Thursday, May 3, 2012

ORA: Private coercion or Beis Din?

[[update See Rabbi Bechhofer's incredible "chidush" that vigilante coercion can't invalidate a get - only an action connected to beis din]]

James (May 3, 2012) wrote : Even if it [ORA's actiities] is humiliation, (and I do not think it is) it is not humiliation ordered by the Beth Din. There is nothing new with publishing seruvim and calling the public to urge Aharon to give a GET. The only thing different is that ORA has decided to use the Internet to organize the public in a way that was never possible before the advent of the Internet. This is a private action

 James has raised a very important issue which we seem to have been missed in all the debate. When ORA holds demonstrations is it to be viewed as an agent of beis din or as private citizen? Rabbi Ralbag - a member of the Beis Din that urged Aharon to give a get to Tamar told my brother that the declaration of his beis din did not authorize demonstrations. It would thus seem that ORA is not the agent of this beis din. Is it the agent of any beis din? Does Rav Schachter's approval constitute a beis din or does he have a private beis din which authorized this?

Furthermore if Aharon's boss Rep Camp urged him to give the get or threatened to fire him if he didn't give a get - a threat he would do solely because of ORA's actions - is that considered force from a non-Jew? Even if  Rep Camp says I am pressuring you to do what ORA wants you to do - does that make it complying with beis din?

What if a person saw the demonstrations and threatened to physically attack Aharon unless he gave a get. Is this considered legitimate force  or would the resulting get be a get me'usa? If it is legitimate than it would be consistent with  Bava Kamma 28 which is the sugya of physical action against others without the consulting or involvement of beis din.

Chazon Ish (E.H. 69:23) describes a case that the wife's father refuses to give back money that belongs to the husband - unless he gives a get. The Chazon Ish says since the beis din did not authorize this it is kefiah by a hedyot. Therefore he urges that beis din be convened and rule that the father should not give back the money until the get is given.

Rambam (Hilchos Gerushin 2:20): If it isn't required according to the halacha that the husband be forced to give a get and beis din made a mistake or it was a beis din of laymen - [Rabbi Tougher's translation is " a Jewish court or simple people compel him"] and they forced him until he gave a get - the get is not valid.  But since Jews have forced him he should give her a valid get [because he might think it was valid and when he marries another without obtaining a valid get it produces mamzerim]. However if goyim force him not according to halacha it is not a get.... since the law does not require it and the force was from goyim it is not a get.

In sum. It follows from the initial premise that as long as the force is unrelated to beis din we avoid all the tiresome discussion of what constitutes legitimate pressure according to Rabbeinu Tam or Rambam etc etc. Thus if this idea is correct - any and all types of force can be applied to force the get - because it is only vigilante action and not the legitimate psak of beis din!


  1. You can taunt James all you like, but he is absolutely correct. This is medukdak in the Rambam, but you missed the diyuk because you inaccurately translated hedyotos as laymen - implying it is a separate category from a BD that was in error. The Rambam is saying that a get compelled by an erroneous BD or a BD of simpletons is invalid. V'duk.

    1. I missed how James is absolutely correct.

    2. yes your are correct that Rambam refers to a beis din of hedyotos. But that doesn't answer the question of the validity of pressure being applied by Jews/goyim who are not beis din

    3. So what happens if his mother, or worse: mother in law, insists he give a get???

      This would be a forced get in any case, because nothing is more fearsome than an angry mother, or worse, mother in law!!!

    4. ORA is well aware of that. They targeted Aharon's mother and uncle so that they would pressure Aharon in order to stop their own public humiliation at the hands of ORA.

    5. The B"Y says we may beat the father until he tells his son to give a Get, and then beat the son to do what the father told him.

      So apparently there is a source for pressuring parents.

    6. In a case of ma'us alei?

      More to the point. Even if beis din not only can beat the husband in certain cases and in those cases beat his father - it doesn't mean the ordinary citizen can do it without authorization of beis din and surely not in a case where the beis din itself isn't permitted to do it.

    7. It is right after the Rashba that your brother continues to quote in Eh"E 154 I believe. So it would appear to me that yes in a case of Maos Ali.

      I will give you that an ordinary citizen wouldn't be permitted, however if the B"Y said that a B"D can do it, as it constitutes indirect pressure(after all we are beating him over a matter kavod av v'em), why wouldn't a B"D be permitted to do it?

    8. Ordinary citizens are not permitted to beat anyone. Ordinary citizens are permitted to stand outside of your home and urge you to give your wife a GET. Do you see the difference? The actions of the ordinary citizens of ORA, though distatsteful to you (and Aharon!), are not crimes.

      Those ordinary citizens are also permitted to publicize around the world the seruv of a validly constituted Beth Din.

      They are also permitted to sign and deliver petitions encouraging Aharon to give his wife a GET as per that Beth Din. They are also permitted to email all of their friends, etc.....

    9. I never claimed that ORA's activities are crimes - I just said that they raise the issue of get me'usa.

      Again the issue of public demonstrations, contacting family and employers. etc = they are not in the business of simply conveying information but of humiliation in order to pressure the giving of a get.

