Where is the line between halacha and dinas dimalchusa

Home Forums Decaffeinated Coffee Where is the line between halacha and dinas dimalchusa


Viewing 38 posts - 1 through 38 (of 38 total)
  • Author
  • #2006631

    especially during lockdowns where do you keep the laws over halacha and why should you even keep the law in general? i think we should keep the law but why? dina dmalchusa dina is only with momonois and if nobody knows you broke it then its not chilul hashem. if its sakana then you can ask a doctor what pracautions you should take. why should we follow the law? is there a part of halacha that would suggest you have to? is it nothing to do with torah and you just dont want to get caught?


    Nochum Dokshitz – can you give Mekoros for your statements that Dina d’Malchusa being only for financial matters, and that the only issue otherwise is not getting caught due to Chilul Hashem? In any case, even according to your stated logic, there’s always a better-than-you-think chance that you’ll be caught, thereby causing a Chulul Hashem – so that in and of itself should be a reason to FOLLOW THE LAW.

    an Israeli Yid

    Reb Eliezer

    You should keep dinei demalchusei if it is not against the Torah. It says in Pirkei Avos, we should pray for the well being of the government. The Chasam Sofer says that we see from Eliyahu Hanavi how he respected Achav, a rasha, when he ran after him.


    Halacha ALWAYS takes precedence over secular law (dina dmalchusa), when in conflict.


    There is NO BRIGHT LINE. As your LRP when in doubt but otherwise, follow the rules set out for all, even if you think others are violating those rules. We know that Yidden will always be held up to a higher standard and anti-semites will exploit our mistakes to hype their sterotypes. Absent a mandate that would result in a yid forciblyviolating certain laws regarding idolatry, murder and adultery et. al, we should always seek to conform with civil laws, especially those seemingly designed to protect public health. Where is the “line”? Well, personally, I would violate civil laws on eating treifus, foregoing milah etc. but that is personal.


    aIY: I don’t have the mekor offhand, but the OP is correct that dina dmalchusa is generally only applicable in issues regarding monetary obligations issued by the government.


    Not going to the feast of Achashveirosh against Dina D’malchusa?


    I remember seeing in encyclopedia talmudis when i learned bava metzia, there’s an entry on dina demalchua, where he brings rishonim who say that it only applies to monetary issues; moreover, some hold that the reasoning is that since the king owns everything, we’re only able to use the land and resources as oer his directives. This would make it not apply nowadays, but the loskim seemingly do not go with this rishon in practical psak halacha.

    Issues of chilul hashem have little to nothing to do with dina dimalchusa and i would note that the conflation of the two seems to belie a different motivation….can those of us who champion – legitimately so – dina dinalchusa etc say unequivocally that their intentions aren’t at all motivated by a desire for acceptance by goyim and not to be looked down on by them? The same way it is possible for someone who rails against working and/or college – legitimately again – to simply be lazy, I think especially during the aseres yemei teshuva it is worthwhile to put aside mekoros for a moment and undertake an introspection to identify what motivates our opinions, if it is really for Hashem’s kovod or personal bias and middos.

    Everyone has their “pet” issue; I’ll admit that I can go on and on about modern orthodoxy and Zionism untill next shmitah, and I’ll also admit that it is possible that my – again legitimate – criticism comes from personal feelings; not the facts and logic, but rather the motivation for and the intensity of the feelings therefrom


    R Heineman was asked during 2020 lockdown, whether it is possible to make a minyan with several families each standing in their own yard, so technically within the law. I think the questioner was not sure that this will count them as one group. The psak was – no, because a passer-by will not look carefully whether you are within the law, he will just see Jews doing something inappropriate. Then, he said, when some Jew will be in a need of a ventilator, someone might deny him one based on the opinions going about the Jews.

    Beitza 8 regarding not shehting koy on yom tov – do not do a chumrah that will look inappropriate for an uneducated person.


