Why did the civil court force people to adjudicate their case in Din Torah? A true story

Unfortunately life has taught me that when it comes to money, even people who wear the largest kippa will sometimes betray their very own faith in order to save a few shekels.

As R’ Zalman Nechemya Goldberg zt”l used to say: “The term “religious” doesn’t apply when money is involved”.

So here’s what happened:

A client of mine signed a contract with a (“very”) religious company which included an arbitration clause stating very clearly that any disputes will be adjudicated in Din Torah.

Fasting forward a few years, after which they didn’t pay their debts to my client – instead of fulfilling their above commitment to go to Bet Din – the company audaciously tried to divert the legal procedures to the secular court system (!) in order to schlep the procedures and increase my client’s legal expenses.

(Generally, legal procedures in court are significantly longer and much more expensive than in Din Torah).

Where did their kippa, religious observance and integrity disappear to? – You may ask.

Well, already hundreds of years ago, the Ramchal – author of Messilat Yesharim – pointed out to the common “religious approach” that holds:

“When there is profit to be made, Torah laws don’t apply”.

So, I – the rabbinic litigator (“toen“) – had to approach the secular court (!) in order to request that they force the religious company to go to Din Torah!!

The world is upside down.

Baruch Hashem, the court accepted our claims and forced the company to go To Din Torah,

but it’s so sad and such a Chilul Hashem that the civil secular court has to tell a religious person:

“Adjudicating your dispute in a secular court instead of Din Torah

is contradictory to all the values YOU obligated yourself to,

so with all due respect: Go to Din Torah.”

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