I hope everyone had an enjoyable Pesach seder. Yesterday (4/1/18) marked the completion of Meseches Avodah Zarah. Today (4/2/18) we start a new tractate named “Horayos” which deals with erroneous decisions made by a Beit Din (Jewish court). It is amazing, that in Talmudic times (dated to the early middle ages), rules existed for correcting mistakes made Jewish courts at a time when the royal courts rarely did so. The mishnah and first gemara begins (translation from Sefaria.org The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren Noe Talmud Bavli):
The set up of a Beit Din was discussed back in Meseches Sanhedrin (portions of Chapter 1, Mishnah 1 from Sefaria.org, The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren Noe Talmud Bavli):
The importance of judging fairly is emphasized in the first chapter of Pirke Avot (Sayings of the Fathers, from Sefaria.org The Sefaria Mishnah with community translation):
It is worthwhile to mention that during the seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuot, it is customary to study a chapter of Pirke Avot on Shabbat. The opening chapter of Pirke Avot establishes the chain of “mesorah“, the “oral chain of transmission” from Moshe Rabbeinu on Mt. Sinai, to the prophets, the elders, and the Great Sanhedrin. The most commentary to the opening of Pirke Avot by Rabbi Ovadiah Bartenura (composed in Jerusalem at the end of the fifteenth century and it is included in almost every printed edition of Pirke Avot; this translation is from Sefaria.org, The Sefaria version of The Bartenura with community translation) says:
We will have more discussions concerning Pirke Avot in upcoming blogs.