    There were/are gedolei yisroel who were careful to keep every law, even things like Jay walking


    Nochum, when comparing halakha and dina d’malchusa regarding lockdowns, halakha should generally be more strict than secular law (according to R Meir Twersky, May 2020), as Jews have high obligations to care about human lives and other people, while politicians might be also influenced by a desire to have economy running and be popular.

    Now with a year of experience, where might secular law become more strict: politicians can follow strict way when strictness is popular and helpful to economy. Why would halakha become less strict then? if it is less popular among Jews, or Jewish businesses/lifestyle are affected, and Jewish community is pressed in a different direction? something to think about.


    The Ran in Nedarim paskens that dina dmalchusa is completely not applicable in Eretz Yisroel. For the very reason Avira mentioned. Since dina dmalchusa is only applicable in the first place since we need to repay the local king for his allowing us to live in his country, so we must pay his taxes, etc (dina dmalchusa). But every Jew has an automatic Torah right to live in Eretz Yisroel. It isn’t dependent on the local monarch’s permission or graciousness. Therefore, dina dmalchusa does not apply in Eretz Yisroel.


    Dinah Dimalchusa Dina dont apply if the laws dont make sence….and nothing about the corona rules makes any sence. Also clown run the country sso you dont listen to a clown.

    meir G

    dina demalchusa is far less than blanket ” dinei momonus” if all monetary law would follow governing law than choshen mishpat & beis din are basicly by the wayside . business halacha is so diff than legal..
    chillul hashem is a whole sep. issue which is also very ,limited , if the ny post ran any of these headlines would you consider it a chillul hashem
    1. orthodox camp forbids 12 yr old girls from eating or drinking for 25 hrs in 90 degree heat
    2. grand rabbi prohibits uncle to hug niece at her graduation
    3. mazel tov , newborn mom ” daddy dont touch”


    Meir: Dina Dmalchusa only applies to monetary obligations to the State/government. Not to other individuals. The latter follow Choshen Mishpat, as you said.


    hi nochukm dockshitz!
    he is i think only asking AS he has been in lockdown for tghe past 7 weeks and is sick of it


    “some hold that the reasoning is that since the king owns everything, we’re only able to use the land and resources as oer his directives. This would make [dinas dimalchusa] not apply nowadays”

    Well, the way things are going in D.C., if you just wait a while, the “King” (aka “the government”) will soon own everything again so dinas demalchusa will again be the rule. See the House Democratic Ways and Means Committee Tax proposal released evev shabbos

    Avi K

    Dina d’malchuta dina is far more than monetary matters(@ujm, many poskim rule that monetary laws have the power of minhag hamedina). According to the Chatam Sofer it includes anything that is enacted for public safety and welfare. A modern example would be traffic laws. There are a number of online articles on the subject.

    According to Rambam, Rabbenu Tam (Or Zerua, Piskei Bab Kaam 447), the Shulchan Aruch (CM 369,6), and Rav Ovadia (Yechavei Daat 5,64) it does apply in Eretz Yisrael. The Rashba (Baba Batra 54b d”h v’amar) says that it has nothing to do with land ownership. Anyone who lives in a country implicitly accepts its laws.

    CHOOSID, who decides what makes SENSE (please learn how to spell or get a spell check)?

    Avi K

    correction: the citation from Baba Batra is the Rashbam.


    As we got lots of sources here already, maybe those who feel oppressed by a specific din, can quote the specifics so that we can see which sources apply where.

    Also, some call to not mix up Dina d’m with Hillul Hashem, but they are related. When people see or suspect Jews of doing something illegal, it would be Hillul Hashem, provided population respects the law itself. So, this may be different between Czar’s or Commies Russia or some Baghdad Caliph v. a modern democracy where you can generally assume that > 50% of the population, give or take, even if indirectly, support the law. So, keep in mind that some of the sources may have been developed under oppressive governments.


