Monday, November 9, 2015

English translation of Rav Gestetner's letter regarding Tamar Epstein's heter to remarry without a Get

The following translation was sent to me by a reader of this blog - he acknowledges that it is not a precise translation. But he felt that the basic ideas needed to be presented to those who don't read Hebrew and therefore don't grasp the significance of the protest of talmidei chachomim against the heter to remarry without a Get.. Hopefully translations of other letters will be made available in the near future.


Protest and warning by Beis Din against the violation of Jewish Law regarding a married woman living with another man without a Get

Our Beis Din has already issued a statement on Sivan 24, 5772 [Thursday of the week in which the Torah reading is Shlach, in which Moshe asks “why you are violating the word of G-d, and she will not be successful”], on the Friedman-Epstein matter, as to how Tamar Epstein left her husband, Aharon Friedman, without any grounds under Jewish Law.  She herself stated in her own handwriting before she left him that she has pleasant feelings towards him, that he is a loyal husband to her, loving, sweet, gentle, and appreciates her, such as her taking of their daughter, allows her to spend money, is honest, makpid on [careful in his observance of] kashrus [eating kosher], davening [praying], and shmiras halashon [not speaking ill of others].  However, she decided to leave him because he is not adequately sociable.  And we previously explained that according to our holy Torah, she has the Jewish Law status of a woman wrongfully leaving her husband, and that all opinions under Jewish Law require that she return to her husband.  Furthermore, there is no mitzvah or obligation of any sort to ever give a get to her.  And certainly, there are no grounds to coerce a get.  All of this was explained with strong sources in Jewish Law.

However, Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky, because of his mistaken propensity to follow the current opinion of the masses and also because of the benefits he has received from the Epstein family conducted himself as her lawyer and took advantage of his standing as a gadol to wage a destructive war against the husband (who refused to give a get until an appropriate custody schedule could be arranged), and together without other rabbis without standing, issued a phony seruv  [contempt] declaration without any basis in Jewish Law against the husband, that was publicized around the world.  This slandering of the husband can never be atoned for.  This action was in and of itself enough to invalidate any get given in this case.

On Tisha B’Av 5772, several gangsters hired by the wife physically attacked Aharon in an  attempt to force him to give a get.  They threw him to the ground at the entrance of the Epstein home while Aharon was returning their daughter.  But the efforts of these thugs were unsuccessful and the husband was able to flee.  After this incident, and shortly after the Mendel Epstein gang was arrested [several members of the gang, including ringleaders Mendel Epstein and Mordechai Wolmark, have either plead guilty or were convicted by a jury at a trial at which the attack against Aharon was alleged to be part of the Epstein gang’s criminal conspiracy], the ignoramus “ORA” organization, known for being disreputable, announced that Tamar had become free to remarry under Jewish Law without a get.

It was later announced that Tamar was married to Adam Fleischer by Rabbi Nota Greenblatt from Memphis, Tennessee. We protest at this terrible breach of the walls of our holy Torah that was heretofore unheard of amongst the Orthodox, but known only amongst the Reform. Anyone taking any part of this breach to permit what has been prohibited throughout the generations completely rejects the Torah and mocks the words of the Sages.

Therefore, pursuant to our holy Torah, we announce that the Rabbi Nota Greenblatt is an uprooter of the Torah, similar to the Reform movement.  He must be completely separated from the Jewish community, and his Jewish Law teachings, his bread and his wine are prohibited.  This is also the status of Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky, as all who have the authority to protest this matter and do not do so are held culpable.  Without his approval this would not have happened and it is clear that he bears responsibility for this terrible matter.

We also announce: Jewish Law is clear that Tamar is still married to Aharon and that Tamar and Adam Fleischer are violating the prohibition of another man living with a married woman. Any children born to Adam and Tamar will be considered complete “mamzerim” until the end of generations.  And there is an obligation to pronounce this.

Tamar must leave both men and is prohibited to either forever.  Before Tamar separates from Adam Fleischer through receiving a get, it is prohibited for Aharon to give a get to Tamar.  And even after Tamar receives a get from Adam there is no obligation on Aharon to give a get before Tamar agrees to an appropriate custody arrangement. Any children born by Tamar from Adam even after Tamar receives a get are mamzerim according to the rabbis.  There is an obligation to encourage them to separate. Signed, this first day of the week of “Vateshachais haaretz lifnei Elokim” [the earth was destroyed before Hashem] [Noach], 28 Tishrei, 5776,Monsey New York, Beis Din Shar Hamishpat

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