Sunday, May 18, 2014

Tamar Epstein is free according to the Kaminetsky's - how they explained it.

ORA has suddenly proclaimed that Tamara Epstein - after a number of years as an "aguna" because her husband would not give her a get  - was actually free to marry without receiving a get from Aharon Friedman. The obvious meaning is that she and her rabbinical advisors decided that she didn't need a get.

Rabbi Bleich in his discussion of Rabbi Rackman's "getless divorce" said Rabbi Rackman claimed that when a husband won't give a get on demand it "proves" he suffers from an unbearable blemish of cruelty  that no normal person would marry if she had known about it. Upon finding about it after marriage the marriage declared simply never having existed.

In fact a "getless divorce was approved by Rav Moshe Feinstein. But only if the following conditions were met. 1) There is a severe fundamental flaw(e.g.., cruelty or mental illness) in the spouse that preexisted the marriage that if known - the marriage would never have happened because 2)  no normal person could accept marriage to the person. 3) In addition he requires that the spouse leave immediately upon finding out about this "unbearable flaw".

These conditions clearly don't exist in regards to Aharon Friedman.    I have talked with Aharon and he manifested no sign of mental illness. Tamar Epstein has written that Aharon Friedman is a nice guy but just not for her. The head of the Baltimore Beis Din told me he doesn't understand why the marriage dissolved. They lived together long enough to have a child. It is hard to imagine what excuse the Kaminetsky's have other than the nonsense that Rabbi Rackman spouted that not giving a get indicates a fundamental flaw which shows that there never was a marriage.

A number of commentators have complained that before criticizing Rav Shmuel and Shalom Kaminetsky (her main rabbinical advisors) they should be contacted to hear their explanation. As has been reported a number of times - they were in fact contacted and they did not offer a meaningful explanation. The following is a report by one of our regular participants - Joe Orlow - of what happened when he called up for an explanation.  

Guest post - Joe Orlow

Tamar Epstein is married to Aharon Friedman.

The Organization for Resolution of Agunot (ORA) proclaims "Tamar is Free".

So I called ORA.

I spoke to someone there. Apparently "Free" to them means that Tamar is no longer an "Aguna."

They weren't going to tell me much more.

I called the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia. It took several calls but I reached Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky. I told him why I was calling. His reaction was: "...Heter Meah Rabbonim". He seemed to be making light of the whole thing.

I'm not sure if "Heter Meah Rabbonim" meant he didn't have information about how she was "Free", or if he was aware how she became "Free" and was sending me a message that he didn't want to tell me the reason.

I felt like a joker.

Rabbi Kamenetsky indicated that his son, Rabbi Shalom Kamenetsky, is closer to Tamar than he is.

I called the Yeshiva again, got Rabbi Shalom Kamenetsky's home number. Called the home number. I got the cell number. At some point Rabbi Shalom Kamenetsky and I connected by phone.

In the course of the conversation he said something like Tamar is "Mutar". That Aharon should give a "Get L'Chumra." I asked him how Tamar could remarry without it being revealed how she is allowed to remarry.

He told me that when someone is set to marry her, that information will be revealed to that person.

He inquired of me if I was interested in marrying her.

I think he was serious. It was not that he was trying to put me off. It was as if it had occurred to him that the reason I was pestering him with questions about Tamar Epstein's marital status was because behind my words was a desire to marry her.

I was taken aback then, as I am now, and am filled with disgust, fear, shock and loathing even as I write this. Someone was asking me if I want a married woman. I felt like I was standing at the Gates of Hell.

I had one last question before we ended our conversation. I asked him if I could quote him as saying that Aharon has not given Tamar a Get.

"You said that," Rabbi Kamenetsky shot back. Strange, I thought.

Consider. If there is a Get, wouldn't he just say there is? And if he's telling me that Aharon should give a "Get L'chumra" isn't that tantamount to saying Aharon has not given a Get? So why was it necessary for him to emphasize that he never said a Get wasn't given?

Perhaps he just didn't want me quoting him at all.

In summary, it was apparent from the conversation that Rabbi Shalom Kamenetsky was saying that if anyone is interested in marrying Tamar that they should contact him. I think he even said that explicitly.

It is with great reluctance that I write this, because some misguided young man may actually now contact Rabbi Shalom Kamenetsky, and this young man could come to, Rachmona L'tzlon, desire a married woman or even Chas V'Shalom marry her. The benefit to the community of publicizing the shenanigans outweighs this remote possibility. The Ways of H' are straight and the righteous walk in them and willful sinners will stumble in them.


  1. Nothing from the conversations with either Rabbis Kamenetzky indicates that either of them believe or mattired that Tamar Epstein may remarry without a Get.

    1. If the facts stated are correct then it looks like they are trying to give a heter to marry a married woman.

      The Kamenetzkys are more than capable to clarify themselves.

      If you consider the explosive nature of this matter and how much some people are looking for false heter then it is obvious that a clear Psak should be given, otherwise it looks like they are willing to go along with nonsense heter. If in fact there is a heter they are obliged to explain it

    2. Nothing in either Rabbis statement indicate they believe she can remarry now without a Get.

    3. Visitor writes "without a get."
      The question, Visitor, is what KIND of Get?

      There are Kosher Gets. Yet, Tamar does not have a Kosher Get.

      There are unkosher gets. Unkosher Gets are useless.

      Then there are Kosher unkosher Gets. Enter the Fig Leaf Get.
      Rabbi Dov Linzer explains how "some semblance of a Get" can be instrumental in a married woman becoming an unmarried woman.
      jump to 44:00 to cut to the chase

      Visitor, please parse the post. Rabbi Shalom Kamenetsky says Tamar is "Mutar". Rabbi Shalom Kamenetsky emphasizes that he never said a Get wasn't given. Stir a Fig Leaf into that paradoxical brew.

      What do we come up with? I leave it to you to draw the conclusion.

    4. No he never said she is muttar. The guy who spoke to him writing above himself doesn't remember what Rabbi Kamenetzky told him. He writes that "he said something" muttar. Right. Maybe he said "mother".

      "he said something"... what an absurd way to "quote" someone.

    5. That should read the guy claims "he said something ".

      "he said something "... what an absurd way to "quote" someone.

    6. Joe Orlow: Just noticed you spoke to him. Quoting someone with "he said something like" is absurd. Get your facts straight first. Don't quote "something like".

    7. Visitor, you're grabbing at straws.

      Rabbi Shalom Kamenetsky used the word "Mutar". That' why I put the term "Mutar" in quotation marks. I used the expression "something like" because I'm not sure at this point if Rabbi Kamenetsky said "she is Mutar" or "Tamar is Mutar" etc.

      You don't have rely on what I'm telling you. As I wrote below in a separate comment, Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky fields calls from the public.

    8. Considering your uncertainty what he said, he very well may have said she isn't muttar. Or "Tamar Muttar?", as in a shock that would even be suggested.

      Next time pay better attention. Otherwise don't post something you're uncertain of what he said.

    9. main shich iz nass, moshiach is in yass, moshiach is in gassMay 19, 2014 at 8:35 PM

      Puttar or muttar, either way she is Ossur/Assuro. The only correct version would have been "MUTERES", if he would have only said so. There is a war and confusion of words, and gittin must be so specific and in no uncertain terms. The only thing you can deduce is, bo lefaresh venimtzo listor, and it was done deliberately, because the whole thing is only a farce.

  2. The scary part is that there are enough individuals that believe in absolute “daas torah” without ascertaining the facts. After all if R’ Shmuel said she is “mutar” to marry than who can question the “Gadol Ha’dor”.

    Exhibit number 1 can be found here
    skip to about 6:45 in. The guy on the right claims to have a recording of R’ Shmuel saying that he doesn’t know what he is doing which seems to be the accepted assumption as of now.

    At about 7:20 the guy on the left claims that he knows R’ Belsky and that he can’t be bought (I think that will be proven sooner than later to be incorrect as well).

    At about 7:55 the guy on the left gets into the “Daas Torah” rant, which was why he felt obligated to participate in a public rally to shame the family of Aharon Friedman. The working assumption is that if “daas torah” says that Tamar is Muter then she must be.

    If R Shmuel and R Shalom have discovered the secret to being “mater” an eishes eish why don’t they share with the rest of the “agunos”? R Shalom does your trick only work for families that donate to your Yeshiva?

    Doesn’t R Shmuel have a grandson he can “red” to Tamer?

    When there is a case of an “aguna” does half the Mo’etzs get involved or only in cases where the family is worth over a hundred million?

    Philly? Corrupt
    Lakewood? Even more Corrupt

    The leaders that we have today in America are immoral, unethical, dishonest, and fraudulent that bow down to the alter of the mighty $$$. Sad indeed.

  3. well, no matter what happens now, if mamzerim are produced, the husband who withholds the get is the source cause....

    that's why gittin should not be withheld (after a reasonable waiting period up to 1 year), because ist is over "lifney iver..."

    So he has a big aveira on his shoulders...

    1. That's incorrect. It has nothing to do with the husband and he incurs no sin. He has a right to not give a Get. She becomes an adulteress and she is subject to the death penalty under Torah Law.

    2. Patience,

      That is not the way it works.

      If she has a hetter , then she has nothing to worry about her children and the husband does not have to do anything.

      But IF NOT then .....

    3. Wow are you for real? Good Purim Torah! Every person has bechirah.

      If she chooses to act this way it is her fault. Her walking out of beis din before they even had a chance to rule on the matter and running to others who have no jurisdiction while getting her rabbi to interfere with the judicial process with public smear campaigns Only in the end to get a bogus seruv from someone who was just recently arrested by the FBI and facing life imprisonment for issuing seruvim to people that don't even exist. Truly shameful! Isn't it so easy to throw around the blame?
      Epstein reminds me of the blame the rape victim mentality the only problem is she is not the victim! Please stop covering up fro women like her who have no interest in a fair settlement. People like her ruin it for women who are stuck in a bind (not the ones like her where a spoiled brat is using her family's money and influence to get what she is not entitled to). Shame on her for ruining it for the real agunah cases!

  4. Visitor,
    You say that the conversation recorded by Joe does not indicate that they permit her to remarry. Is that so?

    1. Yes, that is correct. I read the conversation with both Rabbis Kamenetzkys and nothing in either of their statements indicate they think she can now remarry without a Get.

    2. Visitor, please refer to my comment which begins with "Visitor writes".

      Nothing that Rabbi Shalom Kamenetsky said to me rules out the possibility of a "Fig Leaf Get" having been given.. Rabbi Dov Linzer refers to an unkosher Get as a means to cover-up complaints that other techniques for freeing a woman from her marriage are in turn unkosher.

      I was at the talk (available for viewing at the link provided in my previous comment) where Rabbi Linzer outlined this farce. Rabbi Linzer's approach may be unkosher, yet some of the people there seemed to be eating it up.

      Could it be that Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky has sipped the Kool Aid, too? I will call Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky again and will try to ask him if Tamar Epstein received "some semblance of a Get", to borrow Rabbi Linzers's artificial description of a phony Get that can be an essential part of freeing a married woman without a true Get.

      But Visitor -- why weary yourself with analyzing my experiences? Would it not behoove you to contact Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky directly?

      Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky is eminently accessible. He can be reached at his Yeshiva. When I first spoke with him he ended the conversation by giving me his home number and the time to reach him there.

    3. Joe Orlow: Quoting someone with "he said something like" is absurd. Get your facts straight first.

  5. YisStein,
    You were going great until the end when you wrote, "Philly? Corrupt Lakewood? Even more Corrupt" How can Lakewood where they eventually settled with a GET after doing their hideous and forbidden sins be worse than Philly that permits a marriage woman to remarry without a GET?

  6. Who are you trying to fool? Who will stay engaged after being told she still needs a get and the whole purim shpil will start over again. According to your nonsense, he is sick because he refuses to give a get. And who will cure him on time out in order to secure a get, when he refused to begin with in the first place. Only a fool will proceed in this brewed mess. mmmm... do yourself a favor wake up and smell the coffee. And that is only of the top, before even bisecting and disecting all the shtusim and lukshen. Maybe you can shadchen Epstein and Walmark's mamzerin and stop messing up the gene pool. Products of the Prod!

    1. Unfortunately, there are losers out there who would marry such a girl. Just like what happened to Briskamns ex. Just yesterday I heard of an engagement to girl who got one of those epstein gittin.

    2. The sad part is that their children are halachik bastards.

  7. If One Rav is saying "heter meah rabbanim" and his son is openly negotiating a shidduch, then they must hold that she is not married.
    There is actually a third option, i.e. that Rackman was correct. R Bleich took a strict view, and so did the Agudah at the time. But remember, in the Langer case, R' Elyashiv took a strong line agasint R' Goren, only to overlook the same thing - en masse 40 years later, when R Sherman annulled giurim. Sometimes a halachic way can be found, but is opposed by Gedolim of one generation, only to find that in a alter generation it is allowed. Of course, I am not suggesting that Tamar is permitted, chas v'shalom. Just analysing how halacha can develop.

    1. You miss the main point which is that Rabbis Kaminetzkys seems to be wishy-washy on a matter of essence.

      Of course with such political pressure that tries to influence Halacha a Godol must be very clear on such matter.

