Sunday, January 18, 2015

Another rabbi ignores halacha: "Withholding a Gett: Unjewish and Evil "

Update: Please read this lenient teshuva. I will be adding others which clearly indicate the complexity of the matter. Contrary to what Rabbi Brackman writes - that it is a clear cut moral issue - Rav Yosef says it is justified for some cases and some times in history - especially when there is a reasonable possibility that she will commit adultery. That is the view of the Tzitz Eliezar also. Other contemporary poskim don't accept the view that the husband can be forced to give a get to save her from committing adultery [to be continued]

Update Jan 17: Rav Sternbuch states that if it is clear to the beis din that there are objective reasons why the woman can't stand her husband and they paskened that the husband should give a Get - he says it is cruel and sinful for the husband to not divorce his wife out of spite and hatred. This is clearly not saying that a woman has the right to leave the marriage for any reason and that the husband must give a get immediately when the Get is request as R Brackman mistakenly states. If the husband is refusing to give a Get because issues have not been resolved - and not because of cruelty and spite - Rav Sternbuch,. Rav Ovadiah Yosef and Rav Eliashiv are not condemning such a person.

Force husband to prevent wife from committing adultery - not as a right to get on demand or because it is immoral to withhold a Get and only if he is objectively repulsive

Rav Ovadiya Yosef (Yabiya Omer 8:2.2): In previous generations the husband was given permission to take an additional wife if his first wife was declared to a moredes (rebellious wife). The first wife would remain an agunah for the rest of her life until she became an old lady with white hair as punishment for rebelling against her husband. An example of this is found in Shut Mishpat v’ Tzedaka b’Yaakov (2:36).... Similar cases are  found in other Achronim. Nevertheless our contemporary society has weakened and there is now a strong possibility that the agunah will deviate from religious observance because of her aguna status. This is a dissolute generation and people do not obey authority. And if the woman makes up her mind later to accept the get from her husband there is a clear concern that her husband will refuse to give her a get out of spite because he is already married to another woman and it is impossible to force him to give a get to his first wife and therefore she will just reject religion and go on a bad path. Because she is still married however, any children she subsequently has with another man will increase the number of mamzerim in the world. A possible solution is that before he can remarry he needs permission from the beis din and thus it is relatively easy to use that to influence him to deposit a get for his first wife with beis din. Only when he has deposited a get then can we give him permission to remarry according to halacha. After I thought of this, I saw that Rav Masas wrote in  his sefer Tevuos Shemesh (E.H. 30), “Even though in all the seforim of the Achronim concerning previous rabbinic courts (beis din), the beis din ruled that in the case of moredes she remained an agunah her entire life until she became an old lady with grey hair and the husband was allowed to marry another woman if he wanted – without first divorcing her. This was a common ruling and the first wife remained unable to remarry until the day that she died. However this approach was appropriate in previous generations when the spirit of Judaism permeated the people and there was no one who would dare do a serious sin – in particular not to openly transgress the serious sexual sins. But it is no longer true true in our day which to our great sorrow the spirit of individual freedom has become dominant and faith has weakened. We no longer have the power to have people properly comply with religious rulings and there is a great concern that people will go off the path of religious observance. There is no question that all our rabbis acknowledge that all efforts need to be made to have the get deposited with beis din...He concludes his words by saying that in the year 1950, all the rabbis of Morocco gather together and they made a decree through the official rabbinical confederation – that no man could remarry until he divorced his first wife who was a moredes and had declared that she couldn’t stand living with him (ma’os alei). This decree was accepted and it became a regular occurrence for the beis din to rule accordingly. This get that the husband was required to give before remarrying was not considered get me’usa ( a coerced get). That is because he had the choice of not remarrying and therefore he didn’t have to give the get. However with a moredes who simply wanted to afflict him and torture him and consequently refused to accept the get – there was no choice but to require that the get be deposited in beis din as we mentioned before....Click link for rest of the teshuva

See Rav Ovadia Yosef 3:20


Rav Ovadiya Yosef (Yabia Omer E.H. 3:18.13) : And in truth even according to the view of the poskim who hold that one does not force the husband to give a get when she claims ma'us alei, nevertheless there is a view that says there is a mitzva for the husband to divorce her and surely when there is a concern that because of the delay in get a get she will go off the derech. As we find in Shita Mekubetes (Kesubos 64)," Rabbeinu Yona wrote, "Even though we don't force a man to give a get when the wife says he is ma'us alei (disgusting to me) - that is only referring to forcing him by beating him with staffs. However beis din informs him that he has a mitzva to divorce her and they advise him to divorce her. And if he doesn't not in fact divorce her then this is a case of when a person transgresses the words of the rabbis that it is permitted to call him a sinner. However Rabbeinu Tam disagreed and said that even this we don't say to him but if he should come to ask whether he should divorce her without her getting the kesuba then beis din gives him the advice that he should divorce her immediately." Furthermore the Rema (Y.D. 248:20) writes that when the wife says ma'us alei the husband is obligated to divorce her. The Taz notes that the Rema here is only reporting the view of the Rambam but the Rema's true view is recorded in E.H. 77 where he doesn't mention that the husband should be forced to divorce her. But according to what we have said the words of the Rema (Y.D. 248.20) has a solid basis and that is the words of Rabbeinu Yonah. This is also noted by my friend the Tzitz Eliezar (5:26.4) based on the Noda B'Yehuda Kama (YD 68) who brings the words of the Rema as halacha l'maaseh and foundation principle. He notes that there is a basis to utilize this view at times of need according to the specific facts and needs of the time and appropriateness - depending on the evaluation of the beis din. I also say that in contemporary society with the degradation of the generations in free countries where every man does what he thinks is correct and there is a great increase in arrogance in the world and experience has taught that when a woman leaves her husband with the claim of ma'us alei and she is in limbo without receiving a get - that she will go and live with other men without the slightest shame or sense of embarrassment. As a result there is an increase in mamzerim in the world. In such a case we say that their degradation is to their benefit. This is expressed by the Ramban (Kesubos 63b), "Chas V'Shalom I am not arguing against the decree of the Gaonim to force him to divorce his wife and not only that but I strongly criticize those who say that it is not correct to follow their decrees but only the law as stated in the Talmud. In fact it is correct to listen to the Gaonim and to follow their decrees. Nevertheless now it is best to be very concern not to follow their decree because it has been abrogated because of the immorality of the generation." In other words in the time of the Ramban, even though women then had the brazenness to claim ma'us alei but they did not reach the extreme of chutpza to live with another man without receiving a get as we find in our days. But in the days before Moshiach as we are in now it is extremely relevant to considering returning to the decree of the Gaonim. And this is surely true when she is young and there is a real concern that she will go off the derech and there isn't much chance that she will return to her husband. Therefore it would appear that those who want to do something to force the husband to give a get have a solid basis for that decision. That is because the concerns that existed at the time of the Gaonim that the woman might go off the derech have returned. [In the time of the Gaonim the concern was that the woman would convert to Christianity for Islam rather than face end her days as an aguna]. Thus we see that whether the get should be forced or not is dependent on the particular time and era. And thus I have seen the gedol hador - Rav Chaim Palaggi in his Chaim v'Shalom (2:35) where he writes regarding forcing the husband that the view of a number of poskim including the Beis Yosef that the husband should not be forced to give a get. He writes, "Nevertheless according to everyone agrees that the woman is not forced to live with the husband. Therefore after a year or two after the time that they have separated from each other it would appear that he should be forced to divorce her. That is because there are two factors.  The man is not able to exist without a wife and the wife herself is not able to be without a husband. And this is surely true where she is young that we have to be concerned for disastrous results when she is chained as an aguna. Just look at how lenient the poskim are concerning preventing agunos in particular when she is young until they even go the extreme of relying on a minority opinion.  And surely the obligation lies on every dayan to be lenient is this manner in order to avoid trouble for both the man and the woman." Rav Chaim Palaggi is a great tree that one can rely on and surely in our day. And it is the same thing in cases where it is possible to combine various disputes of the poskim besides the claim of ma'us alei to be lenient. Also study Chaim V' Shalom (2:112), If there is a dispute between a husband and wife and the wife wants to be divorced and the husband refuses - one should establish a limited time for the matter to be resolved. And if we wait until 18 months  and we have despaired of reconciliation and it appears to beis din that there is nothing more than can be done for the marriage - they should separate the couple and force the husband to give a get until he proclaim,I want to give it.All of this that I have written is for the honor of G-d and His Torah." It is possible that Rav Palaggi is not talking about forcing with clubs but rather just calling him a sinner or similar techniques which is in accord with the view of Rabbeinu Yona and the Rema which we mentioned before.


Husband is not forced to give get when wife demands one- even if wife might commit adultery

Rav Eliashiv (Kovetz Teshuvos 174): Question: We are dealing with a case in which it apparently has been shown that the wife hates her husband – heart and soul – because of his behavior which is simply abnormal. The woman therefore has the claim of ma’us alei with a clear basis. This couple has lived separately for over 6 years. The question is whether the beis din will comply with the request of the wife and require him to give her a get. Answer: Even if you grant that this woman has the status of one who says ma’us alei with a clear justification, that in itself does not require that the husband give her a get. Look at Shut HaRashba (# 135 - attributed to Ramban), Question: When a woman claims ma’us alei... is the husband obligated to divorce her....? Answer: ... You should know that she is not able to force her husband to divorce her since  a woman goes out of the marriage sometimes according to her desires and sometimes not according to her desires. On the other hand the man only leaves the marriage only when he want to leave it... From all these you see that when a woman claims ma’us alei we do not force the husband to give a divorce... Even though the Rambam writes that when a woman says ma’us alei the husband is forced to divorce her – the Rambam is not correct in this matter... Concerning the kesuba and dowry that she brought him – according to the din she does not lose anything unless she insists on being a moredes for 12 months and all these 12 months she is not forced... However if she remains a moredes for 12 months and her husband wants to divorce her – she loses everything.... That is her din when her husband divorces her according to his wishes after 12 months. But if the desire to divorce comes from her – as we said before – he is not forced to divorce her. The words of the Rashba imply not only is the husband not forced to divorce her when she claims ma’us alei but that he has no obligation to give her a get! This is also apparent from the words of Tosfos(Kesubos 63).... Shulchan Aruch (E.H. 77:2): If she says that he disgusts me and I can not have relations with him – if the husband wants to divorce her she does not get any money from the Kesuba at all. Rema (E.H. 77:2)... All of this is only when she doesn’t give a reason and justification for her words as to why she finds him repulsive. But if she does give a reason for her words... And we don’t force him to divorce her  nor do we force her to remain with him. And if you want to claim that he must divorce her – it is obvious that since we don’t force her to remain with him then of necessity that there can’t be an obligation of the husband to give her a get. It is the same thing.

update Jan 17


Rav Sternbuch(5:345): Question:  A woman who has been separated from her husband for a number of years and she claims ma’us alei and there is a clear basis for this claim which has been verified. It is clear that there is no chance that they will reconcile. The husband is close to one of the chassidic rebbes who gives him great honor.  The beis din has met with the couple  many times and is firmly convinced that there is no possibility of reconciliation. Therefore they asked the husband to give his wife a get. However the husband has acted cruelly and refused. Even though I am presently traveling but since this is an emergency situation I will answer briefly.  You should know that many of the Rishonim including the Rambam and Rashi ruled that in a case of ma’us alei we force the husband to give a get. And some say that we force the get because of a decree of the Geonim. In contrast, Rabbeinu Tam and the Ri as well as other Rishonim disagreed and they held that a get can not be forced in a case of ma’us alei. The Rosh writes (43:6) that since there is a major dispute as to what the halacha is we don’t stick our heads between the great mountains. He also writes that whoever is lenient and forces a get results in an increase in mamzerim. The Shulchan Aruch (E.H. 77:2) also says not to force the get. So even  though we agree that the halacha is that the get can not be forced when there is a claim of ma’us alei, nevertheless such a husband should not be given honor. Therefore it is necessary to inform the rebbe who is honoring him that he is giving the husband help to torment his wife which is a severe sin.

However prior to putting pressure on him through the rebbe, this the couple should be given 12 months during which efforts should be made to convince them to reconcile and expert marriage therapists should be used to deal with their issues. However when the beis din is convinced that there is no chance that they will reconcile and they paskened that it it appropriate for him to divorce his wife and not leave her an agunah – and nevertheless the husband refuses to divorce her. If we see there is no hope that he will give her a get – then his rebbe should be contacted and requested to stop honoring him. If he will listen to daas Torah he will not lose anything and one who observes mitzva will not know harm.

Rav Sternbuch (4:301): Question: I received a question from America where -  due to our many sins - it is common that women rebel against their husbands and afterwards go to secular courts - Gd forbid! The secular court makes a judgment in her favor - through coercion and not in accord with the law of the Torah. The judgment  obligates the husband to pay very high support payments and carries a penalty of prison for failure to comply. In addition she is typically awarded custody of the children. The husband is asking for a heter of meah rabbonim to be able to remarry without giving her a get since she is a moredes and has transgressed the religious laws. On the other hand she claims that the heter of meah rabbonim is not relevant since she in fact is willing to accept the get. She also claims that there are rabbis who support her position. So she wants to benefit twice by obtaining a get according to the Torah and also a judgment from civil court which steals money from from her husband even after the get. Answer: In my humble opinion there is no validity to her claims and therefore the husband should be given a heter so he can marry another woman. The only limitation is that he needs to deposit the get with beis din as is the established practice. The reason for this is complex. 1) first of all since they are coercing him financially not in accord with the halacha regarding the support payments which are much higher than the halacha - that constitutes theft. Thus the get itself is a forced get. The gedolei poskim are worried about get me'usa. Thus the get is not actually valid and we have the problem that she is still a married woman who thinks she can remarry. Therefore it is necessary to exempt him from all financial obligations that were done against his will in order that the get itself be valid. Furthermore if the wife refuses to go to beis din, then that itself gives her the halachic status of moredes as is clear from Divrei Chaim (E.H. 51) and he cites the Chavas Daas who ruled that a woman who refused to go to beis din  was a moredes and the gedolim agreed with him. ... According to this if she goes with him  only to beis din then he is obligated to give her a get. However when she goes to secular court in addition to make monetary claims - she is not able hold on to both sides. In other words she can't go to the secular court with monetary claims and at the same demand that he give her a get in beis din. If she forces him to accept the rulings of the secular court in marriage matters he has no obligation to give her a get. We need to state in addition that the essence of the Decree of Rabbeinu Gershom was for the benefit of the wife.  However this benefit is only available when she doesn't abrogate her halachic obligations. But in the present case she has created serious devastation in the marriage in that she has rebelled against him and went to secular court where she received excessive judgements concerning maintenance and also the custody of the children. Her husband must give her a get in beis din so that she can remarry. So in the case of moredes the decree of Rabbeinu Gershom which was meant to benefit women was not intended and the husband can remarry with the heter of 100 Rabbis and he deposits the get with beis din until the judgment of the secular court is nullified. When that happens- if he has not yet remarried - then it is prohibited for him to do so until he gives his first wife a get.

In reality your question is a local issue of America and it is the job of American rabbis to decide. However my view is in agreement with the rabbis there who permit the husband to remarry without any difficulty and he needs to deposit a get with beis din. But when the judgment of the secular courts has been nullified then it is prohibited for the husband to remarry until he has properly divorced the first wife.

You should be aware that we are obligated to fight against her going to secular courts and we prevent her from remarrying if she does and if the get is given under these circumstances there is a suspicion that it was coerced (me'usa). Nevertheless in a case where she claims she can't stand him (ma'us alei) and there is no reason to believe they can be reconciled and the man is simply being cruel to her and is being spiteful by not to giving her a divorce - then even though it is prohibited for us to exert any force- G-d forbid! - nevertheless it is correct to notify the husband that the view of many of the gedolim (e.g., Rambam, Ravad, Behag, Rashbam, Rashi etc) is that he is sinning and they would encourage him to give her a get. Because even these poskim are concerned about creating [an invalid get] which would leave her as a married woman even bedieved - so G-d forbid that we should use any type of coercion. Regarding the issue of tormenting her and leaving her an aguna - it is correct for him to be concerned for her claim that she finds him revolting (ma'os alei) and it is prohibited for him to leave her as an aguna - even if she is not correct. But we are not to coerce him G-d forbid with any type of coercion that would possibly bring about a get me'usa. Rather [once we have informed him that it is wrong for him to withhold the get] he needs to come the the realization himself that he must conduct himself like a descendant of Avraham and the verse says that the ways of Torah are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace and that he will find happiness with someone else.

