Sunday, December 16, 2012

Must husband be informed of wife's adultery II - Ben Ish Chai

[See previous post of Rav Fisher and Rav Wosner]    Rav Pe'alim (E.H. 1:1): ... Question: A man sinned with a married woman a number of times and afterwards repented. He came to a talmid chachom to be told how to properly repent for doing this sin. He told the talmid chachom that he had been involved in an adulterous relationship and the question arises as to whether the lover is obligated to tell the husband that his wife had committed adultery. Perhaps he would believe him and divorce his wife and thus be saved from sinning through ignorance. Furthermore if the lover absolutely refuses to tell the husband because of a number of reasons – is there an obligation of the talmid chachom who heard the confession to tell the husband because he might be believed and therefore divorce his wife. Or alternatively should the husband not be told since it will lead to fights and conflict. That is because if the husband believes the accusation he will obviously have to explain the reason he wants a divorce and his wife will definitely deny the accusations and thus there will be fights and arguments – especially if she has children from her husband. Thus it will result in a stain on the family reputation and who knows what will result from this controversy. Consequently it is necessary to see whether there is a leniency that can be relied upon not to reveal the adultery or not. Answer: I saw that the Noda B’Yehuda (1:35) was asked a similar question. A person who was involved in an adulterous relationship and now is married to the daughter of the woman. He wanted to know whether he had to tell his father in law that he needed to divorce his wife or was it better to remain silent since the family was a distinguished family and they had children who were important in Torah and with high reputation. Consequently there is concern that the revelation would destroy the reputation of the family. Therefore in order to avoid the severe embarrassment to them it would be best that this repentant sinner should do nothing and not tell his father in law anything. The Nodah B’Yehuda replied that is was obvious that human dignity can only be considered when a person is not actively sinning.... He added that when the person sinning i.e., the husband – is unaware of the sin it is a major dispute between the Rambam and the Rosh concerning a person who is unaware that he is wearing kelayim in the street.... Therefore according to the Rosh it is best to be silent because of the degradation of the family while the Rambam would obligate notifying the husband to prevent him from sinning... It is important to note that the Noda B’Yehuda is generalizing from the case of kelayim. However it appears to me that there are significant differences between the two cases. In the case of kelayim the person directly sees that the person is wearing kelayim but in the case of adultery he doesn’t see the transgression since intercourse doesn’t take place in front of him. Perhaps the husband doesn’t have relations with his wife at all because of some other factor that interferes. This is also reasonable to assume in the case of the Noda B’Yehuda since the husband was already an old man. There is an additional doubt in that we are not sure that if the information is revealed to the husband that he will believe it and if he doesn’t then it doesn’t help as the Nodah B’Yehuda mentions himself. Thus we have a double doubt. 1) The first is whether the husband is actually going to have intercourse with his unfaithful wife for whatever reason. 2) And even if you say he will have intercourse it is uncertain that he will believe it and divorce her.            Furthermore the Noda B’Yehuda wants to distinguish between the obligation to tell the husband between the lover himself who created the problem and people in general. But it is also not clear that this is true. Because it is possible that the woman committed adultery before this with another man and thus she was already prohibited to her husband before the present adulterous relationship. Furthermore there is basis to object to the approach of the Noda B’Yehuda in learning the halacha from kelayim – but I don’t have time to go into detail.  Briefly, where there is disgrace to the family then the halachic reason of human dignity exists and because of the concern that the husband might not believe the information and therefore will not divorce her.  Consequently there is a need to find a leniency for both the lover and the talmid chachom who heard the confession not to reveal the information. A possible basis is the Maharish (Sho’el U’Meishiv Kama #262) that some rishonim hold that if the adultery was not witnessed then she is not prohibited to her husband and therefore the husband does no sin when he has relations with his adulterous wife. He cites the Bnei Ahuvim (Chapter 24 of Hilchos Ishus) that has an extensive discussion of this. Consequently regarding the case of the Noda B’Yehuda where the husband doesn’t know about his wife adultery and there were no witnesses she committed adultery – the lover is not obligated to tell the husband. That is because it is possible to rely on these rishonim who hold that there is no prohibition for the husband to have relations with his adulterous wife when there are no witnesses and surely this is true when this is combined with the reasons mentioned before of disgrace of the family and embarrassment. An additional factor is that the lover does not see with his own eyes that the husband is having relations with his wife because perhaps there are reasons that he is no longer able to. Finally there is the reason that it isn’t certain that the husband will believe him. I am surprised that the Nodah B’Yehuda does not mention the reasoning of the Maharish that there are gedolim who say that the wife is not prohibited to the husband when the adultery has no witnesses. I also surprised to see that the Chida (Chaim Shaul 2:48) also doesn’t mention the Maharish... You should also be aware that you cannot utilize the view of the Ran (Nedarim 3) who says that when the husband doesn’t believe the wife assertion that she committed adultery that the Kiddushin is abrogated and she becomes like an unmarried woman- because the Ran himself rejects this reasoning as the Chida points out. However based on those who say that if she committed adultery without witnesses she is not prohibited to her husband when combined with the other reasons we mentioned – she is not prohibited to her husband. Consequently concerning our question, we can state that the lover and surely the talmid chachom who heard his confession – do not have to reveal the adultery to the husband - based on all the reasons we have mentioned...


  1. A נואף is an adulterer or a fornicator. "Lover" implies love but adultery and fornication require lust and do not require love.

    1. The Oxford Dictionary disagrees.

      Definition of lover

      a partner in a sexual or romantic relationship outside marriage:

  2. Is it true that in certain circumstances bzman haze, if someone witnesses an eishes Ishmael committing adultery he can kill her and her lover while they are still engaged in the act? The witness must be free of this sin himself and I think the halacha is derived from Pinchas.

    1. Sorry for that typo. Should have read "Eishes Ish" (not eishes ishmael). [Spell checker changed it.]

      Can an Eishes Ish and her fornicator be killed while in the act, in the above situation?

    2. Recipients and PublicityDecember 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      "Doc said...Is it true that in certain circumstances bzman haze, if someone witnesses an eishes Ishmael committing adultery he can kill her and her lover while they are still engaged in the act? The witness must be free of this sin himself and I think the halacha is derived from Pinchas."

      Is this just another sock for "NOSHIE63" who is coming up with provocative troll klotz questions???

      What's up Doc? Just who do you think should "kill" this Arab girl? Oh yeah, I get it, let's call in the tznius squads of Satamrs and Meah Shearimniks to kill horny Arab girls, that way they can "prove" to Hamas that they share the "same values" and believe in honor killings. The Taliban from Afghanistan could be invited over to give guest lectures and demonstrate how this is done. Sure, now we are "deriving" "halachos" from Pinchas! Sure, every time you see some Jewish kids fornicating with goyisha kids on a campus go over and stab them through the groin and hoist them high for everyone to see how great you are? Are you crazy or what.

      Dear Rabbi Eidensohn I just think we have a case of a nutola active sock puppet here now who just wants to flame your blog and bog it down with stupid questions that have no relevance to anything. Please be more discriminating about what you post from this troll. Thanks!

    3. Recipients and PublicityDecember 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM

      From Wikipedia:

      "Flaming (Internet)...Deliberate flaming, as opposed to flaming as a result of emotional discussions, is carried out by individuals known as flamers, who are specifically motivated to incite flaming. These users specialize in flaming and target specific aspects of a controversial conversation, and are usually more subtle than their counterparts. Their counterparts are known as trolls who are less "professional" and write obvious and blunt remarks to incite a flame war, as opposed to the more subtle, yet precise flamers. Some websites even cater to flamers and trolls, by allowing them a free environment, such as Flame-Wars forum...

      Flame trolling Flame trolling is the posting of a provocative or offensive message, known as "flamebait", to a public Internet discussion group, such as a forum, newsgroup or mailing list, with the intent of provoking an angry response (a "flame") or argument over a topic the poster often has no real interest in. While flaming can occur as a result of legitimate debates or grievances, flame trolling implies the intentional posting of inflammatory, grossly offensive or menacing rhetoric or images for the fun of it in order to cause others harm.

      As stated, flame trolling can stem from a variety of issues, including misunderstandings, frustration, and perceptions of unfairness. One motive (from trolls especially) is the desire for attention and for entertainment derived at the expense of others. Posted flamebait can provide the poster with a controlled trigger-and-response setting in which to anonymously engage in conflicts and indulge in aggressive behavior without facing the consequences that such behavior might bring in a face-to-face encounter, a fact parodied in a YouTube video by Isabel Fay. In other instances, flamebait may be used to reduce a forum's use by angering the forum users. In 2012 it was announced that the US State Department would start flame trolling Jihads as part of Operation Viral Peace..."

    4. Recipients and PublicityDecember 17, 2012 at 1:00 PM

      From Wikipedia:

      "Troll (Internet) In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. The noun troll may also refer to the provocative message itself, as in: "That was an excellent troll you posted."...

      Trolling, identity, and anonymity

      Early incidents of trolling were considered to be the same as flaming, but this has changed with modern usage by the news media to refer to the creation of any content that targets another person. The Internet dictionary NetLingo suggests there are four grades of trolling: playtime trolling, tactical trolling, strategic trolling, and domination trolling. The relationship between trolling and flaming was observed in open-access forums in California, on a series of modem-linked computers in the 1970s, like CommuniTree which when accessed by high school teenagers became a ground for trashing and abuse. Some psychologists have suggested that flaming would be caused by deindividuation or decreased self-evaluation: the anonymity of online postings would lead to disinhibition amongst individuals Others have suggested that although flaming and trolling is often unpleasant, it may be a form of normative behavior that expresses the social identity of a certain user group. According to Tom Postmes, a professor of social and organisational psychology at the universities of Exeter, England, and Groningen, The Netherlands, and the author of Individuality and the Group, who has studied online behavior for 20 years, "Trolls aspire to violence, to the level of trouble they can cause in an environment. They want it to kick off. They want to promote antipathetic emotions of disgust and outrage, which morbidly gives them a sense of pleasure."

      In academic literature, the practice of trolling was first documented by Judith Donath (1999). Donath's paper outlines the ambiguity of identity in a disembodied "virtual community" such as Usenet...

      Susan Herring and colleagues in "Searching for Safety Online: Managing 'Trolling' in a Feminist Forum" point out the difficulty inherent in monitoring trolling and maintaining freedom of speech in online communities: "harassment often arises in spaces known for their freedom, lack of censure, and experimental nature". Free speech may lead to tolerance of trolling behavior, complicating the members' efforts to maintain an open, yet supportive discussion area, especially for sensitive topics such as race, gender, and sexuality..."

    5. Theoretically yes - but there is no obligation to do it. However since it is against the law of the land it would be prohibited to do it. The following does not address the question of when such an act is prohibited by the law of the land. It is interesting to note that the Shulchan Aruch does not directly deal the issue but it is discussed in the Remah.
      Shulchan Aruch(E.H. 16:2): Concerning someone who has sexual relations with a non‑Jew – if the zealots don’t punish him and he doesn’t get lashes from beis din – then his punishment of kares is stated clearly in the Bible Melachi (2:11-12)….Rema: And this sin has a loss that is not found in other sexual transgressions – the child who results from a relationship with a maidservant or non‑Jewish woman is not his child (Tur citing the Rambam). However if he publicly has sexual relations with a non‑Jew the halacha is that zealots can kill him as is stated in Choshen Mishpat (425). Thus this transgression is included in arayos (sexual transgressions) and one is required to suffer martyrdom rather than transgress it (Yoreh Deah 157).

      Aruch HaShulchan (C.M. 425:11): If someone had intercourse with a non-Jewish woman, one who wants to be a zealot for the sake of G‑d can kill him just as Pinchas killed Zimri. However if he comes to beis din to ask what to do then the judges do not tell him to kill the fornicator and in addition he doesn’t have the right to kill him. The fornicator can only be killed at the time while he is having intercourse and that is only if it is known publicly to 10 Jews that they are secluded for intercourse like Zimri. However if it is concealed from others or he separates from her then the zealot is not allowed to kill him [Tur] And even if this wicked person is engaged in sexual intercourse and he kills the zealot who comes to kill him – the wicked person is not punished with capital punishment. However if a third party kills the zealot in order to say the fornicator – he does received capital punishment. All these details are halacha given to Moshe at Sinai. There are those who say that the zealot needs to first give warning to the fornicator and only if he doesn’t separate from the woman is it permitted to kill him (Ravad Hilchos Issurei Bi’ah 12).

    6. Thank you. That was an interesting Torah. Seems to clearly mean that one can kill a yid "married" to a shiksa, as well as his shiksa wife, as they are having sex.

      Anyways, does the same Pinchas rule apply to a Jewish Eishes Ish who is in the act of committing adultery with a Jewish man? Can one kill them both while they are in the act?

    7. @Doc you are getting into issues which are very unclear in the rabbinic literature. The Biblical description is not describing a marriage situation. The issue of intermarriage and intercourse with a non-Jew is very very complicated. You are mistaken if you think the issue of Pinchas is a case of adultery. It is also a question whether it applies to a Jewish woman and a goy.

      Bottom line though the issue of kannoim pogim bo questions are not relevant in practice in modern societies except as a means of understanding the severity of the sin. I have never heard of an actual case nor have I seen anything in the literature - including the Talmud - where anyone was killed by a zealot. Perhaps more important is why killing people interests you?

    8. @Daas Torah: I only wish to understand the relevant halacha and Torah literature. And very much appreciate your explanations. Two points to clarify:

      1) The S"A/Turn/Rambam you quoted, as well as the Baruch Hashulchan, seem to clearly say one can kill in such a circumstance bzman haze. (This would seem to clearly include a yid married to a goyta.)
      2) Is a case of an Eishes Ish adultery also fall under this Pinchas/zealotry halachos?

      To stress again, my questions are only theoretical in order to understand the severity of these issurim.

    9. (My question about an adultery case is regarding a Jewish Eishes Ish with another Jewish man, not her husband.)

    10. 2) Is a case of an Eishes Ish adultery also fall under this Pinchas/zealotry halachos?

      adultery by definition involves a married woman. I assume you are asking whether there is another type of sin such as adultery for which it is permissible to kill - the simple answer is no. The Biblical case was where a Jewish man was having intercourse with a non-Jewish woman. As far as I know the extra judiciarlly killings exist only for rodef, Jewish man with a non-Jewish woman publically involved in intercourse and a case of someone who killed accidentally and the relatives have the right to kill him unless he escapes to a City of Refuge.

      To repeat - while these issues are discussed on the theoretical level in the Rabbinic literature - aside from rodef I have not found a single mention of an actual killing of a Jewish man and non-Jewish woman and obviously not the lynching of a man who killed accidentally.

    11. @Doc - the above corrects the typo that you pointed out - thanks.

  3. Recipients and PublicityDecember 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    Thank you so much for bringing this teshuva from the work of the Ben Ish Chai (Rav Yosef Chaim zt"l) (1832-1909) to light. Yasher Koach!!! This teshuva reveals TRUE DAAS TORAH AT WORK !!!

    I feel like making the brocah of boruch shekivanti, when I gave my response/s especially here ("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???") and here ("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").

    The depth of wisdom and incredible encompassing outlook and application of the Ben Ish Chai's pesak din is truly wondrous to behold as he turns the Noda Be'Yehuda's approach around and gives it an entirely different reading than does the Rav Y.Y. Fischer's teshuva that you previously posted. Especially, the Ben Ish Chai's questioning of if the application from kelayim is applicable here, and by revealing a scope of bekius that brings additional sources and authorities to shine on this situation, revealing his concern for the real human consequences and tragedies that could and would result if this hot potato shaylo would not be handled correctly and delicately with great wisdom, da'as and rachmonus.

    The Ben Ish Chai reveals himself yet again to be not just a huge Torah giant and master of its chochma but also a master of the human condition and insights into the psychology, motives and physiology of human beings at different stages of life.

    1. It is important to note that Rav Fischer specifically says that the rishonim the Ben Ish Chai relies on -that say that when adultery has no witnesses she is not prohibited to her husband - are not accepted as halacha. It would seem clear from the fact that the Nodah B'Yehdua and the Divrei Chaim also don't cite these rishonim that they also don't consider them as actual halacha. In addition the Ben Ish Chai expresses surprise that the Noda B'Yehuda and the Chida don't cite these rishonim - that they also reject them.

      In short the Ben Ish Chai has a unique approach to this question which on the one hand is the most direct heter but at the same time seems the least acceptable to other poskim.

    2. Recipients and PublicityDecember 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      First of all, nowadays with access to so many seforim and sources being more open and easier than ever it is not correct to say that we still stick with "only" the old-line minimalist mekoros (sources). The same goes in Torah learning, where today there is access to every last meforash in the kovtzim and on CDs, and if it is based on Torah and Da'as Torah, it is in the running. Maybe you could say, that Ashkenazim do not go by the Ben Ish Chai, that makes sense altz mesorah, but al pi sevora the Ben Ish Chai's all inclusive and all encompassing reasoning, his bekius, amkus and chochma's hachaim shines through and makesthe likes of the latter-day Rav Y.Y. Fischer look like a halachic pygmy by comparison.

      We are always taught Koach De'Hetera Adif the more lenient position, obviously by an accepted poesk and gadol, is preferred over the rulings of the machmirim. That is the way Halacha works in any case, in the world as we know it we pasken like Bais Hillel and NOT like Bais Shammai. For now we must rely in the Midas HaRachamim and NOT apply the Midas HaDin that will be the gold standard in the Yemosh HaMoshiach when the Sanhedrin with Shivim Zekenim will be re-inducted.

      From cases like this that have come up in the Charedi world, it is VERY, VERY rare and almost unheard of not to go de facto like the Ben Ish Chais explains it here, even if the Ben Ish Chai's words are not cited per se, his conclusions are the ones that jive with the way this situation is normally solved lema'ase. That is why Rav Y.Y. Fischer's approach, reasoning and conclusions should actually be rejected in almost anything he says. He is just too much of a machmir at heart and unfit for being a source of universal pesak for all of klal Yisroel bechol asar ve'asar. Maybe he was good for the Eidah HaChareidis in Meah Shearim, but he should be kept away from the rest of the Torah world who do not live under such conditions and would never submit to his approach to things. Time will tell.

  4. Does anyone have any idea how common an issue adultery with a married woman is in the "frum" (or Orthodox) community? Is it more or less prevelent in different segments of the frum community (Sefardim, Ashkenazim, Litvish, Chasidish, Modern Orthodox, etc.)? And is there a quantitative difference today in the frum community (i.e. more prevelent) that it was historically?

    I have always been under the impression this type of issue is something that is extremely extremely rare among the frum. Especially as compared to its prevelence among the gentiles.

    1. Good and important questions - and there are no clear answers. It is clear from the rabbinic literature that adultery has occurred in every historic period - Sotah wasn't just a theoretical contruct.

      Impressions are misleading. just as we see that most people had the impression that child abuse and domestic violence were extremely extremely rare among the frum

    2. If a man learns in kollel for 12 hours a day, like thousands of avreichim do, he will have no contact with women unless he buys something in a store and the check-out person is female. He will certainly not say more than 20 words to all the women who live in his building in any 12 month period. And no emails or SMS messages, because they are all forbidden. This severely limits his ability to find an adulterous partner. It is, of course, still possible but it is a lot less likely. This is the reason that kosher phones do not have any text message ability.

  5. Recipients and PublicityDecember 17, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    "Doc asks...Does anyone have any idea how common an issue adultery with a married woman is in the "frum" (or Orthodox) community? Is it more or less prevelent in different segments of the frum community (Sefardim, Ashkenazim, Litvish, Chasidish, Modern Orthodox, etc.)? And is there a quantitative difference today in the frum community (i.e. more prevelent) that it was historically?"

    RaP: What's up Doc??? What's with all these bombshell questions of yours??? Do you think that there are "official surveys" done by anyone that could give you some "reliable" statistics. From your questions, it is obvious you have already made up your mind, because even ONE such case would be tantamount to horrific tragedy in whichever Jewish community it happened. And why don't you you just keep on asking your "brilliant" questions, such as how often to Reform Jews commit adultery, how many of them are gay, how many of them are married to gentile spouses (for that there ARE statistics compiled by UJA studies) and intermarriage is officially way over 50% but in reality it is over 90%_ and all that comes about from too much loosey goosey contact between non-religious Jews and gentiles who are marrying out of the faith in mass droves, hey why don't you ask how often they have sex with their gentile spouses and friends. You seem to be fascinated by this stuff and seem to be getting a vicarious thrill from dredging up garbage so often.

    Rabbi Eidensohn I submit to you that this is just a troll, probably even hired by someone who does not like your focus on the Weberman case perhaps, trying to derail your blog with disruptive questions that are obvious attempts at flaming that are meant to derail all your good work on it. Don't fall for it!

    "I have always been under the impression this type of issue is something that is extremely extremely rare among the frum. Especially as compared to its prevelence among the gentiles."

    RaP: Hey Doc, aren't you "frum" yourself the way you seem to want to come across yet from your question here it's obvious that you are on the outside looking in to the world of the frum, and who cares what the comparison is to how it goes among the gentiles. This blog and discussion is not devoted to resolving the global questions surrounding adultery. Sorry, you have lost your bona fides.

    1. RaP you usually have a good intution about these type of things but I disagree strongly with your perception of "Doc" and Noshie63.

      They both seem to be novices in communicating on blogs - but the issues they raise are clearly important and relevant.

    2. Thank you, Daas Torah. I certainly am sincere in asking my above questions. I simply wish to understand the relevant halachos and sociology. (And I am not the other poster Nash.)

    3. Recipients and PublicityDecember 17, 2012 at 2:59 PM

      DocDecember 17, 2012 2:18 PM

      Thank you, Daas Torah. I certainly am sincere in asking my above questions. I simply wish to understand the relevant halachos and sociology. (And I am not the other poster Nash.)

      RaP: We shall see, time will tell, and it won't be that long either...

  6. Recipients and PublicityDecember 17, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    "Daas Torah said...RaP you usually have a good intution about these type of things"

    RaP: Thank you! Compliment accepted!

    "but I disagree strongly with your perception of "Doc" and Noshie63."

    RaP: Sorry, I beg to disagree with you. It's time to call their/his/its bluff! They have gone far enough, feel free to answer all their questions. I would not, I would answer them in kind, they are not worth all the good work you give them by replying in good faith of providing decent answers based on your reliable sources well-researched work. I think that you will find that even with the help of your brother's learned input, they will just undermine your blog like weasels, spin your wheels and waste time.

    "They both seem to be novices in communicating on blogs - but the issues they raise are clearly important and relevant."

    RaP: They are not novices at all, they know what they are doing, and it should be obvious they know what they have a plan to cause havoc here. Their goal is simple, to disrupt the flow of conversation on your blog with worthless and inane questions and crazy controversial observations. That is how it goes when you hit on a hot potato topic like the Weberman case where you are giving a running presentation of Torah-dikke sources and approaches. So they come with whako questions and with false righteousness, such as "oh my, how could anyone talk to a reporter or go on national TV" while at the same time writing gibberish about themselves and their "beliefs" and another comes with questions about the most extreme cases in the Torah that are classical examples of the arguments used by people who hate the Torah and just want to disprove its applicability which is the exact opposite of what you want to accomplish to show how the the truth of the Torah continuously applies.

    Time will tell. If you can put up with the increased flow of the "shtus' (stupid) questions, we'll see how long that lasts. I look forward to seeing more of their crazy comments and questions obviously meant to derail and disrupt your blog. At the end of the day, you're the boss of your own blog and it's your call as to what to do, but for now I have raised the alarm and I stand by it until proven otherwise by a changed pattern of questions and more constructive lines of questioning.

  7. Thank you for these types of posts.
    I just saw that Oz Vehadar Mesivta on Kesuvos (daf 13a) has a piece on this point in their halacha section called Peninei Halacha. They bring many different poskim on this issue.
    Just wanted to share that in case someone wants to investigate further.

  8. The newly republished שערי דעה has a responsum on the issue of whether a husband should be told of his wife's infidelity. The answer is NO. There is no such obligation.

  9. tzoorba,

    Why wouldn't it pay to let the husband know so that he can investigate or hire a detective to find out.

    1. According to the Ben Ish Chai there is no reason to do so since the husband is not sinning even inadvertantly. According to all poskim they are bothered by the uncertainty of what the husband will do when he is informed and therefore the question of what benefit is there to tell him. The husband is not supposed to believe such information if his wife tells him - so at most it might destroy shalom bayis but not dissolve the marriage. Even with detectives he might not get a definitive answer - especially if she is not being unfaithful anymore.

    2. DT: Aside from the Ben Ish Chai, what is the general halachic consensus? If in fact his wife is an adulterous woman, but he is either blissfully unaware of it or chooses not to believe it, is he committing a sin every time he has sex with his adulterous wife?

    3. From the sources I have cited it seems that we are more concerned with whether the adultery is required to be reported to the husband then whether the husband is sinning inadvertently. In fact the husband is not supposed to believe his wife if she claims that she was unfaithful. Thus we are more machpid the marriage stay together then we are concerned that he will be sinning inadvertently.

      Thus only the Noda B'Yehuda says to tell the husband and only the Ben Ish Chai of these poskim says that the husband is not sinning. So yes the majority view seems to be that he is sinning each time he has sex with his adulterous wife.

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