Do we need another frum judge?

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  • #618263

    flatbusher
    Participant

    I see another frum person is running for civil court judge in New York. I can understand that a frum person running for political office, thinking he can be an advocate for our community, but a judge on the bench has to rule according to dina malchusa. So, what is the point of having a frum person on the bench?

    #1176319

    Joseph
    Participant

    Flatbusher, you’re 100% correct. It’s assur, for the reason you cited, for a Jew to be a judge on a non-Jewish court that judges Jews.

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/jew-becoming-a-lawyer-or-judge-halachic-problems

    #1176320

    1 less ruler to rule with anti semitism hatred and not worry about him

    #1176321

    cherrybim
    Participant

    Not to mention the Chillul Hashem created when the Judge’s scandals are plastered in the pages of newspapers and other media around the world.

    #1176322

    flatbusher
    Participant

    Mashiach agent: or bending the law in favor a frum person, is that right?

    #1176323

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Joseph, source?

    #1176324

    Joseph
    Participant

    source?

    ???? ??????? ??? ???? ??????, Gittin 88b ?????? ??? ???? ???”?, Rashi Shemos 21:1, Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat 26:1, Rama, Tashbetz Tur 3:6, Kesph Hakadashim 26:1.

    Chazon Ish Sanhedrin 15:4, Divray Malkiel 5:210, Pamoney Zahav 26, Igros Moshe 1:58, Tzizt Eliezer 11:93.

    In fact, the Chazon Ish writes that it is even a greater Chillul Hashem for Jewish judges to rule in accordance with non-Jewish law instead of Halacha.

    #1176325

    Joseph
    Participant

    #1176326

    Sparkly
    Member

    the more the better!

    #1176327

    NeutiquamErro
    Participant

    Sparkly: I’ve kind of got used to ignoring certain posters, and/or discussions, but I’ve got to ask: Do you mean what I think you mean?

    #1176328

    Sparkly
    Member

    NeutiquamErro – that “the more the better!” meant the more frum judges there are the better. is that what you thought i was saying? and thats kind of insulting to say that your ignoring me….

    #1176329

    NeutiquamErro
    Participant

    OKay, as I thought. Bearing in mind your subtitle, are you going to explain why you believe you’re correct in holding that view? Because Joseph has made some very pertinent, well explained points. I’m not going to say I agree with him, or that I disagree. I’m simply asking why you believe he’s wrong.

    P.S. Be assured I didn’t mean to offend anybody, and I apologise if I did.

    #1176330

    Sparkly
    Member

    NeutiquamErro – thats VERY insulting. i know a few frum lady judges and their amazing people and wouldnt mind them to judge me.

    #1176331

    Avi K
    Participant

    Flatbusher, a judge is not supposed to represent the interests of a particular community. That is the job of politicians.

    Joseph, Rav Yaakov Ariel said (and paskened for some l’maaseh)that it is a mitzva for a judge who knows how to go about bringing more Jewish law into Israeli law (and, in fact, many judges do cite Jewish law and some laws establish principles of Jewish law into civil law) to do so. Moreover, Israeli judges can refer litigants to mediation or arbitration (secular courts here are extremely congested and judges try to pass on cases as much as possible) and some have referred them to battei din. In the US this is more problematic because of the separation of religion and state although not impossible (both Earl Warren and Antonin Scalia cited Jewish sources in their opinions). As for a Jewish judge presiding over a civil court see “Serving as Judge in Secular Courts” (on-line). I heard of a case where a frum judge reprimanded two Chassidic groups for not taking their case to a din Torah.

    #1176332

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    The Chazon Ish was referring to Jews going to be judged by a judge, especially a Jewish one, in secular court.

    He was not referring to the judge taking the position which is not specifically to judge Jewish litigants.

    #1176333

    Joseph
    Participant

    DY: Note the Chazon Ish’s language in referring to Jews who serve as judges on non-Jewish courts as “Jewish judges who have traded away a Torah system for a worthless, vain system.”

    Secondly, and more importantly, a Jew who accepts a position as a judge in a non-Jewish court, especially in an area where Jews live, will unfortunately face many Jewish litigants, whether as plaintiff, defendant or both in the same case. And the Jewish judge is then halachicly prohibited from adjudicating that case involving Jews by applying non-Jewish laws. But his position as a secular judge requires him to judge the case using non-Jewish laws and non-Jewish standards of judging. Thus he will inevitably be forced to violate halacha when faced with Jewish litigants.

