Saturday, December 14, 2013

Weiss Dodelson: Tzitz Eliezer - Halacha is binding even when it goes against your nature

I just came across this important Tzitz Eliezer (14:98) this Shabbos. He explains why we find that regarding the justification for a man divorcing his wife - the three views of Beis Shammai, Beis Hillel and Rabbi Akiva are the opposite of their normal views. He explains that Torah observance is not based on one's natural predisposition or personal feelings - but rather through trying to understanding  the Torah and Mesorah as to what G-d expects. Each of them decided that the Torah - in this case - was the opposite of their normal approach and thus they subjugated their natural feelings for what they considered right and wrong - to comply with what they felt the Torah wanted..

He is directly addressing the Dodelson supporter's assertion that the halachos of divorce are a chilul haShem and that they should be modified or ignored. While this Tzitz Eliezar is aleph beis to anyone who considers himself a ben Torah, there seem to be many who consider themselves to be frum who need to be reminded.


שו"ת ציץ אליעזר חלק יד סימן צח
ומפליא הדבר שבפלוגתא זאת שבין ב"ש ב"ה ור"ע מתי שמותר לו לאדם לגרש את אשתו אנו רואים לתנאים קדושים אלה כאילו כל אחד קובע בזה ההיפך מטבעו ומהנהגתו, בית שמאי הקפדן, כביטויו של חז"ל עליו בשבת ד' ל' ע"ב ואל יהא קפדן כשמאי הוא זה שסובר כאן שלא יהא בעל קפדן לגרש את אשתו משום שמצא אחרת נאה הימנה או משום שהקדיחה תבשילו והקניטתו, ולא יגרשנה אא"כ דוקא אם מצא בה ערות דבר, ובית הלל שאמרו עליו בשבת שם ענותן כהלל הוא זה שסובר כאן שמותר לו לבעל להקפיד ולהיות קפדן עד כדי לגרש את אשתו מפני זה שהקדיחה תבשילו, וכן רבי עקיבא שאמרו עליו חז"ל בתענית ד' כ"ה ע"ב שהיה מעביר על מדותיו, הוא זה שסובר בכאן ההיפך מהנהגתו ושאפי' אם הבעל מוצא אחרת נאה הימנה יגרשנה, וזה אומר דרשוני?
ונראה לפרש בהקדם דברי רבותי הגדולים: ממה שמובא בההקדמה לס' שו"ת לבוש מרדכי בשם הגהמ"ח ז"ל שאמר לפ' דברי הגמ' בסנהדרין ד' פ"ט ע"ב דאיתא: קדמו שטן [לאאע"ה =לאברהם אבינו עליו השלום=] לדרך א"ל הנסה דבר אליך תלאה, הנה יסרת רבים וידים רפות תחזק כושל יקימון מיליך כי עתה תבא ותלא, א"ל אני בתומי אלך, א"ל הלא יראתך כסלתך, א"ל זכר נא מי הוא נקי אבד וכו', וביאר הכוונה, שהשטן בא ועשה לו לאברהם אבינו הרבה חשבונות של מצוה ושל כבוד שמים שחלילה לו מעשות כדבר הזה לשחוט את יצחק, כי יצא מזה חילול השם גדול שהרי הוא הראשון שהכיר והמליך את בוראו על כל העולם כולו והפיץ ברבים מידותיו של הקדוש ברוך הוא שהוא רחום וחנון ורב חסד ומרבה להטיב עם ברואיו, ועתה כשהוא בעצמו יתאכזר על בנו יחידו לשחטו הרי יעשה תורתו פלסתר, וכולם ירננו ויאמרו שלא יתכן כזאת שה' מקור הרחמים והחמלה יצוה על אכזריות נוראה כזאת, ויגרום הדבר שהעולם כולו יחזור לאחור לטעות בעבודת עצביהם, ויתחלל שם שמים בעולם, ולכן עליו לחשוב הפסד מצוה כנגד שכרה ולמנוע א"ע מעשות זאת, וזהו שאמר לו השטן הנה יסרת רבים וידים רפות תחזק וגו', ואיך תעשה כעת הדבר הזה, ועל זה ענה לו אברהם אבינו ואני בתומי אלך, אין לי כלום עם כל