Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rav Herschel Schacter: Options for Agunot

YU Torah - mp3

printed source material
[updated to link to the following shiur]
See also his "Plight of the Agunah"

Yitzy Hillel: In this shiur, he comes out clearer in his shittas than the other shiur posted on this blog previously. minutes 48-101 is where he talks about the case of Meos Alui in modern times.


  1. I didn't see anything about calling that shady looking Italian gentleman down the street who has been known to make problems "go away" for the right price.

  2. I have listened to the first section of the lecture by Rabbi Shachter about Agunoth and I think it is completely wrong. He says basically that the various pressures available to coerce a GET, beating, Beth Din commanding the husband to divorce, or passive ostracizing, are things to discuss when a husband supports his wife and they are living together but the wife wants out. However, says Rabbi Shachter, if the wife has left the husband, and surely if she has a civil divorce, we may beat the husband with sticks to force him to divorce. This is completely wrong.

    The laws of a woman who spurns her husband and wants a GET are not where RS says it is, in chapter 154 but in chapter 77. There the SA does not mention forcing the husband, as the Rashbo forbids coercing the husband with MOUS OLEI. FOrcing is mentioned only in chapter 154 regarding a forbidden marriage where we can use force to coerce a GET. The next category in 154 is when the Talmud clearly demands a GET but does not say to force the husband. In that case, the Beth Din can tell the husband he is a sinner and people can call him a ROSHO, but no humiliation or active pressure is permitted. Ramo says that in such a case, where the Talmud clearly demands a GET but does not clearly state to force the GET, we may do a passive ostracizing. The Vilna Gaon and others say this only applies with two conditions: One, that the Talmud says there must be a GET, and two, the husband can escape the ostracizing by going to a different town. It is not permitted to ostracize the husband passively in a case where the wife wants a divorce, so the ostracizing is not mentioned in chapter 77 where these laws are taught.
    The Ramo permits passive ostracizing only when the Talmud comands a GET and not when the wife wants a GET. THe Shach and Chcazon Ish forbid even passive ostracizing even when the Talmud commands a GET.
    Thus, Rabbi Schachter is completely wrong, and he has no support for his opinion, and whoever follows his opinion such as ORA with its public humiliation of the husband will produce children considered by normative halacha to be mamzerim.

  3. L'kavod Harav Shlitta, this post that I am writting below has nothing to do with the Friedman case but just talking about cases of Meos Alei in general. thanks for expressing your take on the shiur thus far. I have a few points that I would like to mention after researching the issue thus far. Rabbi Sternbuch Shlitta writes in his Teshuvas VHanhoges Volume 5:344: that the Rama in Kuf Nun Deled does infact apply to our cases today of Meos Alei where a women wants out of a marriage. He also allows in cases the Pirud of R' Tam because our generation has this issue more than the previous generations. Even taking into account the oppinion of the Shach, Rashba, and Chazon Ish, he allows the Pirud of R' Tam with certain conditions. Interesting enough he holds by the Rivash's girsa in the Rashba which takes out forbidding humiliation (Bizoi) and not like the Chozen Ish's version of the Rashba which says that the Rashba forbids humiliating the husband. Rav Sternbuch hold that even though there have been great rishonim and achronim saying not to follow the Pirud of R' Tam still a Get Bedieved is miikur hadin a good get and does not create mamzerim if the pirud was done. Granted I agree with you that today the ORA's tactics are against the pirud of R'tam because they pressure the husband even when he does leave town and put pressure on employers of the husband etc. But it is clear to Rav Sterbuch that the Pirud of R' Tam is not off limits and therefore he argues with many points of your teshuva. Rav Sternbuch feels compelled to attempt to help these woman out and not just abide by the Shach and Chazon Ish and do nothing in these cases. However, he does take into account the Maharashdam shitta that mentioning the Get in the humiliation will pasul the GET (you qut. Therefore, he holds basically that at times one can hold of the Pirud of R' Tam but not mention the get just mention he is a cruel person and no one should have anything to do with him (to be choshesh for the chazon Ish)
    When all the dusts settles, based on the Rav Sternbuch teshuva he would argue with you about the following:
    one can at times apply the Pirud of Rebbuna Tam in cases of Meos Alei in our generation
    If the pirud is enforced the get is kosher (according to the Rashba)

  4. I think Rav Sterbuch agrees with you:
    that the tactics of the ORA are worse than R'Tam's pirud becasue they dont give the husband a way out..which the gra and levush hold that the only reason R'tam hold that its not forced is if it's passive ostracism and you give the guy the right to leave town and be left alone. In cases today there are cases where the husband leaves town and they continue to rally and pressure the communties in the next town..which is against R'Tam and seemingly everyone.

