Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Telephone Shiur: Beth Din and Coercing a GET - by Rav Dovid Eidensohn

Telephone Conference Shiur #5 Wednesday April 29 9:30 p.m.

Call 605-562-3130 insert code 411161#

Beth Din and Coercing a GET

1. Even Hoezer 77 paragraphs 2 and 3 make it clear that in general it is forbidden to coerce a husband to divorce his wife despite her demands and protests. And yet there are some times when a husband can be forced to divorce his wife, such as when it is forbidden to live with a relative see EH 154.

2. Even Hoezer 1:3 should we force somebody over twenty years old to marry? Shulchan Aruch says yes and Ramo says the custom is not to force people in choosing a mate in marriage even if they are not doing the mitzvah properly. See the Gro there #9,#10 seems to approve of forcing people to fulfill the mitzvah not like the Ramo but like the Shulchan Aruch. Here forcing a mitzvah is permitted by some authorities, but forcing a GET is in general not permitted.

3. See Ramo in Shulchan Aruch EH I:10 a man marries two wives can we force him to divorce one. Two opinions in Ramo. Here two wives is a sinful marriage because of Cherem Rabbeinu Gershon not to marry two wives. And in a sinful marriage a divorce can be forced.

4. When the Shulchan Aruch rarely approves of forcing a husband to give a GET, how does this work? Today there are no mumchim. See gemora Gittin 88b. See also Choshen Mishpot beginning of Simon 1 in Nesivose, Tumim, and Ketsose in Simon 3.

5. Chazon Ish Gittin 99:2 when Beth Din mistakenly tells the husband he must give a GET and that is not the law, the GET is invalid for two reasons min haTorah. Thus a Beth Din has no power to force a GET when the Shulchan Aruch says the husband in that case cannot be forced. And if the Beth Din paskens without forcing the husband and the husband gives the GET the GET is invalid and the children are mamzerim diorayso.

6. What was the power of the Geonim to permit forcing a husband in defiance of the gemoras that clearly indicate that a husband in most cases cannot be forced to divorce? Tosfose Rid Gittin 89a based on gemora Bovo Basra מצוה לשמוע לדברי חכמים. What does this mean?

7. See also Tosfose Kesubose 63b AVOL discussion at length about coercing a GET.

8. Did the Geonim permit always to force a GET when the wife demands it, or was this a temporary ruling that is not applicable today? A machlokess HaRishonim in this see Ramban and Baal HaMoor on the Rif Kesubose 63b.

9. What is the authority of a Rov or a Beth Din to teach people the halacha and to insist that they obey? See Rashbo in Teshuva I:253.


  1. I thank my brother for publicizing this. We had a wonderful session that was recorded. The recording is on my website, on the first panel window top left on the screen labelled Audio about coercing Gittin."

  2. @Eddie - I thought you were aware that the case of Pinchas is unique. It is a punishment for sin - not a preventative.If you go to beis din then you can't kill. In the case of rodef if the sin has been done then you can't do anything.

    We are talking about preventative acts that an individual can do without beis din and that if beis din is asked they would agree.

    In short you are mixing cases together and the answer is simple that as a general rule you can not kill someone to stop them from sinning.

  3. Daas Torah:

    (1) I think you have posted this reply in the wrong thread.

    (2) What do you mean that with Pinchas it is punishment and not preventative. That is not true - of course it is preventative! That is why the Gemara Sanhedrin 82a states

    שאם פירש זמרי והרגו פנחס נהרג עליו

    because once the Aveira has been committed, there is no longer a need to prevent anything, so the Din of קנאים פוגעין בו no longer applies.

  4. Yes, you are quite correct. I will do some further research on this, many thanks.


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