Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Tamar Epstein Heter: R' Greenblatt said he simply accepted whatever R Shalom Kaminetsky told him - Retraction of heter can not be far away

In this recent letter Rav Greenblatt says he knows nothing except what R Shalom Kaminetsky told him. He did not do any independent investigation of the facts or bother hearing both sides. A rather sad and irresponsible use of the excuse of Daas Torah to avoid the elementary responsibility required of a posek. This is especially troubling concerning the issue of permitting a married woman to remarry without a Get.

With this announcement it is clear that the retraction of the heter must follow since the facts on which it was based are clearly not true. The question  now is what happens when the heter is retracted?

Yehoshua wrote:
A translation for those interested:
To whom it may concern:
I certify here what I said in writing to several talmidei chachamim who asked, and that is that I do not know Mr. Aharon Freidman, may he live and be well, or Ms. (?) Tamar Epstein, may she live and be well, and it is certainly not possible for me to know anything about their marriage or any detail [that transpired] between them. Rather, Hagaon R' Sholom Kamenetzky shlita asked me: When there is testimony by expert doctors that someone is mentally ill in a way that disrupts his marriage, if it is possible to nullify the kiddushin due to this. And I said that if the matter is clear and is similar to the incident in the responsum in the Igros Moshe, it is possible to permit it under certain circumstances.
Nota tzvi Greenblatt


  1. The logical argument is quite simple.

    Reb Sholom is a Gadol. You must believe anything that he says. AFILU AL YEMIN SHEHU SMOLL. Anyone who dares to dispute this may be an APIKOIRES.

    Accordingly, a retraction of the HETER will undermine trust in GEDOLIM so the chance of a retraction is sadly not very high.

  2. A tremendous relief.

    Taking this public step is bold and shows a strong strength of character. The complete retraction should earn him compliments. How many people have gone as far creating complete movements, just in order to avoid admitting a mistake.

    אין צדיק בארץ אשר יעשה טוב ולא יחטא

    To the many people felt very upset about this unfortunate saga, this is a great relief.

  3. The question is who is in position to retract the hetter. R' Nota seems to be saying that he did not give a hetter in this particular case, just that he was asked what the halakha would be in scenario x. If that is true, it means that he is not the one who told Tamar that she may remarry, and it would have to be that person who would retract the hetter.
    Important question: Does R' Nota concede that he was mesader her kiddushin with the new guy? If so, that would call into question his claim that he did not give a hetter for this particular case.

  4. I don't know the details of this case, but did R. Moshe Feinstein independently verify the facts in the mekach ta'us shailos he was presented with? I may be wrong, but I suspect that R. Moshe was asked a shailah, and simply answered according to the facts he was presented with.

  5. I was told that Rabbi Greenblat wrote in a letter to R Shalom Kaminetsky that he agreed with their request to say it was mekach ta'os and that he would join other rabbonim in giving the heter.

  6. It seems clear from this letter that this would be contingent upon the facts being as he was told. If I call a rabbi and ask him what the halakha is if I put a non-ben-yomo spoon into my cholent and he tells me that it is kosher, and in fact I was lying to him and it was a ben yomo spoon, it cannot be said that he needs to retract the hetter he gave me.

    This letter says that he was asked about a case where it is clear that the husband has a serious mental health issue that affects his ability to be married, and he answered that "if the matter is clear, and it is similar to the case of the Igros Moshe, one could be mattir under certain conditions."

    If in fact it is not clear that the husband had such a problem, and it is not similar to the case of the Igros Moshe, then according to this letter at least R' Nota never gave a hetter.

  7. You need to keep in mind that the case of mental illness was verified by records of hospitilization - the facts were objectively true. the homosexuality or impotence of the husband was never contested.

    In the present case the "facts" are all interpretations by a therapist who was paid by the Epsteins to find an excuse for divorce and did not in fact ever speak with Aharon. thus the facts at the basis of the heter are disputed. In addition even if the facts were true but it is disputed that that would be sufficient to provide the basis for a heter.

    Thus as a minimum R Greenblatt needed to verifiy with neutral therapists or at least speak to the husband to confirm the allegations.

  8. Again the original letter from R Greenblatt was unequivocal stating that he agreed with the request for a heter of mekach ta'os and would join with other rabbis in allowing her to remarry.

