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New York - Mesira Analysis By Rabbi Avi Shafran

Published on: September 19, 2011 09:50 AM
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New York - Last Wednesday a small group of Jews was present in a Los Angeles courtroom as U.S. District Judge Margaret Morrow heard arguments on whether a 64-year-old frum Jew should be found in contempt of court for his refusal to testify against other Jews before a federal grand jury.

After completing a two-year sentence in regard to a tax evasion case on behalf of a group of religious institutions, the man was served with a subpoena to testify before a grand jury in the government’s continuing investigation of the case, and now finds himself facing the possibility that the judge will rule him in contempt, a decision that could result in additional incarceration. The case at issue concerns the group’s network of institutions, which apparently accepted donations from wealthy contributors but issued receipts in excess of what was actually received, allowing for donors’ tax breaks on the larger amounts.

At the heart of the man’s current situation is the Jewish prohibition of mesira, literally, “handing over”—the forbiddance, codified in Jewish religious law, of informing on a fellow Jew to secular authorities.

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“Because the transgression of mesira is so dire,” the man asserted to the Los Angeles Times through a Yiddish interpreter, “my mind won’t change until I die.”
His attorney, Michael Proctor, said the man had obtained Jewish legal decisions that the serious prohibition of mesira applies in his case and that, as a result, he should not testify.
“It’s not conceivable,” Mr. Proctor told the judge, “that he is going to, quote, ‘break’.”

On the other side of the issue stands Assistant U.S. Atty. Daniel O’Brien, who argued that such a religious stance, if not punished, could serve as a “convenient tool” for law- breakers to hide behind. Because there are other Jews, Mr. O’Brian contended, whose testimony will be vital to the case, permitting the Jewish man to avoid testifying could “stifle” the investigation.

Prosecutors have also reportedly contended that the man’s position is unsupported by Talmudic law.

The Los Angeles Times quoted Rabbi Michael Broyde, an Emory University law professor and a member of the Beth Din of America, as contending that, in the paper’s paraphrase, “a commonly held view is that the principle doesn’t apply in a just, democratic state.” There are, how- ever, other views among respected decisors of Jewish law.

In any event, the Jewish man’s attorneys assert, what matters is not whether the rabbi is correct in his interpretation of Jewish law, but the fact that his belief is sincere and that he is committed to it. Finding him in contempt and sending him to jail, they say, will be “vindictive rather than coercive.”

The judge has postponed her decision for now.

ANALYSIS
Reaction has been varied to a frum Jew’s continued refusal to share information about fellow Jews with government authorities because of his belief that to do so would violate the prohibition of mesira. The mainstream media have largely reported the case straightforwardly (although a reporter for a major Jewish news service asked this writer if the “tactic” employed by this man is a common one; the response he received was that a religious conviction is not a tactic).

On the street, and in the even grimier blogosphere, however, a broad range of perspectives has been aired, many of them deeply critical of the Jewish man’s stance. Among common reactions have been assertions that the man is endangering Jews by his stubbornness, and that he has created a chillul Hashem (desecration of G-d’s Name) by his refusal to name names.

It is important to separate the issue of mesira from a crime that is committed. Dealing dishonestly, whether with Jews, non-Jews or governments like ours, is forbidden by halacha. The sources are clear about the requirement incumbent on a Jew to heed the law of the land—dina di’malchusa—with regard to monetary and other civil matters.

Also worth recognizing is that the prohibition of mesira does not always apply, particularly in a society with a justice system like that of the United States, which does not systematically treat Jews badly and whose laws are generally fair and just. In cases, for example, where a Jew poses a threat to others—such as a violent criminal or child abuser—and cannot be controlled by communal efforts, decisors are in agreement that the prohibition of mesira is trumped by concerns about the potential harm the wrongdoer poses to the public.

Cases like this man’s, however, are not in that category. His implication of other Jews in the crime for which he has paid his debt to society will not remove any threat to society; it will only create the likelihood that other Jews may come to harm. Although there are halachic decisors who might not consider mesira as applying at all in a country like the United States, there are certainly many—including Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l—who have stated clearly otherwise. The rabbi has consulted with his personal rabbinic guides and received a similar determination.

A common misconception about chillul Hashem is that it includes anything that is looked down upon by people. But for something to qualify as chillul Hashem it must first be a sin; and the fulfillment of an obligation cannot, by definition, be a chillul Hashem. Were society to suddenly see circumcision as a barbaric and terrible rite, practicing bris mila despite the societal disapproval would constitute a kiddush Hashem, a sanctification of G-d’s Name, not its opposite. The man’s refusal to inform on others, rooted as it is in halacha, is laudable.
American history includes a long and illustrious history of citizens putting personal conscience before the law of the land. The civil disobedience of the 1950s and 1960s in the face of racial discrimination is rightly celebrated today. Dedication to a religious ideal deserves no less respect than dedication to a secular one. If a person is willing to give up his freedom in the service of a higher ideal, he should be respected for his selfless and principled choice.

The prohibition of mesira might strike some, even some otherwise halacha-respecting Jews, as discomfiting. The idea of a requirement that a Jew seek to protect the well-being of other Jews, especially when they may have committed crimes, may stick in some contemporary craws. But even leaving aside the fact that many religious and ethnic groups display special concern for “their own” (just as families are more protective of family members than strangers—a fitting comparison here), committed Jews need make no apologies for what the Torah teaches.

Whatever the judge decides, one thing is clear: the man ready to be jailed for his principles intends no contempt of any earthly court, only to honor the Heavenly one.

[Rabbi Shafran is an editor at large and columnist for Ami Magazine]



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1

 Sep 19, 2011 at 10:08 AM HolyMoe Says:

If a son refuses to testify to covict his father is that contempt of court?
What about a brother?
hat about a cousin?
What about a second cousin?

Where does the US justice system draw the line?

2

 Sep 19, 2011 at 10:10 AM Yaakov Says:

If testifying against someone, is un-ethical and careless, then we should never testify against anyone, Jew or Non-Jew.
If it is ethical and humane, then we should testify against a Yid as well.

We just can't live amongst our neighbors and treat people differently based on what kind of mother they were born to. It lacks in the Middas Tzedek V'yoisher.

4

 Sep 19, 2011 at 10:17 AM Anonymous Says:

Uh oh. Here come the child advocates (the fanatics), who insist that anything they want supersedes the halachos of mesira. I, too, have issues with some of the current proclamations and the ways in which rabbonim and others seek to implement them. However, as the author here states clearly, certain views may be unpopular, but are based on the mission of adhering to Torah in all our actions, not what our logic wishes. I, too, believe that the secular justice system is the only effective one in dealing with abuse. But I will disagree with respect, and seek to have that position understood by the frum leadership. The pattern of heaping bizyonos must be rejected by every Yid that has a conscience about following Torah and the mitzvos. Our poskim are seeking to follow Torah Law rigidly, and that is good. If the truth differs from their conclusions, they will listen and change their stance. After all, they are the lomdei Torah whose light illuminates our generation. The current stance of disagreeing with disgrace is to be shunned by all.

