Monday, April 23, 2012

Friedman-Epstein: What halachic justification?!

Despite all the fanfare and international publicity about the "aguna" Tamar Friedman, the halacha basis  for the conduct of her rabbinic supporters as well as the aguna defense organization Ora's tactics against Aharon Friedman is  embarrassingly anemic and simply unsupported by any elementary reading of the sources. Briefly the case involved Tamar's decision that she didn't want to remain married to Aharon. She has never made any claims of abuse or misbehavior just she thought she might find someone better. She left their home taking their daughter without his consent. There was the Baltimore beis din which they both agreed to abide by its decision. Its work was not brought to a psak. Secular court was involved and a secular divorce. There was some involvement of the Washington beis din - but that was incomplete and it never heard both sides. Finally there was a hazmana from the beis din of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis which Aaron did not respond to. That beis din issued a seruv signed by Rav Kaminetsky, Rav Belsky, Rabbi Ralbag and also Rav Schachter. The seruv states that whatever can be done to bring about a get should be done. ORA - with Rav Schachter's support and encouragement has gotten involved and has had public demonstrations and repeated distribution of posters demanding a get which targeted Aharon and his family. They also had a strong publicity blitz in all the major secular newspapers as well as a conference at Stern College and a major campaign directed at Aharon's boss Congressman Camp - all with the stated goal of forcing Aharon to give Tamar a get. So far there has not been a beis din that heard both sides and issued a psak that Aharon must give a get.

My concern has been to try and find a halachic basis for use of public humilation in a very weak case of ma'os alei - where Tamar has apparently never said anything stronger against her husband than that she realized that she didn't want to spend the rest of her life married to him. When I spoke with the head of ORA I asked him about this and he said that Tamar had a right to privacy and didn't have to explain why she wanted to leave. Aharon has apparently never said he wanted to end the marriage. Thus the case consists of Tamar's assertion of ma'os alei because she doesn't want to remain married. She is also a moredes who left their home. She turned to the secular courts - a huge problem - and as a result a custody arrangement was set up and a civil divorce was obtained.

A basic summary of the halacha is found here:
Be'er HaGolah (Shulchan Aruch E.H. 77:6): In the case where the wife claims ma’os alei and therefore refused to have sexual relations with her husband] The view of the Shulchan Aruch [which modified the language of the Rambam that "the husband can be forced to give a get" to "if the husband wants to divorce her"] is that of the Ramban and Rashba that one cannot force the husband to give a get [in the case of ma’us alei]. The husband can only be forced to give a get in those cases where Chazal said force can be used. [Which is either from a prohibited relations such as a cohen to a divorcee or a major defect such as severe disease or disgusting skin condition]This is stated in the Magid Mishna (Hilchos Ishus 14:8]. The Tur says the same thing in the name of Rabbeinu Tam and his father the Rosh. The source of this view is Kesubos (63b), What is the case of moredes (a rebellious wife) ? Amemar said it is a woman who says she wants to stay married and she want to torment her husband. However a woman who says ma’us alei (he disgusts me) we don’t force her to be with her husband. Mar Zutra said she should be forced and there was an incident in which Mar Zutra forced the wife to be with the husband and they had a child R’ Chinina Mesura. But that is not the normal consequence – they had special assistance from Heaven and we can’t learn from that case.

A review of the recent teshuva literature, inclduing the rulings of  Rav Eliashiv, Minchos Yitzchok, Rav Ovadiah Yosef, Rav Moshe Feinstein, Tzitz Eliezar, Ben Ish Chai and Rav Sternbuch as well as the various public shiurim that Rav Schachter has given on the topic of aguna, - have indicated that there is not a single source that allows the type of public humiliation ORA is using in order to force a husband to give a get. There are sources which allowed indirect pressure such as preventing the obtaining a civil divorce unless a get is given. But not a single use of direct pressure because of the universal concern in the Achronim for a get me'usa (an invalid forced get). Sources such as Rabbeinu Yona, Rabbeinu Yerucham and Rav Chaim Pelaggi were also studied - but they also do not provide a ready and acceptable basis for what is going on with ORA.

[update reply to James in Comments section]

James you obviously have inside information - the beis din issued a seruv for not appearing in which they poskened that a get had to be given. They did not explain their reasons nor did Friedman participate - so they only heard one side. Is that correct? Simple question is how can a beis din posken without hearing both sides? And if it isn't a psak but only a seruv for not showing up so how can they issue a ruling that it is a mitzva to give a get? Besides that level of confusion Rav Shachter has written clearly that he is totally relying on Rav Kaminetsky for his understanding of the case. So apparently it is irrelevant to him whether there is a psak or just a seruv. The only issue is the daas Torah of Rav Kaminestky. He then authorized ORA to attack Aharon and his family. Correct? The Beis din did not say anything about ORA nor do they appear on ORA's list of rabbis. Thus you are insisting that everyone involved agrees that ORA is doing the right thing. I am simply asking for some evidence that ORA actions are approved by Rabbis Belsky and Kaminetsky and what the basis of the psak of the beis din was. It is not clear that saying that it is a mitzva to give or obtain a get justifies what ORA is doing.

So we are still discussing this because of the apparent bizarreness of this case on the level of halacha. It doesn't require a gadol to understand the halachic issues or the halachic rulings going back to the gemora. I simply want to know what halachic understanding justifies the chain of events leading to ORA's demonstrations and pressure. It shouldn't take a talmid chachom more than 5 minutes to rattle off the necessary information. The fact that that ORA through Rav Shachter based on this beis din - has been producing a disturbing spectacle in the secular media - justifies me asking an explanation. If ORA wasn't involved then this would have remained a private issue. But it clearly isn't and I'd like to understand. this is Torah and I need to learn.