החשבונות האלה, עלי להיות תמים עם ה' ולמלאות אחרי פקודתו בשלימות ובדייקנות. כי ציוי ה' עומד למעלה מכל החשבונות, ומוטעים המה ביסודם כלפי הצו העליון עיין שם, ובהקדם גם דברי ספר אור יהל להגרי"ל חסמן ז"ל פ' ויחי שכותב לבאר מאמר חז"ל בתענית דף ה' ע"ב דאיתא: רב נחמן ורב יצחק הוו יתבי בסעודתא וכו' א"ל הכי א"ר יוחנן יעקב אבינו לא מת, א"ל וכי בכדי ספדו ספדנייא וחנטטו /וחנטו/ חנטייא וקברו קברייא, א"ל מקרא אני דורש שנא' ואתה אל תירא עבדי יעקב נאם ה' ואל תחת ישראל כי הנני מושיעך מרחוק ואת זרעך מארץ שבים מקיש הוא לזרעו מה זרעו בחיים אף הוא בחיים, וכותב לבאר וללמד מזה יסוד נפלא, דהנה אם אדם יראה בעיניו את ראובן חבירו, ושומע קולו ונדמה לו לקול שמעון, ודאי ישפוט שחוש שמיעתו הטעהו, ובאמת ראובן הוא ולא שמעון כי חוש הראיה יותר חזק מחוש השמיעה, כ"ש אם יאמרו לו על אחד שמת ורואהו עומד לפניו, מי פתי יחשוב אחרת שאמירה זו אינה מכוונת, והנה ראה זה פלא, שרב נחמן תמה ושואל: וכי בכדי חנטו חנטיה? בא ר"י ומשיב לו מקרא אני דורש, ומה תשובה היא זו? הא ראינו שמת חנטוהו וקברוהו, אולם חז"ל השמיענו בזה, שאם נסתר חוש הגשמי ע"י מה שמצאנו בתוה"ק איפכא, ע"כ מסיקים מזה שחוש הגשמי הטעה, ורק נראים כחונטים, כי מכיון שמקרא אני דורש עפ"י הכללים האמיתיים שנתנו לנו מסיני, הרי שהקב"ה אומר כן, וממילא ברור שרק נדמה להם שמת, אבל חי היה, ככה למדו חז"ל תורה, וזהו ההבדל הגדול והריחוק הנורא שבין דעתנו לדעת חז"ל, מן ההיפך אל ההיפך, שאצלנו בעניותנו העוה"ז הוא מציאות והתורה נדרשת, משא"כ חז"ל בעיני קדשם המה ראו את התורה בחושיהם כמציאות, וכשמקרא אני דורש בטלים ומבוטלים כל החושים ועיני הבשר, כי שקר המה טועים ומטעים, ורק נראה להם שחונטים יעו"ש בנעימות דבריו.
והוא הדבר איפוא גם בנידוננו, התנאים הקדושים כשנקטו קו בהליכותיהם בחיים לא היה זה מפאת נטית מזגם הטבעי לכך, אלא מפני שמצאו מהלכים לכך בתוה"ק, שמאי מצא שהדרך דרך - התורה היא להתנהג בקפדנות ושזוהי הדרך לשמור את דרך עץ החיים היא מצוותיה וחוקותיה של תוה"ק, ואילו היה מוצא שצריכים לשנות את הקו היה מיד משנה אותו בלי כל היסוס, ואותו הדבר גם הלל, הוא מצא שצריכים להתנהג בענוה ולכן התנהג ככה, ואם היה מוצא שצריכים להתנהג אחרת היה מתנהג אחרת, וכן גם רבי עקיבא שמצא שצריכים לנקוט בקו הנהגה של מעביר על מדותיו, ואילו מצא אחרת היה מתנהג כפי שמצא, ואם כן אין כל פלא אם בדרך ההנהגה שבין איש לאשתו מתי שאפשר לבעל לגרשה נקטו כל אחד מהם בקו אחר מכגון שנהגו בהליכותיהם עם בני האדם. כי בכאן כל אחד מהם מקרא הוא דורש על כך עפ"י הכללים שהיה לכל אחד מהם בקבלה מרבם, ומכיון שמקרא המה דורשים בזה אם כן סברו שככה היא הקבלה בזה עד למשה מסיני, ואם כן בטלו לפי תומת צדקתם הגדולה את הקו שנקטו להם בדרכי הליכותיהם עם בני האדם, ולא הביטו אם דרכם כאן סותר לדרכם האחר, וקבעו בכאן את ההלכה בזה לפי המקרא שדרשו בזה, כי כאמור גם דרכם האחרת לא בחרו מפני נטיית מזגם הטבעי כי אם רק לפי שמצאו שכך היא דרך התורה, ולכן אם כאן מצאו המקרא אני דורש שמורה לנקוט בכאן קו אחר נקטו כפי שמורה להם הדרש, כי צו התורה עומד למעלה מכל החשבונות, ומוטעים המה כלפי הצו הזה, וכל החושים ועיני הבשר מבוטלים כלפי המקרא אני דורש, כי זהו המציאות, וזוהי הדרך דרך התורה ללכת בה ואחריה בתמימות מבלי לנטות ימין או שמאל.

