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Feb 21, 2012

Only The Eida Can Judge Tzniyus

A fight in Geula - Mea Shearim is ending up in beis din, and interestingly, the Eida Hachareidis is claiming to be the only beis din with the ability to judge the case because it involves questions of tzniyus.

The vaad of the neighborhood in Geula -Mea Shearim, run by the thugs (aka sikrikim) and the Eida did not want an empty storefront to be rented out to a business, but only to be used as offices. They claimed that having a store on the bottom floor would create a tzniyus problem in the area.

After a while, the owner was not able to find a renter for an office, and he gave in and rented his space to a store selling paper goods. The owner of the paper goods store was threatened and harassed, but he opened his business anyway.

Eventually the "Vaad Geula" sent him a summons to appear in beis din. The owner decided he was not going to the Eida beis din and instead opened a case in the Rabbanut beis din, even signing a shtar borrerus - an arbitration agreement. He justified this by quoting the halacha, saying that the defendant gets to choose the beis din.

To counter this, the claim was floated that because the problem is one involving tzniyus, only the beis din of the Eida is able to be a judge of the issue.

The store-owner responded explaining why he does not want to be judged in their beis din.

He then received a final summons saying that if he continues to refuse to appear before the beis din they would publicize an issur against shopping in his store.

And that is how a pashkevil is born..

(source: Bechadrei)

The most interesting part of this fight is the claim that only the beis din of the Eida has the "right" or "ability" to judge issues of tzniyus.


  1. Onto the list of crimes and basic immorality of the Eidah, we can now add basic ignorance of halahca. And we trust their Kashrut, why?

  2. If I had my druthers I would boycott their kashrut. But where would I get my salt and sugar? Sigh.
    I would like to also dafka shop at this paper store.

  3. A- I want to mass order from him.
    B- What the world is wrong with these people? Who is going to set them straight??


  4. Menachem,

    What's the "basic ignorance of halahca" here?

  5. Well, Yoni, aside from basic adom l'chaveiro stuff, that the defendant chooses the base din. I guess it's no so much "ignorance" as flouting, but they're really good at that.

    C Yocheved, you're right that some products are hard to boycott, but others aren't. For example you can buy Yatvata milk instead of Tnuva. Yatvata is Rubin, while Tnuva is Eidah.

    You can buy Strauss cottage cheese with Rubin. There are many alternatives.

  6. you cant buy Strauss cottage cheese because there is about to be a boycott on Strauss.
    What do you do when your consumer boycotts conflict with each other???

  7. Menachem,

    First of all, I have a hard time believing that anything found in choshen mishpat is "basic halacha". (Until you read it in this post, had you heard of such a halacha? Is it undisputed?)

    Second of all, if you buy into the Eida's premise (which I assume at least they have) that there are no batei din besides their own which are qualified to rule on this issue, then they're not ignoring halacha. You can argue with the premise (and I'm sure you will), but they are entitled to their own opinion on the matter.

  8. To play devil's advocate (ha ha get it?), the rule that the defendant choose the beis din (or can demand zabl"a) applies to a civil case between two private parties.

    If the Eida (or this "Vaad Geula") sees itself as serving as the zayin tuvei ha'ir for the neighborhood and/or kehilla, then it is consistent with their position that communal matters be decided in a forum of their choice (and it's not really a beis din issue at all, per se).

    Whether they are, and whether they have the power to regulate the use of a private store, even if they are, are different matters. But l'shitasam, this is not necessarily a perversion of choshen mishpat.

    For what it's worth, I know of at least one local shul which explicitly defined its vaad as having the role of 7 tuvei ha'ir for the members (last time I read their bylaws), in order to remove any doubt. But I've never known them to (a) exercise this power over a non member or (b) exercise any power over a member, for that matter (it does allow them certain powers over shul property, for example).

  9. You're not going to get me to think or say anything positive about the Eidah, no matter how much you try. They are "entitled" to absolutely nothing. They are responsible for a good deal of the religious strife in this country and for sure in Bet Shemesh. They see themselves as superior to all and lords over their little fiefdoms. What they are is a bunch of megalomaniacs.

  10. The edah is showing it is not a halachic beis din.

    As they are no different than the reform the Israeli rabbinut should bar them from any job requiring a Torah Jew.

    No Jew who is part of the edah can be a mashgiach, no yeshiva can receive subsidies, their rabbi's cannot perform marriages or conversions.

    They must be treated as the reform Jews they are

  11. the vaad guela is respected rabbanim including rav ben tzion mutzapi , not as stated.

  12. Weird. The Eida always had extreme hashkafas - but how did things get so crum?

  13. Menachem,

    I have no illusions that you will begin to think good things about this wayward group of our fellow Jews. However, you can't just hurl random accusations. You think they're doing terrible things? Fine. But it doesn't mean that their insistence on using their own beit din in this case is against halacha. (As Mikeage pointed out, it's not such a straightforward halacha to begin with.)

    There's a line between taking a position against something and being a bulldog. If you're not too careful, you'll end up having to look behind yourself to see it.

  14. What they mean is "WTH does the Rabbanut know about tzniut??" Nice.

  15. they dont accept the Rabbanut's authority on anythign, so I dont see why anyone would expect them to accept it on tzniyus issues.
    However, just like they dont accept the Rabbanut, others have the right to not accept them. They probably dont realize that.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. This debate is beginning to seem like something out of Monty Python.

    I have been waiting for someone to ask, "What did the Eidah ever do for us - apart from the hechsher, that is?

  18. Sometimes research on a topic outside of text books is required. I think the Eida is saying that they have done the most field research to the point where they are the leading experts on the topic.

    1. It's almost a 100% certainty that the Eida believes that they are the only experts, not just the leading experts. Keep in mind that for these people (Jews is too good a word for them), the Shulchan Aruch was ignorant on the matter!

  19. I also have a problem trusting their kashrus, but being that the rabbanut trusts their kashrus (and I assume other agencies do as well), as far as I know, you have a problem.
    During the recent eda chicken scandal, the rabbanut threatened to stop trusting eda kashrus if they did not receive explanations within a month, there was no further public statement afterwards to my knowledge.
    I know that Rubin does not use their hechsher (or anyone else's but their own).


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