שלא לדון בדיני עכו"ם ובו ד סעיפים:
אסור לדון בפני דייני עכו"ם ובערכאות שלהם (פי' מושב קבוע לשרים לדון בו) אפי' בדין שדנים בדיני ישראל ואפי' נתרצו ב' בעלי דינים לדון בפניהם אסור וכל הבא לידון בפניהם הרי זה רשע וכאלו חירף וגידף והרים יד בתורת מרע"ה: הגה ויש ביד ב"ד לנדותו ולהחרימו עד שיסלק יד עכו"ם מעל חבירו (מהרי"ק שורש קנ"ד) וכן מחרימין המחזיק ביד ההולך לפני עכו"ם (ריב"ש סי' ק"ב) ואפי' אינו דן לפני עכו"ם רק שכופהו ע"י עכו"ם שיעמוד עמו לדין ישראל ראוי למתחו על העמוד (מרדכי פרק הגוזל קמא) וע"ל סי' שפ"ח מי שהלך בערכאות של עכו"ם ונתחייב בדיניה' ואח"כ חוזר ותבעו לפני דייני ישראל י"א שאין נזקקין לו (מהרי"ק שורש קפ"ח) וי"א דנזקקין לו (מרדכי בפרק הגוזל בתרא) אם לא שגרם הפסד לבעל דינו לפני עובדי כו"ם (מהר"ם מריזבורג) והסברא ראשונה נ"ל עיקר: It is forbidden to appear for trial before heathen Judges and in their Courts of Law,1 supra § 14, n. 56. i.e., [the locality wherein] permanent judicial sessions are held by the [civil] magistrates, even regarding a lawsuit that they [the heathen Judges] adjudicate like the Israelite Law.2Git. 88b: ‘These are the judgments which thou shalt set before them (Ex. XXI, 1), i.e., before them and not before heathens.’ This applies even to a matter where a person is permitted to take the law into his own hands in order to safeguard his interests. , supra § 4, Gloss — M.E. Even if the two litigants agreed to be tried before them, it is forbidden.3Thus N to Ex. ibid. And whosoever appears for trial before them is considered a wicked person and is as though he blashphemed, reproached and rebelled against the Law of Moses.4Yad, Sanhedrin XXVI, 7; Tur a.l., and Rashi to Ex. ibid. , also Tanḥ. Mishpatim By forsaking the Israelitish Law he thereby indicates that the Torah is not a Law of Truth. Gloss: The [Israelite] Court of Law has the authority to pronounce against him the less severe [Niddui] and [even] the more severe [Herem] ban5 supra § 11, n. 9. until he suspends the [legal] rights [which he delegated to] the heathen [authorities] from upon his fellow [-litigant].6MaHaRIK Rt. 154 — G. B.K. 117a regarding the two persons who were in dispute about a certain net. When one of them surrendered it to the public office for confiscation, Abaye ruled that the latter could plead that when he surrendered it it was his own property. But Raba maintained that we must pronounce the ban against him until he brings back the net and appears for trial before the Court. , supra § 4, n. 6. Hence, in the present ruling where one resorts to heathen Courts even Abaye would agree with Raba. For in the case of the net, if it is really his, there is no prohibition involved by giving it to the heathen Court; but where it still has to be ascertained whether the article is his, even Abaye will agree with Raba — Be’er Eliyahu. Likewise, is the ban pronounced against him who strengthens the hand[s] of the one who goes to law before a heathen [Court].7RIBaSh s. 102 — G. Sheb. 47b: ‘Simeon b. Tarfon states: Whence do we know that there is a prohibition against one who follows up the voluptuous (to procure prostitutes for him)? — For it is said: Thou shalt not commit adultery (Ex. XX, 13): thou shalt not cause adultery to be committed (the Heb. text may be pointed as the Hiph‘il). Hence, one who strengthens the hands of those who commit severe transgressions is also subject to the ban. Resorting to heathen Courts is a severe transgression. , supra n. 4. And even if he does not go to law before a heathen [Court] but compels him [his adversary] by means of a heathen [Court]8e., without obtaining the authorization of the Jewish Court. However, if the plaintiff appeared before the Jewish Court and pleaded that his adversary is a very stern or harsh individual, the Jewish Court may give him such authorization — M.E. , next par. to appear with him for trial [before] a Jewish [Court of Law], — he is fit to be laid out on the post [for a flogging].9Mord. to B.K. IX — G. , infra § 388. One who resorted to heathen Courts and was pronounced guilty by their laws, and then he [the guilty person] summoned him [his fellow-litigant] again before Israelite Judges, — some say that we do not attend to his [case];10MaHaRIK Rt. 188 (found in Rt. 196) — G. Cf. Ned. 20a: ‘It was taught: If one made a vow of Neziruth and then transgressed his vow, his case is not attended to, unless he observes his vow for the full period that he had transgressed it … R. Joseph said: Since the Sages have ruled, his case is not to be examined, if a (Jewish) Court of Law attended to it (before the required time), it does not act well. R. Aḥa b. Jacob said: The ban is pronounced against it.’ The same principle operates in the present ruling. Since he transgressed the law by resorting to a heathen lawcourt, we should not attend to his case. while others say that we do attend to his [case]11Mord. to B.K. X — G. unless he was the cause of a loss to his fellow-litigant before the heathen [Courts].12R. Menaḥem of Merseburg — G. So too, if he had already made payment in accordance with the ruling of the heathen Court and were he to be tried by the Jewish Court of Law, he would have to pay more, — the law is that we do not attend to his case — M.E. However, the former opinion seems to me to be fundamental.13We do not examine his case even if it was discovered that the reason he was found guilty by the heathen Court was on account of a bribe that was given to the heathen Judge by his adversary — Nethiboth.
