Monday, December 26, 2016

Ruchie Freier - First Hasidic woman judge sworn in

On Thursday, Rachel “Ruchie” Freier took the oath of office as she became a Civil Court judge in Kings County’s 5th judicial district. Freier was elected last September and her purview encompasses Borough Park and other sections of Brooklyn including Bensonhurst and Coney Island. Her official term begins in January and extends through 2027.

While some may be have been surprised to see a Hasidic woman ascend the bench, those familiar with the 51-year-old Freier’s record of trailblazing achievements were not. The mother of six (and grandmother) earned a law degree from Brooklyn Law School while raising her family. She practiced law in Brooklyn and Monroe, New York and also served on the community board in Borough Park, Brooklyn.

Freier also founded two organizations that have made an impact on her local Hasidic community. The first is B’Derech, a secular academic program that helps ultra-Orthodox men educated previously only in yeshivas gain a high school equivalency diplomacy so they can go on to higher learning or seek gainful employment.

The second in Ezras Nashim, an emergency medical technician program exclusively for women that meets the needs of religious women in the community. Freier herself reportedly still remains on call for Ezras Nashim.


  1. being chanukah this post reminds me of rally in support of the Beis Ya'akov institutions in Israel and opposition to the ' academia' even when it comes in the form of the Chareidi Michlalot.

    Imho the rally has more to do with politics and because of the competition the B.Y institutions have now . It also won't help much to speak to the girls because the boys prefer a shiduch who has an academic degree

  2. It is virtually impossible for a Torah observant Jew to be a judge on a secular/non-Jewish court, whether in the US or Israel. If two observant Jewish litigants, who were halachicly obligated to go to beis din as arkaos was assur, come to her court because the plaintiff refused to go to beis din as halachicly required even though the defendant accepted beis din, what will she do if judicial regulations preclude her from recusal? Especially if halacha favors the defendant whereas secular law favors the plaintiff.

  3. One hundred percent true Moe. Unbelievable that it is a sense of pride that a Jew(ess) is now in the position of enforcing violations of halocho and mesirah on frum yidden.

  4. Moe is 100% right.
    יחוה דעת ח"ד סימן סה:
    שופטים יהודים כאלה, שהם מוזהרין ומושבעים מהר סיני לדון רק על פי התורה, והם פנו עורף אליה, ותחת לשפוט על פי חוקי התורה אשר יעשה אותם האדם וחי בהם, הם דנים על פי חוקי העותמני והמנדטורי ... על אחת כו"כ שהדבר אסור בהחלט, ...

    ראה גם בספר חשוקי חמד כתובות קד עמוד ב דעת הגרי"ש אלישיב בזה.

  5. Perhaps, this is what her husband wanted? And the halacha is that she must listen to him!

  6. Shtuyot. For one a woman may not be a Dayan, Deborah notwithstanding.
    And second, how is being a frum judge with a job to do, and with litigants who chose to submit themselves to your judgment, different than being an arbitrator who judges according to his or her understanding?
    And in any case, how is it different than being a lawyer?

  7. Judges in NYC regularly pressure such litigants to go to bet din.

    All three of them (litigants, their lawyers, and the judge, knows they are corrupt.

  8. How can an American secular judge pressure parties in a case in State court to drop that case and go to beis din?

  9. The litigants do not necessary "chose to submit themselves to your judgment". The plaintiff may have chosen but the defendant did not, but is forced to respond to the secular court summons.

    This is the entire issur gomur against arkaos. It is against Jewish law to use secular court even if BOTH parties would agree to, by the way.

  10. Ask a shaila on those rare occasions, and her Rav will find a way to deal with it. Alternatively, call in sick and the case will be passed onto a judge who is not jewish.

  11. You think an Orthodox Jewish judge of an American court can or will ask his/her Rov or Posek how to handle cases that come to their courtroom?

  12. It is their issur, not hers. She is no different than an arbitrator.
    But in any case, you haven't explained why she's worse than a frum lawyer.

  13. a) It's prohibited to assist, enable or to participate in the sin of another Jew. So she cannot participate in the sin of arkaos where two Jews are litigating their dispute in her secular court.

    b) It is similarly prohibited for a Jewish lawyer to litigate a case in secular court on behalf of one Jew against another Jew when the severe issur of arkaos applies.

  14. The torah allows arbitration, not secular court. So your comment smack of ignorance.

    Your personal experience is irrelevant. Find a bais din that is not corrupt. Try rabbi gestetner.


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