    Not sure who the other rabbis - but there is no question that the heter is based on his agreement with the request.

    He in fact did marry them and at most he would have been told that other rabbis had agreed with him. He is the foundation of the whole heter and he gave it based entirely on R Shalom's claims.

    How could he have been so ignorant as to not know the subjectie natures of a psychologists evaluation? Especially one who is hired by the wife to find a basis for divorce and did not actually speaking with the husband. That is the claim that Rav Feldman makes against his heter.

  9. Well, until I see that letter I can only go by what he says in this one. You are essentially saying that this letter is false, and he in fact gave a hetter in this particular case. If you are correct, and he wrote elsewhere that he gives a hetter for Tamar Epstein to remarry, I certainly would retract what I have written here.

  10. A translation for those interested:
    To whom it may concern:
    I certify here what I said in writing to several talmidei chachamim who asked, and that is that I do not know Mr. Aharon Freidman, may he live and be well, or Ms. (?) Tamar Epstein, may she live and be well, and it is certainly not possible for me to know anything about their marriage or any (not clear) between them. Rather, Hagaon R' Sholom Kamenetzky shlita asked me: When there is testimony by expert doctors that someone is mentally ill in a way that disrupts his marriage, if it is possible to nullify the kiddushin due to this. And I said that if the matter is clear and is similar to the incident in the responsum in the Igros Moshe, it is possible to permit it under certain circumstances.
    Nota tzvi Greenblatt

  11. Dear RDE:

    Please post the email i just sent you. It's much worse than what you just stated - the רופא מומחה himself had a legal obligation under secular ethical standards, to notify whoever hired him that his diagnosis is of limited reliability and validity.

  12. Finally we both agree on something!


    אין צדיק בארץ אשר יעשה טוב ולא יחטא

    To the many people felt very upset about this unfortunate saga, this is a great relief.

    Halevai! And hopefully BOTH Rav Aron Schechter and Mr. Abe Fruchthandler can finally agree to resolve the Din Torah against them that was conducted NOT by a "talmid" or "secret person" but by none other than the Poisek HaDor himself who was also then the RASHKEBEHAG Rav Moshe Feinstein himself! See below, when will they finally see the light and put Klal Yisroel out of its misery and turn a decades old Chillul HaShem into a Kiddush HaShem with their Teshuva Gemura, instead of unadulterated Chutzpa in defying the obvious?

    So what do you say?!

  13. "and it is certainly not possible for me to know anything about their marriage or any (not clear) between them".
    The phrase in question reads:
    ולא על שום פרט שב[י]ניהם
    Translated: or any detail [that transpired] between them.

  14. Reb Shalom has just proven that he had reputatin as a gadol who decided - what we all new for eight years - that they sold their souls for money from the Epstein family.

  15. The word that is not clear is "prat".

  16. I admit that I have no specific knowledge about Reb Moshe, but it is odd that he would take part in what in anything that may seem suspicious. What we are seeing here is the most strange handling of a case that any BAR-DAAS understands that is suspicious and there is little point in issuing HALACHIC Psak before the facts are clarified

    In general many rabonnim refrain from answering many question for the reason that the Psak may be misused. Particularly in money matters.

  17. I can understand if he was asked and gave a "heter" based on information he was given (like the r moshe on pizza). With graet respect fir r nota, im asking what I don't understand is how r nota can be mesader her. Shouldnt he then need to investigate her status??

  18. The letter says 'rofim mumchim' meaning medical doctors, perhaps psychologists expert. Meaning plural, not one, and real professionas, and doctors, in a professional capacity. With disclaimers that its not valid without personally examining the subject (and the subject is AF, not TEF(F). This disclaimer makes any evaluation purely speculative.

    Also the term used is 'marat' which is specifically a Mrs, meaning a married woman.. not ms. No question mark.

  19. It is a first step. It was obviously very hard for him to write this letter (or he just wants all the phone calls to stop).
    The fact that he was mesadair kidushin is not disputed so he doesn't need to admit that - he does need to explain the jump from the 'theoretical question he was asked' to the jump he made my marrying them

    HOWEVER the main point is he named the name instead of just saying 'some rosh yeshiva'. That makes Rabbi Shalom Kamenetsky a big outright liar. By the way, no one ever accused Rabbi Shalom of not being Mechabaid his father. So it is a fair assumption that Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky, at the least, agreed to all this.

