Monday, October 14, 2013

Rav Hershel Schacter's lectures dealing with violence against husbands have been removed from YU website

At the bottom I have provided links to some of the posts dealing with the subject. It is important to note when rereading these posts how the world suddenly changed with the arrest of R Epstein and Wolmark. The recording have been removed from the YU website.
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Guest Post (from someone who insists on remaining anonymous):

Daas Torah has previously featured several commentaries about Rabbi Schachter's advocacy of violence against men who haven't given a get, including on lectures posted on YU's website.  Rabbis Dovid and Daniel Eidensohn have noted that Rabbi Schachter's advocacy of violence is without halachic basis, and constitutes dangerous incitement to violence.  ORA claims Rabbi Schachter as its posek (Jewish Law decision-maker), and has previously disseminated Rabbi Schachter's incitement to violence.  Rabbi Schachter and ORA know very well that their incitement to violence could very well result in actual violence, and that very well may be their specific intention.  Indeed, a specific target of Rabbi Schachter and ORA's incitement was actually attacked by masked thugs, as previously covered on Daas Torah.  This puts to lie ORA's claim that it is against violence.   

YU has pulled Rabbi Schachter's lecture calling for violence from its website following the FBI sting operation. If there were nothing wrong with Rabbi Schachter's lecture, why would YU have taken it down?  

59 comments :

  1. Are you confident it was removed following the FBI bust?

    Does anyone have a copy of it? It was up on the site for years. It might be on the Internet Archive if someone knows its old path on yu.edu

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    1. It is on the Internet Archive if you copy the link from Daas Torah above.

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    2. The Internet Archive allows you to download RHS's shiur that was deleted. Does anyone know at what minute he authorizes the use of force against the husband?

      http://web.archive.org/web/20131007060705/http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/739308/Rabbi_Hershel_Schachter/Options_for_Helping_Agunot

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    3. He never "authorizes" force against the husband. Reads and translates various sources that say that under certain circumstances force can be used against a husband.
      4:00- Quotes Rabbi Akiva Eiger who says that we may beat a husband who is leaving his wife a true agunah(abandonning her and his children)
      4:30- Quotes another source that the Shliach of a B"D may beat a slave who is improperly wed
      21:20-22:50- Brings a Mishnah in Erechin wherein a B"D may beat someone to force them to bring a corban, says that Mishnah is brought regarding Gittin as well in a case where a B"D forces a Get the mishnah says to beat him with sticks, he says sticks are like baseball bats(interestingly he brings this in the names of Rav Soloveitchik and Rav Shach).

      Though he never says that someone should go out and beat a get refuser. Anyone who would like to argue that, please cite the minute in the recording, and I will transcribe his precise words so that we can discuss it. However, I've listned to this three times today and at no point does he actually say that someone should go out and beat someone up.

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    4. So we see that Rav Akiva Eiger, Rav Shach and others DO hold physical force can be used bzman hazeh even though it is against goyishe law of the land.

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    5. So we see that Rav Akiva Eiger, Rav Shach and others DO hold physical force can be used bzman hazeh even though it is against goyishe law of the land.
      NO You clearly did not listen to the lecture or understand what the point that was being made was.

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  2. dispirited lakewooderOctober 14, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    How about Lakewood and BMG? The Kotlers cozied up to Schachter and ORA on behalf of their cousins the Dodelsons, Wolmark was involved on the Dodelsons side, and a mob (including a Shustel) stopped just sort of physically attacking Weiss over Yom Tov when the Dodelsons forced him to walk his son three miles to their house ON SHABBOS! I wonder if their name will show up on those computers being taken out of Wolmark and Epstein's homes. Bottom line: these people don't give a hoot about halachah. They will say ashiur about get meusah, and then do whatever the hell they want.

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  3. Why does helping RHS not get arrested imply they lack confidence in the halachic validity of his position?

    For that matter, the case in the news isn't a valid beis din (the man is found wrong without being heard), and if it were, it would involve bribery. Either way the fees are extortionary. I could see RHS not wanting to be quoted in their support.

    I also find this whole taking on of RHS as absurd as you would if I were to assert that R Moshe Sternbuch's pesaq is obviously wrong. The man has a master of pesaq; if you think he made an obvious mistake, a non eilu-va'eilu mistake, then you should wonder what it is you do not know.

    As one would for any other gadol.

    Your closing sentence is appalling. And by showing a proclivity to attack simply anyone, it weakens your demonstrations against abusers and others who deserve our ostracism.

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    1. Rabbi Berger this is a guest post - I did not write it. I would be glad to post your guest post disagreeing with this guest post.

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    2. So who then is the author of this guest post? Someone who says such things should have their name attached.

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    3. You have to make it much more clear at the top that this is a guest post, and you should also say who the "guest" writer is, or something about him or her that will distinguish this "guest" from the writer or writers of other "guest" posts.