All of this we need to explain to the husband. That leaving her as an aguna is a transgression of a severe sin of onas  devarim - not to torment his wife. That refusing to divorce her serves no purpose except to get revenge against her. He doesn't want to live with her and he shouldn't think her life is worthless and he should be fully aware that in Heaven there is judgment and there is a Judge. He should also be informed that to many of the early gedolim it is correct even to force him to divorce. Unfortunately there are many beis dins that when they see that the husband doesn't want to divorce his wife they simply remain silent. But that is not acceptable. They must inform him that he is unjustifiably tormenting her and this is not correct. This of course is assuming that the beis din is convinced that there is no hope for reconciliation....
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Rav Moshe Sternbuch (Teshuvos v'Hanhagos 1:389): Question: A woman has suffered for a number of years from her husband who refuses to divorce her - how can he be forced to give a get?  

Answer: It is an established halacha that if the wife refuses to live with her husband because she claims he is disgusting to her (ma'os alei) that it is impossible to force him to divorce her. This is explicitly stated by the Rema (E.H. 77:3). And even if it has been a number of years that they have separated and he is being spiteful and cruel in refusing to divorce her it is clearly stated by the Teshuvos haRosh (43:6) that if we force him to give the get there is the concern that it is a get me'usa and therefore invalid and it only serves to increase mamzerim. However while it is stated in the Rema (E.H. 154:21) that nidoi (cherem) is considered force and is prohibited, nevertheless he says it is permitted to decree that no Jew should do him a favor or should do business with him or even to circumcize his sons or to bury them - until he divorces his wife. But the Pischei Teshuva (E.H. 154:30) says there these shunnings (harhakos) are equivalent to nidoi (cherem) and are not permitted to be imposed today and the only recourse is to tell him that it is permitted to call him a sinner  and he says it is best to be strict according to this opinion. This is agreed to by the Chazon Ish (E.H. 105:12). He concludes in the name of the Rashba that it is not permitted to humiliate the husband or to torment him - examine this well.

However it appears that what is prohibited is to humiliate him and to shun him in a manner similar to cherem - i.e, not to do business with him and not to do him a favor - and that is not done today. (Chazon Ish understands the Pischei Teshuva differently). But when he is not actively humiliated but that he is only not given honors for example he is notified that he will not receive an aliyah in his shul or any other shul and that he will not be allowed to be the shliach tzibor - then this is not like cherem at all even though it causes some humiliation. The only pressure permitted is that he should know that the community does not approve of his conduct of being cruel to his wife - but this is not called force at all.
I recall witnessing an incident involving Rav Yechiel Weinberg (Seridei Aish) concerning a husband who spitefully refused to divorce his wife after a number of years and he directed that it be known and publicized that this husband was not to get an aliya in the shul. That is in accord with what I have written that this type of pressure is not called force. It is also done here in Yerushalayim to publicize notices in the street that a particular person is a sinner and has made his wife an aguna. In my opinion 1) if she has solid justification for her desire to be divorced then it would be possible and appropriate to force him  actively with humiliations to give her a get. We learn from Kesubos (71a) if it is clear that he hates her then he is obligated to divorce her. 2) On the other hand if there is no apparent reason for her being repelled by him we can distance him.  I am inclined to permit humiliation in such cases but it is necessary for beis din first to be very careful and thorough in evaluating the situation as to whether it is appropriate. Similarly one should not spare any efforts to encourage that she live with him when she requests a divorce and there is no clear reason except she says she doesn't like him. 3) But if there is a clear reason - then even if we don't force him with a beating we are accustomed to be lenient to pressure him with notices  in shuls as I mentioned above.

This that the wife creates pressure with the claim that he is tormenting her and she can not stand the situation any more and that she is ready to go to "rabbis" who are lenient in divorce - that is still not justification for us to make rulings against the Torah. The ways of G-d are hidden and some suffer physically while other suffering financially and some suffer in their marriage. We need to hope to G-d that the end of suffering has arrived and that he will divorce her. On the other hand, to force him with high payments for food or to humiliate him when it is not permitted - it doesn't help because this pressure only produces a get me'usa - G-d forbid - which has no validity. But concerning cruelty and spite which is characteristic of Sedom - only Heaven can punish him.


Yachin uVoaz(1:124):[15th Century Algeria] You should know that there are two different types of moredes and they have different laws. There is a moredes who despises her husband and she asserts that he is disgusting to her. On the other hand there is a moredes who says she wants her husband but she wants to torment him In the case of ma'us alei the view of the Rambam is that the husband is forced to divorce her immediately and he learns this from a deduction from the gemora as the Rosh writes. The Rambam states in Hilchos Ishus  (14:8) that if a wife refuses sexual relations that the husband is forced to give a a get since she is not like a prisoner who can be forced to have relations with someone she hates. However there has long been an outcry against the ruling of the Rambam by all the commentators and poskim such as Rabbein Tam, Ramban, Rosh, Rashba and many others. They agree concerning forcing the husband to divorce. Whoever forces the husband to divorce in accordance to the ruling of the Rambam increases mamzerim in the world. And they reject the view of the Rambam with clear proofs from the Talmud as the Rosh does. And many proofs are brought to refute and reject the words of the Rambam. And even the Magid Mishna who normally devotes  himself in all places to justify the words of the Rambam and to firmly establish their validity with clear proofs - in this case he refutes the Rambam and goes into detail with proofs to contradict the Rambam's reasoning and to reject it. It is unnecessary to repeat them here. The halachic view that has become univeral is that one does not force the husband to give a get when she claim ma'us alei and we do not rely on the ruling of the Rambam nor others who agree with him in this matter. And furthermore that even if the halacha was in accord with the Rambam it would be correct to make a protective fence in this matter to prevent immorality amongst the woman because of the degradation of the contemporary generation. Because woman have become haughty and arrogant in their immorality. We are therefore concerned that a wife might have become interested in another man and she wants to discard her husband by declaring he is disgusting to me (ma'us alei). If it became known that that would be sufficient to have her husband forced to give her a get then it would surely cause problems. But in fact the Rambam is not the halacha because of the proofs that the opponents of the Rambam bring [And even in Algeria where they always follow the Rambam there are three exceptions and this is one of them and not those who agree with the Rambam...]. However I saw in the Rosh who writes that if in fact the psak of the Rambam was followed and the woman was divorced by force and she remarried - we don't force her leave the second marriage. However many others disagree with the Rosh and they say that if she remarries after a forced get - she must leave the second marriage.
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update: added my rebuttal in yellow

 I don't have time now to write a rebuttal of this article. Hopefully next week - but I thought it would be helpful to read this well written - though mistaken - piece. One of the comments summarizes the problem well.

Rivka Gornall Leiner · Top Commenter · Graphologist and Counselor at Self-Employed
Adds nothing but one more snowball in the avanche of one sided articles written by those who sleep quietly while female get refusal, child alienation, false abuse accusations, monetary extortion (on both sides) and cruelty play out because of the woman's spite or greed. This might help your rabbi points in feminist pc Denver but it ignores reality.
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Times of Israel    by Rabbi Levi Brackman

In my fourteen years of practicing as a rabbi I have been asked numerous times to offer counsel and support to couples in failing marriages. Despite the fact that it takes two to tango, often the breakdown of a marriage is more the fault of one party than the other. Yet, no matter how the marriage ends and who is at fault, if the husband does not actively agree to give a Gett (Jewish religious divorce) immediately after the wife requests it he is always in the wrong no matter what.

Why? That is clearly not the view of the Torah. See Shulchan Aruch (E.H. 77:2-3). So what is meant by wrong no matter what? Does that mean that the husband should not request marriage counseling first? Does that mean a mistaken belief that the Torah requires a Get on demand? What if the wife takes the kids and moves to another state. He is simply supposed to give a Get and forget about his children? Or perhaps it mean that if all issues are settled, the is no basis for reconciliation and yet the husband out of spite refuses to give a Get that he is wrong? If it is the latter than I agree totally but if the former conditions - I disagree strongly.

From a religious perspective, the Torah is very protective about the feelings and dignity of women — even more so than that of men. The Talmud warns men to never hurt their spouses feelings and or cause them to weep. It cautions men to be exceedingly careful about their spouses dignity and honor (Baba Metzia, 59a) and to respect and honor them more than they honor themselves (Yevamot, 62b, Maimonides, Ishut, 15:19). These guidelines are based on Biblical sources and have been codified into Jewish law. Furthermore the Talmud tells us that in matters of worldly and household affairs the women’s opinion takes precedence to that of the man’s (Baba Metzia, ibid).

Yes it is true that the Torah is concerned out not hurting the feelings of others - especially one's wife. But the sources cited are not dealing with divorce - but rather the conditions for a viable marriage. Similarly it is well known that there are a variety of laws about not hurting other people's feelings. However there are also laws that require criticizing others as well as saying bad things about them - even if it hurts there feelings. We don't refrain from telling others not to steal because it might hurt their feelings. We don't refrain from punishing murderers - even though it hurts them and embarrasses their family. Chastisement is a mitzva as is loving your fellow man.  One can not legitimately claim  that the Torah categorically prohibits hurting the feeling of others - especially one's wife. If Rabbi Brackman has sources for doing so - I would appreciate see them. Like most things in life - the various Torah obligations need to be prioritized and balanced.

Clearly a man who refuses his wife’s request to give a religious bill of divorce for any period of time after it is made clear that from her perspective the marriage is over, is contravening these extremely serious sections of Jewish law in the most grievous manner possible. But refusing to give a Gett is also the mark of a man who lacks basic human empathy and common decency.[...]

The above statement is not supported by the gemora, Shulchan Aruch or poskim. As noted above - I would appreciate sources for what seems to be a declaration that the concern for a wife's feeling is more important than all the other Torah obligations and Torah rights that a person has as well as the welfare of her children. That simply is not so.

Some men hide behind Jewish law as a reason not to give a Gett. They argue that all aspects of the divorce needs to be settled before they are Halachicly (according to Jewish law) allowed to give the Gett. They then proceed to make any settlement as difficult as possible, allowing them to continue their abusive and controlling behavior. Tragically there are some Jewish courts that allow men to behave this way. Happily, however, most of the larger reputable Jewish courts will not allow narcissistic men to use religion as a tool to further abuse and blackmail their wives. The most obnoxious Gett refusers, however, seem to avoid reputable Jewish courts. As pernicious, are men who tell their wife, who is desperate for a divorce, that they “want to work on their marriage” and therefore won’t give a Gett. Again this ploy won’t work at most reputable Jewish courts.

Is Rabbi Brackman claiming that insistence that all aspects be settled before giving a get is not the halacha or is he saying that the halacha is unfair to women for requiring this? Or is he saying that women view this halachic fact as giving an unfair advantage to the men? Is he saying that some men take advantage of this halacha or that the wife often claims that they are - even when there are legitimate reasons not to. Again he is describing a complex situation in very simplistic terms and in addition is totally ignoring the possibility that there are sometimes legitimate reasons for continuing negotiations - even if it makes the wife unhappy. In fact it is clear from Rabbi Brackman's writing that he views the woman as inevitably the victim and the man the bully. That is simply an inaccurate picture and biased description. Likewise he fails to note that some courts are biased against men - and that men try to avoid using such courts - even though women prefer them. [...] 

Thus, in Judaism when a man refuses to give his wife a Gett he is taking away her most basic human right — her freedom to live and be who she wants to be. The moment the wife decides she no longer wants to be married to her husband human empathy and common decency dictates that he must let her free. By finding excuses for not doing so he is controlling her in a manner that contravenes every aspect of her basic human rights. There is only one apt description for that type of behavior — pure evil.
Rabbi Brackman's idiosyncratic understanding of get is well expressed  "in Judaism when a man refuses to give his wife a Get he is taking away her most basic human right — her freedom to live and be who she wants to be." He is conflating Judaism with secular values.  He does not show that the Torah requires Get on demand and in fact it doesn't. Obviously such a fact bothers Rabbi Brackman.
Western man places freedom to do whatever he/she wants as the highest values - but it clearly is not a Jewish values. I would like to see him present a source which says that Judaism says that man's most basic right is freedom to live and be who she wants to be. Judaism takes away the right of a married woman to commit adultery, of males to have sexual relations with males, of Jews marrying non-Jews etc etc. Why doesn't Rabbi Brackman explicitly acknowledge that the values of Judaism as defined by halacha and hashkofa - are simply not adequate for him.
In the final analysis, the refusal to give a Gett by a husband, for any reason, will cause pain to his wife and therefore is not only contrary to the spirit of Judaism it contravenes the letter of the law as well. But beyond that it is a terrible desecration of G-d’s name because it in essence is just another example of the cynical use of religion to hurt and control another human being. Tragically this is yet another case of women being especially disadvantaged in this regard. [...]

 The above statement as a categorically statement is false as is clear from the gemora, Shulchan Aruch and poskim.

As the Halachic Prenup, which ensures substantial monetary penalties for not giving a Gett, becomes more popular this problem will hopefully become a thing of the past. But until that happens there are still women who are chained and suffering and it is up to you and me to do all we can to ensure that their evil tormentors do not get away with it.

He fails to note that in the Chareidi world the prenup is understood to be an example of financial pressure and thus is problematic as Get Me'usa. If his intent is to proclaim that only the Modern Orthodox understanding of halacha is legitimate - then he should say so instead of giving the clear but false impression that all Orthodox poskim agree with his view
===============================

Finally Rabbi Brackman posted a statement on Facebook criticizing those such as myself who have a "mistaken" understanding because we don't agree with his views concerning Get. 

He fails to note that such disagreement is not just that of the simple people such as myself - but is in fact the normative view of poskim through the ages as I have shown in many posts on my blog [just search for term "get me'sua" (or "get meusa" or "forced get") in the archives.

https://www.facebook.com/levi.brackman/posts/10205684977302618
There we go, it was bound to happen, Daniel Eidensohn, in his Daas Torah blog read my article and characterized it as a "well written - though mistaken - piece" and me as a "rabbi ignores halacha." I wonder what part is mistaken or against Halacha?
Perhaps the line that: "The Torah is very protective about the feelings and dignity of women — even more so than that of men."
Perhaps he thinks this is a mistake: "Refusing to give a Gett is also the mark of a man who lacks basic human empathy and common decency"?
Or maybe he disagrees with this: "the refusal to give a Gett by a husband, for any reason, will cause pain to his wife and therefore is not only contrary to the spirit of Judaism it contravenes the letter of the law as well."
He probably disagrees with the general idea that men should not be allowed to use the Get to further control and intimidate their wives.
Whatever it is he disagree with, the fact that his opinion is shared by so many of his circle is deeply troubling. What on earth is wrong with these people. It boggles the mind.

243 comments :

  1. Brackman is an arch über-liberal, on the far left of Orthodoxy. Aside from expressing agreement with Open Orthodoxy and its leaders, the positions he espouses places him very far outside the mainstream.

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  2. It is sad to think that this man provides guidance to children professionally.

    ,The couple has a fight the wife demands a ghetto the next morning the husband goes to the local beit din has them prepare a get and the wife picks it up in the afternoon. Sorry Mr. Levi. A beit din that acts that way is incompetent .

    Unless there were special circumstances such as imprisonment physical or sexual abuse etc.

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  3. One way to quickly identify a non-Orthodox "rabbi" - when he makes a slew of leftist / feminist / misandrist statements without citing one traditional Torah authority that actually refers to the circumstances being discussed.

    In this case, the Gemaras and Rambam cited by Brackman were never stated in reference to situations where a man's wife is demanding a GET.

    Brackman did not (and I'm pretty certain cannot) cite one traditional Torah source (ie other than contemporary "modern Orthodoxy") that rules that a man who refuses to dissolve his family is unjust, lacking decency, or evil. Brackman is a simply inventing halacha out of thin air, and viciously slandering multitudes of decent Jewish men who might believe that Torah family values trump the corrupt feminist divorce culture.