30 comments :

  1. Which halachot of divorce is anyone advocating against?
    Aren't people just advocating against what they perceive to be naval birshus hatorah?
    (What are your thoughts on fondleing a 7year old girl after ascertaining that she doesn't mind? You'd probably find some common sence explination of why that just isn't right even though you'd probably have a tough time if.you look through the shulchan aruch)

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    1. Dodelson is advocating against the halachos of when a husband does not have to give a divorce.

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    2. Fondeling a 7 year old girl is and always was 100% against halacha according to anyone's reading of halacha. Per Shulchan Aruch and per any body of halacha.

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  2. Most 7 year olds aren't arayos. I also agree its wrong, but which of the 613 is it befarush against? (I have a vague recollection of the aruch hashulchan discussing when you can't icy a grand daughter, from which we can be medayek that in theory it's asur, but that's hardly relevant since a grand daughter is an erva). Simian please :).
    Are the dodellsons advocating a change in halachot of when to give a get, or just a fulfillment of "veasisa hayashar vehatov", "veahavta lereacha kemocha", and the other more nebulous parts of hilchos Ben Adam lechaveiro?
    Surely the dodellsons would chose the 2nd option. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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    1. Shulchan Aruch and Jewish Law give various circumstances where when a wife demands a Get that the husband

      1) is not obligated to honor his wife's request and may choose to remain married to her.

      In this type of case there is no mitzvah to divorce her and no obligation to divorce her.

      2) is obligated to divorce her but if he doesn't then he may not be pressured to divorce her. But he gets an aveira.

      3) is obligated to divorce her but if he doesn't then he may not be forced to divorce her but he may be pressured without actual force. And he gets an aveira for not divorcing her.

      4) is obligated to divorce her and if he doesn't then he may be forced to divorce her.

      Dodelson certainly does not fall into categories 3 or 4 and almost certainly falls into category 1 not 2.

      Yet Dodelson is applying unhalachic public pressure.

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    2. Fondeling a 7 year old girl is an aveira of 1. shomer negia and 2. physical assault. Just to start.

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    3. Mr. "A":

      If a husband doesn't have to give a Get to his wife, then there is no mitzva of "veasisa hayashar vehatov" or of "veahavta lereacha kemocha" and it is not a fulfillment of either of that to give one.

      If there is no obligation to give a Get, it is not "veasisa hayashar vehatov" or "veahavta lereacha kemocha" to give it.

