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Mishnayos Sanhedrin Perek 1 Mishnah 3

סנהדרין פרק א׳ משנה ג׳


Both the laying of hands by the Sages and the breaking of the heifer’s neck in a case where a person was found murdered and it is not known who killed him (see Deuteronomy 21:1–9) are performed in front of a panel of three judges; this is the statement of Rabbi Shimon. Rabbi Yehuda says: These rituals are performed in front of five judges. Both ḥalitza, the ritual through which the yavam, a surviving brother of a married man who died without sons, frees the yevama, the widow, of her levirate bond in a case where the yavam does not wish to marry the yevama (see Deuteronomy 25:5–10), and the refusal of a girl before reaching majority to remain married to the man to whom her mother or brother married her off, are performed before a court of three judges. The halakha concerning fruit of a fourth-year sapling and second-tithe produce is that they are to be brought to Jerusalem and eaten there. If this is impractical, the produce can be redeemed and the redemption money brought to Jerusalem, where it is used to purchase food and drink. Valuation of fruit of a fourth-year sapling or second-tithe produce in cases where their value is not known is performed by three judges. The valuation of consecrated property for purposes of redemption is performed by three judges, and the valuations that are movable property (see Leviticus 27:1–8) are performed by three judges. Rabbi Yehuda says: One of the three judges must be a priest. And the valuation of consecrated land is performed by nine judges and, in addition, one priest. And the valuation of a person for the purpose of a vow is performed in a similar manner to that of land.

סְמִיכַת זְקֵנִים וַעֲרִיפַת עֶגְלָה, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן. וְרַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, בַּחֲמִשָּׁה. הַחֲלִיצָה וְהַמֵּאוּנִין, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה. נֶטַע רְבָעִי וּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי שֶׁאֵין דָּמָיו יְדוּעִין, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה. הַהֶקְדֵּשׁוֹת, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה. הָעֲרָכִין הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, אֶחָד מֵהֶן כֹּהֵן. וְהַקַּרְקָעוֹת, תִּשְׁעָה וְכֹהֵן. וְאָדָם, כַּיּוֹצֵא בָהֶן:


סמיכת זקנים – on the head of a bullock over a matter that escaped the notice of the community. And there is in the implication of these things also the appointment of a judge, for the greatest one who is ordained, needs to combine with him two [others] when he wants to ordain a Sage in order in order that he will be called “Rabbi” and will adjudicate laws of fines. And we use the language of סמיכה / laying of hands/ordination because it is written (Numbers 27:23): “He laid his hands upon him [and commissioned him – as the LORD had spoken through Moses].” And not that one requires the ordaining with his hands upon him, but by name, as they call him “Rabbi.” But there is no ordination outside of the Land of Israel, but it is necessary that the one who ordains and the ordainee are all together in the Land of Israel, for then he will have permission to adjudicate the laws of fines, and even outside of the Land, for the [authority of the] Sanhedrin applies both in the Land [of Israel] and outside of the Land [of Israel], after they have been ordained in the Land [of Israel]. And Maimonides wrote that it appeared to him that since we no longer have men ordained by the mouth of other men [going back] until the time of Moses our Teacher, if all the Sages in the Land of Israel would each ordain one individual or many, it would be that they would be ordained and able to adjudicate the laws of fines and they would be able to ordain others. And this matter requires a verdict by a majority of one.

ועריפת העגלה בשלשה – since it is written (Leviticus 4:15): “ The elders of the community [lay their hands upon the head of the bull before the LORD…”, the lowest [value] of [the word] זקנים/elders is two, and there cannot be an even-balanced court, they add upon them another “one,” so that there are three.

רבי יהודה אומר: בחמשה – [The word] וסמכו/and they lay their hands [denotes] “two”, [and the word] זקני/elders [denotes] two, and there cannot be an even-balanced court, they add upon them another “one,” so that there are five, and the Halakha is according to Rabbi Yehuda.

מצות חליצה בשלשה – As it is written (Deuteronomy 25:9): “the brother’s widow shall go up to him in the presence of the elders…” The word זקנים /elders [denotes] two , and there cannot be an even-handed court, they add upon them another “one,” which makes three. And the other two which they add on are not [added] other than to publicize the matter.

מיאונין – A minor orphan girl whose mother or brothers married her off, with her knowledge, and may go free with her protest against a marriage to her husband [contracted during her minority], which must take place [with a Jewish court] of three [judges], and in the Tractate Yevamot, it is proved that a woman’s protest it is enough [that the protest is lodged] in front of two [judges].

