Monday, December 23, 2013

Friedman Epstein: Tamar Epstein claims she is free - but her husband denies giving her a get

Times of Israel   Last week there was a weird news report from ORA that announced that Tamar Epstein was now free of her marriage to Ahron Friedman - but they refused to talk about the senstive details.

It soon became obvious why they didn't want to talk, when her husband Aharon Friedman denied giving his wife a get.

That leads to the obvious conclusion that Tamar did not in fact receive a get from her husband but rather she found some rabbis who were willing to follow in Rabbi Rackman's footsteps and announce the  marriage was a mistake and that she had never been married.

It is going to be very embarrassing when the details come out - because there is no legitimate basis for saying the marriage was never valid.



!ברוך מתיר אסורים
With tremendous gratitude to G-d for freeing the chained!

After scores of rallies, thousands of letters, 
and years of persistent advocacy and hopeful prayers...
We are very excited to announce that 
 TAMAR IS FREE!!!
 
We are so happy for Tamar and her family, and relieved that this tragic saga has finally come to an end.

We would like to thank you for your support
in our fight for Tamar's freedom.

MAZAL TOV!
ORA: The Organization for the Resolution of Agunot 
www.getORA.org | 551 W. 181st St, #123, New York, NY 10033

119 comments :

  1. I cannot imagine any sane man will be stupid enough to hook up with Tamar and have mamzeirim with her.

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  2. http://www.jta.org/2013/12/19/life-religion/tamar-epstein-receives-get-after-long-agunah-struggle

    (Original JTA story apparently deleted. Below is the cached version of jta.org from Bing.)

    http://cc.bingj.com/cache.aspx?q=site%3ajta.org+Tamar+Epstein&d=27025569315619970&mkt=en-US&setlang=en-US&w=woQ9pUZlOpvnGW6uMDSWNCX7Za6e9IvC

    Tamar Epstein receives religious divorce following high-profile campaign
    December 19, 2013 5:13pm

    NEW YORK (JTA) — The ex-wife of an aide to a U.S. congressman has received a religious writ of divorce after fighting a high-profile battle for years, an organization for agunot said.
    The announcement of the religious divorce, or get, for Tamar Epstein came from the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot, or ORA, on Thursday.
    Epstein, who lives in Pennsylvania and received her civil divorce three years ago, was an agunah — a woman refused a get — for at least three years. Without a get, which is issued as the sole prerogative of a husband, observant women cannot remarry.
    The issue of agunot has been in the news often in recent months, following several high-profile cases, including Epstein’s.
    ORA in its campaign for Epstein’s religious divorce used media pressure, public protests and a billboard to target Aharon Friedman, Epstein’s estranged former spouse and an aide to Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.).
    “We are so happy for Tamar and her family, and relieved that this tragic saga has finally come to an end,” ORA wrote in a statement to supporters.

    ====================================================

    http://www.jta.org/2013/12/20/news-opinion/united-states/reports-of-get-given-to-tamar-epstein-denied

    Report of get given to Tamar Epstein denied
    December 20, 2013 2:35pm

    NEW YORK (JTA) – A source close to Aharon Friedman, the estranged husband of Tamar Epstein, is denying a report that he has granted his wife a religious writ of divorce, or get.
    This week, the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot, or ORA, issued a flyer and fundraising call announcing that “Tamar is Free,” leading to an erroneous JTA report that Epstein’s case was resolved with the awarding of a get. According to Orthodox law, a divorce is not complete until a husband gives his wife a get; women whose husbands refuse them gets are known as agunot, or “chained” wives.
    Though the couple was divorced in civil court years ago, Friedman, an aide to Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee, has been the subject of a years-long campaign by Epstein and her advocates to shame Friedman into giving Epstein a get.
    On Friday, the source close to Friedman told JTA that he did not give Epstein a get. Friedman declined to speak on the record to JTA.
    When contacted by JTA, Meira Zack, assistant director of ORA, pointedly refused to say whether or not Epstein had been given a get and did not explain why the organization considers Tamar “free.” Zack maintains that ORA was authorized by Epstein to make the announcement. Epstein could not be reached for comment.
    “All I can say is that Tamar is now free and the case is resolved from our end,” Zack told JTA. “We are not in a position to share more information at this time at Tamar’s request. We have been very careful in saying simply that the case has been resolved. Any other suppositions that people have made have been their suppositions.”
    Aside from the granting of a get, the only other means for freeing Epstein from her husband according to Orthodox law would be through an annulment of the marriage by a religious court — an extraordinary move that in Epstein’s case likely would be subject to dispute.

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  3. Maybe she abandoned Orthodoxy and a Reform Rabbi declared an annulment or just gave a Get for her against her husband's will.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. are you out of your mind to say such a stupid thing?

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    2. Why would Gavriel Hochfore be out of his mind to say that Tamar decided that she doesn't need a get? That would be completely within her rights to do.

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    3. And it would be completely within the rights of any rabbi, whether holding himself or herself out as Orthodox, Conservative, Reform,
      Reconstructionist, or whatever, to declare that no get is needed.
      That would not be consistent with Orthodox halacha or hashkafa, but that has been completely irrelevant for those rabbis who have been encouraging and supporting Tamar's destructive actions from the very beginning.

      Delete
  4. This post is complete speculation and based on unnamed sources. To the best of my knowledge, there is no Rackman style Beth Din in operation.

    See the comment to this article by Simcha Haber whose contact information is readily available. He "saw and spoke to Tamar. She has her Get."
    http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/report-of-tamar-epstein-get-denied/2013/12/22/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. James - there is only one person who can give Tamar a get - and he denies giving it. How is he an unnamed source? ORA has publicly announced she is free. The only way is through claiming the marriage was never valid which requires a Rackman style Beis Din - there is no other way.

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    2. What is a Rackman style BD? RAckman based his controversial BD on a psak of RMF of Mekah Taut, and other ways of annulling marriages. As far as I recall, none of the Poskim in the MO world went along with this, not even Rav Riskin, who was a talmid of Rackman.

