Sunday, December 6, 2015

The abusive use of psychology to destroy one's opponent:"All is fair in love and war"

In the Tamar Epstein heter - the critical issues is not so much the halacha but the psychological "reports" that are used as evidence to "prove" that Aharon Friedman is not capable of being a minimum husband and thus it is a mekach ta'us because Tamar would never have married a person whom the majority of women would not view as even a minimal husband.

She and her chief advocate R Shalom Kaminetsky presented as objective reality the report of a psychologist that Tamar hired to besmirch Aharon and thus justify for the poskim a ruling of mekach ta'us. He conveniently didn't meet with Aharon but relied on the "objective" reports that Tamar provided him.

Ploni has presented some really solid arguments against this approach - but it doesn't seem to have convinced various elements. So in the name of a scientific understanding of psychology that will grab even the most convinced opponent I would like to turn the tables and use the same technique in evaluating the mental health of Aharon Friedman's opponents including Tamar, Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky, Rav Shalom Kaminetsky and Rav Nota Greenblatt.

Is there any preference which one to start with? Perhaps Tamar - who while quite intelligent perhaps was possibly suffering [educated guess but not known to be true] from a post partum depression aggravated by the shrill voice of her mother and the Goldfein's telling her to drop Aharon because she could do so much better? 

Perhaps we should start with the two gedolim who are both above 90 [which we all know what that means] and who blame each other for the heter [both having ignored normative halacha in this case because of their respect for the other]? Both of whom acknowledged they know nothing about psychological diagnoses and were totally dependent on what R Shalom could get out of his paid "gun" which he thoughtfully put a severe negative spin on when he explained what the psychologist said.

Or perhaps we should start with Reb Shalom whom at this point is widely hated for making his father the Rav Goren of our generation. A person who has gotten himself and his father into a series of misadventures recently - including the Meisels Seminary debacle? A person who seems to have a Messiah complex and selflessly ran around the world with the the solution to Tamar's problem (an annulment with a cooked psychological report that not only was full of lies but is so unethical the psychologist who collaborated with him would probably lose his license when his name is revealed)? A man so dedicated to freeing Tamar that he wasn't in the slightest deterred as posek after posek laughed in his face when he begged them to sign on the heter. A man who had no interest in asking what the halacha was but rather in finding someone who would agree with what he felt was the solution.

So where shall we start?

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