77 comments :

  1. But why should the wife and her friends not be allowed to state unequivocally and publicly that she wants a get???

    Why should they not be allowed to declare to whoever wants or does not want to hear it that she thinks his behaviour is unacceptable?

    She is not doing him bodily harm...

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    1. freedom of speech is wonderful - but in this case there is a problem that all the Achronim acknowledge - get me'usa. The possiblity of invalidating the get because of the pressure.

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    2. Didn't Rav Sternbuch say one could put up posters saying that the man should give a get? Isn't the kind of media pressure ORA engages in more or less the functional equivalent in modern American society to the use of wall posters in Charedi communities?

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    3. Never mind the various halakhot that are being transgressed:

      1) Lashon Hara
      2) Publicly embarassing a Jew
      3) Needlessly inovling oneself in another's dispute.

      Then there is the Get Meusa bit. In the way I understand the Beit Yosef, if a B"D wants to force a Get, even it is limited in its abilities, though, if it were a valid B"D(which there isn't one that has actually ruled in this case) which forced a Get the Get would be Posul M'D'Rabbanan(which means the children probably wouldn't be mamzerim).

      However if a non-Rabbinic authority forces a Get against Jewish law(which is what you have here) the Get is Posul M'D'Oraitta, which would punish the children for the sins of the parents(or mother in this case).

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    4. there is no psak from a beis din that has issued a ruling after hearing both sides that he has to give a get.

      What ORA is doing is way beyond putting up wall posters

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    5. "get me'usa"

      I think that this very large definition of get meussa is problematic...

      Particularly in light of the fact that even corporal punishment was accepted to obtain a get.

      In this case, he has nothing to fear for his body and soul. So where is the coercion? Nobody is holding a gun to his temple "if you want to live, give me the get"...

      Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn's position on this large definition of get meusa would be much more credible if he was known to speak out against get-extortion by the man, if he was known to protect women and their families against abusive demands from the future ex-husband.

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    6. Didn't mean to imply that a B"D had issued such a ruling.

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    7. @batmelech
      The problem of get extortion is not the flipside of get meussa. People who are concerned about get meussa are concerned on behalf of the women that she not be given an invalid get.

      In this case they have been threatening Aharon Friedman with loss of livelihood. That's not a gun but you don't necessarily need a gun to make a get meussa.

      Corporal punishment was only accepted when there was pesak that the man is obligated to give a get. It works based on mitzva lishmoa divrei chachomim. Since there is no such thing as mitzva lishmoa divrei ora, it can't work in our case.

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    8. Batmelech,
      I solved the worst Agunah cases in Monsey, decades ago, in my youth. I then contacted the new Agunah organization, and suggested that we work together, the ladies and rabbis. One lady said yes, and the boss said "we are not interested in working with rabbis. We want to change the halacha." I thought that was ridiculous, but I was wrong. Now they have changed the halacha so much that when I protest Rabbi Schachter's approval of public humiliation and demonization of a husband regardless of Torah authorities and what happened in the marriage, not too many people care. They have won. My brother is about the only bright light in this whole mess. I make it clear to the husbands I speak to that they should give a GET. But not a forced one, produced by Ora and Rabbi Schachter.

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    9. Yeshaya,
      I agree with you that public humiliation of any kind is forbidden and can produce an invalid GET. Public humiliation is considered by the rabbis as an act of murder. It has no place in pressuring a husband for a GET. Even private humiliations invalidate the GET. But the Agunah lobby is everywhere.

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    10. They inform the employer that he refuses to give a get. As soon as there is a civic divorce and no get this is, in fact, public knowledge.

      So they ask the employer if he really wants to employ a person who uses his religious prerogative of giving a get to keep his ex-wife (according to state law) to remarry.

      Then it is up to the employer to decide.

      How is this applying pressure on the husband in the sense of "get meussa"???

      I think this is quite a far leap.

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    11. I don't see how speaking about his publicly known behaviour - since it is on record that he has a civil divorce, but gave no get - is "public humiliation"...

      Marriage and divorce is something public, so the fact that his jewish marriage status is not the same as his civic marriage status is publicly known.

      All they do is draw attention with it. But if he is comfortable with it, he does not need to feel humiliated.

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    12. "not too many people care."

      Well, I suppose this is because for too many years too many Rabbis and Batey Din set idle while watching get-extortion going on and agunot staying agunot over decades.

      You see, the law is fine as long as no-one abuses it. In this case, too many men took advantage of their prerogatives, so it caused a counter-movement.

      Why did the revered Rabbis not speak up in time?

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    13. Ora obviously disagrees with you - they know that public demonstrations against the husband and his family are humilating even when the person feels he is correct. Don't know anybody who likes to be held up to public ridicule even when they are doing the right thing. If neo nazis publicly ridicule Jews who wear yalmukes - you don't think that causes embarrassment?!

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    14. They just broadcast what is publicly known, since marriage & divorce is all about informing the public who has sexual relations with whom.

      I went through a lot of being ridiculed and finger-pointed in youth, (for example for bad figure skating), but I liked figure skating, so went on doing it and stayed independent of the finger-pointing. I would not say that ridiculing is a means of coercion.

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    15. By the way: I am afraid of Neo-Nazis hitting. But neo-nazis ridiculing leaves me completely cold.

