Tuesday, July 15, 2008

U.S. Court Rules Against Mezuzah On Condo Doorposts

From Arutz Sheva:
An American court of appeals has ruled in a split decision against the right of Jews to post the traditional mezuzah on the doorposts of a condominium apartment if the bylaws of the building prohibit signs and objects on outside doors.
The case revolves around a family whose mezuzahs were removed from the door post while they were attending the father's funeral. The family was suing for damages, following the passage of a city law that allowed religious displays on doors.

The court opinion states that the condo by-law was neutral in respect to religion--nothing was allowed on the doors, including political posters and family pictures.

Just how neutral the by-law was intended to be may be open to interpretation. The dissenting judge pointed out that the by-law effectively prevented Orthodox Jews from moving in.

More to the point:
In her dissenting opinion, Judge Wood noted that the condominium association's brief charged that the Bloch family was trying to get a "pound of flesh" from the group. She pointed out that the phrase appears in a literary work by Shakespeare and refers to the character Shylock, a moneylender who was punished by being forced to convert to Christianity.

"This is hardly the reference someone should choose who is trying to show that the stand-off ... was not because of the Blochs' religion, but rather in spite of it," she wrote.

Maybe they're just really big fans of Shakespeare??

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