      The story has since been retracted - and there is no clear evidence of what actually happened. perhaps they reached a tentative agreement with her husband, and he then retracted, leaving egg on her face.

      let us await more concrete evidence of what is being claimed, and how the chain has allegedly been broken.

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    3. I was not aware of any announcement by Tamar Epstein or ORA retracting their claim that she is free.

      The husband has categorically denied that he has given a get.

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    4. Where does he deny giving it? The only article I saw stated that a source close to Aharon (unnamed) denies it. A source close to Aharon is not Aharon.

      This is very sloppy reporting. Unnamed sources should only be used when there is a good reason to protect their anonymity AND you cant get to the actual source. Why hasnt Aharon himself issued a statement?

      Also, it is untrue that Rackman style BD is the only way out. Perhaps they learned that the witnesses were not kosher. We dont have any facts and without facts speculation is unwarranted.

      Doesnt RDE speak to Aharon?

      Delete
    5. my brother did speak with Aharon who denied giving a Get. We have explicit statements from ORA, Tamar's website and Aharon - why is that sploppy reporting?!

      Delete
  5. Fact- there was no get. It was from a reputable beit din though ( not rackman).

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    Replies
    1. What does " no get " from a reputable beis din mean ?

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    2. Any beis din that declared her free without a Get is be definition an disreputable "beis din".

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    3. Rackman doesn't exist anymore for good reason.

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    4. The annulment was from a reputable beih din. It will be shocking to all when names come out.

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    5. Actually it will be highly embarrassing as to the sloppiness of how this was handled and the willingness to subordinate halacha to the "needs" of the case.

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    6. Rabbi Eidensohn?
      What do you mean by the "needs" in quotation marks of the case?
      The parties brought the matter to the Baltimore Beis Din, which held several hearings into the case and did not rule that a get was appropriate.
      And Beis Din Shar Hamishpat wrote a halachic analysis of the case showing that not only is there no obligation upon Aharon to give a get, but that Tamar is actually obligated to return to the marriage.

      Delete
    7. The annulment was from a reputable beih din. It will be shocking to all when names come out.

      Halakhically speaking there are only two ways to annul a marriage.

      One is to claim that marital relations never took place. However there is a walking talking evidence that relations did indeed take place.

      The second is to passul the eidim. While the Israeli Rabbinut has used this in several extreme cases, those were always of secular people. The Shulhan Arukh in hilkhot Shidduchin clearly states that all who attend a wedding may be counted as a witness in extremis, not just those who signed the Ketubah.

      What this means is that they would have to possul all of the guests at Tamar and Aharon's wedding. Considering how important just her own family was in Philadelphia and the probable guest list, I don't see that as being a logical possibility.

      If there was an annulment, when the names come out it will be shocking... Shocking at the level of Chutzpah.

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    8. I think you are mistaken.
      If they did not explicitely exclude the guests as eidim, they would have to confirm that non of the persons presents was posul as an eid.

      At least, that is what our rabbi says at every marriage...

      Delete
    9. "What this means is that they would have to possul all of the guests at Tamar and Aharon's wedding."

      Not if they specifically excluded all the attendees as witnesses.

      Delete
  6. It now appears that the YU based feminist ORA organization is claiming that Tamar Epstein is "free", without any evidence of a kosher GET being received by Tamar.

    Thus ORA, its so-called "rabbis", and their MO sheeple followers have now served notice that they are operating completely outside any concept of "Orthodox" Judaism, and have formally joined with their Reform brothers in their struggle to replace Judaism with new age liberalism and feminism.

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  7. I am interested to know what rabbi permitted this. Or did she just permit it on her own?

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  8. All we have here is hearsay.

    We have hearsay that she claims she got a Get or hearsay that she claims she is free without a Get.

    And we have hearsay that he said he did not give a Get.

    No one knows anything about what the facts are here.

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  9. There is another option available to a woman i need of a Get - not that I am advocating it, but a way she can remarry and not produce mamzerim. If such a woman was to cohabit with a nochri, according to Halacha, she would not be guilty of adultery, and any offspring would be kasher, both Jewish and not mamzerim. I reiterate that i am not advocating this solution, any more than any other "option".

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    Replies
    1. To anybody who might be taking Eddie's comments seriously: It is true that Rabbeinu Tam's opinion is that an אשת איש שזינתה עם נכרי is not punished with מיתה, as recorded in Tosfos Kesubos 3b. However, Tosfos (ibid), the Rosh (ibid) and all the Rishonim (we know of) disagree with RT (see sources cited by Gra, EH 178:22). The Halacha does not follow RT in this matter. Furthermore, some point out that our version of Tosfos may be wrong, and the accurate opinion of RT is merely that a married woman need not give up her life when faced with ביאת נכרי. (This fits better with Tosfos, and is the version of RT's statement recorded by Rosh.) But when there is no danger to life, and she willingly is מזנה with a גוי, she is חייבת מיתה even acc. to RT. Even if we accept our version of Tosfos, that there is no death penalty acc. to RT, the Mefarshim point out that the woman nevertheless becomes forbidden to the husband, as Tosfos proves from the Gemara in Megilla about Esther. They explain that even RT agrees that the element of adultery of "betraying the husband" is present, resulting in the woman becoming אסורה to him. It is thus obvious that a married woman doing זנות with a גוי is prohibited according to everyone. But in regard to the Halacha, whether we accept this explanation or not is immaterial, since as stated above, the Halacha does not follow RT.
      Furthermore, even an unmarried woman may not be נבעלת לגוי - see Tos. Yevamos 16b ד"ה בשלמא based on Avoda Zara 36b - and so even if it would be true that there is no Issur of Adultery, there would still be the Issur of being נבעלת לנכרי, so there is no Halachically acceptable "option" at all, whether it's being "advocated" or not.
      My past experience in trying unsuccessfully to engage Eddie in honest conversation means that I will not be responding to any further comments he might make in this thread. This post is addressing people who might be taking his comments seriously, and do not know the Halacha. Please ask a Talmid Chacham, or look up the sources yourself if you are capable of doing so.