    ReplyDelete
  4. To understand this Neo-Conservative "rabbi", please read this artcile of his:

    http://blogs.denverpost.com/hark/2013/06/14/ordination-of-women-isnt-found-within-the-tradition-of-judaism-but-tradition-changes/2226/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Interestingly, the "Redeem Rivky" facebook page has disappeared sometime within the past two weeks. (It hadn't been updated in four months.)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Asher pihem diber shavJanuary 11, 2015 at 3:35 PM

    As much as I despise rabbis who are not halachic, and whose views are not related to torah, I kind of agree with this guy.

    Well, not his Halachic ideas, but the basic idea is correct. Halachically they have absolutely no obligation or reason to give a get.

    Practically though, they give it anyway. So either they are extorting money, or can't leave go. Both are bad. For everyone. No one wants to be extorted, and not leaving go, is as bad for the recalcitrant husband as for anyone else. It prolongs his and her pain, and it's usually camoflauged as for the kids, family. It helps no one, and causes more animosity. Jewish families shouldn't suffer, just because someone needs a therapist. Not that the women deserve anything, they are usually just as bad as the guys, if not much worse. At the point that it goes public though, it is usually in everyone's best interest to end it.

    The only case where I find it smart to withhold a get, is if she doesn't let him have a relationship with his kids. If she doesn't allow regular unadulterated visitation TODAY, she should not recieve a get. Regardless of her excuses. Also, if she is holding a large amount of money that Halachically doesn't belong to her. Other than that, move on.

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  7. Daas Torah,

    "false abuse accusations" How do you know it is false? Shouldn't the Court decide that? Who determined that it is false? If the Court has decided that the abuse accusations are genuine then their decision should be respected. In those rare situations where the husband receives no visitation rights it is because the Court has ruled that he is a danger! And the court is usually right! We have to trust the court’s judgment the same we trust them to convict all criminals! The Court can sometimes make a mistake in regard to custody just like they could make a mistake in regard to a murder case – but there is no better system!

    ReplyDelete
  8. "We have to trust the court’s judgment" - Great! Then we can also trust the court's judgment that it may not get involved with a Jewish GET matter without violating the US Constitution.

    So you should certainly agree that a Jewish man in family court has absolutely no obligation to give a GET to his wife, since civil courts may not get involved with Jewish GET matters.

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  9. Brackman has commented on R. Eidensohn's above post on his facebook page:

    https://www.facebook.com/levi.brackman/posts/10205684977302618

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for the ink.

    I wonder what part is mistaken or against Halacha?

    If he really was wondering what Rabbi Dr. Eidensohn's reasoning is, he was welcome to ask. #Disingenuous.

    Perhaps the line that: "The Torah is very protective about the feelings and dignity of women — even more so than that of men."

    And therefore? Is this a pass that if a woman claims to really want a piece of pork that she must be handed it, since "The Torah is very protective about the feelings and dignity of women — even more so than that of men."?? Huh
    #Disingenuous.

    Perhaps he thinks this is a mistake: "Refusing to give a Gett is also the mark of a man who lacks basic human empathy and common decency"?

    It certainly is a mistake. Do you, R. Brackman believe you are more compassionate than G-d? Are you more compassionate than the Rama and Jewish law? And if you fell that you are indeed more compassionate than G-d (afra l'puma), what gives you the right to malign one who follows G-ds directives as "the mark of a man who lacks basic human empathy and common decency"

    #Disingenuous.

    Or maybe he disagrees with this: "the refusal to give a Gett by a husband, for any reason, will cause pain to his wife and therefore is not only contrary to the spirit of Judaism it contravenes the letter of the law as well."

    This is indeed a great question, when it is discussed with sincerity. It is one that Rabbi Dr. Eidensohn has discussed several times. R. Brackman, why don't you respectfully, and genuinely, open up the conversation.

    While at it, please discuss the woman's right - if she has one - to cause pain to her husband and children.

    He probably disagrees with the general idea that men should not be allowed to use the Get to further control and intimidate their wives.

    Do you really think so, R. Brackman?
    #Disingenuous.

    Whatever it is he disagree with, the fact that his opinion is shared by so many of his circle is deeply troubling. What on earth is wrong with these people. It boggles the mind.



    I get it. If you don't think like me, you must be an evil kook. Wow.


    #intolerant #close-minded

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  11. Hmm... suppose she hands him a gun to commit suicide so as to prevent her from
    shedding some "croc" tears, thereby freeing her from an Agunah, and if he
    doesn't comply, either she can pull the trigger, or the Kangaroos will. Crocs'
    tears uber alles, even small children's tears, "achzor kayenim bamidbor". Hey...
    haven't you heard "gam tanin choltzu shad"!? Kama tzodku divrei chachamim: "kol
    hamrachem al hoachzorim, sofo lehitachzer al horachmonim. Of course you have no
    clue why R' Elyashiv doesn't allow, shelo shimashto es gdolei hador! Lo lomadto,
    veim lomadto Lo shoniso, veim shoniso, Lo shilashto, at least you could have
    polished his shoes, maybe you could have learnt something. With all due respect, what would you like to be when you
    grow up? eh..


    As for "Evil", gam Evil machrish lechochom yechoshev!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Rabbi Brackman implies that if he was personally in a divorce situation, then he would give the Get right away.

    Those claiming that Rabbi Brackman’s position is anti-Torah, are basically saying that the more “anti-Torah” a husband is, the more likely he is to be mevatter and give the Get, while only those who are “Torah True” husbands would contemplate withholding a Get for leverage.

    Does this make sense? If a person was following the path of the Yetzer Hara wouldn’t you expect him to pursue his own material wellbeing, and conversely wouldn’t you expect someone following the “path of the righteous” to be mevatter and give in to the other person?

    Isn’t it more reasonable that those who live with a mindset that they would never withhold a Get are on the path of the righteous? Do you think the Yetzer Hara is encouraging him to be mevatter?

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  13. Moshe Aharon while the song and dance? What is normative halacha?

    ReplyDelete
  14. A person can be mevatter for himself on his own cheshbon, but you nor anyone else can require someone else be mevatter.

    ReplyDelete
  15. fedupwithcorruptrabbisJanuary 13, 2015 at 3:58 PM

    It is very interesting that we find in the Gemoro in several places such as KESUBOT 108B , that Chazal stated in certain situations if a woman's father renegged on the dowry "THAT SHE SHOULD WAIT TILL HER HAIR TURNS WHITE" a euphemism to "she doesnt receive a GET until certain conditions are met. The very fact that this is brought down by Chazal shows us that the ORA machine, Brackman and the likes have made up this concept of "unconditional Get"

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  16. The logic behind Brackman's post is the same logic that causes Uber liberals to lambast israel for daring to defend itself in the war against Hamas and other terrorist group. The thinking goes along the lines that it is a bad thing to shoot weapons in the vicinity of civilians so by targeting Hamas while they are operating in redidential areas must be a war crime. For reasons that defy comprehension they have no ability to distinguish between offensive actions and self defense and taken to its logical conclusion Israel would be required to roll over and play dead before they commit the war crime of fighting Hamas. The same is true for divorce, they have no ability to see the big picture or acknowledge what would seem to be basic common sense that interactions between two parties can be complex and was is inappropriate in one case may be legitimate in another. They get stuck with the concept of it is not right to use a get offensively to extort a spouse so it must be inappropriate to use a get defensively under any circumstances regardless of the actions of the other party.

    ReplyDelete
  17. R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, R’ Osher Weiss, and R' Ovadia Weiss who endorse the
    halachic prenup are regular mainstream chareidi. When you choose the more stringent side in
    every divorce related halachic question, which thereby causes more difficulty
    for a woman getting divorced then there is reason to believe that you are
    unaware of the subconscious factors that are motivating your position.

    ReplyDelete
  18. "There is only one apt description for that type of behavior — pure evil."

    Since I'm supportive, in some cases, of that "type of behavior", I guess that makes my behavior, according to Rabbi Brackman, also pure evil.

    think I've been insulted.

    Rabbi Brackman, I challenge you to a duel. Plastic bags and cattle prods at ten paces!

    ReplyDelete
  19. 1) Isn’t it outrageous that a person educated in Public School is more likely to give a Get right away than a person educated in a Yeshiva! Are we a light unto the nations?


    Don't you think R' Yisrael Salanter would be revolted by a Get refuser? Don't you think your bubby and zeidy would have been revolted by a Get refuser?


    2) As to your second point, in every ORA type case that I am aware of the husband also refuses to continue the marriage under any circumstances – he just does not want to give the Get. The wife couldn't continue the marriage even if she wanted to.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Pointing out that 3 rabbis who are associated with the chareidi world apparently accept prenups - just emphasizes that it is a widely and explicitly rejected view in the Chareidi world. Please cut out the psychobabble. The reason for the rejection is halacha. What are your subconscious factors which cause you to keep ignoring reality?

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  21. I am not going to attack or defend Brackman, but he is from a Lubavitch Yeshiva, where I used to daven. In Lubavitch they learn Rambam "religiously". Rambam has a different view on forced gittin. Also, since you are discussing the SA, does anyone know what the Shulchan Aruch HaRav of Lubavitch says on the matter?

    ReplyDelete
  22. From Brackman's Facebook page, in refererence to DT: "I can't be bothered with him. He is simply a misogynist." This intellectually dishonest comment by Brackman is indicative of the mentality of the current "feminist politicians in lieu of rabbis". The feminist rabbis impose invented halachic positions without ever feeling obligated to cite valid halachic sources for their positions. In response to their critics they simply respond with feminist canards like "misogynist".

    The feminist "rabbis" are causing enormous damage to the Jewish family structure. These so-called rabbis encourage divorce on demand and pretty much offer the women a blank check for all their demands, while ignoring Jewish law and viciously denigrating Jewish men in divorce situations.

    If we'd like to save the Jewish family structure, its essential that the feminist rabbis be exposed, defrocked, and stripped of power and influence in the the Orthodox communities.

    ReplyDelete
  23. See Brackman's comments on his Facebook page. He is not basing himself on the Rambam. He agrees that a get cannot be forced. He is simply of the opinion that regardless of the circumstnances, a get must always be given, out of mentchlichkeit apparently. He makes it very clear in his reply to a comment by a Joseph Friedman.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Again and again the Gemara says that “To prevent a situation of Aguna the Chachamim were lenient”, and you think we shouldn’t be “lenient” to follow 3 world class Chareidi Rabbis?

    The same logical issue that we have with evolution exists with your train of thought. If even one natural variable among many, would be slightly different, then the world could not exist, so obviously Hashem consciously designed everything in a way to create life.

    So too, if in even one step of the way you followed a different halachic opinion, then woman would not be chained by a Get refuser, so obviously it is by your design – whether conscious or unconscious – that woman are chained.

    Here is an example. R’ Yosef Gavriel Bechoffer has pointed out that shaming by an individual who is not acting as a shliach of Bais Din does not constitute the kind of pressure that would make the Get a Get Meusa. Only shaming by a Bais Din or shliach Bais Din or maybe a communal institution could constitute a Get Meusa. This is completely logical, surely if a person is revolted by a Get refuser, and – on his own choosing – refuses to have anything to do with a Get refuser, you cannot claim that it is a Get Meusa. I do not have to be his friend!

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  25. Rav Eliashev stated that use of the "halachic prenup" causes a future gett to be an invalid gett me'usa.

    ReplyDelete
  26. @Moshe Ahron - this discussion with you is going nowhere. I simply say look at what the poskim say. You repsond that logically it isn't so or that some minority opinion exists that says otherwise.

    Your latest from R Bechoffer is of the same ilk. His position is absurd and apparently there is not a single posek who agrees with him. I debated the issue with him. But you simply say "it is completely logical" and thus think you can ignore the reality that the poskim don't agree.

    If you want to continue this discussion please cite mainstream views

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  27. 1) A person educated in public school is also more likely to have affairs with his neighbors. Your above logic should follow that we should thus, too, encourage affairs to be a "a light unto the nations". You are making the incorrect assumption that giving a Get right away is the proper and correct thing to do. In many cases it is not.

    R' Yisrael Salanter and our zeidas and bubbes would be revolted by quickie divorces. They would be proud a spouse who tried his or her utmost to preserve the marriage rather than divorce.

    2) My second point, obviously, was addressing the situation -- and they certainly occur -- where the husband sincerely desires to continue the marriage whereas his wife is insisting upon an immediate divorce. (I did not raise any points about ORA.)

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  28. You are assuming that a husband who declines to give a Get when asked for one is doing so for illegitimate reasons. That is far from always being the case. There are numerous legitimate reasons that a husband may morally, ethically and halachicly decline to give his wife a Get even if she wants one. Such as when he wants the marriage to continue. And in such situations the wife is certainly not an "aguna". A get is not an entitlement. Halacha does not support or have divorce-on-demand. Halacha specifically (and Shulchan Aruch outlines multiple reasons and situations) where a husband is correct to not give a divorce that his wife wants.

    ReplyDelete
  29. All the time I hear among teh mainstream Yeshivish community that "R' Osher Weiss says you could do this or that" But when it comes to the Halchic Pre-nup we can't follow him!


    We - Charedi jews - follow many halachic opinions - such as using crockpots or opening soda bottles on Shabbas or other opinions that are not in any way more "mainstream". Many times a Rav will say "R' Moshe was matir it" or "R' Shlomo Zalman was matir it". And many times I have recently heard "R' Osher Weiss was matir it". However, for some reason - the Halchic Pre-nup is different. We just cannot follow all these real big time poskim, even though we follow them or other similar poskim in many other areas.


    There is a whole long list of world class poskim who accept the halachic prenup. I only cited 3 of them. The whole long list - consists of real big time poskim. What is you halachic method - just to see who has the longer list?

    ReplyDelete
  30. I think it's a little more nuanced. He writes:

    "If they hadn't made so much money out of their thuggery some make [sic] have looked at it differently."

    Rabbi Brackman seems to leave the door open to beating a husband "Lishmah".

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  31. @Moshe Ahron - make up your mind. What is really bothering you - my rejection of the prenup because that is not the accepted chareidi view or the fact that the normative view of chareidi poskim is not to accept the validity of the prenup?

    Please provide me with the long list of chareidi poskim who accept the prenup. Also please tell me how many chareidi couples have signed one.

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  32. There is a far greater list of gedolei yisroel all across the chareidi community that have rejected the halachic prenup on a halachic basis that it causes future divorces to be a get me'usa and invalid.


    And we follow that halachic ruling.

    ReplyDelete
  33. You are focusing on a theoretical case which is quite
    uncommon. Every case discussed on this blog, on other blogs, or that is in the news (and that ORA deals with) is a situation where both the husband and wife refuse to live with each other under any circumstances – and surely in such a situation the ideal behavior would be to be mevatter as R’ Yisrael Salanter would and give the Get. Surely, that is what we should be encouraging. And surely this blog is
    encouraging the opposite!

    Usually, the Yetzer Hara tries to encourage you to seek temporary pleasures, not to self-sacrifice and be mevatter! It is absurd to say that a Public School kid is willing to self sacrifice and give the Get right away because he is in the grips of the Yetzer Hara!

    Rule of Thumb: yetzer Hara encourages you to seek pleasure, while the yetzer Tov encourage self
    sacrifice.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Why in other areas of halacha is it enough to just quote one posek?

    Why the double standard when it comes to the pre-nup?

    My main point isn't that the list is long. My main point is that even if it was just one real world class posek it should be enough just like people always say "R' Elyashiv was matir".

    And here we have 3 world class Chareidi poskim - and regarding all 3 how many times have you heard "R' Ovadia Yosef says you could..." Did those people have to list other poskim? Why the double standard when it come to the pre-nup?

    And especially here... to prevent Agunah we should be lenient.

    We also have R' Yitzchok Liebes zt"l, and R' Herschel Shachter, R' Willig, R" Gedalia Dov Schwartz but they of course "don't count" because they are not chareidi whatever the word chareidi means. This isn't some opinion out of left field - it is agreed to by many people. You probably know more poskim who agree. By the way, Rabbi Adlerstein uses the pre-nup.

    The number of Chareidm who use the pre-nup is probably close to zero, because a man has no incentive to use the pre-nup and the girl is afraid to even ask for it. The only way it will be used by any community is if the Rabbanim require it.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I am not bothered by a 1st tier Chareidi Posek whose halachic opinion is that the pre-nup is not good. Every real posek has the obligation to issue an honest psak and I respect that.


    I am upset with the second tier Rabbanim - who are not real poskim - who are choosing to follow the stringent view.

