The Beit Din

The Jewish court of law.

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Who Can Be On A Beit Din?

In the Orthodox community, a formal beit din is composed of three Jewish adult men, at least one of whom is a rabbi, and the others of whom are Torah and mitzvah-observant Jews, preferably knowledgeable about the particular matter that is being argued. The vast majority of batei din are Orthodox.

However, the Conservative movement also convenes batei din, primarily for the purposes of divorce and conversion. There are women who sit on these batei din, but they sometimes recuse themselves from a beit din out of concern that if the divorce or conversion would ever be contested by an Orthodox beit din it could be overturned because a woman was on the beit din. In the Reform movement, batei din are only convened for conversions, and women are accepted on these batei din.

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Tamar Fox

Tamar Fox is a writer and editor living in Philadelphia. Her children's book, No Baths at Camp, was published in 2013 by Kar-Ben, and her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, the Jerusalem Post, Tablet Magazine, TheJewniverse.com, and many other publications.