority ruling, if he believes that he is innocent.

5.

Rashbam: Refer to 23:2:1:2. Nor may he testify with the majority of Dayanim who are declaring the defendant innocent, if he believes that he is guilty.

6.

Targum Yonasan: A Dayan may not refrain from giving reasons to vindicate the defendant, thereby allowing the verdict to follow the majority. 5

7.

Moshav Zekenim: Do not follow the majority for evil, but follow the majority of judges.

8.

Sanhedrin, 36a: Refer to 23:2;2:1. Consequently, one begins with the most junior Dayan. Yerushalmi Sanhedrin, 4:7: 'One should not state one's opinion after the Rav but before him.

9.

Mechilta: If eleven Dayanim proclaim him innocent and eleven guilty, and one doesn't know, Beis-Din must declare him innocent.

10.

Oznayim la'Torah: 'Don't hold back from stating your opinion if you see that the court is divided and you have the casting vote; and fearing the responsibility, you claim that you don't know, 6 forcing the addition of two Dayanim, because ... (Refer to 23:2:151:4).


1

Refer also to 23:2:2:8.

2

Since the word "Riv" is written without a "Vav' (Rashi). Sanhedrin, 18b: It is for this reason that one may not appoint a king on to the Sanhedrin. See Torah Temimah, note 13.

3

With reference to the following phrase "Lintos ... " (Rashi).

4

And let the noose be placed around the necks of the wicked judges (Rashi).

5

Refer to 23:2:1:2.

6

Oznayim la'Torah: This is similar to the explanation of Targum Onkelos. See 23:2:2:2.

3)

What size majority is required to declare the defendant innocent?

1.

Rashi: The fact that to declare him guilty requires two Dayanim implies that to declare him innocent, one will suffice.

4)

What are the impications of the juxtoposition of Lintos" to "Lo Sa'aneh al Riv"?

1.

Tosefta Sanhedrin, Perek 3 #1: It implies that a junior Dayan may not say 'Dayo le'Eved Lih'yos ke'Rabo' and simply follow the ruling of a more senior Dayan.

2.

Tosefta Sanhedrin, Perek 3 #2: It implies that a Beis-Din must be able to resolve problems by means of a majority, aand that a Beis-Din must therefore comprise an odd number (three, twenty-three or seventy-one),

5)

What are the connotations of "Acharei Rabim Lehatos"?

1.

Rashi #2 (citing Sanhedrin, 2a): It means that, having taught us that Beis-Din may sentence someone to death if there are two more judges for conviction than for acquittal. "Acharei Rabim Lehatos teaches us that aquital requires only a majority of one.

2.

Rashi #1 (Beitzah 3b): It teaches us the principle of Bitul be'Rov, that Min ha'Torah one in two is Bateil.

3.

Chulin, 11a: We learn from here that one always goes after the majority


1

See Torah Temimah, note 23.

6)

We learn from our verse that we follow the majority. It says in Kesuvos (15a) that in a case of Kavu'a, it is like a even Safek (we do not follow the majority)!

1.

Moshav Zekenim citing Rivam: We say that Kavu'a is like an even Safek only when we cannot know, e.g. whether he bought in a store that sells Shechutah or Neveilah. When we see a majority of judges rule one way, why should we consider this like half-half?!

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