Monday, September 7, 2009

Stanley's questions regarding the BDA

Now that Stanley is willing to have a civil discourse - I am making his questions a post because he is asking some really good questions. The only question that I clearly need to answer is 3. I am not writing a book about wife abuse or husband abuse or child abuse but - abuse which includes all three and more. For previous dialogue between us see the post linked by his name below.

[[Wednesday Sept 9 Daas Torah said: I just was contacted by the BDA. They generously have offered to have someone answer questions - if they are given a list of clearly written and polite questions.

Stanley here is your chance. Your questions at present are too disorganized - please rewrite them and I will forward them]]

Stanley has left a new comment on your post "Insistence on only Torah law would destroy society...":

let's see if this post will make it or not:

1) i asked where the source for the BDS's dina de'malchusa dina was when it was rejected by all the rishonim and many acharonim and prof. michael broyde couldn't justify it with sources. i was accused of lziness.

in fact it is the BDA who came up with this 'novel' interpretation, it is for them to list the sources, not me. they must justify this new interpretation not me.

2) i questioned the veracity of the takonah of the BDA regarding the pre-nup by claiming i) no one else accepts it and no gedolim from the chareidi camp saw the need for it ii) less importantly, showed how modern society requires two wage earners and no longer is traditional where the man provides the bread any longer, so the need for the takonah is far less than in previous generations.

3) i stated as a fact and provided a source that the BDA'S claims that NY Get law can still usually result in a kosher get is rejected accross America by charedi poskim so how can the BDA go it alone in dinei nefoshos regarding eishes ish? i sited by name an example where rabbi manilowitz condemned the head of the BDA for mis-interpreting a tshuva from an odom godol. (a further fact, if the BDA wants to use reb moshe to justify this interpretation, how is it that no one from the chareidi camp understands the t'shuva of reb moshe the way it does and has condemned the NY get law).

3) i questioned the blog site's owner's objectivity regarding this agunah issue if he is writing a book on wife abuse and not spouse abuse which includes husband abuse. he may have 100% for this legitimate reasons but he has not answered what they are and I believe he should, otherwise one cannot be blamed for believing he is biased.

instead i have been addressed in a very condascending way and been lamblasted and accused of violent anger. all i wish is for him to answer the 4 questions (even though it's still 6 months till pesach) on his blogs without his frankly despicable replies.

if he claims that this is not his area of expertise and has no time to explore these issues, this is clearly his right. but then how can he be so dogmatic about his opinions and condemn mine so strongly? the other MO people reading this blog should also be able to answer most of my questions if they are defending the BDA out of knowledge and ignorance and i challenge them to do so.

i believe that he agreed to post my comments again on certain conditions and i hope i have been civil enough to have met his conditions. time will tell...

lastly this is not about me or you or anyone being right for that matter,. this is about a basic principle in yidddishkeit. if the botei din are doing the wrong thing, regardless of who they are or what they are, or what camp they belong to, they need to be held to task! gentlemen, i await your response without the sarcasm!


  1. As an introduction to this issue it is recommended that you read the discussion between R' Malinowitz and R' Broyde on JLaw

  2. Additional material from R' Malinowitz

  3. I too am interested in seeing the answers to Stanley's questions.

  4. my fifth question is to the BDA itself. When I asked the person who is senior there if he could give some numbers regarding the times when men have actually been awarded custody of the children, as opposed to the woman, I was told that he can't answer because his affiliation with the BDA is not all that long.

    (he gave a more precise period of time but I don't wish to mention it here because it may give away whom i spoke with)

    when i said come on, this is very weak, he then fell behind the reason of confidentiality. I do not buy this answer because i am not asking which cases, or even a precise figure such as 13% but rather a range but he still would not answer. i asked him of a man had ever been awarded custody by the BDA but he still would not answer. i find this incredibly troubling.

    it is very hard not to conclude that this bais din is feminist.

    what is even more troubling is that he told me that in the case where a woman went to arko'oys for money even without a legitimate heter, and came to the BDA for a get, if the man refused on the grounds that the woman was in arko'oys and had forfeitted her access to bais Din, his bais din would bifurcate the get and the money/arko'oys issue and still issue a Siruv against the man because the get and arko'oys are seperate issues.

