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Sanhedrin

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16 Elul 5765
Question
What is your opinion of the Sanhedrin and what is their halachic authority, also what is their relationship with the leading Gedolim? Shouldn’t the Gedolim be leading the Sanhedrin?
Answer
Since the Smicha in Elul 5764 and restuction of the Sanhedrin on 28th of Tishrei 5765, they have the halachic autority of a Beit Din Gadol which doesn't sit in Lishkat Hagazit. That is, they can make Halachic decrees, but not punish one with capital penalty. The Din of "Lo Tasur" applies only to Sanhedrin, and not to sole Rabbanim, as great as they may be. The Sanhedrin respects the leading Gedolim as "Mufla Bebeit Din" who guides and counsels the Sanhedrin. After the age of 70 one is disqualified from the Sanhedrin, no matter his greatness, since Sanhedrin requires judges who aren't over age and don't have enough mercy, then they can only be Mufla Bebeit Din. At any time a Gadol who is not yet 70 who will wish to join the Sanhedrin will receive his place, and others shall give their place up for him. Right now many Gedolim think the Sanhedrin isn't big enough, so it may be a long process. The Sanhedrin is willing to take the guidence of the Gedolim today as well. But each Gadol is solitary, and only the power of 71 sitting together has the Sanhedrin authority. That is the power of a Halachic community, Chachamim sitting and debating Halacha, and in stead of disagreement and seperation have a vote and decree according to the larger number. Today Talmidei Chachamim who just debate Halacha, and don't vote over opinions are not obliged to follow the larger number since a count of the opinions was not held. Rabbi Yishai Babad
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