היתה יד עכו"ם תקיפה ובעל דינו אלם ואינו יכול להציל ממנו בדייני ישראל יתבענו לדייני ישראל תחלה אם לא רצה לבא נוטל רשות מב"ד ומציל בדיני עכו"ם מיד בעל דינו: הגה ויש רשות לב"ד לילך לפני עכו"ם ולהעיד שזה חייב לזה (בה"ת בשם ר' שרירא) וכל זה דוקא כשאינו רוצה להיות ציית דין אבל בלא"ה אסור לב"ד להרשות לדון לפני עכו"ם (מהרי"ק שורש א'): [If] the hand of the heathen [Judges] was powerful, and his fellow-litigant is a stern individual [refusing to appear for trial in a Jewish Court] and he [the claimant] cannot retrieve [his claim] from him through Israelite Judges, — [then] he should summon him [the recalcitrant defendant] before Israelite Judges first.14Yad, Sanhedrin XXVI, 7. Thus also Tur a.o. Derived from B.K. 92b: ‘Whence do we derive the saying, When you have called your neighbour (cautioning him), and he would not answer, push down a big wall and throw it at him (he deserves to suffer)? — He answered: For it is written, Because I have purged thee and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more (Ez. XXIV, 13).’ Mishna Git. 88b (ref. to a Get given under compulsion): ‘However, the heathen authorities may beat a man and say to him, Do what the Israelitish (authorities) command you.’ If he refuses to appear, — [then] he obtains permission from the [Jewish] Court of Law and retrieves [his claim] through heathen Courts from the hand of his fellow-litigant15Provided two witnesses state that he refuses to appear in Court, for in order to exact money two witnesses are required — Tummim. This ruling is applicable only where the Court of Law knows that the defendant is legally guilty, e.g., where the claimant produces a note of indebtedness. But where the Court does not know whether the defendant is guilty, e.g., in the case of a verbal loan, — then the Court gives the claimant permission to use means of compulsion through the heathen Courts in order that the defendant appear for trial before the Jewish Court of Law — Nethiboth. We do not permit him to summon the defendant before heathen Courts unless it is impossible to collect the claim by means of an Adrakta — Ba‘al ha-Terumoth.. Gloss: The [members of the Jewish] Court of Law have the right to go before the heathen [Courts] and bear testimony that this party is guilty to that party.16Ba‘al ha-Terumoth on the authority of R. Sherira Gaon — G. Cf. B.K. 113b-114a: ‘Raba proclaimed or according to others, R. Huna: (Be it known to those) who go up to the Land of Israel and who come down from Babylonia that if a son of Israel knows evidence in favour of a heathen who did not call upon him (the Israelite to testify in his behalf) and (yet) went into a heathen Court and testified against a fellow-Israelite, they pronounce the Shammeta against him, the reason being that heathens exact money (even) on the testimony of a single witness. This applies only to a case of a single witness, but not if there were two.’ Hence, much more so in our present case where the Jewish Court of Law bears testimony on behalf of a fellow Israelite, it would be permissible. A.H. writes that this is applicable whether the claimant is Jewish or not. This entire [ruling is applicable] only when [the recalcitrant person] refuses to heed the [Jewish Court of] Law, but otherwise the [Jewish] Court of Law is forbidden to give [one] permission to appear for trial before a heathen [Court].17 supra par. 1.
