Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tamar Epstein's heter: It is no longer what Rav Greenblatt and Rav Kaminetsky did but their stature as gedolim that is being criticized

 I received this email this morning and thought it important to post along with my respoonse

 Rabbi Eidensohn,
I believe that the spurious Hetter granted to Tamar E. upsets and distresses me no less than it does for you and all other Shloimei Yisroel, but I have to protest most strongly the direction I am hearing your blog has been going recently.....as long as you are attacking the Hetter itself (as vehemently as necessary) you are on safe ground, but recently you have been attacking people and attaching their pictures, which is far more questionable...
Reb Nota, and more so Reb Shmuel K., are very respected Zkanim. Besides the dubious gain (their admirers now consider them "Nirdofim" and more simplistic Yidden are completely confused as to how to view respected Rabbonim and Roshei-Yeshivos), this is a huge Halbonas Ponnim Berabbim, which - even when allowed - has to be completely LeShem-Shomayim (see Igros-Moshe about "Kano'im Pogim), and who can be secure in that....that the likes of Yuddel Shain have joined this campaign only detracts from the way it's perceived!!
Get back on track,

Kol Tuv

I understand very well your point. But I also understand that by their continued refusal in the face of world wide condemnation by rabbonim from all circles - the situation is changing.

It is no longer that two widely revered and liked gedolim inadvertently made mistakes of a serious nature - which does indeed require a focus on the deeds and not the person. It is now their refusal to acknowledge and retract an error - which is obvious to most people - that is  destroying emunas chachomim and creating a huge chilul haShem that is the problem. It is no longer about what they did - but who they are.

When rabbonim call for the rejection of Rav Greenblatt's gittin - it is rejection of Rav Greenblatt as a gadol b'Torah. When Rav Kaminetsky is pointedly uninvited by senior rabbis in England from a conference - it is rejecting Rav Kaminetsky as a gadol b'Torah. It is not my blog which has shifted the focus to their stature as gedolim - but rabbonim around the world. My blog is merely reflecting this change - which everyone knew would eventually happen.

The longer they refuse to acknowledge their direct role in causing an adulterous relationship through a corruption of the halachic process - with the consequences of producing mamzerim - the greater is the damage to Klall Yisroel and the greater is the need to use stronger measures.

The fact that they are - or perhaps were - highly respected men who have devoted their long lives to successfully developing Yiddishkeit and helping others - makes the damage they are causing that much greater. They are running out of time to save their well deserved reputations and stem the serious damage they are causing to all that they hold dear.

I don't think either of them would allow one of their devoted followers to persist in stonewalling against such an obvious error - why do you think they should not be held to the same standard. Why do you think that they should not be held personally accountable for this travesty? 

It is their continued refusal to acknowledge they were wrong that is now the problem. It is no longer so much about Tamar's heter - but it is about gedolim who can not say they were wrong and do teshuva.

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