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    4. Micha:

      Gedolim have called Rabbi Schachter to the carpet over this (as well as other) positions his taken. This isn't Rabbi Eidensohn vs. Rabbi Schachter. It is Gedolim vs. Rabbi Schachter.

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  4. Rabbis Dovid and Daniel Eidensohn, thank you for exposing the extreme violations of HALACHA and Torah ethics being committed by ORA ( the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot ) and their "rabbinic" advisers like Herschel Schachter.

    These so-called rabbis promoting ORA hide behind a phony facade of "centrism" or moderation, while actually promoting some of the most extreme feminist, anti-male, anti-family agendas. The stark evil of ORA's feminist, anti-Torah agenda is evident to anyone with an ounce of intelligence who has not been brainwashed by MO feminist propaganda.

    ORA is contributing to the unnecessary destruction of many Jewish families, while the Jewish husbands of many of ORA's female clients are being financially wiped out in non-Jewish courts, and the children's relationship with their fathers is being destroyed.

    "...what Rabbi Schachter wrote that the chiyuv gerushin made up by Rabbi Kamenetsky falls within the parameters of “a scholar had already instructed” and “sod Hashem lerauv” – G-d have mercy on us where he’s taken that from, because this falls under the parameters of Remah, Choshen Mishpat 25:2, ie one who rules according to “what he wants” and is a false judge, is uprooting religion, a heretic and is wicked."
    Freely Translated from p. 4 of Bitul Seruv document issued by the Rabbinical Court Shar Hamishpot, 24 Sivan 5772, in regard to the A. Friedman case.

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  5. BTW, see the first shu"t of the Chakham Tzevi:
    אבל היותר נראה לי נכון הוא דבכל המצות כופין מלבד בגיטין וחליצות הוא דאין כופין. אלא משום עיגון דידה או כל הנך שמנו חכמים בפירוש, אבל אינך לא משום דאית ביה ריעותא שהרי גט מעושה פסול וכן חליצה מעושה, ואף שבמקום שהוא כדין הם כשירים, מ"מ לא ראו חכמים לכפות עליהם אלא משום עגונה, או משום הנך שמנו חז"ל, וזה מוכח מדברי התוס' ריש פרק המדיר דף ע' ובפרק הבא על יבמתו דף ס"ד בד"ה יוציא ויתן כתובה, בין לפי' ר"י ובין לפי' ר"ח ודו"ק.

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    1. I have read it several times - what do you think he is saying?

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    2. RDE: Where does R. Hoffman discuss this that you are paraphrasing him on?

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    3. http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2013/10/why-r-mendel-epsteins-cattle-prod.html

      see the full article at 5tJT that is linked at the top of the page

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    4. The Chacham Tzvi is largely irrelevant - 1) he is not cited in the literature 2) He is at most concerned with the case of irreconcilable differences where they are living apart and the husband is only refusing to give a get because of spite - but not where the husband is using the get as leverage

      See my post http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2013/10/chacham-tzvi-1-provides-no-heter-to.html

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  6. Both men and women have been victimized and impoverished in the current Wild West mutation of our Jewish legal system. Is there no person or group who can restore halachic order,fairness and due process in a way that doesn't violate US secular law?

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  7. With a little time and retrospection, this whole this seems so out of proportion.
    I know all too many women who were beaten in their marriages. Nobody who has not had young children and no job, and all the other considerations that influence women to stay in such a situation has any right to imagine the fear and tension holding such a thing together, 'for the good of the children.' Often, leaving him means leaving EVERYTHING: extended family, Rabbanim, friends, Kehilla, schools, etc.
    So here, we have WORST CASE SCENARIO, a Rabbi and his team who beat up TWENTY men over the years.
    All of a sudden everyone's a machmir!
    And to the commenter above who says that there was no FBI 'husband' who was called to Beis Din, I think we just don't know the whole story. This was a set-up beyond imagination.
    20 guys get beaten up and it's a Federal Case! Literally! (like I said, at worst... I don't believe this, but just for arguments sake.)

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    1. Frum Sarah I sympathize with your concerns - but you are totally ignoring halacha. It is a tragedy when a wife is beaten. It is clear grounds for forcing the husband to divorce her if possible. However the consequences for forcing a husband to divorce his wife - when the halacha doesn't say so - means that the divorce is invalid and we have problem of mamzerim.

      So if you want to talk about morality and fairness - I would agree with you. But this blog also requires an understanding of the halacha.

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    2. ... which you obviously think you do better than the subject of this diatribe.

      I'm waiting for you to admit that you can accept that our noted posqim can accuse people without hearing them out, ban books they can't read and music they just heard of 2 minutes before, permit sex abusers to hide, ban phones they themselves own, ignore their protege's calling other shomerei Shabbos "Amaleiq", keep their yeshivos open by laundering drug money, etc, etc, etc... but if they believe in Zionism and value secular studies, you can't take them seriously for all their greatness and brilliance.