      Delete
    2. THAT is an AWESOME suggestion! For one a Nochri wouldn't be bothered by this antiquated get nonsense, And two, Tamar can move on. Believe me, the Rabbis in her community would still welcome her! (i.e. parents money). Brilliant!! a way out that doesn't involved ineffective protests, public shaming, Knocking Arron over the head on Tisha B'av & Lying. On the flip side, Arron's extortion attempts become nullified. Yup! this is a total win-win solution. Even more so that the Nochri can become a ger. The Rov in Philadelphia is very open to conversion IF the price is right. What an obvious and awesome solution!!

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    3. Has anyone else yet received the wedding invitation for the marriage of Tamar Epstein and Christopher Gambino?

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    4. Chaim, I didnt say it is a halachically acceptable option. I said the children will not be mamzerim, and according to the Rambam, she will not be an adulteress. Are you suggesting that in such a situation, the offspring would be mamzerim?

      Delete
    5. http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=9727&st=&pgnum=30

      Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 4:19)

      The children are not mamzerim. This is less severe, than if they are mamzerim.

      Delete
    6. Eddie, an eishes ish who is mezane with a sheigetz certainly IS an adulteress as Chaim eloquently pointed out.

      Delete
    7. Ben, the Shulchan Aruch says the children would not be mamzerim. How could she be an adulteress, if the offspring is kasher? they are only prevented from marrying Koahnim.

      Delete
    8. Eddie, reread Chaim's above comment. He already answered that question.

      Delete
    9. Ben, "Chaim" does not mention the S.A. so how can he have answered the question? As far as i know, those who do not accept the SA are called apikorsim. There are many things that were written before the SA, but the SA does not go with. orthodoxy is based on acceptance of the SA, unless you are a Yemenite or Rambamist, which clearly he is not.

      Delete
    10. No BT, Chaim evades mention of the SA. SA is normative halacha for Orthodoxy, and this is an orthodox forum. I also have a yetzer hara, and many times i would like to ignore the SA. But to publicly state that the SA is irrelevant, then perhaps you gentlemen can find a reform or conservative blog.

      Delete
    11. @ Chaim "My past experience in trying unsuccessfully to engage Eddie in honest conversation means that I will not be responding to any further comments he might make in this thread"
      Is this the ChaReformi Chaim who is koifer the Shulchan Aruch?

      Delete
    12. Another proof that there is an איסור אשת איש for a married woman to be מזנה with a גוי, can be brought from the Gemara in Sota 26b, where the Gemara says that the din of Sotah applies equally to a case where the suspected בועל is a גוי. If the woman has been unfaithful then she will die. So it can't be מותר!

      Delete
    13. Chaim - nobody is saying it is "mutar". The Shulchan Aruch, which is today the standard halachic text, says the child is not a mamzer.
      A Cohen cannot marry a divorcee - it is also not mutar, but the child does not become a mamzer.

      Delete
  10. James continues with his defiance. James are you the token dissident on this site to prove that unlike the MO blogs the owner tolerates and publishes views he and most of his readers find utterly reprehensible.

    Just to remind you James Tamar walked out of bais din and abducted the child accross state lines. It is amazing that R Moshe Heinemann keeps quiet about this but in the Weiss case involves himself when his bais din was never involved. This is tbe justice meted out to men these days.

    James get real. You represent an extremist anti male and anti fairness point of view. You dont beling here

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me make a further point - these few highlighted cases are where orthodox Jews still have a final religious defence, ie withholding the Get in order to get access tot heir children. In the same secular system, what happens to non orthodox or non Jewish men, who get crushed by the system, lose their children, and have no bargaining chip? It is quite insane.

      Delete
    2. Stan,
      Remember this:
      stanNovember 25, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      James since we don't really know who you are there is no issur here of what I am going to ask. If you cant translate a bit of basic hebrew how dare you start accusing rav gestetner of violating halocho. You have made accusations of violations and I have countered with challenges as to why you dont explain the violations of halocho of the BDA. I dont wish to sound arrogant but if you cant translate how can you be so categoric and vociferous in your opinions?

      Again to blig owner I am only asking these questions since James is really anonymous and to highlight fact that those holding just give a get regardless of consequences are sadly misinformed by their MO leadership.
      Reply
      Replies

      dotoNovember 25, 2013 at 9:29 PM

      um stan? It's not hebrew- it's yiddish!!!
      JamesNovember 25, 2013 at 9:41 PM

      Stan,
      Do you wish to apologize for your baseless accusation?
      Superintendant ChalmersNovember 25, 2013 at 10:24 PM

      It appears that Stan, for all of his railing about halacha and forced gittin, is actually not familiar with either Hebrew or Yiddish.

      This is just too absurd for words.

      Delete
    3. Eddie,
      There are injustices in the secular system and those injustices sometimes fall on the mothers and sometimes fall on the father. That is the case and it will always be the case.
      That doesnt justify using the Get as a negotiating tactic to gain more concessions. Once a marriage is over and the divorce final, both parties should be able to get on with their lives. What Aharon is doing is holding Tamar hostage until he can get more than what he already has.
      Considering that she has primary custody and will be raising the child, do you really think that he is doing this for his child?

      Delete
    4. James,

      I wont speak of specific cases, since I do not know them personally.
      Divorce is a very dirty business, both in secular courts and in religious courts. If someone is unfortunate to be caught in such a process, their previous "love" has now become their bitterest enemy, trying to destroy their rights to their family, and their parnassa. And yes, it can vary on a case by case basis. They say that all is fair in lvoe and war, but divorce is the war that comes after love.

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    5. @James - "Considering that she has primary custody and will be raising the child" - Tamar Epstein the moredes apparently has custody due to family court orders she obtained in violation of halacha, after she exited Bais Din and removed the couple's child to another state.

      So you ORA hypocrites love to uphold the anti-father family court rulings obtained by moredes Jewish wives? Fine, case settled, U.S. family courts cannot constitutionally order a Jewish GET, so Aharon has no obligation to give any GET.