  8. You see we are in Moshiach's days as the Gemoro states that before Moshiach HAEMES NEEDERES (there will be no truth); PNEI HADOR KPNEI HAKELEV (our leaders will be faceless i.e they look to what their constituents want rather than what the Torah wants)

  9. Patience,
    You make it sound as if every husband who refuses to give a GET is a wicked person. I don't think it is so simple. Husbands are often terrified that if they give a GET the wife will take them to secular court and clean them out there, as well as demanding custody while claiming that the husband is a violent husband who molested his children. These things go on all of the time. The only power the husband has is to withhold the GET which may be a big problem in halacha but it deprives a vicious wife of the one thing that she really wants.
    Here is a case, for instance. A wife called the police on her husband and said that she has proof that he is doing such and such with the children. The police rushed over along with the proper people from child protective and saw that the woman had lied and that there was nothing at all wrong or done. The judge finally had enough of this lady and let her know that her demands for supervised supervision were not going to be accepted. However, since the woman had succeeded in keeping the children for several years away from the husband with her criminal tricks, the judge felt that for the good of the children, the wife should have full custody and the husband only slowly reintroduced to them. These children are the wife's children and she won. Men have no protection in court, only the GET. Again, to deny a GET is a sin not to the woman but to the man who must remarry or live in sin. But let us understand the whole picture. The fear I described is real. Destroying husbands has become a science.

    1. Yes. Every husband who refuses to give a get beyond a reasonable amount of time (2 months after civil divorce, 12 months after separation) is wicked.

      You cannot cure an evil by a new evil.

      It is certainly wrong to level wrong accusations, but I don't think you can cure this problem by withholding a get. All the less so because you might also bring a person to withdraw a justified accusations through get extortion. Which would be wicked, and I hope you agree with me on that.

      As far as alimony and child support are concerned: If he does not want to be "stripped", he should make a prenuptial agreement, there are ways to protect oneself from it.

      on the other hand, a custodial parent (in jewish law only if it is the mother) deserves appropriate child support and alimony (if they renounce work to care for the children).

      furthermore, a parent who renounced a professional career in order to care for the children deserves to be compensated. I think that in most cases it is fair to leave half of the property aquired during marriage to the parent who did not earn because they were main caregivers for the children.

      That's the default legal regulation in my country, and can be adapted at will through a marriage contract - on the condition that both spouses agree.

      The halacha as it was presented on this blog and in cases I happen to know has too many loopholes to allow wicked men to behave in a wicked way. And, besides the halachic loopholes, batey din have no means to enforce halacha.

      So I think protection through civil courts is appropriate and should be used.

      As I said, husbands can also protect their assets via a marriage contract, so I see no problem whatsoever.

    2. ...there was one case where I thought in the past that it was justified to withhold a divorce: the case where the husband goes out, finds a mistress, and wants to dispose of his wife, the mother of his children.

      Only that halacha was never designed to protect women under those circumstances and still fails to do so.

      In the past, the husband could just take a second wife, or divorce the first and take the second.

      Nowadays, I have not seen one case where the rabbis successfully prevented a man from marrying his mistress... if a man wants, he will always find ways.

      So I do not see why this fundamental insecurity should be unilateral.

    3. Patience:

      1) A husband is not required to give a Get simply because a wife wants it. And if he is not required there is nothing wrong with him deciding he wants to continue the marriage and not giving it - even is she runs away he can wait. It is his halachic and ethical right.

      2) She is not entitled to alimony under halacha even if there was no prenup. If she gets it and accepts it she is a thief and he may withhold the Get until she stops stealing from him and returns what she stole. Even if he doesn't want to continue the marriage.

      3) She is not entitled to 50% of marital assets. Under default halacha it is all his. If she claims what she isn't halachicly entitled to he may withhold the Get until she stops stealing from him and returns what she stole.

      4) Custody is a halachic matter and must be decided only by beis din. Same with child support.

      5) When halacha and secular law are in conflice, halacha prevails.

    4. Patience what planet are you living on.

      1) prenup is a major problem according to a lot of poskim and many hold that it is no good

      2) The prenup that is signed from the modern orthodox has nothing in there to protect a husband from his ex from making unhalachic demands or legal maneuvers.

      3) Civil courts can take years to complete a divorce why not apply the same standard to civil court as well? is that not cruel?

      4) A civil divorce is never complete because the wife can always drag the husband back to court for more alimony child custody etc. even with a prenup

      Maybe what needs to be done is that in the modern orthodox is to revamp their prenup to protect a husbands right as well. Penalty for wives who use the children or bargaining or dragging the husband back to court unnecessarily etc.

      Any open minded person will realize the halachic Prenup is a sexist document with out any measures to protect the husband!

      As for the Epstein case. unilaterally taking a child away with no reason other than that she doesn't want to be married is the ultimate child abuse but then again the Ora machine is no different than the feminist abortion movement. A woman has every right no matter how detrimental is to the child just like killing a helpless unborn life because the mother has rights, to these people it's all the same thing). If you have a child with your spouse you cant act unilaterally without your spouse's input. Unless g-d forbid there is a case of abuse (which in the Epstein case it was clearly not as based on her testimony in court).
      Clearly in this Epstein case, Epstein has and is playing games what would you suggest to other men to protect themselves from the shenanigans of a wife who acts like this?

    5. "If two people want to destroy each other and their children because their marriage went sour, our hands are in many ways tied. But in some segments of the Orthodox religious community, religion is the tool through which the destruction happens. And it is such a powerful, effective tool. The ability for the religious community to empower injustice, petty fighting, self destruction, bitter divorces, is incredible. The tool must be stopped."

      Frieda Vizel,

      And I think that anybody who condones or encourages get extortion condones or encourages religion being used as a tool for evil.

    6. Again what is a man to do if his ex is abusing civil and judaic law to harm their child and himself? The get is the only thing that will protect his halachic and moral rights.

      You have failed to address any of the points that I have brought up in my previous comment

      The get is not an extortion tool. It is a document that is used to protect both husband and wife to make sure the marriage is over and the couple is done with each other unlike secular court where each spouse is still connected and there is never an end to the litigation if either party chooses to sue the other.

      If you were buying a dirah would you agree if the seller tells you to sign the contract without an price and the seller tells you we will negotiate the price after you sign but you need to sign first? Of course you wouldn't sign you dont know if the guy will come up with a price that is completely unfair. This is exactly the problem of giving a get without all details being worked out. Chazal did not want the merry go round of back and forth. chazal wanted that once the marriage is over it is over and the couples should be able to move on with their lives without any strings attached. that can only happen if all details are worked out hence the get is the document that renders all the details worked out and the couple is "cut off" from each other and free to move on with their lives.

      Contrary to what ORA and the feminist movement say there really is very small percentage of cases where a woman is categorized a a real aguna. A woman who abuses secular and the Judaic law to squeeze out more than she is entitled is not an agunah and the get is an excellent vehicle to keep things fair.

    7. "Chazal did not want the merry go round of back and forth. chazal wanted that once the marriage is over it is over and the couples should be able to move on with their lives without any strings attached."

      That's not possible. A child is a string. What you are saying here is basically that the child should lose contact to one parent.

      Is this really what you mean?

      If you see no problem in the child being just with one parent, why do you claim that Friedman should get more visitation time? According to your solution, either him or his wife would have no visitation time at all.

      Is that what you want?

    8. You seem to still be avoiding the points I made in my original post.

      [A]. "Patience' please dont put words in my mouth! I never ever said children, When I said strings attached I was referring to frivolous litigation aspect. You know the way that many women drag their ex's back to court to constantly 'modify ' visitation on bogus grounds to the point of no custody or seeks ridiculous child support much more than is necessary with the intention of only burying their ex in debt. If you know of any divorced men that experienced this they can tell you all about how after they gave a get their lives were ruined and bankrupted, their relationships with their children destroyed all because this wasn't worked out before the get was given and after the get was given there is nothing in check to stop this..

      Whether you like it or not most secular courts are pro woman nor do they understand or respect aspects of halacha. i.e tamar epstein originally getting a ruling from court that her husband can only pick up their child at 6 PM on friday. With such a ruling he would never be able to see his daughter in the winter since he would have to violate shabbos if he wanted to see her.

      [B] Please don't project your opinion on me, you seem to be the one that advocates that one parent should lose contact by supporting the kidnapping of Mr Friedmans daughter by epstein. You seem to only want womens rights protected and men with the children to just be completely taken advantage of.

      My Stance on Divorce is very simple every child needs a mother and father. Unless a parent is a danger to the child (which is not the case here) it is extremely important that both parents have equal access to their child and that BOTH parents need to be actively involved in their child's life. If parents are old enough to get married and have children you need to be responsible for them. Meaning If you decide to get divorced that is your problem, not your child's. Just because you dont want to live close to your ex doesn't mean its fair to the child or your ex for that matter. For the child's sake you need to stay in the local vicinity so both parents can be easily accessible and active members in their child's life. Plucking a child without the other parent's consent and moving away a distance of over 4 hours each way is not benefiting a child! Do you think that is a stable environment for the child? Could you imagine that in order to see one of your father you have to travel over 8 hours each time? Is that what you support? That is child Abuse! I advocate responsibility, not abuse which ms epstein has clearly shown the latter!

    9. I wrote a longer comment - but it was not published for an unknown reason - at how appalled I am that US judges are ready to change a divorce settlement every monday and thursday. Over here, a divorce settlement is normally final, and parents know they cannot have it revised, so they don't go to court all the time. But this might change now that joint custody was introduced as default solution by law.

      But what Friedman wants is not to uphold the current settlement. He wants to change the settlement. So your argument of get withholding protecting form changes does certainly not apply here.

      Furthermore, get withholding cannot protect you from anything that will happen in the future.

      It is misguided to claim "halacha" - as you said yourself, halacha wants separation, so there is no halachic rule about joint custody or minimum visitation, etc...

      So if you want the children to have both parents in their lives, you will have to find something new, that has no basis in halacha.

      The deal friedman got in court was not bad, he has regular visitation rights, and it is completely inappropriate to destroy any possibility of an amicable relationship with his wife by withholding the get.

      that's what I do not understand in your american mentality: You will go to court to obtain 2 hours more per week, you will send the police to get the child if they do not want to come - do you really think that those kinds of procedures are conducive to a good father-child relationship, to a harmonious upbringing of the child?

      And the worst is: most people don't even understand what I am talking about, because they are all about rights, rights, rights, rights. As if the child was a car or a computer - you get to use half the time - but now it has to be in my possession.

      That's so petty, so conterproductive...

      Parents first and foremost have duties towards their children. That's my view.

      And here an article about children in divorce and avoiding the worst:

      By withholding the get, Friedman does exactly the contrary.
      So he lacks credibility when he says that he does it for the child's sake.

    10. again you avoid answering the questions.

      1) do you feel that it is fair that every time the child wants to see her father it is in the child's best interest to have to travel 8 hours each time?

      2) Can you please explain to me how you condone one parent taking the child out of state without the other's consent?

      you claim "the deal friedman got in court is not bad, he has regular visitation rights" Are you for real? Based upon the court ruling it would be impossible during a school year for him to see his child more than twice a month without losing his job or giving up his religion. Is that a fair settlement?

      3) divorce cases are not final and tamar has dragged him back to court numerous times. In fact the custody gets reviewed every year and each time she advocates for less custody because she claims it is not in the best interest for the child to travel so much.

      Don't you think a child is entitled to have both of her parents come to PTA, birthday parties, School plays, Doctor visits etc.

      You obviously don't have children nor are you sympathetic to the needs of a child. all it is to you the big bad man doesn;t want to give a get. bla bla.

      Keep on making up facts about the case to try to portray him as a monster.

      Would you be saying the same thing if you could only see your child twice a month? No normal person would think that is fair or beneficial to the child..

      Shame on you for advocating the kidnapping and abuse of children!

    11. 2) i really don't understand your federalist laws in the US, and indeed I think it is very strange, that you should be able to take your child fro seattle to spokane (279 miles), but not from DC to Baltimore (38 miles) or to Philadelphia (139 miles). so I think that this state lines rule does not make much sense, especially in the case of DC, which has a total area of less than 70 square miles. To me, a country is a country, so speaking of kidnapping in this context does seem ridiculous indeed. By the way - there is nothing about kidnapping in halacha, and it certainly would not be defined the way it is defined in the US - if you think halacha should be followed, you have no argument there. Tamar Epstein went to move back in with her parents, that is a quite natural thing to do in a situation where a marriage does not work out, and do not think that this should be forbidden to her. Friedman knew he took a bride from Philadelphia (?), so had to anticipate that this situation could occur. By the way, according to halacha, this is exactly what you would assume a woman would do.

      1) Yes I think that 4 h is a long trip for a child, and it would be better to avoid it, e.g. by the father taking a small flat near the place where the child lives and staying there with the child. This also would spare him half of the travel time, I suppose. By the way, this would also solve the shabbes problem, but as far as I understood, this was solved anyway because he obtained more visiting tie (i.e. his claim was satisfied).

      3) I am against revising the custody arrangement, as I said before. I am against him revising it and I am against her revising it. I understood that Friedman also wants his custody arrangement revised (take the child earlier on Fridays), although he got a very favorable custody arrangement, with three weekend per month and joined custody.

      4) Who keeps A. Friedman for attending PTA, birthdy parties, school plays, doctor visits with his child??? He has JOINT CUSTODY! In my experience, I don't see many fathers is kindergarten birthday parties, kindergarten plays, kindergarten PTA or doctor visits. Parents working full time mostly abstain from all those functions when they take place during working hours. And except for the PTA, they mostly do.
      So no, I don't think a child is entitled to have both parents at their kindergarten birthday parties, and in fact most don't. Most children do not really care which parent attend their PTA meetings. In most cases, one parents (or no parent at all, but the nanny) take a child to the doctor. If Friedman wants to take on all those chores, he certainly is free to do so. So this too is a red herring argument.

