Is it halachically permissible for a Jew to call the police on a fellow Jew if a person is threatened with imminent violence in the United States. I know there is an issue with informing on a fellow Jew and I was wondering how this pertains to this.

  • 2
    Possible duplicate judaism.stackexchange.com/q/6260/759
    – Double AA
    Apr 13, 2021 at 23:46
  • IMHO, there’s an important distinction in this practice between the ancient world and today's reality: back then the society was largely tribalized and there was a clear separation between "us Jews" and "them, gentiles", because the ancient police weren't democratized, they only represented the ruler, so the idea of "Mesira" described transfer of a Jew to foreign control. In our countries, the police is a social construct, something like "Tuvey Ha'ir", people's representatives, so there's no "Mesirah" per ce.
    – Al Berko
    Apr 14, 2021 at 6:55

1 Answer 1


The sefer "Making It Work" has a full chapter on mesira (chapter 20). In it, R' Ari Wasserman lays outs the guidelines very clearly about what is, and is not, a problem of mesira. I recommend his work highly.

On Pg. 387 he writes:

Rav Yaakov Bloy write that if there is no other way to pretect oneself, it is permitted to call the police without first turning to a beis din under any of the following circumstances: if one is being attacked; if he has reasonable grounds to suspect that he is going ot be attacked; and certainly, if he has received threats against his life or safety. This is true, says Rav Bloy, even if the assailant will be fined or imprisoned as a result (Pischei Choshen, Lichos Nezikin, Chapt. 4, footnote 18)

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