Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rabbi Schachter's letter regarding Tamar Epstein - 3 problematic issues

 Rabbi Schachter's letter     and the circulation of that letter by ORA and Rabbi Jeremy Stern, raise at least three sets of issues. One issue is whether the letter accurately reflects halacha. A seond issue is whether the letter is consistent with Rabbi Schachter's own publicly declared principles regarding gittin, as well as those of ORA and Rabbi Jeremy Stern. A third issue is whether Rabbi Schachter, ORA, and Rabbi Jeremy Stern, have violated Federal criminal law in writing and circulating this letter. This post addresses the first of these issues.

At the time Rabbi Schachter's letter was written, there was no finding against Aharon from any beis din whatsover. The matter of whether a get should be given in this case was jointly brought by both parties to the Baltimore Beis Din, which held several hearings with the participation of both parties. That Beis Din has never ruled that a get should be given. Tamar violated the Baltimore Beis Din's orders regarding dismissing the case from civil court, thereby causing severe damage to Aharon and the parties' child. The Av Beis Din of the Baltimore Beis Din was quoted at the time Rabbi Schachter wrote this letter stating that Aharon had not committed any wrongdoing, and that it was up to Tamar to bring the matter back to the Baltimore Beis Din.

Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn and Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn have written extensively on this blog on the general halachic paramaters of when pressure of various sorts may be brought against a husband to give a get. In addition to violating those general paramaters, the halachic basis of Rabbi Schachter's letter also rests both on the declarations of Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky, who has extremely close and longstanding personal and financial ties to Tamar's family and Rabbi Schachter's novel halachic principle derived from "sod Hashem lerauv." This principle is addressed in a document issued by Beis Din Shar Hamishpat, a translation of which is below. This excerpt appears in page 3 of the original document.

Rabbi Schachter’s letter: 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. One should wonder whether Rabbi Schachter would follow so blindly after Rabbi Kamenetsky had he instructed him to abandon his family since “there is a sage who has instructed” based on “sod Hashem lerauv” [the secrets of G-d are revealed to those who fear Him, and therefore the statements of such people represent the word of G-d]? Presumably not… But when it comes at the expense of others he has become a great “believer.”

Also, Rabbi Schachter’s pronouncement of “sod Hashem lerauv”is against the poskim who required that psakim [decisions of Jewish Law] be based on actual sources. [See the Mishpatim Yisharim: A judge who says “So it appears to me” and does not base his decision on actual sources is a false judge, and his opinions are worthless….] The pronouncement of “sod Hashem lerauv” shows that Rabbi Kamenetsky’s baseless psak [decision] is a painful mockery and a spewing malignancy. This “sod”[secret] reveals to everyone that Rabbi Kamenetsky has close ties to, and received benefits from, the Epstein family.

Rabbi Schachter’s conclusion “unless it is proven in error” shows that he admits that even though a “sage has instructed already” and “sod Hashem lerauv” if Rabbi Kamenetsky’s decision is proven wrong then that decision is totally worthless. We have already proven in our decision that ta’ah bdevrei mishna [he erred on a fundamental matter] and did so twice: Rabbi Kamenetsky erred in regard to the divorce obligation that he decreed on the husband [even if this was just between him and husband without public embarrassment] that clearly contradicts all poskim as the rule is that if a purported obligation to divorce is imposed on the husband, where no such obligation properly exists, any resulting get would be invalid. And he even more clearly erred when he issued the derogatory letters and the “seruv” against Aharon to permit all to shed his blood, which is considered complete coercion that invalidates any resulting get in this case. And now he should show some integrity and heed his own words and admit in public that there was such an error.


  1. Rav elya svei tried for years successfully to keep ran Shmuel kaminetzky in his proper place not making any important klal decisions. When he was niftAr there was no one to reign him in and and the frum community Is so impoverished that a smiling frequent flyer not highly cerelible ran kaminetzky has the ability to annule marriages against all halacha Aron fried man never gave a get to this day and I challenge anime on this blog to offer proof otherwise ran Shmuel annulled the marriage as he did with Rubin in '97 only proving how right rab elya svei was what a sad testimony to the from yeshivos world that this nice zeidy is now a "gado

  2. Regarding the question as to whether issuing this letter in any way violates Federal or other U.S. laws, the answer is an emphatic no. It is a religious ruling. If a rabbi issues a religious ruling that Jews are obligated to kill Amalekis or a religious ruling that the halachas of mesira prohibit mandated reporters from reporting child abusers, those rabbis cannot be criminally charged for issuing or stating their religious opinion of their religious law about a matter, even if that religious law is against U.S. law.

  3. "At the time Rabbi Schachter's letter was written, there was no finding against Aharon from any beis din whatsover."

    Since that time, has a valid beis din with jurisdiction previously accepted by both parties ruled a Get must be given? The wording of the above quote seems to imply that a order to give a Get has been issued by a beis din after the time frame in reference.

  4. "Honesty" your a very naiive person wastig your time on these blogs ok? What's your occupation

  5. but if they issue a religious ruling against a particular individual, they definitely can be prosecuted.

  6. Wrong
    on both counts. A psak is a ruling, and commanding anyone and everyone, is
    called lynching, a FEDERAL OFFENSE. If your conclusion and ruling came through
    the religion, or a Fatwah lehavdil, Dina demalchuse Dina has precedence in
    Judaic law, and is still a Federal offense. A Pogea of children is a RODEF as
    per harodef achar haZochor, a mishne mefureshes bli shum kchal ushrak. Under the
    law of the land, a mandated reporter is obligated to report to the Authorities.
    Same applies in Judaic law, it is an obligation of pikuach nefesh to stop the
    Rodef. No one is above the LAW. Messira is the invention of the Child molesters
    themselves, or they have family members that offend, or close people of interest
    they are trying to protect. This invention is to protect their own tukes /or
    from busho uchlimo. Tze ubdok, this tzoro happens all across the board, has no
    boundries of race, religion or creed, and yes, even animals etc. However, our
    precious children have precedence over all of the above. Here is another nichnas
    yayin yotzo "Sod" for Gantz Brod, those same that rule bealos, ubemaklos,
    ubaProdim chashmali, ubekoach hazroa, ubealimot, ubeachzariyut Amalek, vechol
    minei klei chomos mecheirosehem for real people and real husbands as well as
    virtual husbands, heim veheim lo yodu derochoy, veheim heim that advocate
    silence on a RODEF- Messira/Omerta beLaa'z.
    it is not a Sod however, that nifroim mehem begaluy bedin ubamishpot leinei kol
    haamim, vekivan sheyotzo min hashamayim bas kol al bonay chavivay lehachvayo,
    yikov hadina es hahor, vehanoshim yitnu yekor lebaaleihem. Vekivan sheyotzo
    piska min shemayo, keday hi lismoch olov, and let the chips fall where they may.
    good ridden's.

  7. Actually, there was a finding: " no finding". (I.e., no get required.)

  8. It's always amusing to see one blog commenter accuse another of wasting his time on blogs.

  9. Watch the way you talk to me ok? I'm a lot smarter than you

  10. Your a stupid I'm a smart ok? Who do you think you are to be on this type of website full of narishkeit

  11. Some young guy maybe 50 years old with freckles and a large Tu tu aka tush


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