      5) Your last line is just pathetic.

    12. 2) i really don't understand your federalist laws in the US, and indeed I think it is very strange, that you should be able to take your child fro seattle to spokane (279 miles),
      Who says you can? Under Washington State Law that is custodial interference in the first degree and possibly kidnapping in the first degree.

      Aside from Federal kidnapping laws, each State has the ability to make and determine its own laws in regards to what is or is not a crime.

    13. Exactly. That's what's so strange. Most countries have one penal code for the whole country. (It is especially strange with respect to death penalty, being allowed in some states an not in others).

    14. There is one child custody law in all of the EU? I think not.

      The United States is a Union of States(countries). Each State has it's own rights. While some of that was etched away under the Lincoln administration, the essential nature of it does more or less remain.

    15. I don't know if you ever learned about geography or political organisation of countries.

      Under international law, the United States are considered one state: they have a president, a government, a secretary of states, a military force, a Tax authority etc. In the UN, the US are counted as one, just like Mexico (the United States of Mexico), the Federal Republic of Germany (made up of 16 Länder (countries)) or Spain (composed of19 autonomous regions)

      So the whole of the united states are one state. I agree with you that it might be quite confusing to simple minds, that the word "state" is used for the entity as a whole as well as for the partial entities that make it up. But in Germany, the constituent states are also called "Länder" (countries), but no-one would think they are independent states, which they are not, just like Montana or California are not independent states, nor the "Republic and Canton" of Geneva.

      The EU, on the other hand, is a supranational organisation, made up of independent states. And most of those member states (I cannot say all, since I did not check it out) have one penal code for the whole country.

    16. 1) taking a flat is impossible and unfair. Even with an earlier Friday pickup time he would have to miss work 2-3 fridays out of every month. No employer would allow that and he would be unemployed in not time.
      2. cost of having 2 residences is a fortune and unrealistic just because she decided to move away. It also will never let him remarry
      3. You Keep saying you are against revising the agreement but she has already several times gone back to court to revise it and is subject to review each year.and each year she advocate for less custody
      4. you can mock civil law all you want but it is the law of the land.
      5. I am sorry if your father did not play an active role in your life but many fathers today do take active roles in their childrens lives. Many fathers I know come to every function. Most people in America live less than an hour away from their jobs and many employer allow their employees to take an extended lunch break to attend these events. In friedmans case he would have to miss an entire day. What you fail to understand every time if he wants to see his child he will have to miss a whole day of work!

      Who are you to dictate to him how much to take an active role in his childs life. Based upon that comment alone my comment was right on the mark You are an advocate for child abusers. Shame on You!

    17. 5) In most frum kindergartens around me, functions like birthday parties and school plays are attended almost exclusively (in some cases exclusively) by mothers. In the modern orthodox kindergartens, there are more fathers around at those function, but not for all of the children, by far, I would say 30-50% on average... Somethimes there are grandparents, aunts, siblings rather than fathers...

      And, as i said, A. Friedman is free to take his day off to attend - no-one barrs him from doing that.

      So clearly, how much A. Friedmann attends is to a vast degree his personnal choice - as is the case with most fathers.

      4) I thought your stance was that halacha was paramount and that you were not interested in civil law. You cannot have it both ways.

      Halacha has no sources insuring the child access to both parents in the case of a divorce. Everything you claim in this context ("child should continue being with both parents", etc) is a Minhag ha goy that developed over the last 30 years.

      I do not say it is wrong. I agree with you that the child should have the possibility of being around both parents, if the child wants. I just take issue with the fact that on one hand you decry the way civil courts settle divorces, and on the other hand, you have claims that have no basis in halacha, but just in modern civil right.

      3) If the settlement is open to revision every year, it might be revised in his favor. As far as I heard, it has already been revised in his favor.

      If you yourself say that withholding the get did not prevent revisions against him, you made my point: the tool of withholding the get is not appropriate for this aim.

      There is indeed a delicate balance to strike between the "rights" and "obligations" of parents in a divorce.

      2) I am not privy to housing prices in Philadelphia, nor do I know Friedmanns income. I just suggested that this might be a possible solution...

      1) If he does not want to go to philadelphia to be with his daughter (or can't because he has to miss work) - his choice. No-one is imposing the visits on him. You are telling me he wants them, he wants more than he can have.

      If he is allowed more visitation time than he can cope with - what's all the fuss about?

      I see that it is difficult for the father to have to travel 2-3 hours each way to see a child.

      On the other hand, I think that the main caregive should not be too restricted in their movements. If they look for work or want to live nearer to their family and friends, (especially in a case where a child is small and has not yet established so many social contacts), they should be able to do so. So I suppose I would restrict the radius to about 300 km, 3-4h by car, but not more than that.

      Of course, what some parents do: they live right next to each other, the children can be with whoever they chose - is a good solution for the children, and it is quite empowering for them too. - but as far as I understand, halacha is not quite happy with this kind of solution, according to halacha the ex-spouses should not live too closed to each other.

    18. 5) Again you are bringing apples from oranges you don't even live in America. Maybe The culture in israel is different. If Mr Friedman wants to be involved who are you to tell him when to come. In america there are plenty of fathers that are involved

      You keep repeating he has a choice but that is a lie. He doesnt! Because Tamar unilatteraly left his has no choice. Be realistic!

      4) when I said civil I was referring to laws against unilaterally leaving state with a child

      3) the settlement is due to revision each year, that was Tamar's doing. As the child gets older there is no way a judge will rule in his favor. As for you claiming that he got a better custody deal is a farce.

      2) if you aren't privy to the details maybe you should avoid commenting especially at the expense of the next ones life!

      1) Again you avoid the issue. Tamar unilaterally leaving has created this situation. So he should be unemployed because Tamar doesn't want to be a responsible parent and runs home to mommy? Tamar has created a situation where he has no choice!

      Unfortunately , In this case tamar being the main caregiver is a joke. She chose a profession that demands for her to be working 12 hour shifts several days a week. Her daughter's primary caregiver is a shiksa. Please don't claim that she needed it for the money because that is a lie as well since her family has more money than you can imagine and is living rent free all at the same time taking a ridiculous amount of money from MR friedman in child support. The reality is she has no real interest in raising her child. All this is her using the child as a tool.

      Unfortunately, it is your attitude that fuels these messy divorces. Like you quoted earlier a child is a string and if you are old enough to get married and bring children into this world then your responsibility is to them. If you decide to get divorced that is tough on you your child's best interests come before your selfish desires! If you want to go back to your parents or pursue a career then give up custody. Don't kidnap a child and deny the child a meaningful relationship with your spouse.

      I am sorry but a 3-4 hour drive is excessive and is unfair to all parties involved especially the child. A half hour - 1hr is a much more realistic approach that would create enough of a distance that each spouse could move on with their lives but still be active in their child's life. Many people have approached tamar and have asked to her to compromise for the sake of the child but she refuses to budge. She obviously has no interest in compromising.

      P.S. If you would like to claim the from a purely halachic standard she would fall under the category of a moredes!

    19. So you claim that Ahron is ready to give up his job and to look after his child 24/7?

      He has the possibility to see his child almost every weekend, for the whole weekend.

      In the long run, this means that he will be the nice daddy doing all the fun things during the weekend, while the mother has to get the child to go to school, enforce discipline, etc. during the week: He gets all the fun stuff, she gets the work.

    20. "I am sorry but a 3-4 hour drive is excessive and is unfair to all parties involved especially the child. "

      So you propose that parents should not be allowed to move more than 50 miles away from their children?

      What about all the fathers who resettle in a foreign country?

    21. PS: I don't think that "moredes" has anything to do with custody issues in halacha. And as general rule, custody rules in halacha are not the way you want to have them. As far as I understood, if there is halacha on custody and visitation, the concept of "visitation" is quite foreign to halacha.

    22. PPS: I do not see how withholding the get is conducive to a satisfying solution of the points you mentioned above.

      Perhaps A. friedman hoped it would, but in reality it backfired (see your claims below, that it damaged his carreer perspectives).

    23. All I am concerned about is the welfare of the child. You seem to keep skirting important issues that are involved with this case and consistently trying to spin it.

      Fact: TAmar has a job as a nurse with 12 hour shifts and a shiksa is the one who takes care and raises the child. She is hardly around to do the "dirty stuff." Had she stayed closer Aharon could help and share the load of raising the child.

      Based upon his religious and secular duties he is obligated to support his child being with that obligation is in place base upon where she kidnapped the child there is no possibility of seeing the child each weekend. Forget about the additional cost of several hundred dollars in travelling expense he is forced to incur because of tamar moving so far away.

    24. I wouldn't base it on mileage I would base it on how long it takes to drive. a half hour to an hour is more than sufficient of a distance. Remember the goal is that once husband and wife are divorced that they could move on but at the same time be there for their child.

      It is hard enough for children that they have to be in 2 homes let alone travel for 8 hours between going to each residence. That is just wrong!

      As for any parent that leaves the country whether husband or wife then they should most definitely relinquish custody.

    25. Please define your definition of a moredes?

    26. So you propose that parents should not be allowed to move more than 50 miles away from their children?

      What about all the fathers who resettle in a foreign country?

      Precisely the point of the Miller-Mckenna custody battle that lit up the news recently.

    27. "Please define your definition of a moredes?"

      From the use of the word moredet on this blog, I gather that it does not have a very clear definition.

      Some say that any wife asking for a divorce, for what reason whatsoever, is a moredet. (this would imply that in jewish law, a wife forfeits the amount set up the ketuba as soon as she is the one who takes the initiative to divorce, even if the husband beats her, rapes the daughters, etc.)

      Some say that a wife who files for a divorce but has a good reason, recognised by a beith din, to do so, is not considered a moredet. However, they did not elaborate on whether she gets the sum set out in her ketuba. I suspect she will not.

      Some say that any wife refusing intercourse is a moredet (for whatever reason), and rabbis should apply psychological and economical pressure on her, so that she will agree to serve her husband's sexual needs.

      Some say that a wife refusing to do any of the 7 labors of a houswife is a moredet (this would make every jewish woman of our time a moredet, since the 7 labors are outdated, and no-one does them any more).

      Some say that a moredes is a wife who fell in love with someone else and wants to divorce in order to marry the other man.

      Some say that a moredes is someone who tries to extort her husband by refusing marital relations, although she really wants them.

      Some say a moredes is a wife who refuses to go to mikwa - without specifying circumstances that could justify a wife in doing so...

      So: on this blog, everything was done to obfuscate the meaning of the word.

      So I don't know what it means.

      It might be that no-one knows. Or it might be that everyone thinks they know, but they do not think of the same definition.

      It seems to have a broad range of acceptations.

      What i find shocking about the concept of a moredes is that a wife should be forced against her will to have intercourse with her husband.

      e.g. I have a friend who does not want to get a divorce, so as not compromise the shidduch perspectives of her children. The rabbis told her, as far as I understood, that she had to have intercourse at least once a month, or they would let her husband divorce her. She does not want to have intercourse. But she does it. That's repugnant to me.

    28. "Precisely the point of the Miller-Mckenna custody battle that lit up the news recently."

      So you are implying that the courts prohibited Bode Miller from traveling abroad or moving out of 50-mile-zone from the child, so that he could do his obligations in visiting the child regularly?

    29. A husband and wife being together is a very important fabric of a jewish marriage.

      Listen to your sexist approach! If your friend is withholding relations because she wants a divorce but wants to keep him chained for appearance sake Is that not wrong that your friend is keeping him chained to a dead marriage? isn’t that hypocritical on your part that you find him repulsive for wanting what is a normal part of marriage but not her for keeping him chained?

  10. Regarding DT's point 3 listed above, didn't the couple (try to) reconcile a few times? RMFs requirements are explicit -- the wife cannot be with the husband once she finds out about his "blemish."

    Also regarding mental issues, many couples do not leave for mental issues. (Many do.) Since its not universal, one cannot say its a mistaken transaction. There are various factors, inncluding the nature of the illness, possibility of medication, dedication of the couple to each other, various other factors.

    RMFs example was homosexuality. That is very different than a run of the mill mental disease. (Although interestingly, in todays society, homosexuality may not be a blemish. But thats another story.)
    And cruelty as a blemish is not recognized by anyone other than R Rackman. Even R Bleich only uses the cruelty example in discussing R Rackmans argument.

    1. Ma hoilu chachmim bitekantomMay 19, 2014 at 9:00 PM

      If she refuses to accept a get, why the need of heter meah rabonim, excercise the same witches brew of cruelty pilpul to annul the marriage. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. A heter is not as good as an annulment.

  11. The news of that Tamar is free came about two months following the arrest of Wolmark and Epstein in the FBI sting operation. Is that just a coincidence?

  12. I just read this post. What a chitzpa!! Because Rav Shmuel and Rav Sholom did not explain to you the heter you have a right to disparage them?? What gall!! You say people have to know now and they say people don't have to know now. You are a nothing!! What chutzpa!!

    1. A Rabbi frees a man's wife from her marriage to him. Would you not agree that simple courtesy dictates that the Rabbi call up the man and notify him and explain the Halachic basis? Why should the man have to learn about it from ORA's Facebook page?

    2. Brunfin, To offer somebody a shidduch with a woman who is known to be married and it is not known why she claims to be free is impossible unless there is a negation of the marriage. Nobody accepts that in this case the marriage is annulled, so the people who do accept it must explain themselves. Even if they have an explanation, the fact that modern and Haredi rabbonim all openly deny that she is free, it means that anyone who marries her will have children who are considered by almost all rabbis to be mamzerim. Who can make such a shidduch?