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    3. Rabbi Berger - a very strange and totally inaccurate statement - which is contrary to your normal perceptive and sensitive comments. As someone who read and discussed my comments here and for a number of years now on your Avodah group - you should know that your allegations are false.
      I don't accept misdeeds from chareidi poskim who banned Making of a Gadol, Rabbi Slifkin, Tropper, or cover up sex abusers etc etc etc. I don't view Rav Schachter' Zionism relevant or his value of secular studies. I have spent much more time criticizing chareidi rabbis in Lakewood and its leaders, Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky, Rav Belsky etc than I have Rav Schachter.

      In short what you are waiting for me to admit is a blatant lie and I don't think it is worth discussing this nonsense any further.

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    4. When Micha Berger is defending indefensible MO practices and rabbis promoting such practices, he has a no holds barred attitude and throws everything plus the kitchen sink in defending such indefensible practices.

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    5. R' Eidensohn - The original post itself is very strange and totally inappropriate. Guest post or not, it is contrary to your normal perceptive and sensitive style.

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    6. Micha, your implication that Rabbi Eidensohn somehow accepts that "noted posqim" can commit the numerous alleged crimes and misdeeds on your list, is simply outrageous SHEKER.

      All or most of the arrested corrupt "rabbis" that spawned the recent discussion here of GET matters were not YU at all, and many other non-YU rabbis have been criticized on this blog, including the Lakewood Roshei Yeshivos.

      RE: book banning: Slifkin's books fully deserved to be banned. Please study the very excellent book "Darwin's Doubt" by Stephen C. Meyer. This book contains a devastating, thorough, scientific and mathematical refutation of the atheist metaphysical speculation known as Darwinism. Darwinism is an atheistic religion masquerading as "science" and being peddled to naive Orthodox audiences by Rabbi Slifkin, the hero of the MO "rationalists".

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    7. Director - this is not about Modern Orthodox practicies. R Epstein, Wolmark are not Modern Orthodox. Rav Schachter seems to have the same views as Rav Shmuel Kaminestky and Rav Belsky.

      Furthermore Rabbi Berger is generally passionate about anything he views as important.

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    8. Thank you. So you understand why I attacked you for your lesse majest. I wasn't focusing on being against you as much as defending RHS against people who don't realize who they're talking about. I actually thought that assuming you just jumped to the conclusion that you have what it takes to catch RHS in an error was the best possible spin I could put on your willingness to repeatedly let people borrow your forum to attack him.

      Just FWIW, I intentionally avoided the RHS to RYBS track when I learned in Yesh. R' Yitzchak Elchanan. I chose R' Dovid Lifshitz and R' Shimon's derekh halimud over Brisk. So we're not speaking of my rebbe, but we are speaking of my father's rabbeim.

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    9. RDE: I don't think that Rav Shmuel Kaminestky and Rav Belsky support the kind of ORA-style public protests that Rabbi Schachter supports. So there is a significant difference.

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    10. ELY, thanks for the Darwin's Doubt lead. Why is darwinism atheistic? The Torah does not describe the mechanism of creation of life. If you, lehavdil, build a car by hand or by computerised robots, it is still you who built it (assuming you built the robots). So, we do not have the details and the mechanisms of life's creation, and there are competing theories. Even if the scientific consensus is pro darwin, the step to atheism is not a scientific one.

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    11. Emes l'Yaakov, Rabbi Slifkin is not advocating atheistic teaching. He believes G-d is behind evolution. Arguments that it can't happen by chance would not refute his position. You do not have to accept his views, but realize what you are disputing.

      ben dov
      1honestlyfrum.blogspot.com

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    12. It is hard to see what is so controversial about this post, which mostly reiterates points made many times by either or both of Rabbis Dovid and Daniel Eidensohn.
      It is indisputable that Rabbi Schachter has given a lecture, the audio of which was on YU's website, calling for violence against men who haven't given a get.
      It is also indisputable that ORA has publicly circulated a letter from Rabbi Schachter calling for a specific person to be beaten.
      It is also the case that a Federal prosecutor alleged in court that the person was beaten.
      Given that the history of beatings of men who have not given a get is well known in the Orthodox community as well as the impassioned violent rhetoric used by Rabbi Schachter and the very in-your face demonstrations by ORA, it is hard to believe that they could not be aware that such rhetoric and actions could very well lead to violence.
      It is hard to know what ORA and Rabbi Schachter intend, but is it really that unreasonable to assert that violence "very well MAY be their specific intention."
      Finally, even YU must realize that there is something very wrong with Rabbi Schachter's lectures or it would not have removed the lectures from its website. So is that unreasonable to ask for an apology?