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    4. Are you saying there is no concept of not having a halachick obligation yet still having a "right" thing to do? Anything mutar is ok? Check out the ramban in kedoshim.
      Perhaps you mean such concepts don't apply to gittin. If so, why would you categorically say that by gittin?
      The post here indicated that either it is "halacha" or you have negios. I'm proposing that like with child abuse at times you may have trouble finding a specific obligation or violation, but that does not categorically preclude the option of a broader understanding of its "just not proper" again, take a look at the ramban.

      A

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    5. Joe,
      Which avaira is shomer? Do you refer to lo tikrevu? That is by ervas. I made the case one in which the girl is happy. So that not assault. Unless you buy the concept of statutory rape which is called mefutas ketana in halacha. It's basically the rabbis saying you know better then she does that this just isn't right. Halacha buys this concept and considers it a rape even though she said yes. I think this is the concept the rabbis are sayin.
      A

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    6. A the Ramban is well known - the issue is what are the parameters regarding the relationship of halacha and seichel

      Regarding the young girl - it is elementary that not every sin is explicit in the Torah. There are many sources in Rishonim and Achronim that say that which is obviously wrong is a sin - even though not stated. As a minimum the man is committing a sexual sin. Look at the Mishna in Sanhedrin discussing rodef. There are two aspects - one is to save the victim and the other is to save the sinner. The sin regarding her is psychological destruction of from being molested and manipulated. The man is a rodef in regards to that. The poskim clearly state that a man who molests a 7 year old can be put in jail to prevent him from hurting others and to prevent him from sinning. So what is your point? you are simply raising elementary issues which we have repeatedly gone over

      The real problem you have to deal with is that when the responsa literature through out the ages indicates that the husband does not have to give a get in a case of ma'us alei - that you have a problem stating that it is obvious that the husband must. You do have some explicit statements that a husband can not withold the get for spite. But A M Weiss in not doing that. They are in essence fighting over whether AMW should be viewed as the child's father or that he has served his function in creating the baby and not the child belongs to Gital and her parents. Even according to those views which includes Rav Sternbuch - you are not allowed to apply the type of pressue that the Dodelson's are applying through their media attacks and problematic kol koreh and seruv.

      Bottom line A - Your assumption that the Dodelson's are simply emphasizing elementary yashrus is wrong. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel and acting as if you have discovered the bomb question that demolishes the opposition. The fact is the Dodelson are doing option one not two. Or rather they are claiming two but in order to obtain a get soley because of yashrus they have to trample on the established halacha.

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    7. "A":

      Yes, there is a concept of not having a halachick obligation yet still having a "right" thing to do. And this does apply to issues in gittin.

      But when a husband has a halachic right to remain married; when a husband no obligation to give a Get (even though his wife wants one); in SUCH A SITUATION it is NOT "yashrus" or the "right thing to do" to give a Get even though he does not have to and does not want to.

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    8. DT. Do the dodellsons think they are encouraging elementary yeshrus?

      Also I picked the case of my young girl because it is elementary and I was sure you'd agree. My point was that you could say similar arguments to what you claim is evident from the TE to permit molesting a youg girl. Obviously seiches needs to be applied. And even the TE agrees. So the question is: is there any seiches to be applied here? You say there are teshuva that say he doesn't have to give a get. But here he also doesn't want to be married- would he be ok if she came back? So maybe there is some seichel to be applied. Idk, but the TE is discussing that. Is he?
      A

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    9. It is erroneous to assert that the הרחקות of לא תקרבו are permitted with a פנויה. That is only מן התורה, but מדרבנן these prohibitions apply to a פנויה as well - see Beis Shmuel Even HaEzer 21:2. This can also be seen in Rambam (Isurei Biah 21:3), where he states explicitly that even gazing lewdly at a פנויה is אסור - so fondling in a sexual way would be a קל וחומר. Rambam's words are cited by the Shulchan Aruch (21:3). (It is interesting that the location of the Rambam is identical to the location of the same Halacha in Shulchan Aruch - I've never encountered that before!)
      Finally, see Sanhedrin 75a where it is clear that הרחקות apply to a פנויה as well, such as gazing at her naked, or even talking (probably referring to flirting) with her from behind a fence. The only subject of contention there is whether this Issur is יהרג ואל יעבור or not.