    10. James, legality has nothing to do with the get being kosher. Even if all actions are 100% legal, but they constitute unjustified pressure, the get is possul.

    11. But the seruv urges us, the public, to convince Aharon to free his Agunah wife ("Agunah" was their word). ORA is the tool for doing so.

    12. A seruv is just an announcement that someone refused to show up in response to a summons. Don't know how you issue a psak as part of a seruv.

      Nevertheless who appointed ORA as the tool? Apparently Rabbi Ralbag feels that they were not appointed or appropriate to the conclusion of the beis din. They were demonstrating against Aharon before the seruv was issued. They obviously don't feel that the seruv was necessary for their activities

    13. Noone appointed ORA. That is the point!

      The seruv does not just say that Aharon is mesarev l'din. It says more than that! It says that Aharon must give a GET and that we, the public, have a duty to urge Aharon to do so. These sorts of seruvim are not new. Some people ignore such seruvim. ORA does not.

      I, as an individual, have a right (maybe a duty) to urge Aharon to free his wife. So says Rabbis Shmuel Kamenetsky and Belsky. ORA is nothing more than a collection of people who care.

    14. James,

      BD tells the masses to stay away from this guy, invoking Rabbeinu Tam, who as of this post we suddenly DO hold like after all. ORA's not being individually appointed and coordinated with doesn't seem relevant; their membership are part of those masses, no?

      So the whole question becomes whether ORA's protests go beyond the limits of BD's request or not.

      And whether someone can take license to insult rabbanim far greater than himself because he doesn't want to bother seeing the other tzad of a machloqes.

      We are discussing the gedolim and what they should do and including Achitofel and Geichazi in the conversation.

    15. No beis din has posking that Aharon must be pressured by the harchokas of Rabbeinu Tam. We don't suddenly hold by Rabbeinu Tam as has been pointed out by Rav Ovadiah Yosef et al.

      ORA actions have not been dependent on having a beis din tell them to go into action. Aharon was attacked two years ago by Ora before the Augdas HaRabbonim issued any statement. etc etc

    16. Micha,

      Read the seruv:
      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

      That is alot stronger than saying "stay away from this guy." The only difference between this case and the seruvim that have been published in the past is that in the age of the Internet, "kol mi sheyesh biyado lehashpia alav" actually means something.

    17. "James" is clearly capable of articulating the truth and both he and Reb Micha are more than competently defending it in a solid, cogent manner. If anyone has any question to direct specifically at me, please do so at my latest blog posting at:

      There, I will also quote Batmelech's gem, which also gets to the heart of the matter - which DT totally sidesteps.

    18. A seruv is just an announcement that someone refused to show up in response to a summons. Don't know how you issue a psak as part of a seruv.

      Funny because Rav Moshe Feinstein did pretty much that in the Carlebach case with Haim Berlin.

    19. Mike: Rav Moshe issued no psak in the Chaim Berlin case.

    20. YGB: DT has refuted all your points in his response to Micha below.

    21. Mike: Rav Moshe issued no psak in the Chaim Berlin case.

      Try again.


    According to halacha, and the above sources, if a wife wants to marry another man so she therefore claims maos alei, private people can use humiliation and force against the husband (without the involvement or authorization of B"D) to have him give a Get? And it isn't a Get Meusa?? EVEN IF THERE WAS NO LEGITIMATE BASIS FOR THE WIFE TO ASK FOR A GET?

  3. The psul of a get that is forced has nothing at all to do with beis din.
    A get must be given willingly, and therefore a forced get is possul. It does not make any difference where the force came from.

    If a beis din forced it, and did so correctly, then the get is kosher.
    So the involvement of the beis din is NECESSARY to make the use of force acceptable. If ORA is acting independently, then even if the force would otherwise be acceptable the get will not be valid, since it was not done by beis din.

    1. Nice try but that isn't what the Chazon Ish says.

      Binyamin/Stan/EmesLYaakov/Sock Puppet OfTheDay please show how your logic fits with the psak of the Chazon Ish above.

    2. What do you think the Chazon Ish is saying?

    3. What do you think the Chazon Ish is saying?

      From your paraphrase we have a father in law financially pressuring his son in law to give a Get.
      The Chazon Ish says that a B"D should convene and rule that the father in law continue his pressure until the Get is given.

      So we have unauthorized Kefiah by Hedeyot(the father in law in the case above, ORA in Binyamin's case). The Chazon Ish says because this was unauthorized a B"D should be convened and authorize it.
      It is a very interesting psak, and not one I would have expected. However that is what your paraphrase says.

      Admittedly I have not the Chazon Ish's full Teshuva yet to see if the your paraphrase accurately reflects what he was saying. Having a wife in the hospital with a newborn and me at home with the other three makes my life a bit hectic.

  4. Please delete the last paragraph of this post. I do not assert what you claim I assert.

    A validly constituted Beth Din ruled two things:
    1. Aharon must give his wife a GET
    2. The public must do whatever it can to urge him to give a GET.

