Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tamar Epstein's Heter: Rav Shmuel Feurst joined Rav Nota Greenblatt in giving the "heter"

It has long been suspected that Rav Feurst of Chicago was a significant factor in the "heter". Rav Greenblatt wrote in his letter that after hearing the "facts" of Aharon Friedman's serious and incurable "mental illness" he was willing "to join other rabbis" in giving a heter for Tamar to remarry without a Get. The question has been who are the other rabbis or did Rav Greenblatt give a heter by himself because no one else wanted to agree to R Shalom Kaminetskys request for a heter of mekach ta'os?

I have gotten a direct answer to the question from a well qualified source. He stated categorically that Rav Feurst had agreed with the heter but he added that there are others. Rav Feurst is a well regarded posek and also a talmid of Rav Moshe Feinstein. Thus we are not talking about Rav Greenblatt having an off day and following  the Daas Torah of Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky. We see that there are poskim - who clearly should know better - who agreed to this "heter" without bothering to check the facts as presented by R Shalom Kaminetsky and did not bother to hear the other side. Thus the corruption in the system is significantly worse than if the entire responsibility was on Rav Nota Greenblatt. It is also astounding that a posek of Rav Feurst's stature would not acknowledge that he was a major player in the "heter" or even acknowledge that he was involved.

I have also heard reports that this isn't the first time that Rav Feurst has declared that a Get wasn't needed because of "mekach ta'os". Someone mentioned that he has done it at least 15 times. At the present time I do not know whether this report is correct and whether the conditions specified by Rav Moshe Feinstein were met in the other cases. However there is no question that in Tamar Epstein's case Rav Moshe Feinstein would not have accepted the false data and the false conclusions.

It is time for Rav Greenblatt and Rav Feurst to either defend their psak or retract it. As Rav Greenblatt has noted, a secret psak by anonymous poskim is not to be taken seriously.

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