Daily Rambam – Sefer Shoftim

Daily Rambam Tweets

Book Eleven  Sefer Nezikin Book of Damages

Book Twelve Sefer Kinyan Book of Acquisitions

Book Thirteen Sefer Mishpatim  Book of Judgments
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Book Fourteen Sefer Shoftim – Book of Judges
#Sanhedrin
1:1-2 Must appoint court judges & officers of law in every city & region in Israel, but not outside of Israel.
2:1 Appoint to Sanhedrin only men of wisdom, understanding, great Torah knowledge, intellect, worldly & of lineage.
3:2 Sanhedrin didn’t need to always be together. Could work & only join for gatherings. But always minimum of 23.
4:15 Unfit to judge ‘cuz doesn’t know or poor character, even if appointed by Exilarch or court, has no authority.
5:9 Diaspora court only handle common cases that involve financial loss: liability, loans, property damage. No fines.
6:9 Plaintiff can force other party to travel to court of great sage to hear their case. Was ongoing custom in Spain.
7:1 Litigant chooses judge, 2nd litigant chooses 2nd judge. 2 judges choose 3rd judge & together all 3 rule the case.
8:1 $ cases: simple majority decides verdict. Capital cases: simple majority for innocence, >2 difference for guilt.
9:1 ALL Sanhedrin judges find person liable in capital case, acquitted. Only executed if minority finds innocence.
10:1 In capital case, judge must follow his own opinion & not be swayed by opinion of others. Biblical transgression.
11:5 Mesit, person who entices to idolatry, own rules: entrap, not warned, no mercy. Cruelty to them mercy for world.
12:2 Sinner warned to see if inadvertent or intentional sin. Sinner says understands that liable w/ death, executed.
13:2 On way to execution, confesses, given frankincense in wine. Loses control of mind, becomes drunk, then killed.
14:1 4 death penalties: stone, burn, decapitate & strangle. Non-explicit penalty is strangling. Murderer decapitated.
15:1 Stoning: Disrobe man, hands tied, push off 2nd floor. Not dead, drop big stone on heart. Not dead, small stones.
16:1 Just as Mitzva to execute whoever obligated to execute, so, too, Mitzva to lash whoever obligated to get lashed.
17:5 If in middle of (not before) getting lashed subject defecates or urinates, not given further lashes. Degraded.
18:6 Don’t execute or lash based on confession. Only w/ 2 witnesses. May be suicidal & just wants court to kill him.
19:1-4 21 prohibitions get Karet, court lashes. 18 prohibitions get Death by Heaven, get lashes. 168 just lashes.
20:1 Man pursued other, then see pursued in death throes & sword in killer’s hand, but didn’t see act, not testimony.
21:6 Priority of seeing cases: orphan, widow, Torah scholar, commoner. Woman before man; her shame is greater.
22:7 After leaving court, judge forbidden to say: I found you innocent, or liable, but my colleagues outnumbered me.
23:1-2 Can’t get or give bribe. Even if was going to rule in favor of briber anyway. “Cursed is he who takes bribe.”
24:2 Number of courts weren’t fair increased, or were fair but not competent, agreed not to judge w/o firm knowledge.
25:9 Don’t issue court summon months of Nisan & Tishrei ‘cuz holiday preparations; or Fridays or day before holiday.
26:7 Jew doesn’t recognize validity of Jewish court, get permission from Jewish court & can sue him in gentile court.
#Edut
1:1 Obligation for witness to testify whether makes liable or vindicates. Monetary cases only have to testify if summoned.
2:1 Hakirot/Drishot: more important questioning. Bedikot: nuanced questions. Hakirot/Drishot must know answers & match.
3:1 Sages: For witnesses in simple financial cases, don’t ask intense Hakira/Drisha questions, so as not to prevent loans.
4:1 Capital case: 2 witnesses must see act & each other at same time & testify in court at same time. Otherwise invalid.
5:1 Ruling never made based on the testimony of only one witness, not for financial cases and not for capital punishment.
6:5 Court never checks if other court validated document correctly. Must assume they’re knowledgeable & made no mistakes.
7:2 Accept testimony of men for what saw as minors: signatures of father, brother, teacher. Need other that knew as adult.
8:1 Asked to testify as to signature on promissory note, recognizes signature, but no recollection of case, can’t testify.
9:1 Can’t testify: women, slaves, minors, fools, deaf/mutes, blind, wicked, debased, relatives or has vested interest.
10:4 Wicked that can’t testify: thieves, lying witnesses, borrow or lend w/ interest, shepherds, tax-collectors, gamblers.
11:3 Torah scholar acceptable as a witness unless disqualified. Boor unacceptable witness unless established as ethical.
12:2 Can’t disqualify self as witness by incriminating self. Don’t believe him about self, do believe about someone else.
13:1 Relatives can’t testify together or for each other: fathers w/ son, grandson; brothers; cousins; uncles w/ nephews.
14:1 Witness disqualified from testimony because of marriage to relative; if wife died, even if had sons, can now testify.