    Rabbi Shachter on the other hand holds that the ORA's tactics are not even the Pirud of R'Tam ...he holds since they don't tell people not to do business with they guy but just public humiliate the guy..this is not forcing. He ignores the Chazon Ish's version of the Rashba and seemingly long as one doesn't threaten the guys life..public pressure and humiliation is ok. I personally hope to speak to Rav Shachter and ask him how public humilation and threats of employment loss and bullying is ok. and how its better than the pirud of R' Tam

    Lastly, Rabbi Sternbuch and Rabbi Shachter believe on some level we have to help women in cases of Meos Alai, they both hold we can not through up our arms and say that since the Shach and others said one should not follow the pirud of R'Tam we can't help agunahs in these cases, they have offered solutions..according to your understanding of the normative halacha..a women is basically a captive to her husband in these cases with no way out if the husband is cruel and irrational. Rav Sternbuch calls this the easy way out but feels it is wrong in his teshuva that I quoted above.
    Hope to continue the discussion and see Rav Elyashiv's Kovetz Teshuvas soon.
    kol tuv,
    Yitzy Hillel

  5. Reply to Yitzy Hillel's comment:
    "Rabbi Shachter on the other hand holds that the ORA's tactics are not even the Pirud of R'Tam ...he holds since they don't tell people not to do business with they guy but just public humiliate the guy"

    Yitzy Hillel's statement is blatantly contradicted by statements on ORA's website itself! To pretend somehow that Herschel Schachter is not fully aware of ORA's brutal halachic violations is just more outrageous YU / ORA feminist dishonesty and obfuscation.

    From the ORA website page containing fabricated "seruvim" designed to destroy decent Jewish men:


    1. Thank you Emes Leyaakov for pointing out statements on the ORA website. In the above quote, I was basically quoting what Rabbi Shachter said in the shiur verbatim. You make a good point that the ORA says to cut off business contacts which is exactly what R'tam seems holds in his harchakas. For Rabbi Shachter to say that what they are doing is not even the shitta of R'tam but much less is therefore misleading in my humble opinion.

  6. For anyone interested in Rabbi Shachters view that I quoted above: listen to the shiur The Plight of the Agunah:
    In this shiur, he comes out clearer in his shittas than the other shiur posted on this blog previously. minutes 48-101 is where he talks about the case of Meos Alui in modern times.

  7. In earlier generations the greatest rabhis in the world would permit an Agunah if in their opinion it was merited, only if other great rabbis agreed. Today we have people permitting something that might produce mamzerim without agreements from great rabbis of the world, and by inventing radical logic that was never heard of previously, and that violate the normative understanding of the halacha involved. The Rashbo clearly writes in Vol 7 I beleive 414 that it is forbidden to humiliate a husband to coerce a GET, and this is quoted by the author of Shulchan Aruch in his commentary of the TUR, and is accepted by the Shach and Chazon Ish, who even forbid passive coercion. How incredible that people are saying new things that nobody ever heard of and in the next generation those who reject their logic will refuse to marry the children because of mamzer problems. Why do the rabbis not have the time to convene a meeting with the greatest rabbis of the world to see what to do about the Agunah problem, instead of each rabbis making it up as he goes along, in a way that will not be accepted by everyone. And why are we concentrating on forcing husbands instead of going to the root of the problem, which is the element that teaches women how to get orders of protection and then put their husband in jail, and then start crying "agunah" when the husband wont' give a GET. And why can't the community leaders arouse themselves to do something about shalom bayis instead of teaching people to be super pious by ignoring their wives or not working. We have to go to the root of the problem. And that nobody is interested.