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    13. Emesleyakov, I was with you until you started spouting nonsense about Rabbi Slifkin and started quoting absurd books. Even if we assumed the junk science you cite was 100% true (and it is anyway the case that anyone is free to believe that stuff regardless of whether it's true), that still wouldn't justify a ban on Slifkin's books. Slifkin wrote his book specifically for frum Jews who do not accept the kind of delusional pseudoscience (IMO of course) like that you presented and who do accept the basic premises of modern science. If that isn't you, then you have no need for his work, but that still doesn't come close to justifying a ban on his book. Nobody ever banned the book "Challenge" by the orthodox scientists. Open it up and see the disparity of views there and how some of them should not be allowed if we went by your definitions. Yet nobody had a problem with it. Ask yourself why. I guess you prefer to side with people like Tropper who orchestrated the ban because they must have scientific purity in mind and the needs of the Jewish people in full view for any actions they take.

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    14. Slifkin was part of a pattern. The merits of evolution aside, he was far from the first to assert such thngs. (Hint: Find me a rishon who does say the universe is a week older than Adam.) But I wasn't talking about the substance of their complaints against him, but the manner the case was handled.

      It all started with the lies of a man later caught on youtube sharing his bed with his wife and another woman. No one really checked the man's lies to learn that the students he claimed left O either didn't (in one case -- he went to YU), or did so before Slifkin's books were published. Then the first signers couldn't read an English book, and relied on say-so. The later signers didn't bother reading, they simply signed on to the words of the prestigious first signers. No one was willing to hear the author out.

      Even Spinoza wasn't put in cheirem until they heard him out in beis din.

      You can also watch on YouTube as R' Amon Yitzchak distorts what goes on at a Shwekey concert -- he makes it sound like there's mixed dancing to Jewish music -- to secure a statement from R' Elyashiv zt"l banning it. This is the same man who relayed numerous gedolim's statements against smartphones and the internet, despite being on-line with his own smartphone. And the same people who are manipulated by Kupas haIr to support claims that are borderline nichush. Not to mention statements made about the Dati Leumi community made during the prior election. Dangerous statements made about protecting the accused abuser, etc, etc, etc...

      In fact, one might even argue tongue-in-cheek that RHS's ability to provide the media with soundbites with which to slander him makes him more like other gedolim. Not less.

      But still, our host treats them as gedolim that sinned. He doesn't presume to second-guess their pesaqim or to have them lambasted in post after post because he can't believe they can engage in real machloqes with other gedolim.

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    15. Slifkin was part of a pattern.
      True.
      It all started with the lies of a man later caught on youtube sharing his bed with his wife and another woman. No one really checked the man's lies to learn that the students he claimed left O either didn't (in one case -- he went to YU), or did so before Slifkin's books were published.
      Not entirely true. Rav Yaakov Hillel was primarily responsible for securing signatures of many of the main Gedolim in Israel. He felt, and still feels, that Rabbi Slifkin's books are very dangerous. Rabbi Hillel BTW does read(and write) English quite well.

      Then the first signers couldn't read an English book, and relied on say-so.
      Again that is not entirely the case. They relied upon the say-so of a very respected Gadol and Rosh Yeshiva of a very prestigious yeshiva.

      It should be noted that there are other books that Rav Hillel worked to get banned, one of them Sefer Peulot of Rav Chaim Vita. He himself writes that he tried very vigorously to get the books of Rav Avraham Abulafia banned as well. He probably would have succeeded if Rav Eizenbach of Shaar HaShamayim and Rav S.Z. Auerbach hadn't opposed him on it so vociferously, the former even hinting that he(Rav Hillel) may be guilty of Kefira for his attempts and editorial changes on some of the things Rav Hillel published. So while other Rabbanim may not agree with Rav Hillel's approach, one cannot say that he was necessarily working from nefarious motives. If he truly feels(as he claims he does) that the books are a danger to Klall Yisrael, does that not obligate him to speak out?

      You can also watch on YouTube as R' Amon Yitzchak distorts what goes on at a Shwekey concert -- he makes it sound like there's mixed dancing to Jewish music -- to secure a statement from R' Elyashiv zt"l banning it.
      You should see the video of him trying it on Rav Shteinman(http://youtu.be/wHBZ3RxA1Vo). It's quite impressive really. However I think Rav Amnon Yitzhak(if he is a Rav) lost a lot of his steam and credibility after the stuff he pulled during the national elections. All that to say, it wouldn't be the first time that Gedolim felt that they could use something that they didn't trust with the general public. Which is the point of those sorts of bans on smart phones and internet, to protect the general public.

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    16. R' Yaakov Hillel was not a signer on. Therefore, his word is NOT the signators judging for themselves, but rather eid mipi eid. The quality of the say-so doesn't change its procedural wrongness. RRFeinstein reported that he thought he was signing a letter asking Feldheim to decirculate the book, not a letter judging a person to be a kofer and to call for people not to employ him. As I already noted, the latter should involve hearing his side, as they did Spinoza. CM was waltzed all over on that one.

