Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Gevald!!! The sounds of silence after Gedolim approve the marriage of an eishes ish.

Disclaimer: I am willing to publicize any reasoned defense of the rabbonim and couple involved as well as any reasoned condemnation.

Update - My brother spoke a 2nd time with Rabbi Greenblatt - but he still refuses to divulge the names of the gedolim that he relied on in order to officiate at the 2nd marriage of Tamar Epstein - even though she has not been divorced from Aharon Friedman. 

This is very unfortunate as it seriously undermines the credibility of these rabbis who have been supporting her as well as the perceived competence of Rabbi Greenblatt.

Update    Background information

 marriage licenses issued in Memphis
         Adam P. Fleischer, 38; Tamar E. Epstein, 32.

For the last few years we have covered a number of unpleasant divorce cases. Cases where public relations have been used to compensate for the lack of halachic justification. Cases where respected gedolim have either chosen to ignore halacha or were unfortunately pressured to take a stance which not only has not halachic justification - but was clearly wrong according to the Shulchan Aruch.

Concerning one of the more notorious cases -that of Tamar Epstein - her rabbinic advisers claimed after 4 years of trying to pressure her husband to giver her a Get - with the aid of ORA and various rabbonim who had no jurisdiction in the case - that in fact there was no need for a Get. They claimed that the marriage was retroactively annulled because she and her family found that he was a bit socially awkward. Despite the fact that she had nice things to say about him she had decided that she could do better. 

After her husband Aharon Friedman refused to give a Get until more equitable custody arrangements were made - it was decided to get the young lady out of the marriage without a Get. The only possible justification that I can think of that they could rationalize is to rely on modern psychology. There are some who claim that it is enough to fit a diagnostic category in the DSM-V to be declared incapable of concluding a halachically valid marriage. However this is far from being an objective proof and in fact such a diagnosis by itself has no halachic significance. Anyone familiar with the DSM-V knows that it doesn't fit the requirements set down by Rav Moshe Feinstein. Nonetheless it has been confirmed that she has in fact remarried without a Get.

From  Wikipedia
While the DSM has been praised for standardizing psychiatric diagnostic categories and criteria, it has also generated controversy and criticism. Critics, including the National Institute of Mental Health, argue that the DSM represents an unscientific and subjective system.[1] There are ongoing issues concerning the validity and reliability of the diagnostic categories; the reliance on superficial symptoms; the use of artificial dividing lines between categories and from "normality"; possible cultural bias; and medicalization of human distress.[2][3][4][5][6] The publication of the DSM, with tightly guarded copyrights, now makes APA over $5 million a year, historically totaling over $100 million.[7]

From  Wikipedia
Despite caveats in the introduction to the DSM, it has long been argued that its system of classification makes unjustified categorical distinctions between disorders and uses arbitrary cut-offs between normal and abnormal. A 2009 psychiatric review noted that attempts to demonstrate natural boundaries between related DSM syndromes, or between a common DSM syndrome and normality, have failed.[3] Some argue that rather than a categorical approach, a fully dimensional, spectrum or complaint-oriented approach would better reflect the evidence.[65][66][67][68]
In addition, it is argued that the current approach based on exceeding a threshold of symptoms does not adequately take into account the context in which a person is living, and to what extent there is internal disorder of an individual versus a psychological response to adverse situations.[69][70] The DSM does include a step ("Axis IV") for outlining "Psychosocial and environmental factors contributing to the disorder" once someone is diagnosed with that particular disorder.
 Because an individual's degree of impairment is often not correlated with symptom counts and can stem from various individual and social factors, the DSM's standard of distress or disability can often produce false positives.[71] On the other hand, individuals who do not meet symptom counts may nevertheless experience comparable distress or disability in their life.
So what does a woman do when one of the gedolim tells her that she has no need for a Get? What does that woman do when her rabbis say to trust them and get remarried without a Get? What does a man do when faced with the reality that he will be declared to be in an adulterous relationship as the result of the marriage? Is is an indication of great emunas chachomim to in fact remarry without a Get and face the reality that any children will be considered mamzerim? or is it stupidity?

A tree fell recently in Memphis - and there was no sound - because the rabbis don't want to hear about it. 
My brother Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn just wrote the following:

Today Thursday Chol HaMoed Succos I received a call that Rabbi Notto Greenblatt  of Memphis married Tamar Epstein to somebody although she had no GET from Aharon Friedman her  husband.  I called Rabbi Greenblatt and he said that he had performed the ceremony. When I told him that great rabbis forbad the remarriage without a GET he replied that Gedolim had permitted her to remarry. He told me that if Rabbi Elyashev zt”l would disagree it would not change his mind, and that the rabbis who disagree with his “Gedolim” just have chutzpah. He asked me what a person like me has to do with this that I disagree with him. I told him that  the Gaon Rab Yosef Shalom Elyashev zt”l gave me a semicha to have a Beth Din for Gittin and further he gave permission for me to use his name for it.

 I called up a Rov who was intensely involved in the couple when they discussed their marital problems, and I asked him if there was any chance that the husband has some kind of defect that could have cancelled the marriage and thus allowed her to remarry. He told me there was no such defect and that if the woman has any children they will be mamzerim.

I quoted to Rabbi Greenblatt from him the pesak of Chazon Ish EH 99:12 that if the Torah does not require a husband to be coerced to divorce his wife but a Beth Din told the husband he is worthy of being forced to divorce and he gives the GET because of that statement, the GET is invalid. First it is invalid because the Torah did not require a coercion and the Beth Din did require a coercion. Thus, the Beth Din coerced the GET in violation of the Torah and the coercion is invalid and the GET is invalid. Secondly, the husband gave the GET under false pretenses thinking that he must be coerced to give a GET. Therefore, the GET is invalid by the Torah not just rabbinic level.  Anyone who learns carefully the laws of Gittin regarding this issue knows that there was no source to permit a married woman to just remarry and the “Gedolim” like Rabbi Greenblatt who permit these things are just making mamzerim. I wonder how many mamzerim Rabbi Greenblatt has made. Any woman married with his special inventions should ask a proper Beth Din if she is permitted to remain with her husband and if her children are mamzerim.

But the main problem is that married women cannot remarry without a GET or the death of their husband. Reb Moshe Feinstein was asked about a husband who was discovered to be strongly addicted to homosexuality and the wife ran away. He said that the great authorities of all generations had refused to permit her to remarry for various reasons. But he showed that in this extreme case there is room for leniency but since the great authorities disagreed with him he ruled that the woman must do everything possible to get a GET. Only if all fails does he permit this. And this only in this extreme case and with the understanding the no other great authority in centuries permitted it.

In this case , I spoke to the husband months before and he told me he would give a GET if the wife would allow him proper custody rights. Therefore, Reb Moshe would never have permitted her to remarry. Therefore, in this case, not only do all of the great rabbis of the generations forbid the woman to remarry without a GET, but even even if there were a preexisting disorder in this case, even Reb Moshe would not permit remarriage without a get because a get would be available if the custody arrangements were appropriate. Reb Moshe would forbid it until she gave in to the custody demands.

I can be reached at 845-578-1917 or eidensohnd@gmail.com.

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