Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Must husband be told about wife's adultery? R Y. Fischer

[ See views of Rav Pe'alim] Rav Yisroel Yaakov Fischer (Even Yisroel 8:85): Question:  A baal teshuva who had returned to Judaism a number of years ago came to me. There remained one thing that bothered him greatly about his past and that was the fact that he had a relationship with a married woman. The question that he was upset about whether he was obligated to tell the husband about his wife’s sin to save him from sinning - since she had committed adultery willingly. The dilemma was that if he told the husband that would destroy the reputation of the family since it was a distinguished family. However if he didn’t tell the husband then he would be responsible for the sins that the husband has constantly since she is now prohibited to him. Answer: This question was addressed already by the Nodah B’Yehuda (Tenina O.C. #35). He said it depended on a dispute between the Rambam  and the Rosh. The  Rambam ruled in Hilchos Kelayim (10:29) that if one sees someone wearing kelayim that is prohibited by the Torah he is required to rip it off the other person – even in the street and even if the person is his teacher who has taught him wisdom. It is clear that the opinion of the Rambam is that this must be done even if the wearing of kelayim did not do it deliberately and in fact is not aware that he is wearing kelayim. Nevertheless it must be ripped off of him without concern for the person’s dignity. The Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 303) agrees with the Rambam. In contrast the Rosh (Nida 9:6) brings the words of the Yerushalmi)Kelayim 9:1),... The Rosh explains,”Rav Ami follows the view of the Amora who permits and it is in a case where either the kelayim is rabbinic or he holds that only in the case where a person finds kelayim in his own clothing he must rip it off because 'there is no wisdom or understanding against G‑d commands.' In contrast if a person see kelayim prohibited by the Torah on another person and that person doesn’t know about it – he should not inform him while he is in public because of human dignity since he isn’t wearing it on purpose to violate the Torah.” Rema (Y.D.#303) agrees  with the view of the Rosh and he states, “And some say that if the one wearing the kelayim is unaware of it it is not necessary to tell him in public.” Therefore the Noda B’Yehuda says that the question is dependent on this dispute. The Rambam’s view is that even if the person is unaware that he is sinning the prohibited kelayim still must be ripped off of him even in public and we are not concerned with his dignity. The Rambam would hold in our case that it is necessary to tell the husband in order that he separate from his wife who is now prohibited to him because the husband is doing an active act which is prohibited. In contrast the  view of the Rosh is that when someone is not sinning on purpose it is not necessary to tell him if this leads to him being embarrassed and degraded. Therefore in our case he would hold that it is not necessary to tell the husband since he isn’t deliberately sinning. However the Noda  B’Yehuda adds that our case  is different from that of kelayim. That is because the unaware person is not sinning just once but he will continue to sin for a long time. Consequently he asserts that even the Rosh would agree that it is necessary to inform the husband [....] Due to the various factors mentioned it is certain that there is no need to inform either the wife or the husband that they are prohibited because of adultery - because it won't result in their divorce. In addition there is the factor of human dignity. Furthermore one can say that even according to the Rambam in this case he would not require informing them since he doesn't witness that they are having prohibited relations and also it is possible that they won't be having sexual relations as is mentioned by Rav Pe'alim and other achronim agree with him.

Rav Wosner also has a tshuva on this subject and relies on Divrei Chaim not to tell husband and even if he does tell the husband they don't have to get divorced unless the husband believes him.

Rav Wosner (Shevet Halevi 8:287.1): Concerning a baal teshuva who unfortunately had a relationship with a married woman. Is there an obligation for the baal teshuva to tell the husband who is an observant Jew in order for him to separate from her since she is prohibited to him? I can’t go into detail in this matters but we typically follow the view of the Divrei Chaim (O.C. #35) who permits hims to turn a blind eye. According to this principle, even if he tells the husband, the husband is not obligated to divorce her unless the husband believes the testimony as is stated in Shuchan Aruch (E.H. 115:7). Consequently as long as he doesn’t believe her she is permitted to him according to the halacha. In such a case where he is not going to believe the testimony, it is permitted for the person not to inform the husband. Look at the Divrei Chaim itself.
Even Yisroel 8 85 Report Adultery


  1. In any tziur where there would be question on the kiddushin of the isha her baal, it would make pashut that one does not have to tell. L'mashal with a reform kiddushin. No?


  2. would he do it if it meant a death sentence for him? Is he allowed to break the wife's privacy?

    The wife is only forbidden if the husband believes him... Why does he think that making an even bigger mess from a past mess will make things better?

    to me, the idea of telling on a married woman he had sex with is pure hypocrisy! He should live with his sin, and not make a mess of the couple!

    1. Did you read the tshuva? Your comments indicate that halacha is irrelevant to you.

    2. I am trying to understand the state of mind of a baal t'shuva.

      1) it is easy to destroy a marriage, without facing any consequences. therefore I am asking if he would be ready to accuse himself if he was facing a death penalty. If his answer is no, he should not do it.

