Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tamar Epstein's Heter: Should a special beis din be created to rule on its validity or should the focus be on investigating the rabbinic corruption and incompetence revealed in this case?

Guest Post

With regard to the proposed new beis din, it appears to me to be of extremely limited value for them to just determine whether or not the annulment was valid - although that is something that should be done.  The annulment is a total joke and everyone knows that.

It seems to me that what is needed is an investigation of so-called "rabbonim" who had a role in this matter over the last seven years, not just the psak.  It should include an investigation of what process they went through in making the psak and the other similarly reprehensible actions taken over the years, and what fact-finding if any was done by which "rabbonim" that would justify these actions.  It appears to me that there must be some type of reckoning as to whether it is appropriate for these individuals to have any leadership role as a posek, rav, or other type of communal leader.

This matter is not a matter of innocent mistakes, or people cutting a few corners.It appears to me that this involved the grossest possible incompetence at best, and more likely outright, knowing and  purposeful deceit, if not pure bribery and corruption. This behavior went on for years and years, including the most vile character assassination, not to mention a beating and attempted kidnapping that endangered the life of a child, which clearly constitutes a capital crime under Federal law.

This activity has created a massive chillul hashem and made a total mockery of Orthodox Judaism.  Given that the "rabbonim" deliberately made this matter into a huge public spectacle (such as articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, and demonstrations at the United States Congress), they had to have known that this "annulment" would become very public. 

So while it is true and important to show that the annulment was not valid and the resulting children would be mamzerim - but there is a much greater question that needs to be address. The larger question is about the apparent massive incompetence and corruption at the highest levels of so-called Orthodox leadership in the United States. Included in this is the silence of other's in leadership positions and why they ignored what everyone knows is true?   Failure to hold those rabbis who were involved in corrupting the halachic proces will just guarantee that similar or even worse episodes will happen in the future. Therefore this an opportunity for the Jewish community to do some long overdue housecleaning and rededication to halacha and truth.

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