    ReplyDelete
  36. It is more than theoretical and much more common than you assume.


    Of course if the husband no longer wants to be married to his wife he should give his wife a gett asap. But even in those cases there are various instances that would justify on a halachic, ethical and moral basis to wait to give the gett after the settlement of outstanding divorce issues. The normative halacha as practiced for centuries, up to and including our times, is that the gett document is the last instrument executed in a divorce proceeding after other outstanding separation issues are resolved. Furthermore, if the wife is in the ongoing process of actively hurting her husband and violating his halachic rights and illegitimately trampling over him (some examples might be a) falsely accusing him of abuse of either their children or her in order to prevent him from custody/visitation arrangement that the secular courts often accept without veracity b) emptying his bank account and robbing him of his assets), then he has the right to wait to give her the gett only after she stops violating him and corrects the damages she caused him. And this is a right that has been stated and acknowledged by many great halachic authorities.

    ReplyDelete
  37. A wife falsely accusing her husband would not cause the husband to lose custody. It is only if the Court determines that the accusations are true - then the husband could lose custody.

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  38. You still can’t point to a single "Aguna" case where the husband wants to continue the marriage. And even if you could dig up somewhere one or two cases – the point is that you are mistaking the “rare” case for the “frequent” case. It isn’t just you, I have challenged others on this blog – no one could locate even a single case!

    In every single case (or at least the vast majority) of the “Aguna” cases, the husband is not willing under any circumstances to remain married.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Here is the big picture: Rabbi Brackman is revolted by a Get refuser. Even if Get refusal is morally acceptable it is certainly not ideal behavior. It is perfectly normal to be revolted by permissible behavior that doesn't meet your standards. For example, you might be allowed to keep money in a certain situation, but I might be revolted if you don’t meet a higher standard and return the money. Why is it that the secular world’s standards are so much higher than frum people’s standards that the secular world is revolted by Get refusal?

    I think we should admire Rabbi Brackman for being on such a high level that he is revolted by a lower standard.

    I of course do not believe that Get refusal is morally acceptable….I am writing using the Gemara’s argumentation “L’didi…”

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  40. @Moshe Ahron - you are wrong.. The "aguna" cases that I have dealt with on this blog - the husbands all wanted to continue the marriage and the wife walked away crying that they were agunos.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Daas Torah,

    You wrote in a prior comment thread (maybe 2 months ago), that (a) you do not encourage Get refusal and that (b) you agree that the righteous thing is to be mevatter and give the Get right away (correct me if I am wrong).

    However, when people read this post I think they receive vibes that are the opposite of (a) and (b). And I think a post like this plants seeds in people’s minds that make it more likely for them to become a Get refuser. I am sure that you don’t want to become one of the causes of that.

    Don’t you think that you should have a disclaimer on your posts to clarify your position?

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  42. I do not encourage Get refusal but I also don't think a person should lose his kids and be bankrupted by his wife. I did not say that he should give a Get right away - unless all issues are resolved. I did say that once all issues are resolved the Get should be given right away

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  43. Much of the secular world is revolted by circumcising a baby's penis, using a live chicken for repentance and slaughtering animals without first stunning them. Don't use the secular world's yardstick's as your measuring rod. Just because the secular world thinks a divorce should be given does not by any means indicate that they are morally correct or that a divorce in a particular case should be issued. There are numerous cases where a parties demand for a divorce is correctly, morally, ethically and legally denied.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Right, you want them to follow YOUR personally preferred and chosen ruling (even though it is a minority opinion.)

    ReplyDelete
  45. The rabbanim disallow it for halachic reasons as you were told and explained. It causes a get me'usa, an invalid divorce. It doesn't prevent aguna but rather it causes mamzeirus. And we do everything under the sun to preclude a situation that could lead to even a questionable mamzeirus situation.

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  46. You keep forgetting the extremely vital point that if a wife asks a husband for a gett but the husband earnestly wishes to continue the marriage, not only is he halachicly not required to give a gett but he is on the right from a moral and ethical perspective in declining to give a divorce. It would be proper and correct from a halachic legal perspective as well as a moral and ethical perspective for the wife to honor her husband's desire to remain married to her and be mevattel her desire and request for a gett.

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  47. The man shouldn't lose custody even if the Court determines that her claims of abuse are true and he is a danger?

    How likely is it that the Husband will only use the Get leverage to the extent that even you Rabbi Eidensohn think is fair?

    What mechanism is in place to ensure that the Get leverage is only used to the extent that even you Rabbi Eidensohn think is fair?

    Once a Get is allowed to be used as leverage, it will usually be used to receive a custody and financial arrangement that only the Husband in his "unbiased opinion" would deem "fair", and there is no way to limit it to what any person including you would deem fair.


    The ability to use a Get as leverage will almost always result in the woman being railroaded.

    "unless all issues are resolved" that is the million dollar question, why doesn't the husband consider it resolved and accept what an impartial judge has decided.

    A woman can’t do anything “bad” to her husband, only the Courts can decide. Independent people (the Court) came up with a custody and monetary arrangement that they determined to be fair. It might not be the same arrangement that the Halacha would decide, but the Court certainly is not evil, in fact they are fulfilling one of the 7 mitzvos for the Bnai Noach – it is not like Sodom’s court!

    On the other hand, the "sins" of the man are truly done by the man. The man himself decides in his infinite wisdom and “unbiased opinion” how much money and custody he must receive before he gives the Get! In a recent case, a man decided that he won’t give a Get unless he received 125k – did any Bais Din or secular court rule that he was due the money? He decided himself!

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  48. I agree that if the marriage can be saved we should do everything we can to save it, and that it is not a righteous act to just give a Gett the first second. However, as I said again and again the Agunah type cases that are causing all this controversy about Gett refusal is referring to cases where the husband refuses to continue the marriage!

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  49. The custody and financial arrangements should be done in BD. Once BD comes to a decision, the get should be given immediately.

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  50. That's an incorrect claim you're making. There are multiple cases, as R. Daniel Eidensohn said below he's discussed on this very blog, where a husband does want to continue the marriage whereas the wife runs around claiming she's an aguna because she didn't receive the gett she's demanding but not entitled to.


    Secondly, virtually the entire liberal crowd constantly demanding Orthodoxy change how it treats gett cases are demanding that Orthodoxy establish what effectively amounts to "divorce-on-demand". Whereas if a spouse wants a divorce they are entitled to it irregardless of what Shulchan Aruch has to say about it. They openly claim that if a wife wants a divorce the husband has to give the gett even if he wants to continue the marriage, as he is fully entitled to under halacha and morally and ethically, even if there is no "cause" that would allow his wife to demand a gett against his will.

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  51. "A woman can’t do anything “bad” to her husband"
    "the "sins" of the man are truly done by the man" -


    Only someone living in a deluded feminist fantasy world, without any knowledge of halacha nor any knowledge of family court proceedings, could spew the nonsense you're spewing all over this blog. Its really pathetic.



    If you, Brackman, and ORA are revolted by Torah divorce laws that is your problem. I believe many Torah Jews are revolted by feminists such as yourself, Brackman, and ORA who spew ugly propaganda and attacks against Torah Judaism and against Jewish men in divorce conflicts.

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  52. Halachicly under Jewish Law as clearly enumerated in Shulchan Aruch and in multitudes of halacha seforim and teshuvos, ONLY a beis din is permitted to rule on any and all aspects of a Jewish divorce case. ONLY a beis din can determine financial seperation issues, whether a request for a divorce is entitled to under Jewish law if it is contested, and custody arrangements.


    If one of the spouses bring in non-Jewish/secular courts to make any of these decisions he or she is trampling on their spouses halachic rights. And that spouse is entitled to redress to correct and undo what the non-Jewish court enforced against halacha and have the decision re-decided upon by a beis din. And in many cases that spouse is entitled to withhold from giving or accepting the gett until their halachic rights and properties that were unhalachicly taken from them by their spouses utilization of non-Jewish courts is reversed and rectified by beis din.


    As per centuries of halachic practice up to and including our times, the gett document is the last instrument that is done after other outstanding divorce issues are settled by beis din.

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  53. I wonder how many cases of divorce are based on abuse?
    Often the marriage becomes problematic for whatever reasons, but I doubt that a significant percentage of divorces happen due to child abuse.
    Also, each case is different. I am acquainted with one case where the wife falsely accused the husband of violence, which never took place. this was despite her getting the get up front. It was a financial ploy.
    So pro-Agunah groups, which I am sure have good intentions, should really be careful and examine each case on its own merits.

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  54. Rabbi Eidensohn,
    I think we are both right, in regard to whether or not the husband is willing to remain married in the cases discussed on this blog. But we are discussing 2 different parts in the divorce timeline. I am referring to the point in time when it reaches “Agunah status” and the Agunah activists become involved, which is after the couple separate and they are well on their way to a civil divorce. And that is the time when these cases generate the controversy. This is usually after many months of fighting. You are referring to earlier in the time line when neither I nor any Agunah activist is advocating for a Gett. In fact, at that point it is usually a private matter that the public is unaware about.

    Obviously there is always one person who comes up with the idea of divorce first, while the other party wants to work things out. However, once the wife is completely determined to end the marriage, then due to the constant fighting it is only a matter of time until the Husband will also hate the wife and want a divorce. At some point, even if the wife would change her mind and would want to continue the marriage the husband would not agree.

    It takes months and months – and usually over a year - for it to reach “Agunah” status and for Ora to become involved. And that is when they are separated and on their way to a civil divorce. Prior to the first Ora rally or Kol Koreh, the husband definitely is unwilling to remain married.

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  55. If a wife wants a divorce and hates her husband, she won't try to make the marriage work, she won't be nice to him, it will be very unpleasant for him. Isn't it just a matter of time until the husband can't take it anymore and will also want a divorce? So what is better to let it play out to the inevitable conclusion or "Get on Demand"?

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  56. @Moshe Ahron - your imagination is working overtime. The cases I have publicized do not involve a wife who hates her husband - but simple that she thinks she can do better. There is no doubt that various "advisors" encourage the wife to be more hateful in the hopes of forcing the husband to give a divorce. But it doesn't work out the way you imagine.

    I also haven't seen any example of the husband hating the wife - despite some pretty nasty behavior on her part.

    In short your inevitable conclusion is not inevitable

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  57. @Moshe Ahron - your claims are simply not true. Your fantasy about the psychological processes is as wrong as your fantasy about what the halacha should be.

    I haven't seen in the cases I have presented on the blog that the husband comes to hate the wife - though obviously it would ease her sense of guilt for breaking up the marriage. There are obviously cases where the couple come to hate each other - but the cases of "aguna" presented here are simple cases where the wife either on her own or through parental pressure - have decided that they can do better. The husband is clearly hurt but he is not hateful and the marriage could be saved if the wife was willing.

    Your last statement is regarding Oral is utter nonsense. They don't enter when the marriage is clearly dead. The rallies are for the purpose of killing the marriage because the husband still thinks they can be reconciled.

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  58. You're assuming he'll eventually want to divorce. Your assumption will be wrong in many cases. And halacha, as well as morally and ethically, clearly state that if he wants the marriage to continue then the marriage shall continue even if she asks for a divorce.

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  59. Your making a host of assumptions that will not be correct in many cases. There are more cases than you imagine that the husband does not want to get divorced. Even after many months or longer of the wife insisting on receiving a divorce. And even if the wife is adamantly and consistently and determinedly demanding a divorce, there are numerous cases where the husband still -- sincerely -- wants the marriage to continue. And that is not only his legal right under halacha to insist the marriage continue, something beis din per halacha will honor and uphold his wish to remain married to his wife, but he is morally and ethically in the correct and his wife should properly agree to remain married, as is her duty.


    And in cases falling along these lines, the so-called "aguna activists" still insist the wife has the right to a gett, despite the halacha being to the contrary. And any civil divorce has no bearing on the halacha in this matter. Either party can unilaterally obtain a civil divorce even without the consent of their spouse, whereas halacha recognizes no such unilateral right.

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  60. Rav Ovadiah and Rav Mordechai Eliyahu write the following in a psak din:

    "כשמתברר לבית דין כי לזוג אין כל סיכוי לחזור לשלום־בית, פוסקים גירושין אף לפי תביעת הצד האשם בהפרת שלום־הבית."

    How can you say this view does not have the support of poskim?

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  61. Moshe Ahron, you are seemingly on a mission to promote the following idea. You want a husband to be Mevater, to give in, when his wife has moved out, and to give her a Get even in cases where he is not obligated to.

    Despite being shot down repeatedly, you gamely return for another round.

    May I try another tack (for me) in responding to you? First, let me say that there's a certain appeal to being Mevater. I do it sometimes. I cut my losses, and move on.

    As satisfying as it can be for me to be Mevater, society as a whole pays a price. For example, I go shopping, and the clerk apparently neglects to put the grape juice intended for Shabbos Kiddush, into my cart. I get home and check the receipt, and I was charged anyway. (Actually happened.) I can go back to the store the next time, and demand that I am owed a bottle of juice. Or I can let it slide. I let it slide. Why? Because, maybe, unlikely as it may be, the juice was in the cart and somehow fell out, or was stolen. I don't want the clerk's reputation affected because of my possible error (his name is on the receipt.)

    What would be the upshot if I and everyone else was super-Mevater when shopping at this store? Clerks would not be chastised for sloppy and negligent behavior; and the store, the public, and, most importantly, the clerk himself, would suffer.

    The store suffers, because some people would stop shopping there. Who wants to shop at a store where products are mislabeled, where products are not reordered in a timely fashion, etc. With no one complaining to management, the salaried employees have less incentive to strive to provide quality service.

    The customers who continue patronizing the store suffer, because the store raises prices as business drops, and the customer still has to still put up with the lousy service.

    The clerk suffers the most. He will have a hard time getting and keeping a job elsewhere in his career because of his ingrained poor work habits.

    Now, back to marriage.

    Collectively, women will, and do, suffer when husbands are overly Mevater. You may be surprised to learn that some women regret walking out of their marriages. Sometimes a woman will seek out her ex-husband to remarry. Some second marriages for women end in divorce also, and anecdotal evidence suggests that sometimes the primary reason for the breakup of the second marriage is the same reason as for her first marriage.

    Imagine if everyone was Mevater theft? Molestation? A scandal at a seminary brewed for years because the affected girls were massively Mevater.

    Yes, yes, Moshe Aharon, being Mevater can be beautiful. It can also destroy civilization. The Europeans are finally waking up that "Je Suis Charlie". You just can't keep looking the other way.

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  62. Are you saying that if today you called up Ahron and said that Tamar wants to get back together with him in a real marriage, he would say yes?

    Are you saying that after the NY Post article, Avraham Meir would have still been willing to get back together with Gital in a real marriage?

    If that was even a real possibility don’t you think that Rabbi G or Rabbi S K would have attempted that solution? Are you aware if they spent more than 10 minutes on that solution?

    You were the only one – in that famous “solutions post” that ever entertained the idea of them getting back together. Did anyone else even try that approach from the time the Kol Korei was printed?

    Did any Rosh Yeshiva or askan even attempt it? Every person who tried to get involved was only trying to come up with a solution how they could get divorced amicably because they all realized that it was far too late to restore the marriage. R M F tried to fix the marriage, but that was at a much earlier stage, well before the Kol Korei and many months before it reached agunah status.

    In the case of AM and G, during the whole controversy I spoke to someone who was close to AM’s family. Almost the entire family from the wife of the Rosh Yeshiva (the grandmother of the husband) to the husband’s immediate family hated G and was badmouthing G. From hearing what was going on it was clearly implied that they would have thought it was absurd to even think that Avraham Meir would be willing to go back to her.

    In the case of M K who recently remarried – was he willing to get back together with L?

    Let me be clear: If there is any real possibility of restoring a marriage to a real happy loving relationship, I and the vast majority of the so called Aguna activists would be mortified by a divorce and would do everything to save the marriage. There would be only a small group of crazy fanatics who would advocate for a Get – and you wouldn’t have to worry about this small fringe group. I know the Executive Director of Ora – and I believe that he would agree with this view. Most of the people criticizing Ora don’t know the people running the organization, and just make assumptions about their character. These are solid sincere good people who would be revolted by the idea of ruining a functioning marriage or a marriage that can be repaired.

    Whenever we hear from these husbands they always say their conditions of dollars and custody, I have never heard a single one of these husbands ever mention that they want to stay married.

