4ד׳
1 א

אֶחָד דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת וְאֶחָד דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת, בִּדְרִישָׁה וּבַחֲקִירָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כד) מִשְׁפַּט אֶחָד יִהְיֶה לָכֶם. מַה בֵּין דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת לְדִינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת. דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה, וְדִינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת בְּעֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה. דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת פּוֹתְחִין בֵּין לִזְכוּת בֵּין לְחוֹבָה, וְדִינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת פּוֹתְחִין לִזְכוּת וְאֵין פּוֹתְחִין לְחוֹבָה. דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת מַטִּין עַל פִּי אֶחָד בֵּין לִזְכוּת בֵּין לְחוֹבָה, וְדִינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת מַטִּין עַל פִּי אֶחָד לִזְכוּת וְעַל פִּי שְׁנַיִם לְחוֹבָה. דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת מַחֲזִירִין בֵּין לִזְכוּת בֵּין לְחוֹבָה, דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת מַחֲזִירִין לִזְכוּת וְאֵין מַחֲזִירִין לְחוֹבָה. דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת הַכֹּל מְלַמְּדִין זְכוּת וְחוֹבָה, דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת הַכֹּל מְלַמְּדִין זְכוּת וְאֵין הַכֹּל מְלַמְּדִין חוֹבָה. דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת הַמְלַמֵּד חוֹבָה מְלַמֵּד זְכוּת וְהַמְלַמֵּד זְכוּת מְלַמֵּד חוֹבָה, דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת הַמְלַמֵּד חוֹבָה מְלַמֵּד זְכוּת, אֲבָל הַמְלַמֵּד זְכוּת אֵין יָכוֹל לַחֲזֹר וּלְלַמֵּד חוֹבָה. דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת דָּנִין בַּיּוֹם וְגוֹמְרִין בַּלַּיְלָה, דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת דָּנִין בַּיּוֹם וְגוֹמְרִין בַּיּוֹם. דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת גּוֹמְרִין בּוֹ בַיּוֹם בֵּין לִזְכוּת בֵּין לְחוֹבָה, דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת גּוֹמְרִין בּוֹ בַיּוֹם לִזְכוּת וּבְיוֹם שֶׁלְּאַחֲרָיו לְחוֹבָה, לְפִיכָךְ אֵין דָּנִין לֹא בְעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת וְלֹא בְעֶרֶב יוֹם טוֹב:

Both non-capital and capital cases require examination and inquiry [of the witnesses], as it says, “You shall have one manner of law” (Lev. 24:22). How do non-capital cases differ from capital cases? Non-capital cases [are decided] by three and capital cases by twenty three. Non-capital cases may begin either with reasons for acquittal or for conviction; capital cases begin with reasons for acquittal and do not begin with reasons for conviction. In non-capital cases they may reach a verdict of either acquittal or conviction by the decision of a majority of one; in capital cases they may reach an acquittal by the majority of one but a verdict of conviction only by the decision of a majority of two. In non-capital cases they may reverse a verdict either [from conviction] to acquittal or [from acquittal] to conviction; in capital cases they may reverse a verdict [from conviction] to acquittal but not [from acquittal] to conviction. In non-capital cases all may argue either in favor of conviction or of acquittal; in capital cases all may argue in favor of acquittal but not all may argue in favor of conviction. In non-capital cases he that had argued in favor of conviction may afterward argue in favor of acquittal, or he that had argued in favor of acquittal may afterward argue in favor of conviction; in capital cases he that had argued in favor of conviction may afterward argue in favor of acquittal but he that had argued in favor of acquittal cannot afterward argue in favor of conviction. In non-capital cases they hold the trial during the daytime and the verdict may be reached during the night; in capital cases they hold the trial during the daytime and the verdict also must be reached during the daytime. In non-capital cases the verdict, whether of acquittal or of conviction, may be reached the same day; in capital cases a verdict of acquittal may be reached on the same day, but a verdict of conviction not until the following day. Therefore trials may not be held on the eve of a Sabbath or on the eve of a Festival.