      2) the baal t'shuva's sin is much greater than the husband's sin. therefore the baal t'shuva should worry about his own sin, not about the husband's

      3) As long as the husband does not know his wife cheated on him, there is not really a problem. i.e. the baal t'shuva would create a problem with his revelation.

      4) there are other ways of solving the husband and wife's problem, e.g. by asking the wife to divorce, by askind the wife to admit her adultery, rather then by denouncing her.

      5) if the wife refuses to do so, it is not upon the newly holy BT to do it for her. He did betray the husband's trust by having an adulterous relationship with her, now he wants to betray her trust by revealing the relationship to her husband?

      6) Reading this blog for quite some time has proven to me that halacha is often undetermined, as it is in this case too. Reading this blog for quite some time has shown to me that you like to make snarky remarks but that really you often contradict yourself.

      7) After reading this blog for quite a long time I came to the conclusion that this blog is very much about deconstructing halacha (by publishing texts that show how much rabbonim are out of touch with reality).

    3. The above leads to the obvious question - why do you read this blog so religiously as well as making detailed - often very good - incisive comments?

    4. Because I am interested in halacha, and also in it's deconstruction as you do it.

      thanks to your blog, I became better aquainted with the "true" values of judaism, which are not always equal to my values. It is important for me to know that.

      furthermore, I learned from your blog that there are no eternal jewish values, but they are made up as we go, and this also is an important information to me.

      And i learned that there is no "true" rabbinical position, since you will always find a Rabbi for any position, which in turn gives the believer some freedom as to the values he chooses.

    5. Your remarks indicate that you have analyzed the points presented here from a pure am haoretz point of view and have come out with the twisted result of allowing yourself to pursue any corruption that you desire.

      If you were to spend any significant time in a decent bais hamedrash where you might learn the holiness and purity of the Torah you might come to the proper conclusion but right now you are totally abusing what your learned and are in the hands of your yetzer hora totally.

  3. The wife herself should be required to tell her husband since be is forbidden to her. She is not permitted to allow him to have sex with her.

    1. You obviously haven't read the teshuva. You might also want to read the Divrei Chaim who also disagrees with your "psak"

  4. It seems that the husband is a shogeig (unintentional). Somebody tells him the story, either he will believe them and leave his wife or... he won't believe him and now be a meizid (intentional), or... he will believe him but won't be able to leave his wife and become a meizid. Unless we know that if we tell him, he will leave his wife, then maybe its better not to tell him.

    If I tell you that I slept with your wife would you believe me and never go near her again?

  5. Recipients and PublicityDecember 7, 2012 at 6:50 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. thank you. But in this case, the question itself makes it obvious that it is somewhat hypocritical.

  6. Recipients and PublicityDecember 7, 2012 at 6:50 AM

    "There remained one thing that bothered him greatly about his past"

    RaP: Only this bothered him??? The rov paskenim is so naive that he takes this for granted? This BT has nothing else to feel guilty about? He never hurt another person in any way? He never masturbated or slept with shiksas? He is now so "pure" that this is the only thing on his mind??? He should first see a therapist or a VERY experienced kiruv professional to help sort himself out even after being frum for years, BTs need long term experinecd guidance but often they bolt and try to become Mr. Ultra-Yeshivish or Mr. Super-chasid or Miss Ubber-tznius, before running to major league poskim who have no clue about the true nature of the life and times of BTs.

    Ask around, everyone in kiruv knows that when BTs get too big for the boots and become smart asses that it has always made things worse for themselves and everyone around him. Now here is a question, what if the woman he rats out, also presumably a BT commits suicide or does something crazy like killing her husband or ratting out the BT who is ratting her out? Why is it assumed that this guy, the big tzadik asking shaylos, that his wife will stay with him if she knows he slept with married ladies before and who knows if he is still not doing it??? Who will take the blame for that.

    Rav Dovid Kohen, the posek in Brooklyn who deals with these shaylos, once said to kiruv rabbis that it is important to know when to DODGE a shaylo that they know will blow up like a bomb if they answer it. Sometimes dodging the question from a BT, who MUST have lots more to deal with first that will need years of work, is better than buying into the BT's limited agenda.

    "and that was the fact that he had a relationship with a married woman."

    RaP: Him and tens of thousands of frum from birth folks in all communities right now as we read this, so what else is new. You know, once upon a time there was the ritual of the Sotah, when a man who merely suspected his wife of adultery, but then the Chachomim, the REAL sages, saw that because there was an INCREASE in Sotahs, meaning adultery increased and became commonplace, they put a stop to the bais hamikdash mitzva of the Sotah CAUSE TOO MNAY WOMAN WOULD DIE... -- SO Mr. Ubber-BT, LET HASHEM DEAL WITH SOME PROBLEMS, and leave the poskim alone to settle other things like kelaiam and shatnez questions and if there are bugs in strawberries and lettuce.