      Delete
    6. Emes,
      The point is that I think giving a get is in his best interest. The marriage is over. The divorce is final. Why is he doing this? Because he wants more custody? The longer this continues, the greater the chance that his relationship with his child will be destroyed and ultimately, he will destroy himself.

      Delete
    7. James- secular custody decisions are patently unfair, usually against the father. Her not getting a Get will certainly destroy her and her child bearing years. She would be wise to agree to an equitable child custody/visitation arrangement so she can get on with her life which has been on a standstill for four years already, interrupting what should have been her most productive years.

      Delete
    8. Tuli -
      You are missing the point. The point is that the hate each other. But Tamar won in secular court. What I am saying is that their hate for each other is somewhat self-destructive but I can understand why Tamar thinks she is doing this for her child - she has primary custody. Aharon, on the other hand, isnt doing this to protect anything - he lost. Tamar will continue to raise her child and Aharon will be shut out.

      Its been years since this marriage ended and they still hate each other (primarily because there is no finality). Lets project out 15 years. Maybe Tamar has a heter - maybe not. Maybe she gets remarried - maybe not. But she definitely raised her child and maintained custody. Aharon has kept her Agunah but he hasnt won anything other than making her miserable! I dont think that is the best solution for him. At some point he has to realize that keeping her hostage is not going to work. How long will that take?

      When you realize what is really motivating Aharon, you become less sympathetic to his "loss" in secular court.

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    9. Tamar cannot shut out Ahron from their son's life even if she has primary residential custody. Ahron still has parental rights under the court order and Ahron maintains all his parental rights and visitation and weekends, etc. even if he never gives Tamar a Get.

      In fact, if Ahron does give a Get, he gains nothing as far as rights with his son. He already has all the parental rights he will get.

      So Ahron has every reason to not give a Get until Tamar agrees to give him what he is asking for. By giving the Get now without that agreement he will not gain anything he doesn't already have. He already has legal rights regarding his son that he will not lose even if he never gives a Get.

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    10. Ah, it's a girl. A daughter. Just FYI

      Delete
  11. I suggest you contact Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetzky, shlita, if you have any issues.

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    1. I agree with Daas Torah that he is biased in this case. However, there is more than just his name on this annulment. That being said, it will be interesting to see who will accept.

      Delete
    2. David - enlighten us - has it been annulled, and was RSK part of the BD who did this?

      Delete
  12. R' Maryles on Rackman BD, and the new kraus BD

    http://haemtza.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/new-hope-for-agunah.html

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  13. James, you should be celebrating because you and your ORA masters have reached the feminist promised land. Jewish marriages can now be annulled at the stroke of a feminist "Bais Din" pen, without requiring any GET and without requiring any terrorism against the husband. Bronze age patriarchal oppression of Jewish women has finally been defeated and ORA can now be disbanded.

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  14. This is the summary of the case that previously appeared on Daas Torah.

    http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2012/04/procedural-summary-of-epstein-friedman.html

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  15. The following is the ruling on the case by the Beis Din Shar Hamishpat (and also a translation).

    http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2012/08/bitulseruv-aharon-friedman-rav-gestetner.html

    http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2012/09/bitul-seruv-of-aharon-friedman.html

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  16. When the names of the "Rabbis" and "roshei yeshiva" involved become public, readers of this blog will not be supprised. We have seen in the friedman/epstein & weiss/dodelson cases how Halacha gets trampled on during the stampede to glorify the mighty dollar.
    Unfortunately David we will not be surprised, how sad is that?

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  17. I agree with Emes Lyaakov that ORA has aligned itself with reform judaism by announcing that she is free to remarry without a GET. ORA you my does well close your doors! Why bother conducting anti-man rallies which requires much efforts! Just have your Liberal reform bais din issue annullments to all these women! A much simpler process LOL! Once again, this why http://mamzeralert.blogspot.com/ has been setup to expose and warn men of the potential pitfalls when marrying such a woman! May Hashem protect the blind ones amongst us.

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  18. Is the "beis din" that invalidated the marriage the same "beis din" that ordered that Aharon be beaten?
    If the marriage was invalid, why did they have a bunch of thugs hiding on the Epstein property waiting for Aharon and the child on Tisha Baav 2012?

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  19. Why do you assume that no Get = Rackman style BD. Dont we all agree that if the witnesses were not kosher, there is no kiddushin? RMF invalidated kiddushin like that all the time.

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    Replies
    1. And why are you assuming that the official witnesses (or the other attendees at the wedding for that matter) were not kosher witnesses?

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    2. I am not assuming that. The article, and comments, assume that if no GET was given, then she must be free because of some Rackman style annulment of mekach taut. That is not true. There is another option - invalidate the witnesses. This is done all the time.

      Would you be so opposed if it turned out that one of the witnesses wasnt shomer shabbos? Isnt that a clear heter?

      Rav Moshe annulled marriages on much less than that.

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    3. Rav Moshe never (if not almost never) in his life annulled a marriage.

      Kosher witnesses cannot be invalidated.

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    4. There is another option - invalidate the witnesses. This is done all the time.
      It is not done all the time. However it is done occasionally in extreme cases. There are two issues that do factor in. The Sh"A does day that B'Diavad ALL of the attendees at a wedding count as witnesses so that if we were to find out that one of the witnesses was invalid for some reason that doesn't end the marriage and invalidate the ketubah.
      So the first issue that one has to worry about is whether one can truly and conceivably passul the entire guest list.
      The second issue is that unless you wan to end a bunch of marriages, and possibly invalidate other shtarot you need to be very certain that those witnesses were only ever witnesses on this one ketubah.
      In the end it is a highly complicated process that to my knowledge is only ever used with the marginally religious.

      Quite honestly if there wasn't a Get given, I don't know that there can be another option other than some sort of annullment, and that would be nearly laughable in a case like this.

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    5. If she annulled, but he does not recognise the annullment, then he is trapped from now on, because he cannot give a get.

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    6. RMT,
      It is done more frequently than you think. The Igros Moshe alone has a few cases. It does not rest on the Sh"A you quote because witnesses to the kiddushin are usually designated to the specific exclusion of everyone else.

