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New York - Calling 311 And Its Halachic Ties

Published on: November 9, 2008 10:27 AM
By: Exclusive to VIN News By Rabbi Yair Hoffman
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New York - It is known as the Citizen’s Service Center in the halls of New York City government.  It is a quick and anonymous way to report anyone who is ostensibly doing something illegal. Is someone running an illegal business next door to you?  No problem.  Dial 311.  The problem is that, from a Torah perspective dialing these three harmless-looking digits can also be an instant way in which to lose one’s Olam HaBah [See Shulchan Aruch Choshain Mishpat 388:9].

Indeed the Gemorah in Rosh HaShana describes the horrifying Gehenam-filled fate of someone who engages in Mesirah. The Shach (Yore Deah 388:53) cites a number of authorities (Tosfos and Hagaos
Ashri) that someone who actually converted to another religion is better off than someone who engaged in Mesirah.

Is it ever permitted to dial the three digits?  Yes, but being that the repercussions are so fraught with danger, it is better not to make that judgment call oneself and only do so after consulting heavily with a qualified Posaik.  So when is it permitted?

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The Shulchan Aruch (as amended by the Shach in 388:12 and 10) rules that if a person is causing significant distress to an individual it is, nonetheless, completely forbidden to perform a Mesirah.  If, however, the entire community is suffering then, after the person is warned (see Vilna Gaon and Sanhedrin 72b), they may report the offender.

There are a number of questions.  What is to be considered “significant distress?”  The example cited by the Ramah is that the person is engaging in counterfeiting and will thus endanger the community.

It would seem that the “significant distress” should be similarly significant.  Issues of violence and sexual abuse, of course, are significant.  Indeed, even if it is just to one individual, the issue of Pikuach Nefesh may be involved and a call would be required under such circumstances.

What about threatening Mesirah?  There is a story going around (we all certainly hope that it is not true) that a woman wanted a day care center to take in her child and was told that there was no more room.

She then told the operator that if they did not take in her child, she would promptly report them to the authorities.  Rav Dovid Morgenstern Shlita, a Rav and Posaik in Yerushalayim and the right-hand man of Rav Elyashiv Shlita ruled that there is absolutely no heter to cause someone such an anxiety even by threatening to do a Mesirah.  Indeed, the Maharik (Shoresh 126) rules that someone important who threatens to do a Mesirah is forbidden to give testimony and is considered Pasul Le’Aidus.

How about jailing an ex-spouse who has not kept her agreement for visitations?  Or how about jailing a non-paying ex who is behind in alimony or child support?  It is difficult to see how any of these can
be justified halachically and it is also difficult to imagine if either of them will see any Olam HaBah.

Can these people do Teshuvah?  In the HaGaos Ashri (Chapter Zeh Borrer) there is an indication that if someone does the requisite Teshuvah and also obtains the forgiveness of the person who he or she
informed upon, then their Olam HaBah can be restored.  It seems clear, however, that one without the other would not be sufficient.

In conclusion, the issue is one that is fraught with danger and if anyone values his or her portion in the world-to-come, such a drastic step should only be taken after consultation with leading Poskim, and after the person has been sufficiently warned. If there is no time for a warning, the leading Poskim should be consulted as to what to do.

The Ramah rules that in such circumstances the report may, nonetheless, be made.


More of today's headlines

Wurtsboro, NY - A Long Island developer plans to build a community of mansions on top of the Shawangunk Ridge. Shalom Lamm, under his Black Creek Holdings LLC... Lakewood, NJ - For the third time in a week, law enforcement officials in Ocean County made a large-scale drug bust, seizing more than 400 grams of cocaine at a township...

 

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1

 Nov 09, 2008 at 10:39 AM Anonymous Says:

Hi time for someone to speak up about this terrible avirah of messirah which bcame nebech a norm in our sociaty

2

 Nov 09, 2008 at 10:36 AM Use Your Head Says:

This article appears to completely skip the issue of what kind of government the rules of mesirah apply to. I believe there are many reputable poskim who would consider the American (Federal and local) government to be law-abiding and not cruel, and therefore mesirah may not be applicable. Correct me if I'm wrong.

3

 Nov 09, 2008 at 10:35 AM bin8500 Says:

i am very interested to hear what the olem has to say regaeding this

4

 Nov 09, 2008 at 10:34 AM Anonymous Says:

So if you report a child-molester you can expect to end up in Gehenom.

5

 Nov 09, 2008 at 10:41 AM Anonymous Says:

in other words, Don't Be A Rat!

6

 Nov 09, 2008 at 10:46 AM YANKEL Says:

The real problem that we must face, is that there are illegal activities in our community which should exist at all. There should be none!

7

 Nov 09, 2008 at 10:49 AM Anonymous Says:

The issue of Mesirah became a serious problem in the Orthodox community, according to Halacha its the worst act a jew can do, and by doing it you lost your Chelek Beolom Habah & officialy declared as a "Meshumed" its mind boggling how some people allow themselves to give up everything by committing Mesirah. I think many of us never saw the Halachot in Chosen Mishpat Re Mesirah. There is nothing worse a yid can do, open a Shulchan Oruch and check it out!

8

 Nov 09, 2008 at 10:57 AM yossel Says:

wich is bigger aveira / messirah o chillul hashem?

9

 Nov 09, 2008 at 10:59 AM Gefilte Fish Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

So if you report a child-molester you can expect to end up in Gehenom.

No, since he (or she) has a 'Din Rodef' and we are obligated to report him.

10

 Nov 09, 2008 at 10:58 AM Anonymous Says:

Yankel, illegal activities is indeed an issue to be raised, some people don't know these Haluchos as well, but Mesira is a terrible thing and this is the topic here, let's not confuse the issues here.

11

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:02 AM mechel Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Hi time for someone to speak up about this terrible avirah of messirah which bcame nebech a norm in our sociaty

as i understand you and consider your thoughts greatly
i nevertheless must say that in todays world when so amny childrem are seeing and learning the wrong things, they get the wrong impression of what yiddishkeit is all about
i would strongly urge every one that knows of someone or sees something or someone that is involved in anything that will conrtibute to the yeridas hadoirois
to report it immidietly
i truly feel that if the shaa"ch and ta"z were here today they would agree with me

12

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:10 AM JoeFlix Says:

A personal experince:

In the last month I had two times when I was angry at Jewish developers that were bloicking too much parking space. I was tempted to call the city and shut them down with false complaints - but I decided to give diplomacy a try to do my halachic duty

Im happy to report that in both cases the matters were resolved quickly, respectfully and without bad feelings.

13

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:12 AM Anonymous Says:

yossel, I think we shall stay away from both.. but I guess Mesira is much worse, Chilul Hashem is a terrible sin but I don't think that it says somewhere that by causing Chilul Hashem you're no more considered as a Yid like it says on a Moser, but again Chilul Hashem is also one of the most terrible sins that a jew can commit, but I know some people think that Chilul Hashem is only applicable when it involves non jews only, and the truth is that Chilul Hashem is even worse when anything bad is done before Yiden as all Seforim say

14

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:21 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
mechel Says:

as i understand you and consider your thoughts greatly
i nevertheless must say that in todays world when so amny childrem are seeing and learning the wrong things, they get the wrong impression of what yiddishkeit is all about
i would strongly urge every one that knows of someone or sees something or someone that is involved in anything that will conrtibute to the yeridas hadoirois
to report it immidietly
i truly feel that if the shaa"ch and ta"z were here today they would agree with me

Regarding the issue of threatening to report: the machaber (Bais Yosef) clearly says, "who ever says i will go and report you (eileich v'emsot), is considered a mossur!"

15

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:19 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
mechel Says:

as i understand you and consider your thoughts greatly
i nevertheless must say that in todays world when so amny childrem are seeing and learning the wrong things, they get the wrong impression of what yiddishkeit is all about
i would strongly urge every one that knows of someone or sees something or someone that is involved in anything that will conrtibute to the yeridas hadoirois
to report it immidietly
i truly feel that if the shaa"ch and ta"z were here today they would agree with me

Sorry, but the torah and the poskim are not "adjustable" to your feelings! we still have to act only according to halacha and not risk with losing the "life savings" of olam habba.

16

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:18 AM Anonymous Says:

Dear #4
The author wrote it befairush! Can't you read?? You owe him an apology.
It would seem that the "significant distress" should be similarly significant. Issues of violence and sexual abuse, of course, are significant. Indeed, even if it is just to one individual, the issue of Pikuach Nefesh may be involved and a call would be required under such circumstances.

17

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:26 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
JoeFlix Says:

A personal experince:

In the last month I had two times when I was angry at Jewish developers that were bloicking too much parking space. I was tempted to call the city and shut them down with false complaints - but I decided to give diplomacy a try to do my halachic duty

Im happy to report that in both cases the matters were resolved quickly, respectfully and without bad feelings.