    There is lots more to say on this topic.

    1. RaP don't understand your outrage? It is a legitimate question as seend by the present discussion by Rav Fischer.

      I agree that a posek has to be careful with dealing with these types of questions - but that is where seichel comes in.

    2. Recipients and PublicityDecember 7, 2012 at 12:38 PM

      Not sure how big a posek Rav Fischer really is to open this pandora's box. Maybe he should have left it out of his "teshuva" seforim.

      Was it the Kostzker who said that "nisht altz vos men tracht muz men zoggen, und nisht altz vus me ret muz men schreiben, und nisht altz vos men schreibt muz men drukken" "not everything you think should be spoken, and not everything you speak should be written, and not everything you write should be printed" and Rav Fischer in my humble opinion has "transgressed" this last part.

      After all, we do have the aseres hadibros, lo tinaf and lo tachmod is in there, there are many batei din and poskim who can deal with some things but are not good at others. There are choshen mishpat batei din, there are batei din for gittin, and there should be special batei din to deal with problems of BTs exclusively, but there are not.

      A BT is a different sort of yid, they are more like GEIRIM than FFBs imagine. Notice how BTs are condemned by FFBs to wear the label "baalei teshiva" all their lives (like Hester Prin in the Scarlet Letter, because she too committed adultery) and regular batei din and poskim must get it into their heads that they cause more harm than good by getting into this mud. Rav Shternbuch is much more cautious in his pesokim, is there a teshuva by him in his seforim about this kind of stuff, because he seems smart enough to avoid these kind of bombshell areas.

      In the frumma velt they solve such issues and these problems not like Rav Fischer. They will beat up little girls on the street for minor tznius infactions, but they will also allow themselves to sleep with their pal's wives -- and be proud of fathering so-called "love children" -- you have no idea just how widespread this problem is, it is ENDEMIC among the FFB world. Some years ago there was a famous case in the American Belz community where one of its top lay leaders was caught having a long affair with his married secretary. Local Belzers were outraged and found ways to make recordings of the trysts (the way Leib Tropper was finally put down) and the evidence was presented to the current Belzer rebbe. You know what happened? The accused leader refused to resign from his high position unless he was given a pay-off of at least a million bucks (which they paid him!), and you know what the rebbe instructed the so-called Belzer dayanim, that they should rule that the man should go back to his own wife and the woman with whom he was having an affair should go back to her own husband. Finished. End of story. End of scandal. Now that is typical of how of the way the ultra frum world deals with such things, they always try to find a way and "heter" to avoid public shame and scandal. Unlike the naive BT in the case of Rav Fischer who is lunging for and PRESSING the nuclear button, you can just sense he wants a major explosion to go off. Why can't Rav Fischer just say, " hey Mr. BT looney-head, today my office does not deal with this question. Please go see a psychiatrist why you want to bring this up now. I am not qualified to deal with people who come from secular homes. It is a place I have never been. I don't know about the way people become BTs' and I don't understand their behavior and mentality."

      Now it may be, that after having gone to a yerei shomayim therapist, the parties involved may all come to the conclusion ON THEIR OWN that the woman should get divorced, but it is cruel and unusual punishment and VERY dangerous because people could literally get killed and commit suicide if such humiliating revelations are made after they spent a lifetime trying to do "genuine teshuva". All because one nut job BT had guilt pangs about his past for unknown psychological reasons.

      There are still more cases that prove that the FFB world deals differently when its people commit adultery than the way BTs get caught up in the same situations and are dealt with differently.

    3. RaP I really don't understand your attack and criticism. This question is a valid one and was answered by both the Nodah B'Yehuda and the Divrei Chaim. These are not minor figures who got manipulated by others.

      Furthermore the Noda B'Yehuda wants to create a general rule regarding informing others who are sinning inadvertently and informing them will cause embarrassment and disgrace. Not a insignificant question.

    4. Recipients and PublicityDecember 9, 2012 at 6:46 AM

      Ok, let's start at the underlying premises here.

      Firstly, as I have said Rav Fischer (RF) made a BIG mistake in framing this serious shaylo in the case of a baalei teshuva (BT) -- if the shaylo would have been framed in the context of a regular frum from birth (FFB) person, and RF would have introduced his shaylo by stating something like "I was approached by a well known lamden and maggid shiur in a known mosod who committed this act even though the wife of the kollel yungerman has kept the secret of their many trysts..." or "It was a chosid from a major chasidus who was overcome with passion and had intercourse with his best friend's wife for years and the friend is still in the dark..." then this shaylo has meaning, but basing it on a case of a BT is cowardly, a cop-out, and silly and IT MAKES THE SHAYLO MEANINGLESS because almost all BTs come from SEXUALLY LIBERATED backgrounds, so this does not help. A BT and an FFB are NOT the same min or sug of mentsch!!!!! It takes a long time, for BTs to become FFBs, longer than most rabbis, even poskim, can imagine. So leave BTs out of your cases if you want to set standards with shaylos for the FFB Torah velt.