      Granted, it is usually done in cases where the divorcee wishes to marry a Kohen which wouldnt result in mamzerim anyway, but the fact remains that it is an option much less "controversial" than mekach taut. We need to wait to see on what basis Tamar was freed and the reasoning behind the heter. I dont think RSK or RHS would ever sign a mekach taut heter.

      Delete
  20. I'm utterly puzzeld by ORA's celebrating this case.
    To use their own words: "Scores of rallies, thousands of letters, and years of persistent advocacy and hopeful prayers" have proven that ORA is utterly worthless and irrelevant.

    ORA's efforts have been unable to change Torah or halachah.

    I would not be surprised if it was those very efforts that succeeded in making Mr. Friedman so recalcitrant.

    I would not be surprised if it was those very efforts that would have empowered Tamar to reject any reasonable agreement that would have resulted in a get.

    ORA should be hanigng its head in shame, not exulting in celebration.

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  21. Rabbi Eidensohn is actually wrong. There is another, Halakhically recognized option - Mekach Ta'ut, or "Erroneous Transaction." This rationale makes use of marriage's transactional component. If someone, for example, sells you a radio that he or she knows is defective and, after buying it, you find that it is defective, the transaction is an erroneous one, and can be deemed Halakhically void. By the same logic, if a woman marries a man who has a condition that would have materially altered her decision whether or not to marry him, and conceals that fact from his spouse prior to marriage, and it subsequently emerges after the marriage, a Beit Din can declare the marriage to have been an erroneous one. Perfectly possible that they annulled the marriage on the basis of a Mekach Ta'ut. If that's the case, it is also understandable why they kept it quiet - the condition may be one that would terribly humiliate Mr. Friedman - and, given that this issue is resolved, such humiliation would be entirely unnecessary. It is not a commonly used option, but it is universally accepted, unlike the Hafka'at Kiddushin concept advocated by the Rackman Beit Din.

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    1. I know aharon friedman very well. and yoy hit the nail on the head. he has a condition. in fact he has two conditions. very serious conditions.
      1- he doesn't want to lose his child. everyone knows that without an iron clad agreement with a guarantee - he would lose his child the minute he gives a get.
      2- he follows halacha. no bais din ever said that he is mechuyav to give a get. no posek ever said that a woman is entitled to a get because she wants one.
      if these two conditions cause a mekach taus - then its a mekach taus.
      I believe that rav weis shilita suffers from the same two conditions.

      Delete
    2. torah mishamayim,

      All frum jews suffer the same 2 conditions. We are mushbaim vomdim mhar sinai,

      Delete
    3. and? did his strategy work?

      I don't think so...

      Delete
    4. Mekach Taut - if you think I am mistaken you obviously are not familiar with Rabbi Rackmans' procedure and you did not understand what I wrote.

      Delete
    5. There is a distinction between Hafka'at Kiddushin (Kiddushin took place, just is subsequently annuled ala rackman) and Mekach Ta'ut (void ab initio). Also, why haven't you posted my response to the previous poster, which is a respectful, point by point refutation? Are you afraid of something?

      Delete
    6. Anon- post with a name other than Anonymous. This blog doesn't post comments without a nom de plum.

      Delete
    7. Mekach Ta'ut....
      Please learn the halakhot of both of transactions, kiddushin and gittin before you speak. The Sh"A lays out what can and can't be done if such a condition exists, and which sorts of conditions work. However in the cases where such a thing exists, the Sh"A does not allow us to annul the marriage. It only allows us to either declare the husban chayev l'get or kofin b'get depending on the situation.

      Delete
  22. David, you imply that you are "in the know" here as to what type of annulment was given and who signed. You have also implied that R'Shmuel Kaminetzky signed and the others who signed would be "shocking" to us - ORA's announcement was equally misleading "Tamar is Free" so most people assumed there was a GET given. Why all the smoke and mirrors??? The statement that Tamar has asked to keep information private is not to be believed. Tamar has not missed an opportunity to go to the PUBLIC about her divorce for years whether to the press, social media, at pubic forums and even sent fliers to the parent body at her daughter's school. She is on Youtube speaking at least one ORA rally on a bull horn! She has turned a very private family matter into an all out media circus at the expense of everyone involved, especially her child. She is definitely not shy or private about her divorce!!!! Masses of people like yourself, have worked hard to support her for years traveling for rallies, sending threatening post cards to Aharon's relatives, attempting to beat up Aharon, etc. After all that, she and ORA purposefully attempt to conceal the facts leading up to her self proclaimed "Freedom" and the excuse given is that she wants to privacy!!! David and others in the "know" IF THIS IS LEGITAMATE WHY ARE YOU HIDING??? ORA was involved in another case going back around 7 years ago against Ariel Hacohen. ORA held numerous rallies in support of his wife Susie Rosenfeld. Rallies in front of his elderly parents' home, in front of his brother's home when one of their children was having a birthday party, and even a rally in front of the home of a Rav in the Brooklyn community. Like other ORA cases, the press was used- I recall a number of articles including one in the Wall Street Journal. Then one day, all of a sudden, "poof" it stopped, his name was taken off ORA's website and out of the Jewish press and all was hush-hush and then it surfaced that Susie got remarried without a GET and here's the kicker- she married a COHEN!!!! Perhaps Tamar has also met a COHEN!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that ORA's letter was disgusting and atrocious and a mockery. To be honest, it was just another fundraising attempt.

      As far as Tamar, the truth will come out soon enough as she wants to date, marry, and have kids on this beis din. Before that time, you will get your info. If you don't hear something within a week or two, I'd be shocked.

