High Court Rejects Appeals Against Bais Din Hagadol

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In a significant decision, the Israeli Supreme Court recently rejected two appeals against the rabbinate’s Bais Din Hagadol of Appeals and ordered the appellants to pay the costs of the case. Justices Neal Hendel, Noam Solberg and Uri Shoham wrote at the conclusion of their verdict: “As a high court of justice, the Supreme Court cannot act as an appellate court against the Bais Din Hagadol and grounds for intervening in its decisions are limited.”

The appellants wanted to annul two rulings of the Bais Din Hagadol, one which upheld the decision of a regional bais din to cancel a divorced woman’s kesubah payment on the grounds that both sides had rebelled against one another, and another case where the Bais Din Hagadol upheld the ruling of a single dayan of a regional Bais Din in Yerushalayim who prevented someone from leaving Eretz Yisroel.

In the second case, the appellant argued that a decision delivered by one dayan instead of three was null and void.

Meanwhile, at a convention of chareidi lawyers in Teveriah, High Court Justice Neal Hendel surprised the audience by declaring that the High Court had no business interfering with the chareidi school syllabus. Hendel was born in the U.S. and attended high school at the Yeshiva of Flatbush followed by Yeshiva University, where he attended Rav Joseph B. Soloveichik’s shiurim. His verdicts are influenced by Torah jurisdiction.

“Without the chareidi Torah world in general we wouldn’t be here,” Hendel said at the convention. “In a country where people constantly scrutinize what chareidim are not doing, the time has come to see what chareidim are doing and they’re doing plenty. In my opinion, without the chareidi Torah world we wouldn’t be here at all, any of us. After all history’s tragedies and wars we would not have survived without a framework where a father transmits the Torah to his son and without the fact that there were always Jews who only learned Torah.

“The most important thing for chareidim is education,” he added. “This is a must. They have nothing more important than chinuch. How can we think that we’ll teach the chareidim what to teach their children?”

MK Moshe Gafni of UTJ attacked the High Court at the convention, saying, “The High Court consistently rules against the chareidim and against religion. Except the recent ruling regarding rabbinate kashrus supervision, all verdicts are negative. A Supreme Court judge is not superior to an elected official. On the contrary, a judge does not stand for re-election. He is elected for life and comes to court with his agenda, which is generally on a certain side of the fence.”

David Steger – Matzav.com Israel

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