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    16. I readily accept that you are impervious to ridicule - but most people aren't

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    17. They haven't just been "broadcasting"!
      from ora's twitter account:
      How fair would it be to compare the actions of Aharon Friedman and his employer, Dave Camp to these abusers and... http://fb.me/S7YdIwMp
      9:16 AM - 24 Apr 12 via Facebook · Details
      Reply Retweet Favorite
      18 Apr Russel Neiss ‏ @russelneiss Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
      And read more about @RepDaveCamp's refusal to condemn spousal abuse by one of his senior staffers here: http://www.freetamar.org/doc/PressRelease.3.28.12 cc/ @oragunot
      Retweeted by ORA
      In reply to Dave Camp
      18 Apr ORA ‏ @ORAgunot Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
      Ask @RepDaveCamp why he calls abuse by one of his staffers "gossip". Call his DC office at 202-225-3561. http://bit.ly/GGsd6H #FreeTamar
      18 Apr ORA ‏ @ORAgunot Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
      Call @RepDaveCamp's DC office: 202-225-3561. Tell him to take a stand against domestic abuse. http://bit.ly/GGsd6H #FreeTamar

      They've been applying pressure on his employer to fire him.

      Delete
  2. Rabbi Eidensohn,

    Can you also please follow up your coverage of the Briskman divorce (Lakewood / Israel) that you've previously covered? And what the facts and halachic issues are in that case. (There was a beating and criminal charges in NJ, as you may recall.)

    Thanks

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    1. apparently nothingis happening except for the arrest and trial for the beating. The reporting of the beating to the police was poskened by Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky. I really don't have any more information - but would be willing to post it if someone else has.Also apparently there are those who claim that the forced get was posul.

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    2. Can you follow up what the halachic issues are witb Briskman? Unjustified beating? Get Meusa? Father denied child visitation. Etc.

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    3. if the federal attorney is holding off on the case (i checked the records, there are regular postponements) it means only one thing -- he is "ratting out" on someone else.

      anyone doing business with the kidnapper / beater (and / or his wife) should be aware and refuse to do business with him, till ...

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  3. Just two minor corrections/adjustments to what was written above.

    1) Tamar admitted in the YU panel discussion that she wanted out of the marriage after only three months -that is a frightfully short time to decide that a marriage was irreparable.

    2) Everything presented so far(to my knowledge) has Friedman turning to the secular courts not Tamar. Not that I think this really matters much as it has little to do with the overall weakness of Tamar's claim of Maos Ali.

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    1. since you mentoin it -- she also refused to cooperate in "marriage counseling" that the bet din (and the mediation agreement) ordered.

      and she didnt ask for another counselor or whatever.

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    2. Three months is not necessarily a short time. There are a variety of different reasons that might justify a divorce after such a short time. Tamar said she knew she wanted out after three months but she did NOT say why she wanted out or how she knew. The only objective panel to hear her claims in full included Rabbis Kamenetzky and Belsky, certainly reliable enough rabbanim to determine that she deserves a Get.

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  4. Get me'usa. The possiblity of invalidating the get because of the pressure.

    - Are there any cases discussed in the Sh"t literature where a posek has actually invalidated a get because of the pressure applied?

    - How do you determine that a get has been given via pressure? Is it the beis dins perceptions, the reaction of the publc, the protests of hte husband?

    - For example: say the husband signs the get and states something to the effect that I am doing this of my own volition, would a beis din turn around and say we do not believe you and disqualify it?

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  5. Get me'usa. The possiblity of invalidating the get because of the pressure.

    - Are there any cases discussed in the Sh"t literature where a posek has actually invalidated a get because of the pressure applied?

    - How do you determine that a get has been given via pressure? Is it the beis dins perceptions, the reaction of the publc, the protests of hte husband?

    - For example: say the husband signs the get and states something to the effect that I am doing this of my own volition, would a beis din turn around and say we do not believe you and disqualify it?

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    1. Yes the following is from the kuntres in Otzer haPoskim os 8

      במגיד משנה פי"ד מאישות הלכה ח', לאחר שכתב שדעת המפרשים שאין כופין את האיש להוציא באומרת מאיס עלי, כתב והם סבורים שאפילו נשאת בגט שנתן מחמת כפייה זו תצא. והובאו דבירו להלכה בשו"ת הריב"ש ס' ק"ד ובח"מ סק"ה. וכן כתבו בספר הישר לרבניו תם חלך התשובות סי' כ"ד ובשו"ת הרשב"א ח"א סי' תקע"ג ובמיוחסות לרמב"ן סי' קל"ח. ובחידושי הרמב"ן כתובות ס"ג ב' כתב, דכל מי ששומע למי שמורה כך, ועושה מעשה בדבר [לכפות הבעל ליתן גט], טועה גמור הוא ומרבה ממזרים בישראל, ומתיר אשת איש וקשין לעולם מאנשי דור המבול והמורה המעשה לגט הוא המרבה ממזרים וכו', ואף אם ח"ח כבר שגג אחד וכפהו לגט שפיטא שאין הגט גט ולא תנשא כלל וכלל וכו'.

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    2. Otzer HaPoskim discusses views that say that if a divorce is granted under pressure the woman should not get married with that get. In addition there are those that say if she does remarry she can stay married - but others disagree and say even bedieved the get is no good. Look at section 8 and 9 in the kuntres found in Simon 77

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    3. If there is a machlokess about a GET the woman may not remarry because she has chezkas aishess ish the status of a married woman and only with a clear negation of that can she remarry.

      But Rabbeinu Ram at the end of his Teshuva on Pirus says something else. A woman should rather be an Agunah forever rather than allow aspersions on her children. Aspersions mean that some rabbis consider the child a mamzer, even though others disagree, and even if a rabbi feels that she is really divorced if he knows the child will grow up with stigma the woman should not remarry. There was a case not long ago where the couple married and agreed not to have children, which is a problem of its own.

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  6. Not to get off-track, but a secular friend of mine sent me a link today to Ivanka Trump's 'gerirus' of two years or so ago. (I have no idea why they suddenly sent this to me today.)

