Sunday, August 23, 2015

Rav Sternbuch: Avoid Marriage if it causes Adultery

Originally published June 6 2012

When I was a bachor in yeshiva we advised not to go the chupah of Conservative or Reform weddings to avoid providing valid witnesses

Rav Sternbuch(2:625): Question: A Baal Teshuva who parents married without chupah or Kiddushin – it is desirable for him to encourage them to get married according to the halacha? Answer: It is clear that living together without chupah and Kiddushin is a degradation and blemish to the family and to encourage them get halachically married would save them from halachic prohibitions. However contemporary irreligious couples have totally rejected any commitment to mitzvos and they swap wives and commit other types of severe sins. If his parents are of this type then there is absolutely no mitzva to have them married according to the halacha. This is especially true according to their son that they don’t have a good marriage. Thus it is questionable whether marriage is a good idea since there is a real possibility that they will separate without writing a Get. Therefore if they were halachically married this would result in their transgressing the prohibition of adultery. Thus the benefits of marriage would actually cause a loss because it would cause them to sin. Therefore whether an irreligious couple should marry according to the halacha is dependent on the quality of their relationship. If it is clear that they have a solid relationship – even if they don’t keep the laws of nidah – then it might be permissible for their son to encourage them to get married according to the halacha. Because they will be living together anyway so at least this will save them from the blemish to their family of not being halachically married. However in the case before us there is a strong concern that if they get married according to the halacha it will lead to the more severe problem of adultery. In such a case there is absolutely no mitzva for them to marry properly. In fact the opposite is true because it will lead them to transgress severe prohibitions. Therefore with the irreligious there are many times that it is better for them to live together without a Jewish marriage – because if they would have chupah and Kiddushin it would lead to producing mamzerim or sofek mamzerim. The halachic rule that most intercourse is with the husband would not apply to those who are licentious as we see concerning a Sotah. This is the view of the Shulchan Aruch (E.H. 4:15). Therefore before encouraging them to have a halachic wedding – their relationship needs to be investigated thoroughly. Each case needs to determine whether it is to their benefit to be married and thus that which leads to minimize sin should be done. Consequently it is a good idea to consult with the local rabbi who knows their circumstances well. You should know that in prior generations the non-observant would degenerate by means of reading secular books that involved nonsense or heresy etc. This would lead to rejecting the observance of mitzvos and they would descend to various degrees of impurity – according to their sins.

However when it came to getting married they were careful to do it within the framework of halacha and therefore the majority came to the beis din that was concerned with marriage and divorce. However today the secular are that way - not because of intellectual concerns - but simply from lust. Their basic desire is to have a totally unrestricted life for the sole purse of pleasure. Thus they live like wild animals with mocking authority, lacking any moral restraint or limits with focus entirely on pleasure and parties. And this attitude applies also to their wives where moral conduct or commitment is lacking – so each one simple does what gives them pleasure. Therefore one should be careful to avoid Kiddushin for those who are likely to be involved in adultery. On the other hand in our day when these hedonistic people hit bottom and they see that their life is totally worthless they are likely to think about repenting and find a purpose in their life. This is in contrast with previous generations who were ideological heretics that they would be loyal to their heresy and would not repent even at the gates of Hell. The bottom line is that it is impossible for us to make a general rule but each case needs to be examined separately. G‑d should return them and all Jews with complete repentance. In practice a number of gedolim in Israel have expressed concerns that they might totally reject halacha after the wedding such as on some kibbutzim where they swap wives. They have suggested that perhaps it is better to mislead them into thinking they have had a halachic marriage – by the use of invalid witnesses and by omitting G‑d’s name from the berachos – in order that they not have a problem of adultery. They simple don’t understand the significance of Kiddushin i.e., a life of sanctification. I discuss this in greater detail elsewhere. It is also a good idea that important rabbis should not be involved in these cases to avoid implying that marriage in these cases is permitted.

18 comments :

  1. Batmelech you have been swinging wildy at any and all dikyukim that you see or imagine to be seeing which hints at women being inferior or anything which your fevered imagination sees as problem with yiddishkeit. While I welcome the vast majority of your comments which are very intelligent and perceptive - I am simply not interested in cleaning up from the garbage resulting from either your attitude problem or your English reading comprehension problem.

    Your last comment - simply involved reading the sentence incorrectly. It was not saying what you understood it to mean. You had mentioned that English is not your first language - so you understandable make these type of errors every once in a while.

    As I have said before - I have no problem with questions but I do have a problem with those who think that Torah must defend itself against charges that it is inferior to the current Western mindset. I simply have no interest in apologetics or proving that Torah is true. This blog starts with the acceptance of the Truth of Torah as the word of G-d and I am simply trying to understand it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. well, all in all I am very happy to read that R. Sterbuch states unequvocally that no get is required in the absence of jewish marriage.

    I hop that this position stays valid when a woman who had children without being married (and without get) wants to remarry.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "well, all in all I am very happy to read that R. Sterbuch states unequvocally that no get is required in the absence of jewish marriage."

    Umm, everyone states that. It isn't in dispute. If two people aren't married, they needn't divorce. That's pretty basic logic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Incorrect. Rav Henkin (and others), whose position is taken very seriously in America, believed that a secular marriage followed by living together does require a GET.

      Delete
    2. "However contemporary irreligious couples have totally rejected any commitment to mitzvos and they swap wives and commit other types of severe sins."

      That sentence, as well as the entire second paragraph, clearly demonstrate how disconnected the Rabbi is from reality and how little he knows about the modern world.

      "However today the secular are that way - not because of intellectual concerns - but simply from lust. Their basic desire is to have a totally unrestricted life for the sole purse of pleasure. Thus they live like wild animals with mocking authority, lacking any moral restraint or limits with focus entirely on pleasure and parties. And this attitude applies also to their wives where moral conduct or commitment is lacking – so each one simple does what gives them pleasure."

      Pure nonsense.

      Delete
    3. there was a case a few years ago in which a couple lived together (no chuppa, no secular ceremony) and rav lau ruled that a get was required.

      Delete
  4. Rabbi Eidensohn:

    I think you will be interested in this article. It will be published in the upcoming Sunday NY Times Magazine. It is a very long article on sex abuse of minors in high school:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/magazine/the-horace-mann-schools-secret-history-of-sexual-abuse.html?hp&pagewanted=all

    ReplyDelete
  5. Believe me, Rabbi, you are not doing RMS any favors... What kind of bubble does he live in to make outrageous remarks like, "However contemporary irreligious couples have totally rejected any commitment to mitzvos and they swap wives and commit other types of severe sins."? In fact, I have one foot solidly in the frum world and one in the secular, and the only 'official' wife-swapping incident I remember was run out of a shaitel-factory in Williamsburg.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is not saying all more ore even most but that it happens because of the rejection of the validity of mitzvos. If you notice he repeatedly says each case needs to be carefully investigated to see whether there is a probability or likelihood of adultery

      Delete
    2. The implication is that it is a pevasive problem, one that he takes as a given.

      He refers to "the secular" as if he means the masses. I wonder how many secular people he interacts with on a daily basis? I suspect that if he had a real and meaningful conversation with a secular person he might find that it is totally false to generalize about most secular people that: "Their basic desire is to have a totally unrestricted life for the sole purse of pleasure. Thus they live like wild animals with mocking authority, lacking any moral restraint or limits with focus entirely on pleasure and parties."

      Delete
  6. this article is worth its weight in gold






    http://thelakewoodview.com//somebodys-got-to-say-these-things-it-might-as-well-be-me-the-asifa-scam/

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't know where Dovy and James have been living but anyone with half a brain knows that today's adults are totally involved in free sex with multiple partners. I guess you guys didn't hear how Sandra Fluke wanted us to pay for a policy that would provide her with $3,000 dollars worth of contraceptives for all her extra curricular activities. Why in the world would you think that this stops when people get married these days? It sounds to me like you guys believe in a Leave it to Beaver world.

    Rabbi Sterbuch, shlit"a is %100 right and I am astounded that you find his statements to be alarming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tzoorba,
      Can you cite any studies to show that married couples are involved in free sex with multiple partners?
      Sandra Fluke is not married and your rush to judgement is exactly what got Rush Limbaugh in trouble.

      FYI, the issue over which Sandra Fluke was engaged was weather the pill should be added to the list of prescription drugs that insurance must cover. You must either be a man or a healthy woman because you apparently dont know that the pill is often used to regulate periods and alleviate the suffering of women with painful menstrual cycles (as well as other medical problems). I see no reason why the government, if it is requiring insurance carriers to cover every other prescription drug, shouldnt do the same for the pill.

      Delete
    2. "Can you cite any studies to show that married couples are involved in free sex with multiple partners?"

      Multiple partners are not really the issue. See the statistics that I presented in my response to Dovy and you will see that infidelity is rampant and that is the main point.

      "Sandra Fluke is not married and your rush to judgement is exactly what got Rush Limbaugh in trouble."

      Rush Limbaugh was right and it is a very simple and obvious conclusion that rampant immorality especially till age 30 will not stop after marriage.

      "FYI, the issue over which Sandra Fluke was engaged was weather the pill should be added to the list of prescription drugs that insurance must cover. You must either be a man or a healthy woman because you apparently dont know that the pill is often used to regulate periods and alleviate the suffering of women with painful menstrual cycles (as well as other medical problems). I see no reason why the government, if it is requiring insurance carriers to cover every other prescription drug, shouldnt do the same for the pill."

      This is absolute liberal bilge. The vast majority of people using these pills are using them for risk free dalliance.

      Delete
  8. The majority of couples are faithful to each other. When there is adultery, it is almost always NOT due to 'wife-swapping'. Tzoorba, your cluelessness re general society makes me now really doubt what you insist "biah shelo kedarko" really means...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dovy,

    I know the poshut pshat of what biah shelo kedarko means.

    What makes you so knowledgeable about the faithfulness of married couples? Did you do a survey or go house to house? You are totally ignoring open facts that are evident to anyone that opens their eyes.

    The truth is that very many people are not even marrying these days because everything is available outside of marriage. In any case, in the real world there is very little barrier to prevent couples from dallying and since everyone is practiced from college it's insane to think that they stop when they get married.

    "And yet, according to the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, approximately 50 percent married women and 60 percent of married men will have an extramarital affair at some time in their marriage. And since it is unlikely that the people having affairs are married to each other in every case, the current statistics on the percentage of married couples who cheat on each other means that someone is having an affair in nearly 80 percent of marriages."

    http://www.catalogs.com/info/relationships/percentage-of-married-couples-who-cheat-on-each-ot.html

    ReplyDelete
  10. Are there any articles on religious jews, who thought they were smart by attending a mikveh and then have sex, while being unmarried ? do they require a get ? or because the intention of the sex wasn't marriage, but lust should they be acquitted ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't know why going to the mikveh would make a difference.

      There is a major dispute between Rav Henkin and Rav Feinstein whether common-law marriage is valid or you need the have a formal kiddushin for marriage to come in to existence. According to Rav Henkin there is a huge problem of mamzerim because those who lived together never were divorced before finding other partners - according to Rav Moshe - there is not a problem of adultery since there was no proper kiddushin they are not married.

      This issue is relevant for Reform marriages - according to Rav Henkin they are valid - even if there was not proper kiddushin or witnesses - while Rav Moshe says there is no marriage at all

      Delete

ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL NOT BE POSTED!
please use either your real name or a pseudonym.