Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tamar Epstein's annulment: Lessons from the Rackman Beis Din

Given the continued silence regarding the justification for saying that Tamar Epstein has been "freed" from marriage without receiving a get - I thought it would be helpful to view a possible source for claiming that her marriage has been annulled. The following is an excerpt of Rabbi Bleich's analysis of Rabbi Rackman's solution to the aguna  problem by annulment [Tradition Fall 1998 pp 105-106]

[Rabbi Rackman writes:]
... a beit din may recognize other intolerable defects in the husband as grounds for a declaration of kiddushei ta'ut. These defects - which are in total discord with any reasonable concept of marriage - include physical and psychological abuse, adultery (which more than ever endangers the life of the spouse), sexual molestation, abandonment, criminal activity, substance abuse, and sadism (the withholding of a get may be viewed as indicating a sadistic nature) ....

Not only do the authors assert that a defect arising after solemnization of the marriage constitutes grounds for annulment but that any defect that may serve as grounds to compel the husband sever the marital relationship by means of a get, mutatis mutandis, constitutes grounds for annulment…. "

Invoking this position in annulling the marriage of a husband who withholds a get is inapt for two reasons: (1) In order to serve as grounds for annulment the defect must have existed prior to the marriage. (2) The defect must be one that, had it developed subsequent to marriage, would warrant coercion in order to compel granting of the get. The authors provide a long list of "defects" in the husband which they allege constitute grounds for a declaration of kiddushei ta'ut, some of which may indeed be grounds for coercion of a get, some of which are the subject of considerable dispute with regard to whether or not they constitute grounds for compelling a get, and some of which do not con­stitute grounds for coercion of a get by any stretch of the imagination.

The most egregious example of the latter is “withholding a get.”Withholding a get is categorized by the authors “as indicating a sadis­tic nature." It is superfluous to debate whether the withholding of a get is ipso facto evidence of sadism or even whether sadism constitutes grounds for annulment. Suffice it to say that the authors' sweeping assertion is contradicted by a two thousand-year corpus of Jewish divorce law. The authors categorically declare that: (I) every woman is entitled to demand a get upon breakdown of the marriage; (2) failure of the husband to comply is indicative of sadism; and (3) sadism is grounds for compelling a divorce. Accordingly, they assert that, since any defect constituting grounds for compelling a get is ipso facto also grounds for an annulment, there is really no reason to go to the trouble of executing a get, much less of forcing the husband to do so! Hence, it follows that, if a woman desires a divorce and the husband does not acquiesce, a get is never necessary. Talmudic discussions regarding spe­cific and particular grounds for compelling a get are irrelevant; the codi­fication of such provisions are superfluous; and perusal of the learned responsa honing the application of such criteria is a waste of time! It must be emphasized that, in the very limited instances in which the principle tav le-meitav tan du is set aside, the wife must present credible evidence that(I) the defect existed at the time of the marriage and (2) she was unaware of the defect at the time of the marriage. ....

=====================
 it is interesting to read Rabbi Rackman's early thinking on the subject regarding the devaluation of the sanctity of marriage if annulment is readily available - see especially page 221. Use "search inside the book" with the terms "Feinstein"

http://www.amazon.com/One-Mans-Judaism-Renewing-Sanctifying/dp/965229263X#reader_965229263X

66 comments :

  1. Well what about this? Yes, before the marriage the man wasn't a savage wife-abuser but he also didn't have a wife to abuse. It's well known, for example, that pedophiles are very well behaved in prison because they have no targets there. So while the man did technically become abusive after getting married he's still the same guy as he was before.

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  2. I think that it would be the responsible course of action to actually find out what we are talking about before commenting on speculation. It is akin to being Motzi Laaz on a Get- and at some point the story will have to come out, so what the rush?

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    Replies
    1. Or the story will just be hushed. Not to be Moiche is to agree.

      Delete
    2. Mr. Epstein denied there ever was a get. Tamar is free never confirmed that there ever was a get, motzi laaz minalan?

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  3. Will Ms. Epstein have mamzeirim with a new paramour? She can blame it all on the late Mr. Rackman.

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  4. If Epstein and her supporters maintain she does not need a divorce and can simply "annul" her marriage, why has she spend four years running around like a chicken without a head making a public relations campaign demanding a Get? She could have simply annulled it from the get-go and not wasted four years running a PR operation.

