Daily Rambam Tweets
Book Eleven Sefer Nezikin Book of Damages
Book Twelve Sefer Kinyan Book of Acquisitions
Book Fourteen Sefer Shoftim – Book of Judges
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.
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.
Besides the popular Daf Yomi, the daily learning of a folio of the Babylonian Talmud, there are a variety of other daily study schedules. Another one that is gaining popularity in Israel now is the daily study of Maimonides’ magnum opus, the Mishnah Torah. The Rambam Yomi as it’s called involves the study of one chapter a day and completes the entire book in approximately three years. In many senses study of the Rambam is faster and easier. The Mishnah Torah is written in Hebrew which is typically easier than the Aramaic of the Talmud (and there are links to English translations below), furthermore each chapter is generally shorter and more concise than a folio of Talmud. Please feel free to send comments, corrections, feedback, etc. directly to me at bentzispitz at gmail dot com.