You wanted to call with false complaints? And making false complaints is allowed?

18

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:25 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Use Your Head Says:

This article appears to completely skip the issue of what kind of government the rules of mesirah apply to. I believe there are many reputable poskim who would consider the American (Federal and local) government to be law-abiding and not cruel, and therefore mesirah may not be applicable. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Lemme correct you, YOU ARE WRONG!!!
The shulchan oruch and the gemora make no difference how harsh the justice and prison system is, it's considered mesirah even if you only cause pain or anxiety for another fellow by mesirah, or if you cause one a damage of more than a prutah (penny).

19

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:24 AM JoeFlix Says:

Reply to #2  
Use Your Head Says:

This article appears to completely skip the issue of what kind of government the rules of mesirah apply to. I believe there are many reputable poskim who would consider the American (Federal and local) government to be law-abiding and not cruel, and therefore mesirah may not be applicable. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Yeah but there is the first mitzva of Parshas Mishpatim ('Lifneihem') that a Jew can only go to a Jewish judge to resolve his problems with his fellow Jew.

20

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:27 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Use Your Head Says:

This article appears to completely skip the issue of what kind of government the rules of mesirah apply to. I believe there are many reputable poskim who would consider the American (Federal and local) government to be law-abiding and not cruel, and therefore mesirah may not be applicable. Correct me if I'm wrong.

to #2 use your head:

I guess you did not go thru the USA justice or prison system, otherwise you wouldn't write just a comment.

21

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:33 AM Anonymous Says:

Good Article! some people think that Mesirah is only applicable if you put someone in Jail Rachmana Litzlan! which we heard of that too in the last few years Nebach! but the truth is that Mesiras Mamon (Money) is also Mesirah, I think sometimes you get so mad & upset that you do something that you're not aware what a big sin you're comitting! I learned the Halachot lately with my Chavrusa and there is very scary stuff there... if we will learn the haluches we know to stay away from any kind of Mesira! it doesn't pay! I was cheated by a real con artist with a nice amount of $$$ and had some damaging info against him, after discussing with a known Posek he asked me to learn firt Chosen Mishpat about mesira which I did, and I can truly say that I'm so thankful that I didn't do what I was thinking of doing.. its not worth it no matter how much money is involved, especially that there was no way of getting my money back anyhow, it was rather a drive as result of seeking Revenge. Beware Stay Away!

22

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:32 AM Anonymous Says:

hpw about instead of talking about how wrong mesirah is we nip the problem in the bud. why dont we make sure that yidden arent doing anything illegal, so we have nothing to worry about. if yidden didnt break the laws we wouldnt have a shayla of whether or not other yidden can tell on them.

23

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:35 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
JoeFlix Says:

A personal experince:

In the last month I had two times when I was angry at Jewish developers that were bloicking too much parking space. I was tempted to call the city and shut them down with false complaints - but I decided to give diplomacy a try to do my halachic duty

Im happy to report that in both cases the matters were resolved quickly, respectfully and without bad feelings.

i cant believe anybody on this blog would condone calling up and making up false charges. thats taking mesirah to the next level.

24

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:27 AM Yossele Says:

Reply to #2  
Use Your Head Says:

This article appears to completely skip the issue of what kind of government the rules of mesirah apply to. I believe there are many reputable poskim who would consider the American (Federal and local) government to be law-abiding and not cruel, and therefore mesirah may not be applicable. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Well said. This article is a little to cut and dried in that respect.

I do not have a sefer in front of me, but the the rambam mentions a number of cases where there is no din of mesira.

Also, is not mesirah when you are handing a yid or his money over to goyim? Generally, a 311 call does not directly lead to either one, even in the case where fines may eventually be involved.

25

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:26 AM I Don't Think So Says:

This article is a perfect example of "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing."

In this Medinah shel Chessed, one has to consider the Halacha of Dina d'Malchusa Dina when examining the laws of Mesirah. Also, not massering could put an individual in danger of being arrested and convicted as an accessory after the fact.

Study the halacha with a qualified posek, and don't rely on this "psak".

26

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:38 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
Anonymous Says:

to #2 use your head:

I guess you did not go thru the USA justice or prison system, otherwise you wouldn't write just a comment.

people who do things the right way dont have to go throught the court sysytem. its when people start with their illegal schtick that the problems arise. do things right and you wont need to go through the court systems.

27

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:58 AM ShatzMatz Says:

My shul that just had an incident where a outwardly 'frum' and respected neighbor called 311 to complain about garbage in the shared driveway. The garbage was cleaned up immediately, but when the inspector showed up he saw that we built a succah in the backyard and issued a violation and stop order. The inspector also found that we were renovating the mikva without a permit. Now the shul will have to spend tens of thousands of dollars in fines and fighting the violations and removing the stop order in order to complete the mikva renovations. This shule has been there for 55 years, well before the neighbor purchased the next door house. If he doesnt like living next to a shul he shouldnt have moved there. How will he justify himself in olom haba for causing such financial and emotional damage to a poor struggling kehilla? Any idiot can dial 3 digits and cause enormous damage. The question is, how will you put the cat back in the bag once its out?

28

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:54 AM Anonymous Says:

I went to the doctor for a check up and i reall never realized that i blocked someones illegal driveway. He flatted my 4 tires and pasted glue all over my windows causing me over $350.00 in repairs and 5 hours of aggravation. I called 311 and reported his house for illegal highway and i called Dept.of transportation and the Highway dept. I dont know how many fines he got but i see his driveway is GONE..will i go to gehenem for this? Does anyone really believe that by causing someone else Tzar and agmes nefesh and money loss he is not allowed to call 311.? Please answer me

29

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:49 AM Anonymous Says:

#26! why talk like a real Am Haretz? open a Shulchan Oruch and you will see that to Maser even on a Rasha etc. you lost your Chelek Leolem Habba!

30

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:49 AM Anonymous Says:

This article is a perfect example of "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing." ITS ACTUALLY A VERY INFORMATIVE ARTICLE THAT TELLS YOU TO SPEAK TO A POSAIK BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING

In this Medinah shel Chessed, one has to consider the Halacha of Dina d'Malchusa Dina when examining the laws of Mesirah. ASK A POSEK BEFORE YOU DARSHAN Also, not massering could put an individual in danger of being arrested and convicted as an accessory after the fact. YOU DONT KNOW YOUR LAW, MY FRIEND

Study the halacha with a qualified posek, and don't rely on this "psak". EXCEPT FOR THIS PSKA SAID TO ASK A POSAIK

31

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:48 AM rav pam was a moser (c"vs) i guess Says:

rav pam called the police on 2 boys that broke into the candy machine in torah voddath. he said there was no problem of mesirah. i was in the yeshiva at the time.

"How about jailing an ex-spouse who has not kept her agreement for visitations? Or how about jailing a non-paying ex who is behind in alimony or child support? It is difficult to see how any of these can be justified halachically and it is also difficult to imagine if either of them will see any Olam HaBah. "
sorry to tell you, but all divorces are done in a local court. end of story. no matter how religious one may be, family and civil court are in your future if you get divorced. now, when a judge sees that no payments have been made, since they monitor these things, that is when the man gets thrown in jail. you do not ask the judge to throw the man in jail. you ask the judge to get your money due to your CHILDREN! if the numskull decides to get stupid with the judge, and be belligerent, or refuses, then he winds up in jail, simply for being in contempt of a court order.

32

 Nov 09, 2008 at 12:14 PM Anonymous Says:

I am sorry to tell you all.....Try getting a fair din torah those days.!!!! The corruption from the begining to the end leaves us only with one outcome ...MESIRAH.....
I am sure there will be hundreds of critics but those never had a din torah...Its the rabunim and toyanim who will BURN in gehenem...Those innocent women who are paying their weely salaries to those corrupt rabunim or busnissmaen who have been cheated by their shul associates have a different story to tell...

33

 Nov 09, 2008 at 12:12 PM seen enough Says:

calling the authorities when lives are at stake, illegal day care centers that do not have enough personnal, they have too many children for the amount of space allocated, they do not have adequate fire safety measures, etc., or the same person constantly parking by a fire hydrant overnight - even after being spoken to - is p'kuach nefesh , not mesira.

34

 Nov 09, 2008 at 12:26 PM JoeFlix Says:

Reply to #32  
Anonymous Says:

I am sorry to tell you all.....Try getting a fair din torah those days.!!!! The corruption from the begining to the end leaves us only with one outcome ...MESIRAH.....
I am sure there will be hundreds of critics but those never had a din torah...Its the rabunim and toyanim who will BURN in gehenem...Those innocent women who are paying their weely salaries to those corrupt rabunim or busnissmaen who have been cheated by their shul associates have a different story to tell...

Seems like alot of people are fed up with ''the system'' but let's all agree that as decent and fair people we must at least try to talk to the responsible party once and try to change things.