  20. This letter is a retraction through a disclaimer. The opening of "whoever wants to know", is a description of events of what actually transpired. Since he (R' NG) knows neither of the couple involved, i wouldn't know anything about their marriage, nor any of their conflicts.

    [ * therefore, my reply is rather in general and not specific to this case in particular at all, for you to conclude that as if I was matir for these same parties concerned to depart as is - without a Get *. ]

    However, what transpired was, that R' Sholom K' asked me 'when'/if there is expert testimony from experienced Doctors on anybody that has mental problems that interferes with the marriage, whether you can consider to nullify the Kidushin for that reason. And I replied, that when/if a case is CLEAR and LIKE that story in the Responsa of Igrot Moshe, it would be relevant under certain conditions.

    * Firstly, the case is not CLEAR, simply for the names of Doctors, witnesses etc.are not disclosed in order to verify as to their truth. The claims have not been verified under scrutiny from independent and neutral Experts without pursuing a prejudiced outcome. The story in Igros M, is a far cry from our story and/or LIKE - at all, of which was in relation to gvuras anoshim, not so in case of mental problems if any. "Within limited circumstances", refers to when all else fails to procure a Get, only then can you utilize that heter. Not so, when there is a clear option to accommodate the husband with visitation rights in order to obtain a GET*

    It is clear that, if this is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, R' NG intends to disassociate from this Heter of M.Taus. If however he DID perform the Sidur Kidushin, he is not yet out of the woods.

  21. I note, that while in R' Moshe Feinstein's case, the impotence of the husband was never contested, there was a basic assumption that the cause of the impotence was organic, for which the doctors couldn't find any remedy. I suspect that the cause was psychological, which would be needed to be treated with therapy and not with drugs. I wonder if RMF was aware of such a possibility. Someone not aware of this might think that a healthy male with a normal yetzer hara should surely be able to perform as called for, and if he is unable to then he has an organic defect that needs to be treated with medicine, and if medical doctors don't have any cure, then the marriage is a non-starter.

  22. This letter is adressed to ''l'chol man deBoei' meaning to whom who questions or to whom (this) is a problem.

    Meaning, he is putting things issue in the public domain.

    Anyone who has any documention is now authorized to release it to the public. Including any psychological profiles, psychological evaluations, psychological reccomendations (though this may be subject to the subject / husbands privacy; on the other hand, its pretty much public.)

    Also, the 'smoking gun' rationalization for this 'heter' is now authorized to be made public. As well as all supporting documentation, distribution lists, declination lists, etc.

  23. Besides the 'smoking gun' letter, how about a list od those who declined to sign the proposed 'heter'?

    Shouldn't this have been sent to those requested to sign? Appended to the letter?

  24. So what do you say?!

    I say that it would do you good, dear RaP, to be able to admit a mistake as well. Your obsession with mentioning RAS when it is entirely irrelevant, when it is entirely incomparable, seems to be a mistake as well. Good luck.

    Just to clarify, Rav Moshe never, ever wrote anything comparable to what you like to claim he wrote.
    Good luck. (Sorry, I will not be able to continue this "conversation.)

  25. hat they sold their souls for money

    I think it is a little more complicated than this.

    After certain mistakes were made, more mistakes were made in order to "protect" the honor of the Torah... bla, bla. It wasn't a simple "Here's a cool $3 million. Be sure to write a "heter."

    From reading Goldfine's testimony, it becomes clear that certain ideas were Goldfines. R Shol K eventually went along with it.... Other ideas were probably ORA's, etc.

    The initial cause to fall in was also combined with "rachmonus," as Rabbi Landesman wrote. There is a huge difference between one who accepts a bribe, and one who does not recuse himself due to a conflict of interest.

  26. Shalom was never considered a gadol by anyone including his father. He lectures at the university of PA he is a professor which no Gadol agrees with and has managed to be involved in so many controversial issues there is no Gadol that even recognizes him. On another note why don't you publish Shaloms number so that we can all call and protest.