      What motivated the ban is that Tropper lied to RYH, convincing the latter of the threat the books represent. And those lies were included in the dossier of snippets passed around.I don't accuse RYH of having nefarious motives, he is as much a pawn of Tropper as the rabbanim he went to. The entire gadol system have been played for patsies repeatedly, despite the belief of their followers that daas Torah gives them special insight that should allow them to see through repeated manipulation by the same cadre of people.

      The irony is that the notion of a Divinely guided evolution is not only not kefirah, it is more consistent with mesorah to say the universe is old than to insist it isn't. And numerous other books the same gedolim would never think of banning make similar points. However, there is plenty that Slifkin does write that I wouldn't want my kids to read without my further guidance. Such as calling into question the Mabul and Migdal Bavel, or his repeated questioning of Chazal on matters of science -- to the point of questioning their pesaqim -- without ever setting down where he believes the limits of emunas chakhamim do indeed lie. The overall effect is that he teaches a skeptical attitude toward mesorah, even in areas where rabbanic authority should be clear (i.e. pesaq halakhah).

      As for RAY and things he said during national elections... The chareidi gedolim of EY said plenty of the same. The difference is, one can bad mouth hesderniqim and Mercaz haRav without the same internal fallout.

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  8. 'Micha Berger', in the above post, notes that there was a Psak Din with hearing both sides. I don't believe this is so. We have NO idea what the FBI produced in order to achieve this result. Perhaps there WAS a 'husband', perhaps he did flee, etc. We don't know.
    And Da'as Torah, I may be ignorant of Halakha, but Rabbi Epstein has S'micha from R. Moshe Feinstein, so whatever his justifications are, they are not due to ignorance of the Halakha.
    I do understand the severity of 'Eshit Ish' and the results of an extramarital pregnancy...
    But this all comes down to 'when Halakha says so'. And 'Lo b'Shamayim Hi.'
    There is an assumption that R. Epstein is some renegade cowboy, tasering at will. I just can't believe this.

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    1. Frum Sarah - it is not a question of whether you can believe this - it is a question of what happened. So far it doesn't look good

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    2. According to the FBI complaint, Rabbis Mendel Epstein and Martin Wolmark issued a psak din against a fictional husband regarding a marriage that never took place. That does not speak very well of whether these rabbis actually do a very thorough job of investigating the matters before them.

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    3. "but Rabbi Epstein has S'micha from R. Moshe Feinstein, so whatever his justifications are, they are not due to ignorance of the Halakha."

      Here is that attitude again we see all too common in the frum world. So-and-so is a talmid chacham, so-and-so knows the halacha, therefore he must have some justification for his action even when said action is quite obviously wrong and he was caught in the act. Why must people continue to think this way when we have observed countless talmidei chachamim and exalted persons behaving badly already?

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    4. Concerned understates it. It's not an issue of the quality of the investigation. We KNOW that they are willing to beat up a man without hearing his testimony. As in this case there was no man to give testimony before they decided to beat his fictional body. That's not how beis din works.

      We also KNOW that they wanted an inordinate sum of money to do so, but a beis din can't get paid by one litigant.

      As I wrote, I think the FBI and media would have had a similar field day had everything been done kehalakhah. But then, I would have had sympathy for someone beating up a bully to get him to stop victimizing his wife. This, however, is just mercenary work, aside from extortion from a desperate agunah.

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  9. We know the husband wasn't called to their "beis din", that Rabbi Epstein was willing to compel a divorce based on a case in someone else's court and the wife's money. This was a sting operation and we have the deposition on line; we know exactly what they did in at least one case.

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  10. Regarding your concerns that there are rabbis who must know something because they received smicha from a gadol, I will merely say that it means they KNEW something and STARTED doing what they did with a supposed approval. I have seen many of my contemporaries unfortunately forsake the teachings of our holy rabbis. I too, have smicha from Rabbi Feinstein, and I can tell you with a clean conscience that he would not permit what the people are accused of doing. If we find the facts are different, that there was a psak bais din with both sides and not just these women who cry for a get, they may have a place to do some of the things these people are accused of. However, you people (women writing here) are not interested in what the halacha really is just what you want it to be. One thing I learned from Reb Moshe "Hkdb"h doesn't need your help fixing his Torah".

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  11. Rabbi Micha Berger, how can you say that? The FBI didn't put every single aspect of the sting operation in their criminal court complaint document submitted to the court. Some aspects have been omitted. Perhaps there was an undercover FBI agent posing as the husband. And perhaps that husband was contacted by Rabbis Epstein and Wolmark in their capacity as Dayanim on the beis din that authorized the beating.

    Perhaps the (fake) husband didn't reply to the beis din. Or perhaps he did reply but refused to follow their order to give a Get.

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  12. Unless I am misunderstanding the Ohr Somach, It would seem that there is room to Pasken that in today's day and age a forced Get in would be invalid.