    These sorts of seruvim have been issued for decades and published in the Jewish Press and no one has yet claimed that the children of subsequent marraiges are Mamzerim. I assert that ORA is fully compliant with that seruv and its tactics are not a hiddush at all. The only innovation ORA has introduced is the use of the Internet as an organizing tool.

    I know of a case in which a similar seruv was issued and printed. ORA was not involved. The members of the man's shul read the seruv, convened a meeting, and called up the man to urge him to give a GET. They got the Rabbi involved and eventually after some time, the man succumbed to the pressure and gave a GET. Are you telling me that this GET is invalid? That can not be! So, as RYGB would say, "Vos is der hilluk?"

    Lastly, think about the implications of YOUR position. You are giving any layman the power to invalidate a GET. All you have to do is find couples getting divorced, stand outside the man's home with a bunch of friends, and protest until he gives a GET. Voila! GET pasul.

    1. I modified the last paragraph of the post. The beis din did not say that demonstrations and public humiliations are permitted according to Rabbi Ralbag who is a member of the beis din. So who authorized their activitiies. Furthermore they were protesting even prior to the psak/seruv issued by this beis din. What is the halachic basis of humiliating without the psak of beis din. In fact that that point no beis had ruled that Aharon needed to give a get - and they were still demonstating!

      Your last point is true - and that is why we should all such activities should be determined by beis din. ORA has not been authorized by beis din!

    2. 1. We dont need a Beth din to authorize actions that are not prohibited.

      2. Why do you keep calling ORA's actions "humiliation"? Either he has to give his wife a GET or he doesnt. The seruv makes his GET refusal public record.

    3. James wrote:
      "Why do you keep calling ORA's actions "humiliation"? Either he has to give his wife a GET or he doesnt. The seruv makes his GET refusal public record."
      The fact of this being of public record does not mean that what ORA does is not humiliation.

      ORA is humiliating him, I do not see how you can possibly deny that. You can claim it is legitimate, you can claim it is not a forced get because of such humiliation, but how can you say it is not humiliating?

  5. 1) Really not sure this is a valid beis din, James, and regardless they had no jurisdiction
    2) even if it was a valid beis din, the get is still posul if the coercion is not halachically correct.

    That other case you know is very likely an invalid get. Relating anecdotes does not make a get kosher.

    And yes, the community can make a get invalid. That is why we are here to encourage people to stop doing it.

    1. 1. I am not interested in determining whether or not the Beth Din has jurisdiction. I am interested in ORA's actions and if the biggest sin RHS has committed is relying on RSK and RYB I can fogive that.
      2. The Jewish Press has been publishing seruvim for years. Are you suggesting that all those gittin are posul?

    2. A get does not become posul from one-time pressure. If a seruv was published and that was it, then no, the get does not become posul.
      What ORA is doing is trying to create ongoing pressure, which they hope to keep up until the get is given. That does make the get posul.

    3. Binyamin, what would be the point of printing a seruv if no one is allowed to continue to publicize it? That would be rather pointless.

  6. Ah, so now we are saying that BD *CAN* force a get, that we hold like the Rambam, never mind Rabbeinu Tam, after all? (BTW, the Rama holds like Rabbeinu Tam, and says anything short of nidui is permitted. See EhE 154:21.) As opposed to all those other posts, today's theory is that the whole question is whether ORA's demonstrations are a valid implementation of the BD's telling the tzibbur (including ORA's membership) to apply harchaqos or not?

    Then why the attacks on dayanim? Why distort the Gra with by bringing another quote and saying "he must mean" -- and then attack a rav and noted dayan for matters like gitin for not liking your resolution? Or RMF? Or think you are anything remotely like a bar pelugta of RHS -- never mind someone who doesn't have to worry about insulting him.

    1. Micha - no we don't posken like the Rambam. There are cases that we can force a get. The question is what cases and what type of pressure. If you are having trouble following the issue - I really can't help you. But please stop asking "when did you stop beating your wife" questions that aren't concerned with information.

    2. Did you read the Rama? Here is the se'if in full (Mechaber and Rama):
      כל אלו שאמרו להוציא, כופין אפי' בשוטים. וי"א שכל מי שלא נאמר בו בגמרא בפירוש כופין להוציא, אלא יוציא בלבד, אין כופין בשוטים אלא אומרים לו: חכמים חייבוך להוציא, ואם לא תוציא מותר לקרותך עבריין.

      וכיון דאיכא פלוגתא דרבוותא, לה ראוי להחמיר שלא לכוף בשוטים, שלא יהא הגט מעושה (טור בשם הרא"ש).
      אבל אם יש לו אשה בעבירה, לכ"ע כופין בשוטים. וכל מקום שאין כופין בשוטים, אין מנדין אותו ג"כ (מרדכי ריש המדיר)

      Both the SA and the Rama say that iqar hadin is like the Rambam and we may use kefiyah even when the gemara doesn't explicitly require a divorce. However, the SA has a "some say" not to, and the Rama lauds the minhag of some areas to, and avoid the dispute. Where the gemara does require a divorce, which I am not insisting is our case, there is not even a "yeish omerim" against the Rambam. So yes, we do hold like the Rambam.

