Jewish Brief a Questionable Exercise

Forget about what Newt Gingrich calls the “Shariazation of America”; make way for the “halachization” of the U.S. legal system (“Not a Passing Hobby,” March 21).

The point man in this bumptious enterprise is legal eagle Nathan Lewin acting on behalf of the Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs and aided and abetted by groups such as Agudath Israel, the Rabbinic Council of America and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.

Lewin boasts how his brief in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. is “original in its intent to bring a strictly Orthodox perspective on the issue as opposed to interpreting precedent.” In this, he straight out challenges “the government’s theory that there should be a distinction between whether you run a business individually and whether you run it as a corporation.”

What Lewin conveniently omits is that Halachah recognizes only partnerships, not corporations. Lewin further observes that “there have been very, very few briefs in the Supreme Court that have cited Jewish halachic authorities.”

Indeed, for very good reason.

Halachah does not recognize bankruptcy, for example. As a matter of principled Orthodox consistency, will Lewin now argue for the elimination of Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 as legal options? The debt collection agency lobby would certainly be in favor.

Issachar Friedmann


  1. M. Datra says

    Attorney Lewin’s reputation speaks for itself.

    As noted in Lewin’s Wikipedia entry, “In an essay in Sh’ma, Lewin said that suicide bombing could be deterred by a policy of executing parents or other immediate adult relatives of suicide bombers unless the family members could prove that they had tried to dissuade or prevent the suicide bombing or been totally unaware of the bomber’s plan.”

    It is also worth noting that he is reviled in agunah circles for his knee-jerk support of husbands in such cases. As one of his victims, Chayie Singer, famously noted, “Nat Lewin would represent a monkey, as long as it’s male and has a beard.”


    Further. Mr. Lewin is not only counsel to, but a fanboy of, Agriprocessors miscreant Sholom Rubashkin.

    Is it any wonder that Mr. Lewin’s nickname, in non-mechitza circles, is “Nat the Rat” ?

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