    Virtually none of the Jewish judges on the non-Jewish bench recuses himself from all cases that he is assigned that are involving Jews. If a judge were to recuse himself so many times it would be obvious to the public and press that he is doing so for that reason. It doesn’t happen. And very frequently one of the Jewish parties filed a case in arkaos, contrary to halacha, and shlepped the other Jewish party to arkaos unwillingly. Then they face the Jewish judge who will unhalachicly adjudicate the case via non-Jewish laws and standards, against the will of one of the parties – because the other party refuses to withdraw the case and go to beis din. (Note, though, that even if both Jewish litigants were willing to have the case adjudicated in arkaos rather than beis din, it is still prohibited to do so.)

    #1176334

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    That’s all your interpretation, but not what the Chazon Ish said.

    #1176335

    TheGoq
    Participant

    It’s a job that pays well you get a nice chair and a robe and you get to bang a gavel.

    #1176336

    NeutiquamErro
    Participant

    Sparkly: Okay… I’m gonna try phrase this as well as I can, and I apologise in advance if you manage to take offence. And that’s my last insincere apology on this thread.

    Without meaning to sound harsh, there is literally nothing in your most recent ‘response’ that correlates even vaguely to anything I’d said. And I’m happy to elaborate.

    Firstly, you started off with saying ‘thats (sic) VERY insulting’. Nothing in the post before that could have possibly offended you. In fact, I’d apologised for any offence possibly inadvertently caused by my first post.

    Your next sentence is also a non-sequitur. I personally had asked you to explain in slightly more detail why you disagreed with Joseph. Telling me some ‘lady judges’ were ‘amazing people’ does not constitute a response in any sense. I’d only chipped in to ask if you were going to attempt to clarify your views, as opposed to simply posting unsubstantiated, emotional statements. The reason I’d asked is because I was following the conversation with interest, it being an interesting topic to discuss. You seemed to disagree with several posters, but you didn’t explain yourself. So I asked you to explain yourself, simply to see if you were merely being provocative or actually had a coherent point to make. And your next post confused me even further.

    So I ask again. Are you planning on explaining your viewpoint? Defending it? Challenging others’?

    #1176337

    Sparkly
    Member

    NeutiquamErro – you seem to have a probably understanding me…. because i said i was insulted since you said that you started ignoring certain posts implying that those were mine. i was stating the reason why i disagree about why there should be more religious judges and thats why i said “i know a few frum lady judges and their amazing people and wouldnt mind them to judge me”. does that clarify my response?

    #1176338

    NeutiquamErro
    Participant

    Were I so inclined, I would say that continuing to profess oneself insulted after already having been apologised to, and despite there being no definite insult in the first place, is nothing more than being needlessly over-dramatic. But to engage with these dramatics is to violate my own am-dram ban #amdramban. So I’ll answer your question and try leave it at that.

    No. That in no way clarifies, or justifies, your response. The discussion is on halachic and logical grounds. You’ve stated your emotion, which is that you’re ‘very happy’ about it. And I’m glad. But that’s not a reasoned response. Feel free to say you’re not going to provide one, but don’t act as if you have. I’m asking you, as a dissenting voice, to provide a backing for your answer. I don’t expect you to have one, your subtitle indicates that would be the case. Prove me wrong.

    #1176339

    Meno
    Participant

    “I don’t expect you to have one, your subtitle indicates that would be the case”

    Just to be fair (not taking any sides on this matter), she had asked for her subtitle to be changed at one point.

    #1176340

    Sparkly
    Member

    NeutiquamErro – a subtitle DOESNT define me.

    #1176341

    NeutiquamErro
    Participant

    #amdramban

    #1176342

    Meno
    Participant

    Does #amdramban mean only in the morning, or am I reading it wrong?

    EDIT: Never mind. I figured it out.

    #1176343

    NeutiquamErro
    Participant

    #amateurdramaticsban

    #explainedontheKTCRIMthread

    #1176344

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    I have known Morty (Mordechai Avigdor) since I was a teenager. I knew his parents OBM and his brothers. Both Morty and his Brother David practice(d) law. David has also been a shul rav in CT for more than 35 years. His father the Late Rabbi Dr. Issac C. Avigdor was a scholar publishing both sforim and books in English for lay Jewry.

    Boys in the Avigdor family were educated both in the Yeshiva world and with professional degrees to function in society at large. For many years Mordechai Avigdor represented Aguda in actions filed with the US government. Now he seeks a seat on the civil court bench. There is nothing wrong with a Jew applying civil law to solve contract cases (which is what civil court is about). This is not a judge who is charged with sending people to jail or enforcing dina malchusa, merely deciding if a party is aggrieved and entitled to be made whole under the law.