      Second, bedi'eved (post facto) the get is kasher according to both, since it's only an opinion we try to avoid violating not to hold like the Rambam.

      Continuing the Rama:
      ומכל מקום יכולין ליגזור על כל ישראל שלא לעשות לו שום טובה או לישא וליתן עמו (שערי דורא בשם ר"ת ובמהרי"ק), או למול בניו או לקברו, עד שיגרש (בנימן זאב פ"ח /רפ"ט/).

      ובכל חומרא שירצו ב"ד יכולין להחמיר בכהאי גוונא, ומלבד שלא ינדו אותו. אבל מי שאינו מקיים עונה, יכולין לנדותו ולהחרימו שיקיים עונה או שיגרש, כי אין זה כפייה, רק לקיים עונתו, וכן כל כיוצא בזה (ריב"ש סימן קכ"ז)

      And those who follow his "ra'ui lehchamir" are still given a very broad definition of harchaqos Rabbeinu Tam that they may follow.

      So I conclude that (1) nothing wrong was being done, even according to the Rama, (2) if it were, it would still be a valid get, because me'iqar hadin we hold like the Rambam.

      Just to finish out the se'if:
      וכן מי שגירש אשתו בגט כשר, ויצא קצת לעז על הגט, מותר לכופו לתת גט אחר. ובכל מקום דאיכא פלוגתא אם כופין או לא, אע"ג דאין כופין לגרש, מכל מקום כופין אותו ליתן כתובה מיד, וכן הנדוניא דאנעלת ליה (מרדכי ריש המדיר).

      Last, stop patronizing.

    3. Micha you cited Shulchan Aruch 154. but that is not relevant to the case of ma'us alei which is THE case we have discussing which is found in Shulchan Aruch 77:2

      שולחן ערוך אבן העזר הלכות כתובות סימן עז

      האשה שמנעה בעלה מתשמיש, היא הנקראת מורדת; ושואלין אותה מפני מה מרדה, אם אמרה: מאסתיהו ואיני יכולה להבעל לו מדעתי, ( ודוקא שמבקשת גט בלא כתובה, אבל אם אומרת: יתן לי גט וכתובתי, חיישינן שמא נתנה עיניה באחר, ויש לה דין מורדת דבעינא ומצערנא ליה) (ב"י בשם תשובת הר"ן וכן פירש"י בגמרא), אם רצה הבעל לגרשה אין לה כתובה כלל,

      The reason for this is that ma'us alei is not one the case which the gemora says the husband should divorce - So the Shulchan Aruch simply says "If" the husband want to divorce her. If he doesn't want to divorce her he has absolutely no obligation according to the Gemora & Shulchan Aruch

      In contrast the Rambam(Hilchos Ishus 14:8) requires the husband to divorce her. We don't pasken like this Rambam. In Yemen they did - but we don't. This is not a machlokes in the poskim.Rav Eliashiv, Rav Ovadia Yosef, Tzitz Eliezar as well as all the Achronim agree to this.

      There is a dispute between the Tzitz Eliezar and Rav Eliashiv whether it was the Rambam and Rashbam against the other Rishonim or whether there many more rishonim who agreed with the Rambam. But in the world of the Achronim the Rambam is not accepted.

      Take a look at the teshuva in this post which states that the Rambam's view is rejected.

      This is all discussed in great detail in the kuntres in volume 20 of Otzer HaPoskim or vol 21 in the new edition.

    4. Micha, you are wrong in your learning of the Rama. While I agree that you can fit what you are saying into the words. The achronim have already dealt with this issue. Look in Rav Sternbuch 5: 344. The reason the rama permits the harhcakas of R'tam according to the majority of achronim (Levush, Gra, Darchai Moshe, could go on and on...) is because the guy can escape the pressure and not because one hasn't reached the level of nidui. Sefer Get Meusa by Dayan Goldberg brings down a long footnote which shows tons of achronim accepting this fact. Your allowing anything short of Nidiu in pressure with no escape is rejected in halacha. I agree according to some Girsas R'tam(like the one in Tzitz Eliezer 17:52) one can learn R'tam that way. However, this girsa is rejected in halacha as Sefer Get Meusa and other Teshuvas like Rav Sternbuch's explain.

      In response to Daas Torah: What do you mean 154:21 isn't relavant to mius Alai. Rabbi Yosef: 8:25, Rabbi Sternbuch 5:344, and Rav Waldenberg 17:52 all argue with your comment and apply the harchakas in 154:21 to cases of Mius Alai!

    5. The issue of 154 and the harchakos is brought in as an emergency measure for our time in the language of all the teshuvos you cited. I was refering to the straight understanding as clearly stated in Shulchan Aruch. There was a period of time where apparently Rabbeinu Tam was not widely applied.

      The main point is that we don't pasken like the Rambam and that the case of ma'us alei is discussed in Simon 77

    6. ok thanks for clarifying, I agree Micha Bergers statements about paskening like the Rambam seem to totally rejected in Ashkanazi circles for the past 500 years in cases of Maus alei.