    Without any hard evidence in either direction, you believe that it is more reasonable to think that in these Aguna type cases the husband would be willing to get back together with his wife? And you think I am the one who is being unreasonable to disagree?! Who is the one who is coming up with a chiddush? Me or you?

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  63. Joseph Orlow,
    You make many good points. However, it would be ridiculous for a husband to decide not to be mevatter in order to benefit society. Especially since it is in his own best interest to be mevatter to preserve his reputation and have a better chance at a good second marriage. It shocked me that a famous Rosh Yeshiva recently encouraged his grandson to not be mevatter. Didn't he realize that he was ruining his grandson's life? His Grandson could have remarried a top girl and had a large family and all he would have lost was 125k and a couple of hours of custody.

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  64. @Moshe Ahron - I stand by my original assertion. From what I see the wife refuses to consider reconciliation because of friends and family and sometimes therapists telling her that she can do better and that she should not have mercy on the poor slob that she married. That her children will be better off with a new father.

    She becomes a hero to many willing to sacrifice her husband and family for the greater good of a more perfect marriage. Of course there are those who either should never have gotten married or something develops that is not fixable. That is not true in the cases I have presented.

    Hatred if it happens develops as a reaction to repeatedly being faced with impossible and unreasonable demands which have nothing to do with saving the marriage. As I noted hatred is not automatically produced even with an unreasonable wife, media campaign and ORA embarrassments

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  65. To clarify your position - could you respond with a simple yes/no to my first 2 questions?

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  66. "However, it would be ridiculous for a husband to decide not to be mevatter in order to benefit society."

    What any given man does is his business. Your complaint seemed to be that this blog, including commenters like myself, are not encouraging husbands to be Mevater. I would suggest that it is the responsibility of Rabbanim, such as Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn, to consider the greater arc of what the impact of universal Mevater would have on Jewish families and communities.

    Here's another suggestion. Survey divorces where the husband was instantly Mevater. Interview ex-husbands and ex-wives on how that played out in the long run. Was it for the best? Present your findings here. I think your research will be of great interest.

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  67. @Moshe Aharon - the precise details are not needed and they violate privacy. If you don't understand what I am saying so far then there is nothing more to say.

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  68. Moshe Ahron:

    If the husband wants to remain married he has that prerogative irregardless how badly his wife wants a Get (assuming he didn't beat her or otherwise commit against her, and leave unremedied, one of the precious few causes halacha lists as permitting forcing an unwilling Get.)


    You cannot judge whether a husband wants to remain married, irregardless as to what the facts or public information seems to you, only HE can tell us whether he wishes to pursue continuing the marriage. If he indeed wishes to pursue it, she cannot force him to divorce her.


    I asked these points directly to the Director of ORA. And he unambiguously thinks, contrary to halacha, that a husband can be forced to give a Get against his will, when he still maintains a desire to remain married with his wife, if his wife is unilaterally insistent upon getting divorced.


    The following are verbatim quotes directly from ORA head Jeremy Stern from the conversation on this exact topic:

    "I would posit that a beis din may simply argue that if one of the parties is absolutely uninterested in reconciling then there is no point in pushing for shalom bayis...


    there may be no grounds whatsoever to argue for shalom bayis...


    Practically speaking, in our society, we don't force someone to be in a relationship that they're not interested in being in...


    the issue is not if one party wants shalom bayis, but if shalom bayis is realistic. If either party vehemently objects, then it's unrealistic..."




    I kept pressing him if the husband expresses an earnest desire for the continuation of the marriage while the wife is adamant about a divorce, and the above were his direct responses.


    And Stern and ORA are dead wrong from a halachic perspective. Yet the nevertheless continue their actions and goals in contrary to halacha based on these mistaken beliefs of theirs (that they reached based on modern social norms in secular society).

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  69. Evan HaEisha:
    The Fifth Section of the Shulchan Aruch
    (as per the "agunah" activists - Moshe Ahron, ORA, Brackman, etc).

    Perek 1:

    Seif 1. Any husband who doesn't immediately deliver a GET to his wife upon her demand is always wrong, and he violates Jewish law in the most grievous manner possible.
    Seif 2. Any husband who doesn't immediately deliver a GET to his wife upon her demand is purely evil.
    Seif 3. Husbands must always make concessions to their wives.
    Seif 4. Wives are never required to make concessions to their husbands.
    Seif 5. A woman can’t (is unable to) do anything “bad” to her husband.
    Seif 6. All GET refusal is morally revolting by higher moral standards.
    Seif 7. In every agunah case, the husband is not willing under any circumstances to remain married.
    Seif 8. Jews are permitted to use non-Jewish family courts because there is no better justice system than non-Jewish family courts.
    Seif 9. Moredes and moseres are non-existent concepts invented by misogynist Chareidim.
    Seif 10. All those who reject the first nine seifim are misogynist women haters.

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  70. "Most of the people criticizing Ora don’t know the people running the organization, and just make assumptions about their character."

    Moshe Ahron, ORA broke the story "Tamar is Free". But when I contacted ORA, they refused to answer this simple question: "Is Tamar married?" That response spoke volumes about their character.

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  71. If the wife would be mevatter and remained married per her husband's wishes, that would prevent her reputation from being ruined.

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  72. David, your points are well taken. However, let's not allow the phony "agunot" activists to artificially limit the discussions to situations where the husband only seeks to continue the marriage. This artificial limit serves ORA's propaganda machine by attempting to to kasher ORA's gross violations of Jewish law, justice, and ethics.

    In many cases a Jewish husband dissatisfied with his wife might be willing to consider divorce IF and ONLY IF the divorce will allow him to continue significant, reliable parenting time (not visitor status) and involvement with his children, and IF and ONLY IF the divorce will not financially crush him with non-halachic child support and alimony payments causing him to become a virtual "agun" unable to remarry, and IF and ONLY IF the husband will not be subjected to years of court litigation and MESIRAH in the feminist police state courts.


    Significant parenting time for a father refers to much more time than the feminist courts will usually grant, where his children live nearby and the ex-wife cannot move away with the children, and where the ex-wife is not interfering at all in his parenting rights. Where the wife won't agree to these arrangements, many Jewish husbands should and will strongly resist divorce, and they have every right to al pi Torah law.

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  73. stop using the term aguna to describe a moredes that voluntarily opts out of her marriage for no valid reason, wants her husband to support her forever, wants sole custody, goes to secular courts, refuses to accept reasonable compromises to get her get.
    An aguna is someone whose husband is not known to be alive or dead and no one knows where he is.
    A self imposed situation is not an aguna, and referring to it as such is an insult to the nebach real ones.

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  74. By way of emphasis - I was divorced (remarried a year ago).

    I have 4 kids.

    It wasn't my idea, and I tried to get her to change her mind for about 6 months, until on the advice of my Rebbe, I agreed to move forward with the divorce.

    Everything was decided in bais din (Rabbi Herbst).

    Once everything was decided I gave the get same day, but certainly not before then.

    Once that was done, we had an uncontested divorce proceeding in civil court with the bais din agreement entered as our mutually agreed terms.

    Kids doing great BH.

    It was a very challenging time, and the apikorsim (term not used lightly) that want to trample on the Torah to appease the liberal left wing feminists are as bad as the reformm movement and need to be addressed the same way.

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  75. What was the reason or basis that your rebbi advised you to agree to divorce?

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  76. You dealt with Rabbi Herbst who is a reasonable fellow. He probably (hopefully) came up with a fair and equitable custody and financial arrangement. The problem is that often the husband runs to one of these right wing Bais Din's that might rule that custody and 100% of assets go to the husband. Even in theory if that is the halacha, no woman will be willing to lose everything and go to Bais Din - she would have to be on the level of R' Yisrael Salanter. So woman will continue going to a secular court until they are offered fair and equitable arrangements in a Bais Din.
    I highly doubt that the people commenting on this blog against the woman going to secular court would do anything different if they were in this position.
    There are very few people who would be willing to give up their house, bank accounts, and investment accounts, and all their assets so as not to violate the prohibition of going to secular court.

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  77. Get-On-Demand is a recent thing. Throughout history until very very recently there was never a concept of Get-On-Demand. Everyone getting married knew there was no Get-On-Demand. A marriage was a commitment. Period. A spouse could not unilaterally decide to end the marriage against their spouses desire. It was codified in the law. Jewish law and secular law. In fact, New York State became the last state to enact divorce-on-demand a mere five years ago in 2010! Before that in New York, and previously virtually every other State, you could not get divorced without documenting to the court a valid basis why the divorce should be granted. Especially if the divorce was not mutually agreed to. In fact, in 2008 or 2009 a frum couple in Brooklyn were denied a divorce by New York State court and were literally told they must remain married! (After 2010 when the law changed they got divorced under the new law.) Jewish law has always opposed divorce-on-demand and it is codified as such in Shulchan Aruch. Halacha clearly states what is and what is not a valid demand for a divorce that will or won't be honored in the other spouse wants to remain married. And Rabbeinu Gershom instituted a cherem against husbands unilaterally divorcing their wife without the wife's consent. Rabbeninu Gershom gave wives the right to insist the marriage continue, should she want it to, even if the husband wants to divorce her and he has no legally recognized "cause" under halacha that gives him the right to divorce. This same right husbands always had, per Torah Law directly, to be able to choose to not get divorced even if his wife wanted to. And halacha specifies the circumstances when a wife can and cannot demand a divorce against her husband's wishes. The default under halacha is that the divorce cannot be demanded. Even if she won't change her mind and doesn't want to save it. And that is the way Jews have practiced marriages from the time of Har Sinai until now. It has only been very very recently that this corrupt idea of divorce-on-demand came into the lexicon and demanded upon by feminists. And it came as a direct result of the changed mores in the secular/non-Jewish world where feminism invaded and brought about that change.



    So, no, Get-on-demand is against Jewish Law and was never an option and won't become one now. Halacha stands.

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  78. As to your other point, I am still in shock over the blog owner’s
    comments yesterday. At the later stages of a divorce dispute – once it
    receives “Agunah status” the husband has made it very clear to everyone –
    whether implicitly or explicitly – that he is unwilling to live with
    her, but he just doesn't want to give a Gett. I think 99% of people
    understand this. To claim otherwise is shocking.


    I didn't see that he said that. My understanding of his position is that so long as they have not come to an agreement in BD over custody and finances, he has the right to withhold the get. That's quite different from the view you are attributing to him.

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  79. I think you did the wise thing. And I'm glad your wife had the sense to work things out amicably. The other way is a nightmare for everyone, and especially for children, who suffer terribly.

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  80. Kishkeyum - you understand my viewpoint whereas Moshe Ahron keeps attributing views to me that I never said. Once there issues have been resolved - then a divorce should be given. My objection was the assertion that once a wife has demanded a get it should be given immediately.

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  81. @Moshe Ahron - you simply ignore what I have repeatedly written - to others including yourself - and keep repeating incorrect assertions of what I believe.

    Responding to you is obviously a waste of time

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  82. J - are you saying this is proof to Get on demand? If beis din has decided that the marriage is not viable and all issues are settled - then it is reasonable that the man should give a get. I am in agreement with such a view.
    But does it state that if the woman - without any meaningful complaints against the husband and without beis din investigating the matter - has the right to receive a get immediately as son as she demands it?

    Where does it say that beis din should force the husband to give a get simply because the wife wants to end the marriage - without beis din finding any meaningful complaints against the husband.


    Perhaps you will look up the poskim in a pure case of Get on Demand - if the beis din tells the husband that in such a case he is OBLIGATED to give a Get - what is the halacha?

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  83. "Even in theory if that is the halacha"



    If that (or whatever) is halacha, then that is what should and must be done. And if one of the parties seeks to circumvent the correct halachic solution, by whatever means, then the wronging party should not expect to receive her halachic rights, such as a Get, while she is violating his halachic rights, such as taking more marital assets or custody than halacha grants her.

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  84. I didn't say immediately, but yes, if, after a certain amount of time, it is clear that she is no longer interested in the marriage, then, as that quote makes clear, many batei din will require (not through kefiya) a divorce, even at the request of the side who is responsible for the breakdown in sholom bayis (i.e. the wife, in the case your talking about). To quote a more recent psak from a dayan on the Beit Din Hagadol of the rabbanut:
    כדי לחייב בגט אין צורך בעשיית 'מעשה רע'. בעל או אשה שאינם חפצים בשלום־בית, חייבים בגט, דרך אחרת אין. הרעיון של פירוד ללא גט אינו מקובל על בית הדין, וכל שאינה רוצה בשלום־בית יש מקום לחיוב בגט

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  85. I understand your view that issues of custody and finances should be worked out prior to giving a Get, and I even agree to this.

    My argument with you, is that I am saying that once a woman demands a Get, then the only thing that should stand between her and a Get is to work out fair custody and financial arrangements!

    When you say that the Torah doesn't believe in "Get-on-Demand" you are basically saying that even if the husband is offered fair custody and monetary arrangements, he still has a right to continue his marriage.

    To that I would say, that yes he technically has a right to continue his marriage, but from a practical perspective there is Get-On-Demand because he has no choice, as he can't - from a practical perspective - force his wife to continue living with him.

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  86. David,

    I agree with most of what you wrote. But you are not addressing my point. I am not saying that a woman has a halachic right to Get-On-Demand and I am not saying that a woman is right for demanding a Get.

    What I am saying, is that unfortunately we have no choice but to give in to her demand for a Gett (once custody and financial arrangements are finalized). We cannot handcuff her to the house! We could wait a few weeks and see if she calms down or reconsiders her decision. We could try to convince her to change her mind. But if after a couple of weeks or months, she is still insisting on a divorce, then what choice do we have?
    All I am saying is that the only thing that should stand between her and a Get is to work out fair custody and financial arrangements. Not because she has the right to a Gett, but because we have no choice.

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  87. Just like with two 50/50 partners in a business, one partner cannot say this partnership isn't working out - I demand you sell me your 50% or buy my 50%. The other partner can say take a hike. I'm not selling my share and I'm not buying your share.

    The analogy isn't exact since the partner wanting out might be able to sell his share to a third-party. Or he might not find anyone to buy him out.

    But you get the point. When getting married you agree to stick it out come hell or high water. If your spouse didn't wrong you in the marriage (with a legally recognized wronging) then you have no right to demand the marriage be dissolved and you freed from it. You agreed to it, you are obligated to stick it out.

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  88. Question: Assuming the following assumptions, should a Get be given?
    Assumption #1 All financial and custody arrangements are settled
    Assumption #2 The Husband wants to continue the marriage
    Assumption #3 The wife does not have a good reason for wanting a divorce
    Even if a Get does not have to be given from a halachic perspective, but from a practical perspective shouldn't it be given? What is the point in refusing the Gett if she will not live with him?

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  89. J,


    Are these decisions available online? What is the website? Thanks!

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  90. The agunah issue has two sides. There most certainly exist cruel men, who act spitefully in denying their wives gittin simply to punish them, or to extract financial payments. There is no justification for such behavior. Such people should be pressured in every permissible way to give a get.

    On the other hand, there exist no small number of women who do the same to their husbands, spitefully denying them visitation with their children, fabricating false claims against them, choosing court over beis din, and so on. Such women are not owed a get, and should not receive one until they have rectified what they have done.

    The problem often is telling the two apart.

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  91. I will translate the quote for those who want a translation "In order for their to be an obligation for a Gett, it is not necessary for a bad action. If the Husband or wife do not want Shalom Bayis, then there is an obligation for a Gett. There is no other way. The idea of separation without a Get is not accepted by a Bais Din, and wherever Shalom Bayis is not wanted (by even one party) there is an obligation for a Get"


    Baruch Shekivanti!

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  92. Beis Din cannot pasken a "chiyuv legaresh" if the husband insists on shalom bayis and was not at any fault during the marriage.

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  93. I think that overtime we have all refined our ideas and drilled deeper into the underlying issues. I don't think a one time back and forth does justice to the issues. More importantly, "J" had 2 great new comments - read them!

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  94. There is no practical Get-On-Demand rights. If the husband insists on shalom bayis then beis din is halachicly impotent to tell him "chiyuv legaresh". And he has every moral, legal, halachic and ethical right to insist on shalom bayis and the continuation of the marriage. This is all very clear in Shulchan Aruch. What you are arguing runs outright contrary to S"A. S"A is intended for practical purposes, as surely you know.