Every little nobody can make an anonymous phone call.

35

 Nov 09, 2008 at 12:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #29  
Anonymous Says:

#26! why talk like a real Am Haretz? open a Shulchan Oruch and you will see that to Maser even on a Rasha etc. you lost your Chelek Leolem Habba!

didnt think anybody could miss the point by that much. i didnt say a word about mesirah, i simply said if you act with yashrus you will not have a problem.

36

 Nov 09, 2008 at 12:20 PM Anonymous Says:

Yes, being a mussar is the horriblest thing you can be. PERIOD.
NO, one may not be tattle on ANYONE.
Certainly, if a Jew were about to assassinate the president elect, and it would bring racial riots onto Jews nationwide, it would mean we MAY wish to go ask a shaila. But we could still not undertake this action alone, without rabbinical help.
He may point out that the very fact that the world will come to know that a Jew was plotting to kill Obama would accomplish the same things, while if he did do it, there was a chance he would not get caught. Sure, we can all debate this, but it is not so poshut.

Similarly with other revolting, disgusting, and horrific crimes. Our gut feelings, our emotions cause us to find all kinds of heterim, even telling us it is a mitzvah to be a mussar. I have seen people use the "rodaif" excuse/heter a few times. But you really need to speak to a QUALIFIED rov. Not, not necessarily the rov you ask about kashrus. You need to speak to a Dayan.

Your local Orthodox rov got his smicha based upon Issur V'Heter, meaning on Melicha, Basav B'Chalav, and Taaruvos. Not issues to prepare him to answer these questions. Unfortunately, too many local rabbonim with only Yoreh Yoreh have butted into these areas where they have little or no qualifications.

This is a real biggie.

Yes it just may be correct to allow the rabbonim handle some of the very situations where we all have been so sure needs us to call the authorities.

The mesira thing is so strong, such a major issur, that the rabbonim who ACTUALLY WORKING VERY HARD on these issues need to do it with tact and NO Publicity. They need to solve the problem without YOUR knowledge. Because is YOU know that they punished, or did something to stop a pervert's actions, the police may come to know about it, and all would be for naught.

They ARE working hard on all these issues.

Call them, not the police.

37

 Nov 09, 2008 at 12:33 PM oy vei!! Says:

Reply to #28  
Anonymous Says:

I went to the doctor for a check up and i reall never realized that i blocked someones illegal driveway. He flatted my 4 tires and pasted glue all over my windows causing me over $350.00 in repairs and 5 hours of aggravation. I called 311 and reported his house for illegal highway and i called Dept.of transportation and the Highway dept. I dont know how many fines he got but i see his driveway is GONE..will i go to gehenem for this? Does anyone really believe that by causing someone else Tzar and agmes nefesh and money loss he is not allowed to call 311.? Please answer me

I hate to tell u this but YES!!! U will burn & bad for what u did!

#1) nekama
#2) mesira
#3) ka'as
#4) lack of v'ohavta l'raiacha .....

Ask a Rov but u must go & ask the guy mechila & pay him for his loss.

I'm not saying that he was right! He too has much teshuva to do.

38

 Nov 09, 2008 at 12:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #27  
ShatzMatz Says:

My shul that just had an incident where a outwardly 'frum' and respected neighbor called 311 to complain about garbage in the shared driveway. The garbage was cleaned up immediately, but when the inspector showed up he saw that we built a succah in the backyard and issued a violation and stop order. The inspector also found that we were renovating the mikva without a permit. Now the shul will have to spend tens of thousands of dollars in fines and fighting the violations and removing the stop order in order to complete the mikva renovations. This shule has been there for 55 years, well before the neighbor purchased the next door house. If he doesnt like living next to a shul he shouldnt have moved there. How will he justify himself in olom haba for causing such financial and emotional damage to a poor struggling kehilla? Any idiot can dial 3 digits and cause enormous damage. The question is, how will you put the cat back in the bag once its out?

Why was there garbage in a shared driveway in the first place? Did you consider getting a permit for the construction? The cat doesn't have to be put back in the bag if he wasn't there in the first place.

Your post borders between humorous and pathetic. Your complaint is that you illegally left garbage in a shared driveway, and when the authorities were called, they found other illegal activity on the premises, but it's somehow your neighbors fault.

39

 Nov 09, 2008 at 12:51 PM Eli Says:

Reply to #36  
Anonymous Says:

Yes, being a mussar is the horriblest thing you can be. PERIOD.
NO, one may not be tattle on ANYONE.
Certainly, if a Jew were about to assassinate the president elect, and it would bring racial riots onto Jews nationwide, it would mean we MAY wish to go ask a shaila. But we could still not undertake this action alone, without rabbinical help.
He may point out that the very fact that the world will come to know that a Jew was plotting to kill Obama would accomplish the same things, while if he did do it, there was a chance he would not get caught. Sure, we can all debate this, but it is not so poshut.

Similarly with other revolting, disgusting, and horrific crimes. Our gut feelings, our emotions cause us to find all kinds of heterim, even telling us it is a mitzvah to be a mussar. I have seen people use the "rodaif" excuse/heter a few times. But you really need to speak to a QUALIFIED rov. Not, not necessarily the rov you ask about kashrus. You need to speak to a Dayan.

Your local Orthodox rov got his smicha based upon Issur V'Heter, meaning on Melicha, Basav B'Chalav, and Taaruvos. Not issues to prepare him to answer these questions. Unfortunately, too many local rabbonim with only Yoreh Yoreh have butted into these areas where they have little or no qualifications.

This is a real biggie.

Yes it just may be correct to allow the rabbonim handle some of the very situations where we all have been so sure needs us to call the authorities.

The mesira thing is so strong, such a major issur, that the rabbonim who ACTUALLY WORKING VERY HARD on these issues need to do it with tact and NO Publicity. They need to solve the problem without YOUR knowledge. Because is YOU know that they punished, or did something to stop a pervert's actions, the police may come to know about it, and all would be for naught.

They ARE working hard on all these issues.

Call them, not the police.

Unbelievable. Let me assure you that if i knew of a jew planning to harm anyone, I would report him. This issue of mesirah, it seems to me, was written by Rabbis who wanted to scare people away from reporting on other Jews at a time when doing so meant terrible consequences for Jews. These days, when there are minyonim and shiurim in Jail, I doubt the law applies.

40

 Nov 09, 2008 at 12:39 PM Anonymous Says:

Halacha desicions should not be decided on a website. Actually, I was told by a Beis Din that I could threaten to put my ex-husband in jail if he doesn't pay child support. He owed thousands of dollars and the choice was his. He is deciding to go to jail if he doesn't listen to what the beis din says, namely to pay up all the child support that he owed. This was paskened in Eretz Yisroel, where the whole beis din system is legally enforced. It doesn't mean that this applies to everyone, but the halacha is definately not accross the board as simple as you said.

41

 Nov 09, 2008 at 01:04 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

So if you report a child-molester you can expect to end up in Gehenom.

Don't be cynical! A Child molester (if the allegations have been well-founded) has a Din of a Rodef (loosely translated to mean, one who endangers the public safety). The verdict on a rodef is simple and harsh! So, reporting to Law-enforcement Authorities is called for, from an Halachic standpoint!!!

42

 Nov 09, 2008 at 01:17 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #37  
oy vei!! Says:

I hate to tell u this but YES!!! U will burn & bad for what u did!

#1) nekama
#2) mesira
#3) ka'as
#4) lack of v'ohavta l'raiacha .....

Ask a Rov but u must go & ask the guy mechila & pay him for his loss.

I'm not saying that he was right! He too has much teshuva to do.

He will not be punished (even though he caused the driveway owner more significant damage than he sustained). Because he acted in response to the inhuman behavior of the driveway owner. The Gemara states that a person may not be judged [harshly] when he is in distress! (meaning that [even] if he did, or said something that is not appropriate in response to distress [caused by someone else] he should not be held [entirely] responsible; i.e.: there was a mitigating factor!!!

43

 Nov 09, 2008 at 01:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #37  
oy vei!! Says:

I hate to tell u this but YES!!! U will burn & bad for what u did!

#1) nekama
#2) mesira
#3) ka'as
#4) lack of v'ohavta l'raiacha .....

Ask a Rov but u must go & ask the guy mechila & pay him for his loss.

I'm not saying that he was right! He too has much teshuva to do.

I dont know what religion you practice but the only religion i know about that allows a man to pass judgement like that on another man is not Judaism. i hope my Gd will have mercy on you.

44

 Nov 09, 2008 at 01:44 PM Joseph Says:

Reply to #37  
oy vei!! Says:

I hate to tell u this but YES!!! U will burn & bad for what u did!

#1) nekama
#2) mesira
#3) ka'as
#4) lack of v'ohavta l'raiacha .....

Ask a Rov but u must go & ask the guy mechila & pay him for his loss.

I'm not saying that he was right! He too has much teshuva to do.