5

 Sep 19, 2011 at 10:18 AM Jothar Says:

The relevant shulchan aruch is choshen mishpat, siman 388.

6

 Sep 19, 2011 at 10:20 AM Mike Says:

I agree with the author.

7

 Sep 19, 2011 at 10:21 AM Benny Says:

To # 2
Yakov, you better go back to cheder and learn chumash with Rashi again

8

 Sep 19, 2011 at 10:23 AM michael from midwood Says:

Emes lamitah shell torah,

9

 Sep 19, 2011 at 10:27 AM Ben58 Says:

Is it only mesira if u testify against a "heimishe" or even against a modern orthodox or secular jews. We seem to have this double standard when it comes to lashon hora on "hemish" news sites.

11

 Sep 19, 2011 at 10:38 AM Anonymous Says:

Sorry, but the theme of the article misses the point. What is to prevent ANYONE from invoking a religious objection to testifying in a variey of matters, whether it be a yid invoking "mesirah" or a wicken invoking some comparable principle under their pagan religion. The courts cannot and should not seek to analyze and evaluate the sincerity of one person's religious objections compared to another. Under our legal system, the civil courts ultimately trump religious law although they are required to make a reasonable accomodation. In this case, refusal to testify is a "contempt" of court, whether intended or otherwise and this yid should stay in jail until he provides the testimony demanded by the court's lawful order.

12

 Sep 19, 2011 at 10:41 AM A_Simple_Chussid Says:

Reply to #2  
Yaakov Says:

If testifying against someone, is un-ethical and careless, then we should never testify against anyone, Jew or Non-Jew.
If it is ethical and humane, then we should testify against a Yid as well.

We just can't live amongst our neighbors and treat people differently based on what kind of mother they were born to. It lacks in the Middas Tzedek V'yoisher.

You can't? Well, the Torah says you should.
There are many laws in Choshen Mishpat which distinguish between a Yisroel and a Nochri.

Do you believe that HkB"H is, cha"v, unjust??? Our perceptions of justice are merely that -- perceptions.

13

 Sep 19, 2011 at 10:42 AM 111111 Says:

Even according to those poskim that state "where the law is just to everybody and there is no din of Mesira" I believe when it comes to the jews there still is no equality of the law
Look at Rubashkin
Look at Pollard

14

 Sep 19, 2011 at 10:47 AM Dina_Demalchusa Says:

Rabbi Shafran writes that chilul hashem applie only where the deed in question is a sin. I'm not sure that this is true. Hashovas aveidah to a nochri is ossur, and yet the Gemara and Poskim say that where a chilul Hashum might result, one must be meishiv the aveidah. It is even praiseworthy to be meishiv the aveidah to make a kidush Hashem.

15

 Sep 19, 2011 at 10:58 AM ProudMO Says:

We live in a medinah shel chesed. If someone commits a crime there is no din of Mesirah in testifying against them (many contemporary poskim hold this way). If someone breaks the laws of this country, regradless of their status in the community, they must pay the price for their crime. If you don't like it, either leave the country or perhaps don't break the law.

16

 Sep 19, 2011 at 11:05 AM Chaim Says:

What about dina d'malchusa dina? Wasn't the original act rooted in a sin?

17

 Sep 19, 2011 at 11:07 AM ichmein Says:

"Cases like this man’s, however, are not in that category. His implication of other Jews in the crime for which he has paid his debt to society will not remove any threat to society; it will only create the likelihood that other Jews may come to harm."
Apparently, tax evasion is not considered a threat to society. What about Ponzi schemes, other fradulent schemes? Are any financial crimes considered a threat to society according to Rabbi Shafran?

18

 Sep 19, 2011 at 11:40 AM PMOinFL Says:

Reply to #13  
111111 Says:

Even according to those poskim that state "where the law is just to everybody and there is no din of Mesira" I believe when it comes to the jews there still is no equality of the law
Look at Rubashkin
Look at Pollard

The problem we have today is that, sadly, there seem to be a much more wide-spread criminal element in our community than ever before. I wonder if Reb Moshe Feinstein could have ever imagined the things we have seen in the last decade alone.

Mesira is never to be taken lightly. It is as serious as serious gets, but that doesn't mean "absolute".

A rodef must always be stopped, whether it is a potential murderer, child molester, rapist, etc. But other cases like the one mentioned in this article are not so simple.

The questions that I have had recently, specifically around this case, relate to the people who committed the crime. They are perfectly happy to keep up their lies and watch this poor old man rot in a prison. How can we fulfill our chiyuv to protect HIM? I find a conflict here. How could I possibly allow a yid to go to prison when he is innocent and let the criminal go free? How does the criminal stand by and watch an innocent man go to prison in order to keep himself out? How is it that we are powerless to stop him, and then PROTECT him?

We find painful conflict in many poskim over the issue of mesira. However, nobody deals with the imprisoned innocents.

19

 Sep 19, 2011 at 11:17 AM MosheY Says:

While Rabbi Shafran is correct that a MITZVAH when performed properly cannot be a chilul hashem, he is incorrect, in that a Chilul hashem does NOT have to be a sin. Even a neutral act, such as taking meat from a butcher on credit (gemara at the end of Yoma) can constitute chilul hashem when a reasonable observer can misinterpret that act to denigrate the reputation of the one who commits the act (and, by association, Hashem, RL). Even an indiscretion or an act committed without intent can constitute Chilul hashem, as it says in Mishna avos, Echad shogeg ve-echad mezid, be-chilul hashem.

20

 Sep 19, 2011 at 11:25 AM PMOinFL Says:

Reply to #13  
111111 Says:

Even according to those poskim that state "where the law is just to everybody and there is no din of Mesira" I believe when it comes to the jews there still is no equality of the law
Look at Rubashkin
Look at Pollard

No equality? They both committed crimes. They were both offered various deals along the way to minimize their sentences, and they rejected them all.

Pollard has never, not even once, asked for parole. NOT ONCE, but he has been eligible to request it for several years now.

The laws are just. 2 criminals were punished according to the law. The fact that you disagree with the law is irrelevant.

21

 Sep 19, 2011 at 11:33 AM enlightened-yid Says:

So many of these clever Jews who twist the Torah any way it suits them. Why did this holy Jew and his pals put God aside when they were defrauding the government and raking in cash? Where was their fear of "transgression"? How convenient it is to steal millions of dollars and pray to God while doing it everyday and then all of the sudden once they get caught they conveniently put on their religious hats and start demanding their religious rights. The judge should throw all the books on him. She should tell him next time you want to follow your "Mesira" rule, also follow the rule where God forbids you from stealing.

22

 Sep 19, 2011 at 11:35 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Dina_Demalchusa Says:

Rabbi Shafran writes that chilul hashem applie only where the deed in question is a sin. I'm not sure that this is true. Hashovas aveidah to a nochri is ossur, and yet the Gemara and Poskim say that where a chilul Hashum might result, one must be meishiv the aveidah. It is even praiseworthy to be meishiv the aveidah to make a kidush Hashem.