      Delete
    2. David, ORA is not helping these women. They are using these women. They are actually victimizing them by turning their lives into an all out media circus in the name of the GET and ORA's fundraising and publicity. They are not encouraging both parties to sit down together peacefully and try to resolve all end of marriage issues. They are creating panic amongst women that a GET must be given up front on demand or else they are Agunos. I have heard countless stories of women who felt they gave up everything for the GET because they felt pressured by people helping them to get the GET right away. In many cases, taking time to work out issues and not focusing only on the GET issue would be so helpful to them. ORA is also reckless and irresponsible to target the employers of these men. If the men lose their jobs then how will they pay child support???? Long after the divorce is over and the GET is given, if there are children involved, these two people will have to try and co-parent. It is extremely detrimental to children when parents cannot co-parent. Long term they are putting the women in a terrible position and harming the children. Now with this annulment for Tamar- it does not really matter who signed. Are you aware that R'Belsky did one of these Mekach Taos going back around 10 years ago. It was signed by a number of rabbis including Shmueli First from Chicago and Wolmark. The basis was on a totally faulty premise.The girl started dating on it and then it came out and all the rabbis who signed it BACKED OUT and took their names off. It is deceptive to the woman who thinks she is free and yet again victimizes the very women they purport to help!!! Now they are attempting to make Tamar the poster child for annulments. They don't care that it will not be recognized and they are chaining this woman to their faulty Psak and relegating her future children to Mamzerus. How very sad!

      Delete
    3. Gan Eden- I agree with everything you wrote. I think Tamar 100% belives she is free because she got a psak frmo a reputable beis din, but if that beis din was only 3 rabanim and not 21-70, I'm not sure what good that does for her. She can truly believe she is free, but this isn't like a kashrus shaila where it only affects her, she needs
      A)A man to date her off of this psak
      B)Someone to marry her new kid off of this psak

      So while she believes she is free and is celebrating it, I agree with you that it is probably pointless.

      Delete
    4. David, you sound like a very rational, reasonable person. Have you been able to tell all this to Tamar? She can still avoid this horrible situation that will chain her and her future children for life. If she trusts you, perhaps we can help her and Aharon try to work out a solution privately, in a menchlich way where she comes out of this with a real, legitimate GET, is finished with battles in court, Bais Din and the media and all the mess that has become her life now and instead have a peaceful arrangement where all parties can do what's in their daughter's interests. ORA has been using her and their "support" has empowered her not to try to work things out. Previous attempts to speak with people who back her have resulted in comments such as "the only way to end this is with him being hit by a truck...and it should be an 18 wheeler" that type of rhetoric has not been helpful in ending this. Her situation could have been over a while ago. I fear that ORA has now empowered her that she is free and now she is on a high and feels she can do anything she wants and does not need to try to work things out. ORA and JOFA are using her to be their poster child and she is falling for it.What will ORA do for her when this whole thing crashes and burns?

      Delete
    5. I have not spoken as such to tamar (nor can I). My take on the situation is that she made the wrong move 5 years ago taking the kid out of md. Ahron was very hurt. That being said, the child has been living in pa for 5 years and has a normal relationship with the father, every other week or so. Thought tamar did wrong five years ago, I think what's done is done and the child is not moving back. It is spilt milk. I'm not sure what ahron is going for here, but i think he should just give it.

      3 years ago, you could argue that ahron was trying to get her to move back to md. At this point, I'm not sure what he's going for now. So while tamar was in the wrong originally, I view ahron in the wrong now. Then again if someone cut off my arm (taking a kid away) I might hold a grudge also and not act reasonably, so I am not judging him. Basically, we need mashiach!

      Delete
    6. Agreed on the needing Mashiach!!! Re: the custody issues and moving out of state, as recently as last year, Tamar filed papers in court asking for supervised visitation and also has stated that she doesn't want daughter to miss school every other Friday. Moving out of town to PA entails a permanent hardship on both the child and father for years to come. The decision to make that move was selfish and not a legal or moral thing to do in a divorce. I know many people who are divorced an cannot move out of the state and sometimes not even out of the area. This way, the children can have maximal contact with both parents in a much more natural way. Also, where was the sechel in involving the school to send home notes to the whole parent body about ORA's protests. A school should NEVER get involved that way. How can both parents participate at her life events if he is subject to that. How can AHaron trust the school now? The community in PA hates Aharon so even if he were to stay there for Shabbos every once in a while so his daughter doesn't have to keep traveling or miss school, it would likely be in a hotel room and the community would view him as a pariah. Do you know the saying, "one can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar". The best solution all around would be move back to the MD area-there are many options in Silverspring, Baltimore and the Greater Washington area. At 5 years old, the move will not be so traumatic especially since she has not only her father but also Tamar's sister and her family in MD. If Tamar remarries someone in another state, then she would likely move anyway. If Tamar does not move to MD, then in my view at least, for whatever it counts, is that she should try to work out a schedule that is more even handed for a parent who does not reside in the same town as their child. Perhaps additional visitation on holidays and vacation time weighed more in Aharon's favor. If they were living in the same state, even if she had custody, he would be able to have her for dinner at least once and every other weekend. Also a stand down of all the rhetoric and press. Keep their family issues private for their daughter's sake going forward so they can all move on. Positive feelings bring closure, builds trust and through time, wounds can heal.

      Delete
    7. You are not wrong in theory, and if it wasn't for ORA's shenaningans she proabbly would've moved back about 4 years ago, which would've been the right thing to do.

      My point is, that at this point, it is already too late. She lives in pa and isn't moving as she is settled here. I just don't see where he is going with this if he was thinking rationally (If he isn't, I understand that as well). I'm not gonna be responding anymroe btw, because this is going nowhere!!

      Delete
    8. Ok, no problem. Just one last point, even if she doesn't move back to MD, there are ways she can demonstrate to him that she is not trying to minimalize or eliminate his involvement with his daughter. Work out a holiday and vacation schedule that provides him more time might be a start. She should stop allowing ORA to make her life into a public spectacle. The PA community is also very wrong here and should reach out to him, invite him for Shabbos when he has the child etc. Try to be peace makers here- obviously not for Shalom Bayis but for Shalom in Klal Yisroel and Shalom in that family. ORA is the most at fault here but the PA community comes in a close second go out to war against him. There are ways to settle this even without a move to MD. But Tamar seems too far gone now and she'd rather remarry on an annulment then try to work things out.