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    10. Min HaTorah minayin?December 17, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      Shenemar:" Veshinantom levonecho", that is in mitzvat chinuch of children.

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  3. " the Dodelson supporter's assertion that the halachos of divorce are a chilul haShem and that they should be modified or ignored."

    What a crock of garbage.

    You assign the position of the Dodelsons and their supporters to be something that it isn't, assert "facts" that aren't true, and act as though you have noble intentions, as though you are fighting for what is right. The Dodelsons can't be held responsible for the words of people who have piggybacked on their fight, but you insist on lumping them together. Find one instance, where a member of the Dodelson family, or their rabbinic backers, make this outlandish claim. And don't try to pass off statements that Dicker makes when she isn't speaking for the family- the fact is that she is an employee, and has private views that are not in line with the family. She told David Benkof her Rabbi is Dratch from the RCA, while you told me in an email that R Shmuel is still behind the Dodelson family. So that's a cop out.

    {and let's add this to the growing list of comments you wont publish because it contradicts your agenda}

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    1. Your obnoxious comments are unfortunately typical of that of the Dodelson's supporters. If you bothered reading through the blog comments you would notice that I have posted many made by Dodelson's supporters. The fact that I haven't approved all comments applies also to comments made by Weiss's supporters. I have even published guest post by Dodelson supporters as well as wasted my time corresponding with you by email. I have tried allowing both sides express their views - even when they have been insulting to the Weiss's and to me.

      My attempt at providing a forum for both sides has in general been viewed by Dodelson supports as proving that I have a bias against the Dodelson's. Criticizing me for bias is rather ironic considerning the Dodelson's one sided presentation of information. It would seem that only by exclusively presenting the Dodelson's view would I be perceived as unbiased by the Dodelson's side.

      It is laughable trying to claim that the Dodelson's public relations consultant making public comments in an article about this case is simply expressing her private opinion. I haven't heard any such disclaimer from the Dodelson's. It would follow that the embarrassing comments from Gital are also not the Dodelson's views as is their posting of attacks on the Weiss's on their website - and no defense - is also not Dodelson's doing?!

      You clearly misunderstood my comment about Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky. Rabbi Dratch's involvement does not mean that Rav Shmuel is not involved and supportive.

      It is clear from our correspondence you have a major problem in understanding anything not written from the Dodelson's perspective or even suspected of not being supportive of the Dodelson's..

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    2. Precisely, DT. The Dodelson supporters attack anyone supporting the Weiss's, even on halachic grounds, yet have absolutely no problem publishing their own websites, blogs and Facebook pages presenting their own one-sidedness.

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    3. Oh, and I love how the Dodelson supporters keep posting comments on this DT blog saying DT is keeping this machlokes active by having the story up on his website.

      Yet they have no problem or complaints against the Dodelson family for having active websites and Facebook pages viciously attacking the Weiss' and their extended family including Gedolim.

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  4. Im happy that the last sentence i wrote there had the desired effect

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    1. It is sad that you think lies are something to be proud about.

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    2. ShekerVmachlokes: Your last line is meaningless as DT has always published comments on this blog that was against the party line, that were against his own views, and even comments like your that personally attack him (ad hominem). You can check the blog archives for the past over 5 years and you will see numerous numerous such comments as yours.

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  5. Forgetting about Dodelson-Weiss, the Tztitz Eliezer is very shver. To separate seichel from Torah is treading dangerous ground. Would you also advocate one should believe that The Lubavitcher Rebbe is still alive, even though he had a burial. (Not in any way intending to be mevazeh the Rebbe, a giant in his generation, but still mortal.)

    In addition, after thinking for years about the Akeidah, I reached a conclusion based on the following thought experiment: what if Avraham would have been commanded to shecht his next-door-neighbor's kid? I am 1000% sure he would have refused, and said I cannot do it, get someone else. Only because it was his own child, and he was an anav and said, maybe we really are deserving of an onesh, and I am a nogea badavar, and can't objectively defend us, so I have no choice but to go ahead.