And what's better, that this jerk who flattened this poor guy's tires should hide behind, "Oh, YOU can't do ANYTHING back to me, because that would be mesirah!!!"??? Are you out of your MIND???

Obviously there has to be times when it's allowed and when it's not allowed (as per the incident with Rav Pam noted by #31). And for all people who don't know the halacha and just go "lechumra", thereby forbidding EVERYTHING in all cases are doing more damage with your ignorance.

45

 Nov 09, 2008 at 01:39 PM chaim Says:

What if one masere3d on you and to defend yourself in cort you have to maser to show that his mesirah was concocted just yto hurt you. if you don't maser it will affect the ability to disprove the mesirah against you. How will poskim decide such a conundrum?

46

 Nov 09, 2008 at 01:55 PM Anonymous Says:

you are allowed to maser on a moser..

47

 Nov 09, 2008 at 01:49 PM mechel Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

Sorry, but the torah and the poskim are not "adjustable" to your feelings! we still have to act only according to halacha and not risk with losing the "life savings" of olam habba.

thank you for your response
but i must disagree with you

we must decifer the different kinds of "mesirah that there are

1) as another comment said that there was a car blocking a driveway... that kind of mesirah is in dvorim gashmiyim monetery value and you dont have the mitzvah of ya'aroig ve'al taa'se. it is not worth your life being that tires and other parts of a car can be replaced.
as the rambam says in hilchos nezikin that a nezek that will self repair is not a real nezek being that time will heal it, a moshul for that says the rambam is if someone will cut the finger nails or hair from someone, there might be busha but nezek is net applicable here

the same is true (lefi aniyas da'ati) here
when you talk about anefesh from a yid that stasticly we know that a frum bocher or bachurah that is turned off yiddishkeit from molesters drugs etc. this is a case of pekuach nefesh and there everything that you can do to save the matzav you must do "yaaroig veal yaavoid"
i dont need to expand more on the present situation of todays youth it is self understood
therefore as i said before that anyone that knows anything or anyone that deals with drugs, sex, hard liquor etc must report it in order to stop it,
hatzalas nefesh achas meyisroel ke'iylu kol haoilam kuloi.
chazag venishmah besurios tovois

Mechel

48

 Nov 09, 2008 at 01:35 PM Anonymous Says:

If anyone who says that they got a heter to put their spouse in jail where there was no violence or molestation on their spouses part can kindly please identify which Rav or Bais Din permitted it. Is there something in writing? I once heard a man say that he had a heter from a famous Rav to put his wife in jail and the Rav denied it completely. Then a year later I heard the exact same story the other way around with different people and again the Rav said that he never gave such a heter. It is not necessarily true that it happens automatically in the court system. More often than not the jailing is instigated by the other spouse. Boruch Hashem, I am happily married, but I saw my yeshiva mates kids go on drugs because their parents were so crazy. Neither the father or the mother will ever listen to anyone. They know better. This article is good becuase it shows the seriousness of it. Before anyone attacks this guy, they should ask their Rav if what he writes is true. One time a Reform judge gave mussar to a frum couple about killing each other like this. Can you imagine a bigger chilul hashem?

49

 Nov 09, 2008 at 01:29 PM Anonymous Says:

What do you do when another yd engaged in identity theft Can you report him to the authorities where he may lose his license otr even go to jail? What if he does not even apologize and refuse to cooperate in discovering who in his firm did the actual identty theft?

50

 Nov 09, 2008 at 01:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #37  
oy vei!! Says:

I hate to tell u this but YES!!! U will burn & bad for what u did!

#1) nekama
#2) mesira
#3) ka'as
#4) lack of v'ohavta l'raiacha .....

Ask a Rov but u must go & ask the guy mechila & pay him for his loss.

I'm not saying that he was right! He too has much teshuva to do.

sorry to tell you that i did ask 2 rabunim and was told once his driveway is illegal i had every right to report him..By making a curb in front of his home and painting a yellow line he is stealing from his neighbors parking privilages and has NO right to flat someones tires ..I am sure you will ask me who those 2 rabunim are..They are major poskim in Boro Park who you rely on to carry on SHABBOS

51

 Nov 09, 2008 at 02:28 PM RobRoy560 Says:

Look I am far from a talmud chacham, and I hate rats. But you know what I hate more than rats? People who think they are above the law, especially those who appear outwardly frum. I don't detest the frum community, after all I'm part of it. Let's face it, without the community we would have nothing - no mikvahs, shuls, food, schools, etc. But just because you are so righteous, doesn't mean the laws don't apply to you.

But I'm listening to all you 'gedolim' going back and worth saying when some one can or cannot report, but only a few posts pointed out the main problem - us! For instance, the story shul with the shared driveway. That would not have been an issue if we respected each other and if the shul applied for the permits. A shul may be off the tax roles or at a reduced tax rate, but that doesn't mean it is free from filing for permits. While I don't condone slashing one's tires because they blocked a driveway (which later did turn out to be illegal), I'm a little suspect of not realizing a driveway was there. When I go to BP or Flatbush, I drive my wife crazy with the care I take for parking. Even if I'm "in the right" it's not worth the hassle of what some have mentioned here

But this nonsense has to come to an end from the top down. Until the rabanim and the community leaders put the kibosh on it, this problem will never change. Why? Because the community doesn't have the courage to expose the hypocracy and cheating that we do to each other. If we cannot excommunicate the child molesters from our midst, how can we put an end to the fraud we are doing (social services abuse, illegal apartments, etc.)?

My favorite rebbe in my day school days lived each day with Derech Eretz Kadma L'Torah. He was a very frum man, but said all of your learning is meaningless in the RSO's eyes if you lack simple derech eretz. He lived by this when dealing with Jews and non-Jews. When he passed away, his non-Jewish neighbors came to his funeral because they respected him so much. We could all learn something from him.

52

 Nov 09, 2008 at 02:18 PM Anonymous Says:

Who are we to say what is right what is wrong.
where do you draw the line what is right what is wrong.
the same way you would not pasken for yourself Hilches T'ehareh you will run to the rav and ask him, who gives any one of us to pasken matters of pekuach nefushes.
remember DAAS BAL HABAYIS HEPUCH DAAS HRAV
so what ever you think is right may very well be wrong

53

 Nov 09, 2008 at 02:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Use Your Head Says:

This article appears to completely skip the issue of what kind of government the rules of mesirah apply to. I believe there are many reputable poskim who would consider the American (Federal and local) government to be law-abiding and not cruel, and therefore mesirah may not be applicable. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I was told by a talmid of Rav Moshe Feinstein Zt'l that Rav Moshe held it made no difference!!
Mesira was Ossur even if the government (such as the American government) was "benign".

54

 Nov 09, 2008 at 02:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #22  
Anonymous Says:

hpw about instead of talking about how wrong mesirah is we nip the problem in the bud. why dont we make sure that yidden arent doing anything illegal, so we have nothing to worry about. if yidden didnt break the laws we wouldnt have a shayla of whether or not other yidden can tell on them.

Wow, I didn't know that only yidden did illegal things.

55

 Nov 09, 2008 at 02:35 PM Anonymous Says:

Maybe the same rabbonim who gave Rahm Emanuel the heter to work on Rosh Hashana as long as he did not write.

56

 Nov 09, 2008 at 02:50 PM Anonymous Says:

I agree that you must learn the halachot properly, many comments posted here have no relation to our Halacha whatsoever, but it is very sad that Mesira which is such a terrible sin became no problem these days, and sometimes even ended up by putting away a Yid in jail!

57

 Nov 09, 2008 at 02:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

So if you report a child-molester you can expect to end up in Gehenom.

You obviously didn't read the entire article. It clearly states that in the case of abuse this does not apply.

58

 Nov 09, 2008 at 03:08 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #54  
Anonymous Says:

Wow, I didn't know that only yidden did illegal things.

can you show us where it says that only jews do illegal things. what i see is that there is no question about reporting a goy, so lets deal with the problem at hand.

59

 Nov 09, 2008 at 03:50 PM ShatzMatz Says:

Reply to #38  
Anonymous Says:

Why was there garbage in a shared driveway in the first place? Did you consider getting a permit for the construction? The cat doesn't have to be put back in the bag if he wasn't there in the first place.

Your post borders between humorous and pathetic. Your complaint is that you illegally left garbage in a shared driveway, and when the authorities were called, they found other illegal activity on the premises, but it's somehow your neighbors fault.

I agree that the garbage in the driveway was annoying. It would bother me too. But before dailing 311 over what is a trivial matter they could just of asked someone at the shul to clean it up. Or even better, they could have sent one of their housekeepers to clean it up themselves. After all, helping out a neighboring shul is not the worst thing you can do. It was silly to call 311 over such a trivial matter. The damage it has caused is incalculable, and grossly disproportionate to the terrible sin of leaving some trash in the driveway. I wouldn't want to carry such a burden on my concience, of unjustly causing tremendous damage to the shul. The neighbors now regret that their actions have gone out of control, but there is nothing they could do. the cat is out of the bag.

