Organization of the Nascent Sanhedrin
From The Sanhedrin - en
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.
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:
- Rabbi Adin (Even-Israel) Steinzaltz, Nassi (President)
- Rabbi Yoel Schwartz, Av Beith Ha-Din (Chancellor)
The legislature is supported by the following civil servants:
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:
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.
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)
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.
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.
Organizer - Rabbi Dov Meir Stein, under the auspices of members of the Sanhedrin and its institutions
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.
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.
A special court has been established to accept evidence concerning the sighting of the New Moon, as required by Jewish Law.
Committee head: Rabbi Tzvi Eidan. The committee has completed its main work and has delivered its conclusions as part of a public statement.
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.
Jews who lost religious identity living in Spain, Portugal and other countries due to inquisition, persecution, assimilation or other factors.
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.
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
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 Adin Steinzaltz
Spokesman for the Sanhedrin:
- English: Rabbi Chaim Richman
- Hebrew: Rabbi Prof. Hillel Weiss (professor of hebrew literature)
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.