SANHEDRIN (Heb. סַנְהֶדְרִין), fourth tractate in the Mishnah order of Nezikin. The sequence of the tractates within an order being as a rule determined by the size of the tractates, it should be remembered that the three Bavot originally constituted one large tractate of 30 chapters, to which Sanhedrin, together with makkot which was originally united with it, is second in size. sanhedrin , in the context of this tractate, means "court of justice," referring to the great bet din, which comprised 71 ordained scholars, and the subordinate courts, composed of 23 judges, functioning in various towns. The general term bet din usually referred to minor courts of three members. In general, the tractate deals with the composition and power of the courts of different kinds and degrees, with legal procedure and criminal law. Chapter 1 defines the various courts and their competence: i.e., the "courts of three" with monetary matters; that of 23 with criminal cases which may involve the death penalty; and that of 71 with exceptional cases, like trying a high priest or a whole city accused of idolatry. Chapter 2 deals with the privileges of the high priest and the king in general. Chapter 3 describes the setting up of ad hoc "courts of three," rules concerning the qualification of judges and witnesses, and questions of judicial procedure. Chapter 4 discusses the differences between criminal and civil procedure, and Chapter 5 gives details on the way witnesses were examined. Chapter 6 gives information as to how the death penalty by stoning was carried out, and Chapter 7 enumerates the four modes of execution: stoning, burning, decapitation, and strangulation, but stoning having been discussed in the previous chapter, it proceeds with the details of the three other modes of execution. The subject of stoning is then taken up again, giving the crimes to which this mode of execution applies. Chapter 8 deals with the "stubborn and rebellious son" (Deut. 21:18–21). Chapter 9 discusses the crimes to which the penalties of burning and decapitation are applicable, and goes in detail into the various aspects of the crime of murder, especially the question of intent (premeditation). Some extraordinary modes of punishment are also discussed here. Chapter 10 opens with the well-known statement that "all Israel have a portion in the world to come," implying that even criminals put to death by order of the court will be resurrected at the end of days, but then it goes on to list certain categories of sinners (specific kinds of heretics and idolaters) to whom the comfort of resurrection is denied. Chapter 11 deals with the crimes to which the penalty of strangulation applies, discussing the case of the zaken mamre ("rebellious teacher") and the false prophet, in particular. In the Babylonian Talmud this last chapter is placed tenth, while the mishnaic tenth becomes the concluding chapter. The rabbis go to great lengths (90b–92a) to prove that the belief in the resurrection of the dead was rooted in the Torah. There is Gemara to both Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds. In the Tosefta, this tractate is divided into 14 chapters. Incorporated in the Mishnah Sanhedrin are ancient halakhot and even mishnayot from the time of the Second Temple. "The king can neither judge nor be judged" (2:4) is an early enactment dating from the time of Alexander yannai , and earlier still is the statement, "when (the king) sits in judgment   (the Torah scroll) shall be with him" (ibid). Mishnah 4:2, which deals with those who married into the priesthood, also belongs to the time when Jerusalem was at the height of its glory, and the whole order of the four capital cases certainly – by its very nature – dates from Temple times. Chapter 9:6 is connected apparently with the hasmonean era, and this is most certainly the case with regard to the Mishnah "Kanna'im (zealots) fall upon one who has intercourse with an Aramean woman" (9:6). The well-known Mishnah at the beginning of chapter 10 is anti-Sadducean, and this testifies to its early origin. Naturally the views of tannaim of a very much later period were incorporated in the final arrangement of the Mishnah. Recognizable and particularly conspicuous in Sanhedrin are additions from the halakhic Midrashim, most of which are from the school of Akiva. Some of them belong to the school of R. Ishmael and were apparently added by R. Simeon b. Yoḥai, since many anonymous mishnayot are in accordance with their view. The English translation of the tractate in the Soncino Talmud (1935) is by J. Shachter and H. Freedman. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Epstein, Tanna'im, 417–21; Ḥ. Albeck, Shishah Si drei Mishnah, 4 (1959), 163–8. (Arnost Zvi Ehrman)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • sanhedrin — SANHEDRÍN s.n. Tribunal suprem la vechii iudei; fig. grup de oameni care formează un cerc închis, având pretenţia de a da, într un anumit domeniu, sentinţe infailibile. – Din fr. sanhédrin. Trimis de IoanSoleriu, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98 … …   Dicționar Român

  • Sanhedrin — [san′ədrim΄san hē′drin, sanhe′drin; san′ə drin΄] n. [TalmudHeb sanhedrin (gedola), (great) council < Gr synedrion, assembly < syn , together + hedra, seat: see SIT] the highest court and council of the ancient Jewish nation, having… …   English World dictionary

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  • Sanhedrin — (gr. Synedrium, Hoher Rath), das Obergericht in Jerusalem, welches die höchste Gewalt in allen Staats u. Religionsangelegenheiten hatte. Den Ursprung dieses Gerichts setzen Ein. nach 2. Mos. 18. in die älteste Zeit; And. finden 5. Mos. 17, 8 die… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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