The Press Is At It Again With Its ‘Love’ For Jews


ywe3.jpg[By Yossi Gestetner:]

The latest is from a NY Post story, written by Reuven Blau and published August 23. In the story, the writer says that “Rabbinical judges who sit on what are called “beth din” courts often handle cases that New York City Jews don’t want in the regular judicial system, such as matters involving tax evasion or other illegalities.”

I sent an email to the writer, which I think says to a reporter all he/she needs to hear after writing such a report. The email was as follows:


You wrote that Rabbinical judges who sit on what are called beth din courts often handle cases that New York City Jews don’t want in the regular judicial system, such as matters involving tax evasion or other illegalities.

As a journalist myself, let me talk to you openly: I think you are ignorant of the Jewish court system (or perhaps you are just a blatant Anti-Semite). The issue of tax evasion will under no circumstances come before the Jewish court, because it is simply not an issue that falls under the Jewish law (beyond that us Jews need to follow the law of the land and pay taxes, with no two-ways about it from a Jewish court standpoint).

Get educated before you write a report, or if anti-Semitism is at play here, make sure that the anti-Jewish environment that pollutes the air at the NY Post HQ does not make you look like a fool again.

With no respect at all,

Yossi Gestetner.

Comments on the NY Post report didn’t fail to come. Some commentators wrote that if Jews don’t like the law of the land, they can/should go back to Israel. One person alleged that crimes done by Jews get “hushed up” through using the Jewish Court system.

The fact of the matter is, that the Jewish court system is mainly set up that Jews should straighten out their disputes (family or financial) within a Rabbinical setting, and in no way can the Bes Din rule on something that is solely a government issue such as taxes. Better yet, if the defendant does not show up at Bes Din, the plaintiff can obtain a ruling from Bes Din that will permit the matter to be taken into the regular courts. Even more, every ruling by the Jewish Court can – according to Rabbinical law – be enforced through the regular court system, if the parties involved don’t comply with the Bes Din.

All this information is common knowledge to everyone that knows the minimum of the Jewish Law and its court system, but don’t count on newsmakers to bother reporting the facts.

To contact the writer send an email to [email protected].

(Yossi Gestetner – YWN)


  1. I actually posted in response to the article on the NYPost site. Thankfully, my post, which called into question the writer’s motivation, etc., stood for a while. However, to my chagrin, the following day, MY posting was removed, while several posts that called for Jews to “move back to Israel (and get out of this country)” remained.

    Go figure.

  2. Dear Mr. Gestetner,

    Unlike you, I actually took the initiative to clarify what the author of this story meant by matters of tax evasion, instead of simply attacking a fellow Jew with such vitriol. What was meant was simply what had been told to him directly by one of his sources close to the matter- that in some cases where the litigants may not want certain assets to become revealed to the general courts, they opt to go to beis din.
    For example, if 2 business partners are trying to split a business, but some of the business was conducted under the table and taxes were never filed on that part, the litigants choose to go to beis din instead of the US courts so as to not have to reveal those assets.
    Guess what Mr. Gestetner? This really happens. For someone who claims to be a reporter, you’ve sure done a poor job with your research.

  3. I happen to know the writer. We used to be in Yeshivah togethar. He is definitely not an Anti-Semite. He is just seemingly ignorant of the halachos pertaining to Bes Din.

  4. דברי חכמים בנחת נשמה

    If your point was to change that reporters opinion or get an apology, I think you could have gone about it much better by pointing out his mistakes and asking for a retraction to be written.

    True, he may be an anti-Semite, but even anti-Semites can change if influenced the right way. Sometimes such hatred is based on poison that has been spoken into their ears for years and once they see that they have been lied to they drop all hatred.

  5. I think you’re missing the point here.
    Presumably “matters involving tax evasion or other illegalities” does not mean that the tax evasion or illegality is what is being adjudicated, it means that the issue being adjudicated involves some illegality and the parties therefore don’t want to bring it to court.

  6. If we will be careful to have the proper A’Havas Habrios to all Nations; than Hashem will never again punish us ‘Middoh Kneged Middoh’, by implanting Sinnah into the Nations against us.

    History just keeps on repeating.

  7. I am glad some readers posted their opinions.

    I have a few thoughts:

    I didn’t write to Mr. Blau “You hatefull anti-semite. How can you write such a thing? You are a continuation of the Nazi PR people. Burn in hell.”

    1) Using the anti-Semite term was only second to – what I saw as – his ignorance of this topic.

    2) when I did use the word anti-Semit, it was in parenthesis, which means that those specific words are meant on a lesser level than the rest of my e-mail.

    3) At the end of the e-mail, I asked him to get educated, and didn’t just call him an anti-semite. And when I did use it, it was. A) written as an IF (if anti-semitism is at play her, etc), and B) was attributed to the culture in the NY Post HQ, rather than to the writer himself.

    4) I will call anti-semitism for what it is when I see it, regardless if it comes from a Jew or Gentile, from a writer or from a newspaper. However, I won’t/don’t use it so easy as some cry “racist” on situations where racism is not at issue even by a long shot.

    In closing: The paragraph about why we often use Bes Din was by no means a piece of good journalism. It was written out of ignorance, or… Maybe (again: maybe) out of little love for Observant Jews. You decide.

    – Yossi

  8. Sadly, Reuven Blau’s information was very accurate.

    Bais Din is used as a tool to sweep legal issues aside and deal with things internally. This is one reason for the steady drumroll to make rabbonim and dayanim mandated reporters about illegal activity.

  9. Yossi Gestetner, bad call!

    After all that has happened the past two years it seems some people will never learn!

    Yes people do do illegal or semi legal business activities, even otherwise frum Jews, and they occasionally do have disputes about them so they go to Bais Din. So it is probably true that B”D “often handle cases that New York City Jews dont want in the regular judicial system, such as matters INVOLVING tax evasion or other illegalities.”

    Let’s change OUR attitude and stop blaming the messengers. Its true that most cases in Bais Din are about legally permissible deals but it does happen. Perhaps it was wrong to focus on that small part of Bais Din’s activities. Perhaps it misrepresents all eirlicher yiddin who go to B”D but don’t say he has the facts wrong. Don’t call him an anti-Semite!

    Just a month ago the S. Rebbe said in front of hundreds of people in BP and reported to hundreds of thousands of others that there are many people (I think he meant Frum Yiddin) who believed that it is impossible to run a Mossad legally. In other words there are people who believe that every single askon, Rav, Menahel etc is guilty of tax evasion or other such crimes, Hashem Yerachem!!

    We must change our attitude and truly be ashamed of such activity and stop just trying to hide the facts by calling their critics ant-Semites or some other form of blaming the messengers!

  10. As the YWN editors are questioning the credibility and the objectivity of the mainstream media re: heimishe yiden it’s a wonder why YWN created an editorial and stated clearly that its based on information from the media (the previous editorial). Please explain or better yet be a “moda al hoemes” and retrive the privious editorial

  11. I don’t know who gets credit for it, but I would like to report that as of now, the most vicious anti-semitic posts have been removed from the comments section.

    To echo many others, perhaps we can have an open/honest/respectful, but accountable dialogue with Mr. Blau.