    Clearly even she and her supported openly admit she needs a divorce and an "annulment" is useless. If she wants to be an adulteress, though, likely no one can stop her.

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  5. In a nutshell Rav Bleich shlita, in his halachic analysis, is saying that a wife is NOT entitled to a Get simply because she wants one or demands one. Rav Bleich shlita, in his halachic analysis, says that the two thousand-year corpus of Jewish divorce law shows a husband need not divorce his wife if he does not wish to.

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  6. The early thought, as expressed in his One man's Judaism, included an essay congratulating R' Feinstein on annulling some marriages, as in the teshuvot. What Rackman was arguing then, was that these psakim of RMF were quite radical in their own sense, and that only a true gadol like R' Moshe had the koach of leniency. He (correctly) predicted that whilst R' Moshe had opened the door, it would be likely that the Haredi world would prefer to close it, but that he would like it to be opened further.
    Incidentally, I read a report in the archives of the London Jewish Chronicle, that R' Moshe said it was assur to read Rackman's book!
    If indeed, the report coming from the Epstein camp turns out to be true, i.e. it has been annulled, then the influence of Rackman's thought may have spread further than we realised.
    For several years i was very much a follower of Emanuel Rackman, and I met him at Bar Ilan U. when he was Chancellor. I would say he had more charm and charisma than anyone else I've met from the MO world. I would also say that something can be halachic nonsense in one generation, and valid in another - or vice versa. With the greatest of respect to RMF, his psak on smoking, from 60 years ago, became questionable or nullified the moment that the Surgeon general would write a health warning on cigarette packets. Even Rav Bleich was touting this discredited argument that "permits" smoking well into the 80's, despite the mountain of scientific evidence that should crush the view of the so-called expert in medical ethics!

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  7. Given the extreme controversial nature of Rackman's theories, the complete lack of evidence that a Rackman style annulment was employed in this case, and the fact that every rabbi involved in this case (and ORA) reject this approach, I find it unfair to keep suggesting that was a "potential" reason for freeing her. If we are going to suggest potential reasons for the divorce with no evidence lets add spousal abuse.

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  8. Not sure what happened to a post i was trying to submit, suddenly got lost, so I will try again, apologies if it is repeated:
    A little known fact about the Rackman court is that they dealt with long term agunot. These largely had cases where women had already moved in with other men - and hence were technically adulterers. And, that in something like 95% of cases that they annulled, the husband finally decided to give the Get, since they realised there was no point in refusing at this stage. Thus, the court, at least in this majority of cases, did not produce mamzerim, even according to the strictest interpretation - since a) had the women given birth to mamzerim, would have occurred 20 years before the BD was set up, and not now in middle age; b) in any case the husbands finally gave a Get, which was not me'usa.

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  9. This is an important footnote from Lawrence Kaplan's article about R' Rackman:

    "40. It is ironic that both R. Rackman’s two earlier halachic heroes,
    the Rav and Rav Kasher, sharply criticized any attempted broadening of
    rabbinic annulment of marriage, the Rav in his 1975 address and Rav
    Kasher in his essay ‘‘Be-‘Inyan Tenai be-Kiddushin,’’ in Noam, Vol. 11
    (1969), pp. 338–53, responding to a proposal of R. Eliezer Berkovits in
    his halachic monograph, Tenai be-Nissuin ve-Get (Jerusalem, 1966). In general,
    the careers of Rabbis Berkovits and Rackman follow similar intellectual
    trajectories, both in respect to their growing radicalization as they
    grew older and in respect to their growing marginalization on the part of
    the American modern Orthodox community. But this is not the place for
    an extended comparison."

    R' Professor Kaplan was close to the Rav, and also to R' Rackman. An abstract of the article is available here:

    https://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/modern_judaism/v030/30.1.kaplan.pdf

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  10. To set up a "beis din" to allow married women to remarry without a get, based on dubious arguments accepted by almost no one, was an act of unspeakable evil.

    Some of Rackman's critics were soft in their criticism given his prestige and some good qualities. This halo effect is not unlike that given to some molesters. Anyway, it was a monstrous crime that Rackman took to his grave.


    ben dov
    1honestlyfrum.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It may be irresponsible or assur but I wouldn't call it an act of unspeakable evil or compare it to child abuse.

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    2. Mr. Rackman is responsible for the creation of mamzeirim. Yes, I would call that the worst form of child abuse.

