Question:

  1. Can a ger get smicha for dayanus? Serve in a beis din? If yes, any restrictions?
  2. What is the reason for the din? I heard it has to do with having Jewish lineage and if the father is Jewish it’s ok (still can he just like any other Dayan?), but what if a ger has a 12th great grandfather that was Jewish?

Answer:

  1. In general a ger is not allowed to be a dayan on a bais din, however he is allowed to rule the din of a ger, or if the parties willfully choose to use him as their dayan. Regarding getting smicha he can get smicha, because that is only saying that he has the knowledge to rule, it is not appointing him to rule on a bais din.
  2. The reason for this din is a gezeiras hakosuv, (Heavenly decree). It does have to do with Jewish lineage, and if the person’s father or mother have Jewish lineage then he may be a dayan. If his father, and mother, and both sets of grandparents, are all geririm he will also have an issue being a dayan.

Sources:

Sanhedrin 32b, Choshen Mishpat 7-1, Sm”a ibid 1,4, Poskim.

Tags: ger Judges

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