Beth Din - Officers of A Beth Din

Officers of A Beth Din

A large beth din may have the following officers:

  • Av Beth Din (אב בית דין, literally "Father of the Court", abbreviated אב"ד / ABD) is the most senior jurist who may join in the adjudication of cases or advise the presiding dayanim. The av beth din will usually be a highly respected rabbi and posek, who can give responsa. Traditionally, the salaried rabbi of the local Jewish community served as the av beth din
  • Rosh Beth Din (ראש בית דין, literally "Head of the Court", abbreviated רב"ד) is equivalent to a chief justice. He will be the senior member of a three-judge panel. In smaller courts the av beth din also serves as the rosh.
  • Dayan (דיין, rabbinic judge, plural: dayanim) sits and adjudicates cases. A rabbinic judge may directly question and cross-examine witnesses.
  • Chaver Beth Din (חבר בית דין Friend of the Court, Amicus curiae) is an internal adviser to the court. He may bring specialised expertise to the beth din. Often a chaver will be a dayan with training in secular law or science who can share his experience and perspectives with the court. For example some battei din that deal with issues of shechiṭṭah may have a chaver who is knowledgeable about veterinary medicine or meat science to assist the court as an expert witness.

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