  27. Rav shalom was never accepted as a Gadol by anyone. Even his Father would quite frequently complain about him. I am not sure why you are not publishing Rav Shaloms number so that we can protest as Rav Shternbuch instructed we do.

  28. Can RNNG retract his psak, after doing 'siddur kedushin'? Not so sure.

    Second point: will the young couple listen? Will RKam tell them to $ignore$ ? Will RNNG refund them his fee? Less 'schar betellah'?

  29. fedupwithcorruptrabbisNovember 28, 2015 at 1:43 AM

    I dont understand R.Nota. If he was presented with a question about the possibility of annuling the marriage, thats one matter. But what I dont understand is how a man of his stature canlf

    possibility of

  30. fedupwithcorruptrabbisNovember 28, 2015 at 2:07 AM

    Its one thing fot R Greenblatt to issue an opinion about an annullment, but after he officiated at Tamars 2nd marriage and now realizes the uproar, it is incumbent to "PUT UP OR SHUT UP" meaning either produce a letter of regret and condemn the marriage as being performed under false pretense, or produce a letter proving that her marriage is on solid ground. Anything less is not a responsiblr response to suchh an awful act

  31. Honesty, you mention "Goldfine's testimony". Are you referring to the report by a mental health care expert regarding AF that was submitted by RSK to RNG? If so do you have proof that Dr. Goldfein is the psychologist who submitted same report? I so, and her conflict of interest, due to her attorney husband representing TE, was not divulged to RNG, it is another perversion in this horror story. Please inform.

  32. No, he is referring to exactly what he said, Goldfein's testimony. This is the testimony given by Tamar's lawyer in the Epstein case.

  33. 'Letter proving . . . On solid ground.'

    Including psychological evaluations, name and full CV of doctors, copy of letter requesting heter, distribution list, who signed (implication whomever didn't tsign opposed), retainer letters (showing fees paid.)


    (RNG) will certify in writing of what I said to several Talmidei chachomim that
    asked ( note that RNG does not elaborate what WAS asked specifically nor WHO
    they might have been ), of which is
    that I know neither of the couple Mr. and MRS....
    and of course it's not relevant / possible that I should know anything about
    their marriage,
    nor any issue that transpired between them. (This is a disclaimer of any
    familiarity with any of the facts whatsoever)
    it was that R'SK asked me, if/when there is expert opinion from Doctors on
    somebody that is mentally ill that disrupts the marriage, if it is possible to
    nullify the Kidushin because of it.

    replied that, if it is within three conditions,
    if it is clear as to it's validity of mental illness and
    is alike/similar with the case of the responsa of Igros Moshe
    with limitations to and only if within certain circumstances.

    Since RNG has been informed that it WAS specifically about mental illness, then
    where is the Psak for utilizing of Mekach taus? He does NOT pasken whether
    mental illness IS similar or is NOT similar, he just left it open for the K's to
    decide along with the verification as to it's authenticity and validity of the
    diagnosis. Ribono
    shel olam, HAIKAR CHOSER MIN HASEFER and this reply is NOT TSU DER ZACH!!! RNG
    never really paskened to go ahead with MEKACH TAUS! And that's why this letter is *GEFONFFET*.

    therefore don't hesitate to say that it's NOT the whole truth, NOR even half of
    the truth. We also now need to ask those several tamidei chachomim that
    There is absolutely no satisfaction in RNG's reply, not to R K's nor to the several Talmidei Chachomim that asked. Furthermore,
    If RNG was the Mesader Kidushin as well, did he first ask R'K for those
    Doc's Borur notes, and did he also ask that who gave the PSAK of this case BEING
    similar to IGros Moshe, and whether there was a GET or a DIN MEKACH TAUS before being mesader kidushin? If not, WHY NOT? This IS ME'EIN PSHIA of a BAS haYAANO. Al ken my
    friends, this is only the beginning of the unravelings of Koisher kshorim and
    Sheker Shkorim. This demonstrates that there is NEITHER BAKI BETIV GITTIN nor in
    KEDUSHIN. This concocted story IS FATAL and cannot recover! From hence on, there will be rapid
    developments downhill, and the END is near.

