Sunday, 28 February 2010

Rabbinic Authority - Old Avodah Post

The Bes Din Hagadol (BDG) is derived form the shi'vim hazkeinim. The Bes Din in the Lishka was vested with the authority of Torah She'bal Peh
(See Rambam's Yad Hil. Mamrim 1:1)

The name Sanhedrin is a later (Greek) term for an older institution.

The Anshei Knesses Hagdola (AKG) is referred to at times as Ezra uveis Dino. I don't assume that Ezra was necessarily a contemporary of Shimon Hatzaddik any more than I assume Derek Jeter is a contemporary of Babe Ruth because he (plays) [played] in the House that Ruth Built. Ezra INSTITUTED this Bes Din, it survived as AKG for several generations. Ezra got the proverbial ball rolling.

Why Ezra?

Well he started Bayis Sheini. Therefore a Bes Din Hagadol in the lishka has to get off the ground somehow. Ezra probably appointed all 70.
But - the Anshei Knesses hagedola were 120! I dunno how that worked
exactly. After the first 70, there was {probably} turnover that included
50 successors. At some point there must have been a BDG w/o AKG, because
Shimon HaTzazddik was one of the last (circa 325 BCE when Alexander the
Great came to Yerushalyaim). Yet BDG continued.


re: the Greek term Sanhedrin, {like the term Senate and perhaps even
Soviet}, it is a term for a council that has authority. It is likely
that the Sanhedrin in the lishka was a HOLY Sanehedrin and that there were civil or secular "Sanhedrins" in parallel. (source: Professor Reiner at BRGS)

Personal Note:
Professor Rabbi Reiner is B"H alive and well and his granddaughter is engaged to our neighbor. I recently had a reunion at the engagement party.


Rich Wolpoe

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