נטע רבעי – if he comes to redeem [them] by setting aside its monetary value, and similarly for the Second Tithe, where their value is not known, such as fruits that rotted and they do not have a known market rate.

וההקדשות – One who comes to redeem them requires three [judges] to estimate [their value].

הערכין המיטלטלין – For a person who said: “[I vow] the value of so-and-so upon myself”, and he lacks money to give according to the established price and he comes to give [the equivalent] in movable objects, requires three [judges] to estimate [the value] of those movables.

אחד מהן כהן – that in valuations [of a person or animal dedicated to the Temple], a Kohen is written (Leviticus 27:12): “whatever assessment is set by the priest shall stand.”

והקרקעות – and if he lacks movable [objects] and comes to give land, it requires ten individuals who will assess [the value of] the land, and one of them must be a Kohen, that it will be according the value that he must give.

ואדם כיוצא בהן – and if he said, the value of so-and-so is upon me, that we appraise the how much worth he would have to be sold in the marketplace, and he gives its monetary value, and this also requires that there would be ten [individuals], and one of them a Kohen in this appraisal.

סמיכת זקנים. על ראש פר העלם דבר של צבור. ויש במשמעות הדברים גם מינוי הדיין, שהגדול הסומך צריך שיצרף עמו שנים כשרוצה לסמוך חכם כדי שיקרא רבי וידון דיני קנסות. ולשון סמיכה, משום דכתיב (במדבר כ״ז:כ״ג) ויסמוך את ידיו עליו. ולאו דבעי מסמך ידיה עליה אלא בשמא קרו ליה רבי. ואין סמיכה בחוצה לארץ, אלא צריך שהסומך והנסמך יהיו כולן בארץ ישראל, ואז יהיה לו רשות לדון דיני קנסות ואפילו בחוץ לארץ, לפי שסנהדרין נוהגת בין בארץ בין בחוץ לארץ, אחר שנסמכו בארץ. וכתב הרמב״ם שנראה לו שבזמן הזה שאין לנו סמוך איש מפי איש עד משה רבינו, אם היו מסכימים כל החכמים שבא״י לסמוך יחיד או רבים, הרי אלו סמוכים ויכולים לדון דיני קנסות ויש להן לסמוך לאחרים. והדבר צריך הכרע:

ועריפת העגלה בשלשה. דכתיב (ויקרא ד׳:ט״ו) זקני העדה, מיעוט זקני שנים, ואין ב״ד שקול, הוסיף עליהם עוד אחד הרי שלשה:

ורבי יהודה אומר בחמשה. וסמכו, שנים. זקני, שנים. ואין בית דין שקול, הוסיף עליהם עוד אחד, הרי חמשה. והלכה כרבי יהודה:

מצות חליצה בשלשה. דכתיב (דברים כ״ה:ט׳) ונגשה יבמתו אליו לעיני הזקנים, זקנים, שנים. ואין ב״ד שקול, הוסיף עליהם עוד אחד, הרי שלשה. ושנים אחרים שמוסיפים אינו אלא לפרסומי מילתא:

מיאונין. קטנה יתומה שהשיאוה אמה ואחיה לדעתה ויוצאה במיאון שממאנת בבעלה, צריך שיהיה בשלשה. וביבמות מוכח דמיאון בפני שנים מספיק:

נטע רבעי. אם בא לחללו על המעות, וכן מעשר שני, ואין דמיהן ידועים. כגון פירות והרקיבו שאין להם שער ידוע:

ההקדשות. הבא לפדותן צריך שלשה לשומן:

הערכין המיטלטלין. הרי שאמר ערך פלוני עלי, ואין לו מעות ליתן כפי הדמים הקצובים בפרשה ובא ליתן מטלטלין, צריך שלשה לשום אותן מטלטלים:

אחד מהן כהן. דבערכין כהן כתיב (ויקרא כ״ז) כערכך הכהן:

והקרקעות. ואם אין לו מיטלטלין ובא ליתן קרקע, צריך שישומו עשרה אנשים ואחד מהן כהן אותה קרקע שיהיה כפי הערך שיש עליו ליתן:

ואדם כיוצא בהן. ואם אמר דמי פלוני עלי ששמין אותו כמה הוא יפה לימכר בשוק ונותן דמיו, צריך גם כן שיהיו עשרה ואחד מהן כהן בשומא זו: