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Calling cops on frum neighbor

Home Coffeeroom Family Matters Calling cops on frum neighbor

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  • #1335623

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Joseph,

    I called an Rx into your pharmacy for a course of chill pills for you. Each capsule contains 20mg of the active ingredient, chilloutophen. Please take 1 capsule per day before logging into the CR. Avoid dairy and alcoholic beverages for 1 hour prior to and 2 hours after taking the medication.

    Please call the office to schedule a follow-up in 2 weeks.

    #1335629

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Joseph,

    Avram, other than the fact that we are all Yidden here subject to Halacha, why else did the Rov tell him *not* to report this to any authorities?

    Because the Rav may have knowledge of the neighbor’s situation that our OP did not.

    #1335630

    Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    I would hate to be the reason for a break in a family.
    you wouldn’t be a reason for a break in a family if what you heard was nothing. And most abuse victims will tell you (although only way after the fact) that breaking up their families saved their lives. IF that was indeed what was needed, why in the world would you be sorry?

    #1335652

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Why not invite the neighbor over for tea?

    #1335662

    Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    why else did the Rov tell him *not* to report this to any authorities?

    The Rov (Lila? Avi?) said not to report it BECAUSE he would take care of it. Nobody recommended letting it be.

    #1335698

    smile4life
    Participant

    You must investigate. It is not a question. Do the right thing. If someone is being hurt you can make a difference.

    #1335695

    Health
    Participant

    oiyveyismear -“I see him in Shul, and I am quite confident he will just deny everything”

    Read my previous post!
    Stop making a mountain out of a moehill.

    #1335710

    Joseph
    Participant

    “The Rov (Lila? Avi?) said not to report it BECAUSE he would take care of it. Nobody recommended letting it be.”

    Nobody said otherwise.

    Let the Rov take care of it.

    #1335728

    Redleg
    Participant

    If the rav said that “he would take care of it”, It seems reasonable for the OP to follow up in the issue, I.E. ask what, if anything, the Rav found out and what, if anything, he “took care of”.

    #1337080

    oiyveyismear
    Participant

    These responses are helpful. Thank you everyone for sharing your diverse thoughts and opinions on the matter

    #1337108

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    I think it depends n who is doing the yelling and what is being said. As some have pointed out it may be the TV/Internet/Radio. However, if I heard my neighbor yelling “what are you doing with that knife” or “put that gun away”, I don’t think I would hesitate to call the police. However, screaming and yelling does not rise to the level of calling the authorities.

    #1337154

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “I think the advice people are giving is on point. I truly dont know forsure. If I had to guess the husband is being abusive. I asked my wife to try and speak with the wife to get to the bottom of it. We aren’t calling the police because of the potential issues but I asked my Rav this morning to bring it up with the Vaad, perhaps they can employ an organization to help. I would hate to be the reason for a break in a family. We’ll see how things play out, iyh for the good.”

    Very wise, Oiyveyismear!! I think that you gave the best advice (to yourself) of anyone here!

    #1337146

    Joseph
    Participant

    “However, screaming and yelling does not rise to the level of calling the authorities.”

    Don’t tell that to Syag.

    #1337153

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “AVRAM, OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT WE ARE ALL YIDDEN HERE SUBJECT TO HALACHA, WHY ELSE DID THE ROV TELL HIM *NOT* TO REPORT THIS TO ANY AUTHORITIES?”

    “Because the Rav may have knowledge of the neighbor’s situation that our OP did not.”

    True, but then wouldn’t the Rav’s point have been that based on his knowledge, it is not necessary/helpful to call the police (or at least not at this point)? And wasn’t his point that in such a case it is therefore Mesira since it’s not necessary/helpful?

    It’s true that he didn’t quote the Rav as using the term “mesira”, but I thought that according to halacha, if someone is not supposed to call the police, then it’s “mesira” to do so.
    I could be wrong, but I was assuming that there are two possibilities according to halacha: either he is chayiv to call the police or it is mesira to do so. And therefore, if the Rav told him not to call the police, the implication is that it would be mesira to do so.

    How were you understanding the Rav’s statement?

    #1337167

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Ubiqutin, I don’t think it’s as simple as you are making it sound. For one thing, it may not be a “black and white” situation. In fact, it sounds like it probably isn’t. There is a definite possibility that someone is not treating someone else in the family they way they should be (and last time I checked, there was no such thing as a perfect family) but it’s not something that warrants police intervention. However, once they are called in, they could create problems.

    More importantly, I have known of situations in which there really was no problem and the family was as close to perfect as most people get, but once the police were called in, they created a lot of problems for them.

    This may be because the police are human beings and not necessarily the best human beings, it may be Anti-Semitism, or it may be simply because the job of the police is to be extra-cautious, and they are simply doing their job.

    But our job is not to be naive, to be aware of the potential results when calling the police and to exercise caution before doing so. That is why there is a halacha of mesira. It is precisely because the secular authorities might not do things the way the Torah warrants.

    #1337175

    Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    “However, screaming and yelling does not rise to the level of calling the authorities.”

    Agreed, generally. However nobody said screaming and yelling, the word used was shrieking. That’s not the same thing.
    (See Joseph, amazing how those little twists change the playing field)

    #1337230

    lesschumras
    Participant

    LU, and how did the Torah authorities handle child molestation? Everythimg said here ( i.e. go to the Rav, don’t call the cops ) was said about dealing with molesters. Didn’t go so well, did it

    #1337234

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    LU
    “For one thing, it may not be a “black and white” situation. In fact, it sounds like it probably isn’t.”

    Of course it isnt black and white. thats why he needs the police to go investigate.
    IF there is a burning house on Shabbos you call the fire department. Even if it isnt black/or white if someone is inside.

    ” There is a definite possibility that someone is not treating someone else in the family they way they should be”
    Is it a possibility that someone will get badly hurt or worse?

    ” (and last time I checked, there was no such thing as a perfect family)”
    I dont know how this is relevent. I have nver heard “shrieking” from next door nor have I wondered if anyone was in danger.
    ” but it’s not something that warrants police intervention.”
    How can you be sure, the OP seems pretty conflicted, and is sounds like he suspects that police intervention is warranted.

    ” However, once they are called in, they could create problems.”
    If nothing is happening, how do they create problems? what are you worried might happen

    “More importantly, I have known of situations in which there really was no problem and the family was as close to perfect as most people get, but once the police were called in, they created a lot of problems for them.”
    Again, what problems, Ive seen police called many times. IF the woman doesnt press charges, there sint much they can or care to do.

    “But our job is not to be naive, to be aware of the potential results when calling the police and to exercise caution before doing so.”
    Sure. dont call for every dropped dish. but if you hear yellign and shriekign and are worried there migth be adangerosu situation call the police.

    ” That is why there is a halacha of mesira. It is precisely because the secular authorities might not do things the way the Torah warrants.”
    that is not why there is a halacha of mesira. Though this isnt a case of mesira.
    and as for wha tthe Torah warrants “Lo saamod al dam reicha”

    #1337252

    Joseph
    Participant

    ubiq: The majority of states have adopted preferred arrest policies that require police to either arrest one or both parties at the scene, or to write a report justifying why an arrest is not made, and some states — including New York, Wisconsin, and Minnesota — went further and have even adopted mandatory arrest policies requiring that an officer make an arrest during a situation where the officers suspect domestic violence even if no one presses charges or even tells the officers there was no violence.

    In states with mandatory arrest policies, police are encouraged not to leave the scene without making an arrest. This results in many innocent arrests and unwarranted court and civil and crimson authorities interfering in families lives.

    #1337257

    TheGoq
    Participant

    What is the motivation for the Rav’s ruling maybe he does not want there to be an issue so he prefers to put blinders on and hopes something wont happen a Rav is not infallible the only concern should be is there someone who could be in danger nothing else matters.

    #1337273

    DovidBT
    Participant

    “However, if I heard my neighbor yelling “what are you doing with that knife” or “put that gun away”, I don’t think I would hesitate to call the police.”

    What if one of the family members is writing a play, and the other family members are helping by acting out the scenes?

    On a more practical note, how about knocking on the door to ask to borrow a cup of flour or something when you hear the loud voices? Then you could assess whether there’s a real problem. If that seems dangerous to you, find a big mean-looking friend to do it for you.

    #1337275

    Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    “In states with mandatory arrest policies, police are encouraged not to leave the scene without making an arrest. This results in many innocent arrests and unwarranted court and civil and crimson authorities interfering in families lives.”

    Feh. I don’t believe that for a second

    #1337287

    Joseph
    Participant

    You can always choose to ignore whether facts disagree with your mistaken beliefs.

    #1337288

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Bottom line is that if there is even a small risk of possible abuse or harm, than there is an absolute obligaiton under daas torah for some intervention…the form of that intervention is really a matter of judgement and several posters above have offered very helpful optoins (e.g. having shomrim respond first if in a neighborhood where they are active etc.) short of calling the police. However, if police are the only optoin, we are not permitted to stand by if c’v, someone may being and we could have taken action to prevent that harm. I’m not sure if any competent rav would really advise to do nothing unless the facts described really sounded like an otherwise normal but vocal couple who simply never learned to communicate in quiet and respectful terms. I know couples who seem to yell at each other for trivial day to day matters….its discomforting, but they’ve been married for 20+ years and never physically hurt one another.

    #1337289

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “What is the motivation for the Rav’s ruling maybe he does not want there to be an issue so he prefers to put blinders on and hopes something wont happen”

    Possibly, but it’s also possible that he might know that this is a case that does not warrant calling the police. After all, there is a reason that the OP called him; he wasn’t sure whether or not the case warranted calling the police, and he thought that this Rav was a good person to ask.

    #1337294

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “a Rav is not infallible the only concern should be is there someone who could be in danger nothing else matters.”

    That is exactly why the OP is trying to figure out if the fact that he heard someone shrieking means that someone’s life is in danger. And if this Rav is in fact the best person to handle the situation.

    Again, there is a reason why the Rav is the OP’s Rav and not the other way around. Yes, he is not infallible and he may be wrong, but he also may be right.

    #1337301

    Joseph
    Participant

    The OP davens with this neighbor and called their mutual Rov. The Rov paskened.

    Move on.

    #1337309

    Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    mistaken beliefs? its baloney, that’s all. In one breath you say,” requiring that an officer make an arrest during a situation where the officers suspect domestic violence

    and then you say,”This results in many innocent arrests and unwarranted court and civil and crimson authorities interfering in families lives.”

    play both sides of the fence much? If they mandatorily arrest when they suspect violence, then what’s your beef? Face it, you don’t think abuse is wrong and you don’t think it should be stopped and you don’t think abusers should be arrested. So strong is this belief of yours that you are getting bent out of shape about people giving opinions that seem to contradict a rov you never heard of who may even be a reform convert for all you know.

    And honestly, I don’t think anyone is complaining about the rav, as much as they are complaining about the fact that the OP thought there might be danger but chose to ask a shaila instead of calling for help.

    #1337315

    Joseph
    Participant

    Clearly the OP was absolutely correct in first asking a shaila and NOT calling the secular authorities, as evidenced by the Psak Halacha he received in response to the shaila that he must NOT call the authorities.

    Police Officers are NOT experts in determining whether there was domestic violence. If they THINK, in their non-expert opinion which can easily be wrong, they will make an arrest in mandatory arrest states such at New York. Therefore calling the police unjustifiable can absolutely wreck havoc in an innocent family’s life.

    It is unfortunate that you believe that Halachas that you don’t like and disagree with — such as Mesira — should be disregarded and ignored.

    #1337320

    Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    I don’t disagree with any halachos, ch”v, especially mesira. I disagree with you distorting stories to pretend they are something they aren’t and then distorting Halacha to rile people up. It’s disgusting. And to accuse me of disliking a Halacha is disgusting as well. At least my accusations are backed up by your own comments and behaviors. Calling this mesira is a figment of your imagination. You brought it in to the discussion, not the OP nor the anonymous rov, and you are changing each line of the story to try to imply that it is. If it really was mesira, this would be a different discussion. and not quite as entertaining for you.

    #1337317

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “I’m not sure if any competent rav would really advise to do nothing”

    He didn’t say that nothing should be done – he said that he is taking care of it. He clearly felt that he was in a better position to deal with it than the OP is. As I think someone already pointed out, it sounds like he might know more about the situation than the OP does.

    #1337324

    Joseph
    Participant

    Your lack of reading comprehension precludes you from even understanding the simple comments you quote. The issue with police officers is that they can make arrests of innocent people based on their mistaken non-expert suspicion of domestic violence that’s based on a call by a nosy neighbor to 911. The nosy neighbor who, indeed, is guilty of mesira following a Shalom Bayis issue some couples unfortunately regularly have that’s non-violent. Just as this Rov determined in this case, for example.

    #1337327

    Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Instead of wasting my time commenting on your comments, I’ll just bold everything that you either made up completely, or try to pass as fact even though it’s just your opinion. Just read it twice cuz that reading comprehension of mine gets even worse at night.

    Your lack of reading comprehension precludes you from even understanding the simple comments you quote. The issue with police officers is that they can make arrests of innocent people based on their mistaken non-expert suspicion of domestic violence that’s based on a call by a nosy neighbor to 911. The nosy neighbor who, indeed, is guilty of mesira following a Shalom Bayis issue some couples unfortunately regularly have that’s non-violent. Just as this Rov determined in this case, for example.

    #1337331

    Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    If I hear SHREIKING (formerly changed to yelling) next door that causes me to worry about the safety of my neighbor (formerly changed to just a typical interaction) then I should ignore my concern for a fellow Jew possibly in distress or danger and go ask my rov. Because even though Halacha DOES NOT tell us to ignore a Jew in POSSIBLE distress or danger, Joseph prefers it that way.

    Limited comprehension but I think I got it.

    #1337333

    Joseph
    Participant

    I’m giving potential examples that, in the quoted comment, are clearly not specifically referring to the case at hand in the OP — as evidenced by the fact that the comment refers to a situation where 911 was called, which Baruch Hashem did NOT occur in the OP’s case — and she rants about making up facts completely. Hello, examples are just that — intended to illustrate a point.

    Reading comprehension, indeed.

    #1337340

    Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    it wasn’t a random example. You were answering to the claim that calling police won’t mess up the family if nobody is doing anything wrong. Bringing a non related example wouldn’t make any sense. You were trying to illustrate that with the new law and the lack of proper training calling the police could indeed damage this family even if nobody is guilty. Straying from the point would not be very productive unless your point is to convolute.

    #1337343

    Joseph
    Participant

    Syag versus the Psak Halacha of the Rov of the shul both the OP and the neighbor with the raised voice (that the OP clearly stated in multiple comments that he’s unsure if anything untoward is occurring.)

    Who do you choose? Syag or the Psak of the mutual Rov of both the neighbor and the OP?

    #1337344

    Joseph
    Participant

    “You were trying to illustrate that with the new law and the lack of proper training calling the police could indeed damage this family even if nobody is guilty.”

    That is absolutely, potentially, correct. And that point is factually accurate.

    #1337348

    Syag Lchochma
    Participant


    Syag versus the Psak Halacha of the Rov of the shul both the OP and the neighbor with the raised voice (that the OP clearly stated in multiple comments that he’s unsure if anything untoward is occurring.)

    You mean the anonymous no idea who he really is or if he is reliable rov of the neighbor who was causing some shrieking that was bad enough for the OP to to not feel comfortable letting it go without speaking to someone?

    Now that that has been established, what exactly is versus what? I’m not up against a rov. I’m against your distortion of facts and narrative as well as Halacha, not sure exactly what the two sides of the pole are here.

    #1337258

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    ” but it’s not something that warrants police intervention.”
    “How can you be sure, the OP seems pretty conflicted, and is sounds like he suspects that police intervention is warranted.”

    You misunderstood. That clause was a continuation of:
    ” There is a definite possibility that someone is not treating someone else in the family they way they should be” The words, “there is a definite POSSIBILITY” were going on the second half of the sentence.

    I was saying that it is POSSIBLE that this is a case that does not call for police intervention EVEN IF someone is in fact treating someone else badly.

    As I already wrote, the police can cause problems for people. There is a reason that his Rav told him not to call the police. Yes, it is assur to call the police if it’s not warranted, and I’m sorry if you can’t understand that.

    Regarding your “fire” example, that is a clear-cut case of pikuach nefesh, and we know that the halacha is to call the fire department, and we know it has to be done right away, and we know that the fire department is the only place that can help.

    As another poster pointed out, if you hear someone shout, “put that gun away” it is pikuach nefesh and you should call the police. But hearing someone screaming is not necessarily pikuach nefesh and does not call for calling the police. You don’t call the police every time you are scared. If you did, I would be calling the police a hundred times a day. Apparently, the Rav (who knows more about the situation than you do) did not consider this to be a situation that necessitated calling the police.

    A better example to your fire example might be if you smelled smoke on Shabbos. You don’t run to call the fire department until you’ve investigated if it’s really a fire and if it’s life-threatening. Not all smoke is caused by fire, and not all fires are life-threatening.

    #1337366

    yitzchokm
    Participant

    Syag,
    I’m still waiting for you to apologize to Joseph, claiming that he made up preferred arrest policies. Do your own research.
    These policies do exist and countless unwarranted and unnecessary arrests are made

    I won’t hold my breath. Your lack of open-mindedness in is thread is very telling.

    #1337368

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    LU: Your example of “smelling smoke:” may also not be a good example as electrical fires can start behind a wall and the only indication is the “smell of smoke”. It is possible one would be allowed to call 911 in that situation.

    #1337369

    yekke2
    Participant

    Syag versus the Psak Halacha of the Rov of the shul both the OP and the neighbor with the raised voice (that the OP clearly stated in multiple comments that he’s unsure if anything untoward is occurring.)

    Who do you choose? Syag or the Psak of the mutual Rov of both the neighbor and the OP?

    I’d probably side with Syag over many “Rov of shuls”. As you are hopefully aware, being a Rav of a Shul means not much; in some places it means that you have a basic grasp of the Hebrew Alphabet (and perhaps the ability to blow a Shofar) and arrange the minyan; in some places being a Rav automatically qualifies you as a Ba’al Koreh. Not every “rov of a shul” has the knowledge, understanding or comprehension necessary to pasken shailas. Something which is in the Kitzus Shulchan Aruch? Sure. Something in the Magen Avraham? Maybe.

    Something which needs a שיקול הדעת? Maybe not.

    Anonymous Rabbanim are pretty worthless. I trust Posters who show (albeit anonymously) sound emotional depth, common sense and understanding of people to weigh up these situations. (Again – Everyone agrees that calling the authorities on someone who is in danger is a MUST; most agree that calling the authorities on someone who you know not to be in danger is WRONG. The question is how to classify this scenario. And if there is reasonable suspicion to think that this is even SOFEK SAKANAH, then you are obligated to report)

    #1337370

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Joseph

    “the majority of states have adopted preferred arrest policies that require police to either arrest one or both parties at the scene”

    Yes, dozens of people get arrested for having heir Tv’s too loud. and for “Shalom Bayis issue some couples unfortunately regularly have that’s non-violent” and you acuse others of distorting facts?

    LU
    “there is a reason that the OP called him; he wasn’t sure whether or not the case warranted calling the police,”

    maybe becasue he there is so much confussion about the non-issur to call police when lifes are at risk, that he thought he had too. I called my Rav when a fire started in my neighbors house a few days ago. (Im still waiting for a call back, my Rav is looking into it) that doesnt mean I was right to call the Rav

    “Again, there is a reason why the Rav is the OP’s Rav and not the other way around. Yes, he is not infallible and he may be wrong, but he also may be right.”

    Aside from My Rav looking into the above question. I asked him what bracha to make on an apple he says MEzonos, is he right? Should Istart making mezonos on apples?

    “You misunderstood. That clause was a continuation of:…”
    I didnt misunderstand, You dont understand the implications of your position. while yes there is a definite possibility that nothing is going on, there is also a definite possibility that soemthing is. In such a case the halacha is straight forward. If the Rav doesnt know the halacha that is his problem (and the poor potential victim).
    “Yes, it is assur to call the police if it’s not warranted, and I’m sorry if you can’t understand that.”
    no need to be sorry, but the OP thinks it may be warranted. LEt the police make that determination.

    “regarding the fire example, that is a clear-cut case of pikuach nefesh”
    As I mentioned before, what if You dont know? what if the buildign may be empty? what if everybody inside may be dead. There is a DEFINITE POSSIBILITY that there is no pikuach nefesh.

    “screaming ”
    it wasnt screaming it was “shrieking” and yes I dont call eveeytime I may hear screaming, but if a person thinks there might a problem he should call the police.

    “A better example to your fire example might be if you smelled smoke on Shabbos”
    that example is just as good as mine! If you see smoke pouring out of your neighbors house r”l do you call the fire department or ask your Rav to look into it.
    What if you see smoke and hear shrieking? Maybe its their TV or they are having a play.

    #1337371

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    This isnt complicated.

    I have a simple question for the OP:
    Do you think somebody MIGHT be in danger?

    There are three possible answers:
    1) Yes (this is how I understood the OP)
    definitely call the police. (Is there anyone, besides for Joseph, who disagrees in this situation?)

    2) No – (I dont see how this fits with the OP)
    I agree dont call the police. IF there is no chance anyone is in danger

    3) I dont know
    This response shows a misunderstanding of the the question was “MIGHT someone be in danger” if you dont know then the answer is Yes. See above for the appropriate action

    #1337373

    Avi K
    Participant

    LU, safek pikuach nefesh is also pikuach nefesh. In the case of the smoke you do not go to the house and investigate. You call the FD. Screams are another matter. Some people are simply screamers. They may be very nice people but they have a nervous problem and need to let it out. In fact, the who kill their whole families are often quiet types who never argue. Then one day they explode.

    #1337396

    Joseph
    Participant

    Yekke2:

    Posek HaDor Rav Elyashiv zt’l paskened, and affirmed by the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, that one is prohibited to report to the authorities unless a competent Posek/Rov first rule the situation is raglayim l’davar. And the only exception he ruled is if the person actually witnessing the abuse himself/has first-hand certainty it’s occurring, that he may call the authorities without asking a shaila first.

    #1337394

    oiyveyismear
    Participant

    My gut tells me there is something wrong. I don’t know if its just verbal or physical. It could just be verbal (not to downplay that, however its wouldn’t be s bad as physical abuse). I asked my Rav now 3 times. Getting a little frustrated because it seems more and more like he is blowing me off. However, he is well respected in the community and am confident he is doing something. Its just frustrating because I want to take matters into my own hands. At the same time, it would be unbearably uncomfortable to live next to them if it turns out nothing serious was going on. And no, its definitely not the TV or youtube. Its the husband and wife conversing.

    #1337453

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    joseph

    “Posek HaDor Rav Elyashiv zt’l paskened,…”
    Is that during the fact or after?
    Did anybody ask Rav Elyashiv if there is a fellow alone with a child, I hear shreaking cioming from the room, can I call the police ?

    Would anybody really hesitate? I doubt anybody would dream of asking such a sheilah. (where it isnt practical/possible to go in yourself for whatever reason)

    #1337448

    yehudayona
    Participant

    I’m wondering what “crimson authorities” means.

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