    I again "repectfully" ask where these new ideas come from and which Godol has agreed to them, what is the mekor of this. Again I respectfully state that it is not my job to look for a source to justify this when the sources are unanimous against this, it is the BDA';s responsibility!

  5. My final question is how r' hershe;l Schechter (not completely affiliated with the BDA but partially, I don't know how much, perhaps someone can clarify) has gone and demonstrated outside R' A Blumenkranz's house when in the case in question, the man got a heter meah rabbonim from a very illustrious and distinguished talmid chochom because the woman was in arko'oys?

    Even far worse, he went ans signed a letter stating that Meir Kin should have a siruv against him when Meir Kin has left a get at a valid bais Din in Monsey led by Rav Dov Tzvi Abraham and his wife had no heter to be in arko'oys?

    R' Schachter has been motzi la'az on someone anmd on a Bais Din. Why?

    I was told by my source in the BDA that similarly Rav Avrohom gestetner DOES NOT FOLLOW NORMATIVE HALOCHAH.

    Well, i have news for the BDA, your dina de'malchusah interpretation, your reliance on the NY Get law, your siruv bifurcation, your takonah on the pre-nup (the least of the issues as I believe Rav Bleich may be in favor of something similar) etc.. gives a very strong impression that it is you not the Monsey rabbonim who are not following normative halochah.

    I await a civil response from BDA supporters. If I get obnoxious answerds, I hope that the moderator will preferably ban these responses or at least allow me to answer in kind.

  6. I have no doubt that there wil be posts alleging that rav Abraham and gestetner are not accepted. By whom I ask?

    They have many enemies in NY because of their insistence of following halochah precisely. I will speak about rav ghestetner who I am much more familiar with. he does not allow corrupt toanim in his bais din. ironically, i believe the BDA discourages them as well. his bais din is absically free and where he gets involved, in order to investigate why people are in arko'oys, he charges exactly waht his sechar betailah is. he feels the american practice of zabla is totally illegitimate and has psakim from the kashu rov, the debreciner, rav yisroel yaakov fisher et al to baqck this up. while there arem many who hold that reb moshe holds onew is mechuyav to go to zabla, this is provided cetain conditions are met, the 1st one being that it does not cost more than regular bais din which is almost never the case in the US.

    if someone has a legitimate grievance against rav Gestetner, e'g. where an odom godol went against him, with his reasons etc, let him present them. I would hope that the moderator will be smart enough not to allow baseless slurs and allegations without evidence against this big talmid chochom.

  7. Recipients and PublicitySeptember 8, 2009 at 10:02 AM

    Is this blog accepting anonymous posts now after all? Please clarify.

  8. no. you are right. I did let some of stanley's anonymous posting through however

  9. Recipients and PublicitySeptember 8, 2009 at 10:20 AM

    Ah, it's a case of "the exception proves the rule" and also "rules are made to broken"!

  10. I apologize for not putting the name Stanley as my ID. It was done inadvertendly. I understand the post has not been up for very long, however, if this is the best comment the MO can come up with so far, very unimpressive.

  11. I see that the YU chevra are not so quick to have answers to the basic and fundememtal questions I asked on their BDA. Micha where are you?

    Just in case the YU/ BDA chevra think I am only picking on them, here is the proof that this is not the case.I now ask some fundamental questions on some of the NY chareidi rabbis and botei din who i believe need to be exposed. If you do not wish to publicize this, i will be extremely disappointed but not surprised. I commend you for at least letting me air my basic questions on the BDA already.

    1) Why do many of you allow corrupt toanim to come in and lie and teach your clients to lie in your botei din?

