Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Beis Din of America: Get obtained by torture - what is Rav Schwartz' view?

 Update Feb 25, 2015 -
"D. the Rabbinical Council of America calls upon our  members to use all means at their disposal to persuade recalcitrant spouses to agree to a get."
Guest Post    One of the many remarkable aspects of Rabbi Schwartz's comments is it appears to imply that a Get obtained through violence would generally be valid. As Rabbi Eidensohn has repeatedly written, it is in only extremely rare circumstances that a get obtained through any sort of coercion, and especially through actual violence, would be valid. Does anyone know what he actually holds about violently obtained Gittin - in particular the Epstein-Wolmark approach?
 update Feb 23 just added the RCA resolution against violence against a recalcitrant husband. There is no mention that using violence is most cases is against the Shulchan Aruch and will result in an invalid get - Get Me'usa! The only concern of the RCA is that is against the law of the land to torture husbands. Apparently the only problem the RCA has about using violence is getting caught. If this understanding is incorrect - please provide an authoritative statement from the RCA to the contrary. DT

NY Times  .....

During the panel discussion at Spertus, a Jewish educational center near Grant Park in Chicago, Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz, who is featured in “Women Unchained,” mentioned one possible hope for chained wives: an annulment.

If a marriage began under false pretenses, Rabbi Schwartz said in a telephone interview, it can be considered never to have taken place. Such a case might involve a spouse’s failure to disclose homosexual tendencies, an abusive streak or a gambling addiction.

“If he had this addiction,” Rabbi Schwartz said this week, “and he had covered it up, and once they get married, he goes through his money, his wife’s money, he cleans out her accounts, he’s gambling it away, he goes to the casinos, and back and forth — that’s a deception.”

Rabbi Schwartz cautioned that for an annulment to occur, a spouse’s flaw must have been present but hidden before the marriage. In the end, the prenuptial agreement matters because a rabbi can do only so much.

“I can’t break the law,” Rabbi Schwartz said — although others sometimes do. He said he had recently met a Russian Jewish immigrant from a “semi-Hasidic” community. “I was talking in his presence about the problem of the chained women,” the rabbi said, “and he said in Yiddish, ‘What’s the problem? We don’t have a problem! We beat them up.’

2014 Resolution: Using Violence to Compel a Recalcitrant Husband to Give a Get (Writ of Divorce)
Policies Headlines
Jul 16, 2014 -- For the past quarter century, the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) and the Beth Din of America (BDA) have worked to resolve problems relating to agunot who are trapped in dead marriages by husbands who refuse to issue a get (Jewish divorce document). In this regard, the RCA’s and BDA’s Halachic Prenuptial Agreement has been extraordinarily successful: there are no known cases of prolonged get refusal where a couple has a properly executed an Halachic Prenuptial Agreement.

Additionally, the RCA this year followed up on its 2013 commitment to study Prenuptial usage among its own membership, and determining that 80% of RCA rabbis officiating at a wedding require or strongly advocate the signing of the Halachic Prenuptial Agreement. Given the diversity of its membership, the RCA is most pleased with this finding, and plans work to increase that percentage to the extent possible.

Concurrently, the RCA membership calls upon all members of the Jewish public to work along them, the RCA, and the BDA to ensure that every Jewish couple sign “as a routine matter” the Halachic Prenuptial Agreement prior to their wedding.

Finally, in light of recent illegal incidents of violent coercion of Jewish divorces in the United States, the RCA membership of the “condemns unreservedly” the use of violence to compel the giving of a get.

Formally adopted by a direct vote of the RCA membership, the full text of “2014 Resolution: Using Violence to Compel a Recalcitrant Husband to Give a Get (Writ of Divorce)” states:

WHEREAS the Rabbinical Council of America and Beth Din of America have for decades (see RCA resolutions from 1991, 1993, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2006, July, 2013, and November, 2013) consistently spearheaded efforts to reduce the number of agunot and mesuravot get (women awaiting a get from absentee or recalcitrant husbands), most notably with their Halachic Prenuptial Agreement; and,

WHEREAS in compliance with a 2013 RCA resolution, an RCA 2014 survey determined that approximately 80% of RCA members require or strongly advocate the signing of the Halachic Prenuptial Agreement when officiating at a wedding; and,

