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Psak 5765 Ellul 9b

Informal translation from Hebrew of the 9 Elul, 5765 (13 September, 2005) statement:

Special Court for Matters Concerning the Nation and the State
Tel: 02-5661962, cell 050-6733831, fax: 057-7976007
Email: 47 Rachel Imeinu St. Jerusalem 93228

To the imprisoned daughters of Israel

The Court Received the Following Request for Halachic Ruling

9th of Elul 5765 To the Honorable Court for Matters of Nation and State Under the Approval of the Sanhedrin

Great Shalom!

We are three girls incarcerated about three weeks, and the court wants to force us to sign a document stating that we agree to appear for additional deliberations.

We are refusing, because the secular court has no authority, for it is basically akin to “courts of the gentiles”, and we request to be judged only by a court that judges according to the Holy Torah, as it says: “And these are the judgments that you shall put before them.”

With great respect: Hila Mantinband Hodaya ben Avraham Leah Hass

Response to Request for Halachic Ruling

To the Daughters of Israel in Prison:

Hila Mantinband, Hodaya ben Avraham, Leah Hass. Decision – Interim Order

We the below signatories, unanimously:

Blessed are you to G-d!

We received your letter on the matter of your refusal to be judged in courts not according to Torah, and your willingness to be judged only in a court that judges according to the Torah of Moshe.

Indeed, you have done well, for thus decided the Rambam in the Laws of Sanhedrin (26:7): “Anyone who sits in judgment in front of gentile judges and in their courts, even if their laws are like the laws of Israel, indeed such a person is wicked, and it is as if he cursed and swore and raised a hand against the Torah of Moshe our teacher, as it says: And these are the judgments that you shall put before them! – Before them – and not before the gentiles! Before them – and not before laymen!” And thus it is brought in the Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat 26:1.

And it is brought in Tanchuma (Mishpatim Siman 3:3): “Anyone who leaves the courts of Israel and goes before the gentiles has denied the Holy One, Blessed be He, first, and then he has denied the Torah… And regarding the laws of the gentiles it is written… And also I have given them laws which are not good and judgments that they cannot live by (Ezekiel 20). But to Israel I have given them commandments and laws which are good, as it says (Leviticus 18): And you shall observe my laws and my judgments, which a person shall do and live by them… The Holy One, Blessed by He, said to Israel: If you did justice and you do not go to be judged in front of the gentiles, I will build for you the Temple and the Sanhedrin shall sit there, as it is said (Isaiah 1): And I will return your judges as at first, and your counselors as at the beginning, afterwards you shall be called City of Justice, Faithful Town.”

And these are the words of the Chazon Ish (of blessed memory) on Sanhedrin 15, end of siman 5: “And it doesn’t matter if they go before gentiles, or Jews that judge according to fabricated laws, and the matter is even more detestable that they switched the judgments of Torah for the judgments of nonsense, and if the people of the city shall agree to this, their agreement means nothing, and if they shall force this matter, their judgment is but theft, oppression, and a raising of one’s hand against the Torah of Moshe.” There is nothing left for us to do but to encourage you, and indeed we instruct you to continue your refusal, that is in spite of the beatings that the police inflict you with, as it says in Isaiah 50:6 – “I gave my back to the smiters, and my checks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not my face from shame and spitting.”

And the One who releases the imprisoned shall release you from your incarceration, as it is written: “G-d frees the imprisoned.” And may the words of Isaiah be fulfilled in you and all the prisoners of Zion: “To call to the captives freedom, and to the prisoners to open the eyes of the bound.” With a blessing of be strong and courageous!

Given on the 11th of Elul 5765 in the Court, as it sat in the gates of Old City of Jerusalem, may it be rebuilt speedily and in our days.


Rabbi Israel Ariel – President of the Court

Rabbi Dov Meir Stein

Rabbi Yehuda Edri

Click here to see the Hebrew version


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