    2) why do you force peshoro on the parties during divorce hearings. I know that you will quote shulchan oruch about how "peshoro" is preferred over strict din but i have no doubt that this concept is being fundememntally abused in divorce situations because peshoro cannot be forced and it is clear that the man is not being explained his rights to refuse peshoro in a divorce case where often the wife is trying to destroy the husband financially and/ or reputationally. In general, unfortunately, divorce situations are highly charged and very bitter. When you force peshoro, do you explain to the man that he has the choice of rejecting peshoro and asking purely for din. The reason why the botei din are so in favor of peshoro is that way they are able to award to the woman far more than she really is entitled to mi'ikar ha'din al pi halocho is because of the botei din's own feminist agenda or because the bais din fears for its reputation of being branded anti-woman if it doesn't offer the woman a far better deal than she is entitled to mi'ikar hadin. There is absolutely no chi'yuv on the man to accept peshoro and pay far more than he needs to to someone who is trying to put him in his kever and I believe most botei din are using peshoro to be moytzi momon from a husband who has no idea he really does not need to go along with this farce and can refuse to be party to it.

    3) Why are dayonim charging far more than their sechar betailah as allowed al pi halocho. Many of them cannot even speak English properly and the other job they are really qualified for is a rebbi job in a mossad which pays $60,000 per annum which is equivalent to about $30 or $40 per hour and not the hundreds they charge. Do these dayonim not care that they have passuled themselves and their botei din?

  12. questions from stanley continued:

    4) Why are some charedi botei din in NYC arranging for the beating up of men when the only "crime" these men are guilty of is that these men have insisted on going to the bais din of their own choice which is within their rights as the men are invariably the nitvah and the halochah is "toveah hoylech achar ha'nitvoh"? Even if you disagree, and hold the man has to go to Zabla, he still does not fall into the category of mesarev le'din and since he is not a mesarev how can you think of beasting him up?

    In these circumstances, how do you call the man a mesarev and give his wife a heter to go to arko'oys?

    5) The inevitable answer will be because the woman's rabbi/ bais din doesn't recognise the bais din the husband has chosen or it is anti woman as if the bais din the woman has chosen is not chosen by her or her supporters for a very good reason.

    Often it is because we don't recognise Rabbi Gestetner or rabbi Abraham because their bais din is not international or because the rabbanut don't recognise them or because the people's republic of outer mongolia doesn't recognise them. suffice it to say, the same people who quote the recognition of the rabbabut would never rely on the hechsher of the rabbanut for food, previous heteri mechirah, terumah etc... Until an odom godol like rav wosner, rav sternbuch or rav elyashiv write against these 2 great talmidei chachomim, and/ or gives concrete examples of where they have gone astray, all this pontification against these 2 great talmidei chachomim belongs in the category of hevel havolim.

    5) How can anyone justify the Zabla circus of America. I have been told that even Reb Moshe who holds that one can force the nitvah to got to Zabla has certain conditions which need to be fulfilled before this is in fact true. These include i) it should not cost more than regular bais din which is basically never applicable in the US ii) the dayonim don't know any of the facts before the case is heard in the din torah, again they are chosen by a party they know and tells them their side of the story etc...

    6) I have not gotten personal here but in fact I have in my possession documentation which actually proves that it is the detractors of rav gestetner and rav abrohom who have been severely castigated by the gedolim of eretz yisroel and to a lesser extent the some of the gedolim of N America.

    These are basic questions for which there should be immediate answers. I hope I am not the next victim of a beating for exposing corruption!

  13. Stanley wrote:

    These are basic questions for which there should be immediate answers. I hope I am not the next victim of a beating for exposing corruption!
    I agree you have very important questions. I was once by Rav Sternbuch and someone mentioned that many of the rabbis involved in Gittin in America are not experts in the laws of Gittin and there were many questionable divorces. He agree but said there was nothing he could do about it.