      BTs cannot be assume to have ever practiced the same moral and lifestyles as FFB people. Even after many years of being very religious, sometimes even after decades, BTs still carry with themselves boatloads of UNRESOLVED issues that require care. In this case the person coming with the shaylo must be viewed as a BT who could still have relapses as could the woman he wants to rat out as his former lover.

      BTs are works of art in progress and essentially their behavior and choices must not be held to the same standards as FFBs, unless the BT in question has been affirmed by his rabbis as having truly arrived at the madreigo of being equal to FFBs and hence being treated halachicaly as such.

      Otherwise, this BT asking Rav Fischer, without knowing the full details, MUST be viewed as a kind of "choleh" or "not completed" mentsch a true "tinok shenishba" and also the women he wants to rat out, who is presumably also a ba'alas teshuva, and hence to expect full compliance with and application of Halacha is absurd because the BT is still progressing to the goal, he is not the adam hashaleim just because he has taken on some external things and went to a BT yeshiva or maybe even went to a mainline yeshiva for a couple of years, he is still a BT until proven otherwise. And RF confirms this "otherness" by calling him a BT, why not leave that out and just say "a nice Jewish man came to me with this serious question"???!!! So it is RF who has OVER-REACHED as a posek and this shaylo has NO meaning for regular bnai Torah unless it is framed as a case of a ben Torah gone wrong and not about some unstable BT who are known to come with crazy ideas.

    5. Recipients and PublicityDecember 9, 2012 at 7:18 AM

      Secondly, Rav Fischer (RF) is coming at this shaylo of the BT and his BT ex(?)-lover with the perspective of classical Halacha that never had nor was ever aware of type of baal teshuva movement in their days, and RF is going with that self-same outlook not making allowances for a different METZIUS (phenomenon) because NEITHER the Nodah B’Yehuda (Yechezkel ben Yehuda Landau (8 October 1713 – 29 April 1793)) NOR the Divrei Chaim (Chaim Halberstam of Sanz (1793–1876)) had any experience of such things. They only paskened for a majority frum FFB world that respected them and accepted their authority. There was no such thing as people leaving frumkeit, becoming secular and irreligious and then retruning back to Yidishkiet.

      It just did NOT happen until the mid-20th century and what RF is doing is making the mistake that just because he can be accepted at the Eida Chareidis that somehow that qualifies him to resolve questions that have no equal or framework in EITHER his own world OR in his mekoros (sources) such as the Gemoras, Rishonim and Achronim he cites.

      RF went in over his head and took on a case that he should have left for a posek who deals almost exclusively with BTs (such poskim are a rare breed indeed), better yet keep consulting with and be under the guidance of with KIRUV RABBIS who deal with these kind of weird situations of people doing all kinds of crazy things SEXUALLY, mostly out of habit, and yet still becoming and growing into frum Jews over time. That is what I mean that a BT is a work of art/construction in progress.

      A good analogy would be the midrash that Adam had sex with all the animals on Earth before he got Eve, it was part of the process of creating the Adam which is what the KIRUV PROCESS/CONTINUUM is all about and any posek, not just RF, is foolish if they take BT shaylos at face value when presented with them, because almost all BT shaylos have to be put into the context of the process of becoming a BT and of the BT struggling to remain frum.

      There is no sense for a posek to jump in every a BT comes knocking at his door and issue a major pesak and prints it yet as something for the world to learn from. While that is the way it works for the FFBs it would be far better for the poskim to send back the BTs to their kiruv rabbis and get their input and HADRACHA to see what it is that can be done for the BT as a BT first and NOT to destroy the entire kiruv process in progress. Yes it is a tough situation but that is what kiruv work is about.

      In NCSY they use the standard pesakim of Rav Ruderman, Rav Hutner and Rav JB Soloveitchik that when kids, even older teenage children and those dependent on their parents and living at home, when those kids start becoming Shomer Shabbos and Shomer Kashrus and become fully observant that they MUST BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO CONFRONT PARENTS and are advised to remain at home and make the best of it, even should eat treif and be mechallel Shabos if their parents force them since they are captives almost literal tinokos shenishbu because you cannot destroy everyone in the hope of one easy solution.

      To repeat' BTs are works of art in creation and with time, under the right hadrocha and mazel they will be guided by those who have the experience to move on. But if they were to run to major poskim in charedi neighborhoods to find out if they can eat in their parents' homes, wars will break out and people will get hostile and even get hurt. So the poskim are best kept out of it and leave kiruv and the BTs to the kiruv workers who know what to do and guide these people safely to home base. It may take a lifetime, but there is no other way to do this.

    6. Recipients and PublicityDecember 9, 2012 at 7:40 AM

      Thirdly, with all due respect to both the Nodah B'Yehuda and the Divrei Chaim who are Achronim and they are trying to deal with precedents for adultery by FRUM people, NOT by BTs as in the case of RF.

      The Nodah B'Yehuda (Yechezkel ben Yehuda Landau (1713–1793)) lived in the EIGHTEENTH Century and the Divrei Chaim (Chaim Halberstam (1793–1876)) lived in the NINETEENTH Century when most Jews in Eastern Europe were 100% frum and loyal to their rabbonim, while the Baal teshuva movement only starts in the TWENTIETH Century and continues to the present with most Jews being secular.

      RF is trying to bring his 18th and 19th perspectives to bear on a case that has relates to the BT phenomenon that takes place in a different time and a different dimension and he misses that terribly. Had RF framed his case in terms of a long time FFB Charedi person who is continuing in, or aspires to live in the standards of the 18th and 19th Century Torah way of life that the Nodah B'Yehuda and the Divrei Chaim lived in, then fine, such people would probably be mentally, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually ready to come to a posek and and accept what poskim have to say and rule and that would be that.

      But this is an entirely different kettle of fish, because NEITHER the Nodah B'Yehuda nor the Divrei Chaim lived in world of majority secular Jews and with the BT world growing in it, they were in a world where the word of a posek was literally the word of Hashem. But in world of secular Jews becoming religious or of recently religious or even long time BTs there are myriads of unknown complex factors in their lives that it hard to see how someone like RF could truly appreciate.

      Even if RF met a hundreds of BTs he is still NOT qualified to make universal pesakim for ALL of Klal Yisroel from them, just as if hundreds of tourists would come through Meah Shearim and even chat with RF it would not make him qualified to make rulings for their home cultures and it would be an egregious mistake if he would make rulings for Meah Shearim residents own lives based on his experiences with the tourists who are always coming through it.

    7. Recipients and PublicityDecember 9, 2012 at 8:15 AM

      Fourthly, and most importantly, it is possible and necessary to argue with the choices of BOTH the Nodah B'Yehuda and the Divrei Chaim, who as Achronim relied on a machlokes of the RAMBAM and a ROSH, both Rishonim, that have NO SHAYCHOS to modern day BTs!!!

      While the Nodah B'Yehuda and the Divrei Chaim are free to kvetch and come up with a way that the cases of Kilayim (Hebrew: כלאים‎, lit. "Mixture" or "Confusion") is the prohibition of crossbreeding seeds, crossbreeding animals, and mixing wool and linen") -- a mitzva of of bein adam le'Makom that could result in busha for a person, can somehow be used as the "mekor" for paskening a shaylo of a mitzva bein adam le'chaveiro that has the added layer of dinei nefashos. Meaning that it could lead to a possible, and even likely, death sentences in the eyes of the Torah, in this case for possible revealed and admitted and even witnessed forbidden sexual relationship between a Jewish man and a Jewish woman who was married to another Jewish man al pi din.

      So this is a difficult RAMBAM that would need a lot of explanation as to all the steps required that one can somehow draw a direct line from the case of ripping kelayim off of a person even in public if need be without regard to shaming them, to the even more serious case of informing on a woman who had once or perhaps still was committing adultery where it could lead to death chas vesholom if strict Torah law would be applied if conditions were met.

      Very nice that both the Nodah B'Yehuda and the Divrei Chaim say what they say, for or against, but the onus is them to bridge the gap from the RAMBAM and ROSH far more than they have done to justify drastic actions in real life. Namely, how can they apply a simple case of kilayim (about which the RAMBAM and ROSH talk) to niuf or shaylos of aishes ish and zenus (tow whcih the Nodah B'Yehuda and the Divrei Chaim want to apply it)??? What other Acharon does this??? Is there no other de'ah besides the Nodah B'Yehuda and the Divrei Chaim? Are the Nodah B'Yehuda and the Divrei Chaim the only great Torah minds that dealt with this questions, how about hundreds of other poskim??? Is all of Klala Yisroel obligated to follow what the Nodah B'Yehuda and the Divrei Chaim rule???

      Or is it perhaps that the fact that so many poskim did NOT write even in the days of the RAMBAM and ROSH about this shaylo, is itself an answer???

      The RAMBAM and ROSH lived in classical strict ARAB-MUSLIM and EUROPEAN-CHRISTIAN societies where it was easy to catch and behead even Jewish people, batei din were much stronger in the days of the Rishonim since local rulers gave rabbonim near total power to enforce their own laws in Ghetto-like communities, with even capital punishment deployed by batei din in the Dark and Early Middle Ages.

      By the time of the Nodah B'Yehuda and the Divrei Chaim that had changed, but note that the RAMBAM and ROSH are arguing over a case of kelayim in case, so again could someone explain, besides RF, how the Nodah B'Yehuda and the Divrei Chaim choose that as their justifications? Is there no case of someone eating Chometz on Pesach where even though it has a serious dimension of Kares, yet it still would not be a case of dinei nefashos (sases of actual life and death)?

    8. Recipients and PublicityDecember 9, 2012 at 8:36 AM

      Fifthly, why is it that RF and even the Nodah B'Yehuda and the Divrei Chaim forget to mention that batei din and poskim today do NOT have the power to test Sotas, nor do they have the power to impose the arba misos bais din, the four capital punishments that were administered in Torah times?

      In addition, when a shaylo involves dinei nefashos, it takes on an entirely different context. The shaylo of this BT coming to RF is obviously a shaylo of dinei nefashos. Lives are at stake. RF does not know the true mental status of any of the parties. The BT may be nuts and could have an an agenda to secretly destroy the life of his ex(?)-love lady who is married to another guy, and presumably they are all all BTs.

      BT's by the way, should be suspected of having suffered damage to their brain cells from using drugs in college days and beyond. Many still continue even after becoming BTs. Who is is to say and who knows under what circumstances they all had sex with each over time even after becoming BTs? RF acts too much like Eliyahu HaNovi assuming he has all the "facts" he needs to pasken and publish this case!

      There is the real danger that the woman who is outed may commit suicide. She may kill her children if she has any who may have been mazerim if another posek could have found smarter way to better deal with this shaylo. Her cuckolded husband may fly into a rage of fury and jealousy and kill her and this moron BT making the trouble and acting like a big frumak. Very often BT's are very highly sensitive and fragile people. Some of the BTs may have nervous breakdowns and/or heart attacks over from all the stress!

      If the idiot BT gets RF to ok outing the woman, and then she commits suicide or her husband has a nervous breakdown or stroke from teh stress totally ruining everyone for life, on whose hands will this blood be???

      RF will say oh gosh, he was "only" paskening, the nut-job BT will say he was only trying to be frum (naturally) and doing the "right thing" and only the FFB people reading the published teshuvos (BTs don't know how to read shaylos and teshuvus and don't read them!) the FFBs will assume everything is fine and normal (they usuaaly find HETERIm to get their people off the hook) when there may have been a huge HUMAN tragedy that resulted as a consequence of this reckless action that started in all innocence of a BT trying to be frummer than the pope, when the right thing would have been for RF to chase him him, and let him go see a shrink and talk to his kiruv rebbe who should be the one bringing this shaylo in the correct context, if at all.

      Some things may be best left for Hashem to solve over time! Or until such time as a good posek and a realistic NOT dangerous solution is found to this complex human situation.

  7. PS: Your rabbonim forgot to mention that a sinner is not believed when testifying against himself. (See the case where R. Moshe Feinstein paskened that a mother could not be believed when she declared her son was a mamzer). This situation here would be exactly equivalent to this case: the mother wanted to keep the bride-to-be from sinning by marrying a mamzer, the rabbonim declared the mother's declaration should be discarded and the marriage should go on.

    Therefore, the husband would not even believe this BT's declaration. So what help would it be?

    1. your disagreement is not with me but with the Nodah B'yehuda. The other classic teshuva in this area is the Divrei Chaim who says not to tell. The question is whether you agree with the reasoning that led him there Or are you trying to say you agree with the Divrei Chaim's conclusion - but for different reasons?

    2. I suppose: for different reasons...

    3. this question is important not only for rabbis but for therapists who learn of information which can drastically impact others who don't realize that they are doing something seriously wrong. The issues you have raised need to be integrated within a framework of the dispute between the Rambam and the Rosh and the leniencies of the Divrei Chaim.

  8. The husband must be advised of his wife's adultery and he must divorce her.

    1. That doesn't seem to be the accepted practice - what are you basing yourself on?

    2. The psak halacha, including the one in question.

    3. Sorry I don't understand you - the Divrei Chaim says not to say, Rav Wosner says not to say and that that is the practice, Rav Fisher says not to say. Where is your source that this is not the normative psak

    4. Ok, perhaps I misunderstood.

      Where does Rav Fisher say not to say?

      To back up my original point, I thought the Noda B'Yehuda paskens that the husband must be told. (By the case of the yeshiva bochur who committed adultery with the wife who later became his mother in law.)

      Also, supposed he already told her husband. What's the halacha at that point?

    5. You are correct that the Nodah B'Yehuda says that the husband should be told. The other sources I cited say not to tell. It seems that the contemporary sources I have been able to find all say not to tell and therefore I presume that is the normative position. If you have evidence otherwise - please produce it.

      If he told her - it depends on whether the husband believes it. If he believes it then he must get divorced. If he doesn't believe it he doesn't have to get divorced. That is what Rav Wosner clearly states

    6. The Nodal B'Yehuda itself is a contemporary source.

      As far as it depending on whether the husband believes it or not, I don't understand how that is relevant. The WIFE knows it is true that she committed adultery, even if the husband doesn't believe it. Therefore SHE knows that she is forbidden to her husband. Thus, she is obligated to refuse to allow him to ever have sex with her since she knows that she is halachicly forbidden to him.

    7. the Nodah b'Yehuda (8 October 1713 – 29 April 1793) is not a contemporary source.

      From Wikipedia:

      Contemporary history describes the period timeframe that is without any intervening time closely connected to the present day and is a certain perspective of modern history. The term "contemporary history" has been in use at least by the early 19th century.[1] In the widest context of this use, contemporary history is that part of history still in living memory. Based on human lifespan, contemporary history would extend for a period of approximately 80 years. Obviously, this concept shifts in absolute terms as the generations pass. In a narrower sense, "contemporary history" may refer to the history remembered by most adults currently living, extending to about a generation or roughly 30 years. From the perspective of the 2010s, thus, contemporary history would include the period since the mid-to-late 20th century, including the postwar period and the Cold War.

      No she is not. Please show me a single source that agrees with your analysis.

    8. Come on, RDE. We are not debating the English literary meaning of the word "contemporary". We are discussing its current halachic relevancy. And in terms of Piskei Halacha, how we pasken nowaday, the Noda B'Yehuda is considered as contemporary and at least as relevant in utilizing it and applying it to a current shaila as is Rav Fisher's shailos u'teshuvos sefer. Noda B'Yehuda is a hallmark of current and active psak.

    9. Don't know what type of argument "come on" is. From the contemporary sources I have cited it seems that the Noda B'Yehuda is ignored and I assume that means it has been ignored in favor of the Divrei Chaim for more than 100 years.

      The Noda B'Yehuda or Chasam Sofer etc are not contemporaries and if their rulings in a particular area of been disgarded by contemporary posken in the last 80 years then they have a significantly different status. If a Rambam has consistently been used as the basis of psak in recent years and not a Noda BYehuda on the same issue then the Rambam takes precedent.

      To go back to the original issue. The Noda B'Yehuda dealing with adultery is from a different tekufa and unless you show that it has been used by major poskim in recent years - it becomes irrelevant - as Rav Wozner seems to indicate.

  9. RAP,

    You must be in dreamworld if you think that a prominent posek like Rav Fischer had no contact with baalei teshuva and totally believed them.

    He dealt with hundreds of people of all kinds and your comments about his not understanding baalei teshuva are outrageous and ridiculous.

    1. Recipients and PublicityDecember 9, 2012 at 6:22 AM

      tzoorba, please tell us how someone like this is qualified to deal with baalei teshuva? What in his education, background and lifestyle makes him fit to deal with modern day BT shaylos??? (ironically, his main connection is that Rav Fischer was actually NAMED for a famous early baal teshuva who in his time was something out of a futuristic world that did not exist yet as it did after the BT movement arose in the 1960s). See this bried bio from Wikipedia:

      "Yisroel Yaakov Fisher, (1928–2003), was a leading posek, Av Beit Din of the Edah HaChareidis and rabbi of the Zichron Moshe neighbourhood in Jerusalem.

      He was born in Jerusalem in 1928 to Rabbi Aharon Fisher, a prominent member of the Perushim community. He was named after the political activist Jacob Israël de Haan who had been assassinated four years earlier. As a teenager he studied in the Etz Chaim Yeshiva and became a close student of Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer. He was later married to the daughter of Rabbi Zelig Wallis and they settled in Batei Horodno area of Jerusalem.

      In 1961 was appointed as a moreh tzedek and two year later, in 1963, he was invited to serve as rabbi of the Great Synagogue of Zikhron Moshe. In 1974 he was made a member of the Badatz of the Edah HaChareidis. In 1996 he was appointed Av Beit Din of the Edah HaChareidis.

      He died in 2003 and is buried on Har HaMenuchot.
      Works: Even Yisroel — several volumes of responsa

      Source: HaRav Yisroel Yaakov Fisher, by Betzalel Kahn (Dei'ah veDibur)"

  10. You forgot about palginan dibura

  11. 1) The reference to the Nodah b'Yehuda should read Mahadurah kama O.C. 35.

    2) The case the Nodah B'yehudah dealt with was not a BT in the sense that R and P meant, but a prominent rabbinic student who had an affair with the wife in the household he was staying with while studying, as was the custom (the boarding not the affair) in those days, and later wanted to do tshuvah.

    3) Also, this would not be a hit and run job on the couple's marriage, as they were, by the time the Nodah b'Yehudah was asked his question, the mother-in-law and father-in-law of the would-be penitent, so he was going to have to live with the consequences.

    Although the Nodah B'yehudah does counsel the fellow to tell his father-in-law privately, his advice is more subtle that the brief snippet quoted by R. Fisher, and the tshuvah is worth studying.

    4) R and P, it seems to me, also has defamed ba'alei tshuvah as a class. Most ba'alei tshuvah are not, and never were, idiotic, drug-addled sex fiends. How he can ask mechillah from such a large and scattered group and do tshuvah for that, I cannot say.

  12. RAP said,

    "tzoorba, please tell us how someone like this is qualified to deal with baalei teshuva? What in his education, background and lifestyle makes him fit to deal with modern day BT shaylos???"

    So according to you Rabbi Fischer can only deal with black hat old time Yerushalmi's who fit his social pattern but some "enlightened" new age social service dunce can serve the full spectrum. This is total intellectual garbage.

    A posek that has a deep understanding of Torah will certainly quickly grasp the basic nature of all sorts of people with the best education possible called true life experience. Most of the social sciences are Leftist loony nonsense, propaganda and kumbaya and are worthless in understanding and dealing with people.

    Any decent posek and certainly a world class one like Rav Fischer was astute enough to learn how to deal with them from experience or from discussion with others who have more involvement such as people who have a great deal of contact with them such as those that do kiruv.

  13. Frankly, the wife should be executed for adultery. Along with her paramour.

    1. Why don't talmidei chachomim talk that way?

    2. What makes you think they don't?

    3. Dan is not making any reference to halachic issues. If instead he had said the obvious that they are chayiv misa - then no one disagrees. But to say "frankly, the wife..." that is voicing a personal opinion equivalent to "they should be lynched" That extrajudicial element is what I was referring to.

    4. Ok, fair enough.

      If Dan suggested that she be executed as per halacha, would you have any objections?

    5. are you seriously asking whether I accept the Torah?!

    6. Um, aren't Dan & Yeruchem overlooking that critical Talmudic dictum regarding a beis din that executes even once every 70 years?

  14. " even if he does tell the husband they don't have to get divorced unless the husband believes him."

    see? that was the point of view I expressed in my first reaction,
    - "The wife is only forbidden if the husband believes him.." -
    which would indicate that your snarky remark was uncalled for...

    1. sorry that you perceive my remarks as "snarky" whatever that means. However you are misreading the teshuva. The fact that the husband doesn't believe that his wife committed adultery and therefore doesn't have to divorce his wife is not the same thing as saying she is not forbidden to him. If his wife committed adultery she is forbidden.

      Similarly if you see a person wearing kelayim in the street according to the Rosh you don't have to inform him and thereby embarrassing him. He is still sinning for wearing kelayim.

      Your view makes much more sense according to the views that Rav Fischer brought that said there is no sin unless there were witnesses. He notes that is not the halacha however.

  15. In what ways halachiclly would the presented scenario be different if a male FFB was told by his wife FFB that she received a ghet from her previous husband when in fact she never received a ghet?

    Per Halacha she is a ayshet ish and secular law a bigamist.

    Is it required to inform her ersatz husband that she is a ayshet ish?

  16. Zyz,

    Yes - lo saamod al dam rayacha. You can't let him continue a death penalty type of prohibition if you can help it in any way or any prohibition if you are certain about it.

  17. Pischei Teshuva (E. H. 178:21): And some say we force him - Look at the Noda b’Yehuda Tanina (#12), Concerning the law of whether the husband is able to say that he believes his wife [that she committed adultery]. The Rema (178:9) brings 3 different opposing views. 1) the husband is allowed to believe her [and he divorces her] 2) today because of Cherem of Rabbeinu Gershon we ostracize him if he insists on believing her 3) we force him to remain married and to have intercourse with her. In truth the view that we force him to have relations with her is very difficult difficult. It is equivalent to forcing a man to eat something which he considers prohibited because he has declared it to be prohibited.... The fact is that even if she is the most righteous woman it would be impossible to obligate him to have sexual relations with her as is stated in Rema (E.H. 77:1). If he wants to divorce her and giver her a kesuba he is no longer violating the Torah obligation to have sexual relations with her and this is clearly applicable in modern times. (See also E.H. 77:2). So if this is true regarding a totally proper wife who has not done anything wrong than surely if his wife declares that she has committed adultery – it is obvious that if he wants he can divorce her and giver her a kesuba because Cherem Rabbeinu Gershon doesn’t apply. And surely he has no obligation to have sexual relations with her. And this is true even if he is not permitted to marry another woman because he has declared his wife prohibited to him. Therefore if he believes her that she commited adultery he is obligated to divorce her....

  18. What is the status of the children they have once they are assur to one another...?

    1. work of art in progressAugust 15, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      the children are fine, because there is a concept in halocha called: rov beilos achar ha'baal - most of the times the woman had relat. with her own husband (we assume on the basis of majority). as one of my rabbonim say: let them live!


please use either your real name or a pseudonym.