    But can anyone explain how Rabbi Schachter approved her geirus? I'd really love to respect him again.

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  7. 1. The Agudas harabanim is NOT the Orthodox Union. The OU does not have a beis din. They use the BDA which was not involved in this case.

    2. Rav Schachter did not sign the Seruv and did not sit on the BD. His actions with ORA rely on that seruv and those rabbanim, all of whom are very well respected.

    3. Tamar does not have to publicly allege abuse. She doesnt have to justify herself to the blogosphere. That Bet Din, and ONLY that bet din, needs to evaluate her claim and for all we know, she may well have been abused. We just dont know.

    4.Publicizing seruvim is not a new policy. It has been going on for years. The Jewish Press has been publishing seruvim for years.

    5. None of the poster

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    1. 1) corrected the name of the beis din in my post
      2) The seruv has the following signatures
      Accordingly we have affixed our signatures this 9th day of Elul 5771
      s/ Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag
      s/ Rabbi Yisroel Belsky
      s/ Rabbi Mordechai Wolmark
      s/ Rabbi Gavriel Stern
      s/ Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky
      The words of the revered rabbis, signatories above, do not need any further
      endorsement, and certainly the entire community should urge the husband to
      give his wife a Jewish divorce.
      s/ Rabbi Hershel Schachter

      so not sure what your point it certainly looks like his signature is on the seruv - even though he didn't sit on the beis din. Why did he add his name and the comment if he was relying on them and why did say the community should urge the husband to give a get?

      http://www.getora.org/Seiruvim/Aharon%20Friedman%20seruv.pdf

      BTW is beis din authorizing violence against Aharon Friedman as

      "Any person who has the ability or opportunity to influence him to free Tamar Epstein from the chains of her agunah status is obligated to do so and doing so will indeed be the fulfillment of a great mitzvah. Tamar Epstein is hereby granted permission to take whatever appropriate steps are necessary to extricate herself from the chains of this agunah status.

      3) she doesn't have to explain herself but she has publicly said why she wanted a divorce

      4) ORA has gone way behind publicizing and inserting major attacks on Aharon in the public media is way beyond what is done in the Jewish press and publicly demanding a get - when the technical issue was that he didn't show up to beis din - is problematic.

      5. Don't understand your last comment

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    2. she specifically stated that there was no abuse.

      (of course, the other case of the one who later married the cohen without a get (thanx to the husband whom she claimed didnt want to give a get, despite the bet din that he was ccooperating with) also specfically said there was no abuse.)

      even rabbi rackman z"l did not allow remarrying a cohen.

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    3. 2. The point is that RHS's name has been dragged through the mud for no reason. He was not on the BD that determined that Friedman must give a Get. He is relying on their public seruv. Not one of the original signatories has taken back their decision or publicly denounced ORA's actions. Signing on to other people's decisions is common in the Rabbinic world.

      3. She has NOT said why she wanted a divorce. She has said that she knew fairly quickly that she wanted a divorce.

      4. The seruv does not state that he didnt show up to a BD. It goes beyond that and states that he is obligated to give her a Get. Perhaps they know something that we dont? I dont know. What I do know is that those eminent rabbanim determined that Friedman must give Epstein a Get and that we the public are obligated to do what we can to free her from her Igun.

      5. My last comment was an error. Appologies.

      6. The claim that the seruv encourages violence against Friedman is absurd. No one reads it that way. The seruv is far more tame than all of the ridiculous public posters of the Rabbanim in Israel or the over-the-top pronouncements of the Eida Hacharedi.

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  8. The "Jewish Press" too is a left-wing MO rag that caters to the anti-halacha feminist crowd, for many years already. Its owner, Rabbi Klass, has a daughter who had a get/divorce conflict for many years with her (now) ex-husband.

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    1. correction -- two husbands. both ditched because she wanted to marry the neighbor. both times.

      dont be down on the JP. its a very klassy paper.


      it also only publishes seruvim against men. will not publish against women. read the masthead of that section.

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  9. Although my comment doesn't apply to this case, but how has it come that people hold back a get when they know their spouse isn't coming back. Even without any Beis din telling you to give a get, do you want to remain single the rest of your life? And why would anybody deal with such a person. Same goes for the people who extort money, don't they realize that people will look down on them? What happened to plain sechel and middos tovos.

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    1. Sam - When a woman abducts her child - why is it that you expect the man to act with "plain sechel and middos tovos". If this woman would have acted with "plain sechel and middos tovos" she would have had a get 4 years ago.
      Every action has a reaction. If a woman takes a child hours away to another state without the knowledge or permission of the father - she should not expect anything.

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  10. Rabbi Schachter in his audio on Agunoth talks about the power to beat people until they die, and it is inferred that this may include the beating given a husband to give a GET. This is very dangerous stuff, and possibly can result in criminal charges. Idealists like RS don't do the dirty work themselves, but they are preparing the beatings with their ideas. Furthermore, these ideas are completely unfounded in halacha. I challenge RS to a debate if he feels he has a halachic right to publicly humiliate a husband. Such humiliation is considered murder and surely invalidates a GET. ORA behind their rabbi RS is a mamzerim factory. Murder is not unthinkable when you listen to RS's audio tape.

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    1. "Such humiliation is considered murder"

      Come on, get off your tree.

      Do you sometimes read what you write in your sarcastic comments about people who defend different opinions than you. Is this also murder?

      If we start with humilation = murder, all of us are murderers.

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  11. Don't challenge him to a debate. He doesn't read this blog. Ring him up already!!!

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  12. pitputim,
    I have called him several times with no luck. But I am sure he is aware of this blog. ORA told me they were even aware of my small website getamariage.com.