      Delete
  11. Ben Dov - a few points :

    1) The BD was to resolve problems of women without a Get. To say these cases are all evil, without having looked at each individual case, is irresponsible on your part.

    2) The claim you make comparing this "halo" effect to molesters is preposterous. i noticed on your blog you suggest that smoking may be forbidden by the Torah. Would you also speak so crudely about RMF who refused to forbid smoking, and in doing so gave "heter" to many thousands to smoke, and inevitably led to early death of a high proportion of these? Here is where your argumentation collapses.

    3) I quote from an article about Rackman:

    "Rabbi Rackman quotes Rabbi Shmuel Eliezer Halevy Eidels, the leading 16th century Talmudic giant known as the *Maharsha*, who wrote that “one must do everything possible to free an *agunah* even to the point of uprooting an element of the Torah” (Yevamot 121a). Rackman: “The neglect of *agunot* by the rabbinic establishment is alienating people from Judaism. I am fighting for the glory of Torah and the halachic system, and our solutions will do more for the future of halacha than the stringency of its mandates”."

    http://davidmweinberg.com/1998/07/19/rackmans-agunah-challenge/

    So the Maharsha is encouraging this kind of BD, but it is not in keeping with current halachic mindset.

    Many of the cases were agunot subjected to violence and spousal abuse. This does not fall into the category that everyone is jumping on, ie the circular argument that refusal to give a get is itself abuse and lends to mekach taut. (it also does NOT help the popular cases in this blog where women decide they want another hubby, although the current one is a fine individual).

    My personal theory is that he saw it as something that is halachically possible, but not yet accepted, and chose to be the one who "pushed the envelope". Although his BD was not accepted, it opened discussion and perhaps influenced more poskim to look at the matter.

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    1. The Maharsha is talking about real Agunos. Women whose husband were lost at sea or war. Not fake so-called agunas popularized by the likes of "Agunah Inc.". These women today are not halachic agunas. There is a concept of a halachic aguna and woman whose husbands whereabouts are known is not an agunah. Especially not as in the vast majority of cases there never was a beis din ruling to the effect that the husband is halachicly obligated to give a Get.

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    2. @Eddie - By defending Rackman's corrupt and wicked "Bais Din", you've served notice on us that you are squarely in the Reform "Judaism" camp.

      You've also demonstrated with your gross abuse of the term "agunot" that your so-called halachic arguments are simply fantasies of your leftist mind.

      You are even further outside halachic Judaism than ORA.

      Delete
    3. @M - ok, so we agree that the Maharsha did say this, and was about real Agunot, that is fine. I am not in the Agunah business, but it is a striking leniency by the Maharsha.

      As for the book of ELY, as i said before, he needs to improve his reading and comprehension abilities. He is clearly distributed and sees certain demons, such as l-lith/Feminism, s-ml/leftism, and evolution which he attaches to another demon. He categorises anyone with whom he disagrees or mis-comprehends as being part of this. I think it is a miracle that he is not fully Satmar, but Hardal, since his ideology is satmar in all but zionism.

      Delete
    4. ELY is very far from Satmar. Almost the complete opposite in fact, and not just in his rabid pro-zionistic ideology.

      Delete
    5. @Eddie - "his ideology is satmar in all but zionism" - Another one of your utterly nonsensical statements. I am not a Satmar at all. I learned in Litvish yeshivos. Because I refuse to accept your anti-Torah MO feminism, MO Maharats, MO divorce on demand, MO marriage annulments, nor do I believe like your MO gadol Slifkin that man evolved from an ape or monkey (or insert any animal), that doesn't mean I see demons nor does it make me a Satmar.

      @Sally - "rabid pro-zionistic ideology" - I learned about the mitzvah of "yishuv eretz Yisrael" in black hat Litvish yeshivos. I could care less if that makes me rabidly pro-zionist by Satmar standards.

      Delete
    6. Sheker L'Yisroel,

      I am not defending the court of Rackman. I have presented both sides of the debate, as best as I could. I showed that just about every name in YU and MO was opposed to it, including R' Bleich. RHS, R' Lichtenshtein, R' Broyed, Riskin, Saul Berman, Aharaon Rakeffet etc. i also showed that the Gedolim that Rackman was close to, i.e. R' JB Soloveichick and R' MM Kasher were both opposed to this idea, whether proposed by Rackman, or his brilliant colleague Eliezer Berkovits. I also have tried to show that the dispute was not whether mekach taut was valid - clearly it is, since RMF himself used it on several occasions. It was whether the parameters for applying it in the Rackman BD were too exaggerated or not, which is precisely what the leaders of YU at the time - R Bleich and RHS wrote.
      So, for someone in the grip of demons, this synopsis is anti-Torah, feminist, evolutionary etc.