Is eating dinner a kiddush Hashem? Probably not. But nor is it a chilul Hashem. These tow concepts may be opposites, but there are many situations in which one applies and the other does not.

23

 Sep 19, 2011 at 11:35 AM Anonymous Says:

I believe the good rabbi is incorrect in his statement that the religious felon has paid his debt to society. He agreed as part of his plea bargain to cooperate with authorities than reneged on his word. Groise Tzaddik No Chillul Hashem tjhere

24

 Sep 19, 2011 at 11:40 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Yaakov Says:

If testifying against someone, is un-ethical and careless, then we should never testify against anyone, Jew or Non-Jew.
If it is ethical and humane, then we should testify against a Yid as well.

We just can't live amongst our neighbors and treat people differently based on what kind of mother they were born to. It lacks in the Middas Tzedek V'yoisher.

The Torah does not change because you feel its right. Mesirah in this case is not allowed period.

25

 Sep 19, 2011 at 11:41 AM whererurbrains Says:

Reply to #14  
Dina_Demalchusa Says:

Rabbi Shafran writes that chilul hashem applie only where the deed in question is a sin. I'm not sure that this is true. Hashovas aveidah to a nochri is ossur, and yet the Gemara and Poskim say that where a chilul Hashum might result, one must be meishiv the aveidah. It is even praiseworthy to be meishiv the aveidah to make a kidush Hashem.

Hashuvas aveida is not "assur" y itself . the only isur is of loi sechunem which falls away due to kiddush hashem

26

 Sep 19, 2011 at 11:41 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
Chaim Says:

What about dina d'malchusa dina? Wasn't the original act rooted in a sin?

The "mitzva" of dina d'malchusa, is not the one & only mitzva of the Torah, & is not doicha all other taryag mitzvos..

27

 Sep 19, 2011 at 11:44 AM hajbr Says:

Why wasnt he so worried about Torah when he evaded tax laws?? What>? He got religion in jail???

28

 Sep 19, 2011 at 11:46 AM Jothar Says:

Mesira is a complex halacha. It's like eating on yom kippur- there are cases in which it's muttar, but it's not for every yid to pasken on his own, and the consequences are severe.
The acharonim mention a case where mesira on a yid who committed a crime is muttar. Reb Moshe ZT"L (in a teshuva in volume 8) debates whether this applies to any yid who actually committed a crime or only in a case where it mitigates the impact on other Jews. He is machmir, as is the case where the issur

29

 Sep 19, 2011 at 11:49 AM Asher Lipner, Ph.D. Says:

Reply to #17  
ichmein Says:

"Cases like this man’s, however, are not in that category. His implication of other Jews in the crime for which he has paid his debt to society will not remove any threat to society; it will only create the likelihood that other Jews may come to harm."
Apparently, tax evasion is not considered a threat to society. What about Ponzi schemes, other fradulent schemes? Are any financial crimes considered a threat to society according to Rabbi Shafran?

Rabbi Aron Felder, a talmid of Reb Moshe Feinstien quoted his Rebbe that in a case where a Jew had broken in to another's house to steal there was no issue of Mesira because "a society cannot function like that".

Reb Shmuel Kaminetsky, as reported in VIN told a Jew to report another Jew who was doing a Ponzi scheme that it was a Mitzvah to report him because he was hurting other people.

The real issue here is that many frum Jews including Rabbis believe that ripping off the government is not a real crime and nobody gets hurt. Reb Dovid Cohen has actually paskened halacha l'maaseh that one may lie on his income taxes if he does not get caught.

There seems to be no real attention to A) Dina Dmalchusa Dina, B) Gezel Akum is assur and C) when you steal from the government in America you are stealing from Jews who pay taxes as well.

My "kashya" is why the same Rabbanim like Reb Shmuel, Shlita, who say you can go to the police when you suspect someone is stealing money, say you cannot go to the police if someone is molesting a Jewish child.

30

 Sep 19, 2011 at 11:50 AM sanhedrin Says:

Reply to #14  
Dina_Demalchusa Says:

Rabbi Shafran writes that chilul hashem applie only where the deed in question is a sin. I'm not sure that this is true. Hashovas aveidah to a nochri is ossur, and yet the Gemara and Poskim say that where a chilul Hashum might result, one must be meishiv the aveidah. It is even praiseworthy to be meishiv the aveidah to make a kidush Hashem.

#14 is correct. The Rambam says very clearly in Sefer Hamitzvos (on the issur of Chillul Hashem) that there is an issur of chillul hashem on anything that looks bad in the eyes of people. There is a question if this includes in the eyes of non-Jews, but R' Shlomo Goren proves from the Yerushalmi that it includes non-Jews. However, here where the action preventing chillul hashem is an aveirah, chillul hashem would not be docheh it. But since it is a machlokes haposkim whether there is an issur messirah in America or not, I would think that chillul hashem is certainly a reason to be machriah to testify, especially where the alternative is years in jail (chayecha kodmin).

31

 Sep 19, 2011 at 11:52 AM Bystander Says:

#4 #10 #11 etc.
Don’t understand your problems,
The man is ready and willing to go back to jail, to satisfy his conscience, who are we to say whether it's right or wrong...

Again, being he committed a crime, does this mean he can't turn his life, his mind, his conscience, around? He has to continue doing criminal acts? What's wrong in deciding "let bygones be bygones from now on I'll be good". Sorry to say it seems you don't have a problem with obeying the law or judicial system, you have a problem of despising frum Jews, as much as you try to conceal it, it's just oozing out of you....

Also, don't judge anyone unless you are in his shoes...

32

 Sep 19, 2011 at 11:53 AM A_Simple_Chussid Says:

Reply to #16  
Chaim Says:

What about dina d'malchusa dina? Wasn't the original act rooted in a sin?

The original act was indeed rooted in sin, and, as the author notes, the subject aleady paid his dues to society on that. That shouldn't have any bearing, though, on the issue of mesirah after that. Should one commit a second sin since he already sinned???

33

 Sep 19, 2011 at 12:14 PM c Says:

Why is it that 3 out of 4 people who argue for strict adherence to Mesirah laws are also racists?

34

 Sep 19, 2011 at 12:16 PM Jothar Says:

The main issur of mesirah is only in a case when there is no wrongdoing on the part of the nimsar (CM 388,12) Whether it is muttar or not so bad in other cases where the nimsar is a criminal remains a machlokes poskim. Many poskim do hold that you are not mechuyav to go to jail in a case where the nimsar is a criminal. It's not black-and-white either way. But this is clear- do not decide without asking a competent rov. The halacha is not to be decided by vin news comments.

35

 Sep 19, 2011 at 12:20 PM Yonason_Herschlag Says:

Rav Zalman Nachemia Goldberg clarified in a tschuva that primarily the prohibition of mesira is in making a financial claim against another yid in a non-torah court, whereas reporting a Jewish criminal who causes financial or physical harm such as stealing or brutalizing is ussually permited. It should be clear though, that tax evasion can not be equated with stealing. It can even be argued that avoiding giving Jewish money to the gentile government is praiseworthy. There is a lot of corruption in the way taxes are collected and spent, and every bar sechal (Jewish or not) prefers to hand over as little as possible. So a person guilty of tax-evasion is not a type of criminal whom we are obligated to report on (or permited to report).

36

 Sep 19, 2011 at 12:20 PM Raphael_Kaufman Says:

Did this strike anyone else? "...where a Jew poses a threat to others—such as a violent criminal or child abuser—and cannot be controlled by communal efforts..."

Can the "local community" be depended on to control a violent criminal? Does one have to kler a shaylah before turning in an armed robber or a Murder Inc. hit man?

37

 Sep 19, 2011 at 12:23 PM Anonymous Says:

The sincerety of his beliefs is irrelevant. If its misirah it's one thing. If not, let him sit in jail for his wrongful beliefs. I think Rabbi Shafran owes the community an explanation when he says that we can report those with potentional for violence only if the community cannot control them! Who in the community would make this decision? How can they be controlled? By putting them on secret lists? When it comes to violennce or child abuse, report immediately! The authorities are the only ones qualified to investigate.

38

 Sep 19, 2011 at 12:30 PM shredready Says:

Reply to #26  
Anonymous Says:

The "mitzva" of dina d'malchusa, is not the one & only mitzva of the Torah, & is not doicha all other taryag mitzvos..

you are right

so please explain to me why this fryum yid decided to defraud the government with other frum yiddin and why it was OK

was he frum then?
Where the others?
Did he ask beis din then if he could defraud the goverment?
or, he was not frum and found religion in prison?

why invoke halacha now and not then?


Or maybe he really is just a reform Jew and picks and choses which sins he decides to keep?

explain

39

 Sep 19, 2011 at 12:36 PM Anonymous Says:

"...for something to qualify as chillul Hashem it must first be a sin". WRONG. Buying on credit is not a sin, yet the Gemara (יומא פ"ו) calls it a חלול ה for some. It all depends on the person's spiritual level and how he is viewed by others. The greater the person, the more wary he must be of how his actions may be interpreted (or misinterpreted by others, even if there is no sin involved.

40

 Sep 19, 2011 at 12:25 PM shredready Says:

Reply to #24  
Anonymous Says:

The Torah does not change because you feel its right. Mesirah in this case is not allowed period.

wrong

there are many poskin who say otherwise

just because you agree with the ones who paskin one cannot be a mosur in this case do not does not mean it is absolute

in addition please show me where in the Torah it talks about mesira (not a prisoner of war) and please specify where it says in the Torah it should be used to protect Jewish criminals.

I do not think the poskin of the past could have even imagined such a great deal of criminality amongst the jews and that they would use halacha as an excuse and say it really is not stealing and to use mesira to protect criminals bedfellows .

There is intent of an halacha and it is not to protect criminals

even if one agrees with what he is doing, the courts will say sit for your believes otherwise that will become a convenient excuse for every criminal not to testify

41

 Sep 19, 2011 at 12:27 PM c Says:

Here is my issue, we get more worked up against the masser than against the people who committed the crimes! You don't here anger and indignation against the thieves and fraudsteres, like you hear it against the mosrim. People have no fear of Hashem while stealing but they suddenly have fear of Hashen by mesirah and they r considered tzadikim! I have news for you, they didn't have fear of Hashem then ad they don't have it now. The only thing they have is contempt for non-jews and secular courts, laws and society.

42

 Sep 19, 2011 at 12:27 PM Raphael_Kaufman Says:

If a Jew makes a contract with a Gentile, is the contract valid al pi halacha? If it is, if the Jew in question agreed to cooperate with authorities as part of a plea deal, isn't that a contract? Also, such a contract included the committment to do an aveirah. Does that invalidate the contract? If that is so, then why would anyone object to the State invalidating the plea and sending him back to serve his full sentence?

43

 Sep 19, 2011 at 12:28 PM c Says:

Here is my issue, we get more worked up against the masser than against the people who committed the crimes! You don't here anger and indignation against the thieves and fraudsteres, like you hear it against the mosrim. People have no fear of Hashem while stealing but they suddenly have fear of Hashem by mesirah and they r considered tzadikim! I have news for you, they didn't have fear of Hashem then ad they don't have it now. The only thing they have is contempt for non-jews and secular courts, laws and society.

44

 Sep 19, 2011 at 12:41 PM Anonymous Says:

How does the criminal stand by and watch an innocent man go to prison in order to keep himself out? How is it that we are powerless to stop him, and then PROTECT him?

Why did we not deliver Miller to the Japanese authorities and take those 3 boys home? If he had no problem sending them, he certainly has no problem sleeping at night!
The guilty party's sleep isn't my concern;
this person, that served his sentence, and made restitution IS.

45

 Sep 19, 2011 at 12:43 PM REALIST Says:

Reply to #27  
hajbr Says:

Why wasnt he so worried about Torah when he evaded tax laws?? What>? He got religion in jail???

Your screen name certainly doesn't stand for Help A Jewish BRother!

46

 Sep 19, 2011 at 12:46 PM Gregaaron Says:

Reply to #36  
Raphael_Kaufman Says:

Did this strike anyone else? "...where a Jew poses a threat to others—such as a violent criminal or child abuser—and cannot be controlled by communal efforts..."

Can the "local community" be depended on to control a violent criminal? Does one have to kler a shaylah before turning in an armed robber or a Murder Inc. hit man?

Yes, it struck me too, but in a positive way. My guess is Rabbi Shafran put that in so that the so-called child "advocates" don't use this as a proof that if a kid claims his Rebbi looked at him the wrong way, it's a Mitzvah D'oraiysa to go straight to the cops.

47

 Sep 19, 2011 at 12:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #35  
Yonason_Herschlag Says:

Rav Zalman Nachemia Goldberg clarified in a tschuva that primarily the prohibition of mesira is in making a financial claim against another yid in a non-torah court, whereas reporting a Jewish criminal who causes financial or physical harm such as stealing or brutalizing is ussually permited. It should be clear though, that tax evasion can not be equated with stealing. It can even be argued that avoiding giving Jewish money to the gentile government is praiseworthy. There is a lot of corruption in the way taxes are collected and spent, and every bar sechal (Jewish or not) prefers to hand over as little as possible. So a person guilty of tax-evasion is not a type of criminal whom we are obligated to report on (or permited to report).

It can even be argued that avoiding giving Jewish money to the gentile government is praiseworthy
BIST DI IN GANTZEN FARIKT???????????

48

 Sep 19, 2011 at 12:53 PM Emes- Says:

To #29
When someone harms another and may harm some else, then the din of Rodef applies. One in that case may call the police where there is future danger Ex: a ponzi scheme, going the wrong way on a one way street, abuse etc. In our case the harm was already caused and there is no future harm.

49

 Sep 19, 2011 at 12:58 PM CanadianShmilfke Says:

Don't you guys have an amendment that protects him?

50

 Sep 19, 2011 at 01:39 PM Elliot Pasik, Esq. Says:

The gratuitous insult is startling. The blogosphere is "grimier" than the street. While the author's organization, Agudath Israel, stands on the sideline for decades, or worse, actively hinders any progress, it is the bloggers who are shouting loud and clear that child abuse of any form is intolerable. Finally, when some positive action is being taken, from other quarters, not only is a simply "thank you" not offered, but the klal is the recipient of a snide put-down.

51

 Sep 19, 2011 at 01:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #40  
shredready Says:

wrong

there are many poskin who say otherwise

just because you agree with the ones who paskin one cannot be a mosur in this case do not does not mean it is absolute

in addition please show me where in the Torah it talks about mesira (not a prisoner of war) and please specify where it says in the Torah it should be used to protect Jewish criminals.

I do not think the poskin of the past could have even imagined such a great deal of criminality amongst the jews and that they would use halacha as an excuse and say it really is not stealing and to use mesira to protect criminals bedfellows .

There is intent of an halacha and it is not to protect criminals

even if one agrees with what he is doing, the courts will say sit for your believes otherwise that will become a convenient excuse for every criminal not to testify

You have no idea what you are talking about. As is typical with your comments. Please reference one halachic source for anything you have ever said.

You can't and it won't happen.

52

 Sep 19, 2011 at 01:50 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #42  
Raphael_Kaufman Says:

If a Jew makes a contract with a Gentile, is the contract valid al pi halacha? If it is, if the Jew in question agreed to cooperate with authorities as part of a plea deal, isn't that a contract? Also, such a contract included the committment to do an aveirah. Does that invalidate the contract? If that is so, then why would anyone object to the State invalidating the plea and sending him back to serve his full sentence?

You have a Rabbi. That is who such questions should be directed to. Not nudniks claiming to know halacha who post comments on web sites such as this. Even shredready considers himself a yodea sefer, yet he can't even read.

53

 Sep 19, 2011 at 01:52 PM Anonymous Says:

How are the courts going to distinguish between a claim by a frum jew that he/her is precluded from testifying because of some aspect of their religious beliefs and any other person from any religious belief (or even non-religious person claiming "spiritual" objections) asserting a similar right not to testify under a court order. Under our system, the courts cannot grant a special exemption to yidden not afforded to others based exclusively on their beliefs nor do we want the courts deciding which religious beliefs are sincerely held and which are not.

54

 Sep 19, 2011 at 01:53 PM Elliot Pasik, Esq. Says:

There is also this troubling quote: "In cases, for example, where a Jew poses a threat to others—such as a violent criminal or child abuser—and cannot be controlled by communal efforts, decisors are in agreement that the prohibition of mesira is trumped by concerns about the potential harm the wrongdoer poses to the public." These words show an appalling lack of knowledge of the underlying cause for our child abuse problem.

Both in theory, and experience has shown: child sex abusers cannot be controlled by Jewish, Catholic, or any other "communal efforts". The evidence can be found in the detox centers, and the cemeteries. Over and over again, the medical and psychological professional journals are telling us, the Catholics, and the whole world: pedophilia has no cure.

The empty promise of teshuva made by a pedophile to a rabbi, has proven a recipe for disaster. Criminal prosecution works. It can either take the molester off the street for the period of time he is sentenced, and even better, in my opinion, is that he is now branded a convicted criminal who is less likely to be in contact with children.

And we child advocates have our rabbinic "decisors" who agree.

55

 Sep 19, 2011 at 01:57 PM Mike Says:

So, if a Yid commits one sin by defrauding the gov't, he should commit ANOTHER sin by telling on others? If I desecrate Shabbos in the first hour, should I continue doing so for the rest of the day?

56

 Sep 19, 2011 at 02:07 PM yosher Says:

Missing from Mr Shafran's dissertation is the condemnation of this tax fraud and theft.

57

 Sep 19, 2011 at 02:13 PM Raphael_Kaufman Says:

Reply to #46  
Gregaaron Says:

Yes, it struck me too, but in a positive way. My guess is Rabbi Shafran put that in so that the so-called child "advocates" don't use this as a proof that if a kid claims his Rebbi looked at him the wrong way, it's a Mitzvah D'oraiysa to go straight to the cops.

Yes, I thought that too but, as written, it would would be construed to refer to other violent crimes besides the issue du jour.

As far as your construction goes, you are concerned about what is really an extreme rarity. I'm told that less than 5% of accusations of molestation are false.

58

 Sep 19, 2011 at 02:17 PM Raphael Kaufman Says:

Reply to #49  
CanadianShmilfke Says:

Don't you guys have an amendment that protects him?

The Fifth Amendment protects one from self-incrimination. It does not mean that the court cannot compel someone to incriminate someone else under certain circumstances.

59

 Sep 19, 2011 at 02:23 PM Raphael Kaufman Says:

Reply to #49  
CanadianShmilfke Says:

Don't you guys have an amendment that protects him?

Another thought: Mesirah of tax evaders is the specific kind of mesirah that Chazal discuss in Shaas.. If any mesirah is assur, it's being mosser on a tax evader.

60

 Sep 19, 2011 at 02:30 PM belzer gabbai Says:

Reply to #41  
c Says:

Here is my issue, we get more worked up against the masser than against the people who committed the crimes! You don't here anger and indignation against the thieves and fraudsteres, like you hear it against the mosrim. People have no fear of Hashem while stealing but they suddenly have fear of Hashen by mesirah and they r considered tzadikim! I have news for you, they didn't have fear of Hashem then ad they don't have it now. The only thing they have is contempt for non-jews and secular courts, laws and society.

after sitting 2 years in jail, mr. zigelman deeply regrets whatever wrong he's done, and has done true tshuva already. nevertheless, you suggest that he be oiver on mesira since he's done an other aveira in the past.
come on!

61

 Sep 19, 2011 at 03:11 PM shredready Says:

Reply to #35  
Yonason_Herschlag Says:

Rav Zalman Nachemia Goldberg clarified in a tschuva that primarily the prohibition of mesira is in making a financial claim against another yid in a non-torah court, whereas reporting a Jewish criminal who causes financial or physical harm such as stealing or brutalizing is ussually permited. It should be clear though, that tax evasion can not be equated with stealing. It can even be argued that avoiding giving Jewish money to the gentile government is praiseworthy. There is a lot of corruption in the way taxes are collected and spent, and every bar sechal (Jewish or not) prefers to hand over as little as possible. So a person guilty of tax-evasion is not a type of criminal whom we are obligated to report on (or permited to report).

I hope you do not use any government services,

not the roads, police fire department, or ever ask the arm services to protect you if you do you are a gonav stealing services from people you fell unworthy

in addition tell all your fellow yiddin not to take any money from the government since yiddin feel it is praiseworthy not to pay taxes but i guess it is praiseworthy to take

62

 Sep 19, 2011 at 03:15 PM shredready Says:

Reply to #51  
Anonymous Says:

You have no idea what you are talking about. As is typical with your comments. Please reference one halachic source for anything you have ever said.

You can't and it won't happen.

mesira not as cut and dry as the herdia would have you believe

By the same token, the Shulchan Aruch ruled that a person who is a nuisance to the community, such as a counterfeiter, may be handed over to the authorities if he persists in the behavior after being warned to stop. This ruling becomes important in the cases regarding harboring predators, as discussed above.

III. Mesira in a Fair and Just Country

A. Not Applicable

The discussion of mesira has focused on handing Jews over to their oppressors. What rules apply in a just society such as the United States? The Aruch Hashulchan, in the 19th century, said that the rules of mesira were drafted in an atmosphere of oppressive governments, and do not apply in the context of a fair government that protects property, such as that offered by the King of Britain or the Czars (source sheet III(A)). This ruling was cited by Rav Eliezer Waldenberg in the Tzitz Eliezer, where he held that if a government is fair and does not discriminate against Jews or try to loot money from the innocent, the rules of mesira do not apply. The Tzitz Eliezer would go so far as to say one may inform on a tax evader, though other authorities disagree.

63

 Sep 19, 2011 at 03:16 PM shredready Says:

Reply to #51  
Anonymous Says:

You have no idea what you are talking about. As is typical with your comments. Please reference one halachic source for anything you have ever said.

You can't and it won't happen.

The counterargument was offered by Rabbi Yaakov Yeshaya Blau in his Pitchei Choshen. He contended that prisons are so brutal and violent that the result of incarceration is punishment beyond that merited by the crime, and therefore that testifying against a Jew constitutes mesira. Rabbi Kermaier noted that it is difficult to determine the state of prison violence, since there are apparently tendentious studies that take conflicting views, but it does appear that Rabbi Blau’s factual predicate may be questioned, insofar as prisons seem to have become less violent, e.g., featuring homicide rates lower than in the general population.

Rav Shmuel Wosner of Bnei Brak, in his Shevet Halevi, argues that the rules against mesira do not apply when the government is legitimately carrying out its duty of protecting society. He applies the principle of dina demalchuta dina (the law of the land is the law): secular law is sanctioned by halacha even if it is not based upon halacha. Rabbi Ephraim Greenblatt of Memphis sent a question to Rav Wosner: May a Jew become a tax auditor? Rav Wosner ruled in the affirmative. Inasmuch as the auditor is not placing the taxpayer, who was obligated to follow

64

 Sep 19, 2011 at 03:20 PM shredready Says:

Reply to #51  
Anonymous Says:

You have no idea what you are talking about. As is typical with your comments. Please reference one halachic source for anything you have ever said.

You can't and it won't happen.

I did

hope it is posted and did in previous article to show that it is not that simple and you and other claim it is

since you do not like what you read you simply LIE to make your point.

65

 Sep 19, 2011 at 03:31 PM shredready Says:

Reply to #52  
Anonymous Says:

You have a Rabbi. That is who such questions should be directed to. Not nudniks claiming to know halacha who post comments on web sites such as this. Even shredready considers himself a yodea sefer, yet he can't even read.

I have submitted posts with references to back up what i said

hopefully vin posts it

I never said all poskem I claim that some disagree regarding just countries and in criminal cases

Do not like what i say too bad

funny frum Jews always say they do not want to be treated differently but when it is to there benefit, they want to be treated differently

interesting

66

 Sep 19, 2011 at 03:33 PM shredready Says:

Reply to #55  
Mike Says:

So, if a Yid commits one sin by defrauding the gov't, he should commit ANOTHER sin by telling on others? If I desecrate Shabbos in the first hour, should I continue doing so for the rest of the day?

the question is not if he should commit a sin or not

the question is should the government accept mesra as an excuse?

67

 Sep 19, 2011 at 04:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
111111 Says:

Even according to those poskim that state "where the law is just to everybody and there is no din of Mesira" I believe when it comes to the jews there still is no equality of the law
Look at Rubashkin
Look at Pollard

How can you compare Rubashkin and Pollard?

68

 Sep 19, 2011 at 05:56 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #24  
Anonymous Says:

The Torah does not change because you feel its right. Mesirah in this case is not allowed period.

So says the anonymous posek! I guess everyone else's opinion now means nothing!

69

 Sep 19, 2011 at 06:07 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #55  
Mike Says:

So, if a Yid commits one sin by defrauding the gov't, he should commit ANOTHER sin by telling on others? If I desecrate Shabbos in the first hour, should I continue doing so for the rest of the day?

nobody said he had to commit a sin. He has the choice to go to jail. Other Jewish criminals go there!

70

 Sep 19, 2011 at 06:17 PM brunfin Says:

Many of the posts are asking on Rabbi Shafran that we see form different sources that Chilul Hashem is even where there is no sin involved, so how could Rabbi Shafran say:

"A common misconception about chillul Hashem is that it includes anything that is looked down upon by people. But for something to qualify as chillul Hashem it must first be a sin"

I think what Rabbi Shfaran means is pashut, that of course a Chillul Hashem does not necessarily have to be a straight out sin, he only means that if what you are doing is correct (something praiseworthy, like going to prison before ratting someone out), then that can not possibly be a Chillul Hashem all because people with other outlooks view it negatively.

71

 Sep 19, 2011 at 07:38 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #29  
Asher Lipner, Ph.D. Says:

Rabbi Aron Felder, a talmid of Reb Moshe Feinstien quoted his Rebbe that in a case where a Jew had broken in to another's house to steal there was no issue of Mesira because "a society cannot function like that".

Reb Shmuel Kaminetsky, as reported in VIN told a Jew to report another Jew who was doing a Ponzi scheme that it was a Mitzvah to report him because he was hurting other people.

The real issue here is that many frum Jews including Rabbis believe that ripping off the government is not a real crime and nobody gets hurt. Reb Dovid Cohen has actually paskened halacha l'maaseh that one may lie on his income taxes if he does not get caught.

There seems to be no real attention to A) Dina Dmalchusa Dina, B) Gezel Akum is assur and C) when you steal from the government in America you are stealing from Jews who pay taxes as well.

My "kashya" is why the same Rabbanim like Reb Shmuel, Shlita, who say you can go to the police when you suspect someone is stealing money, say you cannot go to the police if someone is molesting a Jewish child.

The problem has to do with your understanding. And because of that, you are not considered a legitimate professional.

No one says you cannot call authorities when someone is molesting a child, or anyone for that matter. No one.

73

 Sep 19, 2011 at 07:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #64  
shredready Says:

I did

hope it is posted and did in previous article to show that it is not that simple and you and other claim it is

since you do not like what you read you simply LIE to make your point.

Shedready you fool,

You just proved #51's point. You did a google search and pasted whatever you found. You have no clue what it says and you have proven you have no halachic knowledge at all nor any basic comprehension.

74

 Sep 19, 2011 at 08:17 PM shredready Says:

Reply to #73  
Anonymous Says:

Shedready you fool,

You just proved #51's point. You did a google search and pasted whatever you found. You have no clue what it says and you have proven you have no halachic knowledge at all nor any basic comprehension.

it was a post from a frum rebbie

yes not a heridie black hat rebbie who will excuse and justify every criminal act by a frum person.

halacha was not created in a vacuum, they where made for reason (I am not talking about Torah laws) therefore, think ( I know that is kofar talk) why and the reason for a halcha
once you know the reason behind of a halcha and why robonum in past paskined that why you might come to a different conclusion in this case

if you do not like what i pasted , dispute it, say that the person who wrote that is lying about what those puskim said

or maybe you can't you just do not like what he says

I posted that since it was written very clearly and shows that mesira is not as black and white as many people think it is, and not all poskin agree.

everybody is a fool, who think that frum people commit crimes, they should pay for their crimes, and should not hide behind their religion to subvert usa laws

to bad, he is no tzaddik just a plain old scammer, crook that is all

nobody should be proud of him

75

 Sep 19, 2011 at 09:14 PM michael from midwood Says:

Emes lamitah shell torah,

76

 Sep 19, 2011 at 10:02 PM allmark Says:

Reply to #35  
Yonason_Herschlag Says:

Rav Zalman Nachemia Goldberg clarified in a tschuva that primarily the prohibition of mesira is in making a financial claim against another yid in a non-torah court, whereas reporting a Jewish criminal who causes financial or physical harm such as stealing or brutalizing is ussually permited. It should be clear though, that tax evasion can not be equated with stealing. It can even be argued that avoiding giving Jewish money to the gentile government is praiseworthy. There is a lot of corruption in the way taxes are collected and spent, and every bar sechal (Jewish or not) prefers to hand over as little as possible. So a person guilty of tax-evasion is not a type of criminal whom we are obligated to report on (or permited to report).

Is this satire?

77

 Sep 19, 2011 at 11:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #74  
shredready Says:

it was a post from a frum rebbie

yes not a heridie black hat rebbie who will excuse and justify every criminal act by a frum person.

halacha was not created in a vacuum, they where made for reason (I am not talking about Torah laws) therefore, think ( I know that is kofar talk) why and the reason for a halcha
once you know the reason behind of a halcha and why robonum in past paskined that why you might come to a different conclusion in this case

if you do not like what i pasted , dispute it, say that the person who wrote that is lying about what those puskim said

or maybe you can't you just do not like what he says

I posted that since it was written very clearly and shows that mesira is not as black and white as many people think it is, and not all poskin agree.

everybody is a fool, who think that frum people commit crimes, they should pay for their crimes, and should not hide behind their religion to subvert usa laws

to bad, he is no tzaddik just a plain old scammer, crook that is all

nobody should be proud of him

Reb Shredready:

Says who? Are you the authority here? I have investigated this subject, and the decision on this is murky at best. It takes a top posek to rule on this, and this man has done such consultation. He is following his psak. Disagree if you like, but who are you to label him a scammer, crook, and undeserving of pride? Have you ever been moser nefesh to follow a psak halacha as he is doing? Try that first, then open your big mouth. Maybe you have a posek that rules differently. Beis Shammai ruled differently from Beis Hillel. But they treated each other respectfully, and they never disgraced each other. Their machlokes is known (Pirkei Avos) as a "machlokes leshem Shomayim". When you stoop to your labeling about someone being moser nefesh to follow halacha as he was guided by poskim, you shame yourself.

78

 Sep 20, 2011 at 08:05 AM Shaul in Monsey Says:

Rubashkin committed bank fraud and stole millions which earned him the title hero, rebbe, tzadik and he was and still is lauded by all on VIN. Lo Signoiv is in the Aseres Hadibros. When it comes to mesirah everybody is a frummy, but since Rubashkin gave tzedaka with his stolen money you defended and supported him, and deny his crimes. What a bunch of hypocrites.

79

 Sep 20, 2011 at 09:02 AM shredready Says:

Reply to #77  
Anonymous Says:

Reb Shredready:

Says who? Are you the authority here? I have investigated this subject, and the decision on this is murky at best. It takes a top posek to rule on this, and this man has done such consultation. He is following his psak. Disagree if you like, but who are you to label him a scammer, crook, and undeserving of pride? Have you ever been moser nefesh to follow a psak halacha as he is doing? Try that first, then open your big mouth. Maybe you have a posek that rules differently. Beis Shammai ruled differently from Beis Hillel. But they treated each other respectfully, and they never disgraced each other. Their machlokes is known (Pirkei Avos) as a "machlokes leshem Shomayim". When you stoop to your labeling about someone being moser nefesh to follow halacha as he was guided by poskim, you shame yourself.

first if you read my statement i stated a few times that the issue of mesira it not black and white and many or most people on these board make. and to be mossar in this case there is poskin to fall back on.

Just what you said

BTY Beis Shammai killed many people from Beis Hillel look it up

and yes he is a scammer a ganov that is clear and so is his partners in this endeavor, because some frum thing one can steal from the government or goyim will not change my mind that he is not a tzaddiuk not a hero but a common criminal .

imagine if a reform person would be very strict on one or two things many would just laught at him

Why are the frum so lenient forgiving accepting any heter that one can think of regarding financial criminality. Many are more makel than any reform Jew when in comes to sins regarding money . and a person is no worse off no matter how much money he steals scams or whatever as long as he eats glatt, choval yisroeal and other stuff like that which of course you consider much more importance then being honest

80

 Sep 20, 2011 at 09:32 AM shredready Says:

Reply to #79  
shredready Says:

first if you read my statement i stated a few times that the issue of mesira it not black and white and many or most people on these board make. and to be mossar in this case there is poskin to fall back on.

Just what you said

BTY Beis Shammai killed many people from Beis Hillel look it up

and yes he is a scammer a ganov that is clear and so is his partners in this endeavor, because some frum thing one can steal from the government or goyim will not change my mind that he is not a tzaddiuk not a hero but a common criminal .

imagine if a reform person would be very strict on one or two things many would just laught at him

Why are the frum so lenient forgiving accepting any heter that one can think of regarding financial criminality. Many are more makel than any reform Jew when in comes to sins regarding money . and a person is no worse off no matter how much money he steals scams or whatever as long as he eats glatt, choval yisroeal and other stuff like that which of course you consider much more importance then being honest

to expand

the issue i have and a few others is not in the details of mesirha it is more of a general issue with a certain and a big chunk of the intra frum


If a person is very frum but rides a bike and his wife with the tight bike clothing would many consider then frum or not? can they be frum and still ride with spandex and what would people say about them their children and so on?