WHEREAS there have been zero known cases of prolonged get refusal where a couple has properly executed an Halachic Prenuptial Agreement; and,

WHEREAS the Talmudic principle of dina de­malchuta dina mandates that all Jews comply, as a matter of Torah law, with all non­discriminatory laws of their lands of residence, including laws against assault and battery; and

WHEREAS rabbinical authorities in America have at their disposal a variety of lawful, non­violent, and non­physical tools for pressuring recalcitrant husbands to grant a get, for example, those specified in the 2001 RCA Resolution:
Sanctions to be Imposed on One Who Withholds Issuance or Receipt of a Get

Therefore, the Rabbinical Council of America

  • Condemns unreservedly the use of physical coercion as a means of compelling the giving of a get; and,

  • Urges all members of the Jewish community to complement the efforts of the RCA and the vast majority of its rabbis to eliminate future instances of igun by encouraging every marrying Jewish couple to properly execute, as a routine matter of their responsibility to the Jewish community, the Halachic Prenuptial Agreement prior to their wedding.

    1. What's more interesting now is Rabbi Schwartz's involvement in the current Mendel Epstein saga with R. Schwartz having signed the Seruv against the fake husband created by the FBI.

    2. Rabbi Schwartz is over 90 years old. He lives in Chicago and has nothing to do with Weissmann's unilateral actions in new York at bda. 
      He doesn't sign anything. 
      The sole cause of the demise of beth din of america‎ is they have an am h'oretz attorney- shlomo weissmann who is on a power rush and does whatever he fancies contrary to basic halocha. 
      He is worse than reform- at least reform we all know their gittin and gerusin are posul. 
      Wessmann has deluded himself and others into thinking that the orthodox accept and recognize his actions. 
      In eretz yisroel al the botei din have already paskened that his gitin and gerusin are posul- on par with reform. 
      Most of the American botei din have already paskened the same. ‎

    3. The FBI documents show that Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz of the BDA signed the Shtar Seruv.

    4. Rca (not bet din) policy

      Essentially, they push their pre nup. Forced gitten are valid, but the forcing is not illegal under jewish law, except for issues of "dina demalchusa dina", meaning either don't get caught or farm / subcontract the forcing out to ... others ...

    5. "..If she had these issues and she had covered them up, and once they get married, she goes through his money, she cleans out his accounts, she's spending it away, she goes to Bloomingdale's, and back and forth, that's a deception.."

    6. Outside the monies and makot retsach, everything is fake. Rav G Schwartz, I am sure is aware of "harotse leshaker yarchik eduso". There is no need to have him sign a document hundreds of miles away when there are plenty rabbis available from closer up that can verify whether a ham sandwich even exists, let alone absentia. It seems that these docs have been fabricated, most likely at the tantacles of the Pro(u)dFather. Vehalo dvarim kal vachomer, if he can fabricate a recalcitrant husband yesh meayin, how much more so a domem procuring a piece of paper and rofl "signing" a Ketubah, HUH? This whole saga stinks from neveilo utreifo through and through and all for the MONEY. We yet haven't even touched the tip of the icebrg and the Titanic is s(t)inking head over heels. Hah! The champion of women's rights? Let's see if he can only free himself from this entanglement. Only in a body bag will you be able to be "FREE AT LAST". Didn't you say you are working outside of the law, if that isn't criminal intent, I don't know what is. The question is, how is he responsible for kidnapping a "VIRTUAL" husband that doesn't even exist? The answer my friend is, that the so called recalcitrant husbands that DO exist are here to testify and nail him to his coffin for good. And finallly, Hashem heard the "Tsaakas bnei Yisrael", as they say oso ve'es bno, "you are well done", good riddens!

    7. I agree with your summary of the RCA policy. There is no mention of Get me'usa - only that force is against the law of the land. Which apparently means that the husband can be battered into giving a get- just don't get caught.

    8. " The only concern of the RCA is that is against the law of the land to torture husbands. Apparently the only problem the RCA has about using violence is getting caught."

