Monday, June 17, 2013

Satmar Rebbe:Mesira is prohibited either as lashon harah or as a rabbinic prohibition

Update: I published this several years ago but it is obviously still relevant. In a discussion of which crimes a person becomes invalid to serve as a witness, the Satmer Rebbe notes that in the case of mesira there is a dispute in the poskim what the sin the moser transgresses. He notes that the Panim Meiros holds that there is no Torah prohibition violated but that it is only a rabbinic prohibition even though we find that Chazal were more stringent with a moser then with all the Torah prohibitions and a moser is included with those we can lower into a pit to die. The Beis Meir disagrees with him and says moser in fact violates a Torah prohibition and it is included in the prohibition of lashon harah...


  1. How about a quick synopsis in the mother tongue of America?

  2. "Satmer Rebbe: Mesira is prohibited either as lashon harah or as a rabbinic prohibition"

    So is the Satmar Rebbe being more stringent in prohibiting mesira or more lenient than other poskim?

  3. The Gemara in Bava Kama sounds like he is a garmi of a rodef and a garmi of a mazik. (grama and garmi are indirect causes of an action. There 5 opinions of the difference between a grama and garmi, including Rashi who maintains that there is no difference. Rambam maintains that a garmi is one who had in mind to damage with his action. SA seems to agree with the Rambam.)
    As nowadays, it is unlikely for one to be killed from a common moser to a normal government, the status of being a garmi of a rodef is questionable. Rabbi Eidensohn translated the Aruch Hashulchan and Tzitz Eliezer on the matter in his index on abuse.

  4. from the naive blog of harry myrles:

    " I am not going to get into whether Mesirah applies today. There
    is ample precedent among major Poskim – both past and present - that in a
    country where there is a fair system of Justice, Mesirah does not apply. I
    agree with them – as does just about all of the Poskim that I value."

    While obviously the psak of rav elyashiv is paramount, and hence it is permissible only in the case of pikuach nefesh to report a rodef, the naivite of people who really believe the US justice system is just is unbelievable, especially from intelligent people.

    How many innocent people on death row etc in Texas and other States? What about Pollard and what about the millions of divorced fathers in the US whose human rights are trampled upon by feminist divorce courts.

    It is astounding that anyone with seichel can claim these courts are fair and just. Are they better than the Soviet Union, in most cases yes but in many no. At least in the soviet union no pretense was made of erlichkeit but here it is a circus.

    Do we know that US courts are more fair than the UK, Australia, South Africa, the rest of the Western world? We dont?

    OJ Simpson, the woman in Florida last year let off scott free when her child "disappeared" even in the Rubashkin case a judge should not decide whether to recuse herself or not. Please the US justice system is very, very far from perfect.

    It is those YU Rabbi types with law degrees who are pushing this baloney that the US court system is fair.

    1. We used to hand people over to the Romans for justice for such things as tax evasion. That being said, fair does not mean that the verdict is always correct. Can we claim objectively that our beit din system is any more just than anybody else's court system? I believe that there is even a code of conduct in halacha for someone who has knows that he has been falsely convicted in a case of dinei nefashot when he is being taken to be executed. The Sanhedrian itself has to offer a korban in the case of a false ruling in anything. What do we learn from this? That infallibility is not something that exists in this world. The question here is that of fairness.

      Now I do not just mean historically (bar court systems who did not practice the principle of innocent until proven guilty). I also mean in today's world of civil litigation. Can we honestly for fact say that beitei dinim actually rule more efficiently than someone else's court system. Any ruling that a court makes, one side is usually going to have a gripe with what has transpired.

      Another dimension to this issue is whether or not a court will intentionally go rough on a defendant if he is Jewish. In most cases in the US and Canada, the UK (etc...) this has not seemed to be the case.


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