Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Complying with the Law

last night I attended a symposium in Boro Park that delt with Complying with the law. They started this gathering last year and it was a huge success. I heard the tape last year and it was amazing. The line up of speakers was some very prominent people. Rabbi Aaron Twerski, Dean and Professor of Law, Hofstra University was chairman. He spoke about the importance of seat belts, complying with health laws, buying life insurance, and general attitute of compliance. Rabbi zev Chohen, Rosh Beis Din in Chicago, discussed the halacha aspects of stealing from a goy which is ossur midieorisa, if someone steals, even from a goy, he is a kofer and posul for adus in a kedushin,he discussed molestation, and how social workers need to be careful about what they can say to the social services, and being a moser, an informer. The laws are very intracate and complex. He said over a story how someone was called by the FBI to give up records that might implicate another Jew, and when he asked Rav Shwab the question if it is moser, he mentioned the word a frum jew owning a cash business who was being implicated. Rav Schwab asked him to repeat the question. He did. Finally Rav Schab told him don't say he is Frum. He is not. If he is causing pain to someone else. Another story of how one Jew hired another and then that Jew dissapeared and then it was found out he stole some very valuable secrets, and the boss wanted him to give information and the psak was he is allowed to tell because he is a rodef. He makes every Jew look bad. He also metioned the question about driving a rented car even for half a block if you are not in the contract. he also mentioned the grave sin of going to a non-jewish court because "you can get a better deal".
The next speaker was Rav Nachum Laskin, Chaplin of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and he said how bad it is in prison and how families are distroyed and the children have no father and the wife is a living widow. He explained how in prison there is no favoritisim and if jews want hamentashin, or donuts on purim or chanuka, the goyim want it also, you can't light a fire on lag baomer, only the basic necissities are permitted. He was very emotional and very to the point. He also mentioned how the father has no control over his children because the son says to the father if you repremand me I wont allow you to call me and I wont visit you. Also how a father wasn't even by his son's bris or wedding and his wife had to walk down the aisle herself.
The next speaker was George Meissner, a lawyer who spoke about accepting a subpeona and how to deal if the law catches up with you, how not to get deeper and deeper. He explained that everything is tracable and impossible to escape. There are no more secrets any more. You can't forge signatures and do "genevishi shtick". He spoke how jacking up a sales price for a mortgage to get a good loan is bank fraud and you can sit a lot in jail for it. Also he spoke about how important it is to go to a beis din and it is held in high esteem in court.
Another important Rav, spoke about how there a 5,000 jews in 400 prisons across the US. They are our brothers and we need to recognize them as such. He spoke of Ahavas yisrael and the need to help every Jew.
The last speaker was Benjamin Brafman, a famous criminal lawyer. He spoke about how the action of one frumly dressed jew affects every jew. People get bad impressions. He spoke how the gvernment is nice to us and we can't cheat them even leshem mitzvah. He quoted a rav Moshe Feinstein, how it is ossur for a school to claim more students than there are. He says parents need to educate their children to comply with the law and the yeshivas as well. At the end he said he imagines his grandparents when they were in the gas chambers and dying what they were thinking. Will the Jewish people survive? It seemed so bleak at those moments like nothing will survive. But if you look around you can see we are still here. That is the biggest miracle.


Blogger me said...

accolades to the speakers. this is a personal pet peeve of mine, and it bothers me greatly to see some "so called" rabbonim legitimizing theft and fraud l'shem mitzvah.

3:59 PM  
Blogger An Unknown Hasid said...

you have a nice blog here. You trust a lawyer to speak about ossur?

9:01 PM  
Blogger Manny said...

Eid echad ne'eman bi'isurim. We are all Jews. Ben Broffman is a great speaker, I truly love his wisdom. His Brother Rav Broffman is a huge talmid chochom.
This is a message that is needed desperately in our communities. It is important to make a kiddush Hashem. I commend you for posting it on your Blog.
Im actually enjoying quite a bit!

11:25 PM  
Blogger The Chainik Hocker said...

I'm going to be honest here- my current job is somewhat related to law enforcement and I am currently working at obtaining a job in law.

That said, I have no pity for yiden who commit violent crimes and little pity for those who comit white collar crimes.

You don't refrain from insurance fraud because its against the law and you might go to jail. You refrain from insurance fraud because its the wrog thing to do.

I remember when I was in the seventh grade and a dozen news crews were in front of the yeshiva one day because the rosh yeshiva (sic) had his hand caught in the cookie jar- one and a half million dollars in federal grants that went into his personal bank acount, according to the newspapers at the time.

Not your business which yeshiva, it would be loshon hora. Althogh I bet some of you can guess which oneI'm talking about. And about half of you will be wrong, because this is not exactly an uncommon situation.

"Little or no pity" may sound a bit harsh but thats how I feel.

12:10 AM  
Blogger J said... you mean a symposium, synopsis is not a noun...

1:23 AM  
Blogger The Lone Bochur said...

Did anyone discuss the atrocious disregard for any and all traffic laws by too many jews in Brooklyn and elsewhere

2:52 AM  
Blogger EN said...

Me-Very true.

AUH-thanks for your compliment, I do trust a frum lawyer to know the halachos that apply to his field.


TCH-I understand your position.

J- Thanks for the correction, I knew the word didn't look correct....

TLB- Yes, they discussed how important it is to where a seatbelt at all times, since an accident happens within one mile of the persons home.

9:23 AM  
Blogger OJ said...

I want to correct what was posted re what R. Zev Cohen shlita said from Rav Schwab, zt"l. He said that Rav Schwab said that someone in a 'cash business' (that doesn't follow laws) cannot be a frum Jew. The clear inference from the context was not, as you posted, because he makes it harder for others, but rather because he doesn't follow the law-dina dimalchusa dina.

8:55 PM  
Blogger OJ said...

The 'Another important Rav' cited was a reference to Rabbi. S. Lipsker (or is it Lipskar ?), Lubavitcher shliach in Dade county, S. FL, of the Aleph institute.

Anyway, I think that the report above, although it gives some of the flavor of the event, doesn't give the full picture as one got being there (as with any report basically - not the same as being there), so people shouldn't jump to conclusions from it without at least hearing a tape of the proceedings.

9:03 PM  

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