    1. A couple of points.
      1) Who the greatest Rabbis in the world are is much a matter of opinion to be quite honest. For instance there are those who held that Rav Menashe Klein Z"L was the posek Hador(certainly his own Chassidim) there are others who held that his teshuvot were worth less than the paper they were printed on and should(not just could) be thrown straight into the trash(specifically not put into Geniza/Shaimos). Likewise who is the "Posek HaDor", you may hold by Rav Eliashiv, others will say Rav Ovadia Yosef, still others will say something else... so your insistence on going to only the "greatest Rabbis in the world" would seem then to mean those Rabbis that are great in your own eyes. Judaism is not and has never been that monolithic.

      2)To say that Rabbis are making this up as they go along is actually quite absurd. We're talking some pretty major Rabbis that have expressed that they hold that there are ways in which to "pressure", so to speak, the husband to give his wife a Get. Among them are Rav Ovaida Yosef, Rav Shternbuch, Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Ovadiah Hedayya(a former Av Beit Din of Jerusalem, pre-state). You can't say that any of these Rabbanim were reformniks, modernists or feminists. They simply held a different view than you.

      3) Specifically in the case of Tamar Ephraim you have some pretty big Rabbanim, such as Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky and Rav Yisrael Belsky. I personally know Rav Kamenetsky, and Rav Belsky's reputation as a Gadol B'Torah proceeds him. So the question is who are you to say that these two Roshei Yeshivot don't know what they are talking about? Do you think that they are not Baki in the matters of Gittin? Is it not possible that they with their lives steeped in limud HaTorah at the highest levels see things more clearly than you?

    2. 2)To say that Rabbis are making this up as they go along is actually quite absurd. We're talking some pretty major Rabbis that have expressed that they hold that there are ways in which to "pressure", so to speak, the husband to give his wife a Get. Among them are Rav Ovaida Yosef, Rav Shternbuch, Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Ovadiah Hedayya(a former Av Beit Din of Jerusalem, pre-state). You can't say that any of these Rabbanim were reformniks, modernists or feminists. They simply held a different view than you.
      thank you for your cogent arugments.

      2) Rav Sternbuch told me when a rav has a new idea or interpretation the traditional way of dealing with it is not to simply act on but rather to public a teshuva and getting feedback from peers.

      Where are the tshuvos - halacha l'maaseh - that a woman who goes to civil court after leaving her husband because she does't like him - has the right to publicly embarrass her husband into giving a get?

      The teshovos I have seen from the above some of the above rabbonim do not address the present case. If you are aware of which teshuvos do - I would appreciate being shown.

      3) You are correct that Rav Kaminetsky and Rav Belsky are big rabbonim. However Rav Kaminetsky is not a posek but a rosh yeshiva. You surely are aware of that. Furthermore all we have from him is his signature on the seruv. Very hard to draw halachic conclusions and sevoras from that. Rav Belsky on the other hand is clearly a posek who does write teshuvos. unfortuantely his record of dealing with gittin as well as child abuse is very problematic. I happened to have a meeting with several years ago. When I left Yerushalayim there were wall posters all over denouncing a certain rav for his mishandling of gittin signed by Rav Eliashiv and others. Rav Belsky told me that the posters were about him. "Even though Rav Eliashiv signed on the posters - he agrees that I am correct." It is not for me to stick my head between Rav Belasky and Rav Eliashiv - but when it comes to gittin I would not want someone to have a get that there is a major controversy about.

      Rav Schacter is well known as an expert on Gittin - but as far as I know he has not acknowledged that his position is controversial and he has not explained what the basis he is relying on to deviate from the previous position.

      In sum - if the major rabbis today collectively declare that times have changed and that a get obtained under strong social pressure is kosher - I would have no problem. So far this has not been done. It is not enough for distinguised poskim such Rav Belsky or Rav Schacter to do so alone and surely not for a distinguished Roshei Yeshiva such as Rav Kaminetsky .

    3. I'm not sure I see exactly how what did or did not take place within the civil court in 2010 has that much bearing on what is going on now. Here is why:
      1) Many Batei Din in the US require that a civil divorce be obtained before moving forward with a Get as a means of protecting the husband from extortion from his wife. In fact Rav Dov Brisman, Av Beit Din of Philadelphia(a B"D that Rav Kamenetsky sits on) absolutely insists upon it. I have seen nothing to date that would demonstrate that this is not the case here as well. Do you have some evidence that they were not simply following the procedures of the B"D(especially as the husband granted the Civil Divorce) up until the point that he refused to show up to the B"D?

