Table of Contents:

Sadducee positions on halakhic issues:

(as recorded in Rabbinic literature).

Scriptures do not defile the hands

M. Yadayim 4:6

Say the Sadducees: We object to you, Pharisees, for you say: Sacred scriptures defile the hands, but the books of Homer do not defile the hands...

A poured liquid transfers impurity

M. Yadayim 4:7

Say the Sadducees: We object to you, Pharisees, for you declare a poured stream of liquid to be pure...

Slaves can be prosecuted for damages

M. Yadayim 4:7

Say the Sadducees: We object to you, Pharisees, for you say: When my ox of ass causes damage, they are liable; but if my slaves were to cause damage, they would be exempt.

High priest lights incense before entering the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement.

Leviticus 16:12-13:

And he shall take a censer full of coals of fire from off the altar before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil. And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the ark-cover that is upon the testimony, that he die not.

T. Yoma 1:8:

...There had been an incident involving a certain "Baitesi" who had offered the incense while he was still outside, and the cloud of incense went out and alarmed the entire House. For the Baitesin used to claim that he should burn the incense while still outside, as it says: "the cloud of the incense may cover." The sages said to them: But did it not already say "And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the Lord"? This implies that whoever burns the incense must do so only inside... When he emerged he said to his father: All your days you used to expound, but did not act accordingly, until I arose and acted thus. He said to him: Even though we expound and do not act accordingly, we obey the words of the sages. I would be surprised if you live a long life. He did not survive three days until they buried him.

Full purification is required of priests officiating in the preparation of the waters of the red heifer.

M. Parah 3:7-8

The sages of Israel used to go first on foot to the Mount of Olives, where there was a bath for immersions. And they would defile the priest who officiated over the burning of the heifer, on account of the Sadducees, so that they could not argue that it must be done by only by those who have waited until sunset. They placed their hands upon him and said to him: High Priest, sir! Immerse yourself one time! He went down and immersed himself, then came up and dried himself...

Treat all bleeding as menstrual blood.

M. Niddah 4:1-2

The daughters of Samaritans are treated as menstruants from the cradle, and Samaritans defile the bottom-most layer of a mattress just like the top-most, because they have intercourse with menstruants and they separate themselves for each and every type of blood ...because their impurity is doubtful. The daughters of the Sadducees, when they follow in the ways of their parents, are considered like the Samaritans. If they went off to follow the ways of Israel, then they are considered like Jews. Rabbi Yosé says: They are always treated as Jews, unless they went off to follow the ways of their parents.

Perjured witnesses liable to death penalty only if their victim was actually executed

M. Makkot 1:6

Discredited witnesses are not executed until the trial has been concluded. For the Sadducees state: Until the accused has been executed, as it says (Leviticus 24:18) "A life for a life." The sages said to them: But does it not already say (Deuteronomy 19:19): "And then shall ye do unto him as he had purposed to do unto his brother"?--implying that his brother is alive! If so, then why does it say "A life for a life"? --You might have understood: They are subject to execution from the moment they have given their testimony. Hence it says "A life for a life", meaning that they are not executed until the trial has been concluded.

Daily offerings may be donated by individuals.

B. Menahot 65a

[Megillat Ta'anit:] "From the beginning of the month of Nisan until the eighth, eulogies are forbidden." For the Sadducees used to say: An individual may volunteer to bring the daily offering...

Temple candelabrum does not contract impurity.

T. Hagigah 3:34

It happened once that they immersed the candelabrum on a festival day, and the Sadducees were saying: Come and see how the Pharisees are immersing the light of the moon.

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