    3. Brunfin, We don't have today such gedoylim that we are like dust before them and we may not challenge. Toysfis says about a psak which is a chidish that the dayin has to notify his reasoning, and that was then when then were real gedoylim that it's a chitzpa to argue, and still they can't say a chidish without explaining themselves, so avadih today.

    4. "Brunfin, To offer somebody a shidduch with a woman who is known to be married and it is not known why she claims to be free is impossible unless there is a negation of the marriage. Nobody accepts that in this case the marriage is annulled, so the people who do accept it must explain themselves."


    5. Laykich,

      Please show me the Tosfos which states that a dayan has to notify his reasoning to someone not affected by the psak and is only interested because he is bored!

    6. Hey Joe,

      We do not know who the Rav was who gave the psak! They didn't post in on facebook instaed of going to the husband. So why are you attacking Rav Shmuel and Rav Shalom??

      Please be sure to beg them mechila before 120!!

    7. Schmaltz herring mit eiyer keachelMay 19, 2014 at 9:52 PM

      Laykich & Bronfin,
      While you are arguing about whether or nor you may speak like this, the rest of are discussing the meat of this very important issue. Your conversation is great for a Kiddish. Just don't choke over the Kishke.

    8. Brunfin,

      @Please show me the Tosfos which states that a dayan has to notify his reasoning to someone not affected by the psak and is only interested because he is bored!

      Ploni beat me to it, and took it to the later stage - The shilchan OrIch. See his comment below.

    9. @Branfin you are missing - or rather refusing to acknowledge a key piece of reality. The Kaminetsky's have been Tamar's advocates from the beginning. Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky went on record asserting that Aharon had to give a get - when there was no psak from any beis din requiring such. He urged public demonstrations - when no psak required a get. After years of fighting to get her a get - it is impossible that they don't know about this claim that she is "free". If they didn't think it were valid they would be the first to tell her. It is most likely that they were the ones who got it for her or at least approved of it.

  13. Is it really surprisingMay 19, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Given Rabbi Schachter's prior pronnoucement that the word of Rabbi Kamenetsky is essentially the word of G-d, Rabbi Kamenetsky would be well-justified in believing that Rabbi Schachter would also back him in just annulling a marriage.

    "What Rabbi Schachter wrote concerning Rabbi’s Kamenetsky’s letter “there already is a sage who’s instructed” makes a mockery and disgrace of the entire Torah. With such a meaningless statement one can erase all the Torah’s prohibitions, and nullify all integrity and justice, and issue decisions according to whatever one likes in contradiction to the Torah."

  14. daas torah wrote on may 19 in the thread about daughters inheriting:

    "It is clear though that they can sometimes be modified or abrogated for a period of time. The rabbinic authorities of a particular time make the decision."

    So what is your problem with this particular beith din? They are the rabbi gershons of our time.

    They see that the laws of gittin are not functional in a society where men might extort their ex-wife over a get, so they try and find solutions, and I commend them for it.

    I think circular mekach taut (had she known he would refuse a get, she would not have married him) is a quite promising way.

    Others promising paths would include systematic errors in wedding ceremonies, so as to facilitate anullment (which, as we heard is also practiced by orthodoy rabbis at weddings of non-orthodox jews) or prenuptial agreements imposing a fine for each day of not giving a get after civil divorce.

    If you say, it is OK to abolish polygamy because the surrounding peoples do not practice it, or to grant sister an equal part in the heritage, because surrounding peoples practice it, why is it so outrageous to let a civil court settle a divorce? All the more when most state rabbinical courts in Israel already operate more or less according to those standards (custody mostly for mother, alimony obligations for father...)

    i think it is completely appropriate to consider batey din of the RCA or similar bodies around the world as legitimate rabbinic authorities of our time, since they represent the majority of the jewish people.

    Chareidim are a fringe minority, who quite often just seek trouble, and are not very consistent in their approach either.

    1. If the defence of ORAs activities is based on your logic, that proves what this website has been saying all along. We are dealing with a Conservative organization that has cut off all ties with normative halacha.

    2. @Patience this is a joke. Why don't you open a beis din and declare Shabbos is not longer relevant or schechita? Nobody thinks that Rabbi Kaminetsky has the status of Rabbeinu Gershon except perhaps Rabbi Schachter.

      The issue is that whatever changes needs to be accepted. If Rabbi Schachter introducted changes and this was accepted by his peers - including the chareidi rabbonim - then I see no problem. But you see in issues where there is not universal acceptance - such as Rackman's beis din or conversions done by certain people - it does not help that a rabbi or even a beis din declared it their policy.

      If the Modern Orthodox declared that they were poskening like the Rambam in a case of maus alei because of the needs of the time - but the chareidim refused - then we would end up with two Judaisms or as Rav Sternbuch put it - a need to examine the nature of every divorce. it would force the implementation of a yichus book.

      No the Chareidim are not a fringe minority and they are not just trying to cause trouble - though it is clear that is a good description of your comments.

    3. "I think circular mekach taut (had she known he would refuse a get, she would not have married him) is a quite promising way."

      This is a joke, R. Soloveichik once pointed out that no one would accept such a ridiculous idea in any form of business. Imagine someone telling his stock broker, "had I known that the stock was going to go down, I never would have bought it, so give me back my money, mekach taut." The laughter would be heard all over Wall Street.

    4. You could even take it as a condition into the standart ketuba. Then it is explicit.

      the stock broker example, is not a good parallel. But when you sell something and the customer does not pay you, you might take the object back...

    5. Daas TorahMay 19, 2014 at 6:18 PM
      @Patience this is a joke. Why don't you open a beis din and declare Shabbos is not longer relevant or schechita? Nobody thinks that Rabbi Kaminetsky has the status of Rabbeinu Gershon except perhaps Rabbi Schachter.

      I can see where Patience is coming from on this one. For someone on the outside, the halakhic process can look a lot like moral relativism. We keep the parts we like and discard those that we do not.

      Many people who have never studied halakha in depth understand how halakha develops from generation to generation, both in the ways that it deals with new issues, electricity for example. As well as old, our ongoing debate regarding usage of secular court.

      You have to see how to someone on the outside would be confused by the insistence that a husband may not have relations with his wife against her will because the Sh"A says so on one hand, and that we can be over something the Sh"A equates to avoda zarah on the other because that is what the majority of Batei Din do these days.

      When someone has no understanding of mesora or the halakhic process that can come across as a rather large case of moral relativism. They would be wrong, but this is a situation that many Baalei Teshuva face, and even falter on.

      If the Modern Orthodox declared that they were poskening like the Rambam in a case of maus alei because of the needs of the time - but the chareidim refused - then we would end up with two Judaisms or as Rav Sternbuch put it - a need to examine the nature of every divorce. it would force the implementation of a yichus book.
      Rabbi David Bar Hayim has gone that far, and he has hundreds of followers and a Beit Din. The problem is more widespread than I think you realize. Folks really don't understand the halakhic process and so they find themselves easily falling behind these folks that think that somehow they have acheived Judaisms true and original hashkafa, even if it differs entirely from 1000yrs of tradition.

    6. Circular vs. squareMay 19, 2014 at 9:31 PM

      If she refuses to let the kids see their father or
      refuses the father see his children, that is an achzariyut of Nazi sadism, does that constitute a cause for mekach taut? When she is motzi shem ra on the husband of which is a very common occurrence that is equivalent of shfichus domim, could you do a hatores nedorim kind of annulment, triangular or otherwise? If not, why not.

    7. the man can always give a get, because a wife in general do not get any benefits from refusing a get... The man can go philandering, others will patt him on the shoulder, he can go to the Gestetener Beith din and remarry, he can declare himself sfaradi, he can get a heter meah rabbanim: no-one will keep a man from separating from his wife, if he wants to.

    8. PatienceMay 20, 2014 at 12:29 AM
      the man can always give a get, because a wife in general do not get any benefits from refusing a get...

      Not true. Absolutely not true. Get extortion works both ways. Look at Rabbanut statistics. There are far more women who refuse gittin and thus far more Agunim than there are agunot.

      The man can go philandering, others will patt him on the shoulder,
      Maybe in the secular society.

      he can go to the Gestetener Beith din and remarry,
      Which is no get at all.

      he can declare himself sfaradi,
      Here you absolutely demonstrate your ignorance. Contrary to popular belief Sephardim have either accepted Rabbeinu Gershom or have enacted there own Takanot. See Rav Ovadia Hedayya's Yaskil Avdei, Rav Mordekhai Eliyahu's Maamar Mordekhai, Rav Ovadia Yosef's Yabia Omer, Rav Shalom Kohen's Shu"T Sheva Berakhot.

      he can get a heter meah rabbanim:
      Nowhere near as easy as you may think.

      no-one will keep a man from separating from his wife, if he wants to.
      Again not true. A wife can legitimately claim that she wants Shalom Bayit in B"D. See PIskei Din as to how that plays out practically.

    9. well, it is true that the case plays out slightly differently in Israel, where the get is the legal divorce document, and polygamy is forbidden. there it could indeed occur that a wife refusing a get effectively keeps her husband from remarrying - but he still has the options of "lovesh shachor" and Gestetener (who gave a heter in exactly such a case to an Israeli) and Heter Meah rabbanim. All those options are not available for the wife.

      By the way: in our community, we have an Aguna. Her husband run away with someone else, remarried, and claims he does not need to give a get, because he is sefardi.

    10. he can declare himself sfaradi,
      Here you absolutely demonstrate your ignorance. Contrary to popular belief Sephardim have either accepted Rabbeinu Gershom or have enacted there own Takanot. See Rav Ovadia Hedayya's Yaskil Avdei, Rav Mordekhai Eliyahu's Maamar Mordekhai, Rav Ovadia Yosef's Yabia Omer, Rav Shalom Kohen's Shu"T Sheva Berakhot.

      The Sh"A writes:
      טוב לעשות תקנה בחרמות ונידויים על מי שישא אשה על אשתו

      Yabia Omer EvH"E 8:2 and Yalkut Yosef 9:24 write that we make a person swear an oath at the time of their marriage that they will not marry another woman before they have given the first a Get.

    11. RMT: The man can get a heter meah and free himself and not be an "agunim".

    12. RMT: It isn't hard at all to drop in to a few kollels and find 100 guys with smicha to sign a heter meah. After asking 200 you will find 100 willing to sign once they hear your sob-story about your evil wife. If you didn't reach 100 signatories by time you asked 200 young kollel guys with smicha ask another 100 and by the third hundred you'll have a 100 signatories.

      Each kollel can have 100 or 200 kollel guys so you shouldn't need to go to many places. If you need to go to more than one country, you can find kollels in Israel and America (and Canada and other places if necessary.) But you shouldn't need to go to more than three or so big kollel.

    13. Chacham Ovadia Yosef zt'l supports polygamy and specifically wrote than Sephardim are NOT subject to the Cherem R"G. I don't have his seforim here with me or the exact reference, but check Yabia Omer 5, Even HaEzer 1:8; Even HaEzer 2. They might reference it there. In the teshuva I'm thinking of he writes that beis din should not penalize Sephardim for taking more than one wife. He also has a teshuva opposing banning polygamy in cases of yibum. So it is certain that Sephardim have NOT universally banned polygamy even if some Sephardic rabbis might be opposed to it today - certainly not all.

    14. As far as agreeing at the time of marriage to not marry another woman without divorcing the first, that is certainly a valid option and enforceable if so agreed. But there is no mandate or requirement for a Sephardi to agree to that condition at time of marriage. And if he didn't sign or swear to that then he is not subject to it.

    15. Rav Ovadia paskened sefardis can marry multiple wives?

    16. TomMay 20, 2014 at 4:37 PM
      RMT: It isn't hard at all to drop in to a few kollels and find 100 guys with smicha to sign a heter meah. After asking 200 you will find 100 willing to sign once they hear your sob-story about your evil wife.

      That is not a heter meah rabbanim. A heter meah rabbanim needs to be made up of 100 Rabbis from three different communities from three different countries. L'Chatchila it should be written by the Gedolei HaDor and then signed by the 100. Beit Shmuel EvH"E 1:23. The Pitchei Teshuva agrees with the above but says that they need not be actual Rabbis, but they must be fully versed in these halakhot(ibib 1:16)

      A true Heter Meah Rabbanim is not so easy to come by.

    17. A.F.S.May 20, 2014 at 4:45 PM
      Chacham Ovadia Yosef zt'l supports polygamy

      South AfricanMay 20, 2014 at 7:47 PM
      Rav Ovadia paskened sefardis can marry multiple wives?

      No Rav Ovadia Yosef ZTzUK"L does not support polygamy or claim that a man may have more than one wife.

      A.F.S. I believe that you are quoting the Habayit HaYehudi HaShalem's article that takes a single paragraph from his Teshuva in Y"O 5 EvH"E 1). However you will note that is not the maskanna, but rather one argument put forward in a Teshuva regarding a woman refusing to accept a Get. Rav Ovadia rules according to the Sh"A who says that one should find ways to forbid such things(EvH"E 1:11) and so he ruled in Y"O EvH"E 8:2. The accepted text of of a Sephardi Ketubah(aside from the Yemmenite community) has the afore mentioned vow written into it, and according to the Chida, the Ben Ish Hai, the Yaskil Avdei and Maran Ovadia it has for hundreds of years.