      Delete
  12. for those who are interested to read more, here is a debate between the supporters of the Rackman court (including one Dayan that served on it), and its detractors, largely R' Broyde.

    http://www.edah.org/backend/JournalArticle/5_1_Continued.pdf

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    Replies
    1. There are also debates you can read between the Reform and those opposed to the Reform.

      Delete
  13. eddie: "A little known fact about the Rackman court is that they dealt with long term agunot." not true. i had a few short term clients with this pblm. and the (infamous) jewish week article soecifically says short term issues.

    james -- " (and ORA) reject this approach" not true. ORA (and its rabbinical committee) will approve of it, once its done. perhaps not in advance. (similar to cattle prods. they wont advocate it in advance, but if its done, they have no problem with as subsequent chuppa vekiddushin.)

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    1. You need to cite a source for these outlandish assertions.

      I think that using force by a BD against the law is a illegal and wrong. But that doesnt always mean it results in a possul GET. There is a big difference between advocating or even tolerating illegal violence and saying the get is possul.

      Delete
    2. If the Get was given under halachicly undue pressure, the Get is an invalid Get Me'usa per S"A.

      Delete
    3. That is circular reasoning. If the Get is done in violation of halacha, it is not Kosher. Of course that is the case. The discussion is what constituted halachicly undue pressure and what constituted invalid.

      Besides, that doesnt answer my question. Cite sources to the claims made above.

      Delete
  14. as for RMF's heter, that invoves extreme cases a the husband's homosexuality. and VERY important, if the wife "lived" with the husband even one night, she cant claim later that his homosexuality (or abuse, or whatever) is grounds for annulment.

    And the homosexuality has to be pre chuppa, not post chuppa. (nimshal -- the abuse has to be pre chuppa, not just post chuppa.)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Pilpulim shel dofi, umigdal haporeach beavirJanuary 3, 2014 at 4:30 AM

    In order to have an egg, you must have a chicken, and the first chicken itself was created by G-d. This so called defect of "sadism", can only happen as a result of - AFTER a refusal of giving a Get. At the time of so called initial compelling coercion, you must already have a valid compelling reason ON HAND as why to coerce, if you have none, and you truly don't, since he yet never refused, no deffect, no sadist, no nothing, HOW IN THE WORLD can you consider a compelling situation to begin with? Hence, if there is no defect compelling to coerce, there is NO refusal of anything, out goes declaration of KIDUSHEI TAUT, collapses on itself like a black hole.

    Suppose if you hypothetically convinced yourself of being a "back to the future" deffect, in any which case, at best, it is a 'MUM OIVER', thereby useless.

    Even if you overlook all of the above detrimental reasons, it is a "dayo lebo min hadin lihyos kenidon", if such a deffect calls for compelling a Get, you can only compel for a Get, it is what it is, where in the world do you leapfrog to a Kidushei Taut. You are only fooling yoursef. It is like the guy who figured out his wealth by buying a chicken that would lay eggs, and will hatch many more chickens in an endless loop, and he is already figuring his profits. If you are fasting today, you cannot go to the bathroom on credit in lieu of tomorrow. It is a concept of "davar shelo ba leolam". kappish

    This is what they call LUFT GESHEFTTEN
    The only problem I have with this is, if you annul the kidushin lemafrea, then he never was "WITHOLDING ANYTHING", and you are back to square one and trapped in an endless loop, and that is a truly an AGUNAH bekaf hakela, vechoizer veChalila.
    *************************

    ..."(2) The defect must be one that, had it developed subsequent to marriage, would warrant coercion in order to compel granting of the get. "

    ..."The most egregious example of the latter is “withholding a get.”Withholding a get is categorized by the authors “as indicating a sadis­tic nature."

    ...'The authors provide a long list of "defects" in the husband which they allege constitute grounds for a declaration of kiddushei ta'ut"

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  16. Eddie, I don't think so.

    1. The BD had a methodology that was halachically unsound according to virtually all poskim. The overall effect is terrible even if annulment may have basis in an isolated instance. Even a broken clock is correct twice a day, but a broken clock does not merit to sit on a BD.