    As far as machlokes BH BSH and RA, there really is no setirah, as a man who gets upset over a single unintentional episode of burnt food, may be so unpleasant to live with, it's actually a tovah for the wife to be set free, not the husband.

    My personal philosophy of yiddishkeit is diametrically opposed to this teshuvah. In fact, there is a Medrash Tanchuma quoted on RYGB's blog that shows how Moshe changed a tzivui to make shalom. We are absolutely to use our seichel and midos tovos in avodas Hashem, because the RBSH gave us these in the first place.

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    1. A man as great as you, Dr. Jacobson, can surely write a teshuva in opposition to the Tzitz Eliezer.

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    2. This is hashkafa, not halacha. Ksheim sh'ein partzufeihen domos, kach ein deioseihen shavos. The Tzitz Eliezer was taking a midrash literally, against what one can see. Surely, you know that many great gedolim would disagree. It has major ramifications in Torah vs. Science controversy. There are zillions of sources out there. Lack of relying on seichel leads to avoda-zara-like practices of pouring lead to solve one's problems, etc. The RBSH gave us our seichel, and he absolutely wants us to use it. The key is to try to understand with our seichel why all the Torah's ways are shalom, even when we may find them difficult. Not to say that kindness and civility are in opposition to Torah, and the Torah wants us to throw them out the window in submission to G-d. That is a different religion, my friend, which, as you know, has wreaked untold terror on the world.

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    3. it is interesting that Rav Soleveitchik said that Mt Sinai is where we sacrified our seichel!

      The relationship of seichel to halacha - especially moral reasoning is an ancient question. One critical element is to observe how the poskim through the ages view morality. It is rather problematic to assume that moral reasoning only developed in the 20th century and that our ancestors were primitive and insensitive men.

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    4. Nobody ever said our ancestors were primitive and insensitive men. Adrabah, Western civilization is based on Judeo-Christian ideas (which all came from Judaism to begin with). Our compassion, for example, is visible the mishna that even though there are a ton of aveiros which have a chiyuv misah, Chazal said in reality, even once in 70 years was too much. The idea of justice, and tzedaka (social welfare) came from Judaism. Avraham chastised the RBSH in no uncertain terms about anshei sdom, the worst of the worst. Chalila lach, hashofet kol haaretz lo yaaseh mishpat.

      Unfortunately, recently there arose various kannaim (not referring to Tzitz Eliezer ZL), who have suffered amnesia, and decided that the Torah is at odds with values of civility and kindness, and that we are supposed to make machlokes at every opportunity to "fight for Torah". By promoting those values, they are indeed at each other's throats "fighting for Torah", destroying yeshivos and families in the process, and leaving a trail of destruction in the Chareidi world. This nekuda is key to understanding al mah avda haaretz.

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    5. @DT "it is interesting that Rav Soleveitchik said that Mt Sinai is where we sacrified our seichel! "

      It is even more interesting that Rambam said that where the Torah speaks of Hashem's Kavod, it is referring to the intellect. I cant recall whether he uses the term seichel, but it is essentially saying the opposite of what Rav Soloveitchik said. Who was the greater philosopher?

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  6. R Eidensohn, u seem so great when it comes to the scourge of child abuse, yet here it seems like you are nogea be'davar. can u disclose whether you have a horse in this race (whether as family to the Weiss's or more generally with respect to withholding Get's in the case of Ma'os Aly?). Per your point here from the Tzitz Eliezer, i wonder if u would have a problem if a Rebbe said that its a mitzvah to molest little boys (and your da'as should just be batul to the torah). if something is morally wrong in someone's eyes (assuming he isnt nogeah be'davar and cant adequately judge), Do you believe that Hashem will have Tayna for his refusing to accept that the Torah and Hashem's will is different than the way that a bunch of man have decided how to interpret words that can clearly be interpreted otherwise? This is not clearly biblical/divine, but many drashot and interpretations.

