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Beth Din

Rabbi Jonathan Blass30 Nisan 5763
1. Must a Jew refer disputes with a Jewish organisation to a Beth Din, or can the dispute be referred directly to a civil court? 2. Is the answer different if the Jew claims to be a rabbi?
The disputes must be referred to a Bet Din. If the person or organization being sued refuses to go to any Bet Din, the Bet Din will issue the plaintiff an authorization to bring his suit to a civil court. If there is agreement that the matter be adjudicated in Bet Din but there remains disagreement as to which Bet Din there are a number of halachic solutions that apply depending on the circumstances. In personal civil disputes the fact that one or both of the sides is a rabbi is irrelevant. If, however, the suit is against a rabbi who acted within the framework of his delegated authority- e.g. a community rabbi who declares a restaurant in his community non-kosher- he can be sued only if there is evidence of foreign considerations in his decision.
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