    Avi; whether or not it applies in general in EY is indeed a machlokes; rav chain kanievsky however, says that lechol hadeos Israeli law doesn’t enjoy the status of dina demalchua, because it is an illegitimate country; a shmad-heretical state in EY is not valid.

    As for it applying to other matters besides mamonos, that’s a machlokes without a clear psak one way or the other; I don’t think we pasken that dina demalchusa can apply between yidden when there’s a conflict with choshen mishpat simply because even if such shitos exist, the baal din would have a kim li on the other shitos for sure


    Interesting that Avi Weiss and company held that you had to do civil disobedience and break the law in public


    CS – very good point; but I’m sure he’d be the first to invoke didmch”d in regards to things that suit his agenda, like toeva marriages


    Mr. Weiss is no more relevant than any other Reform/OO/Conservative clergyman.

    Avi K

    Avira, RCK doesn’t say anything. He just learns. His grandson Yanky is the one who does the talking. In any case, your issues are well known here. Just out of curiosity, would you say that the Israeli government is legitimate for the purpose of taking money, such as what it gives to Torah institutions and avereichim?

    CS, Rabbi Weiss’ role model in this is MLK. If you read “Letter from a Birmingham jail” you will see that he (and Rabbi Weiss) accepted the fact that they would have to go to jail. MLK was also worried about anarchy. In any case, there is a clear difference between protesting a law one considers unjust and breaking a law for personal convenience or profit.


    > protesting a law one considers unjust

    at the end, US provides democratic means to change the laws provided you can convince the people of such. In the case of MLK, he thought that he needs to have illegal acts and jail as a dramatic step of convincing the public or specific politicians. He did not plan the marches to establish alternative reality to the law.


    Avira > lechol hadeos Israeli law doesn’t enjoy the status of dina demalchua,

    You can’t say “lechol hadeos”, if there are deos that disagree. You again define “deos” as only those with whom you agree.

    If you think that delegitimizing others make your argument here stronger, you are mistaken. It is other way around. I suggest following Beis Hillel quoting R Kook first 🙂


    @Avi K .” In any case, there is a clear difference between protesting a law one considers unjust and breaking a law for personal convenience or profit.”

    1. Ever heard of the expression the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    2. who is the say the personal convenience is less a pure motive the the self aggrandisement by the likes of Al Sharpton or Avi Weiss Etal.

    3. Maybe just maybe loads of people consider it to be a unjust law inspite of what you think is just.


    Avi, the measly amounts the Israeli government gives is far far less than what they steal… er, collect in taxes from the frum community.

    And uch un vey for anyone to take a philandering drunkard like MLK as their role model.

    And your differentiation regarding breaking the (based on what “one considers” the law) has no basis in the halacha of dina dmalchusa. It is at best a boich svara and at worst much worse.


    Also, Avi, martin luther king jr is not a posek; if Avi weiss takes his ques from him philosophically, that’s his decision, but it would not allow him to break American law in his protests according to the opinions that a jew must follow American/civil law aside from money. Actually, breaking the law in protest of the government might be assur according to everyone, because it is a rebellion against the malchus, which aside from the possibility of prompting the perpetuation of the disloyal jew canard, is a great chutzpah and kafias tov since we benefit so much from America.


    Also, it is highly likely that if rabbi kook had been alive to see that his prediction that the zionist leaders would all do teshuva did not fome true, and that they would spend decades undermining Torah and causing endless spiritual and physical danger and destruction to klal yisroel, that he would have been on the other side of the aisle


    1. Especially in democracies (and especially the US, which is a federation in which the “reserved powers” belong to the states) there will be debate over whether specific law is valid. American law is much more complex than most, since it it debateable if public health measures are the responsibility of the states or the federal government, and how the protections of the First Amendment of the Federal Constitution (and the state equivalents) apply.

    2. If the Rabbanim of the city mandate a lockdown, even if it would be held unconstitutional if done by the government, a strong argument can be made that our law (rather the Dina Malchusa Dina) applies, even if the Rabbanim have been poorly advised.

