Wednesday, July 27, 2022

R' Tam allows only passive sanctions

Rav Schachter and his supporters keep insisting that Rabbeinu Tam allows all actions which are not physical and are not nidoi. Thus they claim that ORA public demonstrations where people chant "Give Tamar her get" are allowed by Rabbeinu Tam. Contrary to this understanding I have  not found a single teshuva from a major posek which describes Rabbeinu Tam as other than a decree on the community to withhold good. I have previously posted Judge Menachem Elon who states this clearly, the teshuvos of Rav Sternbuch who says it means social isolation and even  the word get should not be used and the teshuvos of Rav Yosef and Tzitz Eliezar.

For example Tzitz Eliezar (17:51) decrees: 
, על ידי כן שימנעו מלעשות לו שום טובה או לישא וליתן עמו עד שיגרש, כפסק הרמ"א באה"ע שם, וכאשר גוזר אומר על כגון דא, וכל כיוצ"ב, כאשר ניכר שסיבת דרישת האשה לג"פ הוא בגלל אשמתו של הבעל, בספר הישר לרבינו תם ז"ל בחלק התשובות סי' כ"ד ובזה"ל: "תגזרו באלה חמורה על כל איש ואשה מזרע בית ישראל הנלוים אליכם, שלא יהו רשאין לדבר עמו ולישא וליתן עמו להאריחו ולהאכילו ולהשקותו וללוותו ולבקרו בחלותו, ועוד יוסיפו חומר ברצונם על כל אדם, אם לא יגרש ויתיר אותו האיש את הילדה הזאת, שבזה אין כפיה עליו, שאם ירצה מקיים, והוא לא ילקה בגופו מתוך נידוי זה, אך אני נתפרד מעליו, וכל שיהא זכור בגזרתם וגזרתנו ישמור אותה, ואם יעבור שוגג לא תחול על השוגג".

Rav Yosef writes there
 ...   יש לנהוג בו הרחקה דרבנו תם. דהיינו: שעל כל איש ואשה מישראל וכל הנלוים אליהם, להמנע בהחלט מלדבר עמו כלל, ושלא לישא וליתן עמו במסחר ובכל משא ומתן של ממון, ושלא לארחו ולהאכילו ולהשקותו, ושלא לבקרו בחלותו, ושלא להושיבו בבית הכנסת, ושלא להעלותו לתורה, ושלא לשאול בשלומו, ולא לחלוק לו שום כבוד, ולהתרחק מעליו ככל האפשר עד אשר ייכנע וישמע לקול מורים ולתת גט לאשתו ולשחררה מעגינותה. 

The following is an excerpt from Rav Gestetner's Kuntres on Get Me'usa. Where are the teshuvos from the major poskim which contradict this understanding and give explicit permission to use active sanctions? Where is a single teshuva which permits public demonstrations and active attempts to degrade the husband


  1. Why do you feel that Rav Schachter can't disagree with the aforementioned poskim? I don't see you quoting anyone from previous generations.

    1. Rav Schachter isn't claiming he is disagreeing. He is claiming that ORA is at most a variant of Rabbeinu Tam. I claim that that is not how Rabbeinu Tam has been understood by all poskim.

      If there is a consensus regarding what Rabbeinu Tam says and someone wants to act differently - that itself presents a problem for Gittin since we now have a question of get me'usa. Common practise and commonsense indicates that any innovation in Gittin should receive explicit approval of the major poskim - as Rav Sternbuch noted in his teshuva on Rabbeinu Tam.

      If that approval existed - I obviously would have no problem with ORA. Rabbi Ralbag told my brother - his beis din's seruv did not ok demonstrations.

      Bottom line. ORA needs to be acknowledged as a major innovation and that innovation needs the approval of the major poskim - because there is not a single teshuva which mentions the legitimacy of public demonstrations.

    2. Regarding previous generations - Rabbeinu Tam wasn't widely used because of fear of get me'usa. Rav Yosef and Tzitz Eliezar acknowledge they are innovating by using Rabbeinu Tam but they feel it is appropriate because of the needs of the time in select cases. However Rav Gestetner does cite from earlier poskim and they all use the same language describing passive sanctions.

  2. DT, can we please get a translation on tbe Tzitz Eliezer, Rav Yosef and Rav Gestetner?

    Thank you

  3. Rav Shechter is entitled to his opinion just as others, and he is entitlted to claim he is not innovating:

    Many points were mentioned over and over. but in short:

    1) In the Rishonim and achronim harchokos Rabeyno Tam is NOT defined as "passive sanctions"; though they're called "harchakos" they entail strong powers of "curse" to all in a way that DOES affect the mesarev monetarily (even withholding bikr cholim). The language in Gro limits "maasse begufoy" (an action on the person directly) but do not limit the affect that it has on him. So far, the only one who defined this way (from all that I saw and that you brought) is Rav Gestetner.

    2) You keep saying "humiliating" is prohibited. The Shulchan Oruch seems to rule that one can/should call the person "avaryon" until you divorce your wife. שולחן ערוך אבן העזר הלכות גיטין סימן קנד

    אלא אומרים לו: חכמים חייבוך להוציא, ואם לא תוציא מותר לקרותך עבריין. True, Chazon Ish cites Teshuvot HaRashba otherwise, but as many pointed out (including Rav Sternbuch תשובות והנהגות כרך ה סימן שמד ויפה העיר הגר"א הורביץ זצ"ל שבתשובות הריב"ש (סי' קכ"ז) כתב בשם הרשב"א: "ובלבד שלא ינדה ולא יכה ולא יצער אותו בגופו", ולא כמו שמביא החזו"א בשמו ש"לא יבזה") that it is ommitted by others who quote this rashba , where this includes also telling him so that they are entitled to call him an avaryon "until he divorces". This humiliation as recorded in Shulchan Oruch clearly mentions that he is told that he is called "avaryon" until he gives the Get.

    3) While some mention not to mention "get", many do not make this restriction (including Beys YOssef and Remoh Levush and Tzemach Tzedek). You can hardly make claim that Rav Shechter is innovating. Rav Ovadyah who cites so many who concur with these Harchakos does not mention anyone making the restriction that the word get should not be mentioned. It is understood that this is done so that the Get would be given. .

    1. We are just going around in circles. I say he is innovating because there is not a single teshuva which mentions public demonstrations etc. You reply that Rav Schacter has a right to interpret Rabbeinu Tam the way he does. The simple and unanswered question that would resolve the issue is - do any other poskim agree with Rav Schachter's understanding of Rabbein Tam?

      If you want to argue that since he is a great talmid chachom and posek he has the right, then I'll push you a bit further on this. I - with my limited understanding that doesn't reach the toe nails of Rav Schachter - can produce a teshuva which would allow a beis din to annul any marriage. Not like the sissy stuff that Rabbi Rackman did using kiddushei ta'us but simply declaring that there is no longer any marriage and therefore there is no need for a get. What if I set up a beis din and starting annulling marriage (Of course I would charge at least $1000 for each annulment). I claim that even with a cogent teshuva based on gemora, Rishonim and Achronim which I can show is not even a chiddush - I can not possibly utilize it l'maaseh without the agreement of gedolei haposkim.

      Thus I repeat my point. Rav Schachter needs to produce the agreement of major contempoary poskim that what ORA is doing is acceptable. Do you disagree with this point? Even if you don't think it is necessary - don't you think the relatively minor effort required would be justified by silencing the criticism expressed on this blog?

    2. Yes, we are going in circles. But you define the situation to claim he is "innnovating". You say that I saw he is "interpreting" 'Rabbeyno Tam. I say he is reading the literal pshat in Rabbeyno Tam.

      To be precise (מרוב דיבורים מתאבד הנקודה):

      1) You are conflating two issues: "public demonstrations": May not need to be under the permission/tzorech of the practice of Rabbeynu Tam. SO states that you can/should CALL HIM AN AVARYON UNTIL HE GIVES GET. Shulchan Oruch does not limit it by saying that this is only if you say it in private or without screaming. The osohon "omrim"' implies that THE PLURAL say it. On the contrary, calling an "Avaryon" is a strong form of humiliation. And the So does not restrict us from saying the word "get" by saying this to him; on the contrary it says that we can/should say: "you are an avaryon until you give the get"! So, I fail to understand what "Teshuva" Rav Shechter needs more than the simple pssak of Shulchan Oruch.

      2) Your second point about your attempt to create bittul kiddushinj (better than Rabbi Rackman) to be compared to the present discussion is a non starter with all due respect.

  4. Again unfortunately the obsession with the Friedman case continues on this blog.

    The real issue is how Schahcter issues fake siruvim against men whose wives are in arko'oys being oyver mesirah when they have deposited valid gittin at dayan Abrahm's bais Din?

    How does Schahcter have the chutzpah to be oyker Shulchan Oruch in these case? Ask Meir Kin who is a victim of Schachter. And this man is alleged to be the leader of the MO's in North America!

  5. Here is the text of the Seruv for those interested, I'm posting the English translation below:

    The three of us sat together on 11 Tammuz 5770 (June 23rd, 2010), and we deliberated on the dispute between Mr. Israel Meir Kin and his wife, Lonna, and his repeated refusal to arrange a Get (writ of Jewish divorce) for his wife in accordance with Jewish law. Despite extraordinary attempts to appease him and to mediate between the two sides, Mr. Kin adamantly refuses to divorce his wife in accordance with Jewish law.
    Therefore, we determine that he is considered a “Sarvan” recalcitrant) and does not comply with Jewish law, and the ramifications of this status are elaborated in Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh
    Deah siman 334. It is incumbent upon anyone who is capable, to influence him to free his wife from an agunah’s chains and comply with Jewish law.

    Problems with this Seruv:
    1) Meir Kin deposited a Get with a B"D
    2) There is no B"D Kavua in the US so no B"D has the right to judge a person in the US without his consent(at least according to Rav Moshe Feinstein).
    3) Basing a seruv on Y"D 344 in a divorce case is absurd, it's the hilkhot of Nidui
    4) Since they are proclaiming Nidui(I have no other reason to think that they would be invoking those halakhot) any resulting Get would be possul Get Meusah according to all opinions.
    5) The B"Y Eh"E 134 says that it is impossible to kasher the Get until it is no longer in the power of the those forcing him to force him... That is highly problematic.

    Above the blog owner says,
    "Rav Schachter and his supporters keep insisting that Rabbeinu Tam allows all actions which are not physical and are not nidoi."

    However it would appear that is not the case, Rav Schacter also does Nidui when it suits him.


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