Are there any texts on civil disobedience in Judaism? Is it an acceptable practice?

Clarification: I was asking if there is a specific Jewish protocol for civil disobedience for civil laws/civil wrongs such as racist policies (ex. Heschel, Martin Luther King Jr. and the making of Civil Right Act of 1964) for countries in which existing Jewish communities exist, as well as protocols for civil disobedience to rules found to be no longer applicable or outgrown by past Jews in Judaism (is there such a thing?). In the second scenario, I'd imagine there as being a sort of git records of laws that have been outgrown by modern standards, perhaps this is the wrong place to ask those questions or perhaps they are two separate questions. Apologies for any typos, sometimes mobile does not cooperate. I am interested in splitting these into two questions, if there's a consensus, but am unsure of how to do that, as I am new to the site.

Just posted a separate question for civil law.

  • Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel walked with Martin Luther King Jr as an act of Civil Disobedience. i wonder if much has been written about it? – Aaron Dec 22 '15 at 23:00
  • Note that refusing to obey a rabbinical law makes a person subject to "malkos mardus" (lashes because of rebellion). A melech would be allowed to execute someone who refuses to obey. See the discussion of Dovid Hamelech and why he was allowed to execute Uriah. – sabbahillel Dec 22 '15 at 23:08
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    Is Choni Hamaagil's refusal to leave the circle until God gave proper rain and example of civil disobedience? – Clint Eastwood Dec 23 '15 at 0:03
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    Are you asking if Judaism discusses civil disobedience against secular laws, or are you asking if Judaism discusses civil disobedience against Jewish laws? I.e., do you mean, "Are there specific standards in Judaism for refusing to uphold a certain law?" or "Are there specific standards for refusing to uphold a certain Jewish law?" – Fred Dec 23 '15 at 1:39
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    These are two completely different questions. Please pick one and edit your question to clarify. – Isaac Moses Dec 23 '15 at 13:42

Civil disobedience is nonviolent refusal to obey the law as a show of resistance to the lawgiver. Thus, effectively, you're asking what Judaism says about nonviolently disobeying halacha as a show of resistance to God — or, in other words, you're asking what Judaism says about deliberately but nonviolently sinning. Judaism forbids that. See e.g. Wikipedia. (Caveat: I haven't read the entirety of that article and do not vouch for its accuracy.)

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  • Sort of like eating pork as a protest against kashrut? – vy32 Dec 22 '15 at 23:56
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    Are you sure this question isn't asking about Jewish views about civil disobedience of civil laws? – Daniel Dec 23 '15 at 0:01
  • @Daniel, come to think of it, I suppose one could read the question that way. – msh210 Dec 23 '15 at 4:02
  • @msh210 See the comment to the question from the OP "Specifically asking on both". It appears that the question is sinning befarhesyah (deliberately) as well as refusing to do something wrong by violating a secular law. This seems to be tw separate questions. – sabbahillel Dec 23 '15 at 12:16

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