      Also see the Yalkut Yosef mentioned above.

    18. RMT: U.S., Canada and Israel are three different countries (and communities). Or replace any of those countries with Britain, France, Australia, Mexico, etc. We live in the jet age of international commerce. Finding kollels in three different countries/communities is almost trivial. That is just the reality. You get your friend in America or Israel to do the legwork in their country. And someone else elsewhere; or fly there yourself.

      So it won't be l'chatchila, only bdieved. And if they don't even need to be rabbis, 100 kollel people with smicha is above that as they are rabbis. Nobody is going to give them a farher (test) on their knowledge. Shopping around asking 200 or 300 kollel guys in a few large kollels, in different communities, and you'll find 1 out of 2 or 1 out of 3 willing to add their signature after you give them your shpiel.

      It seems you are not Ashkenazic. What does the non-Ashkenazic world do when they have a situation that would be resolved with a heter meah in the Ashkenazic world?

    19. Tom I've spent a good amount of time in Kollelim(the Mir, Batei Broyde, Nahar Shalom, and Beit El to name a few), especially here in Israel. Don't know how they work in the US, so much with regards to things like this, but I do know that no Kollel student in any of the Kollelim I have ever sat in would simply sign off on a heter meah rabbanim.

      A heter meah, a real one, is not all that easy to get.

      By Sephardim a person would need to deposit a Get with a Beit Din,and receive their permission to marry another woman before his first wife receieved her Get.

    20. RMT: Across the entire State of Israel you can find more than 100 guys with smicha, in kollel and out of kollel, who will sign. You only need 100 out of a population of how many guys in Israel with smicha? Quite a few. 100 is not a lot to find. Same in America. A hundred signatories from guys with smicha is not hard to get. And the signatories don't even have to be all rabbis. So the ones with smicha is a bonus.

    21. Tom let's review.

      All 100 have to be well versed in the halakhot of Kiddushin and Gittin in order to be able to give a valid signature.

      Lacking that the heter is bogus.

      Anyone well versed in those halakhot will know that l'chatchila the heter needs to first be endorsed by the Gedolei HaDor.

      Now are you suggesting that Yirei Shamayim Jews will knowingly and willfully go against halakha because a friend of a friend wants a paper signed?

      Sure you can find 100 guys in Israel that are qualified to sign one, but if you got all the signatures from Israel again the heter would be bogus.

      Is it easy to get a bogus heter? Maybe, I wouldn't want to think that yirei shamayim would involve themselves in such things. However a true heter is hard to come by.

  15. RHS is the posek (and actively involved advisir). He knew what the heter was when they put up tje Tamar Is Free" press release.

    A few years ago, i had a client whose exwife refused to take a get. He had some protexia with ORA, so they took on his case. As soon as they found out she had a Rackman get (which he didn't even know about) they dropped the case.

    So their policy has always been that heterim of these types are kosher.

    1. Forgot to mention -- in my clients case, there already was a seruv which the Rackman bet din either ignored or the wife didnt tell him.

    2. Superintendant ChalmersMay 19, 2014 at 8:51 PM

      This is false. RHS did not know of the heter when they released the "Tamar is Free" press release. (I don't know if he knows of the nature of the heter even now.)

      ORA's policy is not that "heterim of this type are kosher." That is an extreme distortion of the truth. ORA tries to help women who want a get to obtain said get. If Tamar decides she's not interested in a get for whatever reason, no matter how fraudulent, ORA has no more place in the matter. That doesn't mean that Rabbi Schachter in any way approves or supports a sham Rackman heter.

    3. The heter was kosher enough for them to drop their advocacy on behalf of the exhusband. (Note: at that time they were doing advocacy. Today they only do "give a get or else." Any advocacy, they hold today, interferes with their goal of give the get or else. And now they add physical threats to their "or else", in light of current news reports.)

  16. There are plenty of (otherwise shomer shabbat) men who end up marrying women with heterim like this. Of course,i don't understand

    1. You have raised an important point. what happens when a Rackman divorcee is involved in a shiduch- is there a requirement to inform the propective husband?

    2. Rackman's policy was NOT to inform the husband. (It is on the JOFA website.) I dont understand that. If you inform him, perhaps he would agree to a get
      Why create unnecessay problems? (Rhetorical answr -- it interferes with their real agenda of doing away with the get altogether.)

      Afterwards, they're prob like any other bet din -- no enforcement. (A common problem with ALL batei din -- no enforcement

    3. I would think anyone who is redt a shidduch to a divorcee would want to inquire who did the get or what the basis was for "freeing" her. If the would-be chosson does not, certainly the mesader kiddushin would.

      At one point, I was seriously dating the daughter of a giyoret, and my Rosh Yeshiva told me that if it came to that, he would have to inquire as to who was responsible for the geirus. (The issue ended up being moot when we broke it off.)

    4. Why did he not check it out himself?
      Would notifying him help?

      The only thing that would help is the public shame of others finding out about it. That's where it gets sticky - how far do you go to prevent someone from doing this wrong, when he has a flimsy heter.

  17. As much as you can't trust anyone these days, I just can't believe that RSK would be Matir an Eishes Ish. There probably is some very private and gory information which warrants a Mekach Taus ruling which is being kept secret by the rabonim at their discression.

    1. If that were the case, why did they allow ORA to send out the email they did? Why not do everything quietly?

    2. Well they do have notify the public that there is Heter.

    3. The Rabonim have no right whatsoever to give a strange hetter secretly. Specifically when they are under pressure and even more so when (if) the person involved is known to be a gevir etc.

      If you allow this then you can only expect a total break down of Yidishkait in America. Of course much Yidishkait is still kept because of embarrassment of questionable rabonnim to go in public against the basic Torah values

      Please make more research before you defend them

    4. that makes no sense. either she is mutar or not. If r shmuel said he should give a get then there is obviously no mekach taos. If the mekach taos was valid then why would a get be needed at all?

      Would you claim a shoiteh needs to give a get lchumrah (which mr friedman is clearly not)?

      This is deeply troubling for someone who made this divorce case publicized by writing a letter to am yisrael demanding that he give a get and to now say he doesn't know details. You wonder why so many people are leaving the fold? What in the world is going on?

    5. truth,
      In all of the Tshuvos from RMF when discussing the possibility of Mekach Taus, clearly says that is B'shas Hadchak when they can't get a Get from the husband. So what this means is that even though if we can't manage to get a Get we will be matir, we should still try to lechatchila get a Get. Hence the Get L'chumra.

    6. That is very nice but what is the shas hadchak now. Mental illness has been ruled out by Rabbi Eidensohn and Tamar herself based on her own testimony in court. The Kiddushin was done by RSK himself so can't claim bad kiddushin. What other possibilities could it be? Mr Friedman has told R ' Eidensohn that he is willing to give the get under fair terms so she could get a get if she wanted one.
      Reb Moshe's teshuvos were based on cases that the get was impossible to get. This epstein case does not fall under those guidelines since a get is readily available.

  18. One of the serious and outrageous problems that the Kaminetsky's have created by deciding that the marriage was a mistake is that it constitutes very nasty slander against the husband. Tamar can't legitimately leave the marriage without a get - unless Aharon is falsely considered someone who no normal person would be interested in marrying or would be able to stay married to.

    That is simply a clear and outrageous lie! It is equivalent to falsely claiming that husband sexually abused the children in order to get custody.

  19. How do you know the accusations would be false?

  20. Perhaps someone close to the Kamenetsky's would ask them to comment on this Halacho:

    The S"A OBLIGATES them to explain their reasoning:

    יו"ר סימן רמ"ב ס"י:

    יֵשׁ מִי שֶׁכָּתַב שֶׁאָסוּר לְחָכָם לְהַתִּיר דָּבָר (יב) הַתָּמוּהַּ שֶׁנִּרְאֶה לָרַבִּים שֶׁהִתִּיר אֶת הָאָסוּר.

    באר היטב (יב) התמוה. כתב הש''ך נראה דהיינו דוקא אם מתיר בסתם אבל אם אומר לשואל טעם בדבר ומראה לו פנים או שמביא ראיות מתוך הספר מותר:

    Of course, in theory it's possible to say that they would refrain from publicizing their reasoning, under the assumption that they are protecting the husband's honor by doing so.

    HOWEVER - chances are that this Heter has something to do with a DSM-based diagnosis of Mental Illness, which is commonly accepted in many circles as both objective & also as predictive of future behavior - although a large body of expert opinion considers many of these diagnoses to be spurious.

    Here is what Allen Frances writes, in an op-ed piece in the New York Times.

    Dr. Frances should know, as he led the task force that produced D.S.M.-4:

    "Indeed, the D.S.M. is the victim of its own success and is accorded the authority of a bible in areas well beyond its competence. It has become the arbiter of who is ill and who is not — and often the primary determinant of treatment decisions, insurance eligibility, disability payments and who gets special school services. D.S.M. drives the direction of research and the approval of new drugs. It is widely used (and misused) in the courts. "


    I wonder if the Kamenetskys are aware of the fact that the person in charge of writing the last DSM (as noted above - Frances Chaired the task force) - along with many other esteem professionals - believes that the DSM is being used "well beyond its competence" and "is widely used (and misused) in the courts".

    The Kamenetsky's are surely Ehrlich - at least in areas where self-interest plays no role in blinding their judgement. Perhaps someone close to them would like to do them a CHESED & double-check to make sure that DSM diagnoses is NOT what is driving this odd Psak.

    1. Even if that were the case that mental illness was involved (which in this case Mr Friedman has none based upon r 'eidensohn and tamar testimony in court). Isn't a public apology in order to mr friedman and his family for the horrible campaign that was waged against them especially If a get was never needed? Since when did the torah mattir embarrassing someone let alone who is not well?

    2. If he is truly mentally ill, then he is halachically incapable of giving a get, even if he wants to. This is the classic case of agunah (equal to the prisoner of war case.) And she cant use the "he would have done so argument" cause there was major discord in the marriage.

  21. What happens in the case somebody marines a divorced woman, and the Get is later questioned to be invalid? If the man relied on the get being kosher, has he committed adultery, or is it an error, based on relying on faulty information?

    1. It is adultery- even though it was unintentional - and their children would be mamzerim.

    2. Rachmono L'Etzlan

  22. His reaction was: "...Heter Meah Rabbonim". He seemed to be making light of the whole thing.May 19, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    Hetech petech meah ra bonim for who??? The husband never asked for one, for her, there is no such thing! All these nonsensic languages, no more an Aguna, muter, FREE, heter meah rabonim, hatores nedorim chozer bisheila sadistic indication shmegegi shmochtes, are orve porach double talk. Needs a Get lechumre is triple talk. Mr. Friedman is a fine and noble gentleman of good standing who wants to see his children and wants a fair judgement al pi halacha and fair market value al pi dina demalchuse. The ORA's and the Epstinks Wol-smarks, the thugs of the goon squads, yimach shemom vezichrom. Feds olecho, Kalgassimnikes. We the people will put an end to these Pnei hador kipnei haklovimnikes, and bring them to Justice. No, we are not FREE and open season, it is you that heviacho Elokim bamishpot!

  23. The nature of the hetermight (or might not, but i think definitely is) relevant to the general public, but the real loaded question to ask RSK is "will you do siddur kiddushin if tamar / her family asks you?" (I believe he did the first one.)

    If he hems and haws, says depends, says maybe, refuses to answer, says ask my son, that means he does not hold of the "heter".

  24. Oy, velo mever layam huMay 19, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    I am not clear in your response. Please indicate who said what to whom. Who asked for a Heter meah rabonim and received one. I only know that a husband can acquire when SHE refuses to accept a get. He in turn needs to deposit a pending get in prior of Heter for whenever she is ready and willing to pick it up. That is a prerequisite for a Heter meah. Had that been the case, then she is full fledged divorced, apparently that does not seem to be the case. Hems and haws, and he-haws is in abundance. What we need now is a Yikov hadin es hohor kind of talk, that is dvorim kedorbonos. Short of that, all else is garble gefomfenechtz, worthless, waste of life. veda"l

    Here is a question you might want ask Father /Son. Is Mr. Friedman "FREE" to marry as is, everything else being equal???

  25. If he did the first one, perhaps he ruled himself out - maybe he owned a smartphone or something illegal at the time? Hence annulling the kiddushin.

  26. Hifsalto kol hakekele kohol, velo nishar sorid upolit kosher afilu ed achod beyisrael. Ahhhhhh.... on second thought, the heter meah bekif nun ta'amim was probably for the i-phone, bi-phone, u-phone, we all phone. Whew, what a phoney. The only problem is, umay kosovir lekatchila?


    1. I hate to say it, but this is all terrible. Exactly as the post stated:

      "He told me that when someone is set to marry her, that information will be revealed to that person."

      I can't figure out why WE have to know all the information now. This is a terrible chutzpa! I hope that if anyone wrote one word against Rav Shmuel or Rav Shalom that was lacking in Kuvod, would be sure to use their wisdom do beg Mechila!

    2. brunfin it is obvious why this information is needed now. The Kaminetsky's have created a horrible situation which impacts many people's lives - in particular Aharon Friedman. Judaism doesn't have popes who can arbitrarily declare that a woman is not an eishes ish. Halacha - especially when it publicly impacts people's lives - needs to be a transparent process.

    3. Why would any shadchan bother to spend time on someone that is a mechuser get, or any prospect get involved in a can of worms. What would make any one think that all of a sudden he WILL decide to give a get to please a chumra for those that were yordim lechayov? If the FREE trick couldn't do the complete job, from whence the FREE? She is not free after all! Pay up to snuff, and she can be free as free can be. Let them pasken the status of Mr. Friedman whatever that might be, then we shall have a beter grasp of this magic show.