2 ב

דִּינֵי הַטֻּמְאוֹת וְהַטָּהֳרוֹת מַתְחִילִין מִן הַגָּדוֹל, דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת מַתְחִילִין מִן הַצָּד. הַכֹּל כְּשֵׁרִין לָדוּן דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת וְאֵין הַכֹּל כְּשֵׁרִין לָדוּן דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת, אֶלָּא כֹהֲנִים, לְוִיִּם, וְיִשְׂרְאֵלִים הַמַּשִּׂיאִין לַכְּהֻנָּה:

In non-capital cases and those concerning uncleanness and cleanness [the judges declare their opinion] beginning from the eldest, but in capital cases they begin from [them that sit at] the side. All are qualified to try non-capital cases, but not all are qualified to try capital cases, only priests, levites and Israelites that may give [their daughters] in marriage to priests.

3 ג

סַנְהֶדְרִין הָיְתָה כַּחֲצִי גֹרֶן עֲגֻלָּה, כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּהוּ רוֹאִין זֶה אֶת זֶה. וּשְׁנֵי סוֹפְרֵי הַדַּיָּנִין עוֹמְדִין לִפְנֵיהֶם, אֶחָד מִיָּמִין וְאֶחָד מִשְּׂמֹאל, וְכוֹתְבִין דִּבְרֵי הַמְזַכִּין וְדִבְרֵי הַמְחַיְּבִין. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, שְׁלֹשָׁה, אֶחָד כּוֹתֵב דִּבְרֵי הַמְזַכִּין, וְאֶחָד כּוֹתֵב דִּבְרֵי הַמְחַיְּבִין, וְהַשְּׁלִישִׁי כוֹתֵב דִּבְרֵי הַמְזַכִּין וְדִבְרֵי הַמְחַיְּבִין:

The Sanhedrin was arranged like the half of a round threshing-floor so that they all might see one another. Before them stood the two scribes of the judges, one to the right and one to the left, and they wrote down the words of them that favored acquittal and the words of them that favored conviction. Rabbi Judah says: “There were three: one wrote down the words of them that favored acquittal, and one wrote down the words of them that favored conviction, and the third wrote down the words of both them that favored acquittal and them that favored conviction.

4 ד

וְשָׁלֹשׁ שׁוּרוֹת שֶׁל תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים יוֹשְׁבִין לִפְנֵיהֶם, כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מַכִּיר אֶת מְקוֹמוֹ. הָיוּ צְרִיכִין לִסְמֹךְ, סוֹמְכִין מִן הָרִאשׁוֹנָה. אֶחָד מִן הַשְּׁנִיָּה בָּא לוֹ לָרִאשׁוֹנָה וְאֶחָד מִן הַשְּׁלִישִׁית בָּא לוֹ לַשְּׁנִיָּה, וּבוֹרְרִין לָהֶן עוֹד אֶחָד מִן הַקָּהָל וּמוֹשִׁיבִין אוֹתוֹ בַשְּׁלִישִׁית. וְלֹא הָיָה יוֹשֵׁב בִּמְקוֹמוֹ שֶׁל רִאשׁוֹן, אֶלָּא יוֹשֵׁב בְּמָקוֹם הָרָאוּי לוֹ:

And there were three rows of disciples of the Sages who sat before them, and each knew his proper place. If they needed to appoint [another as a judge] they appointed him from the first row, and one from the second row came into the first row, and one from the third row came into the second row, and they chose another from the congregation and set him in the third row. He did not sit in the place of the former, but he sat in the place that was proper for him.