  7. RDE:

    77:2 is in the section of EhE on hilkhos Kesuvos. 154:21 is near the end of hilkhos Gittin. Therefore, unsurprisingly, 77:2 is discussing how a woman can lose her kesuvah, and says nothing about mandatory get (it's only if he wants to give a get), kefiyah or harchaqah. It doesn't speak to holding like the Rambam or Rabbeinu Tam, or not. It's a different case.

    You objected to my saying we hold like the Rambam. We do. When I showed you we do, you tell me the fact that 154:21 says we do and recommends being nohagim like Tosafos, you shifted to saying that our holiing like the Rambam isn't relevant because our case isn't the Rambam's. For that matter, given the blanket nature of the condemnation of protests, that few in any cases fit 154:21. Fine, we can discuss this different claim. RYH got the ball rolling.

    As I said, most batei din hold that once he signed a piece of paper saying he wasn't going to be providing onah, even if she was the one who initiated the civil divorce proceedings, harchaqah is appropriate to get a gett.

    About patronization... I said 3 times already that I learned the Otzar haPosqim since you made this divorce the centerpiece of your blog.

    RYH: I didn't get what part of my presentation of the Rama you say is not how it's normally read. Or for that matter, how the Gra (to pick the one acharon on your list I can recall without re-checking) disagrees. The explains the Rama by explaining harchaqas RT. He doesn't discuss whether the Rama holds by RT as iqar hadin or whether he would pasul a gett produced by kefiyah.

    1. "once he signed a piece of paper saying he wasn't going to be providing onah"
      Exactly who signed such a piece of paper?

  8. Micha you are simple wrong. Read the very first page of the kuntres in Otzer Haposkim - or I'll simply translate it for you. Sorry if you take this as patronizing but your insisting that we posken like Rambam in ma'us alei after reading Otzer Hapoksim three times is simply mind boggling. Does Rabbi Bechhoffer agree with you?

    "It says in Shulchan Aruch that a woman who prevents her husband from having relations is a moredes, We ask her why she rebelled. If she says because he is disgusting & I can't have relations with him IF THE HUSBAND WANTS TO DIVORCE HER she does not get her kesuba at all...
    The language of the Shulchan Aruch is entirely taken from the RAMBAM (Ishsu 14:8) - except the Shulchan Aruch changed one phrase. RAMBAM WROTE WE FORCE HIM IMMEDIATELY TO DIVORCE HER SINCE SHE IS NOT LIKE A CAPTIE WHO HAS TO HAVE RELATIONS EVEN WITH SOMEONE SHE HATES The Shulchan Aruch wrote instead "If the husband wants he can divorce her.
    Then Otzer Haposkim proceeds to cite everybody who says we do not force him to divorce - as opposed to the Rambam who say we do. That is called disagreement with the Rambam!


    Rabbeinu Tam permits passive social isolation and says this is not called forcing. His program was not widely practiced as is clear when reading the teshuvas including Rav Sternbuch and Rav Ovaida Yosef. Rabbeinu Tam was brought in as an emergency measure in recent years.

    1. The majority of posqim say, like the Rama, you shouldn't. Not that it's assur me'iqar hadin or that the resulting gett would be invalid. It's an open-and-shut SA & Rama, and your quoting other things doesn't change that quote.

      I also agree that things were different before he signed the paper that says he won't provide onah. But once he did, her being a moredes might still forfeit her kesuvah, but it doesn't change the validity of the se'if I quoted.

    2. "Passive social isolation" is your wording, not RT's!

      Today, in fact:

      השו"ע (אבה"ע קנ"ד כא) הביא את מחלוקת הראשונים, אם ניתן לכפות גט במקומות בהם הגמרא לא כתבה בפירוש שכופים, אלא רק 'יוציא'. הרמ"א מסיק, שמאחר ויש מחלוקת בין רבותינו, אין לכפות בשוטים, אך ניתן לגזור על הציבור שלא ישאו ויתנו עמו. כלומר – כפייה עקיפה מותרת, מדובר במניעה של החברה לסייע לאותו עברין, ולא בפגיעה ישירה בו.

      הלכה זו הייתה במשך שנים רבות ללא יישום מעשי, שכן איך נוכל לגזור על כל הציבור, וגם אם נגזור – מי ישמע לנו? אך בחמש-עשרה השנים האחרונות המצב השתנה, שכן נחקק החוק ליישום פסקי דין רבניים, הקובע סנקציות רבות כנגד סרבני גט, ברוח הכפייה העקיפה שהרמ"א התיר: חסימת חשבון בנק, שלילת רישיון נהיגה, או שלילת רישיון עסק (למי שצריך רישיון כדי לעבוד, כגון רופאים, עורכי דין, וכדומה). באופן זה ניתן, לכאורה, לכפות גט בלי לחשוש לגט מעושה, כשהוחלט שהבעל חייב לתת גט לאשתו.