    4. Shadchanim will run to her. Her family has big money. And (some sort of letter from RSK) a godol in some circles.

  28. I believe that this case and the case with R' Belsky are both ruses to take away the husband's bargaining chip. I don't think they would let her remarry anyone. It would work if outsiders would back off. That is probably why they won't discuss the details.
    After pressure on R' Belsky, in the Shatner case, the girl's family paid out a fortune to her menuval of a husband, to set her free. No details likely means it is a tactic which is hush hush so people don't copy their psak.

    1. I heard otherwise, that nobody wanted to marry her with the ridiculous annulment that nobody backed. she was dating without a get when it came to getting serious the guy refused to marry her until she had a get that is why the family paid out!

  29. I can't believe that R. Shmuel, who's really a godol ba'torah, would be mattir an eishes ish with such a spurious hetter. I'm guessing that it's a ploy to make the husband think that he has nothing over her.

    1. In part because of this website which is undermining the only tool some gedolim have left in their arsenal.

    2. A similar ruse was used in the past before the internet and that didn't work. Neither will this one, with or without the internet.

      This is not a tool but a disgrace to be matir a married woman to date!!

  30. What a chutzpa to post such an article. Rav Sholom Kamenetsky does not have to justify himself to a website. I know Rav Sholom well. He is an emese adom godol. He truly lives in the daled amos of halacha. Its a shud that we now pasken shailos nased on hearsay on the internet, and then we are mevaze a Talmid Chochom. Rav Sholom does not have to justify himself to some stranger calling over the phone.

    1. You are missing the point. Tamar Epstein - with the encouragment of her rabbinic advisors - the Kaminetsky's has been very publicly attacking her husband for several years and encouraging others to do so - for not giving a get. Now she declares she doesn't need a Get at all. Obviously because the Kaminetsky's told her she was no longer married.

      This is incredible slander of the husband - not only for the last few years but the only way Tamar could get out of the marriage without a get is for the Kaminetsky's to declare him such severely damaged goods that no woman would ever marry. He has told me he has no knowledge of why Tamar thinks she is free to marry. It is also clear that he is a normal person.

      The Kaminetsky's owe an explanation for their slander of Aharon Friedman which is public knowledge due to their persistent efforts.

      Gedollm have no special heter to be motzi shem rah on people - even if it is the husband of a woman whose family have been strong backers of your yeshiva for years. There is also a Torah mitzva Bamidbar 32:22 as well as Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 242:10) that Ploni mentioned above

    2. For 'toeles' all is mutar especially according the one & only "DaasTorah" in the world.
      So why is it OK for the Gosse but not for the Gander?
      Its OK to 'blab' about all issues that have nothing to do with anyone or anything, but its not OK for the Kaminetzkies to 'blab'?

    3. Daas Torah

      Perhaps you are missing the point of 'The man'

      'The Man' thinks that Gedolim are allowed to do just about anything. It is not at all clear how he defines them but once anyone was qualified to be a Godol then he owns the world.

      It is true that we have to follow daas torah (real) blindly but this gedolim business has been completely abused for at least decades so indeed we can demand an explanation to avoid even more chilul hashem

    4. The Man

      I noticed that you mentioned the internet a number of times. It is true that nowhere else people are asking these type of questions and this is because if you dare to ask the these questions in a Yeshiva you may be punished or generally harassed so all we have left to have real discussions is the internet!

    5. ANY so called issues raised on the internet in general and on this site in particular is by definition NOT a Chilul HaShem. All Gedolim, Poskim, non Gedolim & non Poskim have very specific rules, p'sakim how and when to use the internet. Most of issues, if not all, are not included in those guidelines. So NOTHING on this site can or will cause Chilul HaShem. Not the Good nor the Bad.

  31. Yotzei lemilchomo kosvin getMay 20, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    If this secret remedy is applicable to do away with a get, then you can do away for any and all circumstances under the sun, nofal bashevi, mayim she'ein lohem sof, lo noida tivoi shel yotze lemilchama. Just make a hatores nedorim with three chelemer chachomim, take a deep breath and smell into a barrel of yoisher, make an asher yotzar with a royal flush, and GET IT over with. Veokarto parsha achas min hatoiro. It seems they try to mimick chochmas Shloimo of shtei naoshim, without any consequences.

  32. I submitted this post for publication only after receiving permission from a Rabbi. If someone mentioned in the post maintains that I owe them an apology, then they should call me and I will relay their concern to him. My phone number is (301) 754-1128.

    1. What does "I will relay their concern to him" mean? You will relay it to whom?

      And why are you suspecting some may believe you owe an apology?

    2. "What does 'I will relay their concern to him' mean? You will relay it to whom?"

      To the Rabbi who gave permission.

      "And why are you suspecting some may believe you owe an apology?"
      Please re-read the comments on this post, and if it's still unclear, then tell me and I will explain.

    3. You think the rabbis you badmouthed actually read this blog and will follow your instructions to call you?

  33. Recipients and PublicityMay 20, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    A serious problem with many of today's senior gedolim and rebbes is that they are very old and likely suffering from some form of dementia or Alzheimer's. Perhaps a few of them are lucid enough. Only their doctors would know. But before anything is believed from them, they should submit to a full medical and mental check up that would inform if said men in the 90.s late 90s or close to 100 or more, have the mental stability to be giving opinions that effects the lives of so many followers. In other words, how does anyone know when following any very aged and creaky gadol or rebbe that one is not imbibing the "cool aid" of a Jim Jones and his temple of doom cult rather than the truth or "da'as Teirah"?

    1. REPLY TO RECIPIENTSMay 20, 2014 at 4:02 PM


    2. If that is the case they shod not be issuing public rulings on things they dont have all the details on. In the epstein case r' shmuel never spoke to aharon friedman but had no problem issuing a public ruling

    3. Recipients and PublicityMay 20, 2014 at 7:13 PM


      Then again, maybe they really do just have dementia and Alzheimer's and are just plain old eiber ubatel as they used to call it in the olden days.

      Normally average old folks retire or are retired and move on to more relaxing things and places where they can't cause any mischief. Poorer ones are put in nursing homes while the richer ones can get locked up in their mansions, even in the Charedi world, but not so for "gedolim" and "rebbes" whose pics grace the centerfolds of the weekly Yated and Hamodia, and who trick people into thinking that they are latter-day "Moishe Rabbeinus" who lived on to 120 years and his eyes were not dimmed etc. Trouble is the gedolim and rebbes are very, very human. One or two of them maybe are in good shape, but the majority are just way over the hill and should be removed from all their positions and sent to nursing homes or locked up in mansions.

      What the gabbaim do is worse than what you say, the gabbaim and askonim "mummify" the gedolim and they are just mannequins sometimes a hair's breadth away from actual brain death.

      Then you have the younger crop of so-called gedolim today who are just arrogant young punks with no depth or experience who never went through a single hardship in their life, except clawing their way over others to get to the top and gain control and power. Does BMG have "great leaders"? Who is Shalom K. of Philly kidding with his pronouncements and chutzpa? What can one say about all the split-in-two rebbes of Satmar, Bobov, Viznitz that have two rebbes apiece, or Breslov and Chabad that follow invisible dead rebbes? Or the Sefardim who follow kooks and charlatan "miracle workers"? The MOs are just out to lunch they don't follow anyone, only what the trends in magazines and fashions say.

      Wherever one looks (if one even bothers to look) one sees a great void of leadership. Pnai Hador KePnai HaKelev! It's truly a Dor Yasom and surely the true Mashiach cannot be too far away.

    4. This is the brilliant RAP whose posts I used to enjoy!
      On a more technical note, but running in parallel - in Hilchot Sanhedrin, Rambam writes for other reasons, that a very old Gadol cannot be head of the Sanhedrin, because he will be too strict. Or a childless one will not have rachmanus. These are all important ideas, or even laws for those who still keep halacha. For some reason, the idea that the oldest Gadol will have the best Daas has become commonplace. Rambam is talking about those whose mental faculties are still in place. BUt I think a deeper analysis of these laws will reveal that he rejects Daas Torah in its Chareidi format. He is saying being very learned and senior does not give the right mix judgement. A 99 year old posek will not remember what it was like to be young - and will hand down draconian piskei halacha that cannot be carried by the masses.

  34. Vote them out of officeMay 20, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    When dina demalchuse does not permit thugs and goon squads kidnapping, whipping, using all kinds of brute force, acting with full support and backing of the rabbis flexing their muscles, they are NOT any more our manhigim, dayonim or rabonim. They are the pnei haklovim as referred to in the mishnah. You must understand the mechanism how this ticks, works and operates. If you give them your votes, they use it for all sorts of self benefits, taking away funds from what the government allocates for your Tashbar, Bochurim, Yeshivos and all kinds of financial support, and instead they are building themselves palaces, hoarding into bank accounts, even investments al keren hatzvi VeHaMadoff's, & Weinsteins and to undercover sting operators etc. Then they are mafkir your young for the recreation of the rapists and all sorts of perverts. When the law catches up with them, they recruit all the fixers and machers to secure a sweet deal or letting them completely off the hook, to rape them all over again, and make sure to intimidate the victims and their whole family and friends entourage, by inventing kivyachol "messira", so that you remain helpless. Your children become dog fodder to the lakelev tashlichin osoi. If you have clout, you can have them bend (break) halacha either way when your children need to secure a Get R'L. You must remember, that dogs (klovim) don't bite each other, and when the Epstein meratzchim are in action churning the mamzerim machine, lo yechratz kelev leshonoi kicks into action. Money talks, talks walk. The higher you climb on the ladder, the bigger the corruption. It is YOU that give them the Power, the Votes, the melave malka funds, and doing a song and a dance with all the bells and whistles. It is all in the package deal of hashochad yeaver syndrome, and each dog scratching the other dogs back.

    Time to wisen up, start by voting them OUT of office NOW. Tell them that the children are OURS and YOU do NOT own them, they are not "FREE", and their blood is not hefker for kol tzri vekol zav. The government allocated funds are for OUR children, for "We, the little people", the poor, the needy, the tired and overworked, in order to ease our burden of tzaar gidel bonim. Take your hands out of our pockets. We, the taxpayers that pool into these government funds are entitled to these allocations. Again, iskaatem bachatzotzros into their ears, "You do not own our beings". No more melave malke funds, emergency this, emergency that or the other. No more Pidyon Shvuyim funds for those well deserved chad gadyonikes for life, veheim kolim melehem. If you won't do it, no one else will do it for you. Should this continue, Moshiach better come Now, before there will be no one left to come to. Remember, your influence counts, USE IT!!!

  35. What the husband should do now is remarry without giving a Get. She and her rabbis could have no objections to this as they maintain she needs no Get. And him remarrying without giving a Get is not as problematic as her remarrying.

    1. but he follows halacha and doesn't go for this nonsense. so what he should do is get a heter maah rqabonim - deposit a get with a trusted bais dinon with any conditions he wants (conditions not on the get but on the delivery) (guess for holding a get you don't need a real bais din - so he can form one from his close friends whom he can trust) and then get married...

    2. It depends on the prospective kallah, and in mr f's society, that limits him a lot, unfairly.

    3. Further, the ex and her agents (formally and informal agents) ruined his career in govt by their actions. No politician will hire him now that protests directed at the politician were put into play. And his politician employer is not running for reelection, so she put him in major trouble.

    4. That was not nice, but he brought it on himself. So no pity there.

    5. Patience, I see Mr Friedman brought it upon himself because his wife kidnapped their child and she tried to destroy him because he stood up and fought back to have a meaningful relationship with his child.

      Children should only be so lucky to be blessed parents like him who will stand up and risk everything for their child's sake. Now that's what I call good parenting!

  36. I just got a phone call from somebody on this blog who defends the honor of certain rabbis who were attacked here. I had a wonderful talk with him and if anyone else wants to call me my number is 845-578-1917. I said basically that if you consider somebody a great gadol and he paskens in such a manner to defy the Shulchan Aruch and the major rabbis in halacha he is the most wicked person, because a Torah scholar who sins is much worse than a plain person. It is also the greatest chilul HaShem that people like the Kaminetskies should be silent when one of their followers claims to be ready to marry without a GET and have a mamzer.

    1. Shaul & David also had issues about a woman who eventually "married" some other person. AT THE TIME, there was no internet to 'badmouth' either party. Yet all lived pretty peacefully.
      It as only many manyyears later that the right party was vindicated and the "other person" ended being a hero, Zaddik.
      So why are we all wasting our time here blogging about issues that nothing will change and she will eventually marry someone (hopefully after thar "lechumerah get is issued).

    2. the problem is you obviously don't care about the perpetuation of mamzeirus or that a married woman is dating. Any decent yid would be sickened by this.

      Maybe lets stick our heads in the sand like we did when the respected baal korei, ball tefillah. maggid shiur relative of head dayan sold treife chicken to the whole monsey. etc..

      The site is doing an excellent job of warning the people of the danger of creating mazeirim if no get is given.

      It's frightening to know that people like yourself advocate dating a married woman let alone commit adultery. What if no get is given would you want to be meshadech with her offspring?

    3. facts,
      To people like this you tell facts?

  37. Patience, I see Mr Friedman brought it upon himself because his wife kidnapped their child and she tried to destroy him because he stood up and fought back to have a meaningful relationship with his child.

