In what is now breaking news, a judge has ruled that there was likely bias on the part of some Dayonim in a recent case between Amzalak and Koncepolski. It makes for very sad reading. One of the Borerim, unfortunately has form, having been named in quite a few controversies over the years.
I call on the Rabbinical Council of Victoria in concert with the Melbourne Beth Din to ensure that
- there is an accreditation process for Borerim. In my opinion, that should be set up under the aegis of the Beth Din of America. Accreditation should include formal Shimush. If that means someone sits in on cases for six months in a Western country, then so be it.
- further professional development (as opposed to an external Dayan coming to Melbourne to deal with the “odd” commercial dispute) must be instituted. My advice is to invite Rav Yona Reiss who is on the Beth Din of America (and who is also an attorney) to review the last ten-fifteen years of involvement between Batei Din/Zablo and the courts and together with Jewish members of the legal profession, conduct a week-long formal course to develop the expertise of Rabbonim and potential Borerim vis-a-vis the process of Secular Law and its intersection with the constraints of Jewish Law.
- an open heter arkaos be issued such that litigants should go to a secular court to resolve their differences until such time that the Rabbinate develops the expertise to handle cases in a professional and respected manner.
As a Jew, I do not want to read criticism of Rabbonim about bias and procedure. This is an unmitigated חילול שם שמים that far outweighs (in my unlearned opinion) the permission required to proceed to secular court before attempting to use a local Rabbinic arbitration/zablo/formal beth din process.
We have a long way to go before some כבוד התורה is restored after the damage of such proceedings.
To be fair, the secular system can sometimes be stupefying. See, for example this case where feather-fine technicalities were used at a huge cost to attempt to find fault in one line of a fair ruling by a respected former Jewish judge with a clean and universally respected reputation. No system is perfect, but what we currently have (or should I say don’t have) is terrible.
Disclaimer: My opinions are mine alone. They are not in any way linked to any entity with which I have a formal or informal relationship or employment.