    Although he is quoting the "טמהורי who discussing the case of a Muchlaf I think the sevarah can apply elsewhere. I quote:

    " זה שהוא רוצה להיות מישראל ורוצה הוא לעשוח כל המצות ולהתרחק מן העבירות יצרו הוא שתקפו, וכיון שהוכה עד שתשש יצרו ואמר רוצה אני כבר גירש לרצונו, ולפי זה, במוחלף שעבר בשאט נפש על כל, ומכעיס את בוראו בעבירות חמורות, הרי אנוס גמור הוא, כמו מי שנאנס ליתן דבר במתנה, שגם אחרי שהוכה וגירש כדין, נפשו לא ינוח ויקצוף על המביאים אותו לעשות דבר זה, אם כי מצוה עביד, הלא נפש רשע אותה רע והלל רשע על תאות נפשו, וא״כ אנוס גמור הוא. ואין כופין מוחלף לגרש אף כי הוא מהנך שכופין להוציא"

    Perhaps, one can say that in a case where the Husband is a questionable guy to begin with and we know that he would yell and screams afterwards. there is not point in beating him (when permissible) because the get would be invalid as it is an אונס. Further more, The Ohr Somach says like this:

    "דאימת אמר רבינו טעמא דמצוה לשמוע דברי חכמים דוקא במי שמחזיק בתורת ה׳ ורוצה לילך
    באורח מישור, משא״כ במומר להכעיס דביה כתב רבינו בפ״ד מהלכות רוצח הלכה יו״ד, האפיקורסים והם העוברי וכו׳ או העושה עבירה להכעיס אפילו אכל נבילה או לבש שעטנז כו׳ ואם לאו יבוא עליהן בעלילות עד שיסבב וכו׳ הרי דמוחלף לדת ההיידען אילו הוה ידיע לן [בזמן הבית] שלא יגרש מרצונו ע״י כפיה ג״כ הרי היה מותר להרגו [בזמן הבית] דעלילה טובה היא הואיל ולא מגרש אעפ״י שאין תועליות מכפייתו ג״כ היה מותר להרגו ולסבב עליו עלילות לקחח נפשו, א״כ ב״ד של ישראל בזמן הבית לגבי מוחלף לדת ישמעאל המה כסיקריקון נגד ישראל וגמר ומגרש כמו לגמר הישראל ומקנה בתלוהו וזבין, דאף אם נפסוק דאגב אונסא לא גמר ומגרש ג״כ לא יסירו ב״ד כפייתם ממנו ויענישוהו בזה, ובזמן הזה שאין לנו רשות רק ע״י משפטי המלוכה אם יש לב״ד של ישראל הורמנא מן המלכות לכופו הלא ג״כ לא יבדלו אף אם ידעו
    כי לא גמר ומגרש, וע״ז שפיר תו כדי להפטר גמר ומגרש וכמו תלוהו וזבין וגיטו גט וז״ב:"

    I am assuming that I am reading this correctly, but he clearly says the first step to do anything is to have permission from the government before one goes and beats anyone even if it is permissible.

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  13. Frum Sarah:
    “I know all too many women who were beaten in their marriages. Nobody who has not had young children and no job, and all the other considerations that influence women to stay in such a situation has any right to imagine the fear and tension holding such a thing together, 'for the good of the children.' Often, leaving him means leaving EVERYTHING: extended family, Rabbanim, friends, Kehilla, schools, etc.”

    There may have been a time twenty years ago when the prevalent attitude towards divorce in the Orthodox world was so overwhelmingly and inappropriately negative that women (and men, although much less common) in marriages in which they were beaten were strongly encouraged/pressured to remain in those marriages and endure the beatings and that those who fled such marriages were ostracized. Such an attitude is completely wrong: nobody should have to endure beatings and abuse. Women (and men) in such marriages should be able to turn to an honest, competent beis din, which does not charge fees, and which treats them respectfully and compassionately, in order to be divorced under Jewish Law, and it is wholly appropriate to heavily pressure (using legal means) the refusing spouse to give/receive a get if s/he refuses. In addition, such individuals and their children should be integrated into the Orthodox community to the greatest extent possible, and given assistance, whether financial or otherwise, that is necessary to rebuild their lives. Such organizations, at least for women, now exist although much more could and should be done in that regard. There are probably many individual circumstances where pressure to remain in abusive marriages continues to exist. But it does not appear that this attitude is still prevalent in the Orthodox community (except perhaps for isolated parts).
    Instead, the pendulum has swung much too far the other way. Large parts of the Orthodox community appear to have devalued marriage to the extent that women (and men – although it seems that the majority of those who end marriages are women) are given the message that it is perfectly acceptable to leave a marriage for any reason, or no reason, at all. This is completely contrary to Judaism, particularly where the couple has a child or children. Deciding to marry, and particularly to have children, are important decisions with consequences, and therefore responsibilities, to the other spouse and to the children. The Orthodox community should put a heavy emphasis on the responsibility of parents to make their marriage work where children are involved (absent extreme cases, such as abuse/beatings). Instead, there seems to be advocacy, even glorification of unilateral divorce. Until the radical social revolution of the late 1960s/early 1970s with its debasing of traditional family values, unilateral divorce (that is, divorce unless both spouses agreed) was generally not allowed in secular court in the United States absent cause, such as abuse. There was just no general "right" to a divorce. Rabbis Daniel and Dovid Eidensohn have eloquently argued that under Jewish Law, which has been consistently followed for centuries and centuries, a beis din could order that a get be given/received against the wishes of one spouse only with cause. It is not clear why anyone thinks it would somehow be preferable to change Jewish Law (even assuming such change in Jewish Law is possible) in order to follow the trends of the worst elements of the society around us in which family is meaningless and an ever increasing proportion of children do not live together with both of their parents.