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  13. Anyone care to respond to the Rabbi Michael Broyde's new article on whether public pressure invalidates a get?

    http://torahmusings.com/2012/04/protesting-without-coercing/

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    1. It is on my list - I found it very disappointing. He did not clearly identity the issues and he was overly generous in his reading of his sources. In short the validity of his conclusions is much more narrow than he indicates. To be continued

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  14. R' Dovid,
    A BD including Rabbis Belsky and Kaminetsky ruled that Friedman has to give a get. There is what they said to the public:

    חובה מוטלת ולמצוה גדולה תחשב על כל מי שיש בידו להשפיע עליו לשחרר את אשתו מכבלי העיגון ורשות נתונה לה לנקוט בכל הצעדים הדרושים והנחוצים להציל את עצמה מכבלי עיגונה

    Not one of those rabbanim has backed away from that seruv or come out against the actions of ORA. Why are we still discussing this?

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    1. James you obviously have inside information - the beis din issued a seruv for not appearing in which they poskened that a get had to be given. They did not explain their reasons nor did Friedman participate - so they only heard one side. Is that correct? Simple question is how can a beis din posken without hearing both sides? And if it isn't a psak but only a seruv for not showing up so how can they issue a ruling that it is a mitzva to give a get? Besides that level of confusion Rav Shachter has written clearly that he is totally relying on Rav Kaminetsky for his understanding of the case. So apparently it is irrelevant to him whether there is a psak or just a seruv. The only issue is the daas Torah of Rav Kaminestky. He then authorized ORA to attack Aharon and his family. Correct? The Beis din did not say anything about ORA nor do they appear on ORA's list of rabbis. Thus you are insisting that everyone involved agrees that ORA is doing the right thing. I am simply asking for some evidence that ORA actions are approved by Rabbis Belsky and Kaminetsky and what the basis of the psak of the beis din was. It is not clear that saying that it is a mitzva to give or obtain a get justifies what ORA is doing.

      So we are still discussing this because of the apparent bizarreness of this case on the level of halacha. It doesn't require a gadol to understand the halachic issues or the halachic rulings going back to the gemora. I simply want to know what halachic understanding justifies the chain of events leading to ORA's demonstrations and pressure. It shouldn't take a talmid chachom more than 5 minutes to rattle off the necessary information. The fact that that ORA through Rav Shachter based on this beis din - has been producing a disturbing spectacle in the secular media - justifies me asking an explanation. If ORA wasn't involved then this would have remained a private issue. But it clearly isn't and I'd like to understand. this is Torah and I need to learn.

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    2. James - If RHS and ORA are relying on the Seruv of this BD -which was issued in September of 2011 what was RHS and ORA hanging their hat on during the previous year and half while they protested out side Friedmans house (go checks the web for the videos of their rally in December 2010)??
      At that time there was no Bais Din that called for Friedman to give a Get yet ORA was still protesting.
      RHS and ORA will rally outside the home of any person who disagrees with their view of "halacha".

      Delete
    3. James - If RHS and ORA are relying on the Seruv of this BD -which was issued in September of 2011 what was RHS and ORA hanging their hat on during the previous year and half while they protested out side Friedmans house (go checks the web for the videos of their rally in December 2010)??
      At that time there was no Bais Din that called for Friedman to give a Get yet ORA was still protesting.
      RHS and ORA will rally outside the home of any person who disagrees with their view of "halacha".

      Delete
    4. Rabbi Ralbag told me and another person that the Siruv does not demand a GET, only that he come to Beth Din. How that fits in with the language of the Siruv I don't know, but that is what he told me and another person.

      He and another person associated with that Beth Din told me it is forbidden to publicly demonstrate against the husband.

      Delete
  15. Please forgive me, but in the interest of advancing the discussion, I took the liberty of posting your reply to James on the discussion thread for Rabbi Broyde's post on get meusa. Rabbi Gil Student, who runs the blog, responded as follows:

    Daas Torah: "T]he beis din issued a seruv for not appearing in which they poskened that a get had to be given. They did not explain their reasons nor did Friedman participate – so they only heard one side."

    GS: These are valid questions which should be posed to the beis din. Asking a question on a pesak does not invalidate it. Especially in this case, when the questioner admits he does not have all the information.

    DT: "Besides that level of confusion Rav Shachter has written clearly that he is totally relying on Rav Kaminetsky for his understanding of the case."

    GS: “Written clearly”??? This is incorrect and results from a total misreading of Rav Schachter’s letter and lack of information on the facts. Rav Schachter had independent sources for the facts of the case. His people had spoken with both Aharon and Tamar for hundreds of hours by that time. Rav Schachter only relied on Rav Kaminetsky’s pesak that this is a case where the husband is obligated to divorce his wife.

    DT: He then authorized ORA to attack Aharon and his family. Correct?

    GS: This is correct, as Rav Schachter explains.

    DT: The Beis din did not say anything about ORA nor do they appear on ORA’s list of rabbis.

    GS: That is irrelevant. The beis din is valid support. ORA can work based on the pesak of an external beis din as long as its rabbinic board approves of the plan of action.

    DT: I simply want to know what halachic understanding justifies the chain of events leading to ORA’s demonstrations and pressure.

    GS: Rav Henkin’s position is more than enough support that there is a chiyuv to give a get. Once there is a chiyuv, there is ample support to protest, which is even less than the Harchakos of Rabbeinu Tam.

    ReplyDelete
  16. GS: “Written clearly”??? This is incorrect and results from a total misreading of Rav Schachter’s letter and lack of information on the facts. Rav Schachter had independent sources for the facts of the case. His people had spoken with both Aharon and Tamar for hundreds of hours by that time. Rav Schachter only relied on Rav Kaminetsky’s pesak that this is a case where the husband is obligated to divorce his wife.
    =================
    why was ORA demonstrating a year before the psak of Rav Kaminesky?