    3. WRONG The Achronim are concerned for get me'usa even when applying the harchakos of Rabbeinu Tam - See Rav Sternbuch See Otzer HaPoskim. See the Chazon Ish that Rav Sternbuch brings based on Rashba which says humiliation produces a get me'usa.
      Though Rav Sternbuch says there are other versions of the Rashba.This concern for the issue of get me'usa is why Rabbeinu Tam wasn't used. Read Rabbi Gartner's article on Get Me'usa. You are simply ignoring a huge amount of material which disagrees with your understanding.

    4. If you look at how Rabbeinu Tam is brought to by the major achronim is is clear it doesn't mean public demonstrations or pressuring family or employees are major articles in newspapers.

    5. First, the Rashba's concern there is the issur of humiliating a fellow Jew - not passeling the get.

      Secondly, Rabbi Daichovski's article makes clear that the parameters in effect in EY today go way beyond "passive..."

      Finally, I have looked at how RT is brought by the major Acharonim, and it is clear that anything short of Niddui is fair game.

      In sum, there are three problematic forms of coercion: Violence, monetary sanctions and niddui. Anything else is not considered coercion vis-a-vis Get Me'useh.

    6. I unsubscribed and won't bother seeing responses -- I can bang my head against a physical wall instead, and you're not going to admit someone else's gadol might know what he's talking about either way. But to get in the last word...

      We DO use R' Tam, the OhP's Qunterus says so, the TE, the IM, say so, and even your own translation of R' Sternbuch says so. The last page gives a list of how to make sure your harchaqah doesn't become kefiyah, but shows no indication that would pasl the gett either way or that it's iqar hadin a problem lekhat'chilah rather than the Rama's "ra'ui lehachmir". See his #1 on pg 3, even if the guy has no chiyuv to give a get, the BD can still have the guy's LOR tell the shul to shun him.

      The letter you put up from RYSE against kefiyah is limited to "shelo bifnei habaal". Not that it would invalidate a get, but that you can't say "kofin oso" until after he bothered to show up at beis din. Okay, so the guy is in siruv, and can be ostracized for that instead. We're talking about relying on RT about non-kefiyyah anyway. The theory doesn't match your application thereof.

      As I said, I don't think even the people you're allegedly defending really hold what you're trying to promote.

      But I had enough "as I said".

    7. Did you read Rav Sternbuch's teshuva on the harchachos - he disagrees with your conclusion. What teshuvos are you referring to that find anything short of niddoi fair game?

      There is much more to discuss - but first please answer my question about whether you agree with Rabbi Berger that we pasken like the Rambam in ma'us alei and that the Rema has no concerns about apply sanctions?

  9. Rabbi Bechoofer do you agree with Rabbi Berger that Rambam is the accepted shita in ma'us alei? And that the Rema has no concern about get me'usa when applying sanctions in a case of ma'us alei?

    1. I agree with what I think Reb Micha is saying, viz.

      Although we do not use actual Kefi'ah in the case of ma'us alai, we are allowed to deploy the harchokos of RT. In truth, any vigilante unilateral deployment of the harchokos is not Kefi'ah, but as it may not be justified it is customary to wait until a husband has been categorized by a BD as recalcitrant before acting.

    2. So you claim that there is no concern in the achronim for applying RT and despite Rav Yosef's state that it is applied now only because of the danger of women remarrying without a get and the fact that there was great trepidition and in fact a widespread avoidance of using it for hundreds of years - you still say simply we are allowed to employ them - truly amazing.

      But you are avoiding answering my question about Rabbi Berger's insistence that we poskin like the Rambam in a case of ma'us alei- do you agree?

    3. BTW do you notice that I posted Rabbi Eli Tougher's translation of Rambam 2:20 that you said I had mistranslated - he translates it the same way I did. Here is the link

  10. batmelech wrote:
    "So what happens if his mother, or worse: mother in law, insists he give a get???

    This would be a forced get in any case, because nothing is more fearsome than an angry mother, or worse, mother in law!!!"

    I did not comment on this because I thought it was just a wisecrack about mothers-in-law, and also because it was not a particulary specific argument. What happens? If the pressure was clearly a major factor, and he had no way of getting away from it, then the get is posul. Otherwise, he just hangs up the phone, and that's it.

    and then Yosef Gavriel Bechoffer wrote:
    "There [on his blog] , I will also quote Batmelech's gem, which also gets to the heart of the matter - which DT totally sidesteps."
    There was nothing wrong with her comment, but it was hardly a serious argument.
    But you find this to be a gem? I will respond if someone who actually teaches halacha can consider this a gem, though there is not much of an argument here to respond to. I guess the thrust of the argument was along the lines of "if any source of pressure can make a get posul, what about pressure from the family? And that can't make a get posul, because, you know, thats how mothers-in-law are. Ergo, informal pressure must not be a problem." (feel free to correct me if that is not how you understood her argument. As I said, I thought it was just a crack about mothers-in-law.)
    What is wrong with this argument? It assumes the conclusion. "It can't be, because then how can it be."
    Yes, if family pressure towards giving him the get becomes unbearable and he has no way out, it would make the get posul. Thankfully this is rarely relevant - especially the mother-in-law. Just hang up, and move along with your day.
    I did not have any problem with batmelech's comment, but there was something very disturbing about a rabbi considering it a gem which cuts to the heart of the matter.