60

 Nov 09, 2008 at 04:05 PM Anonymous Says:

I wish I could post here transcripts of a Grand Jury proceeding where a few so called heimishe jews testified, it consists a total of approx 200 pages and I promise you won't sleep at night to see what this world has come to! unbelievable! what a Shame!

61

 Nov 09, 2008 at 04:28 PM WolfishMusings Says:

Overly dramatic, don't you think?

"Is it ever permitted to dial the three digits? Yes, but being that the repercussions are so fraught with danger, it is better not to make that judgment call oneself and only do so after consulting heavily with a qualified Posaik. So when is it permitted? "

Gee, I dial 3-1-1 all the time without calling a rav first. I use it to find out if there is going to be garbage pickup on certain holidays. I also called them to find out if the city transit system was going to be running on a weekday or weekend schedule on Veteran's Day. Oh yes, I also called them to find out how to dispose of a dead squirrel on my corner. Somehow, I doubt that in any of those cases, I should have been so "fraught with danger" and unable to decide whether or not to call without calling a Posek. Heck, had I called a Posek and asked "should I call 311 to check the transit status next Tuesday," I probably would have been laughed at.

This isn't to minimize the need to ask before calling the authorities on someone. But the headline and article makes it sound like I should be trembling in my boots before calling to find out about alternate side of the street parking.

IOW, how about changing the topic from "dialing 311" to "informing on a fellow Jew?"

The Wolf

62

 Nov 09, 2008 at 05:18 PM Anonymous Says:

As a simple yid and a regular reader of VIN, I must ask myself: What did a lowly , simple person like me do to deserve reading the opinions of so many poskim red-hot off the presses?

63

 Nov 09, 2008 at 05:17 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #25  
I Don't Think So Says:

This article is a perfect example of "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing."

In this Medinah shel Chessed, one has to consider the Halacha of Dina d'Malchusa Dina when examining the laws of Mesirah. Also, not massering could put an individual in danger of being arrested and convicted as an accessory after the fact.

Study the halacha with a qualified posek, and don't rely on this "psak".

Stop making up new Toros. There is no such category as "medinah shel chesed", whose dinim are different. "Dina demalchusa" applies every bit as much to Hitler's Germany as it does to the USA, and no more to the USA than to Hitler's Germany. A government doesn't get "chesed points" in halacha, which give it a different status. We're very grateful to the USA for being such a wonderful country, but that doesn't obligate us to obey those of its laws with which we disagree.

64

 Nov 09, 2008 at 05:11 PM Use Your Head Says:

Reply to #36  
Anonymous Says:

Yes, being a mussar is the horriblest thing you can be. PERIOD.
NO, one may not be tattle on ANYONE.
Certainly, if a Jew were about to assassinate the president elect, and it would bring racial riots onto Jews nationwide, it would mean we MAY wish to go ask a shaila. But we could still not undertake this action alone, without rabbinical help.
He may point out that the very fact that the world will come to know that a Jew was plotting to kill Obama would accomplish the same things, while if he did do it, there was a chance he would not get caught. Sure, we can all debate this, but it is not so poshut.

Similarly with other revolting, disgusting, and horrific crimes. Our gut feelings, our emotions cause us to find all kinds of heterim, even telling us it is a mitzvah to be a mussar. I have seen people use the "rodaif" excuse/heter a few times. But you really need to speak to a QUALIFIED rov. Not, not necessarily the rov you ask about kashrus. You need to speak to a Dayan.

Your local Orthodox rov got his smicha based upon Issur V'Heter, meaning on Melicha, Basav B'Chalav, and Taaruvos. Not issues to prepare him to answer these questions. Unfortunately, too many local rabbonim with only Yoreh Yoreh have butted into these areas where they have little or no qualifications.

This is a real biggie.

Yes it just may be correct to allow the rabbonim handle some of the very situations where we all have been so sure needs us to call the authorities.

The mesira thing is so strong, such a major issur, that the rabbonim who ACTUALLY WORKING VERY HARD on these issues need to do it with tact and NO Publicity. They need to solve the problem without YOUR knowledge. Because is YOU know that they punished, or did something to stop a pervert's actions, the police may come to know about it, and all would be for naught.

They ARE working hard on all these issues.

Call them, not the police.

What? I take it you have never heard of the MUSSAR movement???

65

 Nov 09, 2008 at 05:23 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #25  
I Don't Think So Says:

This article is a perfect example of "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing."

In this Medinah shel Chessed, one has to consider the Halacha of Dina d'Malchusa Dina when examining the laws of Mesirah. Also, not massering could put an individual in danger of being arrested and convicted as an accessory after the fact.

Study the halacha with a qualified posek, and don't rely on this "psak".

You forgot one major exception to this law: the victim of a physical assault is allowed to masser on his assailant. That is explicit in the Ramo.

Also, if a crime is happening right now, and you need to stop it, you can call the police to stop it, because you have no choice. If a yid is robbing your store, or vandalising your house, who can stop him except the police? If you can call Shomrim you should, but if it's too much for them to handle you can call the police, and once they've arrested him it's out of your hands. But if the crime is over, and now it's just a question of getting him in trouble, then you are not allowed to masser.

66

 Nov 09, 2008 at 05:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #37  
oy vei!! Says:

I hate to tell u this but YES!!! U will burn & bad for what u did!

#1) nekama
#2) mesira
#3) ka'as
#4) lack of v'ohavta l'raiacha .....

Ask a Rov but u must go & ask the guy mechila & pay him for his loss.

I'm not saying that he was right! He too has much teshuva to do.

Make up your mind. Does he need to ask a rov or does he need to pay the guy and ask mechila?

67

 Nov 09, 2008 at 05:26 PM Anonymous Says:

Get with the times. These laws were written in a time when there was a very obvious perperual conflict between the Jews and their surrounding neighbours. Most governments were hostile to their Jewish communities and there was a need to create an insulated self governing community. Guess what, this is not the case anymore. Embrace the new world and stop acting like the persucuted communities of the middle ages. Thank G-d we have gotten to this point.

68

 Nov 09, 2008 at 06:54 PM Anonymous Says:

#67, I have news for you, you don't know what you're talking about! if by acting like a Chuchem here makes you feel better then be my guest, but we have a Torah that is binding us forever. my torah didn't change a bit, so I really don't care to hear what's on your silly mind..

69

 Nov 09, 2008 at 06:53 PM chaim Says:

If Rav Pam could call the police for just minor vandalism to a yeshivah candy machine where some boys may have gotten some money stuck and were frustrated in getting it out we can rest assured that he knew the applicable halachos better than all the people posting herre.Nevertheless the important lesson to learn out from this is that the requirement of the times we live in requires extraordinary measures above and beyond the regular cases described in the Choshen Mishpot. Furthermore when a perpetrator who is frum abuses the halacha of mesira in his acts knowing that the victims will invariably hesitate to inform on him or her it means that halachically he surrenders the protection that the din of mesira gave him. Frum people that victimize others whether it is through monetary theft, credit card fraud or any other finacial hurt to his fellow Yidden surrendered the right to stand under the umbrela of Mesira.
There was an incident where a "frum" guy took health insurance premiums from families who thought they had protection, meanwhile he kept all the premiums and never gave them over top the insurance company causing his victims to have no insurance. The Rabonnon among he victims disregarded your posts and promptly notified the authorities with the result that the perpetrator got to join the Otisville Daf Hayomi with a large captive audience of similar " frum" people who did not care about halacha when outiside of Otisville. Hameivin Yuven

70

 Nov 09, 2008 at 06:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #67  
Anonymous Says:

Get with the times. These laws were written in a time when there was a very obvious perperual conflict between the Jews and their surrounding neighbours. Most governments were hostile to their Jewish communities and there was a need to create an insulated self governing community. Guess what, this is not the case anymore. Embrace the new world and stop acting like the persucuted communities of the middle ages. Thank G-d we have gotten to this point.

Are you a posek?? obviously not! it does not matter whatever government you're dealing with, the halacha remains the same, mesira is still mesirah!.

BTW, did you get a taste of the "malchus shel chesed" prison system???

71

 Nov 09, 2008 at 07:01 PM Anonymous Says:

I guess according to anon67 a whole chapter in Choshen Mishpat should be ignored completely... do I have to ask him if he knows at all where hilchot mesira is discussed? what a Tipesh!

72

 Nov 09, 2008 at 07:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #67  
Anonymous Says:

Get with the times. These laws were written in a time when there was a very obvious perperual conflict between the Jews and their surrounding neighbours. Most governments were hostile to their Jewish communities and there was a need to create an insulated self governing community. Guess what, this is not the case anymore. Embrace the new world and stop acting like the persucuted communities of the middle ages. Thank G-d we have gotten to this point.

