Question:

When Beit Din grants full custody of small children to one parent and the other parents steals the children from school and disappears with them, is this biblical kidnap (with its requisite punishments) or is it not?
(At this time of my asking, Israeli Police are looking for the mother to arrest her and find out where the children are in order to return them to the father).

Answer:

This sounds terrible and serious, and it really doesn’t matter whether it is the biblical kidnapping that has capital punishment or not, because we don’t have a bais din that can do something like that nowadays.  Aside from that, it technically is not transgressing the kidnapping that is punishable by death unless the kidnapper sells the person that he kidnapped for money, which does not seem to be the case over here. However regardless of the technicalities of the halacha, I hope that things settle down and that you get your children back safely in the near future.

Sources:

Sanhedrin 86a.

Tags: kidnapping

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