The Rabbinical court that governs the insular Lubavitch Hasidic sect in Crown Heights has issued an edict [pdf] telling its estimated 10,000 subordinates to stop snitching. The Beth Din of Crown Heights decreed last week that, "No one shall bring to any media outlet information about any resident that could, if publicized, lead to an investigation or intensified prosecution by any law enforcement agency." They're not supposed to talk to reporters, either, but we read about this in the Daily News and on the blog "Who Is Shmira?", where they're calling for Zaki Tamir, Chairman of the Vaad, to resign! Vaad the hell is going on here?!

"Zaki Tamir, 'who the hell do you think you are?'" the blog wants to know. "You go and write a letter forcing the Rabbis to sign, banning any interaction with police. Is that your mission, is that why you were elected? Tell us, what have you done for any of the victims, who were mugged, robbed and traumatized? What measures have YOU taken to curb the crime?... How many people will die for your agenda? Last night a 50-60 year old black man was, unfortunately, shot point-blank. How will you explain to the 10 children of a Jewish man, if G-d forbid the story would have read a 40-50 year old Jewish man was shot point-blank?"

Don't you love a good holy war? Tamir tells the News the commandment was issued in response to the ongoing rivalry between civilian patrol groups, which has gotten press attention outside the community. And he insists the rules are intended to prevent the rank-and-file from going around community leaders to outside authorities. But Yosef Bergovoy, a young college student who got a ticket for standing on the sidewalk last month, says, "We have rights as a U.S. citizen to complain about the police." And the Who Is Shmira? blog wants to know, "Zaki Tamir are you afraid of something? Is there some corruption going on and you don’t want the community to know about it? Because we know all about it!"