Bottom line, before ever ever dialing 311 or any agency to report something on another yid, you MUST consult a rav. period.

73

 Nov 09, 2008 at 07:05 PM WHAT WOULD YOU DO Says:

we had a very sad story occur this year
our neighbor moved out and a new young couple brought the house
he made and illegal extention which took away
our entire backyard! and drivewau we didn't even have place for our succah
bec he built in the place that we have been making it for the past 25 years
he also put all the dirt from this illegal project on our back lawn and completely ruined
it and not to mention the amount of rustly nails he left
that we had to go pick up because we didnt want our kids to get hurt
when we welcomed him onto the block we gently asked him what he was
doing and if he had insurance because our garage was getting all knocked up
this little yungerman said
its none of your * business and dont even think of telling the authorities
bec its mesirah !!!
now we dont have a place to relax bec his kids are in our yard
we barly have room to even get to our yard not to mention he has the driveway that i
is leagally ours
out garage is commplety ruined
and our lawn that we woked hard on ,,, its uprooted and smashed
bec his kids drive bike through it!!!!!!!!!!!
now i ask you do you think it was worth it that i let them go?????????!?!?!!?

74

 Nov 09, 2008 at 07:04 PM Anonymous Says:

if someone is knowingly taking advantage of the fact that you're a yid and will not maser and therefore does things that are against the law and hurt you why should you be forced to swallow it. that is allowing a bully to get away with his bullying tactics. there is way too much mesiro when it comes to the building department but if we would not have people that try to take advantage of others ithere wouldn't be the problem to begin with. people have seriosly lost track of whats important. we should all be forced to do community service with organizations such asChaiLIfeline and maybe we would be able to live with each other better.

75

 Nov 09, 2008 at 07:16 PM pinchas the pauper Says:

Reply to #72  
Anonymous Says:

Bottom line, before ever ever dialing 311 or any agency to report something on another yid, you MUST consult a rav. period.

What if the rav is the one you are calling about? Then he is nogea bedavar and cant poskin.

76

 Nov 09, 2008 at 07:17 PM Anonymous Says:

well, the problem is that these days you can find a rav who has no problem with mesirah, I know of a rav that there were rumors that he gave a green light for someone to Masser on someone re: a divorce etc. and later admitted to another Rav that he was mislead and didn't know most of the facts involved... and guess what the damage was long done.. I therefore was not surprised to hear myself from one of the big Poskim who after mentioning the name of that Rav added Yemach Shmoy! I was shocked to hear it from a Godol that I guess never cursed any yid not to mention a Rav! so I guess you must ask a rav not only a talmid chochom & yerei shumayim but also a rav that is really familiar with Choshen Mishpat and as well with the Court system & legalities. the bottom line is that Mesirah when not authorized is a gevaldige sin! and it is true that some people have no idea what it says in Shulchan Oruch Choshen Mishpat

77

 Nov 09, 2008 at 07:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #67  
Anonymous Says:

Get with the times. These laws were written in a time when there was a very obvious perperual conflict between the Jews and their surrounding neighbours. Most governments were hostile to their Jewish communities and there was a need to create an insulated self governing community. Guess what, this is not the case anymore. Embrace the new world and stop acting like the persucuted communities of the middle ages. Thank G-d we have gotten to this point.

my neighbor got approved to add a floor and an attic ontop of his house, (even though it was approved to build a few hundred feet in excess to his FAR air rights he was in fact approved by the DOB, he applied and got all approvals and permits), I wasn't too excited about the whole construction next to me, but I felt the neighbor will benefit out of it much more than the inconvenience it will cause me, so I didn't tell him a word. I even lended him $5,000 to obtain the permits, and I was eventually even pleased with the idea.

however, some evil neighbor from across the street decided that the additional floor will block his view, so he decided to call 311 to report "illegal work", the inspector came down and issued a stop order despite all the required permits in the owners hands. after a week of stress and hiring expediters he had the stop order lifted and resumed the work. but then came the worst, that "goodhearted" neighbor didn't give up, until the DOB discovered that he's building slightly more than the allowed FAR, now his real headaches started, he had to redo all plans and went through so much aggravation and stress that he decided to halt the construction for another year.

now someone tell me please that he had any heter to cause all this pain and aggravation for another yid (when eventually the floor came up anyway, he just managed to schlep it away another year or so).

78

 Nov 09, 2008 at 07:19 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #73  
WHAT WOULD YOU DO Says:

we had a very sad story occur this year
our neighbor moved out and a new young couple brought the house
he made and illegal extention which took away
our entire backyard! and drivewau we didn't even have place for our succah
bec he built in the place that we have been making it for the past 25 years
he also put all the dirt from this illegal project on our back lawn and completely ruined
it and not to mention the amount of rustly nails he left
that we had to go pick up because we didnt want our kids to get hurt
when we welcomed him onto the block we gently asked him what he was
doing and if he had insurance because our garage was getting all knocked up
this little yungerman said
its none of your * business and dont even think of telling the authorities
bec its mesirah !!!
now we dont have a place to relax bec his kids are in our yard
we barly have room to even get to our yard not to mention he has the driveway that i
is leagally ours
out garage is commplety ruined
and our lawn that we woked hard on ,,, its uprooted and smashed
bec his kids drive bike through it!!!!!!!!!!!
now i ask you do you think it was worth it that i let them go?????????!?!?!!?

Either you call him to din torah, or you consult a rav! you still have no right to masser!

79

 Nov 09, 2008 at 07:48 PM zeek Says:

Unfortunatly in these times you have little choice and must do things you ordinarily
would not resort to.
We sometimes are forced to make the hard choices .

When you are dealing with people who have no respect for the law or their neighbors property, what else should you do to defend yourself?

80

 Nov 09, 2008 at 07:42 PM Pinena the pauper Says:

Reply to #78  
Anonymous Says:

Either you call him to din torah, or you consult a rav! you still have no right to masser!

The problem is that a rav has no power of inforcement. Anyone who will knowingly destroy a neighbors property
will not listen to a rav.
Therefore we are left with no choice but 311 or having our property destroyed.

What would you do?

81

 Nov 09, 2008 at 07:39 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #69  
chaim Says:

If Rav Pam could call the police for just minor vandalism to a yeshivah candy machine where some boys may have gotten some money stuck and were frustrated in getting it out we can rest assured that he knew the applicable halachos better than all the people posting herre.Nevertheless the important lesson to learn out from this is that the requirement of the times we live in requires extraordinary measures above and beyond the regular cases described in the Choshen Mishpot. Furthermore when a perpetrator who is frum abuses the halacha of mesira in his acts knowing that the victims will invariably hesitate to inform on him or her it means that halachically he surrenders the protection that the din of mesira gave him. Frum people that victimize others whether it is through monetary theft, credit card fraud or any other finacial hurt to his fellow Yidden surrendered the right to stand under the umbrela of Mesira.
There was an incident where a "frum" guy took health insurance premiums from families who thought they had protection, meanwhile he kept all the premiums and never gave them over top the insurance company causing his victims to have no insurance. The Rabonnon among he victims disregarded your posts and promptly notified the authorities with the result that the perpetrator got to join the Otisville Daf Hayomi with a large captive audience of similar " frum" people who did not care about halacha when outiside of Otisville. Hameivin Yuven

I ahte to tell this to you but there actually are/were people in Otisville because they were noble enough not to "Masser" on fellow yidden so the governement harrassed them until they found something small to nail them on (which we ALL have). People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones and while I am NOT in any way condoning illegal activity of any kind, don't be such a bigshot, many of you fudge on your taxes and do other "little" things like that which could land you in Otisville if the government woudl just "happen" to look in your books.

82

 Nov 09, 2008 at 07:38 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #60  
Anonymous Says:

I wish I could post here transcripts of a Grand Jury proceeding where a few so called heimishe jews testified, it consists a total of approx 200 pages and I promise you won't sleep at night to see what this world has come to! unbelievable! what a Shame!

So the lucky thing here is that Grand jury notes are confidential! It's nice to have introspection. But sulking, and not drawing any useful conclusions to improve our [individual] behavior is clearly a waste (of time and effort)!!!

