Chacham Ovadiah Has Strong Words for Those Who Go to Secular Court and Not Botei Din


rav-ovadiah-yosefChacham Ovadia Yosef, in his weekly drasha lastfrom his home in Har Nof, stated that those who send their children to secular schools or utilize the civil courts system instead of botei din cannot serve as shluchei tzibbur in shuls.

Going to arakaos, secular court, in assur min haTorah.

“A Jew who goes to the courts of non-Jews for them to adjudicate a case, and not to a bet din, may not be a shliach tzibbur,” said Chacham Ovadia, adding that “…today people go to the secular courts, which is against the Torah… We see [the courts’] behavior against the Torah, against yeshiva students…they have no love for Torah, they despise the Torah. There is no safek that the judges in the secular court system are not kosher as witnesses, and they may not be eidim on a kiddushin, …and if someone does so, is as if there was no kiddushin.”

Chacham Ovadiatold the crowd at his shmuess of one case in which he was mevatel a kiddushin because one of the eidim had been a judge in the state court system. The couple had to have their kiddushin done again.

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. Wow, shocking that Matzav is reporting this! You love to cover up for people who DO go to the secular courts!

    Little sissys! You feel so threatened?! Mesirah & Matzav go hand in hand! Shame on all of you!

  2. We also have a crisis in our times. The process of Zabla is discrediting the standing of Botei Din. In many cases, we’d do a whole lot better finding ONE ehrlicher Rav, no Borerim, and simply having the two sides appear before the single accepted Dayan.

  3. The fundamental problem is that there is no real Beit Din in Israel. They are all, at the most, only arbitration boards. both parties must first sign an arbitration agreement and if one refuses, there is very little that can be done. Especially if one of the parties is an “outsider” to the community of this particular Beit Din.

    Then, aside from the State Rabbinate, none of them has any police power to enforce their decision. And even the State Rabbinate is very limited as to what they can do.

    What come out of all of this is that the Beit Din system can only work when both parties are members of the same community and will respond to the social pressure of that community. What is a person to do if he has a problem with someone outside his community or not committed to a Torah life? What about a problem with an Israeli corporation or a Government agency?

    So while it is legitimate to criticize those who by-pass the Torah system, it would be more helpful to develop a functional alternative.

    Aryeh Zelasko
    Beit Shemesh

  4. First you try to take your claim to Bais Din. If Bais Din can’t get the other side to come after a great deal of work, then they normally will give you permission to go to a secular court. That is the proper way.