Question:

Hi I would just like to know what is the smechia of our days? Didn’t the smicha from Moshe Rabeinu stop? Based on my memory the Rambam doesn’t require smicha for someone to judge a case, not only that but if he knows the halacha he doesn’t have to go to Beis Din.

On the other hand I saw a Teshuvah from the Chsam Sofer which requires someone to have both semicha and shimush.

Thank you

Answer:

The smicha nowadays is not the same as the smicha from the time of Moshe Rabeinu. When Moshe Rabeinu gave Yehoshua smicha, it was an official way of giving him the power to do certain things. For example a person cannot rule in a beis din on dinei knasos (rules of fines), or, in the time of the Mishna and gemorah to be titled “Rebi”. The smicha that came from Moshe Rabeinu had to be given person to person and it could only be done in Eretz Yisroel. Smicha nowadays is not quite the same thing, although the same name is used. It is only the permission that one Rov gives to a student, when he feels that he is qualified to answer questions, and to give certain rulings. There are different levels of smicha, one to rule on halachos regarding issurim, given with a term of “Yoreh Yoreh” and another one in order to rule monetary rulings, called “Yodin Yodin”.

Sources:

Sanhedrin 14a.

Tags: Smicha

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