83

 Nov 09, 2008 at 07:25 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #69  
chaim Says:

If Rav Pam could call the police for just minor vandalism to a yeshivah candy machine where some boys may have gotten some money stuck and were frustrated in getting it out we can rest assured that he knew the applicable halachos better than all the people posting herre.Nevertheless the important lesson to learn out from this is that the requirement of the times we live in requires extraordinary measures above and beyond the regular cases described in the Choshen Mishpot. Furthermore when a perpetrator who is frum abuses the halacha of mesira in his acts knowing that the victims will invariably hesitate to inform on him or her it means that halachically he surrenders the protection that the din of mesira gave him. Frum people that victimize others whether it is through monetary theft, credit card fraud or any other finacial hurt to his fellow Yidden surrendered the right to stand under the umbrela of Mesira.
There was an incident where a "frum" guy took health insurance premiums from families who thought they had protection, meanwhile he kept all the premiums and never gave them over top the insurance company causing his victims to have no insurance. The Rabonnon among he victims disregarded your posts and promptly notified the authorities with the result that the perpetrator got to join the Otisville Daf Hayomi with a large captive audience of similar " frum" people who did not care about halacha when outiside of Otisville. Hameivin Yuven

I was involved with a case involving mesira and ran to Rav Pam ztl who prohibited going to the police. It was not a yeshiva candy machine but unfortunately was for over several hundred thousand dollars and organized crime. Don't bring proof from the RY ztl without telling some more details!

84

 Nov 09, 2008 at 07:24 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #77  
Anonymous Says:

my neighbor got approved to add a floor and an attic ontop of his house, (even though it was approved to build a few hundred feet in excess to his FAR air rights he was in fact approved by the DOB, he applied and got all approvals and permits), I wasn't too excited about the whole construction next to me, but I felt the neighbor will benefit out of it much more than the inconvenience it will cause me, so I didn't tell him a word. I even lended him $5,000 to obtain the permits, and I was eventually even pleased with the idea.

however, some evil neighbor from across the street decided that the additional floor will block his view, so he decided to call 311 to report "illegal work", the inspector came down and issued a stop order despite all the required permits in the owners hands. after a week of stress and hiring expediters he had the stop order lifted and resumed the work. but then came the worst, that "goodhearted" neighbor didn't give up, until the DOB discovered that he's building slightly more than the allowed FAR, now his real headaches started, he had to redo all plans and went through so much aggravation and stress that he decided to halt the construction for another year.

now someone tell me please that he had any heter to cause all this pain and aggravation for another yid (when eventually the floor came up anyway, he just managed to schlep it away another year or so).

Sounds familiar - unfortunately. there is a special gehenom for those mosrim, and I don't think the gehenom provides a 311 or even a 911 system to complain about their conditions while rotting and burning in hell.

85

 Nov 09, 2008 at 08:07 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #61  
WolfishMusings Says:

Overly dramatic, don't you think?

"Is it ever permitted to dial the three digits? Yes, but being that the repercussions are so fraught with danger, it is better not to make that judgment call oneself and only do so after consulting heavily with a qualified Posaik. So when is it permitted? "

Gee, I dial 3-1-1 all the time without calling a rav first. I use it to find out if there is going to be garbage pickup on certain holidays. I also called them to find out if the city transit system was going to be running on a weekday or weekend schedule on Veteran's Day. Oh yes, I also called them to find out how to dispose of a dead squirrel on my corner. Somehow, I doubt that in any of those cases, I should have been so "fraught with danger" and unable to decide whether or not to call without calling a Posek. Heck, had I called a Posek and asked "should I call 311 to check the transit status next Tuesday," I probably would have been laughed at.

This isn't to minimize the need to ask before calling the authorities on someone. But the headline and article makes it sound like I should be trembling in my boots before calling to find out about alternate side of the street parking.

IOW, how about changing the topic from "dialing 311" to "informing on a fellow Jew?"

The Wolf

What's your problem? If your not allowed to call 311 then you cant call it. it doesnt matter if your doing it to report someone or find out about the subways or whatever. rabbi hoffman made hte case very clearly that if you dial 311 you can go to gehonim. i hope your info about the garbage pickup is worth the stay in gehonim for you.

86

 Nov 09, 2008 at 08:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #68  
Anonymous Says:

#67, I have news for you, you don't know what you're talking about! if by acting like a Chuchem here makes you feel better then be my guest, but we have a Torah that is binding us forever. my torah didn't change a bit, so I really don't care to hear what's on your silly mind..

it changes every week, what are you talking about. No one probably heard of half the chumrahs followed today, which have been now accepted as law in this generation. no one has the guts to actually come out and interpret the law for the times. you don't think thats what was done hundreds of years ago? there is a dangerous view which is pervassive in orthodxy that you can never be smarter than the previous generation. apply this to medicine or any other discipline and we would be in the dark ages still which is where you are.

87

 Nov 09, 2008 at 08:52 PM Anonymous Says:

I think we should reframe here. Firstly, let's try to keep our posts intelligent and bekavodik. Secondly, let's not be so quick to pasul people, the author, fellow readers, etc. Thirdly, let's try to raise the bar here and have some intelligent discourse.

89

 Nov 09, 2008 at 10:01 PM spineless Says:

If hearing, reading and seeing all the Mesira thats going on doesn’t send a chill up your spine, you don’t have a spine.

90

 Nov 09, 2008 at 09:54 PM john doe Says:

“when a Jew picks up the phone to masser another Jew his hand shakes and his mind does not let him form the words of messira, who are all these so called “Jews” who’s hands do not shake and minds do not falter that can masser and eat breakfast at the same time, are they Jewish?”

91

 Nov 09, 2008 at 09:52 PM Eli Says:

Reply to #68  
Anonymous Says:

#67, I have news for you, you don't know what you're talking about! if by acting like a Chuchem here makes you feel better then be my guest, but we have a Torah that is binding us forever. my torah didn't change a bit, so I really don't care to hear what's on your silly mind..

I Have news for you, while the Torah never changes, the Gedolims interpretation of it certainly has evolved depending upon the times. As an example, the Gemmorah discusses how it is forbidden to engage in businness with a non-Jew including to give him animals etc.. However, in the 13th Century or so, the M'erie wrote a teshuva in which he stated that Jews could infact engage in commerce with todays non-Jews because most are not like the idol worshippers of the gemorrah's time. Thus, it is not true that the torahs laws are never interpreted in light of the realities of the current times.

92

 Nov 09, 2008 at 09:47 PM Anonymous Says:

yes you can under these circumstances because this is a public tzaar- the article answers this

93

 Nov 09, 2008 at 10:36 PM RobRoy560 Says:

Reply to #78  
Anonymous Says:

Either you call him to din torah, or you consult a rav! you still have no right to masser!

I disagree. This story, if true, shows the lack of respect for your neighbor and the law. As much as I hate being a rat, I would have dialed 311 early on. If that didn't work, I would keep writing letter to every city agency.

This person stole the tranquility of another.

94

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:12 PM matzahlocal101 Says:

Reply to #25  
I Don't Think So Says:

This article is a perfect example of "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing."

In this Medinah shel Chessed, one has to consider the Halacha of Dina d'Malchusa Dina when examining the laws of Mesirah. Also, not massering could put an individual in danger of being arrested and convicted as an accessory after the fact.

Study the halacha with a qualified posek, and don't rely on this "psak".

There are plenty of people sitting because they refused moiser. On average they sit for two years because of contempt in refusing to answer questions that they likely know the answers to. Ashrei chelkum and that olam haba that the moiser loses is no doubt theirs. All the amaratz gedolei hataorah that post about dina dimalchusa are oblivious to the fact that it only applies to dinay mumonos. A marriage in a civil court is not a halachic marriage, a divorce in a civil court is not a halachic divorce. The reform in America 90 years ago argued that dina dimalchusa should apply to marriages and divorces. It seems they have been superceded by the modern orthodox posting here.

95

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:02 PM matzahlocal101 Says:

Reply to #46  
Anonymous Says:

you are allowed to maser on a moser..

Shulchan oruch is very specific and states that you cannot masser a moiser who already massered. If it is likely the moiser will masser again, than you can masser the moiser. (say that ten times fast)

96

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:18 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #73  
WHAT WOULD YOU DO Says:

we had a very sad story occur this year
our neighbor moved out and a new young couple brought the house
he made and illegal extention which took away
our entire backyard! and drivewau we didn't even have place for our succah
bec he built in the place that we have been making it for the past 25 years
he also put all the dirt from this illegal project on our back lawn and completely ruined
it and not to mention the amount of rustly nails he left
that we had to go pick up because we didnt want our kids to get hurt
when we welcomed him onto the block we gently asked him what he was
doing and if he had insurance because our garage was getting all knocked up
this little yungerman said
its none of your * business and dont even think of telling the authorities
bec its mesirah !!!
now we dont have a place to relax bec his kids are in our yard
we barly have room to even get to our yard not to mention he has the driveway that i
is leagally ours
out garage is commplety ruined
and our lawn that we woked hard on ,,, its uprooted and smashed
bec his kids drive bike through it!!!!!!!!!!!
now i ask you do you think it was worth it that i let them go?????????!?!?!!?

Take him to bais din. He sounds like the kind of guy who won't show up anyway. Get a heter arkaos, and sue his #$%%^ in civil court.

97

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:16 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #93  
RobRoy560 Says:

I disagree. This story, if true, shows the lack of respect for your neighbor and the law. As much as I hate being a rat, I would have dialed 311 early on. If that didn't work, I would keep writing letter to every city agency.