The same for many other issues, he like to eat shrimp but otherwise in machmar on everything else.

he is frum but watched football on tv on shabbos
he is frum but gay
he is frum but his wife like to dress with short sleeves

all these people would never ever be called a tzaddiuk and would disqualify him and his family from certain honors. many would question his frumkeit.

however, that is not the case with a gonav, scammer, fraudsters, people who steal from the government, smuggler and so on.

That is the real issue here for me and maybe other others

you just do not take those sins (financial) as serious as others or maybe you do not not even consider it a sin and somehow justify it with crum logic

81

 Sep 20, 2011 at 09:46 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #80  
shredready Says:

to expand

the issue i have and a few others is not in the details of mesirha it is more of a general issue with a certain and a big chunk of the intra frum


If a person is very frum but rides a bike and his wife with the tight bike clothing would many consider then frum or not? can they be frum and still ride with spandex and what would people say about them their children and so on?

The same for many other issues, he like to eat shrimp but otherwise in machmar on everything else.

he is frum but watched football on tv on shabbos
he is frum but gay
he is frum but his wife like to dress with short sleeves

all these people would never ever be called a tzaddiuk and would disqualify him and his family from certain honors. many would question his frumkeit.

however, that is not the case with a gonav, scammer, fraudsters, people who steal from the government, smuggler and so on.

That is the real issue here for me and maybe other others

you just do not take those sins (financial) as serious as others or maybe you do not not even consider it a sin and somehow justify it with crum logic

I justify nothing. It stands to reason that he is no longer involved in the geneiva. He did his jail time for that, and we must believe he learned his lesson. The current issue is the "crime" of not testifying on others. That is a serious mesirah question, and he did not decide for himself, as many VIN commenter poskim do. He brought the shailoh to poskim, and as great personal cost is following their psak. He is to be commended for that, and it should be a source of pride. I do not choose to honor fraudsters or ganovim. But to heap shame on him for doing what he is now doing is completely unwarranted, and actually a disgrace to the teshuvah we each need to do during Ellul. Call an aveiroh an aveiroh, and a mitzvah a mitzvah.

Perhaps you are aware of the story in which the Baal Shem Tov went to daven in a remote area in a forest near a lake with his talmidim. He related that this is the burial place of someone who was a career ganev who strictly followed halachos of netilas yodayim. He veered off the road once to wash his hands to eat some bread, and the wagon driver used this opportunity to murder him. His mesiras nefesh was a major zechus for him. Do we know?

82

 Sep 20, 2011 at 12:35 PM papper Says:

Reply to #29  
Asher Lipner, Ph.D. Says:

Rabbi Aron Felder, a talmid of Reb Moshe Feinstien quoted his Rebbe that in a case where a Jew had broken in to another's house to steal there was no issue of Mesira because "a society cannot function like that".

Reb Shmuel Kaminetsky, as reported in VIN told a Jew to report another Jew who was doing a Ponzi scheme that it was a Mitzvah to report him because he was hurting other people.

The real issue here is that many frum Jews including Rabbis believe that ripping off the government is not a real crime and nobody gets hurt. Reb Dovid Cohen has actually paskened halacha l'maaseh that one may lie on his income taxes if he does not get caught.

There seems to be no real attention to A) Dina Dmalchusa Dina, B) Gezel Akum is assur and C) when you steal from the government in America you are stealing from Jews who pay taxes as well.

My "kashya" is why the same Rabbanim like Reb Shmuel, Shlita, who say you can go to the police when you suspect someone is stealing money, say you cannot go to the police if someone is molesting a Jewish child.

Before you ask "kashyas" you should check your facts.

83

 Sep 21, 2011 at 11:42 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #80  
shredready Says:

to expand

the issue i have and a few others is not in the details of mesirha it is more of a general issue with a certain and a big chunk of the intra frum


If a person is very frum but rides a bike and his wife with the tight bike clothing would many consider then frum or not? can they be frum and still ride with spandex and what would people say about them their children and so on?

The same for many other issues, he like to eat shrimp but otherwise in machmar on everything else.

he is frum but watched football on tv on shabbos
he is frum but gay
he is frum but his wife like to dress with short sleeves

all these people would never ever be called a tzaddiuk and would disqualify him and his family from certain honors. many would question his frumkeit.

however, that is not the case with a gonav, scammer, fraudsters, people who steal from the government, smuggler and so on.

That is the real issue here for me and maybe other others

you just do not take those sins (financial) as serious as others or maybe you do not not even consider it a sin and somehow justify it with crum logic

it is not upo to you to decide someone else's level of frumkeit.

for all you know the person eating bacon may be considered a frummer Jew than you by Gd - YOU don't know. so don't speak for Gd, don't decide for Gd, and don't judge for Gd.

it's not your place or your decision.

84

 Sep 21, 2011 at 11:43 AM ayoldguy1 Says:

R' Shafran wrote: "'tactic' employed by this man is a common one; the response he received was that a religious conviction is not a tactic..."

It is a conviction AND a tactic. Who would want to rat out their sugar daddies...?

85

 Sep 21, 2011 at 11:46 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #80  
shredready Says:

to expand

the issue i have and a few others is not in the details of mesirha it is more of a general issue with a certain and a big chunk of the intra frum


If a person is very frum but rides a bike and his wife with the tight bike clothing would many consider then frum or not? can they be frum and still ride with spandex and what would people say about them their children and so on?

The same for many other issues, he like to eat shrimp but otherwise in machmar on everything else.

he is frum but watched football on tv on shabbos
he is frum but gay
he is frum but his wife like to dress with short sleeves

all these people would never ever be called a tzaddiuk and would disqualify him and his family from certain honors. many would question his frumkeit.

however, that is not the case with a gonav, scammer, fraudsters, people who steal from the government, smuggler and so on.

That is the real issue here for me and maybe other others

you just do not take those sins (financial) as serious as others or maybe you do not not even consider it a sin and somehow justify it with crum logic

why are all of you darshaning what is going on here?

It is very simple:

the man is a convicted felon.
he chooses whether to testify or not, you don't.
whether YOU believe this is mesiarah is irrelevant to him, the justice system, and me.
no one is forcing him to testify,
he has the choice to take a chance on sitting for his beliefs.

So why are all of you babblinh about what is and isn't allowed, whether he should or shouldn't?

sit down, shut up, let the man decide what he wants to do. You have NO INPUT on any of this.

and stop paskening unless you are a posek.

86

 Nov 01, 2013 at 01:51 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
HolyMoe Says:

If a son refuses to testify to covict his father is that contempt of court?
What about a brother?
hat about a cousin?
What about a second cousin?

Where does the US justice system draw the line?

This a general statement NOT a reply! You all live in the U. S. Not on some fantasy planet where only you decide who is a pious Jew and what the rules are.. You don't make the laws that govern this country - God Forbid anyone should have to live in your dictatorship. If a Jew commits a criminal act and another Jew does not report it - to a non-Jew the second Jew is just as guilty of the criminal act - in the U.S. that's obstructing justice. The Torah agrees.
Your no different then the crazy militant murdering muslims.

87

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