Monday, July 2, 2018

transcript and comments

audio link

Joseph Orlow replies to Eddie “Stealth? I told him my name. Deception? Aharon Friedman is my friend, the friend to which I refer. What's with the accusations anyway? Chutzpah? The calls were made under the guidance of my Rabbis.”

O: This is Joe Orlow. Can I speak with Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky?

K: Speaking

O: How are you? I wanted to ask the rav a question

K: Yeah

O: I have a friend who is married and his wife left him

K: Oy

O: And she went to live with another man

K: Oy

O: Oy, yeah. That is not permitted, right?

K: Definitely not

O: So should I tell her she has to separate?

K. Of course


K: Does he know about it? He believes her? If he doesn’t believe it maybe, it’s mutar

O: I’m sorry. Say that again.

K: Does the husband believe that?

O: Yeah, yeah. It is very public. She did it very publicly

K: Oy

O: I wanted to ask you about this specific case

K: Yes

O: You may be aware of it.  It’s Tamar Epstein and Adam Fleischer.  I was wondering why you hadn’t told them to separate since you are saying that it is the right thing to tell them

K: Well because he had psakim from rabbonim that it is mutar, I mean.

O: That it is mutar. 

K: Yeah

O: So Reb Dovid said that it is mutar? Rabbi Dovid Feinstein

K: He said it is not mutar.  But there are other rabbonim. Some other rabbonim say its mutar. So I don’t get involved in this.

O: So you are not involved in this.

K; Yeah

O: So the rabbonim say that it … Reb Dovd should have told them to separate maybe, even if other rabbonom say yes.  Did he tell them to separate?

K: I have no idea

O: OK.  So you wouldn’t tell her to separate yourself because other rabbonim

K: Yeah

O: Who are the other rabbonim if I can ask?  Are there any names that you can give me?

K: R’ Notason

O: I am sorry I didn’t catch that

K: R’ Nota

O: R’ Nota. R’ Nota Greenblatt from Memphis. OK

K: That is what I heard

O: Alright. I thank the rav for taking my call.  Thank you very much.

K: All the best, bye bye.

O: Kol tuv. Shalom

RSK says that the annulment and remarriage are halachically acceptable

In the conversation, RSK says that he holds that the annulment and remarriage are completely legitimate under halacha. He acknowledges that RDF says it is not mutar but says there are other rabbonim who say it is mutar - and RSK says that he doesn't get involved in deciding which psak is correct.  At the beginning of the conversation, RSK says that if a married woman is living with another man, one must tell them to separate.  But he says that this is not the case with the Fleischers because the annulment and remarriage are a legitimate macholokes between different poskim and it is perfectly acceptable under halacha to rely on the view of the rabbonim who say it is mutar.  

This shows that the letter from R' Sholom [posted on the top right side of the blog] ] claiming that his father accepts RDF's psak is not true. The letter is the fig leaf behind which the "yeshiva world" [the moetzes of agudah, for example] claims that RSK disapproves of the annulment and remarriage, but this recording destroys that fig leaf.

And it is not not only that RSK does not take a position on whether RDF's psak is correct or not, RSK and R' Sholom were the ones who sent letters to rabbonim around the world [previously posted on the blog] asking them to annul the marriage. 

It is ironic that the Moetzes is attacking the Open Orthodoxy movement, while one of its members [and a signatory on the letter below, for example] has gone as far as, or perhaps even further, than any of the Open Orthodox in rejecting halacha.  The Open Orthodox reject halacha in principle according to the Moetzes, or in the Open Orthodox's own view work within the confines of acceptable halachic practice to reach halachic outcomes that are more in line with their own views of what is practical, moral and modern.  It is not clear whether RSK also does so in principle or perhaps only in order to assist the VIP families.  It is also not clear to me which is worse. 


  1. “transcript and comments”
    I read the transcript and the Statement of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of America. I agree fully with Daattorah and Joe Orlow etc. What gets me more than anything is that Rabbi Kamenetsky and his supporters never talk of and will not allow access to the fake/phony PhD psychology report that Aaron is insane.
    See, if there were a true PhD psychology report that Aaron is insane---well, oh, then, we have evidence that something is wrong with Aaron, Oh, this is why he won’t give a get--he’s nuts. Poor girl, Tamar, we have to free her from her mentally sick husband. Tamar is not a spoiled princess, whom everyone must obey or she goes into incoherent rage. Tamar simply couldn’t bear that the Baltimore Beis Din ruled against her. Tamar and her supporters (Susan in the internet) found a solution – the fake/phony PhD psychology report that Aaron is insane.
    The parallel to my case with Susan is that Judge Prus/Susan/her lawyer never talk of and will not allow access to the fake/phony Rigler Order of Separation. I have hopes that the NYS Inspector General and the NYS Commission on Judicial Conduct will expose Judge Prus etc.