    I don't think these questions will bring about physical harm - but I do think that those who could answer them do not read my blog.

  14. DT said: "but I do think that those who could answer them do not read my blog."

    Are you confident there are answers for all the questions?

  15. Unfortunately, Stanley is right, there are no answers. The truth is there is a group of thugs running the botei din in NYC, both of the MO and charedi type.

    The only dayonnim I am personally aware of in NYC/ Monsey who follow halochah are rav gestetner and rav abraham. Because they follow halochah so strictly they are vilified and condemned and even attepmts on their lives have been made.

    The difference between rav gestetner and everone else is that he does this NOT FOR MONEY and has discredited the other botei din for breaking halochah and because his success who severely damage the pockets and businesses of other "dayonnim" he is someone who is spoken about as if he was the devil himself chas ve'sholom when the opposite is true.

    It is a shame that since reb moshe and reb ya'akov were both niftar we have biryonim and ha;kalim she'bekalim running the show. Some of these guys are geniuses and know kol ha'torah kula, but given how they operate (beatings etc) obviously have no yiras shomayim (ha'meivin yovin). This is a tragedy and it say in Shabbos that tragedies only befall klal yisroel because of corrupt judges. These are matters of dinei nefoshos and you are right the people who could "answer" are not people who reasd blogs.

    Unfortunately my rov who shall remian nameless compares this situation to the dor that killed off reb ya'akov yosef wiith thje corrupt kashrus in NYC. He claims that until unfortunately all these corrrupt dayonim are "meah ve'esrim" and a new generation take-over, the status quo will remain.

    I believe that the matzav in Lakewood is much better regarding botei din, there are yoiunger dayonim who are real torah'dik yidden, they are not becoming tycoonds through dayonnus and one pays very little to go to an erlich bais din. I sincerely hope this is true.Far from being violently angry, I am very, very pained that a shdot with so many frum yidden and torah mosdos like NY, is in a category for the most part of "les din, ve'les dayan".

    I controversially state that the so-called gedolim of NYC, whoever they may be, who are obviously aware of all of this, and keep quite are guilty of genaivah and possibly even retzicha. As we know that an oni is choshiv ke'meis as we see by ya'akov and elifaz. And rabbonim who keep quite while women or anyone else for that matter go to arko'oys or these corrupt botei din are moytzi momoyn they have no right to receive.

    There is obviously some money a man must pay for the upkeep of his children, their chinuch which an erliche bais din has to rule upon. Obviously the halochah is pi hashem and no one is chas ve'sholom suggesting that games can be played (e.g. extortion to give over a get) regarding this, but raboysai the pendulum has swong in the opposite direction and the re is now a churban being perpetrated in the opposite direction.

    (if you don't like the following comment you may delete it but I do not believe it falls in the category of loshon horah at all as he wrote the article himself!)

    One can only read the words of the chief rabbi of efrat on "agunahs". It is no wonder that Moron rav Scach is believed to have put this man in cherem with such terrible hashkofos!

  16. SZ said...

    What is "arko'oys"?
    secular courts

  17. I just was contacted by the BDA. They generously have offered to have someone answer questions - if they are given a list of clearly written and polite questions.

    Stanley here is your chance. Your questions at present are too disorganized - please rewrite them and I will forward them

  18. I will do so but I need a bit of time. I have no doubt that they will deny certain things they have said to me and then it will be their word against mine.

    Give me until next week to re-formulate them in the correct format. Time will tell... i aslo hope that I will be able to respond to their "answers".

  19. Why do you keep questioning there honesty and integrity?

    Why didn't you write them in the first place?