    2. There is no comparison to RMF. He did not impose or recommend smoking to anyone. Not everything permitted ought to be done. Even his mere permission may have been impaired by the limitations of 1963 knowledge. This is not analogous to Rackman.

    3. Even were I to imagine that the Rackman BD had a basis for their opinions, they still were grossly irresponsible. There is no excuse for producing adulterers and mamzerim according to every other BD on planet earth. This is outrageous beyond description.

    Conclusion: it is fully justified to accuse the Rackman BD of unspeakable evil and to compare them to molesters.

    ben dov
    1honestlyfrum.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. ben,

    1) Agreed - I don't like the idea of a wholesale BD . The point I was making was that the Maharsha was recommending that they do precisely this, ie bend the letter of the law a bit to free agunot.

    2) In stature /Gadlus, correct, there is no comparison. However, that psak, if in 1963, the US Government started publishing health warnings in 1965 (on cig. packets) and this had the hechser of the Surgeon general (Medical Gadol hador) in 1969. However, the same psak was being (ab)used well into the 1990's. So on a health economics view, you might be able to attribute thousands of deaths to that psak, since many would have stopped or not started in the 30 years following. Even people who were not born when that was made.

    3) You have to examine every case, and then see if they produced adulterers, or tried to take away the sin from those already cohabiting. As for mamzerim, is there evidence of any mamzerim being produced?

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  18. RMF referred to annulment in his writings,but even did not use it, l'maisseh.It is just a proposal to consider , as a theory.It can not be used, in practice, and never has been used.A Get is the only way, to get out of a marriage, unless the husband is deceased.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But he did - Mekach taut.

      Also, invalid witnesses may invalidate a Kiddushin.

      Delete
    2. eaterber - don't see any basis for your assertions. Please cite sources

      Delete
    3. http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/9638/orthodox-groups-criticize-2-rabbis-annulling-marriages/

      Some more sympathetic to the new court's goals say that it applies the criteria for annulment too liberally.

      One of those is Rabbi Mordecai Tendler, a respected religious leader in the Orthodox enclave of Monsey, N.Y.

      He told JTA that he has annulled hundreds of marriages over the last 30 years.

      He applies the criteria mapped out by his grandfather, the late Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, who "freed" women whose husbands refused to grant them a Jewish divorce if the wedding itself was not Orthodox or if there had been some technical flaw in the ceremony.

      He said he annuls a marriage under these circumstances only a couple of times a year and after months of research.

      Delete
    4. Interesting. Never knew Mordechai Tendler was also in the annulment business.

      Delete
    5. Whoever does this is an Oicher Yisroel. If Mordechai Tendler does this he is an Oicher Yisroel. The Torah was given B'makom Hefker, not because it is Hefker Chas V'sholom to manipulate and desecrate, but because if a person is Mafker his personal Negios, only then can he be Zoicheh to Torah. I find it repulsive, some of the liberal comments being made here, which do nothing but make of mockery of the Torah Hakdosha. It is superfluous and wrong for me to respond to the points as it says Al Taan Ksil K'ivalto, but this Tochacha needs to be given, at the very least.

      Delete
    6. Ask your brother about Rabbi Mordechai Tendler.

      Delete
    7. Katche - as usual you make grandiose claims but are too short sighted to see the consequences of of your claims, Thus, by implicaiton, you are saying chas v'shaolm RMF was "Oicher"?

      Delete
    8. RMF was a Tzadik Yesod Olam. Don't try to twist my words.

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    9. a) Agreed he was Tzadik,
      b) You are saying that anyone who does this is .. bla bla. But RMF did this , properly, ie mekach taut.

      Delete
    10. I now see that my response closely resembles the words of The Rogatchover Z"L. Point by point we both say the exact same thing and in the same order, and of course you give your straw man rebuttal to both. I suppose your modern thinking would not leave you very upset if people are transgressing in the worst way with Krisus and destroying their souls and producing Mamzeirim, so for you it's a "what the heck, let's just do it and who cares"
      I had a boy in my class who found a candy and wanted to eat it but didn't know if it's kosher, so he analyzed it closely and said, It looks Kosher...It smells Kosher, gave it a lick and said It even tastes Kosher... so it must be kosher.
      Interestingly, his name was Eddie.

      Delete
    11. Rav Henkin opposed RMF on his view of civil marriages, and said it would produce mamzerim.

