I was ambushed due to my neighbor’s huge bush near the sidewalk. My elbow was injured, my head was hit, and I had valuables stolen. They knocked me down to my sidewalk and held a gun to my head and demanded cash. I was a told my brains would be blown out if I made a move or sound. They almost went into my house where my wife and child were sleeping.Baruch Hashem I am fine, but I need to take preemptive steps to prevent this from happening to anyone from my home.
Is this case similar to an ox that gores? The thugs jumped out from behind the approximately 20’x20′ bush adjacent to my property. It blocks my vision of the street and allows thugs to hide behind it. Since we are both frum, in lieu of a lawsuit, I would like to know if halachically I can I obligate my neighbor to remove their bush since it is a liability? If so, who pays for it? Without that bush, I have a clear view of the street and sidewalk. My neighbor does not want to remove the bush.
Answer from Horav Y. Fleishman shlit”a.
If the bush blocks the reshus harabim then you could simply cut that part down or have the city cut it.
If it is entirely on his property it would seem most similar to the end of the Ramo in siman 155 seif 44 where he brings a dispute about whether one can force his neighbor to prevent his property from being used in a way that thieves would come to his neighbors. Therefore, if you would take him to a din Torah you prob would lose. However, perhaps you should go to a choshuve rov and ask him to do lifnim, meshuras hadin-especially we just passed Tisha Be’av where it says that a cause for the churban is that people went by the letter of the law and didn’t go lifnim mehuras hadin. You could also mention that it is bad for your neighbor to be the cause of someone else’s theft-Hashem punishes people for causing other people anguish-just like one is punished if he fails to erect a fence on his roof and someone falls from it