Monday, January 25, 2016

Rav Reuven Feinstein proposes a Takanah - How does it deal with the disaster of the Kaminetsky-Greenblatt heter?

This letter was written as an approval of the 3rd Baltimore bais din letter and is clearly critical of the Kaminetsky-Greenblatt heter though it doesn't mention it.

Rav Reuven makes several important points. 
1) that a takanah should be made that no one is allowed to get involved in a case when there's a reputable bais din presiding on a case, otherwise the koach of bais din gets diminished and causes anarchy.
Meaning that since the Baltimore Beis Din was already dealing with the case.  The Kaminetsky Beis Din had no right to get involved and usurp its right to deal with the case. To prevent this from happening in the future a Takana needs to be made and agreed by the rabbonim not to take over cases that are already being dealt with by a competent beis din
2) that no letter should be signed without listening to both sides.
This again is a criticism of the high handed tactics of Rav Kaminetsky (that was endorsed by a letter by Rav Herschel Schachter) and the Kaminetsky Beis Din which issued a false seruv and demanded that Aharon give a get and called for demonstrations against Aharon -- without hearing his side of the story and furthermore directly contradicting the ruling of the Baltimore Beis Din that there was no requirement for Aharon to give a Get at that time
3) that in this case only the Baltimore bais din has the full picture.
This again is a direct criticism of the Kaminetsky and the Kaminetsky Beis Din - which only heard Tamar's side of the story. It is a refutation of the Greenblatt heter - which was based on a phony psychiatric report written by a therapist who did not speak to Aharon on the allegations of Tamar. It is also a criticism of the  Kaminetskys who went heter shopping with a letter which contained false and distorted information which did not seek out Aharon's perspective on events - which they ran around the world to find poskim who would agree to it. Finally getting Rav Greenblatt and Rav Feurst to agree to the heter - even though neither consulted the Baltimore Beis Din but relied entirely on the lies and distortions provided by the Kaminetskys








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Questions regarding Rav Reuven Feinstein's proposal (by a number of readers)

1) Why is there a need of a Takana when what he is proposing is stated in the Shulchan Aruch?

שולחן ערוך חושן משפט הלכות דיינים סימן יז סעיף ה
אסור לדיין לשמוע דברי בעל דין האחד שלא בפני בעל דין חבירו. הגה: ודוקא שיודע הדיין שיהיה דיין בדבר, אבל אם שמע טענת האחד ואחר כך נתרצה השני לדון לפניו, מותר להיות דיין בדבר (תשובת מהרי"ל קצ"ה). ולא יכתוב שום חכם פסק לאחד מבעלי הדינין בדרך א"כ, או שיכתוב לו דעתו בלא פסק, כל זמן שלא שמע דברי שניהם, שמא מתוך דבריו ילמדו לשקר; גם משום שאח"כ יטעון השני בדרך אחר ויצטרך לכתוב להיפך, ואיכא זילותא לחכם. (רשב"א וריב"ש סימן קע"ט /ה'/). וכן הבעל דין מוזהר על כך. ותלמיד שיש לו דין לפני רבו, לא יקדים לבא קודם בעל דינו, שלא יהא נראה כמקדים כדי לסדר טענותיו שלא בפני חבירו. ואם יש לו עת קבוע לבא ללמוד לפניו, ובא העת ההיא, מותר.

2) While Rav Reuven obviously means well his proposal, he ironically undermines the beis din system. It is a letter calling for total hefkerus!
a. If a duly constituted BD ruled—it should be over. Of course that BD should be supported in every which way.
b. Acccording to what he writes anyone can now say—and if so, you can be sure that anyone will now say—if they on one party’s “side”—that the BD’s pesak “is a din me’uvas”!
c. It is illogical to call for any person who wants to help when there is already a pesak BD to first hear both sides— that is what the BD did! Why would this person do a better job than the BD? How will this person ensure that HE will “hear “all the facts” from “all the parties”...? And if he comes to a different conclusion—he should help defy the BD?

3. Let’s be clear---The problem with the false seruv in the Epstein case was that it was anything BUT a duly-constituted BD!! But if it is a duly constituted BD?Absolutely support the pesak—or you are part of the evil!

4. The basic issue is that if you refuse to mention that there is a current problem then you need to pretend that the system itself needs fixing instead of the particular incident

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