      Delete
  23. @Chezky - "I would not be surprised if it was those very efforts that would have empowered Tamar to reject any reasonable agreement that would have resulted in a get" -

    This in fact appears to be exactly the plan of the YU based ORA group who's made Tamar Epstein their poster girl:

    - incite vicious divorce conflicts that destroy the sperm donors (ie former Jewish fathers) and destroy their relationships with their children
    - cause large numbers of artificially created fake "agunot"
    - cause large pressures on MO rabbis to reform "misogynist" halacha
    - allow the wife to force a bogus Get any time she so desires (RCA prenup)
    OR
    - cause the complete elimination of the requirement for a Jewish husband to issue a Get before a divorce is valid (annulment procedure)

    ReplyDelete
  24. For those who wonder why their comments are not being published - it is simply because I don't publish anonymous comments. Please give yourself a name

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure what the difference is between anonymous and pseudonymous commentary, but it's your blog so it's up to you. You can use this name for me - now can you publish the other responses in the interest of honest discussion with this name (you gave me the name "Mekach Taut" above so could presumably do so here as well). Thanks.

      Delete
    2. Ben Matok - the reason why anonymous comments are problematic, as far as I can see, is that very often there is a discussion thread, so we need to know if we are discussing with the same person were were a few lines or months earlier. Now we can associate Matok or whatever your pseudonym is with your arguments and comments.

      Delete
    3. it is very simple - I am not trying to uncover your true identies but it is simply impossible to keep track of a discussion when two or more people have the same name.

      Blogger doesn't have an edit but I will publish your comments with the understanding that you are the "anonymous" that wrote them on this thread.

      Delete
    4. That's a sensible approach. Please publish my earlier response to "torah mishmayim."

      Delete
    5. if so, where is my commentDecember 24, 2013 at 5:03 AM

      I have submitted boruch matir issurim, before Michelob. Not that I have a copyright, just that haomer dovor beshem haomro meivi geula leoilom, and at the rate things are going, we desperately want moshiach NOW! "ACHISHENO"

      Delete
  25. ORA's flyer is right - it says boruch mattir ISSURIM!

    ReplyDelete
  26. didn't see any other anonymous posts of yours

    ReplyDelete
  27. http://www.kikarhashabat.co.il/הרב-קנייבסקי-עדות-גירושין-של-מ.html
    One has to just check if the witnesses had an iPhone ,both in this case and in the Weiss case. And don't tell me you are bigger then Reb Chaim.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. He's just a better reporter than the kikur shabbos website. Do you really think anyone would pasul an eid due to a smart phone? Even if this has a better by reb chaim, reb arye leib and reb nissim shlita do you think people would listen? They may not question it but they would never marry her. Would you?

      Delete
    2. @ true heter

      a) this is the scoop of the century - it beats the letter to kollelim that support R' Auerbach

      b) This is somebody claiming to have heard it from R' Kanievsky, not a direct psak.

      c) This is presumably a modern version of a pigeon racer.

      d) I have android, not iphone. Don't know if that helps. BUt I also like pigeons :)

      Delete
    3. Assuming Rav Chaim said it, why wouldn't I rely on it. I can't imagine someone who can/will argue with him. Now,one just has to find out if these husbands had witnesses who owned iPhones at the time they signed.
      Just because you disagree with it, doesn't make it false.
      Another question I would like to ask, can a women demand a get if her husband owns an iPhone , and my guess is yes.

      Delete
    4. it is like Reform, ie just as reform witnesses are posul, so are iphone witnesses.

      Delete
    5. The iPhone was not introduced until well after the Epstein-Friedman wedding.

      Delete
  28. Was Rabbi Belsky involved in the annulment? See the following for an account of his involvement in a prior such case.
    http://www.israel613.com/books/DINTORA_BELSKY_YSH-E.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  29. Has anyone confirmed that she received an annulment of some kind? If she did who issued it and on what basis?

    ReplyDelete
  30. No one mentioned another possibility - maybe they found a problem with the kesef kidushin - let's say, the ring wasn't his al pi halacha. (Maybe it was her grandmother's, or he paid for it with a credit card the day before, instead of cash.) Unlikely, but always possible.

    ReplyDelete
  31. http://www.jewishexponent.com/bala-cynwyd-woman-seeking-get-proclaimed-free

    Shmuel Kamenetsky, head of the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia, who is considered a major authority on Jewish law, is close to Epstein’s family and has been involved in the case, could not be reached for comment.

    Rabbi Ezekiel Musleah, an 86-year-old Conservative rabbi originally from India who specializes in Jewish divorce, said there is legal precedent for rabbis to declare an annulment absent a get, but it is rarely, if ever, invoked.

    ReplyDelete
  32. This is a Talmid of Yeshivas Torah Vodass
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Simmons

    ReplyDelete
  33. We have a Klall, harotze leshaker yarchik eduso. Declaring free without the proof behind it is meaningless. Even by a legitimate valid Get, you must provide proof of ones status, a document signed, and by whom it was executed. Short of that is heresay, no shomer torah umitzvot will come within arba meahs parsah close. In the mean time, treat it as a hoax.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Rabbi Mordechai Willig told an audience at YU that Tamar remains a married woman.
    That is puzzling given that ORA claims that ORA has Rabbi Willig's endorsement. What is Rabbi Hershel Schachter's position on the matter?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you referring to that the meeting they held at YU last week with Jeremy Stern & ORA present? Do you know if the meeting was taped? Whoever did the annulment will end up taking their names off just like in the R'Belsky case 10 yrs ago.

      Delete
    2. Puzzled, how did you know that Rabbi Willig made that statement to an audience at YU? What type of audience, also?

      Delete
  35. Did the annulment come from the Philadelphia Beis Din and Rabbi Dov Brisman? If not, what is Rabbi Brisman's position?

    ReplyDelete
  36. No matter who signed the 'annulment' - ALL GEDOLIM must stand up and protest it and let the world know it is not acceptable, otherwise we will G-d forbid see the beginning of a worldwide mamzairim factory being created!!!

