Monday, April 30, 2012

Does Rav Schachter permit beatings?! 3 tapes

Guest Post Yitzy HillelApr 29, 2012 10:27 PM
For all those who haven't listened to Rabbi Schachters 3 shiurim on Agunot on, I will briefly summarize them.

1) In his shiur called "Options for Agunahs" listen from 10-14 minutes. He does state what Rav Dovid Eidonsohn Shlitta has claimed and says that in 99% of the cases today where marriages are broken and two are no longer living together of course we can be kofin oso bshotin (use force with sticks!!!) Listen for yourself minute 13 to be exact: He brings down 3 categories and says almost all cases today are in the category of kofin oso bshottim. (He doesn't tell people to go do it but he says the cases fall into the category where physical force is permitted)

2), In the "Plight of Agunah" shiur, Rabbi Schachter clearly explains that force CAN NOT BE USED (minute 50-101 to be exact). He states clearly in minute 52 (WE DON"T EVEN DO THE HARCHAKAS OF R'TAM today like the Gevoras Anishim of Schach quoted by Pischa Teshuva 154:21) then he says in the end we just humiliate which is a much lesser pressure then cutting the guy off financially. He states we are machmir for (the gevoras anashim the shach). In minute 58 he says if we can't solve this issue we may have to go back to the takanas of the geonim (and the shitta of the Rambam) where forcing with actual violence is permitted in cases of meus alai if we have no choice...

In his most recent 2012 shiur ("Fighting the Agunah Crises" minute 23 to exact)), Rabbi Schachter claims that today we are actually following the harchakas of R'tam and bases the actions of the ORA on Chacham Ovadias teshuvot. He mentions that R' Tam held that one can't use force but could humiliate the husband, and He says that is what he relies upon today)

In Summary: (Please listen to the shiurim yourselves and you will find that Rabbi Schachter says 3 different approaches in all 3 shiurim.

1) todays cases are almost always where physical force can be used because the couple is no longer living together. (He doesn't say to do it but he says the cases fall into the category in Shulchan Aruch where physical force can be used.

2) Today we DONT do the harchakas of R'tam and are machmir for the pitcha teshuva (shach) which says (according to Rabbi Schachter)to cut off the guy financially. He says we only humiliate which is much less from of pressure that doesn't invalidate a GET. He states if things get much worse we may have to use actual force like the Rambam's oppinion (but he never mentions to use actual violence)

3) He says we DO follow the harchakas of R'tam based upon Chacham Ovadia. In this shiur he calls humiliation as part of the harchakas of R'tam unlike shiur 2, and he doesn't state or imply any allowances of actual physical force.

Can someone please listen to his 3 shiurim (to save you time just listen to the minutes that I quoted above) and try to explain his shitta in a coherent manner. I personally feel the above 3 shiurim totally contradict themselves and am wondering if anyone can explain how the shiurim don't contradict each other.


  1. What is the proof that there is an answer to these questions? We are dealing with a person who violates normative halacha by paskening dinei nefoshose biyochid, by going against the established poskim with a sevoro bialmo, who says radical things without invoking the thoughts of gedolim or at least other rabbonim, and who obviously is lacking in common sense to say such things in public. Are you sure that such a person remembers what he said last time when he opens his mouth?

  2. Yitsy Hillel,
    I am very proud of you that in this blog with the fur flying you sit down and listen to tapes and prepare for us a fine meal of material with good questions. I know it is not easy for to do such a thing so your sechar is koful. Nobody likes to cast aspersions on a Rosh Yeshiva and important person, and surely you don't like to attack Rav Schachter. But you are searching the truth, and only the truth. A lot of people should learn from you. Hatslocho!

  3. L'kavod Rabbi Eidonsohn, I have entered this topic with an open mind and feel both sides are extreme, and I am promoting a middle of the road approach to these matters. Rabbi Schachter shlitta is a tremendous talmid chacham (whether you disagree with his views on serious matters as these or not), and I privately posted in the comment section on this blog the post written above because people were debating what Rabbi Schachter stated in his shiurim. I never meant for the post to be a public guest post, and had no intention of attacking Rabbi Schachter in anyway.

  4. Yitsy Hillel,
    I think I saw you on another blog talking about similar issues, so I thought that you were going public about this. At any rate, it is certainly a kindness to produce these tapes so people can judge for themselves.

  5. The audio recording can be found here:

  6. Kalonymus HaQatanJune 8, 2022 at 6:05 PM

    Does the gemara permit beatings?


please use either your real name or a pseudonym.