  11. Thank You Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn for clearly presenting the halachic sources and explaining them so well, demonsrrating the correct approach to this issue.

  12. Daas Torah, don't allow the ORA apologists Berger, Tzakok, Bechhofer etc. to convince you that they actually hold by the Rambam. That is simply not the case.

    ORA's henchmen selectively quote the parts of the Rambam that can be manipulated to justify the ORA Reformadox agenda. Then, while ORA's fake "agunot" rob their husbands blind in ARCHAOT, ORA's apologists delete the remainder of the Rambam's PSAK in Hilchos Ishus (14:8) - "she (the wife) is not entitled to anything that belongs to her husband. She should return even the shoe on her foot and her head-covering that he gave her ..."

    Do Berger, Tzadok, Bechhofer also hold by the Rambam's PSAK that a man can marry more than one wife?

    1. hen, while ORA's fake "agunot" rob their husbands blind in ARCHAOT

      Why is it Ok by you for a man to go to arkaot against a woman, but not the other way around? Why have you not condemned Aharon Friedman for going to Arkaot if this is such an issue for you? You show your misogynistic hypocrisy clearly with this.

      the ORA apologists Berger, Tzakok
      I'm not an ORA apologist. I think that ORA is acting outside of halakha.

      Do Berger, Tzadok, Bechhofer also hold by the Rambam's PSAK that a man can marry more than one wife?
      I cannot speak for the rest, but yes I do. However, the Ashkenazim have something in place called Cherem Rabbeinu Gershom. Also by Sephardi tradition it is written into the Ketuba that a man needs permission from both his wife and the B"D.

  13. RDE,

    You seem to be misreading a very simple halacha. SA 77 stands for one very simple principle, namely that a woman who claims (מאסתיהו)loses her right to her Ketuba. The Ketuba was designed to protect a woman against being left penniless by her husband and is thus, not required in this case.

    The SA says nothing about Gittin. Why would he? This is a siman in Ketubot. You are saying that from the lack of explicit permission to beat the husband that the SA rules against the Rambam. That is a leap of logic I am not willing to take.

    1. James you don't need logic - this is repeated over and over again through the rabbinic literature - including Otzer haPoskim - which is the most authoratative summary. Anyone who doesn't know this elementary reality has no business making pronouncements about get me'usa or criticising the views of others in this matter. This is the the gemora in kesubos.

      The gemora says in a case of ma'us alei that she is not forced to live with him - Rambam says that means that he must be forced to give a get. The other view is that the gemora simply means she doesn't have to live with him - but he has no need to give her a get because the gemora mentions nothing about him giving a get.

      Bottom line - if you really believe your assertions - you are simply wrong because it is a universally accepted fact. Please go learn the gemora or at least go through the first few pages of Otzer haPoskim on E.H. 77

    2. James the B"Y in 154 says that we do not follow the Rambam to beat the husband, and quotes the Rashba. Though he does say that other forms of pressure may be used, including beating his father with sticks until he tells his son to give a Get and then beat his son until he does what his father says.

      Though the same Beit Yosef, does say that if the son were beaten or somehow forced by Jews, or by non-Jews on the word of Jews, then this is only a Get Meusa M'd'rabbanan, and that if there is a Bitul Modaah, then it is a sofek d'rabbanan, which opens up a whole new can of worms.

    3. Yes, the BY in 154 says we do not practice like the Rambam and I agree. But, the SA seems to state that meikkar hadin, the Rambam is correct. We just dont follow him because of the severity of the matter.

      My objection is to extrapolating from SA77. I think the operative siman is 154 and that siman 77 is not intended to mean that the GET issued is posul.

      All of this, however, is completely irrelevant. ORA does not claim to follow the Rambam. The only two relevant issues are:
      1. Do we use RT?
      2. Does ORA fit under the rubric of RT?

      I would maintain that the answer to both is YES.

      I would also add (and I think this can be debated) that ORA's actions are not those of BD and that distinction is crucial. Saying otherwise would be to say that I, as a private individual not acting at the behest of a BD, have the power to invalidate a GET simply by protesting.

      I am glad that RYGB agrees with that sevara.

    4. I would also add (and I think this can be debated) that ORA's actions are not those of BD and that distinction is crucial. Saying otherwise would be to say that I, as a private individual not acting at the behest of a BD, have the power to invalidate a GET simply by protesting.

      I am glad that RYGB agrees with that sevara.
      Interesting and counterintuitive chidush - which the Lechem Mishneh and Chazon Ish explicitly reject. I will be making a separate post on RYGB's position.

      I suggest you look at the gemora the Rambam is based on Gittin 88b where it is clear that only beis din or its agents have the possiblity of forcing a get. RYGB's chidush is that only beis din is limited to following the law of forcing but individuals can force without invaliding the get - just the opposite of pshat in the gemora.

      so yes you as an individual can clearly invalidate the get and this is exactly where the whole discussion started a long time ago.