      RMF applied mekach Taut, as is documented. You can eat all the candy in the world, but you are denying history, just like satmar deny their role in the holocaust, and how they sent their own to die. That is the real reason you have a "beef" with me.

      Delete
    12. Totally irrelevant disingenuous straw man argument.

      I have a "beef" because your statement are full of Kalus Rosh and void of Yiras Shomayim.

      I no longer have patience to continue this dialogue, as you use dishonest arguments. There are plenty of other commentators who are on to your ways as well, and they are doing this work on my behalf, to expose your dishonesty, so here I retire the discussion.

      Delete
    13. no sonny boy, your statements are kalus rosh, since you imply that Mekach taut is a reform practice, then when we point out that RMF applied it, you say he is a tzaddik yesod haolam.

      Delete
    14. Some of your Frenemies, who deride your rebbe, are usuing dishonest arguments and presenting them as facts. Thus, SLY, is claiming that RHS has annulled Tamar's kiddushin, but has provided no evidence. he also attacks me - despite the fact that it was the owner of this blog who posted RHS' attack on the rackman court. This has nothing to do with me.
      I haven't heard SLY attack RYBS yet, but he was also MO, and not in the good books of the Ungarish types (who sent their own to the death camps so they could look good artscroll Holocaust denial literature).

      Delete
  19. למעשה מקח טעות was never used throughout history.
    It is a theory , a concept, which is not used in practice to negate Issur Eishes ish.
    Even RMF did not use it on practice, he just wrote it.
    There is no such thing as annulling a marriage , to be Matir the woman to remarry.
    It is used in some cases , if she married and had children , from the second marriage, the children should not be Mamzeirim. Doikk vetishkach.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. eat-humblepie-erber

      you are simply denying history, which is not unusual in the hareidi world. Pretty soon they will deny the Holocaust.

      Delete
    2. It most certainly used by Gedolim in the past. Gedolim far greater than anyone alive today. It was done en masse in Egypt a century ago by both the Sephardic AND Ashkenazi chief rabbis.

      Delete
  20. tomatis and potatisJanuary 3, 2014 at 10:59 PM


    "a beit din may recognize other intolerable defects in the husband as grounds for a declaration of kiddushei ta'ut. These defects - which are in total discord with any reasonable concept of marriage -"

    * a wifes complaint about a deffect, is meant to give a valid reason as to why she cannot live him together anymore. Since she is not living with him anymore, there is no concept of any marriage to interfere with, therefore, it is only an issue within a process of a get. Suppose she decides to go back, that deffect wouldn't exist within any reasonable concept of marriage.


    "and sadism (the withholding of a get may be viewed as indicating a sadistic nature) ...."

    * that concept might ONLY be claimed if and when it is in spite, if he has any other reason for withholding regardless of whether it is valid or not, it is only indicative of withholding for anything other than sadistic in nature

    "but that any defect that may serve as grounds to compel the husband sever the marital relationship by means of a get, mutatis mutandis, constitutes grounds for annulment…. "

    * again, if the deffect is only virtual in the process for a get, there is no deffect within the marriage itself, as a matter of fact she doesn't even live with him to claim something interfering WITHIN the marriage, hence, no deffect no annulment, therefore, no potatis and no tomatis


    "(I) every woman is entitled to demand a get upon breakdown of the marriage; (2) failure of the husband to comply is indicative of sadism; and (3) sadism is grounds for compelling a divorce."

    * sadism my foot, this whole concoction is saruach meikro good only for a witches brew

    ReplyDelete
  21. www.freetamar.org is deleted from the internet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. does anyone actually know if the marriage was "annulled", and if so, by whom?

      Delete
  22. Rav Moshe on smokingJanuary 5, 2014 at 5:17 AM

    Regarding Rav Moshe ztl and smoking see http://www.ou.org/pdf/ja/5768/fall68/2_7.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  23. Mordechai Tendler is no longer a Rov in Monsey and he should not be used for this purpose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is Tendler up to these days? Last I heard he still has his basement shul.

      Delete
  24. Chevra,

    Know that Eddie is an MO propagandist desperately trying to create the appearance of halachic validity to the MO world's embrace of various practices and ideologies completely contrary to halachic Judaism.