5 ה

כֵּיצַד מְאַיְּמִין אֶת הָעֵדִים עַל עֵדֵי נְפָשׁוֹת, הָיוּ מַכְנִיסִין אוֹתָן וּמְאַיְּמִין עֲלֵיהֶן. שֶׁמָּא תֹאמְרוּ מֵאֹמֶד, וּמִשְּׁמוּעָה, עֵד מִפִּי עֵד וּמִפִּי אָדָם נֶאֱמָן שָׁמַעְנוּ, אוֹ שֶׁמָּא אִי אַתֶּם יוֹדְעִין שֶׁסּוֹפֵנוּ לִבְדֹּק אֶתְכֶם בִּדְרִישָׁה וּבַחֲקִירָה. הֱווּ יוֹדְעִין שֶׁלֹּא כְדִינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת. דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת, אָדָם נוֹתֵן מָמוֹן וּמִתְכַּפֵּר לוֹ. דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת, דָּמוֹ וְדַם זַרְעִיּוֹתָיו תְּלוּיִין בּוֹ עַד סוֹף הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁכֵּן מָצִינוּ בְקַיִן שֶׁהָרַג אֶת אָחִיו, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית ד) דְּמֵי אָחִיךָ צֹעֲקִים, אֵינוֹ אוֹמֵר דַּם אָחִיךָ אֶלָּא דְּמֵי אָחִיךָ, דָּמוֹ וְדַם זַרְעִיּוֹתָיו. דָּבָר אַחֵר, דְּמֵי אָחִיךָ, שֶׁהָיָה דָמוֹ מֻשְׁלָךְ עַל הָעֵצִים וְעַל הָאֲבָנִים. לְפִיכָךְ נִבְרָא אָדָם יְחִידִי, לְלַמֶּדְךָ, שֶׁכָּל הַמְאַבֵּד נֶפֶשׁ אַחַת מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל, מַעֲלֶה עָלָיו הַכָּתוּב כְּאִלּוּ אִבֵּד עוֹלָם מָלֵא. וְכָל הַמְקַיֵּם נֶפֶשׁ אַחַת מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל, מַעֲלֶה עָלָיו הַכָּתוּב כְּאִלּוּ קִיֵּם עוֹלָם מָלֵא. וּמִפְּנֵי שְׁלוֹם הַבְּרִיּוֹת, שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמַר אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ אַבָּא גָדוֹל מֵאָבִיךָ. וְשֶׁלֹּא יְהוּ מִינִין אוֹמְרִים, הַרְבֵּה רָשֻׁיּוֹת בַּשָּׁמָיִם. וּלְהַגִּיד גְּדֻלָּתוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, שֶׁאָדָם טוֹבֵעַ כַּמָּה מַטְבְּעוֹת בְּחוֹתָם אֶחָד וְכֻלָּן דּוֹמִין זֶה לָזֶה, וּמֶלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא טָבַע כָּל אָדָם בְּחוֹתָמוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן וְאֵין אֶחָד מֵהֶן דּוֹמֶה לַחֲבֵרוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד חַיָּב לוֹמַר, בִּשְׁבִילִי נִבְרָא הָעוֹלָם. וְשֶׁמָּא תֹאמְרוּ מַה לָּנוּ וְלַצָּרָה הַזֹּאת, וַהֲלֹא כְבָר נֶאֱמַר (ויקרא ה) וְהוּא עֵד אוֹ רָאָה אוֹ יָדָע אִם לוֹא יַגִּיד וְגוֹ'. וְשֶׁמָּא תֹאמְרוּ מַה לָּנוּ לָחוּב בְּדָמוֹ שֶׁל זֶה, וַהֲלֹא כְבָר נֶאֱמַר (משלי יא) וּבַאֲבֹד רְשָׁעִים רִנָּה:

How did they admonish witnesses in capital cases? They brought them in and admonished them, [saying], “Perhaps you will say something that is only a supposition or hearsay or secondhand, or even from a trustworthy man. Or perhaps you do not know that we shall check you with examination and inquiry? Know, moreover, that capital cases are not like non-capital cases: in non-capital cases a man may pay money and so make atonement, but in capital cases the witness is answerable for the blood of him [that is wrongfully condemned] and the blood of his descendants [that should have been born to him] to the end of the world.” For so have we found it with Cain that murdered his brother, for it says, “The bloods of your brother cry out” (Gen. 4:10). It doesn’t say, “The blood of your brother”, but rather “The bloods of your brother” meaning his blood and the blood of his descendants. Another saying is, “The bloods of your brother” that his blood was cast over trees and stones. Therefore but a single person was created in the world, to teach that if any man has caused a single life to perish from Israel, he is deemed by Scripture as if he had caused a whole world to perish; and anyone who saves a single soul from Israel, he is deemed by Scripture as if he had saved a whole world. Again [but a single person was created] for the sake of peace among humankind, that one should not say to another, “My father was greater than your father”. Again, [but a single person was created] against the heretics so they should not say, “There are many ruling powers in heaven”. Again [but a single person was created] to proclaim the greatness of the Holy Blessed One; for humans stamp many coins with one seal and they are all like one another; but the King of kings, the Holy Blessed One, has stamped every human with the seal of the first man, yet not one of them are like another. Therefore everyone must say, “For my sake was the world created.” And if perhaps you [witnesses] would say, “Why should we be involved with this trouble”, was it not said, “He, being a witness, whether he has seen or known, [if he does not speak it, then he shall bear his iniquity] (Lev. 5:1). And if perhaps you [witnesses] would say, “Why should we be guilty of the blood of this man?, was it not said, “When the wicked perish there is rejoicing” (Proverbs 11:10).]