Friday, October 9, 2015

Stop the Presses!: Direct confirmation of my conjectures regarding the heter for Tamar Epstein to remarry without a Get

While I have been very involved in reporting the Tamar Epstein case - the understanding of some of the critical issues concerning the heter of kiddushei ta'us have been based largely  on conjecture. This morning I received a letter from a well known posek who directly confirmed what I suspected. While the posek doesn't want to reveal his identity, I know him and accept fully the truth of what he says. I am also getting solid information from insiders - which I am in the process of checking out - which provides further confirmation and names names.

 As far as I have established - the Kaminetskys did not actually pasken - they are not poskim - but they are the sole source of information that poskim including Rabbi Greenblatt relied on for their psak. The poskim rubber stamped what the Kaminetskys proposed. The poskim did not independently investigate the matter. In short the Kaminetskys went poskim hopping - to find someone who agreed with them. They provided not only the information but the description of the exact heter - kiddushei ta'us - they wanted. They did not ask for the independent view of the posek or for the posek to conduct an independent investigation. If the posek rejected their proposal, they went elsewhere until they found what they were looking for.

It is clear that many rabbis are disgusted by the distortion of halacha in allowing Tamar to remarry without a Get  - but are afraid of severe consequences for their futures if they openly condemn what the Kaminetskys have done.

This is the letter exactly as the posek sent me - with full permission to publish it.
In the summer of 2013, I was approached by a renowned rabbi and shown copy of a "Heter Nisu'in" for Tamar Epstein. If my memory serves me right, it was written by a student in a Kollel in Philly, and approved by a Rabbi Kamenetsky.
The reason I was given the "Heter" was so I can review it, and if I approve it - then I should sign on it.

I read the Teshuvah/Heter (was surprisingly short), and the whole basis of the Heter was based on some "eidus" by a professional (maybe a therapist?), and "eidus" of certain individuals (not named in the Teshuva), that the husband was "not normal", and it was therefore a "Mekach To'us." The examples cited of his behavior were pretty bad on a Shalom Bayis scale (if true), but nothing remotely strong to constitute a "Mekach To'us" even according to the most Meikel opinions.

Although I am a big Meikel by nature, after I reviewed the Teshuva/Heter I said that there is no way I can approve such a lackluster Teshuva/Heter, until I speak to the doctor, psychologist, etc. to ascertain if there is any valid reason to consider such a Heter, but the reasons in the Teshuva/Heter are not valid.

After I reviewed it and voiced my opinion, I gave it back to the rabbi and I didn't keep a copy for myself, so I can't tell you with 100% certainty what the "eidus" was, especially two years later, but what's written above is my recollection.

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