Does it extend for five thousand miles? Or across three centuries?
It seems that (according to Vos Iz Neias) a Kol Korei was issued in Kiryas Joel* banning silver and gold shoes for women because such shoes are immodest, stunning and attention-getting.
According to the Kol Korei, the basis for the prohibition of gold and silver shoes is a ban issued by the Bais Din of R. Yechezkel Landau (the Noda B'Yehuda, who passed away in 1793).
Now, I'm sure that the people in Prague (where the R. Landau lived) would certainly have adhered to the ban. But just how far does the jurisdiction of R. Landau's Bais Din go? Does a local Bais Din have the power to prohibit all Jewish women everywhere in the world from wearing a particular style of shoe? Do the Rabbanim of Kiryas Joel follow the decrees of every properly constituted Bais Din in the entire world? If so, how could you possibly avoid running afoul of contradictory rulings? (It reminds me a lot of Ned Flanders' plea to God: "I've done everything the Bible says - even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff!")
Of course, I don't think that's the case. A local Bais Din's ruling should only apply to the community in which it is located. I can't see how basing this ban in Kiryas Joel based on a ban by a Prague Bais Din makes it legitimate.
Interestingly, according to the article, it seems that shoes that were bought in Prague before the ban were not included in the ban. This leads me to two thoughts:
1. The ban was not entirely for tznius reasons. If it was, why should shoes bought before the ban be exempted? Were they any more modest than the post-ban bought shoes?
2. The ban was about tznius, but R. Landau was concerned about the welfare of the community to such an extent that he didn't want to see people lose money on the shoes they already bought and was willing to let women in his community wear shoes that were non-tznius anyway, becuase he understood that you can't be a tzaddik with someone else's money.
If the latter point is true, then perhaps some of today's community leaders can take a lesson from this and understand that you shouldn't cause undue monetary losses to people in the name of enforcing chumras.
Nonetheless, I'd still be interested in hearing from people on this. How far does a Bais Din's jurisdiction last? How much time has to elapse before a ruling can be reconsidered? Or do we say that since we aren't as wise as R. Landau, we can't convene a Bais Din to overrule him and therefore the shoe ban lasts forever?
* I have not seen the Kol Korei. If anyone can send it to me, I'll be more than happy to put it up.