      This is a non-sequitur, dina d'malchusa can be, and is, a halachic problem without regard to whether or not one gets caught. Your suggestion is not only a mis-characterization of the RCA's position but a mis-characterization of the dina d'malchusa dina in general.

    9. What they ignore is that their position of beating the husband till he says i agree, is a: a minority view of only the rambam and no one else. And b: even the rambam only says tfys

    10. And b: a get can only be forced if first a get is ordered (not recommended) and then refused, and only by a valid bet din that both parties attend; not a bet din that doesn't invite both parties, and both parties agree to that bet din's jurisdiction.

      The BDA has a policy that it does not recognize any other bet din, thus it can order whatever it wants, without both parties. And it never "recommends" a get, unlike other batei din, it never orders shalom bayit (reconciliation), never orders marital counseling (it actually opposes counseling.) Which are required to be considered by halacha.

      And it tolerates and or justifies forced gitten and or beating up husbands (but never wives; not that wives should be beaten up,but

    11. It does not surprise me that Gedalia Schwartz would sign a seruv against a non-existent person. He did far worse in the seminary case.

    12. DT, the great love and golden calf of the ORA/BDA supporters is the feminist police state where decent men are routinely stripped of any G-d given Torah rights and stripped of any constitutional rights.

      The ORA/BDA supporters constantly regurgitate the same nonsensical arguments about "dina d'malchusa" when they are attempting to legitimize severe Torah violations and suppression of Jewish men's halachic rights by women in archaos.

    13. @Daas Torah, while I am no expert in dina d'malchusa dina the "bottom line" is it is not reasonable to infer a particular conclusion in absence of evidence (and certainly not from silence). This is a din in critical thinking and intellectual honesty. I also find it curious that appeal to the literature failed to reference, much less cite, that one may disobey dina d'malchusa dina provided one did not get caught. Even if there are such views it would be jumping to conclusion to ascribe it to the RCA without a evidence suggesting it was their view.

    14. Just a quick survey off the top of my head, I apologize if any are imprecise:

      "I would suggest you study what dina d'malchusa is....."
      Ad Hominem

      "before you make such mistaken judgments."
      Begging the Question

      "One of my rebbeim stated simply that it is an obligation to be as compliant as the average citizen of the country." Appeal to Authority, Red Herring

      "If you look in the literature you will see there are a wide range of views including that it only applies when the country is owned by the king"
      Red Herring

      "Bottom line - since the RCA's views on violent gittin did not include how they view "the law of the land" "
      Argument from silence

      - it is reasonable from the language used - that they hold that the real problem is getting caught rather than transgressing."

    15. The ORA-BDA forced get advocates only pay lip service to the Rambam when its convenient, but really they don't hold by him at all. The Rambam clearly states in Hilchos Ishus 14:8 that the divorcing wife may not take any of the husband's property. She has to return her shoe, her head-covering, and any presents he gave her.

    16. @Yirmiahu - please reread the title of the post. You made a big song and dance - without contributing anything of substance to my original quesiton.

    17. It's a moderated forum, if you feel that some how what is said in a post is off topic simply because it isn't in the title or that asking a question gives you immunity for making unfounded assertions about third parties then by all means don't post my comments. As for a big song and dance, my points were pretty straight forward and narrowly focused. The only dancing I see is you jumping to conclusions and side stepping the issue when being called out.

    18. Actually what he did was show that your response was made up of a series of logical fallacies with no actual substance.
      I find it intriguing that his response itself was a logical fallacy, namely "the fallacy fallacy".
      In short neither side has yet put forth its best argument.

    19. Rabbi Eidensohn,

      The RCA's own website refutes the attempts at obfuscation by yirmiahu and Tzadok. There seems to be almost no evidence that the RCA rabbis reject as halachically invalid a GET forced by physical or any other means.

      Readers better copy the webpage link below because it probably won't be up for long:

      "D. the Rabbinical Council of America calls upon our members to use all means at their disposal to persuade recalcitrant spouses to agree to a get."

    20. At your lies again I see. Once again misrepresenting people's statements and positions. How is it that lies come so easily to you?

      I pointed out that Yirmiahu correctly noted that Rav Eidensohn used a number of logical fallacies. Please disprove this if you can.