    ReplyDelete
  17. DT: I simply want to know what halachic understanding justifies the chain of events leading to ORA’s demonstrations and pressure.

    GS: Rav Henkin’s position is more than enough support that there is a chiyuv to give a get. Once there is a chiyuv, there is ample support to protest, which is even less than the Harchakos of Rabbeinu Tam.
    ==============
    Rav Henkin's view is that when both parties have given up on the marriage - but is that true? Did ORA have a beis din that established that Aharon had given up on the marriage when they started their demonstration. The answer is no. It is nice to reverse engineer ORA position and justification - However Rav Henkin and Rav Moshe were not part of their reasoning. If Aharon as of the present moment still has hopes that Tamar will realize she made a mistake and return to him - would he say no? If he still has hopes - no matter how unrealistic - that totally destroys the whole chain of reasoning of Rabbi Broyed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is there any evidence that Aharon still has hopes that Tamar will realize she made a mistake and return to him? You are seeking to rebut Rabbi Broyde's theoretical arguments with "facts" that are not supported by any evidence.

      Delete
  18. GS: Rav Henkin’s position is more than enough support that there is a chiyuv to give a get. Once there is a chiyuv, there is ample support to protest, which is even less than the Harchakos of Rabbeinu Tam.
    ================
    one of the conditions for Harchakos of Rabbeinu Tam is the ability to escape the social pressure by moving out of town. ORA is everywhere. ORA is not less than Rabbeinu Tam - it is worse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. R' Student's replies:

      R’ Eidensohn: why was ORA demonstrating a year before the psak of Rav Kaminesky?

      R' Student: To my knowledge, this is incorrect.

      R’ Eidensohn: Rav Henkin’s view is that when both parties have given up on the marriage – but is that true? Did ORA have a beis din that established that Aharon had given up on the marriage when they started their demonstration. The answer is no.

      R' Student: Correct, they had a pesak from R. Shmuel Kamenetsky.

      R' Eidensohn: It is nice to reverse engineer ORA position and justification – However Rav Henkin and Rav Moshe were not part of their reasoning

      R' Student:I heard this reasoning — without mention of Rav Henkin and Rav Moshe — a long time ago. This was precisely their justification.

      R' Eidensohn: If Aharon as of the present moment still has hopes that Tamar will realize she made a mistake and return to him – would he say no?

      R' Student:Why do we need an “if” when so many people have spoken with him about this? He fully acknowledges that the marriage is over.

      R’ Eidensohn: one of the conditions for Harchakos of Rabbeinu Tam is the ability to escape the social pressure by moving out of town. ORA is everywhere. ORA is not less than Rabbeinu Tam – it is worse.

      R' Student:This is not true. He could easily move to Israel and entirely escape ORA.

      [response to another poster, which are also relevant:]

      MMHY: 1. no bet din “ordered” get, just recomended one.

      Nonsense. They obligated him to divorce her. Note that only the seruv was made public because it is necessary for the public to know about seruvim. Not all documents relating to this case are public (which means I haven’t seen them either).

      Delete
  19. So it's Dr. Eidensohn against all the reputable rabbonim and poskim who have dealt with this case. I know whose side I'm on. As R. Gil said, it's time for the second rate talmidei chachomim with no communal responsibilities to move out of the way. The fact that Yehuda Levin is on Aharon's side is telling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you are 100% correct if you want to rely on "Daas Torah" and ad hominem attacks. I assume if Rabbi Levin supported ORA you would switch positions? Instead of saying "my rabbi is bigger than you" - which I totally agree - why don't you answer my questions. If you don't have answers - than just be silent.

      It is interesting that when I was up against Tropper I got the same thing thrown at me. How could all the gedolim - including Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky and Rav Reuven Feinstein etc etc be wrong.

      When I got involved in the Hersh case - how could a gadol like Rav Aaron do anything wrong.

      When I got involved in child abuse issue it was the same thing. How could all the rabbis - including Rav Shumel Kaminetsky and Rav Belsky - be saying that you can't report abuse because of mesira, lashon harah etc.

      So of course your are right - experience has shown that it is always best to accept authority. Why listen to a 2nd (3rd rate?) rabbi with no communal responsibility?

      It is interesting that Rabbi Rakefet told me that Rav Soleveitchik tried to instill greater independence of thought at YU because he saw what the deference to authority did during the Holocaust. Unfortunately it looks like he failed.

      BTW to assert that all the reputable rabbonim and poskim who have dealt with this case are against me - is simply a lie or you are totally ignorant of reality.

      Delete
    2. What did deference to authority do during the Holocaust?

      Delete
    3. I see that R' Gil has already responded to your reply above so I will let him discuss the particulars of this case.

      I do not say that you have to be "mevatel daas" to the rabbanim on that list and I supported you on child abuse and Tropper (so did RHS, btw.) The difference here is that we are not dealing with a theoretical discussion as to the advisability of reporting child molesters in which the discussion can center on law and policy. We are dealing with a fact specific case and every one of those gedolim spent weeks if not months investigating and talking to both sides. As Gil Student makes clear, Rav Belsky began his investigations in opposition to RHS. Those Rabbanim issued a psak din, not a Daas Torah.

      You have written books on child molestation and are entitled to your opinion on the halacha. It is a valuable opinion and one that needs to be heard, and, in my opinion, one that is correct. However, your opinion on this matter is not based on familiarity with the parties, investigation into the facts, or discussions with RHS, RSK, or any other Gadol involved and is therefore not as valuable.

