I sent the following question to the New Start-Up Sanhedrin: Does the Sanhedrin require a pluraility or a majority of Jews living in Haaretz? I was under the impression, from my studies, it requires a majority.
Not according to the Rambam (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, zt"l). Some other issues, such as Yovel, etc. require a majority of Jews living in Eretz Yisroel.
- According to some opinions it requires a miracle, like Eliyahu (HaNavi, the prophet) appearing.
- According a simple reading of the Rambam, it requires the agreement of all scholars in Eretz Yisroel (Israel).
- According to the Mechaber's understanding of the Rambam, it requires the agreement of the main scholars of Eretz Yisroel.
- According to the responsa since that time, it requires only a vote of the main scholars of Eretz Yisroel, lehavdil, as one would vote for the president of the United States.
Of those who require a miracle, nothing can be said, only that the majority of authorities disagree with this approach Of the other opinions, the disagreement is over this: does the unity of scholars comes before the election of samuch, or as a result of the election of a samuch and the creation of a beis din?
The consensus of halacha is that the latter is correct, although this runs counter what many have been taught.
Posted at Mystical Paths. Read it elsewhere? Stop by the source.