    S"A even says that if she claims physical abuse and demands a Get while he denies any abuse (and wants shalom bayis) then beis din cannot order a divorce. They must first factually ascertain whether or not her claim of abuse is truthful or not. And the standards for that proof is very hight. Beis din has to station someone in the home, according to S"A, to bear witness.



    S"A also says that if he is found to have been abusive then beis din is required to give him a second chance to rectify, correct and stop his abusive behavior. Only if he continues the abuse after having been warned by beis din, is beis din then halachicly empowered to require he give a divorce.


    Until all those requirements are met, beis din halachicly cannot insist he give a Get and must honor his desire for shalom bayis. That's how strict these laws are regarding forcing a divorce.

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  95. @Moshe Aharon - was is obligation to give a get? Furthermore poskim clearly state that in a case where the wife simply wants out of marriage - telling the husband that he is obligated to give a get makes it a get me'usa!

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  96. "What I am saying, is that unfortunately we have no choice but to give in to her demand for a Gett... We cannot handcuff her to the house!... if after a couple of weeks or months, she is still insisting on a divorce..."

    Shulchan Aruch says the opposite of your assertion on this as a practical matter.

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  97. "Furthermore poskim clearly state"
    Maybe that should read "Furthermore some poskim clearly state"

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  98. I believe the decision "J." above cited from the rabbanut, that you're tranlating is from this Haifa court:

    http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/psk/psk.asp?id=1060



    This is non-normative and goes against standard halacha enumerated in Shulchan Aruch and used by normative butei dinim. The Haifa zionist court in no way reflects normative halacha as practiced by regular butei dinim.


    Furthermore, a quick cursory glance at the above decision seems to indicate that the husband sued for divorce first, thus indicating he was seeking a divorce himself and not shalom bayis, rendering this Haifa decision moot and irrelevant to the point of this discussion.

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  99. http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/psk/psk.asp?id=1060

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  100. Your assumptions are contradicting each other. If the husband wants to continue the marriage how could there have been a settlement of all financial and custody arrangements? The husband is insisting the marriage continue.


    A plausible reason why the husband might want to continue the marriage is because if he divorces he will see his children infrequently and will not be able to live with his children full time, every day and night. What kind of crazy man would not want to live with his children? Another plausible reason he might not want to divorce is if he knows his assets will be seized in a divorce in contrary to halacha utilizing non-Jewish courts and laws. And an even more prevalent reason he might not want to divorce is because he loves his wife (despite the lack of reciprocity) and/or knows any future marriage is uncertain at best and if it does happen may be no better than this one.


    This are all viable, valid and good reasons to not want to divorce. And they are all halachicly actionable, granting him the right, morally and legally, to decline to divorce.

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  101. The teshuva you bring from R' Ovadia supports Rabbi Brackman and goes against everything that you have written until now regarding Rivky Stein. Basically, it says Yoel should give a Get. Congratulations on refuting yourself.

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  102. So you want a situation where it is a get me'usa (and future children mamzeirim) only according to "some poskim"?

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  103. Daas Torah,

    Do you now agree that according to some Poskim there is a concept of Get-On-Demand?

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  104. @JBlog - Please read Rav Yosef again and then cite step by step how he supports R Brackman?Where did Rabbi Brackman said while normally we wouldn't require a get but since we are concered about women committing adultery. Rav Yosef is clearly not in agreement with R Brackman.

    You want to say that he is supported by R Palaggi? Rav Yosef clearly hold that it only a heter for the needs of the times and not the basic halacha. R Brackman insists that such a view is obviously halacha - clearly rejected by Rav Yosef. And there are others such as Rabbeinu Tam and the contemporary poskim.

    If you are arguing that rabbis who are part of the rabbinut beis din and are voicing views that go against the mainstream - so say so. There views are not taken seriously except by people like R Brackman.

    If R Brackman had stated that we need to provide a get to avoid adultery because of the present generation - I would have not problem. But he clearly doesn't say that.

    Bottom line - show me where the major poskim express views such as Rabbi Brackman that a man who doesn't give a get on demand is evil etc

    He dismisses these poskim when he dismisses the views that I express and condemns their views as being mysognist and evil.

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  105. Rav Ovaida's teshuva is a chiddush and the exception. It argues for a change of the standard halachic practice on this issue of the past thousand years. Other major contemporary poskim do not agree with Rav Ovadia's change.

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  106. @Moshe Ahron - no. Get on Demand means when the wife demands it she has the right to a get and the husband must give it. The Rambam clearly hold that way - but if you look through Otzer haPoskim that view is not accepted as halacha - including by the Shulchan Aruch.

    Rav Yosef is clearly saying that where there is a danger that the wife might commit adultery if she isn't given a get - that the husband can be forced. if it is unlikely she will commit adultery he does not allow forcing a get just because she wants out of the marriage.


    Please cite contemporary poskim that say - as R Brackman that a wife has the right to a Get if she wants out of the marriage and there is no need for further justification i.e., Get on Demand.

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  107. To respond to this requires more space than a comment thread, so I have posted my response at my blog.

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  108. You agree that this teshuva supports the notion that men should not withhold gittin. This is also the decent thing to do and common sense. Yet, you opt not to follow this teshuva. That itself reveals your deep bias on this issue.


    Also, I believe far more contemporary poskim agree with Rav Ovadia rather than disagree. Go see what contemporary batei din do and you will see this to clearly be the case.

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  109. I wasn't referring to R' Ovadia Yosef.
    I was referring to the dayan on the Beis Din Hagadol of the Rabbanut who believes in Get-On-Demand. I am sure the mainstream chareidim will accept his Gittin and the children born from the second marriage. Do you disagree?
    כדי לחייב בגט אין צורך בעשיית 'מעשה רע'. בעל או אשה שאינם חפצים בשלום־בית, חייבים בגט, דרך אחרת אין. הרעיון של פירוד ללא גט אינו מקובל על בית הדין, וכל שאינה רוצה בשלום־בית יש מקום לחיוב בגט

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  110. @Moshe Ahron - I hope you are being facetious. Someone who doesn't follow the accepted halacha ind that means it is now legitimate?!

    http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2012/10/rav-sternbuchproblem-of-get-meusa-in.html

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  111. Don't be sure such a decision will be recognized and accepted by the mainstream poskim.

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  112. @Jblog - you are simply ignoring what Rav Yosef reasoning He clearly disagrees with R Brackman. R Brackman is saying a get on demand is obvious from the moral point of view - Rav Yosef says only because women might commit adultery in our generation do we need to look for a heter to require a get. He clearly states that in previous generations it was totally legtimate that a woman who rejected her husband would not be given a get and thus never remarried.

    R Brackman is saying get on demand is inherently required in all generations while Rav Yosef is sayhing it is on a heter because of eis la'asos.

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  113. There are very few poskim who agree with Rav Ovadia's change to normative halachic practice (as Rav Ovadia admits he is proposing) on this matter.

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  114. Aside Rav Ovadia's limited position being a chiddush and change to normative practice not accepted by other mainstream great poskim, even Rav Ovadia in his opinion is not saying that "common sense" is the reason for his proposed change, but rather because he worries the wife will commit adultery. He agrees otherwise it shouldn't be the normative halacha. Anyone picking and choosing his teshuva (over the mainstream psak), because they prefer for reasons other than why Rav Ovadia proposed it, is in fact showing a bias emanating from outside values.


    And it certainly is not the common sense thing to do if the husband would rather have shalom bayis. The common sense approach for the husband is to pursue shalom bayis as strongly as possible. And accepting a husband's insistence for shalom bayis is the approach of mainstream butei dinim.

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  115. fedupwithcorruptrabbisJanuary 16, 2015 at 9:26 AM

    i say To Rabbi Yosef that things need to change in this generation because the rabbis are corrupted and allowing the women to be moredet's by going to the civil courts. Therefore the opposite should be the rule of law. i.e. the women should not be given a GET on demand in order to sanctify Hashems name by demonstrating with power that we will not allow women to trample on the issur of going to the courts.If we were to force the men to give gittin despite their wives being moredet's then we would be perpetuating more women to sin. I say lets start a mamzer registry of any women who marry with no GET or possul get, will have the names of their children publicly listed to advise the public. That is the correct way to stop their sinful practice and not by encouraging them to committ other sins such as litigating in the civil courts or by applying coercive methods against men. Rabbi Ovadia also didnt take into account how such a ruling empowers wicked organizations such as ORA to harrass and intimidate 3rd parties all the while quoting Rav Yosef that its a mitzva!

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  116. DT, contrary to your implication, it does not seem that either Yabiya Omer is at all relevant to many or most of the divorce cases nowadays. That Yabiya Omer does not at all justify forcing a GET in the numerous cases where the wife is mosering her husband in archaos, and where the husband is most likely willing to give a GET IF and WHEN he receives a halachic divorce settlement in an authentic Beis Din.

    Furthermore in cases where men have deposited a GET in Bais Din, certainly Yabiya Omer would not justify the wife using ORA goons to force another GET before Bais Din has ruled on the divorce settlement.

    "it became a regular occurrence for the beis din to rule accordingly"
    "it appears to beis din that there is nothing more than can be done for the marriage"

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  117. You might think the psak is wrong, but do you agree that there is a growing number of mainstream Batei Din, Poskim, and Rabbanim who pasken differently than you in regard to divorce. And that this trend is likely to I"YH continue.


    In addition, from the lack of protest in the Chareidi community, it seems that the Chareidi community in Israel is accepting this Dayan's Gittin and will accept the children from the 2nd marriage.


    And from the lack of controversy, I would assume that many Dayanim either agree with him or even if they disagree with him, they believe that it is a valid halachic approach.


    Besides in Israel they jail some Get refusers, I assume that you would consider it a forced Get, however, it seems that the Chareidim would accept those Gittin and would accept the children from the second marriage. Is that not true? And if yes, it seems that more and more your halachic opinions are not what is being followed throughout even the Chareidi community.
    I believe that the trend in the Chareidi community is that the psak in divorce matters is becoming more similar to Ora's positions - to allow more pressure on the husbands (embarrassment etc.), better financial terms for the wife, more instances where a woman could go to secular court (in America), and more accepting of Get on Demand once custody and financial issues are settled.

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  118. @Moshe Ahron - why don't you acknowledge that your claims have been refuted? You now have switched from arguing that Get on Demand is halacha to simply claiming that it is becoming practice because the halacha is being ignored.

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  119. A Zionist court decision in Haifa does not indicate any sort of mainstream acceptance in any way whatsoever. It certainly has zero bearing on how Chareidi butei dinim operate or rule. We don't protest anytime some beis din somewhere makes a ruling that contravenes halacha. What happened there in Haifa is virtually unknown, some court case there doesn't typically register on the richter scale. Outside of this blog it is doubtful too many people ever heard of that Haifa case.


    All your arguments here are bringing in little heard of non-Chareidi actors.

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  120. You are right that the consensus of halachic sources is that there is no Get-On-Demand.
    But you do agree that the Dayanim in the field are deciding in favor of Get-On-Demand.
    I have always agreed that your halachic opinions are a valid halachic approach - and they might even be the consensus in halachic sources, however, I have felt that we - in 2015 - should adopt the more lenient minority positions due to the gravity of the situation.
    And that is what I believe is happening. Most poskim and Batei Din even in the Charedi world are adopting the more lenient positions. And those lenient positions have firm basis in halacha - they just have always been the minority opinion. Your halachic positions are becoming more and more out of the mainstream.

    Do you agree?

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  121. Could you elaborate?
    Do you only disagree in that you don't think there is firm halachic basis for the lenient positions.
    Or
    Do you not agree that more and more the Dayanim in the field are ruling against your halachic opinions?


    I am not saying most Dayanim, I am just saying that it is becoming more and more prevalent.

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  122. @Moshe Ahron: Aside from the fact that you're incorrect about Chareidi poskim and butei dinim changing over to this minority opinion now that it's 2015 (they're not, as RDE pointed out), you're also incorrectly terming that opinion as a "lenient position". It has nothing to do with lenient or stringent and neither opinion is more "lenient" than the other.

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  123. No, Rav Yosef is talking about Beis Din exerting force. Even in cases where force might not be allowed, it is still certainly the moral thing to do to give the Get!

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  124. @Moshe Ahron - this is the salami approach to debate. After acknowledging the halacha is according to my view you keep pushing to obtain some concession no matter how small regarding the statuis and legitimacy of get on demand.
    Why are you so concerned with whether the per cent of rabbis following the halacha is going up or going down?

    Is it to be upset that things are not as good as they should be or to get comfort from the number of irresponsible rabbis and dayanim who ignore the halacha?

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  125. where does Rav Yosef say that it is moral thing to give the Get?

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  126. I have responded on my blog to Rav Sternbuch's teshuva as well. All these teshuvos acknowledge that it is despicable for a husband to refuse to give his wife a Get. I'm not sure how you see any support for your position with these teshuvos! Even the strict ones are only strict with regards to the technical issue of how to force the husband's hand. They all agree on the morality of the issue!

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  127. If the husband would like to continue a functioning marriage and seek shalom bayis, then the moral thing is to seek shalom bayis and not give a Get.

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  128. @JBlog - I would suggest you read them again.To say that a get should be given in our day because we are afraid she will commit adultery - does not mean that withholding the get when the wife has no complaints but simply thinks she can do better - is immoral.

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  129. @JBlog - please explain how you understand from the following words of Rav Yosef - that withholding a get on demand (i.e., no objective problems that beis din can identify) is inherently despicable?

    Rav Ovadiya Yosef (Yabiya Omer 8:2.2): In previous generations the husband was given permission to take an additional wife if his first wife was declared to a moredes (rebellious wife). The first wife would remain an agunah for the rest of her life until she became an old lady with white hair as punishment for rebelling against her husband. An example of this is found in Shut Mishpat v’ Tzedaka b’Yaakov (2:36).... Similar cases are found in other Achronim. Nevertheless our contemporary society has weakened and there is now a strong possibility that the agunah will deviate from religious observance because of her aguna status. This is a dissolute generation and people do not obey authority. And if the woman makes up her mind later to accept the get from her husband there is a clear concern that her husband will refuse to give her a get out of spite because he is already married to another woman and it is impossible to force him to give a get to his first wife and therefore she will just reject religion and go on a bad path. Because she is still married however, any children she subsequently has with another man will increase the number of mamzerim in the world.

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  130. How about this line from Rav Sternbuch...

    But concerning cruelty and spite which is characteristic of Sedom - only Heaven can punish him.



    Sounds pretty immoral to me! And that is from the posek who limits how we can force the husband. Rav Yosef is seeking ways to force the husband... so surely he believes it is moral for the husband to give the Get!

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  131. No. The teshuvos are only discussing a case where a Get is halachicly warranted. They are not discussing cases where a Get is not warranted and the husband is in the correct to decline giving one.

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  132. Rav Shternbuch is only discussing a case where a Get IS warranted per halacha. Not a case where the husband has no obligation, legal or moral, to give a Get.

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  133. @Jblog - you don't need a kal v'chomer when Rav Yosef states his views explicity - as I cited them. Why are you ignoring what he says and relying on conjecture?

    Next, what is the case that Rav Sternbuch is describing? Is he describing a moredes - a wife who leaves her husband for no objective reason that beis din can establish? That is the case of get on demand that we have been describing.

    As I have stated repeated - if the beis din views that the marriage is not good for the wife i.e., abuse etc - then I agree it is immoral to withhold a get.

    But that is not the case we have been talking about - Get on Demand - that the assertion was made that it was evil and unJewish to withold a get and that immediately when the wife asks for a get - for any reason - it should be given immediately.

    Please reread what he says - if he refuses to not give it out of spite and cruelty. He is clearly not agree with R Brackman - that if a husband does not give a divorce immediately when asked he is cruel and unJewish. That is not Rav Sternbuch's view or Rav Ovadiah Yosef - or any of the other recognized poskim that have been cited

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  134. Rav Sternbuch is discussing the same case Brackman is and that is exactly what he describes. A woman whose husband refuses to give a Get out of spite and cruelty. We are not only talking about a case of abuse during the marriage. We are just talking about a case where the marriage is over and the husband simply refuses to end it halachically. Rav Sternbuch calls that spite and cruelty.