    I have no vote in this election and live in a state where we don’t elect judges (with the exception of part time probate judges). If I lived in the district I would gladly vote for Avigdor for Civil Court Judge

    #1176345

    Joseph
    Participant

    CTL, suppose there was an example (take the following hypothetical scenario as fact) where two Jewish parties come to civil court in a contractual dispute that halachicly may only be adjudicated in Beis Din using Jewish law to determine who is right and who is wrong and only utilizing halachic standards of evidence, in a case where utilizing secular court is halachicly prohibited, i.e. there is no heter arkaos. (Suppose one of the parties wrongly forced the other party into civil court whereas the other party was prepared to accept beis din.) And the case is assigned to a Jewish judge who is halachicly prohibited to use secular law and standards of evidence to adjudicate the dispute. What do you suggest the Jewish judge do and, in reality, what do you think he will actually do?

    #1176346

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Joseph….

    In your hypothetical the Frum judge should simply have his clerk remove the case from his calendar for reassignment to another judge. He need not publicly (or privately comment as to why). The chief administrative judge would not likely ask why for these very rare instances.

    Do I think the Frum judge would do so, probably…see next paragraph.

    In the 1980s I remember an Irish Catholic judge who served in Superior Court (trial level court) in Connecticut. Judge F was very observant in his faith and did not believe in divorce as an option for Catholics. Every few years he would get stuck with a 3 month term in Family court. He’d attend the scheduling meetings and put his name down for custody and alimony cases and divorces that didn’t show the parties to be Catholic (done by examining the marriage licenses in the case files, ceremony not conducted by or signed by a priest). He’d pass on divorces between known Catholics letting Jewish or Protestant judges take the assignments.

    #1176347

    Joseph
    Participant

    CTL, you’re proposed solution is theoretically good. The problem is that in a place like New York City or Israel it is not rare, as you assume. In fact, quite the contrary, it is quite common unfortunately. There are r”l very frequent utilization (virtually daily occurrences in municipalities with a significant Jewish population) of going to arkaos kneged halacha. And Jewish judges in these places will often get these cases. And the reality is they do not recuse themselves from every one of them.

    Also, cases these days are generally randomly assigned to judges by the courts. The judges do not get to select cases they’d like to handle.

    Furthermore, a Catholic judge would have much easier time avoiding Catholic divorce cases than a Jewish judge would have avoiding any case involving Jews that don’t have a heter arkaos. The Catholics are less limited in what is religiously objectionable for adjudicating in a secular court than Jews are limited by virtue of the fact that the default in Jewish law is that using non-Jewish courts is prohibited barring extenuating circumstances recognized by halacha.

    #1176348

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Joseph……..

    Only a theoretical answer can be given to a hypothetical question.

    Until an actual occurrence occurs we’ll never know the action of a particular judge.

    As for NY being a busy place with many lawsuits by Jews, NY is a big place and as such has many more judges than smaller places. That said, a judge can only handle so many cases per week and NY has more judges. The administrative judge (and his clerk) assigns cases. The indvidual clerk and judge review assignments and it is common to refuse, trade off or otherwise duck cases. This is far different from recusing oneself from a case. In that case the litigants and or their attorneys appear before the judge and the judge explains that because of some bias, connection, prior knowledge, personal connection, etc. he/she cannot hear the case fairly and withdraws.

    I don’t live in NYC and I certainly am not running for a position as a civil court judge, but if I were and wanted to ease the possibility of adjudicating these cases that ‘should’ have been brought to a beis din, I’d ask the administrative judge to assign me to a court sitting in less Jewish populated area such as Richmond or the Bronx.

    BUT, this is all an exercise in Hypothetical and Theory, neither of us are the candidate and it is for him to decide what to do should he be elected and sworn in.

    Lastly, “Jews are limited by virtue of the fact that the default in Jewish law is that using non-Jewish courts is prohibited barring extenuating circumstances recognized by halacha.” is something the litigant(s) has/have chosen to ignore if suit was brought in civil court. The State cannot make people adhere to any system of non-civil law (Halacha, Canon, Sharia) if as residents or citizens they choose to make use of the civil courts they cannot be denied.

    #1176349

    charliehall
    Participant

    “”Jewish judges who have traded away a Torah system for a worthless, vain system.””

