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In Jewish law, an asmachta, or asmakhta, is a conditional commitment or promise that a person makes, but actually has no intention of keeping. The agreement is not considered binding, and the commitment is considered null and void. Controversy exists as to whether various forms of gambling, including games of chance and lottery tickets, are considered to be an asmachta.

Av Beit Din

The av beit din, also spelled av beis din or abh beth din and abbreviated ABD, was the second-highest-ranking member of the Sanhedrin during the Second Temple period, and served as an assistant to the Nasi. The Av Beit Din was known as the "Master of the Court;" he was considered the most learned and important of these seventy members. The last Av Beth Din in Jewish tradition is Menahem the Essene who abdicated to "serve the King" in 20 BCE. Caiaphas was set to be next Av Beth Din but was opposed by the House of Shammai until Gamaliel became Nasi. Apparently the post of Av Beit Din was eventually filled, since the Babylonian Talmud states that Joshua ben Hananiah was Av Beit Din and Nathan the Babylonian was Av Beit Din. The Jerusalem Talmud tells the story of how Gamaliel II was deposed and Eleazar ben Azariah replaced him as Nasi. After Gamaliel was reinstated, Eleazar ben Azariah was made Av Beit Din. The parallel story in the Babylonian Talmud has Eleazar ben Azariah remaining as a co-Nasi with Gamaliel.

Bava Batra

Bava Batra is the third of the three Talmudic tractates in the Talmud in the order Nezikin; it deals with a persons responsibilities and rights as the owner of property. It is part of Judaisms oral law. Originally it, together with Bava Kamma and Bava Metzia, formed a single tractate called Nezikin. Unlike Bava Kamma and Bava Metzia, this tractate is not the exposition of a certain passage in the Torah.

Bava Kamma

Bava Kamma is the first of a series of three Talmudic tractates in the order Nezikin that deal with civil matters such as damages and torts. The other two of these tractates are Bava Metzia and Bava Batra: originally all three formed a single tractate called Nezikin, each "Bava" meaning "part" or "subdivision." Bava Kamma discusses various forms of damage and the compensation owed for them. Biblical laws dealing with the cases discussed in Bava Kamma are contained in the following passages: Exodus 21:18–19, and Exodus 21:24–22:5. The principle that underlies the legislation in this respect is expressed by the sentence, "He that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution". Exodus 22:5 Bava Kamma consists of ten chapters, which may be grouped as follows: damage caused without criminality chaps. i–vi; damage caused by a criminal act chaps. vii–x.

Bava Metzia

Bava Metzia is the second of the first three Talmudic tractates in the order of Nezikin, the other two being Bava Kamma and Bava Batra. Originally all three formed a single tractate called Nezikin, each Bava being a Part or subdivision. Bava Metzia discusses civil matters such as property law and usury. It also examines ones obligations to guard lost property that have been found, or property explicitly entrusted to him.

2017–18 Bergen County eruv controversy

In July 2017 the municipalities of Mahwah, Upper Saddle River, and Montvale in Bergen County, New Jersey, in the United States, opposed extension of an eruv within their borders. An eruv is a land area surrounded by a boundary of religious significance, often marked by small plastic pipes attached to utility poles. The demarcation permits Orthodox Jews to push or carry objects within the eruv on the Jewish Sabbath, in a way that is otherwise considered forbidden under Orthodox Jewish law. The three municipalities ordered that the borders of the eruv be dismantled having been erected without the appropriate consents. Many Mahwah residents angrily protested against the prospect of Orthodox Jews from Rockland County, New York using local parks or seeking to buy homes there. After no agreement could be reached, the eruv association brought suit against each of the municipalities. Mahwahs actions in passing a township ordinance to bar nonresidents of New Jersey from its parks, and the hostility of some residents and council members towards those who supported the eruv led Democratic candidate for Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy and others to make accusations of antisemitism. The presiding judge in the lawsuits, John Michael Vazquez, in January 2018 made it clear he felt the municipalities did not have a strong case, and urged them to settle. The three municipalities have settled with the eruv association, allowing the eruv borders to remain. Mahwah has settled a lawsuit from the New Jersey Attorney General accusing it of discrimination.