    ReplyDelete
  37. ORA holds out Rabbi Hershel Schachter as ORA's posek. Does Rabbi Schachter stand by ORA's claim that the marriage is somehow annulled - despite Rabbi Schachter's previous article arguing that marriages generally cannot be annulled under Jewish Law [http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2013/12/rav-herschel-schacter-ridiculous-heter.html]?

    ReplyDelete
  38. Here is a list of endorsement from Rabbis for ORA
    http://www.getora.org/#!rabbinic-endorsements/c1ma3

    Of interest is R' Howard (Chaim) Jachter, who writes on Jlaw, and whose ebook I have linked on another post to do with Rackman or the Rogatchover.

    R' Jachter makes a scathing attack on the Rackman court. He also suggests that Hafkaat Kiddushin is not technically possible today, unless we have a universally recognised BD or sanhedrin.

    The argument that "since Rabbi X gives his approval to Ora, and that the Ora website published disinformation about one woman being freed, therefore that Rabbi must have annulled the wedding by method Y" it totally fallacious.

    The Rabbis do not give their haskama to everything that appears on the website. perhaps the webmaster was playing a cruel joke, or some Yeshiva bochrim played a joke by emailing a false letter in the name of Tamar.

    R Jachter is a serious halachic authority, and he would not reasnoably be expected to do what he himself called absurd in his book, where he names the Gedolim he has learned under.

    I have challenged anyone reading this blog to present evidence that Tamar has had an annullment; to provide evidence of who performed this ceremony, and under which alleged halachic method. So far, nobody has produced a shred of evidence for any of the above. One guy said it was R' Kamenetsky, and then disappeared never to be heard of again. SLY is using medieval casuistry to "prove" that it was RHS, since he supports ORA and for 1 day they had a bogus announcement on their website.

    My challenge remains: Has she had an annullment - and if so, please provide details and supporting evidence (that would be valid in a Bes Din)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @EDDIE - Evading Denying Destroying Invalidating Emes - Stop with your shell games and deceit already. No one here, to my knowledge has claimed they have proof Herschel Schacter issued Tamar Epstein's annulment.

      There is definite evidence:
      - Tamar Epstein was publicized by ORA as an alleged "agunah" for quite some time.
      - ORA has publicly recognized Tamar as "free", as reported in various media, including ORA's own web pages.
      - There is no evidence any GET was done. If there was a GET, ORA would have been the first to announce it.
      - Tamar Epstein must have received some type of annulment / mekach taus / hafkaas kidushin ruling, whatever you want to call it, (EDDIE stop playing shell games with the name).
      - Aharon Friedman's name has been deleted from the list of (falsely accused) recalcitrant husbands on the ORA website.

      Anyone with the slightest intellectual honesty (EDDIE excluded) must conclude that the ORA rabbis, including Herschel Schachter, must have approved or recognized or condoned or allowed the so-called annulment.

      Delete


    2. Here is a report of the events as we know them:

      http://www.jta.org/2013/12/20/news-opinion/united-states/reports-of-get-given-to-tamar-epstein-denied

      This is the quote from ORA:

      “All I can say is that Tamar is now free and the case is resolved from our end,” Zack told JTA. “We are not in a position to share more information at this time at Tamar’s request. We have been very careful in saying simply that the case has been resolved. Any other suppositions that people have made have been their suppositions.”

      Meira Zack is confirming that that Tamar is now "free" as far as ORA are concerned. However, she does not give any detail of how and by whom this was done.
      Now I have to accept your claim that as far as ORA are concerned Tamar has been magically released. whether this goes directly to RHS, is an open question - or please provide further evidence. A competitor poster was saying that the buck stopped with RSK.
      Furthermore, Ms Zack does not state whether the procedure was carried out by ORA, or by Tamar's own friends, or she turned Conservative, or went to a Posek in Israel etc etc.
      It could just as easily be argued that

      a) since ORA are nto taking credit for this, and RHS has not made any statement, that perhaps it took place elsewhere

      b) That Morgenstern started up another BD. Or it was Simcha Krauss's new BD, who knows?.

      You have provided evidence of a claim that Tamar has been freed, but not how and where this took place. So I do not see your logical step to RHS.

      On the other hand - if, and only if, you are correct, i.e RHS has annulled the marriage, using a Rackmanesque method (which he criticised himself as posted earlier on here) then it shows that RHS was talking nonsense or hypocrisy when he wrote that attack on Rackman.

      Let's find admissible evidence of what has taken place, and not just speculation leading to further speculation.

      Delete
    3. ORA holds out Rabbi Schachter as ORA's posek. ORA claims that Tamar is free even though Tamar has not received a get. It is reasonable to presume that Rabbi Schachter agrees until and unless Rabbi Schachter says to the contrary.

      All that being said, it appears that Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky stands behind the annulment. Dr. Epstein, Tamar Epstein's late father had extremely close ties to Rabbi Kamenetsky.

      See "Dr. Dovid Epstein, z’l," Yated Ne’eman, May 4, 21012 (noting how close Dr. Epstein was to Rabbi Kamenetsky and featuring a picture of the two, and Dr. Epstein’s involvement in the Philadelphia Orthodox community);

      “Dr. Epstein [Tamar’s father] was an active supporter of Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia, a religious school for Orthodox Jewish boys and young men in Overbrook. He volunteered his medical services to the school and was on call to care for the students 24/7, said a close friend, Rick Goldfein [Tamar Epstein’s Rabbinical Court lawyer and press spokesman].”
      http://articles.philly.com/ 2010-04-20/news/25213049_1_family-physician-geriatric-medicine-future-wife

      Delete
    4. @ Puzzled "It is reasonable to presume that..."

      These are all speculations and shooting in the dark. i agree it is possible that it was either of these or both that were involved. That is not proof that they were involved. There are many other possibilities as well. Until we know what happened and whodunnit, we are all amateur sleuths shooting in the dark. Depending on the identity of the Annuller, we can then draw conclusions - if in fact there was some kind of annulment. It will be revolutionary if there was, and it will have serious consequences for the future of orthodoxy.

      Delete

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