|Roman Arnusch Photo Sun-Herald/Janie Barrett|
It could be argued that this is simply a case of prejudice against people of another faith. Our tradition sees bypassing the Torah based court in favour of one administered by idol worshipers or non-Jews as insulting toward God and the Torah. (An exception is the case of a thug who refused to yield to the authority of a Torah court, in which case dispensation can be sought in order to save property in an “idol worshipper’s court”). In Judaism, even a ruling on a practical monetary dispute is a form of worship. “God says to judges be careful with the judgement as I sit among you”. The administration of these laws is a dear to God as the Ten Commandments. It also compared to a King who gives his beloved youngest son a gift of his beloved orchard. The intention and religious spirit of the proceedings would be seen as highly significant, rather than just as a means to an end. Perhaps, settling a dispute outside a religious court could be compared to offering sacrifices outside the temple.