  20. come on daas torah, when people who in my opinion have uprooted halocha, they have lost their trustworthiness in my eyes.

    also i know of enough people who they or their yu supporters have issued fake siruvim against, harassed and slandered k'neged halocho and demonstrated against them when they have deposited gittin in valid botei din, so why should i trust them.

    again, this type of critisism applies very similarly to many charedi botei din.

    believe you people have told me i am nuts to start up with them, they will come after you and crash and annihilate you.

    i want a guarantee that they will never ever get involved in my personal life at all if ever requested to do so by anyone as clearly i dislike them and don't feel they are impartial and they will have an axe to grind against me. if they can prove otherwise, i'e that I am a litigant or have been summonsed by them already, then I would be a liar and they would have no obligation not to summonse me again to their court. i guarantee that that is not the case.

    For the record, I am not al itigant before their court and nver have been and have never been summonsed by them.

  21. Since there is much mention of "MO" here, at risk of going off topic, let us not forget what the Gedolim had to say.

    Modern orthodoxy is about compromising halacha. Rav Aharon Kotler ZTV'L, in Mishnas Rabi Aharon (vol. 3, Hesped on the Brisker Rav) states that the essence of Modern Orthodoxy is the same as the Reform and Conservative.

    Chazon Ish, Yalkeit Daas Torah:

    Just as simplicity and truth are separate entities, so are extremism and greatness separate entities: Extremism is the perfection of the topic. One who waves the banner of moderation and hates extremism, is in the same camp as liars or imbeciles. If there is no extremism there is no perfection and without perfection there is no beginning. For the beginning is with constant questioning and doubts, and perfection is the sharp reply which puts each statement in the right and truthful place.

    We are used to hearing certain circles declare that they are not extremists, and yet still consider themselves faithful Jews with enough faith in Torah and Torah opinion. From an arbitrary point of view, we say that just as there are among the lovers of wisdom none who love just a little wisdom and hate a lot of wisdom, so among the lovers of Torah and its commandments there is no love of mediocrity and hatred for extremism.

  22. The problem with the term "Modern Orthodox" is that it encompasses such a broad range of individuals. Everything from an otherwise Chareidi man who decided to go to university so that he can support his family in a modern world to a woman who wears pants and chooses not to cover her hair seem to fit the bill.

    As a Sephardi person, I know there was a time, not too long ago when the Sephardi Gedolim thought that their young men donning black suits and fedoras as opposed to the traditional garb that those in the Arab world called "Jew clothes" and adding benches to the Beit Knesset as opposed to sitting on the carpeted floor were signs of too much modernization and abandonment of tradition.

    I have no doubt, considering their writings, that Rabbanim such as R' Shimon Adas, R' Ezra Haddaya, R' Ezra Attiah and such would be scandalized to see the beardless bochurim that dress in western suits that now attend Porat Yosef. However, it is still very much a Hareidi Yeshiva. So the ultimate question is where is the line drawn.

  23. Unfortunately this whole discussion sounds like baloney.

    Stanley appears to have a chip on his shoulder about men being required to pay mezonos and women usually being given custody.

    Sorry but the Rema says clearly that a Bais Din can award custody as is best for the kids, and mezonos according to the costs of living and not according to the father's income.

    And to turn around the questioning, where's your halachic basis for a woman getting a worse settlement because of going to archa'os? She'll have her own din ve'cheshbon if she didn't have a valid heter. It's a bitul aseh of tasimu lifneihem. But it has absolutely nothing to do with division of property or mezonos. (Unless, of course, you have a teshuva to quote.)

    As for siruv, there are plenty of teshuvos that say that a man should give a get when his wife wants a divorce and attempts to reconcile have failed. See the Tzitz Eliezer for example.

  24. DovBear (same as prev comment)September 17, 2009 at 3:07 PM

    By the way I have no connection to any bais din in any country. I'm just a divorced guy in Israel, and am making divorce and remarriage an area of learning and focus similar to DT's making abuse an area of focus.

  25. DovBear said...

    Unfortunately this whole discussion sounds like baloney.

    Stanley appears to have a chip on his shoulder about men being required to pay mezonos and women usually being given custody.
    Stanley still hasn't given me a list of his questions so apparently BDA is still waiting for them. Unless of course he sent it to them directly.


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