The Sanhedrin English The Sanhedrin English

Organization of the Nascent Sanhedrin

The historical government of the Jewish people involves a bicameral parliamentary system. This includes the Sanhedrin, a deliberative body similar to the upper house or chamber of a legislature, and an ordinary parallel lower house which represents the needs of the population.

a) The Sanhedrin is a "House of Scholars". Unlike some parliamentary systems, members of this upper house are not elected, nor is their position permanent. Any scholar, at any time, may gain a place on the legislature by proving a greater level of scholarship in Jewish Law than a current member of the legislature.

b) At times during Jewish history, a parallel "Congressional Assembly" also existed. Originally it consisted of the royal court of a constitutional monarchy, but in a democratic society it may consist of an assembly of regionally elected representatives. Needs of the population were represented demographically; originally according to feudal strength, but in modern times they would be represented by voting power. The head of the lower house would be the Monarch, Reish Galuta or Prime Minister. He would have the power to collect taxes and would be the head of the executive branch of government. He would be subordinate only to the Sanhedrin.

This ancient bicameral system has had great influence on the organizational structure of many Western European legislatures.

Organizational Hierarchy of the nascent Sanhedrin

The make-up of the Sanhedrin includes a President - Nassi, Chancellor - Av Beis Din, and sixty-nine general members who all sit in the form of a semi-circle when in session. Decisions are made by majority vote. The constitution of seventy-one is to preclude the possibility of a tie. A minimum quorum of twenty-three Sanhedrin members is necessary for a vote to take place.

Hierarchy of the Sanhedrin Leadership

The heads of the Sanhedrin are as follows:

  1. Rabbi Meir Yaakov Hakak Halevi, Nassi (President)
  2. Av Beith Ha-Din (Chancellor)

The legislature is supported by the following civil servants:

  1. Rabbi Amnon Hever (Secretary)

Sub-courts, sub-committees and commissions

Under the authority of Sanhedrin are the following appointed sub-courts Batei Din and sub-committees Vaadot, some functional and others in various stages of development:

Special Court for the Executive Oversight of the Sanhedrin (Leadership Council)

This subcourt has weekly management meetings with the participation of members of the Sanhedrin, and functions as a leadership council. This subcourt is generally made up of the most notable members of the current Sanhedrin.

Special Court for Matters Concerning the Nation and the State

The purpose of this court is to rule on disputes between citizens and the state. Chief Justice: Rabbi Yisrael Ariel (Rabbi Ariel also serves as the head of the Machon HaMikdash)

Committee of State

The purpose of this committee – Analysis of economic and social issues in order to bring about recommendations for further action. Analysis of military and warfare issues to bring about recommendations for further action. To this end enlisting experts in military history, officers, and other specialists for the formation of policy.

Committee for Army and Security (War Cabinet)

The Sanhedrin is the authorized institution to decide in matters of army and security, this committee attempts to issue definitive moral guidance on these subjects matter and addresses the current administration's defense policy.

Legal Adjudication for Soldiers

Organizer - Rabbi Amnon Hever, under the auspices of members of the Sanhedrin and its institutions

Committee for the Administrative and Civil Re-organization of the Jewish People

Administrative and Civil Re-organization of the Jewish People in Israel into a single body according to Torah, under ("Sarei Alaphim, Sarei Me'oth,…") in Israel country and in the Diaspora.

Committee for the Selection of National Leadership

The purpose of this committee is to investigate possible candidates for popular leadership of the Jewish people; to organize demographic and democratic representation of the nation, not necessarily a monarch, but may also be a Prime Minister, President, etc.

Special Court for Selection of Members of the Sanhedrin

Committee for the Recruitment of Additional Scholars to the Sanhedrin

Education Commission

Economic Commission

Health and Ecology Commission

Committee Concerning the Rights and Responsibilities of non-Jews in the Jewish State

Committee for Religious Renewal

Committee concerning the fixing of the Calendar

A special court has been established to accept evidence concerning the sighting of the New Moon, as required by Jewish Law.

Committee for the exact site of the Holy Temple and Altar

Committee head: Rabbi Tzvi Eidan. The committee has completed its main work and has delivered its conclusions as part of a public statement.

Committee concerning the Korban Pesach

Committee to work out the implementation of the biblical commandment of the Passover Sacrifice in cooperation with all religious, legal, and administrative authorities. Current proposals do not require any change in structures or administration of the Temple Mount, only permission.

Committee for the 'Lost Tribes of Israel'

Jews who lost religious identity living in Spain, Portugal and other countries due to inquisition, persecution, assimilation or other factors.

International Court of Law

There are two international institutions and dispute settlement: UN Security Council and International court in The Hague. These are clearly political institutions. This court does have a gathering of judges and participants in various nations to discuss international conflicts in an apolitical manner.

Jerusalem Court for Issues of Bnei Noah

The purpose of this court is to rule on the legal aspects of issues concerning Bnei Noah: biblical and internationally recognized principles as a basis for legal reciprocity in international law. Chief Justice: Rabbi Yoel Schwartz

Committee on Organizational Matters

Committee for Recommendation of Initiatives

The purpose of this committee is to bring subjects to the legislature, to meet with members of the Sanhedrin, and the handling of various other matters. Committee head: Rabbi Meir Yaakov Hakak Halevi

Communications Committee

Spokesman for the Sanhedrin:

  1. English: Rabbi Chaim Richman
  2. Hebrew: Rabbi Prof. Hillel Weiss (professor of hebrew literature)

Partnership with Academic Societies

Several academic societies of Israeli professors and academicians have placed themselves at the service of the Sanhedrin. These serve as a prime resource of information and professional advice on dozens of fields in the natural, social, and other sciences.

See also