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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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< Q12.48 TOC Sect. 13 >

Question 12.49:
Was it a requirement of membership/selection for the Sanhedrin for a person to be married?


Yes, it is a requirement both in halakhah and Josephus confirms in practice, for members of Sanhedrin to be married.

A similar question we have received was whether it also a requirement to be married to be a Pharisee or Sadducee?

The answer is No. Pharasees, Sadducees, and Esseends were more flavors of religions or schools of thought. Today, they might be analagous to the various movements in Judaism, or submovements with movements. It's roughly the same question as "Is there a requirement to be married to be a Reform Jew", or if you were Christian, "Is there a requrement to be married to be a Baptist".

That said, there would be preferences, but not requirements. The Pharasees believed it was better to be married than not. It wasn't a requirement in order to be counted among the believers in Pharasaic Judaism. However, it's considered a plus, part of their ideal for man, rather than some churches' view that marriage is a concession to human frailty or functional for procreative reasons. More so, the various contemporary Jewish Movements, schools of thought that evolved from the Pharasees, still believe this.

It is unknown where the Saducees stood on the subject.

The Essenes were ascetic, and considered celibacy the ideal.

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

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