Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chasidic Justice?

There is no palce I’d rather be than in the Chasidic enclave in Bnei Brak known as Vishnitz. Why - one may ask - is that such a good place to be? Because it is a place where justice may be found. You know - Chasidic Justice. The kind received by Shalom Segal.

Yes my friends if you want to live in a society that practices Torah true Justice - this is it.

Just in case you don’t know what real Torah Justice is, there is an example of it reported in Ha’aretz.

A sermon in the heart of the Teshuva season just before Rosh Hashana was deliverd by Rabbi Yisroel Hagar, the oldest son of the Vishnitzer Rebbe. Here is what he said:

Rabbi Hager declared in the Vishnitz Synagogue that there is "an evil man who is torturing people"

It was made clear to Mr. Segal that the rabbi meant him. What was he doing? He started a business involving debts owed by members of the Vishnitz community:

Segal is a kind of entrepreneur when it comes to debt-collection. A few years ago he started buying bounced checks from private individuals with small businesses. As the owner of the checks, he opened files at the Bailiff's Office or tried to close existing cases. Segal also located debtors for two companies and worked together with the Bailiff's Office.

Over the years he acquired more and more skill in the field and also acted on behalf of several rabbinical courts on financial matters in Bnei Brak - receiving authorizations in rabbinical law for his activity. He also opened a Bailiff's Office charitable fund, and people began applying to him for help.

The community has labeled this Mesirah. That’s the Hebrew word for informing on a fellow Jew to non Torah Authorities. The penalty for that? Death. That little bit of Halacha was disseminated right after that sermon via the distribution of pages from a book by Rabbi Hager's grandfather.

But - the good people Vishnitz who are a merciful bunch decided not to kill him. Instead they do what many other communities like theirs do when they want to mete out justice. They beat this fellow to a pulp and torched his attorney’s car.

Mi K’Amcha Yisroel.