      However, I also noted that Yirmiahu used a logical fallacy, namely "the fallacy fallacy."

      Clearly your simple thuggish mind is ignorant of what that means, so let me spell it out for you, "Presuming that because an argument has been poorly made, or because a fallacy has been used that the claim itself must be wrong."

      Personally I await a smoking gun.

      As far as your own take on things, need I remind you of how vocally you tried to claim that you alone had the proper understanding of the GR"A, and that I was intentionally misrepresenting him? That is until Rav Eidensohn told you that you were wrong. Then instead of apologizing for your many slanderous attacks you simply slunk back under your rock.

    21. At your lies again I see. Once again misrepresenting people's statements and positions. How is it that lies come so easily to you?

      I think it's time for you to get yourself a clear mirror, and take a good look into it.

      There's quite a bit of intellectual dishonesty you've been posting. Your answer is usually to run to a different topic, mixed in with some ad hominem.

      כל הפוסל במומו פוסל

      If you're upset at a poster for something he said sever months ago, that is your prerogative. But please realize, that your comments will come through that way.

    22. Rabbi Michael TzadokFebruary 25, 2015 at 1:54 PM

      I assume you are talking about our discussion regarding how a B"D summons is supposed to work. Where you tried to claim a number of things that went against the Shulhan Arukh.

      I will again state, please provide a halakhic source for any of your claims or withdraw your spurious accusations.

    23. Tzadok, various alert persons have repeatedly exposed your numerous false and obfuscating comments on this blog. You have also made disparaging comments about numerous prominent Ashkenazi rabbis, including Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT"L.

      I see you're at your lies again. Please cite any of my blog comments where I claimed I "alone had the proper understanding of the GR"A".

    24. Rabbi Michael TzadokFebruary 25, 2015 at 3:54 PM

      Respond to an actual challenge with more lies and a change of subject.

    25. R' Tzadok, the error that both you and "Truth Seeker" seem make is that I take a position on what the RCA's position is. So while the balance of your words are appreciated insofar as I do not make any inference other than the reasoning made was invalid I believe your application of the "fallacy fallacy" is misdirected.

    26. @ Shmilda - the RCA also has the Shulchan Aruch and poskim. The concept of Get Me'usa is not an esoteric doctrine only comprehensible after years of study. The parameters are fully discussed and acknowledged by all poskim. So it is bizarre that the idea is not mentioned at all in the RCA guidelines.

      Also concidering that Get Me'usa means the Get is invalid - the consequences of not be concerned with it are immense.

      Your closing statement is incredible and I hope you weren't serious. If the Monsey butcher sold kosher meat 50% or even 90% - you don't think he should be condemned for the times he got it wrong?!

      Whether their gittin should be announced to be problematic is an issue for major poskim - not for you and not for me to decide.

    27. Obviously we all agree that "Get Me'usa means the Get is invalid," and yes, that can have dire consequences. What I am suggesting, in-artfully, is that whether a particular get is get me'usa is at times a hard question. And, I assume, when considering individual cases of mamzerus most poskim look for leniency.

      To take your example, once it became known that the "Monsey Butcher" was unreliable the public was rightly warned not to patronize him in the future. But what would it help anyone to loudly proclaim that every person who ate his meats over the decades he was in business ate neveilah. And given the numbers - rov, mi'ut matzui, etc, admittedly I am far from a possek or a lamdan - would it be prudent to announce that anyone who cooked with his meats over the decades he was in business needs to fully kasher their kitchens? (Maybe he only introduced non-kosher poultry, not beef. Maybe he only started selling non-kosher recently. Etc.)

      My point is, there are many good reasons for the RCA not to pass a resolution stating that any get involving Mendel Epstein, or any get involving ORA, or any get involving any other group who claims to be frum - is passul. Individual cases should be decided, of course, but I don't see any good coming from a blanket statement disqualifying past gittin.

    28. In the Monsey butcher situation, in fact, everyone who had used that butcher over the years was told to kasher or throw out their kitchen keilim.

    29. I know of some very fine pure Zera Kodesh that have done some very nasty things in the name of purity. I think you need to read some Harry Potter to get a better perspective of reality. Yes Mamzeirus is a serious matter but excuse me for saying that you sound a little bit like a Nazi.

