What is the Beth Din?

Beth Din (House of Judgement) finds its beginnings with the biblical injunction for communities to establish a Beth Din for the purpose of administering Jewish Law. Historically, in biblical times, the jurisdiction of the Beth Din extended to both civil and criminal law, but for obvious reasons, the Hebrew Synagogue's Beth Din in Scotland can have no involvement in matters of a criminal nature.

Jewish Law recognises the legal system of Scotland and often incorporates it into Jewish Law as being the system of law governing a dispute, there is an overriding duty to bring a civil dispute before a Beth Din to ensure that the case is decided within the parameters of Jewish Law.

The primary function of a Beth Din is the duty to arbitrate in civil disputes and to administer Jewish Family Law. Certain activities of the Beth Din will require a quorum of three Dayanim (Judges – sing. Dayan), each member of the Hebrew Synagogue's Beth Din has their specialist areas. In addition, affiliated Rabbonim are often called upon to assist the Dayonim, especially in matters relating to the carrying out of Get or divorce procedures.

Hebrew Synagogue is seen as an advisory body on matters pertaining to Jewish religious practice and is widely consulted by many agencies. Members of the public are welcome to contact our office with any queries.

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