      2) The Seruv that you posted states, "He was requested to appear before the Beth Din for a final adjudication of the matter of his refusal as well as other matter but he refused to even respond to their request. Several Gedolei Yisrael have spoken to him about this matter and he has previously received subpoenas both formal and informal but to the dismay of the Beth Din he has ignored them all and turned a deaf ear to their pleas."

      Regarding this and the B"D's ability to pressure him as they see fit including putting him into Niduy there should be no need for Teshuvot because it is already written in the Sh"A C"M 11:1 "To summon a litigant to Beis Din, Beis Din sends a messenger to notify the person on what day he should come. If the person does not come he is summoned a second time. If again he does not come he is summoned a third time. If he does not answer that summons, they wait for him the whole day, and if he does not come they place him in niduy, effective on the following day. These words apply to litigants who live in faraway, small
      villages, so although they sometimes come to town, they are again far away when they go home. By contrast, if a litigant is usually in town, only one day is set for his litigation. If he does not answer the summons and fails to come the entire day, they immediately place him in niduy and it goes into effect the next day.
      Rama: If the Beis Din goes elsewhere, the litigant must go to them. If he does not do so, they place him into niduy (Beis Yosef).A messenger of Beis Din is believed to say, “He insulted me,” or “He insulted the Dayan,” or “He refused to come for judgment.” On the strength of his report, Beis Din imposes niduy on the litigant, but no document can be written to declare and record this action until two witnesses testify to the litigant’s refusal. A messenger of Beis Din who reports such things as a lone witness is not considered to have spoken Lashon Hara.Rama: If someone (faced with a summons) says that directives of Beis Din or a chacham do not faze him or concern him, then even if he comes to Beis Din after receiving a summons, he is placed into niduy.
      To my poor understanding the only person who has the right to refuse a B"D is a Talmid Chakham who can claim that his own stature is greater than all three Dayyanim put together. Is the husband in this case of that stature? Can he claim to be greater than all of those who signed together?
      So ultimately the question is this, is the B"D trying to coerce him to give her a get or to come to B"D? I am naturally certain that the B"D would love for both to be handled together. However if in B"D he refuses the dictates of the Dayyanim, there are long standing Teshuvot about what the Dayyanim can give the wife a heter to do, such as going back to court to up the alimony payments to ensure that she and her child are properly cared for. That are considered by most(if not all) Gedolim. However the husband has to appear in B"D. Conversely can you find Teshuvot that say that a B"D is not permitted to compel, by whatever means at its disposal, a person to appear before them?

    4. Rabbi Michael Tzadok - The issue at hand in this case is that Ms. Epstein refused to go the Baltimore Bais Din to ask for a Get. The Baltimore Bais Din is the Bais Din that originally heard the case. Please see the Washington Jewish Week article from December 22, 2010 .Here is a part of the article "Complicating matters, however, is that no beit din, or religious court, has ordered Friedman to issue Epstein a get. Initially, the case was being handled by the Baltimore beit din, a proceeding that was apparently halted when the secular courts took up the matter. Eventually, jurisdiction was handed over from Baltimore to the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington, also known as Vaad, which made clear in a recent community letter that, currently, “there is no bet din order for Mr. Friedman to give a get.” Authority, the Vaad said in its letter, was recently handed back to Baltimore after the beit din there “reasserted its jurisdiction.” Currently, the Epstein-Friedman case remains open but dormant, as “neither party has approached” the Baltimore beit din, requesting that it reconvene, according to Rabbi Mordechai Shuchatowitz, a rabbi on the court. “Right now,” he said, “the ball is in [Epstein's] court” because, as the party seeking the get, she is responsible for reinitiating proceedings. Since the court has yet officially to order a get, Shuchatowitz said, it’s “a bit premature” to be holding rallies and other events meant “to pressure [Friedman] because he’s not been given his day in court.” After all, “you can’t disobey something you’ve not been told to do.”

      Another question is why would Rabbi Kamenetsky write letters in June 2010 declaring Ms. Epstein an Agunah when Rabbi Shuchatowitz from the Baltimore Bais Din stated, even 6 months after that, that his Bais Din is wating for her to request a Get? When a women declares herself ready for a get without going to bais din she is automtically an Agunah?