    Children should only be so lucky to be blessed parents like him who will stand up and risk everything for their child's sake. Now that's what I call good parenting!

    1. Well in a way he did. Instead of running to civil court he should have filed a criminal complaint of kidnapping with the Maryland State Police. Then his child would be back with him, he could have won custody because of her felonious behavior, and he would be able to give her her Get without further ado, and move on with his life for him and his daughter. There would have been no, let's wait 30 days and then I will talk about returning with the child. It would have simply been that she had 30days to return the child or face 25yrs imprisonment.

      Unfortunately he made a bad call, went against the halakha in seeking a civil judgement and is now facing the consequences of said bad decision.

      It is not fair and it is not right. But one bad decision, one aveirra can negatively affect us for the rest of our lives.

    2. So you are saying because he seeked out daas torah he is a baal aveirah?

      Were you there? Do you know what transpired?

      I actually know that when this happened mr friedman went to a rav for guidance as to what halacha allows him to do? when he asked this rav what what to do he was told he should wait. when he and beis din saw that the statue of limitations was running out he got a heter to go to court but by then it was too late.
      Had he not followed this rav's advice there would not be nothing to talk about and ms epstein would have been in jail where she belongs. As a side note after rabbi kaminetsky stuck his two cents in without ever speaking to Mr friedman. This rav who gave him the advice told him you are right but I can't fight r' kaminetsky because I wont win against him.

      I would suggest that you get the facts before claiming he did an aveirah.

    3. Sorry but that is not what is written in the finding of facts posted on this blog. It says he received permission from a single Rav to go to secular court. Simple truth is that no single Rav can issue a heter to go to secular court for adjudication.

      I'm not saying Rav Kaminetsky is free and clear on this. In fact I'm waiting to hear from the other Gedolim in Philadelphia regarding that. Why hasn't Rav Felder or Rav Brisman spoken out?

      Rav Brisman I can sort of understand wanting to keep quiet. He works with her mother at Torah Academy and she was his student. But what of Rav Felder? Further do they still include Rav Kaminetsky on their B"D? There are lots of questions that still need answers. However the question regarding whether he was within the bounds of halakha to go to secular court is a very clear. He wasn't.

    4. Sigh, RMT. Unfortunately, you really are out of the loop completely. R' Aharon felder has not been well for a while and has passed away!

      As for other rabbanim what can I say when was the last time a litfish rav in bnei brak came out against rabbi kanievsky on something they didn't agree with? While some may not agree with his ruling it would be suicide to come out against it. how much more so where philli is such a small town and as you said rabbi brisman has ties to the family.

      I don't think you fully grasp how powerful the kaminetsky clan is in philly or America for that matter. Speaking out against him will have you removed from frum society and turn you into a pariah in philly

    5. RMT-lets get a couple of things straiight here. I agree with you it was a huge mistake not to call the police immediately. You and I would have done the same
      However, he did go to a posek one that has written seforim on gittin and was told not to go to the police but to try mediation to save the marriage. aharn friedman sincerely was serious about salvaging the marriage but unfortunately After the rav saw that tamar was neither cooperating nor serious about mediation. The heter was given. Unlike in Israel, beis din can not enforce that she return . that is why a heter was given since beis din can not enforce it and the statue of limitations was about to run out Which sadly it did.. The truth of the matter is The Rav was right on the mark because as time would tell Tamar had no respect for beis din and walked out before a ruling was even issued. Instead she ran to get a bogus seruv from wolmark who is facing life imprisonment for husband beating and issuing seruvim to men who don't even exist.

      To blame Aharon fro trying to save his marriage and listening to a posek is not yosher.
      It is really sad that Tamar has brought this situation on herself. the reality is she should have waited for beis din to at least issue a ruling before walking out and getting her rabbi and ora involved demanding that Aharon give a get. She has dug herself into a huge hole now and she has only herself to blame

      As a side not in America if someone goes to the police they are viewed as a moser. RSK himself said it is assur to go to the police you have to go to a rav but that is a whole another topic in itself.

    6. Unfortunately, you really are out of the loop completely. R' Aharon felder has not been well for a while and has passed away!
      Apparently he did. Barukh Dayan HaEmet.

      As for other rabbanim what can I say when was the last time a litfish rav in bnei brak came out against rabbi kanievsky on something they didn't agree with?
      Well Rabbi Brisman isn't in Bnei Brak he is in Philly. His silence is a question. He has fought Rav Kamenetsky on many issues in the past. But the health of Rav Felder may have also been an issue.

      I don't think you fully grasp how powerful the kaminetsky clan is in philly or America for that matter.
      No I don't. Last time I was in Philly(15yrs ago) he was a bit of a laughing stock really. He had made some interesting rulings, such as only whole fish could be considered kosher, and only cottonseed oil was kosher ect.

      If I have somehow inadvertantly given the impression that I thought he could be trusted in halakha, I am sorry but that is not the case. I don't think he can be trusted in matters of Kashrut let alone Gittin.

      Honestly it makes me wonder if the problems that have come to light recently in the Lakewood Yeshiva don't go further back. Here you have RSK doing odd things, and you have Rav Abadi... well I don't think I need to expound upon him.

    7. RMT, You failed to undertand my analogy. just like no one in bnei brak would stand up to r' kanievski nobody would do the like in Philly. If r 'brisman would openly attack him today he would probably be run out of town before he could finish his sentence.

      Things have changed dramatically today. while 15 years ago you claim that no one took him seriously today that is 100% not the case. In fact he is considered probably the most senior Rabbinic leader in America.

      Unfortunately, there is a huge leadership vacuum in america today

  38. Rabbi Tzadok,

    Didn't Aharon ask advice from a Posek, someone who has written a Sefer on just this issue, as to how to proceed? Aharon followed Halacha in the way he went to civil court.

    1. Halakha says that a single posek cannot give a man a heter to go to court for adjudication. Even the BDA, in the only Teshuva that Rav Eidensohn could find on the subject, says that.

      It is clear that in going to court he acted against halakha. Which is precisely why the Baltimore B"D insisted that he vacate his case.

    2. Rabbi Tzadok,

      What is your source of information?

      Aharon couldn't file a criminal charge against his wife because it would be Mesira. He couldn't go to divorce court without permission from a Bais Din. He filed in civil court, on the advice of a Rav, for the express purpose of keeping the jurisdiction of the case in a Maryland court. He then asked for an extension, and proceeded to bring the case before a Bais Din.

    3. RMT,
      You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of Maryland law. Unilaterally relocating a child in the absence of a court order is not a criminal violation. The only remedy is to grab the child back (which a court would likely frown upon) or go to court, not the police.

    4. RMT,
      If the halacha regarding bringing an emergency motion was so clear and absolute as you claim, the Baltimore BD would have ordered the parties to dismiss the civil court case in January when that BD was told that the case was in civil court. The Baltimore BD did not order the parties to dismiss the case from the civil court until months later, after the civil court denied the parties' request to postpone the trial on custody and divorce, at which point the Baltimore BD had not yet issued its custody decision.

    5. יש מכתב מפורסם מהגה"צ מדעברעצין זצ"ל, איך שמתיר ביחיד לאב לילך לערכאות בשביל שהאם מונע ממנו ביקורים ביישרות.

    6. RMT,
      If the halacha regarding bringing an emergency motion was so clear and absolute as you claim, the Baltimore BD would have ordered the parties to dismiss the civil court case in January when that BD was told that the case was in civil court.

      No so. The B"D lacks any and all authority until both parties sign a shtar birurim. It was clear from the way Tamar left that she intended to try to deprive her husband of his halakhic rights to their child. Why would a B"D order him to vacate a case when they may have to give him a heter to go to Arkaot? That doesn't kasher his actions, it is simply practical.

      You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of Maryland law. Unilaterally relocating a child in the absence of a court order is not a criminal violation.

      Hmmm... I have a business associate who is a Maryland State Police Officer. My information in this regard is from him. I guess he may be ignorant of Maryland State law... but somehow I think that is doubtful.

    7. Rabbi Tzadok I didn't say that BDA was my only source. I also mentioned the Maharsham. These are the words of the Debricizner's brother.

      שו"ת בצל החכמה חלק ד סימן לז

      ו) אמנם בתשו' מהרש"ם (ח"ד סוסי' ק"ה השני) כ' כי האב"ד יחידי רשאי ליתן רושת לתבוע בערכאות את המסרב לבא לפניו לדין ע"ש ריאותיו. והוא היפך דעת האורח משפט הנ"ל (אות ב') וכמש"כ גם הדר"ג שליט"א. ולענ"ד קצת ראי' לדברי המהרש"ם מתשו' הרמ"א (סי' ק"ח ד"ה ועוד) שכ' לענין מי ששיעבד עצמו כלפי המלוה שלו שיכול לתובעו בדיני עכו"ם וז"ל, ואף מי שנשתעבד שיש לכופו בדיני כותים אין לו רשות לדון בפניהם אא"כ לא ירצה הנתבע לדון בפני דייני ישראל וגם זה אחר התתראה בפני בי"ד וכו' אבל קודם זה אסור לשום "דיין" לתת כח לדון בדיני כותים ואין בעשיית "הדיין" כלום בדבר זה וכו' עכ"ל. ומוכח שאם לא ירצה הנתבע לדון בדייני ישראל מותר "לדיין" לתת כח לדון בדיני כותים ועשייתו עשי' אם כי הוא רק יחידי. גם בד"מ (סי' כ"ו סק"ב) כ' בשם מהרי"ק, שאין כח לשום דיין לתת כח ללכת בערכאות על עכו"ם כל זמן שהנתבע רצה להיות ציית דין עכ"ל. משמע הא אין הנתבע רוצה לציית דין יש כח גם לדיין אחד לתת רשות ללכת בערכאותיהם. וזה כפסקו של הגאון מהרש"ם.

      ז) והנה באורח משפט (סי' כ"ו הנ"ל אות ב') אחר שכ' דלהתיר איסור דלפניהם ולא וכו' צריך בי"ד של ג' דבאיסור לא שייך קבלה הוא מוסיף וכותב, ובפרט דגובין עפי"ז הוצאות ועיקר התירו מבואר ברמ"א שאלה ק"ח דהוא מטעם הפקר בי"ד, והפקר בי"ד ודאי דבעי ג' כידוע בזה עכ"ל. כוונתו למש"כ בתשו' הרמ"א בסוף התשו' שם לענין שיהא המסרב חייב לשלם להתובע ההוצאות וההזיקות בערכאות כשהלך ברשות בי"ד דהפקר בי"ד הפקר ע"ש. ובודאי שכן הוא לענין ההוצאות, אבל לענין עצם ההיתר לתבוע בערכאות אדרבה מוכח לשון תשו' הרמ"א הנ"ל דבדיין אחד סגי וכמש"כ.

      ולפמש"כ (אות ו') יש קצת ראי' לדעת המהרש"ם מדקדוק לשון תשו' הרמ"א, אלא שמ"מ בודאי לכתחילה אין ליחיד ואפי' להרב אב"ד שקבלו הקהל אותו עליהן לדון ולהורות, ליתן היתר ללכת לערכאות בלי שיצרף אליו עוד שנים, ומ"מ בעבר ונתן היתר כזה לבדו אין מזחיחין אותו. אבל שיהא לזה שסירב לבא לדין לפי הזמנת הרב אב"ד או הדיין שנתקבל לכך, דין מסרב ממש לא נחלקו האורח משפט והמהרש"ם ומסתבר כי לדינא גם הלבוש"מ מודה לזה.

    8. שו"ת שבט הלוי חלק ד סימן קפג

      נוסף לזה הרי איכא דעת התומים סי' ד' דמדין עביד דינא לנפשי' לא בעינן רשות בי"ד יע"ש, וסתימת הפוסקים אינו כן, - איברא הרי כ' בכנה"ג סי' י"ד וכו' - דדעת הרא"ש ורב פלטאי גאון נוטה דמסרב לא בעינן רשות בי"ד כלל, ויכול להזמינו לערכאות, דלא כסתימת השו"ע סי' כ"ו, ונהי דא"א לחלוק על המפורש בשו"ע דבעינן רשות בי"ד והוא לשון הרמב"ם, מ"מ מצאתי בשו"ת טוטו"ד מ"ג סוסי' רס"א דהמנהג עכשיו שלא להקפיד על רשות בי"ד אם מסרב ללכת לדינא, ונהי דקשה לסמוך ע"ז לבד, אבל הכא דרוצה להוציא עצמו מכל דין, וגם נראה לרב מובהק יושב על מדין להזמינו כדת אם יסרב גם לזה בודאי מכל הנ"ל יראה שיצאנו גם לידי חובת רשות בי"ד, הגם שכב' מחותני הה"ג הצ' יראה לו דמש"כ מהרש"ם ח"ד סוס"י ק"ה הוא דוקא ברב שנתקבל מקהלתו דאז גם יחיד נחשב כמו בי"ד, מ"מ לענ"ד יראה כנ"ל דהמעיין ביש"ש ב"ק שם יראה דדעת רוב הפוסקים דבי"ד לאו דוקא - דהה"ד טובי ומנהיגי קהל - ועכ"פ לא גרע מורה הוראה ומובהק מטובי הקהלה וכיון שבעיניו יראה שיש כאן דין מסרב וכוונתו לשמים יצאנו בזה גם נגד דין רשות בי"ד, וכבר כ' המהרש"ל ביש"ש ב"ק שם דרשות בי"ד רק תקנה אחרונה יע"ש - סו"ד דברי מחותני הגאון ברורים לדינא.
      ע"ז בעה"ח יום א' מטות לבני ישראל - מצפה לרחמי שמים

    9. RMT,
      What is the Maryland law to which you are referring? What is the Maryland law that criminalizes the relocation of a child in the absence of a court order regarding custody? Please cite the statute.

