Informing on Other Jews for Violating American Law: A Jewish Law View



Even though Jewish law expects people to observe the law of the land, and even imposes that obligation as a religious duty, the Talmud recounts — in a number of places — that it is prohibited to inform on Jews to the secular government, even when their conduct is a violation of secular law and even when their conduct is a violation of Jewish law.

While there are a number of exceptions to this prohibition (which are explained further in this section), the essential halacha was that Jewish law prohibits such informing absent specific circumstances. Even if secular government were to incorporate substantive Jewish law into secular law and punish violations of what is, in effect, Jewish law, Jews would still be prohibited from cooperating with such a system.

Indeed, classical Jewish law treats a person who repeatedly informs on others as a pursuer (a rodef) who may be killed to prevent him from informing, even without a formal court ruling. CONTINUE READING

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