    5. I want to supply a serious problem in all of this discussion. Namely, we obviously are facing a situation where different rabbis have decided to apply pressures not from a source in Shulchan Aruch, but based on sevorose that others disagree with.
      Now, let us say that someone lives in a town with two rabbis who disagree about coercing him, and one coerces him. Is the GET a doubtful get, because of the machlokess? Perhaps the GET is definitely no good. The reasoning is as follows. Rambam tells us that the reason we may accept a forced GET when it is permitted is because we assume that the husband knows that Judaism requires him to be coerced. It follows from this that if the husband knows that there are different opinions, and some feel that coercion is not permitted, even if he is beaten or coerced and accepts verablly the GET, it is invalid. It is not a sofek GET but one definitely no good, because of this critical thing: The bottom line of coercion is not that the husband utters the word "I agree" but that he believes it. If he utters it without believing it is worthless.
      Therefore, if we have reason to doubt the sincerity of the husband because he knows that some rabbis say he is not to be coerced, the GET is not a doubtful GET but definitely invalid. And if you would argue with me and say it is a doubtful GET, tell me if you would marry the offspring of a woman who has a SOFEK GET.
      We are heading for a generation of children that some rabbis permit marrying and some do not. Why are we not addressing this issue? Is this not the worst child abuse? And pardon me for getting slightly technical, but a married woman has CHEZKAS AISHES ISH, and you can't break that without a clear GET. A doubtful GET can be a definite AISHIS ISH because of CHEZKAS AISHESS ISH. I am not going into technical matters now to resolve them, but just to point out how very dangerous the situation is. Since the laws are not being clarified by ROVV MINYAN AND ROV BINYAN but by individual rabbis, in the next generation we will have problems that cannot be resolved.
      I was once sent by my rebbe the Strassberger Rov zt"l, the head of Gittin at the AIDO in Jerusalem, to HaGaon Reb Moshe Feinstein zt"l with a letter attempting to resolve a SOFEK MAMZER. The Israeli rabbonim including Reb Shlomo Aurebach and the MINCHAS YITSCHOK were in favor of the HETER to permit him to remarry, but they were doing a new procedure, and felt they could not proceed without permission from Reb Moshe. But today people make up new procedures, not for a SOFEK MAMZER but for a AISHIS ISH VADAI and they are not afraid. The children will be afraid.
      Are we helping women by destroying children? In the end, this issue, even now in the international media, will destroy the honor of Torah in the coming generation, because today there is no leadership, just rabbis looking for a "solution" that will create "sofer mamzerim" or worse.

    6. Two things:
      1) The opinions you are putting forward are not universally accepted. There are a great many Acharonim and Poskim that allow a forced get עישוי כדין. So you don't hold that way, but considering that Rabbanim have for thousands of years, considering the recent Gedolim that do, you cannot say that a forced Get is always possul. You can say that the way ORA is attempting to force a Get is problematic and that the Rabbanim involved should be writing Teshuvot not simply acting, but that is about as far as you can legitimately go without remaking Judaism in your chosen image.

      2) The Sh"A does give a B"D the authority to compel a person to appear before it. There is no good reason that Friedman is continually refusing to appear before the B"D. If you so badly want to see this resolved, and you are counselling him not to give a Get then perhaps you should be his Toen and take him to the B"D that is summoning him. So long as he refuses to appear before them, he gives them halakhic grounds to compel him to appear(even if intermixed with that is compulsion to grant a Get). To benefit his case, and the one you wish to make, he should appear before the B"D, because that would eliminate any valid halakhic grounds for any sort of coercion. Because until he appears the B"D has in its hands the power, from the Sh"A to place him in Nidui, publicly embarrass him and to attempt to harm him financially(as well as anything else they think will bring him to stand before them).

    7. you are ignoring the material which we have already covered as well as the literature such as the review article by Rabbi Gartner. You are ignoring the facts of the case and putting all the emphasis that you feel that the Orthodox Union beis din has the right to compel the husband to go to court. You apparently are ignoring the fact that it is not unusual to ignore a summons from what you feel is a hostile beis din or one that is clearly biased against you.

      Even if you are 100% correct about the right of beis din to pressure some one to appear - That doesn't address the issue of what happens if the husband gives a get primarily because he couldn't deal with the harrasment of ORA and whether there are a significant number of contemporary poskim who would declare the get to be of questionable validity and perhaps clearly invalid.