    30. I hereby would like to challenge each and all that utilize force to extract
      a Get and consider it valid. Even according to the Rambam of which in any
      case is in the minority, kofin oso ad sheyomar rotse ani works through the
      interpretation and logic that the soul underneath it all, truly wants to
      be compliant, therefore it is considered as if his own WILL, in spite it is
      accomplished under use of force. There clearly is a world of a difference
      between various categories of a person in accomplishing a task. There is a,
      Shogeg, Meizid, Rotzon, Onnes, Mumer Lehachiss, Mumer leteiovon, and IYUM or
      under "Threat of Life". Threat of life, which Talmud calls it 'MEAYMIM', even
      the Rambam and ALL Poskim will admit that it is clear whatever the victim
      directs under such circumstances SAHADEI BAMROMIM, is due to his fear for life,
      and NOT the will of his soul to do so. There are two forms of THREATS of life,
      one is Verbal only, and when taking it one step further, is actually acting it
      out in stages whereby the victim is realizing the threat in midst of being
      carried out, leading to believe that Death is imminent. This salami technique is
      used in extracting information from terrorists etc. In such cases the WILL of
      the person is totally DIMINISHED to being non-existent and whatever he says is
      due and because of, he is at the mercy of his captor. Therefore, even the Rambam
      will say that such Gittin are invalid. Indeed, that is the reason why the
      Rambam uses the word "Kofin oso", and NOT "Meaymim oso". So there you have it
      Goon Squad, waterboarders, bathtub drowners, karate choppers, electric prodders,
      noose hangers, kill-him orderers, heart attack inducers, hooders, garbage bag
      chokers, traumatic face beaters, hand cuffers, cemetery disposers, chair
      binders, Kol dealim gvar'ers, yodayim yedei Eisav'ers, veal raglayim memaharim
      loruts leRo'o, veal chatoim sheatem chayovim 'BITSDIYAS REYA", blood spillers, 5
      Ton bull movers and all the rest that think they are above the LAW. You scum of
      the earth, mamzerim manufacturers, you have no prayer. Ayin tachas Ayin, Shen
      tachas Shen, kaasher zomam laasos. As for you bas sheva - bas bliya'al that
      spilled Capo di tutti capi's do do on his head while cleaning his weapons, job
      well done. For more on this story see Megilat Esther of what happened to Haman
      and his 'ten' henchman.

    31. @ to the graveowner with license plates disquas_YOi43tN6R9 a/k/a/ as the unknown soldier. I am not sure whether you are mizera Yisrael, but the Torah Hakdosha declares "Vihyisem li lisgulo mikol haamim" & "veatem tihyu li mamleches goi kodosh" for starters. There is also a whole Perek of Assara Yochsin in masechet Kidushin if you know what that is, dedicated and explaining the various Psulei chitun that entails 10 levels. Ezra sorted out of which should make Aliyah. Not everybody is born equal, some are born more equal. The only remedy left for them was for the so called Epstein treatment, Kessef metaher mamzerim. So much for name calling. Veidach zil ugmor, that is only if your'e Jewish, else no need to apply. - To a commentator that his comment never saw the light of day

    32. Hi Zbeng,
      Nice of you to write back. I am not sure what a/k/a as the unknown soldier is referring to or why you refer to the graveowner with the etc. I assume Daat Torah had his reasons for not publishing my comment. I admit, I was in a very low mood when I wrote my comment and probably the comment was not expressing what I wanted to express. Since you seem to have the privilege of reading unpublished comments, you saw that I basically agreed with you on the main part of your comment. What probably set me off was "They are polluting the Kosher gene pool of zera kodesh."
      Why this set me off is irrelevant.
      It is my hopes that you continue to be a Torah true Jew. May you walk in Moshe Rebbeno's footsteps who it is said about that he was the humblest of all humans, or Avraham Avinu who said 'Ani afer ve efer, or David Hamelech who referred to himself as a 'tolaat'.
      May you have a nice week and please forgive me for my comment.

    33. Daat Torah. my letter to Zbeng also does not to be published. But please show it to him. Thanks


    please use either your real name or a pseudonym.