    10. D"T

      Both of those Teshuvot predicate the ability of a single Rav to give a heter arkaot upon one of the parties having received hazmanot from a B"D and being m'sereiv.

      Neither of them say that a person can get a heter from a single Rav from the beginning.

    11. Rabbi Tzadok while your asking your Officer friend can you also find out if the FBI is investigating a group of thugs that beat men into giving a Get?

      Rabbi Tzodak you don't have a really good track record.

    12. "her husband of his halakhic rights to their child"

      What exactly are "halakhic rights to a child"?

      I only know halachic obligations of parent towards a child, and of a child towards a parent, but I never heard of a "halachic right to a child", as if the child was an object.

      I think that this is a concept people are making up as they go, always in the way it best suits them.

      the whole sob stories about the fathers not going to PTA and birthday parties in kindergarten - does a child have a halachic right that both parents attend their school plays? Just wondering.

    13. Patience,

      It is quite evident from your comments that you believe children do not deserve to have both parents in their lives. You mock Halacha and fathers who are trying to be good parents.

      Every Jewish Male has an obligation to have children according to the torah from the verse "pru urivu". Pru is the actual act of conceiving the child. the rvu part is raising them such as supporting their child financially, educating them, being involved in their life and development. In todays day and age this is more crucial than ever. But to you I guess it's a sob story when a parent is trying to be responsible.

      "I think that this is a concept people are making up as they go"

      Based upon your posts here You are obviously ignorant of the case and halacha. You are continuing to make a fool of yourself!

    14. YisSteinMay 21, 2014 at 5:47 PM
      Rabbi Tzadok while your asking your Officer friend can you also find out if the FBI is investigating a group of thugs that beat men into giving a Get?

      Rabbi Tzodak you don't have a really good track record.

      That wasn't the question at the time. It was whether or not they had taken over the Friedman investigation. Which they had not.

    15. Abduction:

      Md. Fam. Law Code Ann. § 9-304. Md. Fam. Law Code Ann.§ 9-305.
      These allow the abducting parent to be charged with custodial interference before a court order has been issued.

    16. @facts: you spoke of obligations, not of rights.

      So you still failed to explain what the "halachic rights to a child" are.

    17. Those statutes do not make unilateral out-of-State relocation of a child by one parent where there is no custody order into a crime. The other parent cannot go to the police for a remedy.
      The other parent's only remedy is to either physically seize back the child or file a court motion.

    18. However, it is true that the law regards the unilateral relocation of a child by a parent as a grave matter. And if the other parent goes to court in a timely manner, the abducting parent's actions will be held against that parent.

    19. "It is quite evident from your comments that you believe children do not deserve to have both parents in their lives."

      That's not what I said. I said: "I agree with you that the child should have the possibility of being around both parents, if the child wants. I just take issue with the fact that on one hand you decry the way civil courts settle divorces, and on the other hand, you have claims that have no basis in halacha, but just in modern civil right."

      The basic aim of halacha is not to look to it that a child has both parents in their life. The basic aim of halacha is, as Truth pointed out, that a divorce should be a real separation.

      Therefore, everyone is making it up as they.

      that's fine, I'm in favor of innovation, I am all in favor of peaceful joint custody, the child having a dad and a mom. But don't tell me that this is what chazal have been preaching for 3000 years. That's simply not true.

      I have more confidence in the civil divorce process than most bloggers here (in Europe, not in the US). And I see no reason to denigrate civil family law and civil family court decisions the way it is routinely done on this blog.

      Ceterum censeo: A man who withholds a get beyond a reasonable amount of time, and especially after civil divorce, is wicked.

    20. Abduction,

      That is not my understanding and likewise it is not the understanding of any of the kidnapping advocacy websites for instance:

    21. What RMT and myself were referring to what I mentioned in my last post. Since it is the parent's obligation to the child Therefore it is a halachic right to a child.

  39. As opposed to the previous commentators, I happen to KNOW what the Heter was.

    Two Kollel yungeleit and a young Rabbi were tasked with a project; they were given a list of information about Mr. Friedman, about the wedding, etc. and were told to come up with a valid Heter to allow her to remarry without a Gett, based on a Mekach Ta'us.

    After a short while, each of the three submitted their Heterim, I saw them, they are flimsy and although they are Halachically sound, the Metzi'us is not, and therefore the Heter isn't public.

    The Heter was shown to many Choshuve NY Poskim (including many who are constantly maligned in the comments and on this site), and all of them have refused to sign on the Heter. The only important signatory is RSK who was Mitztaref to one of the Heterim, based on the Halacha of it. I doubt that RSK has investigated whether the facts on that Teshuva were indeed true.

    That's as much details as I can share.

    ואידך פירושא הוא

    1. Out of curiousty were these fine yungerman members of the philli kollel?

    2. In the know,
      You say the heter is halachically sound and the metsius is not, meaning they claim that certain facts exist that do not exist. This you call halachically sound? If I say that milk is kosher and therefore if bacon is milk we can eat it, does that permit us to eat bacon? The lie is halachically correct, but bacon is bacon. It is treifeh. And anyone involved in this is also treifeh.

    3. Two Kollel yungeleit from the kollel that the Epstein family helped found?

      The Dr. David E Epstein z"l Memorial Lecture.

      Dr. David Epstein, MD was one of the Kollel's founders as well as the President of the Board of Directors from 2002-2004. His contribution throughout every stage of our growth were key to the successes that nurtured the Kollel from a once-fledgling organization into the community bastion of Torah learning that it is today. Dr. Epstein was a consummate physician, a model builder of Torah and community, and most of all a loving son, husband and father. A dedication plaque in his memory graces the Beis Medrash entrance in our lobby. In recognition of his integral role in our history, we name the Annual Lecture event "The Dr. David E Epstein z'1 Memorial Lecture." We hope it will provide an additional source of merit to his neshama for many years to come.

    4. R Dovid,

      I meant to say, that the Heter itself, the Halachic ideas quoted in it are indeed Halachically sound, though they are a bit flimsy, and would pass as "acceptable." However, it was based on the "Metzi'us" which was fed to them, and that "Metzi'us" is not true...

  40. The actions of Rabbis Kamenetsky and Schachter in the Epstein-Friedman matter unfortunately illustrate the severe problems caused by rabbonim and roshei yeshiva who have very close family and/or financial and personal connections to one party in a dispute intervening in a one-sided fashion to further inflame the dispute – all the while being treated as impartial and neutral arbiters and judges in such dispute.  Epstein and Friedman brought their dispute to the Baltimore Beis Din, which held several hearings into the case and did not require that Friedman give a get or issue any other ruling against him.  Epstein violated the Baltimore Beis Din’s orders regarding dismissing the civil court trial that Friedman had delayed by eight months in order to bring the case to the Baltimore Beis Din.  Epstein successfully argued in civil court that her unilateral relocation of the child from Maryland to Pennsylvania should be treated as a fait accompli because of the time that had elapsed between the relocation and the trial.  Epstein also successfully asked the court to arrange a custody schedule where much of the child’s time with Friedman was rendered moot because of Shabbos.Epstein then involved the Washington Beis Din, which ruled that it could not get involved given that the parties had brought the matter to the Baltimore Beis Din whose orders Epstein had violated.Epstein turned to Rabbi Kamenetsky who issued public letters attacking Friedman and his family.   Rabbi Kamenetsky has longstanding personal and financial relationships with Epstein’s family, which are widely known and have actually appeared in various newspapers.  Rabbi Kamenetsky should have been widely condemned for weighing in on this matter in favor of a family to whom he has such close ties, and his completely contradicting the decision of the Beis Din to which the parties had actually brought the matter.  Instead, many in the Orthodox community simply disregarded the Baltimore Beis Din and gave credence to Rabbi Kamenetsky’s denunciations of Friedman. Rabbi Hershel Schachter and ORA, of which Rabbi Schachter serves as posek, then jumped into the matter claiming that the position of the beis din chosen by the parties should be disregarded because Rabbi Kamenetsky had taken the opposite position.  Even while the Baltimore Beis Din said that Friedman had not committed any wrongdoing and that actions against him were wrong, ORA insisted upon demonstrating against Friedman and also against the Washington Beis Din for refusing to intervene against Friedman.Think about this:  two parties brought a matter to a beis din.  One party didn’t like the beis din’s decision, so that party gets a rosh yeshiva with whom that party has close personal connections to publicly attack the other party?!  And then Rabbi Schachter declares that the beis din is irrelevant because the rosh yeshiva is a godol and incites communal attacks on the other party?!  This outrageous behavior makes a mockery of halacha, the very concept of a beis din, and the Orthodox community.

  41. If the tactics were meant to coerce a get, the tactics were not working.  But the fact that Rabbis Kamenetsky and Schachter were able to get away with such outrageous behavior, not only against Friedman and his family, but against the Baltimore Beis Din and the Washington Beis Din, just incited them to more outrageous behavior.  Eventually, Rabbi Kamenetsky was able to cobble together a so-called beis din to purport to issue a “seruv” against Friedman.  The “beis din” did not even pretend to function as anything other than a kangaroo court.  The “beis din” did not bother issuing even a single hazmana, but started off with a “hasra’a acharona” [final warning] demanding that Friedman give a get, thus issuing its ruling before even commencing any proceedings.  Rabbi Kamenetsky signed the purported “seruv” while Rabbi Schachter added his signature.   Another signatory was Rabbi Moredchai Wolmark, who was recently arrested by the FBI, along with several others, on charges of ordering a kidnapping and beating of a man in order to obtain a get.  Several of the co-conspirators have already pleaded guilty.  The competence of Rabbi Wolmark, or the complete lack thereof, was demonstrated by the fact that Rabbi Wolmark ordered the kidnapping and beating of a fictional husband regarding a marriage that did not exist.  Two other signatories have been alleged to be involved in similar beatings in the past.  That anyone would assign any credence to the actions of this “beis din,” particularly given that the parties had previously brought the matter to another beis din, is beyond absurd – but yet many did.Subsequently, Friedman was attacked by several masked individuals while returning the child to Epstein’s house on Tisha Ba’av in July 2012, in an apparent attempted kidnapping and beating.  The attack endangered not only Friedman’s life but that of the child.   But still, few rabbonim were willing to denounce the outrageous behavior, and instead many continued to publicly attack Friedman and his family instead.This just further emboldened Rabbi Kamenetsky to believe that any actions he undertakes, no matter how directly contrary to halacha, will receive wide acceptance if those actions are undertaken on behalf of a wealthy and influential family.  But all the public attacks against Friedman were not working.   And the attractiveness of ordering another assault against Friedman apparently diminished after the FBI sting operation.  The idea that Epstein should come to a reasonable resolution of all matters, despite the fact that she is part of a powerful family accustomed to getting its way, seems to be something that Rabbi Kamenetsky never even considered, proclaiming that there was nothing to negotiate.  When another rav in Philadelphia attempted to initiate negotiations, he was told in no uncertain terms by the Epsteins to mind his own business.So it should not be that surprising that in December 2013, two months following the aforementioned FBI arrests, ORA publicly announced that Tamar is “free” although she has not received a get – apparently approved by Rabbi Kamenetsky.  Given the acceptance of his outrageous behavior until now, it should not be surprising that Rabbi Kamenetsky would believe that this too will be accepted.  

  42. Just Because,
    Powerful stuff. But just because you say the truth, what do these people care? If they have a cousin or a friend who needs a GET, then freeing her is more important than what you say. That is what is says in their version of the Torah.

  43. Regarding heter 100, getting the first few signartures is hard. They aren't kollel students. Once you get the first few, its not diificult to find the next 90, cause who wouldnt sign after the first few RY, gedolim, others? And three countries is no problem today, since everyone (esp yeshiva and chassidushe world) knows the major players (RY, (supposed) gedolim, etc).

    As for ROY opposing "polygamy", he famously did the yibum (not chalitzah) with a married man (with the wife's eager consent). It was, for those who know about the incident (it was the early 1950s), amatter of sfardi (actually iraqi) honor to do the yibum.

    As for sfardim putting in the ketubah a clause (oath) forbidding polygamy, that is not universal, does not date back to hundreds of years, and anyway, like all ketubah clauses (except the first 100 zuz) can be (and often is) waived by the wife.

    As for polygamy today, i personally know of one case (i know the "young" grandson, called young cause his grandmiother is the young wife) of an afghani who has one wife in israel and one in america. The general rule is that if a sfardi or teimani made aliyah with two wives, they wouldnt make him divorce one (that wouldnt be fair) but no rav would make a second wedding absent certain curcumstancrs.

    1. You don't need a Rov to effect a kosher marriage. He can marry a second wife with the necessary eidim, etc. even without a Rov.

      You are correct that Rav Ovadia supported marrying a second wife in cases of yibum.

  44. Halakha says that a single posek cannot give a man a heter to go to court for adjudication. Even the BDA, in the only Teshuva that Rav Eidensohn could find on the subject, says that.

    I am not sure that is correct. It is technically true in principle but in practice, a Rav is competent enough to determine that a particular situation does not require BD at all. Lets assume you hold that one can go to secular court in the case where the SOL is about to run out and going to BD first might jeopardize your rights in secular court. If that is the halacha, then a single Rav is capable of determining that halacha applies in a particular case.


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