המקבל עליו בקנין לידון עם חבירו לפני עכו"ם אינו כלום ואסור לידון בפניהם ואם קבל עליו שאם לא ילך בפניהם יהיה עליו כך וכך לעניים אסור לילך לדון עמו לפני עכו"ם וחייב ליתן מה שקבל עליו לעניים ויש מי שאומר שאין ב"ד מוציאין ממנו אלא מודיעין אותו שחל הנדר עליו: Whosoever accepted by means of a Kinyan to be tried before a heathen [Court], — [the law is that] it has no legal effect and it is forbidden to be tried before them.18Tur on the authority of Ba‘al ha-Terumoth derived from Alfasi. Not found in cur. edd. of Ba‘al ha-Terumoth — BaḤ. Even if one of the litigants will thereby enjoy more rights in the heathen than in the Israelite Courts, it has no legal consequences — Asheri Resp., Tummim contra M.E. Thus A.H. , supra § 22, 2 and notes. However, if one accepted [in the presence of witnesses]19Thus in B.Yos. that if he will not go [and be tried] before them [the heathens], [then] he will be obliged to give such and such a sum [of money] to the poor, — [the law is that] he is forbidden to go and be tried with him [his adversary] before a heathen [Court] and he is obliged to give whatever he undertook [to contribute] to the poor.20For vows take effect under these conditions. This is similar to a case where one vows that if he will not profane the Sabbath he will be bound to donate a certain sum towards charity, for although he must observe the Sabbath in any case, yet his vow takes effect — Alfasi Resp. Thus M.E., A.H. There is [an authority] who states that the [Jewish] Court of Law does not exact [this pledge] from him [against his will] save that they inform him that the vow takes effect upon him.21Thus Ba‘al ha-Terumoth on the authority of Alfasi. For this is regarded as a mere Asmakta — Tummim.
שטר שכתוב שיוכל לתבעו בדיני העכו"ם אינו רשאי לתבעו בפניהם ואם מסר השטר לעכו"ם שיתבענו בדיניהם חייב לשלם לו כל מה שהפסיד יותר ממה שהוא חייב בדיני ישראל: הגה וכל זה כשיוכל לכופו בדין ישראל אבל אם הלוה אלם מותר למסרו לעכו"ם (ב"י ס"ו בשם הריטב"א) וע"ל ס"ס שס"ט (הרא"ש בתשובה כלל י"ח סי' א') מדין עכו"ם המוכר שטר חוב לישראל על ישראל אחר אם דן הוא בדין עכו"ם: [Even if one produces] a note [in] which it is written that he [the claimant] can summon him [the defendant] through heathen Law, — [the law is that] he is not permitted to summon him [to appear] before them.22Tur on the authority of Asheri Resp. For this is considered an ‘agreement made contrary to what is written in the Torah.’ , supra § 22, 2, n. 22. If, however, he handed over the note to the heathen [Court] so that [the latter] summon him through their laws, — he [the claimant] is obliged to compensate him [the defendant] for whatever loss he caused him, [i.e., the amount] over and above what he [the defendant] is obliged [to pay] according to the Israelite Law.23Even if a heathen held a note of indebtedness against the Jewish claimant or creditor who in turn handed over as payment of his debt, the note which he had against his fellow-litigant, the Israelite — Asheri Resp. Cf. B.K. 117a. , text supra n. 6. Although one must not resort to heathen Courts, nevertheless, the amount exacted from the defendant in accordance with Jewish Law, albeit by a heathen Court, is considered valid ex post facto. Gloss: And this entire [ruling is applicable only] where he can compel him [to appear for trial] in an Israelite [Court of] Law, but if the debtor is a stern individual, he may hand it [the note] over to a heathen [Court of Law].24B.Yos. on the authority of RITBA. , supra par. 2 and notes. But if the litigant demands to be tried by another Jewish Court of Law, then if it is evident to us that this request is made not in order to deliberately postpone the case, his fellow-litigant is required to appear with him for trial at the other Court of Law — Nethiboth, A.H. , infra § 369 end25Asheri Resp. — G. regarding the law of a heathen who sells a note of indebtedness to an Israelite [which was produced] against another Israelite, — whether he [the buyer] may resort to heathen law.26Where it is explained that ‘the law of the Government is Law.’ , Git. 10b; B.B. 54b. On this principle cf. also Abrahams , Pharisaism and the Gospels I, 62ff.