Project Genesis

The Jewish Legal System

The Sanhedrin and the Rabbis

The Death Penalty

Why don’t Orthodox Jews of today take a literalist view of the Levitical prescriptions mandating stoning or the death penalty for certain sins?

The death penalty cannot be administered without a trial before the Sanhedrin, a capital Jewish court, which, since the destruction of the Temple, has not been constituted. The Sanhedrin used to sit near the Temple and the holiness of the site would protect the judges from erroneous pronouncements.

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