    I also see that not surprisingly you have a rather broad view of moredes which might also be part of the problem. Basically, in your view when a marriage ends the woman is a moredes until proven otherwise. Guilty until proven innocent! Sounds fair to me.

    But it all makes no difference because Rav Sternbuch clearly says that men who refuse to give Gittin to their wives when the marriage is over are cruel and deserve punishment which is your issue with Rabbi Brackman - except that Rav Sternbuch sides with him.

    In terms of Rav Ovadia my original comments were made based on the other teshuva - not the new one that you put up. The one you cite now is talking about moredes which in your view somehow is talking about every woman because all women are guilty until proven innocent in matters of divorce. Is that right?

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  135. My answer to you is the same as what I just wrote above. Rav Sternbuch says it is cruel for a husband to withhold a Get from his wife. This fact is true any time the marriage is not salvageable.

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  136. Hey, JBlogReview. Joe here. Motzai Shabbos. I'm taking some of the advice that I gave to Moshe Ahron. Mainly, I'm chilling. And I got to thinking. I do that sometimes (think). JWed is a singles website with profiles of hundreds of divorcées. My guess is that many of these divorcées got a Get on Demand. Are they any less miserable than divorcées who didn't get a Get on Demand? I wonder. I think what's really immoral is a community set up that makes it easy for women to marry, easy to get divorced, and virtually impossible to get remarried.

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  137. JBlog please note the teshuva of Rav Sternbuch that I just added to the post.

    1) You will note that Rav Sternbuch is not saying that a wife has the right to a Get on Demand
    2) You will note that in the case of ma'uis alei - the beis din needs to agree that there is something objectively wrong with the husband or their marriage
    3) The Beis din needs to determine that the marriage is ended - but only after a year of marriage therapy and efforts to save it
    4) Finally he only says if the witholding of the Get is done because of cruely and spite is he a sinner

    5) He does not say that it is cruel for the husband to withhold a get from his wife anytime it is not salvageable - If beis din thinks it is salvageable even if the wife doesn't or if he is withholding the get for reasons other than spite and hatred.

    If you agree with his view that we are in agreement.

    This however is not what Rabbi Brackman alleges is the Jewish viewpoint. He claims categorically that a woman should be given a Get immediately on asking for it and the husband is evil etc for not giving a Get on Demand.

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  138. JBlog - you are simply ignoring the details of what Rav Sternbuch says and conclude that he agrees with R Brackman. If beis din says the marriage can't work because their is an objective problem that therapists can't fix after a year of trying and if he is wilhholding the get because of hatred and spite - that is the case that Rav Sternbuch says the husband is cruel for withholding the get.

    R Brackman says categorically that every case where the wife demands a get the husband has to give it immediately. If he doesn't he is always evil and unJewish. That is not Rav Sternbuch's view

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  139. A moredes is a wife who refuses to perform her wifely duties and obligations she has to her husband.

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  140. I'm really lost on your arguments. You yourself underlined the portion of Rav Sternbuch's teshuva which says regardless of how wrong the wife is going to secular courts etc. we still advise and encourage the husband to give a Get! And, that is from Rav Sternbuch who is super-strict on everything else! He says the husband should just give the Get, and let God take care of the sins of the wife. He says the only criteria is that the marriage is not salvageable which clearly applies to the vast majority of Agunah cases where years have passed that the two parties are separated.

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  141. @ Jblog - you are right - you are lost concerning the material I have posted. I'll try one more time - there is a major difference between saying a woman is entitled to a get immediately when she asks for it and saying that only if beis din paskens that the couple should get divorced and only in situations where the husband motivation is solely hatred and spite - is he required to give her a divorce.

    If you don't understand the significant differences between R Brackman and Rav Sternbuch's view - there is no more I can do for you

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  142. You missed the teshuva posted tonight above from Rav Shternbuch, where Rav Shternbuch rules that a husband is given a Heter Meah Rabbonim to remarry if his wife takes him to secular court. In other words, she does not get the Get (it is deposited in beis din) until she drops her civil case and returns anything to him that she won in secular court. He can remarry immediately.

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  143. I saw that one. Keep reading it until you get to the underlined part. It's saying that nonetheless if the marriage is over we advise him to give the Get.

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  144. Rav Sternbuch is saying that if she says maus alei and it is clear that the marriage is over then by definition the man is being cruel when he withholds the Get because there is no reason for this marriage to continue.

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  145. @Jblog - you keep ignoring the conditions that Rav Sternbuch adds. If she went to secular court and doesn't withdraw - no get. If beis din doesn't ascertain that there is some justification for her claim of ma'us alei - no get. If Beis Din doesn't pasken that they should get divorced - no get. If there is no concentrated effort for a year with marriage therapist - no get. If the husband is not withholding the get for spite and hatred - no get.

    In sum - having no reason for the marriage to continue is a necessary but not sufficient condition for saying that the husband is cruel and sinful if he doesn't get a get. There are many cases where the husband is justified in not giving a get - even if the wife is adamant that she wants the marriage terminated.

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  146. The underlined part is Rav Shternbuch stressing the type of case where a husband is supposed to give a Get. That being maos alei that a beis din deemed legitimate. Nevertheless, Rav Shternbuch clearly says that if she takes him to secular court the beis din should not give her the Get while they will allow him to remarry.

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  147. JBlog: Using your the words in your own comment "and it is clear that the marriage is over" means that beis din judged and determined that the marriage is over. Which means only case where a) beis din has made an official determination as such and b) it made that determination using halachic criteria to judge when a marriage is over. Which means there are situations where beis din will determine a marriage is not over despite the wife's insistence that it should be over.

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  148. What is actually despicable is the perverse mentality of feminist activists such as yourself and ORA whose sole objective is appeasing all the women's demands, including demanding that husbands grant an immediate GET on demand, while not requiring the slightest halachic compliance or reasonableness on the part of the women.


    By halachic compliance on the part of the women, I'm referring to complete submission to a non-feminist halachic Beis Din (the BDA is not such a BD), refraining from mosering, robbing, and oppressing her husband in family courts, and full acceptance of her husband's right to significant parenting time with his children, without any interference by the mother.

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  149. As support for JBlog Reviewer: Years ago when Rabbi Emanuel Rackman was advocating for his halachic solution, the criticism from the Poskim was in regard to the halachic validity of his methods, however, it was clearly implied by the Poskim that when a husband refuses a Get we are dealing with an immoral situation - the Poskim were just saying that there was nothing we could do about it.
    This has always been the position of the Chareidi poskim to this issue.

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  150. Joseph Orlow,

    Go to the Ora website and tell me if any of those couples are living in the same house?

    How is such a woman better off without a Gett - if either way they are living in separate houses?



    A Get is not so easy to obtain in our society, and the woman are saying that they are not willing to live in the same house even though it is uncertain that they will obtain a Gett

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  151. What happens if Bais Din and every therapist agrees that the marriage is fixable but the wife is just not willing to stay with him? Does the husband wait a certain amount of time and then give a Gett (after settling custody and finances) or should he withhold a Gett forever?

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  152. A lifetime Moredes is a theoretical halacha which is very difficult to find in real life.
    She can only be considered a Moredes as long as the husband wants to get back together in a real marriage.
    As soon as the husband gets disgusted with her that he is no longer willing to live with her even if she would want to reconcile with him, then she is no longer considered a Moredes and he is now in the category of someone who refuses to keep his 3 marital obligations and is required to give a Gett.

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  153. There are many things you should do - whether from a moral or practical perspective - that you are not obligated to do.

    You have to focus on being "smart" not on being "right".
    Don't cross the street even if you have the right of way if a car is coming, and don't withhold a Get if your wife will not return as it will ruin your chances of a second marriage.

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  154. @Moshe Ahron why did you insist on ignoring what I have discussed at length on this topic?

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  155. It seems to me that we should define "morality" for the purposes of this discussion. So here goes:

    1. I study Torah.
    2. I select a Rav to follow.
    3. I follow the Rav.
    4. I ask the Rav questions when what I've learned does not match his directives.

    That makes me moral.

    Yet, I get called immoral, nevertheless. Rabbi Brackman called me immoral. Here's the exchange, taken from his Facebook page:
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Joe Orlow "What on earth is wrong with these people." Nothing. We study Torah from Talmidei Chachamim who learned under Talmidei Chachamim from the previous generation. We accept the teachings and rulings of these Rabbis. We have questions, and we respectfully and in awe address our questions to our Rabbis. We continuously dwell on the subject and pursue it to clarify our understanding. You find this "mind boggling"? I find it mind boggling that you trash talk strangers. I don't believe we've met.
    January 13 at 1:19pm · Like


    Levi Brackman Wow and after all that you are still so off base from a moral and ethical standpoint!
    January 13 at 1:25pm · Like

    Joe Orlow [to] Rabbi Brackman, I think we can perhaps distinguish between our positions as follows. Say that tomorrow there's a sea change in American mores, and the pendulum swings to the other extreme in regard to the status of women. A blockbuster movie titled "My Desire is to Him, and He Rules Over Me" leads to it becoming fashionable "to go all Eve". Suddenly, it is a faux pas for a man to give in to his wife's wishes in regard to divorce -- downright un-American to divorce one's wife on demand. States even pass laws making it a crime to pester a man to do less than his manly duty of standing by his wife through thick and thin.

    My position, immoral and unethical as you find it, is stable in the winds of cultural change. Would your position of "Gett on demand" remain as it is when the terrain changes? Would you be willing to be Mesiras Nefesh and risk contempt of court advising women to feel entitled to a Gett whenever they think they've found a better man to live with?
    January 13 at 4:08pm · Like

    Levi Brackman [to] Joe Orlow I like to think that I would talk out against injustice no matter what sociaty thinks. I have never been one to check the direction of the wind before expressing my views.
    January 13 at 4:20pm · Like
    ------------------------------------------------------
    So, now it's your turn, Moshe Ahron. Please define "morality" in the context of this discussion.

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  156. Sorry, man. No can answer at the moment. I'm chilling. (Ironically, chilling in front a heat lamp, if that makes any sense.)

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  157. I am speaking of the smart, correct and moral approach. Oftentimes that would entail declining to give a divorce when requested.

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  158. That's a grossly incorrect summation of the Rackman situation and the Chareidi reaction.

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  159. A moredes is more common to find that a true case of Get refusal after a beis din ordered a Get be given. You unfortunately can find many cases of mordes' these days.


    The only husband who is obligated to give a Get is one who a beis din has heard a divorce case and ruled that he is halakhicly obligated to give a Get. In the absence of such a beis din ruling, no husband is obligated to give a Get.

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  160. A wife who walks out on her husband without halakhic recognized cause, and without a beis din acknowledging that, is not only a moredes but she is not halakhicly entitled to a Get and her husband has no obligation to provide one.


    A wife walking out of the marital home illegitimately does not give her a right to a divorce even she keeps it up for an extended period of time.

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  161. It's his call. He has the right, under normal and default circumstances, to choose to remain married to his wife indefinitely. Even if she walks out for an extended period of time without halakhic justification.

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  162. Daas Torah,

    I am not ignoring you. It is not easy to understand what your position is in all the different scenarios. I think you need to write a post stating the various situations where a Get is not obligatory and the situations where it is not obligatory.

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  163. Beis Din can reject a request for divorce and tell the couple to remain married even if one wants a divorce. Here's a living example:


    https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10553358_771153356270067_8104945690778726169_n.jpg?oh=f62ac203089339cb0a33620396ea457e&oe=556D6BCC&__gda__=1432533008_543b2d43be2f75d3d4c54d18e00e5373

    http://www.jta.org/1927/08/21/archive/boyish-bobbed-wig-does-not-constitute-ground-for-divorce-rabbi-rules

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  164. I think you're correct with all you've said. Besides for this part:

    The problem often is telling the two apart.



    For an outsider it is indeed sometimes difficult to tell the two apart. However, for those who choose to get involved, as well as to family and anyone who properly investigates it, the truth is usually visible on the table.


    I think the problem is pre-chosen sides. To a family member, they may see it that their side is always in the right regardless of the facts. They've chosen their alliance, and facts cannot get in the way of their mission.


    Unfortunately, besides for families, the same can be said of advocate organizations. If their guiding principle is to be comparable to the "maada, nada" of the "enlightened" western world, then facts dare not get into their way! The same can be said of many toanim and even too many botei din.

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  165. Lets take their supposed "solid sincere good people". If you take a look at their website, you will find a "siruv" from Shmeel Fried's printing house (AKA "Orchos Mishpot") as the justification of calling this man a "magen".
    http://www.getora.org/#!joseph-masri/c1xor

    Solid, sincere, good people of character would never try to fool anyone with this type of letter. Period. (I do not know about the case itself, just the letter that ORA posted.)

    Then thay have a horrible picture of a husband heated up. If they were solid, sincere, good people why in the world would they seek to put out such a picture and not use a more decent picture?
    http://www.getora.org/#!kurt-flascher/ceyl

    These are "sincere good people"?? They may be sincere. So far as good goes, we have to define good. They may even have some obscure source, or their "common sense", that tells them that what they're doing is "good". Hollywood and "mada" is their guide - not Torah.

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  166. are we discussing Rackman or Brackman?
    Rackman was arguing that there are many strategies, and one was the mechkat Ta'ut, based on the annulments done by RMF. His partner in this enterprise was a Rabbi Morgenstern, who had been a talmid of RMF. Becasue of Rackman's advanced age at the time, it was Morgenstern who bore the brunt of Hareidi rage. he was beaten up by hareidi thugs on one occasion. This was never condemned by hareidim. Why is violence ok to beat up a rabbi you disagree with, but not ok when you wish to get a get?

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  167. The_Original_Bored_LawyerJanuary 19, 2015 at 5:37 PM

    "All these teshuvos acknowledge that it is despicable for a husband to refuse to give his wife a Get."

    No, that is a gross overstatement. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. The fact that someone calls withholding of a get in one situation as cruel or immoral does not mean it applies in all situations.

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  168. The_Original_Bored_LawyerJanuary 19, 2015 at 5:41 PM

    Morality here means latzeis yidei shomayim. There are many cases (even those not involving divorce, plain monetary cases), where one can stand on one's rights, but latzeis yidei shomayim we advise the person to pay or give up his rights.

    And in general, one who always stands on his rights to the letter of the law is criticized as a tarchan. See Rashi to Devarim 1:12.

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  169. Kishkeyum,


    You are right that the Agunah issue has 2 sides - there are bad women and bad men. However, the difference is, that a bad woman is for the most part limited by the decisions of an independent impartial judge. The woman can't decide custody and money, only the Judge can decide. On the other hand, the man has nothing that restrains him - he could demand any amount of money or custody in exchange for the Gett. There is no mechanism in place that limits the leverage provided by a Gett to what would be fair and reasonable. Essentially, the man through his Gett leverage has become the "judge" and is deciding the custody and money.


    Those against a secular court deciding custody and money, are for some reason in favor of the husband becoming the "judge" to decide custody and money, - either way often the Bais Din is not fulfilling that function!


    While the secular Court doesn't follow the Shulchan Aruch, at least they are trying to make things fair and equitable, and most divorced husbands in America seem to be doing just fine with the secular divorce arrangements. Only the Frum community is hysterical of the secular court's divorce arrangements. On the other hand, when a husband uses a Get as leverage we are left with what he in his "unbiased" opinion deems fair, and his unreasonable demands are likely to cause almost everyone to cringe.

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  170. Ok, TOBL. If I may say, good start. The parameters still have to be hashed out. As it is, I think your definition is too abstract to be applied practically. Can you provide some hypothetical cases where it would be "moral" to give a Get on Demand, and other cases where it would not be? Say a man has been effectively excluded from all the local Shuls, and demonized to the extent that he has grounds to fear that after giving a Get his exclusion will continue. Should he put aside his demand for some guarantee he'll be accepted as a full member of the community, and just give the Get?

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  171. Daas Torah wrote: "If the husband is refusing to give a Get because issues have not been resolved - and not because of cruelty and spite - Rav Sternbuch, Rav Ovadiah Yosef and Rav Eliashiv are not condemning such a person"

    It cannot be their intention is to set the bar so high, because then a husband would never be considered cruel as they always say that if the woman would give them an (unreasonable) sum of money and custody they will give a Gett. If the price is right - $100 million dollars and 100% custody - every husband will give a Gett.

    From the fact that the Poskim contemplate a scenario of a husband being considered cruel that would indicate that you are misinterpreting the Poskim.