15:1 If may have any benefit from testifying about case, can’t testify or judge case; even city resident on city matters.
16:4 Judge needs to understand & determine if witness gets any benefit from testimony, even if unusual or far-fetched.
17:1 Even if wise, righteous men said witnessed person sin or borrow money, 1 can’t testify to what didn’t personally see.
18:1 Ed Zomem, false witness: testifies, others testify impossible for them to have witnessed. Get punishment of victim.
19:1 Ed Zomem found guilty even if highly unlikely (but not completely impossible) that could have witnessed what claimed.
20:2 Ed Zomem only executed if caught after innocent sentenced but before executed. If innocent executed, they’re not.
21:2 Ed Zomem accuse person of owing debt sooner than reality & caught, they pay value of debt for period would have lost.
22:5 Plaintiff brings false witnesses, even 100 pairs, & true witnesses, if accurate, believe testimony of true witnesses.
#Mamrim
1:1 Sanhedrin essence of Oral Torah. Laws go out to all nation. If believe in Moshe & his Torah, must rely on Sanhedrin.
2:2 Sanhedrin issued edict, decree or custom & it spread throughout Israel, only a greater Sanhedrin can nullify it.
3:5 Rebel Elder: kill if sage differs w/ Sanhedrin on Mitzva that liable Karet & instructs others or does himself.
4:2 Rebel Elder liable if dispute can lead to violation of Karet. i.e. confusion on date, status of wife, $, sacrifice.
5:15 Not only can’t hit or curse parents, also can’t shame, even with words or even insinuation. Will be cursed by God.
6:10 Parents mentally ill, child treats them at their level. If so bad & can’t handle, get others to take care of them.
7:2 Rebel Son: steals $ from dad, buys cheap meat & wine, eats outside home w/ group of fools, meat 1/2 raw, thin wine.
#Avel
1:1 Biblically must mourn 1st day of death & burial. Moshe instituted 7 days of mourning (& 7 days wedding celebrations).
2:1 Biblically mourn for mom, dad, son, daughter, paternal brother & sister. Rabbis added spouse, maternal bro & sis.
3:1 Except for the 6 relatives, if Kohen comes in contact with a corpse on purpose, after warned & witnesses, he’s lashed.
4:4 Tombstone placed on grave. Righteous don’t need tombstone, their words will be their memory & shouldn’t visit graves.
5:20 Mourners: Can’t greet, have lengthy or frivolous talks. Don’t hold baby, causes laughter. Don’t go to celebrations.
6:2 Mourner prohibited during 1st 30 days to: cut hair; wear freshly ironed clothes; marry; go to party; business travel.
7:1 Notified that relative died after <30 days = day of burial, keeps regular mourning. After >30 days, 1 day of mourning.
8:4 Don’t inform the seriously ill if close relative died. Silence women who can’t control themselves in their presence.
9:2 Tear clothing for ones Rabbi; Nasi; Av Bet Din; a community; blasphemy; burned Torah; over Judah, Jerusalem & Temple.
10:1 Shabat day of mourning, but no public mourning, only private: veiling head, marital relations, washing w/ hot water.
11:7 7 days of wedding celebration like Festival. If relative dies in middle, complete 7 days of celebration, then mourn.
12:2 Sluggish for sages’ eulogy, won’t live long; for upright person’s, deserves death; if shed tears, God guards reward.
13:11 Don’t mourn excessively. Death is pattern of the world. Proper to weep 3 days, eulogize 7, keep restrictions 30.
14:2 Accompanying guests is greater than hospitality which is greater than receiving God. Didn’t accompany = shed blood.
#Melahim
1:8 If prophet appoints king from non-Judah tribe, if follows Torah & fights God’s wars, considered king & rules apply.
2:1 Must honor & be in awe of king. Don’t ride horse, sit on throne, use scepter, wear crown. Burn his things when die.
3:1 King write Torah for self besides 1 everyone should have. Always w/ him except in bathroom, etc. Read all his life.
4:1 King can raise taxes for his needs or for war. Can tax merchandise. Can confiscate property of or kill tax evaders.
5:9 Only leave Israel to study Torah, marry or save property; did it, must return. Can go on biz trips or if famine.
6:7 When place siege around city to conquer it, don’t surround on all 4 sides; just on 3. Leave place for them to flee.
7:4 After fearful told to leave war & left, officers can chop leg of any further deserters. Flight beginning of defeat.
8:1 Jewish soldiers conquer non-Jewish area, can eat non-kosher meat & animals, if hungry & nothing else available.
9:14 Non-Jews fulfill command to set up courts: Put judges in major cities, judge & admonish on other 6 Noahide laws.
10:3 Gentile converted to Judaism, circumcised & immersed in Mikveh; if after decides that wants to forsake, can’t.
11:4 Davidic king, observes Torah, gets Israel to follow, fights God’s wars, builds Temple, gathers exile, he’s Masiah.
12:2 Don’t try to calculate Masiah’s arrival. Sages cursed those who try to figure out arrival that they should die.
End Sefer Shoftim and Rambam’s Mishne Torah