    Eddie's methodologies of deceit are relatively simple:

    - attempt to create false analogies between MO's halachic violations with legitimate practices of a gadol like RMF or the Maharsha, who would never have given an "annulment" or "mekach taus" ruling to Tamar Epstein

    - attempt to falsely convey the impression that current YU rabbanim are opposed to Tamar Epstein's annulment, even as ORA websites, led by Herschel Schachter of YU, announce that Tamar is "free"

    - attempt to conceal his true opinions using nonsensical or contradictory claims like
    "I am not defending the court of Rackman"
    "I neither believe nor disbelieve in evolution"

    - write long winded comments conveying the appearance of neutrality, but then insert various obfuscating statements attempting to validate anti-halachic MO practices:
    "I would also say that something can be halachic nonsense in one generation, and valid in another"
    "Thus, the court, at least in this majority of cases, did not produce mamzerim"
    "So the Maharsha is encouraging this kind of BD, but it is not in keeping with current halachic mindset"

    - make blatantly false statements (as observed by MiMedinat HaYam):
    "A little known fact about the Rackman court is that they dealt with long term agunot."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Note that Mr Sheker L'Yisroel is totally distorting the facts, and what I have said, I accept a couple of technical points, like the term agunah being used commonplace today in a context outside of the original, but that is not my making. (a far more serious crime is common usage of actual Avdah Zarah for the names of the Hebrew months, eg Tammuz. Check out Sefer yechezkel, if you accept that as being a kosher sefer).

      To be called an MO propagandist is a compliment, although I am probably less MO than I used to be.

      Rav Soloveichik and Rav Kasher were also MO, and I have repeatedly stated that they opposed innovations or R Rackman and R Berkovits.
      (As did R Bleich and RHS). I would also suggest that you check who is the greatest posek in USA today. I suggest it is probably R' JD Bleich, who everyone consults in halacha. The agudah and hareidim do not have anyone that great.

      Regarding "Tamar Epstein" - I have not suggested anything - I have asked if anyone has reliable info on how she was freed? I also have made no statement as to who allegedly may have "freed" her, and on what basis. Not only is SLY (sheker l'yisroel) tortured by demons, he is clearly delusional, believing what he wants to believe, and then projecting on me things I have never said or suggested. If only Stan was attacking me, he would be intellectually honest, and base his arguments on strict sources, and on statements that I did make. although I often diagree with Stan, i found him to be a good debating partner, who applies good sevara and lomdus to his arguments, and often leaving me without a good response.

      My statement "I would also say that something can be halachic nonsense in one generation, and valid in another" is my observation or my chiddush.
      It is not validating anti-halachic pratices any more than Dayan sherman validated (under RSYE's guidance) the practice of cancelling giur - something that the same RSYE had called anti-halachci nonsense some 40 years prior.

      The same goes for smoking - first it was patur, now it is widely forbidden.

      The court - acording to what Morgenstern said, did not produce mamzerim in the majority of cases, because the women were already living with another man for 10-20 years. That counts for a majority. Also, a majority actually received gets after the annullment - so the window for mamzerut would have been maybe a month or 2.

      Delete
    2. @ SLY

      "- attempt to conceal his true opinions using nonsensical or contradictory claims like
      "I am not defending the court of Rackman"
      "I neither believe nor disbelieve in evolution""

      Neither of these statements are contradictory. If they are nonsensical, that is a matter of opinion. The majority of posts I produced on Rackman provided information of its opponents, but since I try not to be a shakran, it is important to provide a fair argument on the side of Rackman court.

      My statement on evolution has nothing to do with Mekach Taut. Since SLY learns his Science from the back of a Corn Flakes box, he would not know how to approach a subject and evaluate evidence scientifically. There is no ikkar saying evolution is wrong. we can dicuss this at length on a new post, but it is not heretical to say that evolution took or takes place. The reason why we catch flu every year, is that the virus evolves, and it can evade the antibodies we produced last year. Same goes for many other diseases.
      That is why people need a new flu shot each year, but do not for chicken pox for example.
      The Torah talks about Maaseh breishit. It doesnt give any detail of how each of the 6 days was enacted. Also, Rav Kook, whom SLY apparently applauds, said it is possible that evolution or the long period of billions of years, took place when Adam slept. whether SLY agrees with Rav Kook is neither here nor there. The problem would be with Rav Elyashiv, since he considered Rav Kook to be the greatest of the Rabbis. OK, Satmar -Katcke would jump on this, but that's a problem between satmar and hardal.