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  14. Micha Berger,
    There seems to be a pattern of Rabbi Hershel Schachter advocating for and inciting violence.
    Can you explain how RHS could call for the assassination of an Israeli Prime Minister, especially after a previous Prime Minister was killed following incitement?

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    1. He said something theoretical to an audience not known for violence. It was poorly chosen polemic rhetoric. Much like what we hear from all our gedolim. Perhaps the time it takes to learn enough Torah to be a gadol in pesaq means you lack the time to learn politicial niceties. Especially since such hyperbole was the norm in the eras of Tanakh and Chazal, and thus in many of the sefarim they're leaning over.

      My offense was at the author's assuming RHS's position was wrong. Had it been one of his own posqim, the ruling would be a fact, not an open question. And certainly not grounds for attack.

      As for taking the recording down, it's likely for the sake of outsiders, to avoid citation and spin by media exploring the recent abuse of this halakhah, and not because he regrets saying what he believes the halakhah to be to people who respect his pesaq.

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  15. "Please study the very excellent book "Darwin's Doubt" by Stephen C. Meyer. This book contains a devastating, thorough, scientific and mathematical refutation of the atheist metaphysical speculation known as Darwinism."

    I looked at Meyer's book with critical reviews such as

    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/famous-paleobiologist-savages-stephen-meyers-id-book/

    and Meyer's/Discovery Institute's responses at hand. I concluded that statements such as this (from the review linked above) were well founded and Meyer's work is not:

    "As Meyer points out, he is not a biologist; so perhaps he could be excused for basing his scientific arguments on an outdated understanding of morphogenesis. But my disappointment runs deeper than that. It stems from Meyer’s systematic failure of scholarship."

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    1. Yoel B, the Darwinists are bamboozling you again in the web link you posted. I don't think you realize how shallow and intellectually dishonest the atheist scientists are. The link you posted refers to "rewiring" of GRN's, without explaining what could have possibly "rewired" the GRNs, assuming that even occurred. This is a common ploy of atheist science, both in biology and cosmology - postulating unidentified natural effects like "rewiring" (not actual causes) that allegedly cause intelligent, non random effects, thus avoiding the need to invoke an Intelligent non-material Designer.

      See p.264-270 in "Darwin's Doubt" where Dr. Myer explains how the GRN regulatory networks operate in all animals, including the most primitive animals like worms, and stubbornly resist the mutational changes required by neo-Darwinism.

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    2. The link you posted refers to "rewiring" of GRN's, without explaining what could have possibly "rewired" the GRNs, assuming that even occurred. This is a common ploy of atheist science, both in biology and cosmology - postulating unidentified natural effects like "rewiring" (not actual causes) that allegedly cause intelligent, non random effects, thus avoiding the need to invoke an Intelligent non-material Designer.

      While it is the job of Science to look for a quantifiable cause, it is not the job of Science to postulate non-observable causes. Evolution does not negate the ability of intelligent design or vice-versa. The theory of evolution, like the theory of gravity is something that science has observed and reported on as much as is quantifiably possible.

      Aside from a couple of hacks like Dawkins, Tyson and Hawkings who feel that they can cross over into the realm of theology, true scientists do not seek to argue or influence theology as that is outside their purview. From a Jewish perspective, HaKodesh Barukh Hu is not quantifiable in any way. Therefore HKB"H is strictly outside the bounds of science. Science can measure and explain what did(and does) happen, when and how. However it cannot explain or talk to a who that does, especially when that who is infinite and unquantifiable.

      Let's be honest Dr. Meyer is a Xtian historian and philosopher(that is what his PhD is in) who frankly is saying things that Slifkin said, but while trying to lure people to Xtianity instead of Judaism and it's sources on the subject. Slifkin never said there wasn't a creator and never argued against intelligent design.
      What got Slifkin's books banned was that he said the earth was more than 6000yrs old. Your friend Meyer says the world is over 530million years old(from his own "Darwin's Doubt"). Run a copy over to Rav Hillel, I promise you it will also wind up on the banned list.

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    3. What he said.

      Thanks for doing the heavy lifting, Rabbi Tzadok. To amplify what IIUC got Rabbi Slifkin banned: He said not only that the earth was old, (and that there were Rishonim who held that) and that we need not hold that Chazal were correct in every statement they made about observable natural phenomena, and that we had not only Rishonim but the Gemara itself to rely on for support in that assertion.

