WHEN is a new Beth Din not a new Beth Din? When it is launched online.
The Mehadr Beis Din Tribunal announced on its website that it would start functioning in August with judges Yeshivah Centre’s Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Telsner, Melbourne Beth Din’s Rabbi Yacov Barber, Rabbi Shabsi Tayar and Rabbi Mendel Kaminetsky.
The website stated that going to a Beth Din will often save the litigants a lot of money and allows them to achieve finality within a more efficient and accurate framework.
“Additionally, Jews are expected to solve their disputes at a Din Torah and should only go to the court as a last resolve,” the site said.
The Beth Din’s website also questions the benefit of going to court.
“Court is not designed to resolve disputes, nor is it about justice.
“Court is there to interpret and apply the letter of the law, to pass judgement, make orders and/or impose a penalty.
“Often neither party is satisfied with the result and the real dispute escalates as a result.”
But within days the names of the rabbis were removed and two of the rabbis were distancing themselves from the organisation.
Rabbi Telsner initially told The AJN last week that he believed the Beth Din was needed to deal with monetary issues but on Monday backtracked and said: “I don’t need this and I won’t be a part of it.”
Rabbi Barber said he was interested in offering a service to allow people to settle disputes without going to court and incurring excessive amounts of legal fees, but said he didn’t realise it was a fully fledged Beth Din when he agreed to join.
Stating he was surprised to see his name and photo on the website, he said, “I am still interested in pursuing and establishing appropriate means of dispute resolution that will be in accordance with halachah for the wider community.”
“I am at present in discussion with various groups and organisations who are equally passionate about establishing such a process.”
Rabbis Tayar, who said he started the website, said the names of the rabbis were taken down when they changed their mind about being involved in the new Beth Din.
The website remains online, however the countdown to the “Beis Din Grand Opening” have been removed.
Rabbi Kaminetsky was unavailable for comment.