Sunday, August 20, 2023

Tamar Epstein: A gadol explains what a secret psak is and why it isn't taken seriously

One of the gedolim who was asked about the claim that there is a secret heter to remarry without a get that has been paskened by unknown rabbis - told the following story in response.

There was a heimishe hardware store in Williamsburg (- or was it Boro Park?) that was selling various electrical appliances for preparing food. As we all know such appliances need to be toveled or modified in some way before they can be used- unless they were produced by a Jewish factory. 

An avreich  went in to buy a coffee maker. Over the appliances was a large signed that all the appliances sold in the store could be used without immersing them in a mikve. The avreich was clearly puzzled when he noticed that all the appliances were in sealed boxes which were all clearly labeled as being made in China. He went to the store owner and asked how he could sell such as ready to use without first immersing them in a mikve?

The owner stroked his beard and said, it is simple - the rav he used had told him that all the appliances were fully useable without immersion in a mikveh. The avreich was very surprised as he had spent much time in learning the sources on this matter and there was simply no way a sealed appliance manufactured in a Chinese factory could be used straight out of the box.

He quickly hurried to the rav's house to ask him the basis of his psak. The rav greeted him warmly and listened to his learned discourse as to why the appliances needed to be immersed first. After the avreich had impressively recited all the sources from the gemora to the contemporary poskim including the Artscroll volume on kitchen halachos - he paused and waited for a response from this learned rav.

The rav stroked his beard a few times and then said. "The basis of this psak is secret and I have taken out a patent on it. I can not reveal it to anyone - you will simply have to take my word that I have found a heter."

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