    What you are writing is similar to a Tautology. True, the Get is not given if the "issues have not been resolved", but in every instance that the husband doesn't give a Get he just says that the "issues have not been resolved" as he wants his "$100 million dollars and 100% custody".

    To preclude a husband from being cruel, it is not enough that the "issues have not been resolved", the husbands demands have to be fair and reasonable. Perhaps you should modify your post and state that if the "issues have not been resolved" and the husbands demands are fair and reasonable, then he isn't cruel. But, if the husbands demands are excessive then he is cruel.



    To assess whether a husbands demands are excessive we would have to use a yardstick that combines the requirements of strict halacha and the extra moral component of V'asisa Es Hayashar v'Es Hatov


    Under my understanding of the Poskim, it would be much more common for a husband to be considered cruel.

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  172. "the difference is, that a bad woman is for the most part limited by the decisions of an independent impartial judge."

    Secular courts and judges, despite any claims otherwise, are far from impartial. The secular system is stacked in favor of a divorcing wife on many factors.

    "The woman can't decide custody and money, only the Judge can decide."

    Only beis din should be making these decisions. Not secular judges. If she is taking her case to secular court, she loses her right to collect a Get. See Rav Shternbuch's teshuva above referencing a Heter Meah Rabbonim.

    "While the secular Court doesn't follow the Shulchan Aruch, at least they are trying to make things fair and equitable

    "On the other hand, the man has nothing that restrains him..."

    The wife also has the ability to refuse to accept the Get.

    "While the secular Court doesn't follow the Shulchan Aruch, at least they are trying to make things fair and equitable"

    You must be kidding.

    " Only the Frum community is hysterical of the secular court's divorce arrangements."



    You must be doubly-kidding. Open your eyes. The biases of the secular courts in divorce issues are well known and bemoaned far outside of the Jewish world.

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  173. Your problem is not Torah halacha which is reasonable and fair.


    Jblog Reviewer is a very confused rant of anti-halachic feminist double standards and hypocrisy. You invoke your fake morality to tell Jewish men to give a GET after their children were abducted by their wives


    You state: "Here is an idea - go to secular court and let them arbitrate custody." Your head is obviously buried in the feminist sand - how many fathers manage to get custody nowadays in family courts, unless they have huge resources for legal fees?

    Legally there's NO reason for a man to give a GET if his wife is in family courts - courts cannot be involved with GET matters without violating the US Constitution.

    Halachically and morally there's NO reason for a man to give a GET if his wife is in family courts - Rav Sternbuch clearly states in his tshuvah right above:

    "...she can't go to the secular court with monetary claims and at the same demand that he give her a get in beis din. If she forces him to accept the rulings of the secular court in marriage matters he has no obligation to give her a get..the husband can remarry with the heter of 100 Rabbis and he deposits the get with beis din until the judgment of the secular court is nullified. "
    (Rav Sternbuch (4:301))

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  174. Daas Torah,

    Any chance you could respond to my comment below which got buried too far down. "There is no mechanism in place that limits the leverage provided by a Gett to what would be fair and reasonable. Essentially, the man through his Gett leverage has become the "judge" and is deciding the custody and money."

    By using Get leverage, isn't it almost certain that the Husband will be acting with "cruelty" by making unreasonable demands? After all his demands are based on what he in his "unbiased" opinion deems fair.



    The option of the woman to refuse to accept the Gett does not prevent her from being railroaded, as it might be the better of the 2 evils for the woman to accept the Get.

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  175. @Moshe Ahron - I would suggest you read in the archives the cases involving Stein, Dodelston and Epstein - they don't fit your description

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  176. Here is a good rule of thumb: Ask yourself what would R' Yisrael Salanter do if he was getting divorced.

    Would he take the house, bank accounts, investment accounts and all their assets for himself and leave his wife penniless? Or do you think he would give his wife 50% of everything – like many husbands do? Would he take 100% custody or would he give his wife 60%, and him 40%.

    As long as the husband doesn’t "do what is right and just", then no regular woman who is not on the level of Avraham Avinu by the Akeidah will be willing to give up all her material possessions – the house, car, bank accounts, investment accounts etc., and even child support and be left with nothing in the event of a divorce. Woman will continue to use secular courts if their alternative is to be left penniless, and you would probably do the same if you were in her situation.

    Therefore we should be more bothered by the husband’s violation of the 5th chelek of Shulchan Aruch than by the woman’s violation of “Arkaos” (going to the secular court system).

    Let’s ask a simple question, why doesn’t the Torah just tell us everything we need to do? Why does it play this game with us that it relies on us to use our sense of right and wrong?

    Part of the answer is, secular law is an active system that can be constantly updated to include every possible new scenario. However, the Torah was given once on Har Sinai – it cannot be changed - and therefore was never designed to be an all-inclusive system, as it relied on your sense of right and wrong to deal with new situations and the changing facts on the ground. No society can ever function with the strict Torah law without going beyond the letter of the law.

    And as the Gemara says, Yerushalyim was destroyed because they followed the strict torah law.

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  177. Many cases of husbands declining or withholding a Get are done with full rabbinic counsel and advice the husband is acting upon. And the rabbinical advice as such is given because it is appropriate to withhold the Get for whatever the case-specific reason is.

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  178. I am familiar with those cases. Even if the husbands didn't have excessive demands in those cases, I still don't see what mechanism is in place to prevent that from happening in other cases. And besides, it can be argued that the woman were not railroaded only because they put up a big fight.

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  179. Daas Torah, Did you delete my response to Joseph Orlow?

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  180. @Moshe Ahron - do you realize that this approach also defends the Reform approach ? When you ignore the direction of the accepted rabbinic leaders and say you don't need their judgment because you can just imagine what the Chofetz Chaim or Rav Yisroel Salanter would say and that you can ignore the mesora and Shulchan Aruch because that is what led to the destruction of the Temple etc etc

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  181. The Torah provides her a kesuba payment. Your made-up idea that he must give a percent of his assets to her is an absurd hashkafa you gor directly from the gentiles. You wnt to sugget he be more generous, that's nice but not a requirement. And if he is more generous it certainly need not be a percentage of his marital assets. If he is a super wealthy millionaire he does not need to give her millions. He could give her above and beyond the letter of the law, i.e. the kesuba payment, and give her, say, $50,000 to get her started that will last her for a decent amount of time. He surely need not give her half or 25% of his fortune. Your insistence otherwise is baseless and direclty stems from the influence of the gentile ways that you've become accostomed to and falsely attribute to the fifth chelek.


    And if she does run to secular court to take advantage of secular law, as you see Rav Shternbuch's above teshuva, she can rightfully be denied receiving a Get until she undoes that wrongful action of hers.

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  182. Using your approach, I arrive at mutually exclusive ways of being "moral".

    One the one hand, what kind of man am I if I stand in the way of a woman who wants out of her marriage immediately? She found another man that she wants to live with, so fine, she should be granted a Get and have her fun and her ex-husband can move on with his life.

    On the other hand, what man wants to marry a woman who just walked away from her husband who loved her and supported her and was a great father to her kids? She cooly told him off and sent him packing. A man's got to think that if she wanted out of one marriage as soon as she got bored, she might walk out of a second marriage. Therefore, it's really to her advantage to be forced to act with good manners to her husband, so that after the divorce she'll have a shot of remarrying. Withholding the Get until everything is amicably resolved is really, then, an act of great kindness to a crazed woman who just wants to act wildly and against her own best interests.

    My soul would be ripped to shreds if I lived according to your Torah. Should I support or not support a man who withholds a Get on Demand? Following your way in general, I would feel like giving a primal scream, "I can't figure out what the Torah wants!! What good is the Torah?!" I'd stop living as a Jew.

    I have a lot more empathy for you now, man. I can't imagine the struggles you must go through. Now I understand your persistence in wanting to wrestle with so many commenters on this issue. It's just an extension of the wrestling you're doing every moment of your life as you weigh every action the Torah commands against what is "moral".

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  183. In your fantasy feminist world, husbands are always assumed to be cruel, evil, unreasonable, unjust, etc. while allegedly railroading their wives who can only be victims and never aggressors.

    It seems likely that you are a troll and propagandist for some feminist group like ORA, JOFA, etc., attempting to invalidate halachic Judaism by simply repeating the same feminist canards over and over, basing them on your imaginary "fifth chelek" of the Shuchan Aruch.

    Earlier you claimed:
    "She can only be considered a Moredes as long as the husband wants to get back together in a real marriage."

    Sorry to burst your feminist bubble, but clearly a Jewish woman can be a moredes even if her husband seeks a divorce.

    "Furthermore if the wife refuses to go to beis din, then that itself gives her the halachic status of moredes as is clear from Divrei Chaim (E.H. 51) ... she can't go to the secular court with monetary claims and at the same demand that he give her a get in beis din. "
    (Rav Sternbuch (4:301))

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  184. Eidensohn says "There are many cases where the husband is justified in not giving a get "

    this is truly unbelievable.

    I would love a list of times where this is appropriate.

    Unfortunately, I have seen first hand so many times, the husband thinks he can hold the woman up (usually her family) for money - because of this attitude. brutal law. needs to be changed. Eidensohn and others are just locked in the past where/when women were property essentially. looking for ancient sources, etc. get with the times, stop digging your heals in. you'll be left in the dust (IYH)

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  185. In the Dodelson case, the husband demanded a 50/50 split in custody -- one week here, one week there -- and the child was just a toddler at the time. Young children, and certainly very young children, need their mothers more than 50% of the time. I consider that an unreasonable demand.

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  186. Daas Torah,

    Reform focuses mostly on the moral component. Some Chareidim focus mostly on the halacha. Other Chareidim – like me - focus equally on both. Halacha and the moral component are of equal importance.

    Please read this story. I know a Bais Yaakov girl, a yeshivish girl from a yeshivish family. To be clear, her and her family are much more yeshivish than average. The Girl went to secular Court to obtain custody and some money, and after much fighting she got a Get.

    Every person who knows this family and girl will tell you what Ehrlich people they are, and how frum they are, learning, davening, medakdek in halacha etc. etc. I am not exaggerating that before the divorce this family had a reputation of being the best of the best (in yeshivish circles).

    So how is it that these people are so medakdek in every halacha, yet they went to Arkaos?

    The answer is, they are not on the level of Avraham Avinu. They can’t go to a Bais Din like Rabbi Gestetner and be left penniless without custody (depending on the case).

    Really, what do you expect?

    This Girl was afraid of being destroyed in Bais Din – she was scared silly. She didn’t go to Secular Court just to get a better deal. She went so that she wouldn’t be railroaded.

    Isn't there an indication that there is something wrong with our Batei Din when even the frumest Bais Yaakov girls are scared to go there? Can any normal woman listen to Rabbi Gestener’s Bais Din? Where is your outrage against Rabbi Gestetner’s Bais Din for being so extreme that they would destroy a woman like that with such cruelty?

    Many halachas are difficult. However, they are doable with some mesiras nefesh.

    On the other hand, living by Rabbi Gestetners halacha is simply not doable for 99% of woman. Do you know how halacha could fail like that? Maybe because the halacha was never meant to be applied without the moral component!

    The way to resolve this issue is for the Rabbanim to come up with a template of fair and equitable custody and financial arrangements that all the Batei Din will use in the event of a divorce. Then a woman will feel safe to go to Bais Din.

    We would be following in the path of Chazal. Just like Chazal in their time were mesaken the Kesubah, if Chazal were alive today they would be Mesaken that the woman would receive money and custody appropriate for our generation.

    I would appreciate it if you can share your thoughts.

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  187. The halacha specifically is by a case of a wife who wants a divorce because she found another man she wants to marry is that she is denied a divorce.

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  188. Crack open a Shulchan Aruch and you will be able to find a list of reasons why a petition for a divorce is denied.

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  189. One place where it might be appropriate is where the wife is trying to deny the husband custoday or visitation. Another might be where she accuses him falsely of child abuse. Another, where she takes him to secular court without having obtained permission to do so from beis din.

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  190. Rav Ovadiah Yosef states quite practically when it is moral to give a get on demand: Once the separation went on for 18 months, (even if the husband truly wants shalom bayit) because the chachmei Israel view it as negative development for jewish society when people are separated (and at least one partner has no intention of coming back), yet do not divorce. He states very clearly that it increases the risk of zenut to both former spouses.

    so here is your practical guidance.

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  191. I am very happy that relevent teshuvot were posted here. Yet, I am a bit appalled seeing that the blog owner has no qualms in providing completely wrong summaries of the tshuvot.

    Rav Ovadia Yosef did not say that coercion can only be applied if there is an objective reason for disgust. He says that even if there is no objective reason for disgust, the chachamim cannot tolerate that a couple is separated for a long time (more than 18 months), yet not divorced, and therefore the husband should be forced to give a get after 18 months of separation, even if the rabbanim cannot understand why his wife is disgusted with him, because the wife might commit zenut (and produced mamzerim) if she is left a long time without a get.

    This is a position of common sense, that is viable for a country were rabbis have to decide about divorce of the religious and non-religious population alike. Any other position would undermine women's trust in the rabbinate and promote zenut.

    By the way, eeven Dovid Eidensohn promotes zenut (pilegesh) on his blog as a way to circumvent the get refusal problem.

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  192. Your new here, aren't you? Welcome. Here are some simple rules to make your stay enjoyable and rewarding.

    Step 1. Learn some manners. Please address the blog moderator as Rabbi Eidensohn, or Dr. Eidensohn.

    Step 2. Take some some time to browse through posts on the subject you're interested in. Go through the "give and take" in the comments section of those posts.

    Step 3. Take a moment and reflect. Ask yourself, "Is there a chip on my shoulder?"

    Step 4. After familiarizing yourself with different sides of the issue at hand, then comment away! I look forward to learning from you.

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  193. you mean Rabbi Dr Eidensohn?

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  194. "this approach also defends the Reform approach"
    It is an orthodox approach though, since Ramban teaches than one can be a menuval within the letter of the law. There is also a gemara where the rabbis go lifnei mishurat hadin, beyond the letter of the law.

    Regarding the idea of accepted leaders, i had several discussions about this over the years. it seems that everyone tends to believe that their own choice of leader is really the actual authority. I never heard a Chassid saying that a mitnagid is the Gadol hador, or vice versa.

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  195. Daas Torah,


    I believe that I have articulated one of the root causes of woman going to Arkaos. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

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  196. What are you, the class monitor? Will you be clapping the erasers after school?
    FYI, this is the internet. Anyone can say whatever he pleases. No one needs to follow Joe Orlow's rules. The more so since the comments here are moderated. If the blog owner doesn't approve, he can deny the comment.

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  197. 1. Morality and Halacha go hand-in-hand. They are two gloves that are a set. One doesn't go without the other. Anything that is halacha is by definition automatically moral.


    Morality is NOT what you decide you want it to be. Morality is NOT what secular society's most recent set of values are. Morality is NOT what the gentiles think is the right thing. Morality IS what the Torah wants.


    The girl in your example did wrong. Period. IF it is as you describe it, I don't care if you call her yeshivish, super-yeshivish, chareidi, rebbishe einekel, rosh yeshivish, etc. She did wrong. Period.


    And she is NOT a typical example of how frum girls act in such circumstances, despite all your repeated attempted portrayals to the contrary. She is an exception, and a bad one at that.


    And IF you are describing it accurately (something I certainly will not take for granted) then her husband would in all likelihood been fully justified in withholding the Get until she undid whatever she accomplished in non-Jewish court. And he could have gotten a Heter Meah Rabbonim to remarry right away. As you can see from Rav Shternbuch's above teshuva.


    Rabbanim need not come up with any templates for custody and financial arrangements. Shulchan Aruch already has those templates.


    Follow Shulchan Aruch. Your ideas of "morality" are not morality and are not Torah based. Torah is morality. Your ideas of it are not.

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  198. Perhaps you can next articulate one of the root causes of people today who go to mixed swimming or Orthodox Jews who eat in vegetarian restaurants that are not particularly kosher.

    Then you can propose the rabbonim of our generation "fix" those halachos to make them "appropriate for our generation."

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  199. Just trying to understand what you consider fair financial arrangements. Nowadays the majority of woman work whereas in past generations they did not. What exactly changed that you feel woman should be entitled to receive more money in this generation? Unless you are saying the halacha was never appropriate in any generation.

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