Divrei Torah

The Divrei Torah in this section have been translated by Rav Reuven Ungar, Director of Alumni Affairs

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By: Rav Yoel Amital

Question: How does the halacha relate to using "protektzia" (receiving favorable treatment based on status, family, friends etc')?

Answer: The halacha certainly recognizes certain forms of protektzia. The Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat, Siman 15) rules that normally a judge must adjudicate cases in the order that they were brought to his attention. Nevertheless, if a Torah scholar is involved, his case takes priority. According to one opinion in Tosafot (in Masechet Shavuot), the precedence of the case of the Torah scholar applies exclusively when his case and the other case were brought in front of the judge simultaneously.

The Shulchan Aruch rules that a case involving an orphan is judged before a case involving a widow. Both of them take precedence in front of a Torah scholar. Although Rashi and the Rambam opine that this halacha applies exclusively when there is not a line, the Shulchan Aruch does not accept their opinion.

The Poskim write that an elected official is similar to a judge in certain aspects. Granted, the Biblical directive of "an individual of lesser stature (katan) shall be heard as an individual of greater stature (gadol)", does not apply. Nevertheless, it is proper for the official to relate to people according to their position on the line. Similar to a judge, orphans and widows may be dealt with first- but not others.



Categorized under: 1: Halacha > General
Uploaded: 8/3/2006 1:41:51 PM