    3. Whether the policies banning religious services but allowing similar events (with many people gathering together, such as left wing political ralles) is constitutional is very much debateable. In the past we often had to decide how to deal with anti-Jewish laws (e.g. close the synagogues) but have rarely needed to worry about general laws directed against all religion (e.g. close down all houses of worship). A similar situation did arise when militantly atheistic socialists took over Russia about 100 years ago, and passed laws against all religions (not just Jews), and I believe most rabbanim held that Dina Malchusa Dina did not apply, and we honor those who refused to obey these laws.


    > militantly atheistic socialists took over Russia

    There is a difference, of course – you could not appeal Soviet decrees, while you could governor’s. Turns out, the governor can even resign under pressure! So, what is a reason to disobey when you have democratic means – courts, elections. You can also move from NY to Alabama.


    There is something universal in religious experience that makes people feel that they are not just above the law, but above Hashem’s natural laws. A recent research in Bangladesh looked at community-level effect of masking – they advertised masks in some villages and compared with similar villages without advertisement.

    One of interesting results was that masking lead to increase in SD, rather than decrease as famous sociologist Fauci was afraid. Specifically – SD increased in market places, but did not in mosques … Maybe somehow people think that doing Hashem’s will protect them.


    Ujm, Avira – regarding those who justify taking money “back” from the state. This seems to be against the Gemora about Rav Huna whose wine soured because he did not pay his workers – who already helped themselves by stealing from him. R Huna deserved either an open (vinegar -> wine) or a hidden (vinegar price = wine price) miracle for doing teshuva.

    I am also not sure if I will be “justified” getting some extra funds from the government if I estimate that I got less from the government than I paid in taxes… They might knock on the door with gentle
    Obama’s “you did not build that”,


    I see a list of cases where we need some sort of third-party kashrus supervision, when decision makers are nogeah b’davar:
    – Jews in EY estimating that they can take more from the government because of their contribution
    – Jews in US taking welfare funds, justifying that they are using them for good reasons, quoting from CR – welfare worker said that they like how we spend welfare money on doing good things
    – Jewish organizations saying that it is OK to attend shuls/schools (that they run) despite government decrees, or getting close to the line

    This does not look different from a butcher certifying his own meat… Even if you do not cheat directly, you are bound to be biased.

    R Twersky quotes a question from a local Rav whose very annoying congregant wants an advice regarding make aliyah. Rav would be happy to buy the guy a ticket himself, so he is asking – can he advise the guy. R Twersky answers – no way you can, tell him (ambiguously) – “I can not beobjective “because of our (close?) relationship”


    @AAQ, first of all the USSR had a court system, The Supreme Court of the Soviet Union (Russian: Верховный Суд СССР) was the highest court of the Soviet Union during its existence and your chance of winning a court case against the case was about the same as in certain courts districts.

    Second, “You can also move from NY to Alabama.” that ranks up there as one of the most lame statement that someone posted, how would you feel if the shoe was on the other foot and someone told you that if you didnt like something to move away?
    BTW its happening now all tthe states with strict covid rules such as NY CA PA MI IL are losing house seats to places with lax Covid rules such as TX FL NC AZ and MT


    > “You can also move from NY to Alabama.” .. someone told you that if you didnt like something to move away

    I actually live in a pretty liberal place, and when I was younger and (even more) vocal, I was told about that … But note that moving from NY to Alabama is not that dramatic, comparing to what people in the world experience when, say, Poles move to UK, or Syrians to Germany. I moved from the South to Midwest and then further North, and you adapt pretty quickly.

    This is the beauty of this country – there is competition between governments (states) not just businesses: people can choose whether they want to have high or low tax rates, etc. The Feds are the only ones above competition and that is why progressives are trying to use Feds rather than states for their agenda – so that we will not be able to run away from them, as you mention.

    As to comparing USSR and USA courts, that is lamer than what I said (:…

Viewing 38 posts - 1 through 38 (of 38 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.