In many recent high profile cases, (notably in Australia) people who attempt to report sexual abuse of children to secular authorities have been called mosers and ostracized by certain sections of their communities.

This leads me to ask the question : what are the parameters of the prohibition on informing to secular authorities, and how does it apply today?

Related: What is an outsider's obligation if abuse is suspected?


There are many, many opinions of this all over the map. Unsurprisingly, many "ultra-Orthodox" Jews apply the term to many things today where many "Centrist Orthodox" Jews feel it doesn't apply.

The Aruch HaShulchan wrote that there is no prohibition of mesirah with regards to a country with fair laws, "such as England or the Czar's Russia." Some believe he wrote that entire phrase to placate the censors; Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz believes he wrote "England" honestly, then paused and realized what the Czar would think -- so he added in "or the Czar."

More broadly, Rav Wozner's opinion is that in cases where dina demalchusa dina applies -- i.e. where Judaism acknowledges the local government's right to govern -- then it is also fully appropriate for everyone in that society to uphold such laws, and there is no prohibition of mesirah.

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    please source R. Wosner. – mevaqesh Feb 3 '15 at 16:56