  2. It's not open orthodoxy, it's an error. But you have a problem if you claim daas Torah/gedolim have magical powers. If you admit there is no magic, not even the Sanhedrin was error free, then you lose the illusion.

  3. About two years ago I called Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky. The conversation was similar to the one posted above.

    Rabbi Kamenetsky then said "the Rabbi in Memphis" when I pushed him two years ago to name which Rabbis allow Tamar Epstein to live with Adam Fleischer. He did not mention Rabbi Greenblatt by name.

    In the recent call he also acts like he has virtually no connection with Rabbi Nota Greenblatt's marrying Tamar to Adam.

    I think this is part of the game Rabbi Kamenetsky plays, making like he had no role in Tamar remarrying. He makes like he didn't sign the letter that encouraged any and all to encourage Aharon Friedman to give a Get. Could this man who claims he's not involved, and has no idea if Rabbi Dovid Feinstein told Tamar and Adam to separate, have had a hand in shopping around the Heter? A cursory review of the above audio would seem to indicate he's far removed from the case.

    Yet, from the very start of my contact with Rabbi Kamenetsky he's been playing this game. In my first call to him, when the announcement went out that "Tamar is Free" (but before her "remarriage"), Rabbi Kamenetsky acted surprised that anyone should expect him to have any knowledge of this matter. He made like it was beneath his status to even seriously contemplate the new development. "She went and got herself a Heter Meah Rabbonim," was his breezy attitude. "Talk to my son Shalom, he deals with this," he brushed the matter aside, like so many crumbs on his tablecloth.

    It is this callous approach that I find so revulsive. Does this man revered so widely in America and beyond really give almost no heed to this case which has been discussed in depth worldwide for years?

  4. Jospeh Orlow says “…he [Rabbi Kamenetsky] brushed the matter aside, like so many crumbs on his tablecloth. It is this callous approach that I find so repulsive.”
    The great Sage/prophet Job gave charity and helped people and never brushed off anyone’s complaint of decisions or actions Job did. Look how eloquently Job decries the callous, insensitive, repulsive actions of a gadol brushing aside a complaint.
    “Did I ever brush aside the case of my servants, man or maid, When they made a complaint against me? What then should I do when God arises; When He calls me to account, what should I answer Him? Did not He who made me in my mother’s belly make him? Did not One form us both in the womb? Did I deny the poor their needs, Or let aa widow pine away, By eating my food alone, The fatherless not eating of it also? Why, from my youth he grew up with me as though I were his father; Since I left my mother’s womb I was her [the widow’s] guide. I never saw an unclad wretch, A needy man without clothing, Whose loins did not bless me As he warmed himself with the shearings of my sheep. If I raised my hand against the fatherless, Looking to my supporters in the gate, May my arm drop off my shoulder; My forearm break off at the elbow. For I am in dread of God-sent calamity; I cannot bear His threat. Did I put my reliance on gold, Or regard fine gold as my bulwark? Did I rejoice in my great wealth, In having attained plenty? If ever I saw the light shining, The moon on its course in full glory, And I secretly succumbed, And my hand touched my mouth in a kiss, That, too, would have been a criminal offense, For I would have denied God above. Did I rejoice over my enemy’s misfortune? Did I thrill because evil befell him? I never let my mouth sin By wishing his death in a curse. (Indeed, the men of my clan said, We would consume his flesh insatiably!) No sojourner spent the night in the open; I opened my doors to the road. Did I hide my transgressions like Adam, Bury my wrongdoing in my bosom, That I should [now] fear the great multitude, And am shattered by the contempt of families, So that I keep silent and do not step outdoors? (Job 31:13-34).

  5. What happened to the concept of chiddush b'Halacha?

  6. whats wrong with rejecting normative halacha?

  7. are you trying to defend rav kaminetsky?