  14. James,
    First, maus alai means that the women said she has no interest in benefiting from having been married to him - "not him, and not his ketuba", and she has to return everything she got from him. (see rambam and SA, and rashi in kesubos 63b)
    A woman who cashes is in on the marriage the secular courts cannot claim maus alai afterward, so this whole discussion is irrelevant in almost all aguna cases. IT is a very rare aguna who actually wants out with no benefit

    Second, look at the magid mishna on the rambam(Ishus 14:8), and in Tur/Beis Yosef (77). They all state very clearly that the Rambam is not an accepted psak.

    1. Thank you Binyamin - you've shined a great spotlight on the dark fog of halachic disinformation and intellectual dishonesty being generated by Schachter, Berger, Tzadok, Bechhofer, etc.

      Both frum men and women are openly acknowledging that many or most Orthodox divorce cases in the USA are being litigated in non-Jewish courts, these courts being quite favorable to women. Therefore maus alai is completely irrelevant in the vast majority of cases.

  15. James, you seem to be looking at the issue from the perspective that once a marriage is over there is no excuse to withhold divorce, and that when the wife has moved out and finished a civil divorce, the marriage is as dead as can be. This common view influences a lot of people in the discussion, since the halacha makes little sense when you look at the subject of divorce this way.

    Try to consider the wider implications of supporting free and easy divorce for women. What happens if we allow women to take full advantage of secular divorces, and then force men to finalize it? Why might it be that the halacha makes divorce dependent on a man's free will to give it?

    If you can understand what the institution of marriage is and how the halacha defines it, it will make a lot more sense to you. The halacha does not make any sense when seen through the popular modern view of marriage and divorce, but this modern view itself makes no sense from a social and moral standpoint.

    1. this point is discussed by Rabbi Gartner in the summary I just posted.

    2. Binyamin,

      I am not looking at the issue from that perspective.

      No one on this blog is privy to the private conversations, interviews, and research of the Beth Din.

      Rabbis Kamenetsky and Belsky determined that the marriage was over. They are not feminists. They have a decent understanding of what the institution of marriage is and how halacha defines it.

      Tamar has said that she realized very quickly that she didnt wanted out of the marriage. She has NOT told us why. We dont even know that this is a case of maus alei. Neither RDE nor RDE know how Tamar reached her decision or WHY she realized she could no longer be married to him.

      The only ones who do know the answers to that question are the rabbanim on the BD that issued the seruv. They, and not me, determined that the marraige was over.

    3. Only one BD, the Baltimore BD, heard both sides and that BD did not order that a get be given.
      And if Tamar decided very quickly that she wanted out of the marriage, why did she choose to have a child after having made the decision to leave the marriage?

      How do you know what RDE or RDE know about how Tamar felt about Aharon?

    4. No that B"D ordered that Aharon Friedman dismiss his court case against his wife before they would hear anything. Something that Aharon Friedman has so far refused to do.

    5. Larry,

      R' Dovid has disclosed that he spoke to Aharon and I would assume that had he spoken to Tamar he would have disclosed that as well.

      Rav Belsky's Beth Din heard both sides. Rav Belsky got involved to prevent ORA's actions and ended up deciding that Aharon was wrong and had to give a GET. See G' Gil Student's blog for more details.

    6. James, can you post a link to Gil's post on the topic?

      Belsky's personal opinion on whether or not Aron should give a get has not halachic status. He is free to speak to Aron and encourage him to give a get, but that does not mean Aron is required to do so.

    7. Binyamin,

      See Gil's comments beginning 3/24 11:57AM

  16. Only the Baltimore BD heard both sides. Rabbi Belsky's BD did not hear both sides.

  17. The Baltimore BD accepted the Epstein-Friedman case, had several hearings into the case, and said that it would issue an opinion on custody after Pesach 2009. The BD did this even though the BD was
    informed by the parties that the case pending in the MD civil court.
    Anyone who thinks this was wrong under halacha should take it up with the BD, but that is how the BD handled the case.
    Before the case went to trial in civil court, Friedman ultimately agreed to the Baltimore BD's orders regarding dismissing the civil case, while Epstien refused. Friedman agreed to the Beis DIn's orders
    regarding dismissing the case despite the extreme prejudice this posed to him. This was because even if the BD would have ruled in his favor, Epstein would have been able to challenge any BD decision in
    court, and the longer the child were to remain in Pennsylvania (to which Epstein had abducted the child), the more likely the court was to rule that the child remain there,

    The court ruled in July 2009 that the child should stay in Pennsylvania because Epstein had abducted the child in April 2008, and Friedman had agreed to cancel the October 2008 court trial to bring the case to BD. Epstein specifically told the court that the delay should be prejudicial (and the abduction treated as a fait accompli) because Friedman had canceled the October 2008 trial to bring the case to beis din. And Epstein's supporters claim that her actions are kedas ukedin,


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