(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) Project Genesis

Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 11:20:14 -0500 (EST)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Re: "SANHEDRIN"

Jeremy and Yirmi (e.g. Torah FOrum V1 #45) discuss the possibility of
renewing the Sanhedrin. Yirmi did not ask if it COULD be done. He rather
focused also on WHAT has to be done to accomplish it. I am sympathetic to
Jeremy's point that there is much disagreement among Rabbis now. But that
just proves that it can't be done now. It still doesn't answer the question
of WHAT has to be done.

I would suggest that concentration be focused on methodology and
documentation of differences.

For example...don't all Batay Dinim give the same type of divorces. Hence,
we can fully document starting at the Gmarrah and going to our present day
the reason and sources for all current procedures.

Furthermore it would be useful if there was one place where we could see
JUST HOW MANY differences exist in the Jewish community. To take two simple

Which groups observe "gebruckts" (not eating foods containing matza and wet
ingredients on Passover) and which don't---why recipes would allevitate
this problem.

Which groups have different customs on construction of Mikvahs---what are
cost differences to meet all parties.

To emphasize the utility of the last example: Lubavitch constructs its
Mikvahs differently...but that doesn't mean Lubavitch is that different
than the rest of us...we all go to Mikvah...we all believe in volume
requirements and the basic method of gathering.

By documenting our differences we can begin to understand our rich
commanality. By documenting reasons/source we can unify our 2000 year legal
heritage. I believe this would be an important 1st step in creating a
sanhedrin (it would also help bring peace among us).

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA
Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu