Monday, March 10, 2014

Rav Shlomo Miller and the Dodelson divorce


  1. This letter is important because it shows the great divide between many American Roshei Yeshiva and rabbonim and the opinions of the Gedolim in Israel, the true Gedolei HaDor such as Rav Shmuel HaLevi Wosner and Rav Chaim Kaniefsky. Children who are considered mamzerim by the Israeli gedolim are considered just like everyone else by many American Roshei Yeshiva and rabbonim. I have attempted to prove that the Gedolim in Israel are right and have supplied many sources. If so, and even without this, a child born that many rabbis consider to be a mamzer will have a sad life. And I want to see how many of the rabbis who created it will offer to let their family marry them.

    1. Rav Dovid,

      How does the above post fit into the mamzer issue?

  2. What Rabbi Miller and the other Roshei Yeshiva and Rabbonin did was to pressure a GET in level three, when the wife demands a GET, which is against the Torah. One who coerces a GET against the Torah makes an invalid GET. A woman who receives an invalid GET and remarries and has a child, the child is a mamzer. The sources are in the article. But besides the many sources I bring the recent book Mishptei Yisroel has a letter from Gedolei HaDor Rav Chaim Kaniefsky, Rav Shmuel HaLevi Wosner Rav Nissim Karelitz and his Beth Din and many others that the children born from a coerced GET, one coerced by humiliation, which Rabbi Miller and the other Roshei Yeshiva and rabbonon commanded everyone to do to Rabbi Weiss, means that any GET given with such coercion is invalid and results in mamzeruth. The Chasam Sofer says that even when equal rabbis disagree about coercing a husband, the GET is invalid by the Torah and the children are mamzerim diorayso. All of this is spelled out clearly piece by piece in the article. Briefly, what Rabbi Miller promoted was public humiliation of the husband, which is clearly forbidden in the Shulchan Aruch itself EH 77 2,3 and in all of the commentators there, who forbid coercion, period, in level three. when the wife demands a GET because she despises or hates the husband. Thus, Rabbi Miller and others violated open laws in the Shulchan Aruch. The Gro there EH 77 #5 clearly says that the prohibition to coerce a husband in level three is the law and that nobody [in the Shulchan Aruch era] disagrees. So why does Rabbi Miller disagree? And even if Rabbi Miller had a valid point of view, which he does not, as I prove in the article, a child born from a GET considered by the major Gedolei HaDor to be a mamzer, how could that child marry? Who would marry it? Would Rabbi Miller permit his children to marry such a child?

  3. time for other issuesMarch 10, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    The show is over. As we know today, Weiss was willing to give the get IF the Dodelsons straightened out the finances (which is normal in any Get). As soon as a unnamed Tzadik, who gave 2 months of his life, got them together and straitened that out, the GET was given.
    Today this case is moot and is straight Rechilus with NO toeles.

    1. @Time for other issues - you simply show no understanding of what happened and seem to view events as a one time event. In fact the events are examples of processes and relationships that are ingrained in the present system and have manifested themselves and will continue manifesting themselves in a distortion of Torah values and halacha.

      So if you want to stick your head in the sand and scream "I can't see any problems" - then you should not be concerned about it anymore. But for the rest of the world the problems have not been corrected and are in fact very much active and influential in our world.

  4. time for other issuesMarch 10, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    True. Absolutly true.
    However, serious issues like these will not get solved or resolved on this site, or on any other site. Discussing such topics on the web only leads to more loshon hora and other 'isurim'.

  5. Reb Dovid,

    Your arguments may be correct but why publish them on a blog and especially adding the comments doesn't seem apropos for a torah dispute.

    Why not send Rav Miller a shaala quoting your sources and allow him to respond in a shaala and teshuva fashion?

    1. Tzoorba - it is clear that material published on this blog does have influence. The issues are relevant for the wider audience than Rav Miller - especially since he wanted his retraction publicized. But you are right that the material should also be sent to Rav Miller

  6. Why did I write this and why was it published? The people who call themselves "gedolim" such as Rabbi Miller and Rabbi Kaminetski and Rabbi Kotler have clearly declared themselves as above the Shulchan Aruch and openly defy its teachings and that of the great Codifiers. They also defy the open teachings of the Gedolim in Israel. Such people are a threat to Klal Yisroel as they have a new Torah and a new Shulchan Aruch. They must be labeled as such and forced to either explain why they defied the Gro and the Gedolim and everyone else, or retract. But they do neither. If they do neither, I will continue to blast them for defying the Torah. Such people deserve to be put in Nidui.

    1. R. Dovid: Rav Miller retracted, so why are you still attacking him?

      (Also to note the gedolim themselves never called themselves gedolim. Others call them gedolim,)

  7. Reb Dovid, with respect,

    Did you ever speak to Gital & find out if it was indeed a level three? From what I had heard from her close supporters, this was not merely a level 3 case. Perhaps a level 2 case.

    Are you, respectfully, possibly doing the same thing you accuse the signatories of doing & passing judgement without speaking to a party?

    A Wanna Be Talmid

  8. I don't believe that you have done justice to Rav Miller until you write him directly and allow him to respond.

  9. am,
    Rabbi Miller never retracted what I attacked him for, namely, his idea that a level 3 claim for a forced divorce by the wife is honored. I spoke to him and he told me clearly that he relies on a Rivash, and I bring in this letter the entire discussion. The main problem is that in Jewish history when somebody says something they like to supply a source. The Kol Koray signed by the many Roshei Yeshiva and rabbis supplied no source for the command to humiliate Rabbi Weiss. I demand that they either produce a source or admit they were wrong. The issue is: What will happen when another Rosh Yeshiva has a relative or friend who needs to torture her husband to give a GET? Will this repeat itself? I don't see why not, so I am letting people know that these people do not know how to learn the laws of Gittin, they do not know the laws of Choshen Mishpot, and they should go back to teaching the Talmud and their sevorose and stop making mamzerim.

    1. R. Dovid: If he told you he relies on the Rivash, how can you have a taaina on him? He is entitled to hold like the Rivash,

  10. tsoorbo,
    Did Rabbi Miller do justice to Rabbi Weiss by talking to him and hearing his side? DId Rabbi Kotler? Did all of the signers on the Kol Koray? Why should I have a standard of "justice" for people who produces mamzerim? The poor children born as mamzerim will need an explanation and I am giving it now. The signers of those letters do not know how to learn halacha. I have semicha from Reb Moshe Feinstein that I delve deeply into complex halachas and clarify them. Where are their semichas? Obviously, even if they ever got one, they no longer know how to pasken. Or, they do know, and don't care. In either case, they should be really criticized and stopped from paskening.

  11. Wanna,
    So you think that Dodelson was a level 2 case? Level 2 means the husband cannot be a man. But Rabbi Weiss had a baby with her so it cannot be level 2.

    1. With respect,

      Which level would a husband who is physically abusive be?


  12. I just want to remark that I am dealing with a hot topic and great passions are aroused. And I expected much different tones of response so I thank you for your true civility and the greatest derech erets. I was very close to Rabbi Miller for decades. You don't know how much pain this costs me. I will tell you a personal story about this. For years I worked with Rabbi Miller against the rabbis who made coerced Gittin. And then, when the Dodelson case came out, Rabbi Miller went the other way. I was completely crushed. I sat down stunned with no way to turn. But the phone rang. To make a long story short, there was a student of the Rov of ORA who once called me up and let me have it for arguing with his rebbe. It seemed that this fellow called a friend of mine and told him that he had gone around telling everyone who would listen what he thought of me. But these people rebuked him. They said, "Listen. R Eidensohn has videos on this. Check him out. If he is wrong, you are right. But if he is right, you must admit it." He checked me out and called up my friend and said, "My rebbe is wrong and R Eidensohn is right." When I heard that I suddenly got the strength to go on. It is very sad for me because when I came to Lakewood I was very young and Rabbi Miller learned with me for a while as a chaveruso. And do you know, if I would see him tomorrow, I would really want to give him Shalom. I don't know what I would do. Believe me, I get no personal benefits from these attacks.

  13. tsoorbo,
    Did Rabbi Miller do justice to Rabbi Weiss by talking to him and hearing his side? DId Rabbi Kotler? Did all of the signers on the Kol Koray? Why should I have a standard of "justice" for people who produces mamzerim? The poor children born as mamzerim will need an explanation and I am giving it now. The signers of those letters do not know how to learn halacha. I have semicha from Reb Moshe Feinstein that I delve deeply into complex halachas and clarify them. Where are their semichas? Obviously, even if they ever got one, they no longer know how to pasken. Or, they do know, and don't care. In either case, they should be really criticized and stopped from paskening.

  14. Reb Dovid,

    How do you know that Rabbi Miller didn't hear his side? Is it because that's what Rabbi Weiss told you?

    The other signers of the Kol Koray are not nogaya to Rabbi Miller.

    Rabbi Miller is a top level talmid chochom and I'm sure he would certainly not allow for himself to be associated with a blatant cause for mamzerim.

    He should be allowed to answer for himself in his own words in a public teshuva which you can then debate. Until then, he hasn't been given a fully fair chance.

  15. Now that the book Mishptei Yisroel has been published and is being distributed free in the shuls in Israel, does it not behoove the signers of the Kol Koray to recant? Rabbi Miller recanted only his support for Dodelson, not his basic pesak that humiliation is permitted. Why did he not recant?

  16. Been There With Mechon Lehoy-rahMarch 11, 2014 at 5:46 AM

    I may be able to shed a bit of light on the mechon l'rah saga.

    I had a case with mechon lehoy-rah, where shmeel fried (same lowlife the Dodelsohns used for the mechon siruv) was representing the other side. The secretary is corrupt. Letters I sent in to them were never handed over to the dayonim - nor were they made aware of it.

    This has happened to many other people. It is quite possible that these dayonim of Mechon never saw AM Weiss' response. The "siruv" they issued may have been on the assumption the AMW never responded.

    1. Pursuit of HonestyMarch 13, 2014 at 5:32 AM

      If I remember correctly, they acknowledged at least one of his letters... but either way the Siruv was totally uncalled for!

  17. Dear Reb Dovid;

    I feel your pain. I too was searching for truth in these matters by what I thought were רבנים חשובים and was surprised and frustrated by the runaround I got.

    I haven't had much time to post here recently. i just wanted to say - loud and clear, that EVERY WORD YOU WROTE ABOUT THE DAMAGE THESE LEADERS DO TO KLLAL YISROEL IS 100% TRUE.

    You are not alone.

    Rabbonim have an obligation to not only supply sources for their פסקים, but also to be נושא ונותן with those that offer contradicting sources.

    You and I know that that's NOT how it's done here in the USA.

    Although, I may be a "nobody", I humbly but firmly believe that anyone trying to read Chazal carefully & live a life based on their precepts has an obligation to speak out for TRUTH.

    Yes - your words are perhaps a bit harsh. However, as the יעב"ץ wrote in תענית ד, that although Chazal exhort תלמידי חכמים to be "למילף נפשיה בניחותא ", nevertheless:

    ואפילו הכי הא דבעי מהוי קשה כברזל ודאי קיימא ולא מהדר קהדרי בהו .... ורבינא נמי לא אתי אלא לפרושי לגנות הכעס אבל לעמוד על דעתו בדברי תורה ודאי צריך התלמיד חכם להיות קשה כברזל לעולם ולב האריה ואמיץ כח לשבר מתלעות עול לא ישוב מפני כל לא יהא רך הלבב כנשים שעל זה נאמר עמי נשים משלו בו

    These leaders do not do evil intentionally, but rather, as the Rambam wrote:

    אין יראת שמים אצלם אלא הזהירות מן החמורות כמו שהוא אצל ההמון, ואמנם חובות המדיות הטובת הם לא יחשבון מכלל יראת שמים ... ורב אנשי הדת מאותם בעלי השרררה כאשר נוגע דבר לשררתם מסתלקת יראתם...

    If 1000 "nobody's" raise their voices TOGETHER, we WILL IY"H be heard.

    We need to persevere - לשם שמים - for the sake of Hashem's honor which is being trampled by the very people responsible for enforcing it.

    many people see through the facade of fake, self-serving piety. They see it as it really is: זונות מפרכסות זו את זו תלמידי חכמים לא כל שכן

    How many thousands of disillusioned Yidden - BOTH young and old, must we lose - before things change.

    I join you in a call of pain and anguish שהגענו לידי כך!

    May Hashem heal his nation, broken by the misguided actions of those entrusted to guide them!

    1. Ploni, Can you please provide a source for the Rambam you quote.

    2. Ploni,
      I wish you would call me at 845-578-1917. You figured out exactly what I wanted, but I was chicken and didn't say it. Yes, the whole system stinks. I heard this from two gedolei hador, one from the past generation, Rav Shwadron, and another gadol living today. The Agudah and its "gedolim" backed a gay rights bill in the defense bill a few years ago. I called up and protested because all of the rabbonim were against such things. But I was told, "You only have the prophet of your time, which is the Agudah Rosh Yeshivas. And they have changed things." This is the problem, that such people really behave clearly in defiance of the Shulchan Aruch and think that they are the new prophets who can make a new Torah. But not if I can help it. And not if you an help it.

  18. Anon:

    The quote is from איגרות הרמבם in his letter to ר יוסף בר' יהודה בענין המחלוקת עם ראש ישיבה, printed on pg. שח of הוצאת שילת ר יצחק שילת, תשנ"ה.

    Background is important:
    His talmid Rav Yosef was very hurt by the בזיונות against his rebbe the Rambam after he published the משנה תורה.

    It seems that a certain מר זכרי was upset that the ramabam recommended someone else as ראש הגלות and not aforementioned מר זכרי'. The ראש ישיבה - it seems - spoke in support of מר זכרי' and was מבזה the Ramabam. The Rambams talmid ר' יוסף was then משפיל the honor of this ראש ישיבה. The Ramabm was NOT happy that his talmid stuck up for him. It's fascinating to read how real Tzidikim dealt with מחלוקת, please read what the Rambam says inside.

    It seems that ר' יוסף then complained that the ראש ישיבה has no יראת שמים - and my guess is that he used this as a pretext for why he spoke against the ראש ישיבה.

    The Rambam then writes to the talmid, among other things, that ר' יוסף is wrong for considering this a lack of יראת שמים - The ראש ישיבה is just suffering from bad middos!

    And the Ramabm explains that MOST בעל שררה only define יראת שמים as זהירות מן החמורות, much as the המון!!!!

    Therefore, he explains, when they are faced with issues effecting שררה they put יראת שמים by the side.....

    He goes on to say that אפשר לאדם להשיב ולבקר ולחלק בדרך ארץ ובידידות and wants his talmid to act respectfully towards the ראש ישיבה.

    so why did I quote this rambam - doesn't he say to act respectfully?

    i was looking at the context - the argument there was over "grey" areas. Who should be ראש גלות is NEVER a clear-cut hallachic question. And as we see, even in the Ramabm's times, מחלוקות was alive and well.

    Not so concerning issues today, where the concept of דעת תורה is abused in ways never imaginable Could you imagine the Rambam saying "I'm right, because I say so" without offering reasoning when questioned? See how often he explains his stands in his תשובות....

    Yes, the Rabbonim today THINK that what they're doing is in the same category - they think that they're dealing in "grey areas" and that therefore "a little protektsia" for a relative or supporter is okay.

    But as Reb Dovid notes - truth can never be reached by breaking basic halacha. Piskei din שלא בפני בעלי הדין is against a clear Siman in S"A.

    These Rabbonim probably think along the lines of "that's how things are done today, there's no choice" (since they know that the נתבע can choose a B"D to his liking). So a little bit of נגיעות makes them believe the people that they are close to - and ignore the other side.

    As the רא"ש writes - a שונא is פסול לדון because האהבה והשנאה מבצבצת ללא יודעים, feelings of bias are subtle and often subconscious. The R"Y feels the pressure of reciprocating a favor for a benefactor that helped him make the payrool when his Yeshiva/Kolel couldn't cover it's checks.. So he looks away from any evidence that contradicts what he feels he "needs" to do...

    The R"Y is upset with us "nudges" who complain - after all WE don't know what it feels like to have to run around time and again to cover a budget... We think they're rich, and don't know the truth - that they don't have much money OR kovod. Running around constantly to raise funds the R"Y is often treated only a little bit better than a common shnorrer...

    The truth is that we DO know. But we also see the TRUTH - building Torah through הירוס התורה is NOT going to work. We need to START from the תכלית, which is הרמת קרן התורה. That means FIRST AND FOREMOST OBSERVING TORAH, and not ONLY LEARNING TORAH.

    We're NOT talking about חומרות. Yes, there are בדיעבד's that a Mosod must sometimes employ.

    But I firmly believe that until these R"Y stop relying on הוצאת שם רע instead of bona fide דיני תורה, an ehrliche yid would surely say:

    דער רבוש"ע דארף נישט דיין ישיבה \ כולל... זיי נישט דער באשעפערס פארטרעטער.

  19. Reb Dovid:

    It could be that you're chicken, because your name is on the screen for all to see, while I'm not, because the name Ploni isn't listed....

    Still, I can't say that I'm confident that someone won't track me down and throw a brick through my window for slighting "דעת תורה".....

  20. Ploni,
    I am not chicken from bricks. I am chicken because once I present something that is hooted down I am done for. I am in a strange world. But the Steipler Gaon once told a Monsey Rov who asked him about community matters: If you do it leshaim shomayin all will be good. And if not...oy oy oy oy. I have gone on radio shows where I realized I was helpless from the wrong caller and once I was trapped and the person I was fighting spoke up and said, "It is not fair to ask that question of the rabbi. I will answer it." But I have to be careful what I say. If I can show immediately that I am right, fine. But if I can't, and just say what is on my mind, I am in trouble. But you are right. The time has come when we have to think bigger thoughts. I am getting important backing now and it is not like it used to be. Now I should really not be so chicken. I am beginning to realize just how powerful this blog is, and people like you are there, so I have people who can think straight and understand my ideas, whether or not they accept them is up to them, but that is not a reason to be chicken!

  21. Thanks to Reb Dovid and his brother for the postings. Many of us are so frustrated with how the so called leadership treat Gittin, sexual abuse, et. al. I do agree that the blog at least puts everything up for discussion--which in general is being shunned; and empowers a regular reader to respond when we find ourselves in these situations--and many of us do, Hashem Yerachem.

  22. Adam,
    I had a lovely talk with Ploni who called me and gave me a real good earful of Torah thoughts that I enjoyed immensely. So if you want to try it, 845-578-1917. It is so nice not to feel alone in the world. What a world!

  23. Recently I spoke to two of the major dayanim in Gittin. Both of them don't know the laws of Gittin, especially the laws of coercion. The Chazon Ish says that if a Beth Din tells a husband he should give a GET when the Torah does not demand one, the GET is invalid for two reasons. One, it is coerced by Beth DIn but not according to the Torah, and two, if the husband would know that the Beth Din was wrong in its command to divorce, he never would have agreed to do it. Thus, for two reasons, if Beth Din commands a GET when the Torah does not command it, the GET is invalid by the Torah and the children are mamzeirm by the Torah, according to the Chazon Ish. Rabbeinu Tam even forbids a Beth Din to tell a husband that he is not obligated to divorce, but how wonderful it would be if he would do a mitsvah and divorce, etc. How many rabbis don't know this and make illegal pressures on a husband to force a divorce, and this creates mamzerim. And these Gittin are all over the place. Who complaints? All we hear is how to force the men. The money and the influence and many major rabbis are sold on forcing husbands to divorce in ways that are forbidden by the poskim. It is true that the rabbonim in Israel have issued letters from gedolei hador and entire books about this how it produces mamzerim. But who in America is doing anything besides this blog? What a disgrace.


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