Supreme Court Ruling Overturns Beis Din Cherem


chnIn a landmark decision earlier this week, Israel’s Supreme Court overturned a beis din’s decision in which a person was placed in cherem. The case in point refers to a petition filed by a resident of Elad together with the Hiddush – Freedom of Religion for Israel organization.

A beis din affiliated with the nation’s Chief Rabbinate placed a person in cherem in retaliation for the petitioner seeking to adjudicate a matter in a secular magistrate court, labeling the person in question a ‘malshin’. The case began as a complaint between neighbors. One neighbor turned to a secular court, which was met by a warning by the beis din, instructing her to drop the case in a secular court. When she refused, the beis din followed with the cherem.

The petitioner told the court the beis din exceeded its authority and actually is guilty of obstruction of justice by interfering in the due process of the civil court. The petition was filed in the Supreme Court by Hiddush CEO Uri Regev, esq. and Edna Mayrav, esq.

According to the petition prepared by Hiddush, after the beis din’s ruling, the life of the petitioner and her family became “a nightmare”, citing the woman and her daughters had to stop going to shul and they rarely left their home. They document that on rare occasion when they did leave the home; neighbors spat at them and would have nothing to do with them.

Hiddush hailed the court’s decision which undermines the authority of the beis din system as well as serving to highlight the ongoing power struggle that exists between the civil and rabbinical courts in Israel.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. They can overturn it all they want. The real question will be if anyone will listen to the high court? My gut feeling is no and the cherem will stay in place.

  2. I don’t understand this women. Do you live in a charedie neighborhood because you are frum then you have to listen to the bies din. Now if you don’t listen to the bies din because you are chilony then why do you care what the bies din is saying? and why do you live in a chariedy neighborhood in the first place? Why don’t you should move to a chilony neighborhood?

  3. Some of our finest Rabbonim and REBBEs have been using the secular courts to bring lawsuits. The beis din has no option to enforce laws in our day and age,,chavel!!

  4. What a joke this “supreme court” is. It issued a meaningless paper. It has no power or enforcement. The Cherem remains in full effect. A secular court cannot “overturn” it. It is no different than an Islamic judge in a Sharia Court declared this Cherem “overturned”. The supreme court may as well as “overturn” decisions issued in foreign courts. It would have the same effect as this.

  5. The concept of a government “Beis din” is an oxymoron. If the court is funded and controlled by the government, it is a government court subject to the government’s laws. If the court is a government court, it is a “Beis din”. In ancient times, whether we were rules by Beis Dovid, or the Persians, or the Greek, or the Romans – the courts were never controlled by the government. The government could ignore the Beis Din, especially if the government had its legions handy, but the judges and the law they implemented was never the government’s law. The zionist idea of having official government Beitei Din is not only unhistorical and contrary to halacha, but unwise as well.