Reading Assignment - Class #20

Please read mitzvot #491 – 496.  Please consider the following questions:


Mitzvah #491:


1.        What qualifications must a judge have?


Mitzvot #495 and 496:


1.       What factors are relevant in determining whether a court can overturn the decision of an earlier court?


2.      Someone qualified to be a member of the Sanhedrin disagreed with the decision of the majority.  May that dissenter act on his own opinion?  May that dissenter teach his own opinion?  Under what circumstances would that dissenter be punishable?  What is the punishment?


3.      Rambam and Ramban disagree about the basis for the obligation on ordinary Jews to obey rabbinic legislation.  What is each opinion?  What are the strengths and weaknesses of each opinion?  (Our author quotes Ramban at length.  That quote includes many illustrative examples.  We will not deal with those examples in detail.  What is Ramban’s main idea?)