I often hear people throw around the term tircha d'tzibbur, that something being done is incorrect because it is a burden to the public or congregation. Usually I hear it being used for whatever assaults the personal preferences of the person invoking it. Is there any objective definition of what violates this rule?

  • Article from Olamot.net. Also some examples are provided in Wikipedia. – Fred Jul 9 '14 at 4:33
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    The way it's commonly used is "anything that I don't like which occurs in or near the shul". It's like the Jewish version of rule 34. – Popular Isn't Right Jul 9 '14 at 11:55
  • My observation has been that it is not so much a "halacha" as it is a "halachic value", meaning that unnecessarily burdening the congregation is improper and should be avoided as much as possible. – LazerA Jul 9 '14 at 12:22
  • @LazerA - See my answer, below. It actually is halacha, according to that article. What's more, it's a Torah-based halacha. It's main applications are in the shul. – DanF Jul 9 '14 at 14:18
  • @DanF I think your answer is pretty good, but I don't think it contradicts my point. Tircha d'tzibura certainly has halachic ramifications, but it is not really a halacha in of itself. It represents an important halachic value that must often be held in opposition to other halachic values that, otherwise, we would almost certainly follow. In the absence of such a halachic conflict, the term tircha d'tzibura simply means respect other people, which is basic derech eretz and ahavas Yisrael. – LazerA Jul 9 '14 at 16:23

This article has a fairly detailed explanation of Tircha D'tzibbur. It discusses various places where this is mentioned in the Gemarrah, and which halachot apply as well as practical applications.

In summary, according to the article, Tircha D'Tzibbur is an extension of "Ve'Ahavta L'Re'acha" - loving your fellow. I.e. - if you are commanded to love one person, you are certainly commanded to love and respect an entire congregation of people (tzibbur) so you would not do anything to "burden" them. What constitutes "burden", I think, is well defined within the article and its linked sources.

In summary, the judgement of tircah d'tzibbur is not based on one's person preference of "what I don't like". Rather, it is based with a thinking of others, essentially placing the congregation or public's needs before yours.

This is why the article states that someone should not park their car in a bus stop so that it blocks the bus from going into the bus stop and having people load and discharge in the middle of the street.

I would add to this list a prohibition of parking in a handicapped spot when you are not handicapped. Besides being a tircha d'tzibbur (mind you a "subset" of the general population, but, nonetheless, a "tzibbur") there are probably other violations involved in this action.

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    The link in this answer is now broken. Could you please edit in as much citation information as you can as well as, if possible, a new link? – Isaac Moses Apr 16 '15 at 15:54
  • @IsaacMoses I'll try what I can. My answer is about 8 months old (not an excuse, I know - just a fact.) I summarized, above, at the time, the essence of the article. If I can locate other info, b"n, I'll edit in here. – DanF Apr 16 '15 at 16:05
  • @IsaacMoses - B"H, I found it and updated the link. It should work, now. B"N, I'll excerpt some items from it, pending feedback on a more recent related question. – DanF Apr 16 '15 at 16:21

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