      Perhaps if your blog didnt contain slanderous references to Sh(l)achter, or the other rabbanim, one of them might answer your phone call. Your brother's attacks on those rabbanim were probably some of the most malicious.

      Lastly, I have stated above that the language of the seruv is rather tame and could never be considered a call for violence. In contrast, your brother's blog (getamarriage.com) states "Help us destroy those who initiate gender wars." That language is not defensible.

      Delete
    4. RaffiApr 24, 2012 06:28 PM

      What did deference to authority do during the Holocaust?
      Delete
      ============
      He was referring to the general passivity because major rabbis had told their followers to stay put or that there was no danger. Rav Soleveitchik felt that if the lower eschelon rabbis or the population relied on their own judgment more people would have survived.

      Delete
    5. AND LEAVE IT ALL TO HER PERSONAL RABBI WHO IS NOT BIASED. EMEMBER SHOCHAD YEAVAIR PIKCHIM - THE CHOFETZ CHAIM SAYS PIKCHIM REFERS TO THE GEOLAI HADOR

      Delete
  20. Why do I need to answer your questions? R. Gil has already done so. Perhaps if you had honestly sought to understand what Rav Schachter's involvement was (hundreds of hours of his time for one), instead of besmirching him on the blogosphere first, you wouldn't have gotten into this mess. It's a shame that someone who has done so much good work has joined the lunatic bandwagon. Do you not realize what the broader context of this struggle is? Let me just say that the rabbis campaigning against agunot are not usually those who fight for victims of child abuse...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What mess? What relevance does the broader context have on this individual case? It does look like the broader context is about an organization out to fix the laws.

      This particular case looks like a custody battle. If we could only get these two in front of a mutually agreed upon beis din to settle both the custody dispute and the get issue this case would go away. But it sounds like Tamar is unwilling to have the custody issue resolved by a beis din. She'd much rather hold on to what the courts gave her (which apparently is a lot more then what she would have gotten if Aharon wasn't trying to go through beis din). Now Tamar is trying to have one issue resolved by a beis din without the other. It's a nice trick, but it's not working.

      Tamar and Aharon are both currently chained together by choice. Either one could end this, but thanks to ORA's polarizing methods (for the good of the broader context), that's not likely to happen. Tamar will probably get her get when her daughter turns 18.

      Delete
  21. When was the last time Schachter/ORA protested against women going to secular court againstHalochoh without a heter? When was the last time that they protested against women making false claims of molestation and other mesirah? When was the last time they protested against women preventing their children from seeing their father? When was the last time they protested the destruction of men who don't have the resources to fight against the multi-billion $ court machine which completely favors women in the US?

    When was the last time they put a cheirem on a woman?

    J/ James/ the Pope these are not Rabbis no matter what they know. They have zero credibility and should be in cheriem themselves!

    It is funny how all of a sudden they quote Rav Moshe. Do you think Reb Moseh was in favor of mesirah and arko;oys?

    Belsky was already told more than a decade ago to stay clear of Gittin. Who cares what he comes up with - it is irrelevant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Facts,
      Tot he best of my knowledge, Aharon was the first one to go to secular court, NOT Tamar. Does that change your view of the case?

      Delete
  22. Rabosai, we now see Herschel Schachter's spin doctors (Y, James, etc.) roaring into action with a frantic disinformation campaign after Schachter's vicious halachic violations have been exposed for all to see.

    The fact is that ORA and Schachter have been trampling on the Torah divorce laws now for quite a few years by promoting Get meuso, mamzerim, m'sirah, archaos, and Jewish family destruction, in many, many divorce cases, long before the Friedman case. See the Bais Din letter at http://rabbischachter.blogspot.com/

    The moder-dox demagogues and politicos can make all the comments they like about "second rate talmidei chachomim", but the fact remains one will not be able to find any respected Chareidi Gittin authorities who back the ORA reform feminist agenda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EmesLeYaacov,

      I am not RHS's spin doctor. I am not even MO. My only point is that there has only been one BD to hear both sides of the case and that BD issued a seruv against Aharon in which it ruled that he must give a get and that we should do everything possible to make sure he releases Tamar from being an Agunah. The members of that BD included Rabbis Belsky and Kamenetsky. RHS had nothing to do with it.

      Do those Rabanim have a reform feminist agenda?

      Delete
    2. There is only one beis din that heard both sides and they signed an agreement to abide by its rulings. Was that the Agudas HaRabbonim beis din, was it the Washington Vaad beis din? Nope it was the Baltimore Beis din.

      Why would the Agudas HaRabbonim beis din issue a seruv if the he had come and presented his position? On the other hand if they didn't hear his side - why are they issuing a psak that he needs to give a get?

      Please explain this mystery?

      Delete
  23. r kaminetsky heard only one side of the story- when a representative of aharon went to speak to him year ago he said thee is nothing to talk about let him give a get. he is not a dayan in this case he is the epstein family rabbi. no bais din ever said that there is aany chiyuv gfor aharon to give a get. most rabonuim who have knowledge of this story have said that tamar is a moredes and far from being an agunah. but with all her money she decided that she wishes to be ora's poster girl - instead of negotiating a settlement. her advisors are giving her very bad advice

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank You Rav Eidensohn for standing up for what's right.

    ReplyDelete
  25. In a prior exchange R' Student asserted the following:

    R' Student's replies:

    R’ Eidensohn: why was ORA demonstrating a year before the psak of Rav Kaminesky?

    R' Student: To my knowledge, this is incorrect.

