Sunday, November 8, 2015

A neutral psychologist refutes the psychological claims - that are the basis of Tamar Epstein's heter - with her diary entries

Guest post from Mr. Ploni a psychologist who has contributed many valuable comments to this blog but wishes to remain anonymous.

Rav Feldman Shlit"a quotes the "רופא מומחה":
הרופא הפסיכיאטור המומחה קבע את דעתו על פי עובדות ששמע מהאשה על התנהגותו 
של הבעל, כמו: כעסו, קמצנותו, פחדיו, דאגותיו, וכו' שכולם מוכיחים שיש לו 
המחלות הנ"ל שהן, לדעת הרופא, בלתי הפיכות
Let's check Tamar's diary entry...
About כעס / anger:
Related OPPOSITE traits are mentioned: "Why I love/like Aharon/what I respect: -respect. Shmiras halashon [wide ranging term meaning does not speak badly about others in any way or curse] ... loving/sweet/ affectionate/gentle to me"
The closest negative trait similar to anger mentioned: "not mature about certain things when upset/feels pressured into doing things he immature - sulks, passive-aggressive, self-absorbed". And "read paper, leave table, doesn't say goodbye etc." Is sulking when feeling pressured & not saying goodbye considered כעס???
About קמצנות / stinginess:
Actually, the OPPOSITE of stinginess is explicitly is mentioned: ""Why I love/like Aharon/what I respect: ... lets me spend money - equal share .... -doesn't pressure me to go back to work". Does that sound like a stingy person???
About דאגותיו-פחדיו / unwarranted fears: Nothing there. Actually, that's a mistake. Stress IS mentioned, but the one with the דאגה, פחד is Tamar, and not Aaron: "Me - anxious/stressed when with family when socializing with others - worry about how Aharon feels and will react"
I don't think this is a minor point. The fact that none of the core issues that the רופא מומחה based his diagnosis on where present at the time that Tamar wrote her diary entry gives great credence to what Rav Feldman suspects, that:
הרבה מהסיפורים שמהם מוכיח הרופא שהבעל אינו נורמלי עד כדי שאין לו רפואה קרו לאחרי הנישואין. מהיכי תיתי שהמחלה, אם היתה, לא התפתחה אחרי הקידושין, שאז כמובן אין כאן ביטול קידושין?
If so, there is obviously no basis for מקח טעות.
Even more importantly, this may show that Aaron is THE VICTIM here, and the anger, etc. that Tamar reported was not the CAUSE, but rather the EFFECT, which RESULTED from TRAUMA that Aaron suffered from being bullied & denigrated.
If my hypothesis is true, Hallachically, Aaron was therefore a) פטור even if did AFTERWARDS say things he wasn't supposed to (as per the סמ"ע חו"מ ס' רכ"ח ס"ק ד), and b) surely not obligated to grant a get (as per the the רמ"א אהע"ז ס' קנ"ד ס"ג).
This is the only logical way I can understand the discrepancy between the journal entry and the עובדות ששמע מהאשה.
Aaron's correct diagnosis might then be:
Complex post-traumatic stress disorder
(C-PTSD) also known as developmental trauma disorder (DTD) or complex trauma is a psychological injury that results from protracted exposure to prolonged social and/or interpersonal trauma in the context of  dependence, captivity or entrapment (a situation lacking a viable escape).
Dear Rabbi Eidensohn:
Do you think this discrepancy should be brought to the attention of the רבנים הגאונים שליט"א?

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