      Delete
    3. @ SLY ""So the Maharsha is encouraging this kind of BD, but it is not in keeping with current halachic mindset"

      This has already been agreed upon. The Maharsha made such a statement, the issue was the parameters - did he mean only old style agunot, or also modern use of the term?

      Delete
  25. Superintendant chalmersJanuary 6, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    The following is is absolute am-haratzus of the highest degree by both Rackman, Eddie and anyone else who wants to misuse a Maharsha to justify this annulment garbage:

    "Rabbi Rackman quotes Rabbi Shmuel Eliezer Halevy Eidels, the leading 16th century Talmudic giant known as the *Maharsha*, who wrote that “one must do everything possible to free an *agunah* even to the point of uprooting an element of the Torah” (Yevamot 121a). Rackman: “The neglect of *agunot* by the rabbinic establishment is alienating people from Judaism. I am fighting for the glory of Torah and the halachic system, and our solutions will do more for the future of halacha than the stringency of its mandates”."

    http://davidmweinberg.com/1998/07/19/rackmans-agunah-challenge/

    So the Maharsha is encouraging this kind of BD, but it is not in keeping with current halachic mindset.


    Total bunk. Anyone who has even mild familiarity with the sugya in question knows that 1- this is referring to real agunas where the husband is missing, 2- He's talking about the gemara's application of yesh koach beyad chachamim laakor davar min hatorah with one eid. He's not giving anyone license to emply shady batei din and annulments, he's just reiterating what the gemara says. The fact that this is even being discussed is a testament to the amharatzus of these ignoramuses.

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    1. Chalmers,
      thank you for your kind comments.

      I quote Rav Riskin explaining the Maharsha:

      " the last statement of the MaharSha on Tractate Yevamot. He asks the question, ?why does the Tractate Yevamot conclude with the saying: 'Scholars must increase peace in the world'?? and he answers in the following manner: ?In this Tractate there seem to be many laws which are prima facie contrary to Torah principles: for example, the principles that there must be two witnesses to establish any fact or that there is no change in personal ?status? unless there are two witnesses (and this usually means two fully observant male Jews).?

      Nevertheless, in order to free a woman and enable her to remarry after her husband has died, we learn from Tractate Yevamot to accept the testimony of one person, even of a gentile who relates the information in the course of telling a story. How can we do this? The MaHarsha explains, we do it because ?scholars must increase peace in the world? and a person cannot be considered at peace if he or she is alone, if she doesn't have a mate, if she doesn't have a life's partner. Therefore, he says, this is the major thrust of halakha: to have the courage and the insight to find a way to create peace. There are four tractates in Shas (The Talmud) which conclude with these words. It certainly takes courage in halakhic psak? (judgment) to fully comply with the demands of peace. However, the MaHarsha says that the real conclusion of the Gemorrah is that G‑d will grant his people strength, that G‑d will give that kind of courage to the religious decisers of his nation and will then bless His people with peace. It is my view that the scholars of our generation, in spite of all the difficulties, must make peace in the world."

      http://www.thejewishreview.org/articles/?id=176

      Yes, i am an Am haaretz - but R' Riskin is a Rosh Yeshiva. He explains the Maharsha as acting to fulfill an ideal of "peace", and for this in the specific case, he is willing to "bend" the Law - i.e. Torah law.

      So your points of divergence:

      1) A real Agunah as per the Gemara - very well. Why cannot the same principle of Shalom be applied to other cases where no help is available, and i am not speaking about any current cases that have become spectator sports.

      2) I would interpret Rackman as saying that this Koach should be available to Rabbonim in each generation, otherwise you no longer have a functioning Halacha. It doesnt seem from the Maharsha that this principle is Halacha L'Moshe miSinai, ie to reduce the requirements for witnesses, but is a koach that Hachamim have to serve a higher goal of Shalom. Now I am sure you would dispute this, as in fact many disputed Rackman's essay " A teleological approach to the Halacha". But there are darchei Shalom which are pointers as to how to deal with halachic problems.

      Whether I am an ignoramus is irrelevant - i am simply presenting the arguments of both sides as I understand them.

      Delete
  26. @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 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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This article suggests that RSK is close to Tamar's family.

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

      see my longer reply to your duplicate post on the other page.

      Delete
    2. This is a bit of a contradiction by Mr ELY:

      "No one here, to my knowledge has claimed they have proof Herschel Schacter issued Tamar Epstein's annulment."

      then a few lines later he writes:

      "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."

      That just about says it all for the so-called intellectual honesty.




      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

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