    If you think the American legal system, which has protected the rights of Jews better than any legal system in history (yes, even better than in biblical times when most of the monarchs were worshiping idols and engaged in corruption) is “worthless” and “vain” you have a seriously distorted POV. You are as bad as the Alt-Right and the BlackLivesMatter nutjobs.

    Note that NONE of the sources you mention ever lived in America or understood the American legal system. I have personally had three orthodox rabbis tell me that it is a mitzvah to serve on a jury in the United States in anything other than a death penalty case and one even responded that I can send a Jew to prison for financial crimes when this would never be permitted under Torah law.

    #1176350

    Joseph
    Participant

    In New York City, State as well as Federal courts, cases are assigned randomly to a judge, generally by a computer.

    #1176351

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Joseph….

    The fact that a computer schedules the judges doesn’t negate the fact that judges can and do reject cases. It happens all the time.

    I do occasionally appear in Federal Court in New York as it is the same District as CT and I am admitted. Last year I got a note from an old classmate who sits on the Federal Bench that he saw my name as counsel in a trial assigned to him, he had his clerk send it back for reassignment. No big deal.

    #1176352

    Joseph
    Participant

    Charlie: Take up your objection with the Chazon Ish. That quote is from him.

    #1176353

    Abba_S
    Participant

    Many judges try to get the litigants to mediate rather then actually judge the case by showing the weakness of each side’s case.

    This actually speeds up the process. So they are not enforcing a judgement that is contrary to Jewish Law. Using this logic , is it permissible to sit on a jury? If you trip on the sidewalk can you sue in Secular Court?

    Is it better to rely on a Frum judge who may give the benefit of the doubt to a Jewish defendant, or rely on a Non-Frum judge who maybe bias against a Frum defendant? I think it is better to elect the Frum judge.

    #1176354

    yehudayona
    Participant

    CTL, you imply that civil court isn’t a problem but criminal court is. Care to elaborate? Not that it matters, but I suspect there are more Jewish plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases than there are Jewish defendants in criminal cases.

    #1176355

    Joseph
    Participant

    It’s assur to sit on a jury on a case between two Jewish litigants.

    And it is certainly assur to sue a Jew in court after tripping on his sidewalk.

    #1176356

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Yehudayona……………

    A judge in civil court will never have to pronounce a death sentence. Although we don’t have the death penalty in CT and most northern states it does exist in some jurisdictions. that’s why I differentiate between civil and criminal court appointments/elections.

    #1176357

    charliehall
    Participant

    “Take up your objection with the Chazon Ish.”

    The Chazon Ish was a gedol. But he did not live in America, and was not familiar with the American legal system. (Was he even fluent in English?) He is not a rabbi I would have ever asked a shilah on the subject nor was he a rabbi anyone else should have asked. This is one for American rabbis. And none of what I just wrote is at all defamatory towards him!

    #1176358

    charliehall
    Participant

    “It’s assur to sit on a jury on a case between two Jewish litigants.”

    I will take my rabbis who are well learned and trustworthy over some anonymous internet commenter who often distorts Torah and may not even be Jewish.

    #1176359

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    Charlie,

    “The Chazon Ish was a gedol. But he did not live in America, and was not familiar with the American legal system.”

    So you are opining that the American system is in concurrence with Halacha?

    How ludicrous. What a typically ahalachic response from you.

    #1176360

    Joseph
    Participant

    … said the false convert of Mr. Avi Weiss.

    Which “rabbi” or rabbah did you ask – Weiss or Lopatin?

    The Chazon Ish was far more capable of applying Halacha to countries he didn’t live in than any rabbi you ever met in your lifetime.

    #1176361

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    Charlie,

    “I will take my rabbis who are well learned and trustworthy over some anonymous internet commenter who often distorts Torah and may not even be Jewish.’

    Couple of points, you are the one who gets all riled about comments and you have the nerve and audacity to make the comment about Joseph’s Jewishness?

    Joseph has certainly showed himself to be exceedingly more knowledgeable about halacha than you. And since you have oft times shown that you are OO, he certainly has shown more fealty to halacha than any of the OO rabbis.

    And once you are questioning the Jewishness of people, you need to start with your own Sean Yanklowitz who publicly statetd to the NYT that his mother was not Jewsih and we know that the head of the IRF’s conversion board was described as apikorus even by Yissoscher Katz, one could rightfully wonder about the Jewishness of your own rabbi.

    #1176362

    yehudayona
    Participant

    CTL, so in a state without the death penalty, you think there’s no problem with a Jewish judge in criminal court?

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