This person stole the tranquility of another.

I agree. With certain people you have only one way in which to deal. You cannot allow yourself to be trampled.

98

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #91  
Eli Says:

I Have news for you, while the Torah never changes, the Gedolims interpretation of it certainly has evolved depending upon the times. As an example, the Gemmorah discusses how it is forbidden to engage in businness with a non-Jew including to give him animals etc.. However, in the 13th Century or so, the M'erie wrote a teshuva in which he stated that Jews could infact engage in commerce with todays non-Jews because most are not like the idol worshippers of the gemorrah's time. Thus, it is not true that the torahs laws are never interpreted in light of the realities of the current times.

You just proved your opponent right. The Torah didn't change. You are not permitted to business with an oivad ovdah zarah. But because they are no oivad avoidah zara one may. There is no change here.

99

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:45 PM Anonymous Says:

It wasnt a day care center it was a day camp and it happened this past summer

100

 Nov 09, 2008 at 11:47 PM Eli Says:

Reply to #98  
Anonymous Says:

You just proved your opponent right. The Torah didn't change. You are not permitted to business with an oivad ovdah zarah. But because they are no oivad avoidah zara one may. There is no change here.

The point is that, contrary to what some here contend, the gedolim can take the current times into account when considering halacha. As such, since Jews will not be tortured with out trial, and in fact are treated RELATIVELY well in jail (e.g., minyanim, shiurim, and visits from Rabbis and Family) I would think that the laws of Mesiera should no longer apply,. They simply give some frum people an excuse to break laws and victimize fellow jews without fear of punishment since beis din can not impose real punishments today. Certainly, in cases where reporting a person (e.g., illegal basements..) result in a fine and not even jail, i do not see why it would be a problem. This is not to say that we should all become rats. But when an individual is breaking the law, or violating the rights of others, I say ask the most meikal Rabbi and file a report.

101

 Nov 10, 2008 at 12:03 AM Dave Says:

Reply to #98  
Anonymous Says:

You just proved your opponent right. The Torah didn't change. You are not permitted to business with an oivad ovdah zarah. But because they are no oivad avoidah zara one may. There is no change here.

There are far more idolators in the United States than there are frum Jews.

Both are still a tiny minority of the population, but there are still on the close order of three times more idolators than frum yidden.

102

 Nov 10, 2008 at 12:53 AM Think, ask, & dial Says:

If you see a potential dangerous situation, and you can't resolve it with the parties involved, by all means call 311, however, when in doubt, ask first & then call. because once you call & find out you were wrong, you can't pull it back anymore, the damage has been done, unfortunately, people use this as a tool to get even with one another to vent their anger, in completely unrelated issues with an "I'll show him attitude" that is not only definite mesireh but nekama as well... and I pity him when Hashem takes the same attitude (midah keneged midah) of "I'll Show him" to punish this nokem umoser.

103

 Nov 10, 2008 at 01:33 AM chaim Says:




I have a few questions for the public: 1. What should one do when a yeshiva comes to community board to get a variance and promises to the board and the affected neighbors that no catering hall will be built. They then receive the conditional approval and build the catering hall illegaly to the chagrin and dismay of the impacted neigboors. Should the institution be allowed to get away with the lie they pulled over the community.
2.A tenant does not pay rent. Should the landlord take him to a din torah? All the frum landlords take all their frum tenants to secular courts. 3.If a frum tenant does not get the required heat or services he is entitled under the lease's habitabilty clause should he take the lanlord to bais din? In reality all frum tenants call HPD and complain about the lack of service.
Now if the frum tzibur would be assured that bais din would adjudicate their grievance in a fair and expeditious manner and be willing to issue a Siruv against the recalcitrant party and the tzibur would enforce it then and only then will people turn to bais din. Until that happens the vast majority of tenants and lanlords will continue to fully maser on each other. No Posek has ever given an edict that landlords and tenants have to take their grievances to bais din as no one would listen because of the above stated reasons.

104

 Nov 10, 2008 at 01:08 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #61  
WolfishMusings Says:

Overly dramatic, don't you think?

"Is it ever permitted to dial the three digits? Yes, but being that the repercussions are so fraught with danger, it is better not to make that judgment call oneself and only do so after consulting heavily with a qualified Posaik. So when is it permitted? "

Gee, I dial 3-1-1 all the time without calling a rav first. I use it to find out if there is going to be garbage pickup on certain holidays. I also called them to find out if the city transit system was going to be running on a weekday or weekend schedule on Veteran's Day. Oh yes, I also called them to find out how to dispose of a dead squirrel on my corner. Somehow, I doubt that in any of those cases, I should have been so "fraught with danger" and unable to decide whether or not to call without calling a Posek. Heck, had I called a Posek and asked "should I call 311 to check the transit status next Tuesday," I probably would have been laughed at.

This isn't to minimize the need to ask before calling the authorities on someone. But the headline and article makes it sound like I should be trembling in my boots before calling to find out about alternate side of the street parking.

IOW, how about changing the topic from "dialing 311" to "informing on a fellow Jew?"

The Wolf

No, its not "overly dramatic." It's actually quite simple -- always ask a rov before calling 311. It doesn't make a difference what it's for. Failure to do so will result in the loss of your olam haboah. Just because you lost yours for calling doesn't mean you should encourage others to do the same.

105

 Nov 10, 2008 at 06:21 AM Anonymous Says:

I have a few questions for the public: 1. What should one do when a yeshiva comes to community board to get a variance and promises to the board and the affected neighbors that no catering hall will be built. They then receive the conditional approval and build the catering hall illegaly to the chagrin and dismay of the impacted neigboors. Should the institution be allowed to get away with the lie they pulled over the community? TAKE TO A BAIS DIN
2.A tenant does not pay rent. Should the landlord take him to a din torah? All the frum landlords take all their frum tenants to secular courts. FIRST TAKE TO A BD [ THEY WILL ALLOW A SEC COURT LATER3.If a frum tenant does not get the required heat or services he is entitled under the lease's habitabilty clause should he take the lanlord to bais din? In reality all frum tenants call HPD and complain about the lack of service. ASK A SHAILAH MOST POSKIM WILL MATIR PROBAB;Y
Now if the frum tzibur would be assured that bais din would adjudicate their grievance in a fair and expeditious manner and be willing to issue a Siruv against the recalcitrant party and the tzibur would enforce it then and only then will people turn to bais din. IT HAPPEBS ALREADYUntil that happens the vast majority of tenants and lanlords will continue to fully maser on each other. No Posek has ever given an edict that landlords and tenants have to take their grievances to bais din as no one would listen because of the above stated reasons. NOT TRUE THEY DO SAY GO TO BD

106

 Nov 10, 2008 at 09:14 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #100  
Eli Says:

The point is that, contrary to what some here contend, the gedolim can take the current times into account when considering halacha. As such, since Jews will not be tortured with out trial, and in fact are treated RELATIVELY well in jail (e.g., minyanim, shiurim, and visits from Rabbis and Family) I would think that the laws of Mesiera should no longer apply,. They simply give some frum people an excuse to break laws and victimize fellow jews without fear of punishment since beis din can not impose real punishments today. Certainly, in cases where reporting a person (e.g., illegal basements..) result in a fine and not even jail, i do not see why it would be a problem. This is not to say that we should all become rats. But when an individual is breaking the law, or violating the rights of others, I say ask the most meikal Rabbi and file a report.

My point was not that they can't, but that they generally don't. That is the problem. It seems like we both agree that they should (at least in this case) but your opinion is in the small minority here which is unfortunate.

107

 Nov 10, 2008 at 10:24 AM rav pam was a moser (c"vs) i guess Says:

the story goes that in 1995-6 school year 2 kids from the eighth grade broke into candy machines, and rav pam himself called the police to show there is no issue of mesirah!

108

 Nov 10, 2008 at 11:31 AM Wolfish Musings Says:

Reply to #104  
Anonymous Says:

No, its not "overly dramatic." It's actually quite simple -- always ask a rov before calling 311. It doesn't make a difference what it's for. Failure to do so will result in the loss of your olam haboah. Just because you lost yours for calling doesn't mean you should encourage others to do the same.

You think I lost my olam habah because I called 311 to find out about garbage pickup??!!

The Wolf

109

 Nov 10, 2008 at 12:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #107  
rav pam was a moser (c"vs) i guess Says:

the story goes that in 1995-6 school year 2 kids from the eighth grade broke into candy machines, and rav pam himself called the police to show there is no issue of mesirah!

NOT QUITE!!

Perhaps Rav Pam knew that nothing of consequence would occur to eight graders (13/14 year olds) but wanted to convey the seriousnous of the eight graders actions!! Because in my case with the Rosh Yeshiva's advise was NOT TO inform the police since in could have resulted in convictions and arrests and a great chilul hashem.

110

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