  35. דברי הרב פעד-אפ-וויט הם לכאורה נכונים, והא לך דברי החפץ חיים זצ"ל בהלכות לשון הרע כלל ו –ח, הגה"ה:

    מה שמצוי כשאחד יוצא מבית דין חייב, והוא מספר לחברו ומסדר דברי זכותו לפניו לאמר: ראה בעצמך איך שהדין עמי, ובית דין פסקו מהפך להפך ... ואלו היה השומע הולך בדרך התורה הקדושה, כשבא אחד לפניו בענין כזה ... על כל פנים יש לו להתחזק על עצמו, שלא לקבל לדברי הגנות והתרעמת של חברו, שהוא מתרעם על הבית דין שבעיר, כי האסור של קבלת לשון הרע והמצוה ד''בצדק תשפט עמיתך'' הוא נאמר, אפלו על סתם אנשים מישראל, וכל שכן על מי שמחזק בעיר לתלמיד חכם, ובדידה המצוה ד''בצדק תשפט'' הוא אפלו אם הדרך לכף חוב מכריע הרבה יותר מלכף זכות, (וכמו שכתב הרבנו יונה בשערי תשובה במאמר רי''ח, עין שם, והוא כעין מאמר הגמרא בברכות (י''ט) אם ראית וכו', עין שם) ... ואפלו אם הפך על כל צדדי הענין, ואין לו על הבית דין שום זכות, עם כל זה מן התורה אסור להחליט עליהם ולומר, שאינם יודעים היאך לפסק דיני התורה, אלא יש לילך אל הרב או אל הבית דין ולדרש מאתם הטעם, וכמאמרם באבות: אל תדין את חברך וכו', אולי

    יראה לו שהמעשה לא היה,
    או יראה לו את טעם דבריו, מאיזה מקום הוציא את הפסק שלו,
    או יודה לו ויאמר: טעיתי,

    כי אפלו באמוראים הראשונים מצינו שטעו בפסקי הדינים ואחר כך חזרו בהן, (וכמאמרם בנדה (דף ס''ח.): הדר אוקי רבא אמורא עלה (לאחר מכן העמיד רבא אמורא) ודרש: דברים שאמרתי לפניכם טעות הם בידי, ברם כך אמרו וכו'), וכמו שנאמר בתורה: ''הוכח תוכיח את עמיתך ולא תשא עליו חטא'', וכמו שפרש הרמב''ם בהלכותיו שפרוש הכתוב כך הוא, שיתוכח עם חברו על מה עשה לו כך וכך, ולא שינקט לו בלבו על זה, עין שם.

    והעובר על דברינו אלה, דהינו, שמחליט בלבו אחר ספורו של חברו שהרב או שהבית דין לא דנו את הדין יפה, וטעות היה בהוראה זו, בלי דרישה וחקירת טעם הדבר מהבית דין עצמם, עובר על כמה גופי תורה, ובפרט על אסור קבלת לשון הרע ועל לאו ד''לא תשא עליו חטא'' לפרוש הרמב''ם. וכל הדן את חברו לכף זכות דנין אותו מן השמים לכף זכות.

  36. The reason why I wrote Ms. with a question mark is because in terms of English, it is impossible to write "Mrs. Tamar Epstein." No such person exists. If one is using "Mrs." the last name must be that of the husband (in fact, Mrs. really means "of Mister," which is why back in the day she would have been referred to as "Mrs. Aron Friedman"). I don't know why you assume that מרת is a married woman. Even-Shoshan does not agree, as it comes from the Aramaic מרא, which just means "person in charge" (e.g., מרא דאתרא). There is no precise English analogue to the Hebrew מרת, which in fact is an honorific for a woman regardless of whether or not she is married, I think that "Ms.", which serves a similar function in English, is probably the best translation.

  37. I add that in the nusach of the tena'im written by R' Moshe, he describes the woman as מרת, even though she is not married. Once again, what is the source for your assertion that this title is used only for a married woman?

  38. Do they have any children, yet? The last I heard was that there was some parlor meeting for some tzedakah or the like held in their home. Chutzpah Chutzpah Chutzpah. Keep up the protest until Moshiach comes! ...

  39. "that if the matter is clear and is similar to the incident in the responsum in the Igros Moshe, it is possible to permit it under certain circumstances."

    So did NG give the heter, or just give parameters, which were used by Sh.K ?


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