      If the wife ends up with a get that is widely perceived as questionable then it really isn't worth the effort.

    8. Actually I'm not. What I am saying, sorry if I didn't make it clear. Is that the husband should appear before the hostile B"D. Declare Kim Li, that the B"D is hostile and thus under numerous halakhic authorities has no actual authority over him. He would accomplish 2 things with this:

      1) He would remove any halakhic veil for coercion of any kind.
      2) As his stated intent is see this through halakhically, it would allow them to move forward, most likely with some form of Zeh Borer Echad, to constitute an equally balanced B"D(i.e. the wife will probably insist on Rav Kamenetsky, the husband should this pick a dayyan that is equally enamored of him, and those two dayyanim are left with finding the third, who should, if the system of the Sh"A works as it is supposed to, be fully impartial).

      To my mind that seems to be the most rational solution to this entire mess.

  8. Interesting article. However, I fail to see how it is any actual relevance. How was the Baltimore B"D handling the case if no one ever approached them? That part doesn't make sense at all.
    Second it seems that the husband is trying to use the Get to coerce his wife to moving back to Silverspring Maryland, as the article says, A get would be promptly given, they said, if Epstein "returns their daughter to Silver Spring or even Baltimore." The use of such coercion is questionable at best.
    To say that Mrs. Epstein hasn't approached any B"D also seems a bit absurd, as the B"D of the OU says that she has. As far as why Rav Kamenetsky would be involved, that's simple, Mrs. Epstein is living in Bala Cynwyd, the section of Southwestern PA where Rav Kamenetsky has his Yeshiva, and where he has been operating as the primary posek for nigh on 20yrs. His Yeshiva also happens to be one of three locations in Philadelphia that the B"D will convene. So it would appear to me that she approached her communal Rav, who is also a member of the local B"D. The B"D convened, issued a summons, and Friedman refused the summons(something no Jew is permitted to do).
    He may show up and argue that he feels that the B"D will be unfairly balanced at which point the halakha of Zeh Borer Echad(C"M 13) would come into effect, but he may not refuse a summons of a B"D.
    The Baltimore B"D has to date issued no Seruv that Mrs. Epstein refused any summons to the B"D, they simply have said, which I don't understand, that proceedings were somehow started even though neither litigant approached them seeking their authority. The halakhic problems with that statement alone are manifest.
    My primary issue, and really the only issue I see here, is that there is a Seruv, the B"D of the OU has said that Friedman has repeatedly refused to appear before them. Thus the B"D is fully within its jurisdiction to place him into Nidui and compel him by whatever means that they see fit to comply with the summons.
    That is not to say that they can force him to give her a Get. They can however force him to appear before them. Once there he has several options. He could(if he has a good Toen)use a Kim Li regarding various Halakhot. He could argue for instance, as Rav Moishe Feinstein has said, that there are no fixed Batei Din in the US and thus the most they can force him to do is select a Dayyan(Zeh Borer Echad mentioned above), which would probably be his best option for getting a result that appeals more to him.
    However so long as he refuses to appear before the B"D that actually summoned him the B"D has the halakhic authority to compel him to comply and appear. If that means rallies or whatever the B"D deems suitable, that is in the hands of the B"D.
    Do you have anything other than hearsay found in this article that the B"D of Baltimore ever issued a summons? Under what authority would they have done so, considering they would have been acting without any sort of permission from either party as they say in the same article that they were never approached?

  9. you came in in the middle of an extended discussion

    see this post and the link at the bottom for the details

    1. Again interesting. There is plenty of documentation pointing to various aspects of the court case, but it is definitely a one sided piece. While there is a lot of hearsay about what various Batei Din have said or done, there is no documentation for any save the OU B"D.

      So to my mind we are back where we started from. You have a person who is refusing to appear before a B"D and the Sh"A gives the B"D the ability to compel him to appear. What they can or can't do to compel him to give a Get is a different story, but the power is in their hands to compel him to appear.

      I see nothing to this point to mitigate that.

  10. First of all it is not the OU's Bais Din - it is Rabbi Ralbag's Bais Din. The same Rabbi Ralbag that certifies Hebrew National as kosher. His Bais Din has the same repution as his hechsher - TREIF. A seriv from his bais din is not worth the paper it is written on. There is no valid seriv against Mr. Friedman.