    [The following was posted on Torah Musings Blog and serves as a clear rebuttal to his claim]
    ================================

    Yisroel Stein on April 24, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    For a better understanding of what ORA is trying to accomplish one should listen to what they are saying.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/02/29/congressman-facing-pressure-from-jewish-groups-on-advisers-religious-divorce/
    The Organization for the Resolution of Agunot (figuratively “chained”) has been leading a campaign against Friedman. In a letter to Friedman last fall, director Rabbi Jeremy Stern called his actions “tragic.”
    “We see the refusal to issue a get as a form of domestic abuse,” Stern told FoxNews.com.
    He said the Jewish community certainly has started to discuss whether a rabbi should be able to officiate a divorce without one party’s permission — but said the community “is not at a point right now where they’re willing to fundamentally change how Jewish marriage and divorce works.”

    The goal of ORA is to “fundamentally change how Jewish marriage and divorce works.”

    A little bit of history. In December 2010 ORA held its first series of rallies against Friedman. At that time the case was being handled by the Baltimore Bais Din. http://washingtonjewishweek.com/main.asp?SectionID=4&SubSectionID=4&ArticleID=14039 “Currently, the Epstein-Friedman case remains open but dormant, as “neither party has approached” the Baltimore beit din, requesting that it reconvene, according to Rabbi Mordechai Shuchatowitz, a rabbi on the court. “Right now,” he said, “the ball is in [Epstein's] court” because, as the party seeking the get, she is responsible for reinitiating proceedings. Since the court has yet officially to order a get, Shuchatowitz said, it’s “a bit premature” to be holding rallies and other events meant “to pressure [Friedman] because he’s not been given his day in court.” After all, “you can’t disobey something you’ve not been told to do.”

    At the same time the Silver Spring Vaad issued a community letter which stated in part “First, at this time there is no Bet Din order for Mr. Friedman to give a get.
    Second, there is no Bet Din statement indicating a refusal to comply with a Bet Din’s order to give a get (a siruv) that exists at this time.
    Third, the Baltimore Bet Din considers the matter of the get to be part of the original case. If a get is requested from that Bet Din they will then rule on that request.

    Why is it the Epstein did not go back to the Baltimore Bais din to ask for a Get if she was entitled to one??

    Two independent Bais Din/Community Vaad came to the same Halachic conclusion that there was no requirement for Friedman to give a Get at that time. Yet RMS and RSK (who never spoke to Friedman) went against the Bais Din?? Is this common practive for Yichidim (no matter how great they may be) to go against a Bais Din??

    The Halachic opinions brought down are interesting – but what seems to be left out was that RMS/ORA & RSK completly ignored the independent Bais Din that Friedman/Epstein agreed to abide by???

    ReplyDelete
  26. R' Student's responses:

    R' Eidensohn: Why is it the Epstein did not go back to the Baltimore Bais din to ask for a Get if she was entitled to one??
    Two independent Bais Din/Community Vaad came to the same Halachic conclusion that there was no requirement for Friedman to give a Get at that time. Yet RMS and RSK (who never spoke to Friedman) went against the Bais Din??
    Is this common practive for Yichidim (no matter how great they may be) to go against a Bais Din??

    R' Student: These are all good questions but irrelevant to our current situation, in which everyone agrees that Aharon must give a get to Tamar.

    There are reasons why Tamar did not go to the Baltimore Beis Din but going into them in public is simply inappropriate because it will make various parties look bad. I assume the RMS above is supposed to be R. Hershel Schachter. He did not go against the Baltimore Beis Din for two reasons: 1) the Beis Din never issued any ruling, 2) RHS spoke with them on the phone.

    R' Eidensohn: The Halachic opinions brought down are interesting – but what seems to be left out was that RMS/ORA & RSK completly ignored the independent Bais Din that Friedman/Epstein agreed to abide by???

    R' Student: There were two batei din involved, neither of which reached any conclusion. There are multiple reasons why this was the case but R. Kamenetsky felt that the situation should not drag on forever once the marriage was dead.

    The key question is this: Is Aharon obligated to give Tamar a get? Regardless of the long and winding history of the acrimonious divorce, the answer is clearly yes.

    ReplyDelete
  27. There are reasons why Tamar did not go to the Baltimore Beis Din but going into them in public is simply inappropriate because it will make various parties look bad.

    Well right now just about every party looks bad.

    There were two batei din involved, neither of which reached any conclusion. There are multiple reasons why this was the case but R. Kamenetsky felt that the situation should not drag on forever once the marriage was dead.

    Well it sure looks like this move of RK didn't help. Now Tamar will probably never cooperate with any beis din on custody issues. Of course it won't go on forever, only until the daughter turns 18.

    ReplyDelete
  28. You are creating an issue that doesn't exist. In years past recalcitrant husbands were regularly coerced by various means, including violent punishment, psychological coercion, excommunication, and whatever economic penalties (like boycotts) could be applied. Rabbanim never ruled that any of these children were mamzers, of the gets invalid. You're trying to reinterpret halakha and overturn centuries of law to suit your personal whims. Please go join the reform movement where this nonsense belongs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. please take the time of learning some elementary material before making assertion. Look at Rav Sternbuch's teshuva that I just posted. There is a basic distinction between issues for which force can be used and the case of ma'us alei. We are discussing the case of ma'us alei. You should read the other teshuvos which I posted which all agree there is a major difference with ma'us alei.

      Delete
  29. I spoke to someone who spoke to someone who knew all of the facts. I am happy I try to help Aharon Friedman, even though I make it a point never to mix into a fight if I personally don't know the facts, at least, I try to do that. But based on what I heard from this reliable source, the ORA side is doing a lot of demonizing that may be motsei shem ra. But don't think that will stop them. Their rebbe has issued a call for using baseball bats, and he is crazy and a criminal, so what do you expect from them? He is also completely wrong about the halacha and his halachic remarks are pure invention with no direct source in poskim, in variance with normative halacha, as I hope to present.

    ReplyDelete

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