Yiddish in court evidence

May 28, 2013 by  
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A judge of the NSW Supreme Court has rejected a ruling by the Sydney Beth Din that ordered Benjamin Amzalak to pay an Israeli businessman more than $300,000 for the apparent sale of shares in a company.


Benny Amzalak

In an 80-page ruling on Monday, Justice Monika Schmidt ruled in favour of Amzalak, a director of Raffles Capital Ltd, and ordered costs be made in his favour.

In 2010 Amzalak was ordered by a Zablo, three specially selected Orthodox Jewish judges, to pay more than $300,000 for the sale of shares to Israeli Shlomo Thaler.

But he refused to adhere to the order and did not make the payments.

As a result, the Jewish court issued a siruv against Amzalak, effectively excommunicating him from the community. “One should expel his children from school and his wife from synagogue,” the excommunication order stated.

But Amzalak complained the Jewish judges were biased.

Judge Schmidt agreed, concluding that the “arbitration was not conducted impartially.”

She said “it cannot be doubted” that Rabbi Menachem Mendel Kaminetsky, one of the dayanim, was “partial to Thaler and acted in pursuit of that partiality at the Beth Din”.

Her withering judgment included a transcript of a private conversation in Yiddish among the rabbinic judges, during which Sydney’s Rabbi Yoram Ulman was recorded saying: “I am already persuaded [but] so that we do not give the appearance of impropriety let us give him [Amzalak] some time to answer.”


3 Responses to “Yiddish in court evidence”
  1. Correction says:

    Correction needed: This was not a matter heard by Sydney Beis Din. As mentioned in the ruling, it was a Beis Din Zablo which was held in Sydney. And involved two Rabbis from Melbourne.

  2. Benseon says:

    It was NOT the Sydney Beth Din. The Beth Din involved was a special one formed in Melbourne to arbitrate on this issue. The only involvement in the case by the Sydney Beth Din was the participation by its dayan, Rabbi Ulman, as a dayan on the special beth din in Melbourne, and the advice offered Mr Amzalak by Rabbi Moshe Gutnick. Read the transcript of the court ruling for further details.

  3. Eli says:

    Hi Henry, the Beth din was a Zablo not the Sydney Beth Din.

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