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    1. To answer your first question my concern is with halacha and yoshrus. The Torah requires you not to stand idly by the blood of your fellow man. In this case the issue is a clear halacha that when a woman unilaterally leaves her husband taking their child and saying "you are not a bad person just not for me" that there is no obligation for the husband to give a get.

      The kol koreh that was produced as well as the siruv that was issued is halachic nonsense.
      I am not related to the Weiss's and I have posted over the years criticism of Rav Reuven Feinsteins involvment with Tropper. I have criticized Rav Ahron Schecter for his involvment in the Hersh case. I have criticized Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky regarding Tropper, reporting child abuse and support of Tamar Epstein etc etc.

      Why aren't you accusing the signers of the kol koreh being nogea be'davar? Why aren't you accusing Lakewood's leadership of going out of their way to support a relative - when there is no halachic justification? Why aren't you criticizing the Dodelson's for conductng a smear campagin which has no precedent in American Jewish history?

      Why is your only concern that because I am presenting both sides of the story - including the massive halachic material which supports the Weiss's - that I must be nogeah be'davar?! Perhaps you are noge'ah bedavar because you are supporting the Dodelson's and can't understand that there is another side of this story?

      If you have been following this blog you are aware that I have extensively covered the Friedman Epstein case for the same reason.

      Your second point a very important question. The simple answer is that of course it is wrong as I have fully documented in my books on child abuse and my postings on this blog. In fact this goes back to your first question. I am concerned with the abuse of rabbinic authority when it is used to demand that people do things which are against the halacha.

      Rabbi Rakeffet once told me that Rav Solveitchik was upset by the passive acceptance of rabbinic authority in Europe that led to the death of many during the Holocaust.

      There has to be a balance between obeying rabbinic authority which is unsupported by halachic texts or mesora and following moral principles and halachic knowledge. That balance is what I am striving to ascertain in the various cases presented on this blog.

      There is a Kotzer maaseh that a major talmid chachom was visiting the Rebbe. When he came to shul Shabbos morning the Rebbe gave him a kiddush cup and told him to make kiddush before davening. He initially protested but was ordered in front of the entire shul to make kiddush by the Rebbe himself. He took the cup and started in a shaky voice started saying kiddush. The Rebbe knocked the cup out of his hand and said,"Don't you know this is not the time for kiddush?"

      Bottom line we are all soldiers in G-d's army but sometimes one is required to disobey orders from one's commanding officers - that are clearly wrong. Of course one has to be prepared to suffer the consequences if he is wrong.

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    2. Sorry, to be clear i am definitely not nogea b'davar, as i dont like either side and think both are pigheaded. I have followed and noted your strict stance (based on legitimate poskim and teshuvos) that ma'os aly isnt good enough. My question was why you chose that stance, because it doesnt make religious sense. R Edensohn, you refer to this girl saying "you are not a bad person just not for me", but that is not the case and is rarely the case. usually there is either something in the way of behavior (e.g. anger as she noted in that terrible NY Post article basically dissing judaism (though i understand she is suffering)) or maybe some physical issue no specifically mentioned in teh Mishnah. the fact is the woman in that case is suffering in a marriage where she doesnt like the husband, and the kids will get screwed up (and both husband and wife will suffer staying together). to say that in that case the man has an upper hand simply because the Rabbanan made a drasha re lishma etc. is not something that is Divine and cannot be questioned. And morally and logically, normal people have to wonder whether it makes sense that a man can withhold his get in that case to extract money/visitation or anything else that he would not otherwise be entitled to.
      to be clear, i am not on R Kotler/Doddleson's side, and i am not on the Weiss/Feinstein side. I think they are both wrong and wield their power and influence unfairly and in a way that is a chillul hashem. but i just wonder whether the whole halacha of Ma'os aly may have taken a wrong turn (perhaps at least for these days, where goyim think it is crazy and laugh at Hashem and his Torah for it) so that we may want to turn back to the Rambam/Rashbam minority opinion.

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