      He also states that he holds that in general, even when we hold Chazal's reason for a ruling to be erroneous, we can hold by the ruling itself. For a representative discussion of his approach (on the issue of killing lice on Shabbat) refer to this: http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2012/03/contemporary-posek-on-spontaneous.html and this: http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2012/02/pulling-teeth-and-presenting-opinions.html

      The bit of the review just prior to the one I cited in my previous post makes a key and absolutely correct point: Meyer doesn't know what he's talking about with respect to Gene Regulatory Networks. As the reviewer delicately put it, Meyer's understanding is "outdated." Which is a part of Meyer's "failure of scholarship."

      What we CAN rely on is that the ultimate truth is more that purely physical (whatever that actually means) and thus is concealed from us since the means we have for observation are limited by time and matter.


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  16. Hey! I resemble that remark!
    What's with the '(women writing here)'?
    At least one of us is 'interested in the halakha'.
    and, NO, H' doesn't need anyone fixing His Torah...
    Just somebody willing to carry a bit of it on his shoulders for a while.
    And I do appreciate that you agree that some of the supposed actions may have had justification.

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  17. The webarchive link in which Rav Shachter's lecture can still be heard:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20131007060705/http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/739308/Rabbi_Hershel_Schachter/Options_for_Helping_Agunot

    According to the webarchive search engine that I used, that web "snapshot" was taken on October 8, 2013 so there seems to be very little doubt that it was still up until the arrests took place.

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  18. Rabbi Micha Berger:

    The FBI didn't put every single aspect of the sting operation in their criminal court complaint document submitted to the court. Some aspects have been omitted. Perhaps there was an undercover FBI agent posing as the husband. And perhaps that husband was contacted by Rabbis Epstein and Wolmark in their capacity as Dayanim on the beis din that authorized the beating.

    Perhaps the (fake) husband didn't reply to the beis din. Or perhaps he did reply but refused to follow their order to give a Get.

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    1. No one played the husband; the only characters in the FBI scenario were the wife and her brother. (See par. 6 of the criminal complaint.) The "husband" couldn't have done or said anything.

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    2. Rabbi Micha Berger:

      The FBI document filed in court does not necessarily describe every minute detail of their sting operation. Parts may be omitted for whatever reasons.

      Delete
    3. If they said "two of" rather than telling you there were two people playing roles, you might have a point.

      BTW, how likely do you think it is that the potential victim would meet his attackers and it only be a "minute detail"? But in any case, the report says there were two UCEs. Giving the wrong number wouldn't be omitting details.

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  19. From Beis Din Shar Hamishpot, www.friedmanepstein.com
    Rabbi Schachter’s letter: What Rabbi Schachter wrote concerning Rabbi’s Kamenetsky’s letter “there already is a sage who’s instructed” makes a mockery and disgrace of the entire Torah. With such a meaningless statement one can erase all the Torah’s prohibitions, and nullify all integrity and justice, and issue decisions according to whatever one likes in contradiction to the Torah. One should wonder whether Rabbi Schachter would follow so blindly after Rabbi Kamenetsky had he instructed him to abandon his family since “there is a sage who has instructed” based on “sod Hashem lerauv” [the secrets of G-d are revealed to those who fear Him, and therefore the statements of such people represent the word of G-d]? Presumably not… But when it comes at the expense of others he has become a great “believer.”

    Also, Rabbi Schachter’s pronouncement of “sod Hashem lerauv” is against the poskim who required that psakim [decisions of Jewish Law] be based on actual sources. [See the Mishpatim Yisharim: A judge who says “So it appears to me” and does not base his decision on actual sources is a false judge, and his opinions are worthless….] The pronouncement of “sod Hashem lerauv” shows that Rabbi Kamenetsky’s baseless psak [decision] is a painful mockery and a spewing malignancy. This “sod” [secret] reveals to everyone that Rabbi Kamenetsky has close ties to, and received benefits from, the Epstein family.


    Rabbi Schachter’s conclusion “unless it is proven in error” shows that he admits that even though a “sage has instructed already” and “sod Hashem lerauv” if Rabbi Kamenetsky’s decision is proven wrong then that decision is totally worthless. We have already proven in our decision that ta’ah bdevrei mishna [he erred on a fundamental matter] and did so twice: Rabbi Kamenetsky erred in regard to the divorce obligation that he decreed on the husband [even if this was just between him and husband without public embarrassment] that clearly contradicts all poskim as the rule is that if a purported obligation to divorce is imposed on the husband, where no such obligation properly exists, any resulting get would be invalid. And he even more clearly erred when he issued the derogatory letters and the “seruv” against Aharon to permit all to shed his blood, which is considered complete coercion that invalidates any resulting get in this case. And now he should show some integrity and heed his own words and admit in public that there was such an error.

    ReplyDelete

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