    1. You're right on one point, it is not the OU it is the UOR, formerly Rav Moshe Feinstein's organizaiton, now Rav Ginsberg's.

      You can denigrate the various Gedolim that signed the Seruv if you want. I see no reason to.

  11. You may be a little confused - it is Rabbi Ralbags B"D - maybe do some research.

    There is no reason for me to denigrate the "various gefolim" - they already did that to them selves by signing under Ralbag on this kangaro court.

    If you know anything about Batei Dinom - there are honest ones and crooked ones. Rabbi Ralbags is as dishonest as they come. Maybe thats why he was sued in court for accepting bribes a few years back. He could not remember how tens of thousands of dollars suddenly appeared in his account.

    Why do you think Epstein went to him. They couldn't get what they wanted from the first two Batai Dinom they went to.

  12. Michael Tzadok sounds just like his name a tzedoki. A Get cannot be forced, Hrschel Schlachter is the one who converted Ivanka, Belsky was thrown out of rav Elyashiv's house repeatedly, and his c;laims that Rav Elyashiv agreed with him are fantasy, Kamenetsky ignores the fact that his archivist at the Agudah is machzik in arko'oys and has received thousands and thousands of mula from the Epstein's so what a load of hogwash.

    Most of the gedolim of Eretz Yisroel passuled the US version of Zabla as being totally corrupt including Dayan Yisroel Fisher and Rav Wosner so clearly this tzedoki who is obviously a very big YU supporter, should remember April foos only comes about once a year.

    1. Are you seriously going to accuse Rav Kamenetsky of accepting bribes on an open forum like this?

      First it does not matter if Epstein's father is a contributor to the Yeshiva,
      Sh"A C"M 9:2If before making a monetary claim against someone in Beis Din, a person gives a gift to one of the Dayanim, the plaintiff is unable to claim that the gift disqualifies the Dayan from judging the case. On the other hand, if the Dayan wants, he is permitted to refuse to judge the case (such as when he knows that his heart became biased) (Tur), but it is only middas chassidus.

      Actually I am no supporter of YU, but neither am I a detractor. I am a support of BMG and Rav Kotler's legacy which includes Rav Kamenetsky. Other than that I learn in a Sephardi-Chareidi Shas affiliated Yeshiva/Kollel. Where I learn, amongst other things, Dayyanut under the tutelage of Rav Shkinazi, AB"D Edah HaChareidit Sephardit. If that qualifies me as a Tzedoki בסדר לא איכפת לי

  13. Someone challenged me here: "1) The opinions you are putting forward are not universally accepted. There are a great many Acharonim and Poskim that allow a forced get עישוי כדין." Okay. A great many Acharonim and Poskim. Tell me one.
    The halacha is clear: Some men, such as he who marries a forbidden women, is coerced severely and physically. Someone the Talmud demands that he divorce his wife but does not call for coercion, is not beaten, and any coercion is a problem and machlokes, but these are rare cases. We are talking here about MOUS OLEI, and I want you to tell me one major Acharon who permits coercing a husband to divorce his wife with public humiliation when his wife leaves him.
    I have been careful in this blog and elsewhere to support my comments with sources. Where are your sources? Even R Schachter has no sources, other than the need to help Agunoth and the airy opinion that all of the sources I quote are only talking about when the wife didn't leave the husband, a ridiculous statement that no normative posek would make.

    1. Some clarification:
      Are you asking specifically in the Friedman-Ephraim case or in general?

      Regarding the Friedman-Ephraim case:
      1) There is seems to be no valid halakhic reason to compel a Get עישוי גט by any method as the case has not come before a B"D.
      2) Public embarrassment however is warranted on the sole fact that Friedman refuses to appear before a B"D. I have above quoted the Sh"A on that matter, see there.

      Regarding עישוי גט for a wife saying is is repulsed by her husband מאוס עלי you have two categories:

      1) No extenuating circumstances There are Poskim who rule that in such a case there are ways to coerce a get עישוי גט כדין(admittedly none of which rely upon public embarrassment). They are:
      a)Rabbi Moshe Feinstein Iggrot Moshe EhE 3:44, 4:106
      b)Rabbi Ovadiah Hedayya Yaskil Avdei Ehe 2:8 and 6:17

      2)When there are extenuation circumstances. If there is abuse, emotional, physical or sexual, or for a variety of other reasons. In such cases the B"D may ossur the wife to the husband and thus act accordingly:
      a) Rav Ovadia Yosef Yabia Omer Ehe 3:18 and 3:20
      b) Rav Ovadia Hedayya Yaskil Avdei Ehe 5:67 6:15(and numerous other places)

  14. L'kavod Harav

    After a week of research on the inyan of meos aliu, I have concluded that Rabbi Shachters actions can be defended: In his shiur plight of agunah minutes 48-101 he states that humiliation today is mutar and not even the harchakos of R'tam. In his other shiur that he talks about dead marriages and using any means in those cases, he was very vague about which cases and he must have been referring to cases of coffin osu that were mefaresh in shas otherwise that statements makes absolutely no sense.)

    Your teshuva stresses the Rashba, Shach and Chozen Ish as the main sources for your oppinion. I found the following on this issue.
    -Rav Sternbuch (5: 344) holds that in our generation we must ignore them and hold of the harchokes of R'tam in certain cases. He chooses the Rivash's Girsa in the Rashba (against the version of the Rashba in the Beis Yosef) which takes out the word humiliation and therefore advises that one can humiliate the guy on some level. He also argues with you and says the Chazon Ish holds that a get obtained through humiliation bedieved would be a valid GET
    -Rabbi Yosef in Yabea Omer 8:25 paskens in a case of mius aley that we should apply the harchakos of R'tam. The Titz Eliezer signs off on those harchakos on the bottem of the teshuva. From this teshuva we also see that they are not choshesh for the Maharshdam's shitta which Rav Sternbuch and Rav Elyashiv are choshesh for because they mention the GET issue in their harchakas.
    -Based on the above, I feel it is misleading to say that the Harchakos are off limits today,
    as some of the Gedole Haposkim in our generation have used them.
    -I found the sefer Get Meusa (on the otzar hachachma database ) by Dayan Goldberg of Tel Aviv. In this sefer he comes out that obtaining a get through humiliation is not kefia he has a long footnote with sources which I will try to send to you in the coming days.
    This sefer therefore agrees with Rabbi Shachter that humiliation is not even the Harchakas of R'tam. Therefore, following the husband from town to town would be ok. Also since this isn't kefia, your lumdus about the get isn't his rotzon wouldn't apply.
    -lastly Rav Sternbuch writes that many of the great rishonim (Rambam, Rif, Rashi..)hold that in these cases we can even beat the husband for refusing the get when the woman wants out. Although the Shulchan Aruch doesn't pasken like them, this is something to keep in mind.

    You asked to find any source showing that humiliation is ok...I ask you are there sources that clearly show humiliating is kefia and the get would be posel bedieved? The only source that I have found that mefaresh pasuls the get is the Maharshdam, which Rav Yosef and the Tzitz Eliezer weren't choshesh for in Yabea Omer 8:25.

    However, I agree that from the fact the Eretz Yisrael Rabbonim don't talk about humiliating and rallies as being an option they perhaps would hold that what Rabbi Shachter is promoting is worse than R'Tam.

    Although I attempted to defend Rabbi Shachter, I feel that you are right about getting approval from others before doing drastic changes in policy in halacha especially when the potential nafka mina is mamzerus.

    For all those readers who will attack me for my above defense as being pro feminist and YU, I like Rabbi Eidonsohn are interested in emes and sources and not name calling and hate. So if you disagree with what I said please explain how my defense is wrong and back up your claims with sources. I will be truly grateful. I think the blog will benefit if we could all stop the hate and venom and stick to trying to discuss issues of Jewish Identity in a respectful and pleasent manner,
    kul tuv,
    Yitzy Hillel

  15. I beleive that the above discussion misses one point. The friedmans - husband and wife went to bais din and agreed to avbide by the bais din psak - for get - gor finances - and for custody and visitation. She walked out of bais din. Please find me a posek in the last 2000 years that paskens in such a case a seruv is appropriate. when one party walks out of bais din , they lost all their rights to demand appearance before any bais din. so what is this whole discussion about? any hazmanah or seruv makes a laughingstock oout of the beis din and any dayanim who sign it.

  16. Creative article ! Incidentally if people need a AO440 , We found a template document here


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