  8. When did chiddush end? R Norman Lamm warned about this in the 90s.

  9. Torah thought on Parshat Pincas
    We read in this week’s parsha:
    “Phinehas, son of Eleazar son of Aaron the priest, has turned back My wrath from the Israelites by displaying among them his passion for Me, so that I did not wipe out the Israelite people in My passion. Say, therefore, I grant him My pact of friendship. It shall be for him and his descendants after him a pact of priesthood for all time, because he took impassioned action for his God, thus making expiation for the Israelites.” (Numbers 25: 11-13).
    God praises Phinehas in this week’s parsha for being a vigilante. Yet the midrash is angry at Phinehas in the matter of Jephthah and his vow.
    תנא דבי אליהו אליהו רבה (איש שלום) פרשה יב
    יפתח הגלעדי נדר (נדר) דבר שלא כהוגן להעלות את בתו על גבי מזבח, נתקבצו עליו אנשי אפרים לעשות עימו מריבה גדולה, היה לו לפינחס שיאמר להן, להתיר לו נדרו לא באתם אליו, לעשות מריבה באתם אליו, לא מיחה בבני אפרים, ולא התיר לו את נדרו ליפתח, מי שיושב על כסא שופט צדק יהי שמו הגדול מבורך לעולם ולעולמי עולמים אמר, מאחר ששם זה נפשו בכפו ובא והציל את ישראל מיד מואב ומיד בני עמון באו לעשות עימו מריבה גדולה, לפיכך נתקבצו למלחמה ויצא והרג בהן ארבעים ושנים אלף, שנאמר ויאמר לו אמר נא שבולת ויאמר סבולת (שופטים י"ב ו'), זה לשון עבודה זרה, כאדם שאומר לחבירו שאבול, והוא לא יכול לדבר כן ויאחזוהו וישחטוהו אל מעברות הירדן וגו' (שם /שופטים י"ב/), ומי הרג את כל אלה, אמור, לא הרג אותן אלא פינחס בן אלעזר, שהיה ספק בידו למחות ואינו מוחה, להפר לו נדרו ליפתח ולא התיר לו, ולא פינחס בלבד, אלא כל מי שהוא ספק בידו למחות ואינו מוחה, להחזיר את ישראל למוטב ואינו מחזיר, את הדמים הנשפכין לישראל אינן נשפכין אלא על ידיו, שנאמר ואתה בן אדם צופה וגו' באמרי לרשע [וגו'] ואתה כי הזהרת רשע (ואו') [וגו'] (יחזקאל ל"ג ז' ח' י"ט),
    “When Jephthah the Gileadite made a vow that was utterly improper---a vow to offer up his daughter on an alter---the people of Ephraim gathered against him and got into a great argument with him. Phinehas should have said to them: You did not come to offer him release from his vow. All you do is engage in an argument with him because he made it. For his part, however, Phinehas neither intervened between the children of Ephraim [and Jephthah], nor did he release Jephthah from his vow…But, in fact, who slew all of the Ephraimites? You must admit that the slayer was none other than Phineas son of Eleazar who had the opportunity to intervene, who had the opportunity to release Jephthah from his vow but did not release him from his vow. Phineas shirked his responsibility, and no man should do so. Whenever a man has the opportunity to intervene in a quarrel and does not intervene, or has an opportunity to bring Israel back to the right way and does not take advantage of the opportunity, the blood spilt in Israel is spilt by him, as is said “Now, O mortal, I have appointed you a watchman for the House of Israel; and whenever you hear a message from My mouth, you must transmit My warning to them. When I say to the wicked, Wicked man, you shall die, but you have not spoken to warn the wicked man against his way, he, that wicked man, shall die for his sins, but I will demand a reckoning for his blood from you. But if you have warned the wicked man to turn back from his way, and he has not turned from his way, he shall die for his own sins, but you will have saved your life” (Ezekiel 33:7-9).”
    Joseph Orlow and Daattorah etc (I too) are attempting to intervene in the quarrel between Rabbi Kamenetsky and Aaron Friedman. We warn Rabbi Kamenetsky that he is supporting a woman leaving her husband and going to another man without a get in violation of “A man takes a wife and possesses her. She fails to please him because he finds something obnoxious about her, and he writes her a bill of divorcement, hands it to her, and sends her away from his house; she leaves his household and becomes the wife of another man” (Deuteronomy 24:1-2).

  10. Cohabitation:


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