Sunday, August 20, 2023

Tamar Epstein: Translation of protest by R Shlomo Miller, R E B Wachtfogel, R Moshe Green and R Yechiel Tauber

This is concerning the uproar regarding the case of Tamar Epstein the wife of Aharon Friedman. He has refused to give her a Get for many years because of unresolved issues regarding custody of their daughter.  The facts of the case of been investigated and established by Rav Aharon Feldman. 

There is a "rav" [R Nota Greenblatt] who has given Tamar a heter to remarry without a Get. He  said the marriage was annulled retroactively because of the principle of mekach ta'os (mistaken acquistion). The reason for the mekach ta'os he claims is that the husband (Aharon) suffers from the personality disorders of Paranoid Personality Disorder (PPD_ and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD).

However this explanation is not adequate justification for annulling the marriage - since it is obvious that there are many people who have such personality disorders and yet are still able to have a successful marriage. In fact I asked two psychotherapists about this and they both said that these personality disorders are not mental illness but are simply personality traits. Thus there is absolutely no justification to declare the marriage annulled because of mekach ta'os. Furthermore the Beis Din of Baltimore - which is the only beis din that has been authorized by both side and they both appeared before it - has said that there is no sign of mental illness in the husband.

And if as a result of this "psak", reckless and irresponsible rabbis permit other woman to remarry it would mean that there will never be a need for a Get again. That is because the wife will simply claim that she has discovered that her husband has a serious personality problem and that she would have never agreed to marry him if she had known about it before the marriage. As a result of this mistaken reasoning - G-d forbid- it will result in multiplying the number of mamzerim in the Jewish people.

 Besides the above objections to the heter, it is a fact that they remained living together for an extended period of time and she never claimed that her marriage was a mistake -mekach ta'os. And in addition even after the therapist wrote that her husband had these "incurable" personality disorders - she remained living with him for a period of 4 months. Given these facts it is obvious that even if in fact that her husband has this defect of mental illness  (but as we noted before it is not a defect that justifies annulling the marriage ) it is clear that she was able to accept him as a husband and therefore the marriage can not be considered inherently mistaken (mekach ta'os).

Today it is widespread that reckless and irresponsible people who want to resolve every case of aguna by simply saying that the marriage is a mistaken marriage (mekach ta'os). As a result of such an approach the Torah (G-d forbid!) will be deserted and no one will be concerned with the truth as to what the halacha really is. It will be sufficient for these people that they can find some sort of rabbi who will declare that they are free from their marriage and it doesn't concern them whether the rabbi is following the halacha or not.

Today when  the Jewish people is in mortal danger from the sword of the Arabs, we need to ask what sin has brought about these types of afflictions? I am not a prophet  or even the son of a prophet and I don't have esoteric knowledge - but I do know something about the words of our Sages. The sword comes to the world because of those who rebel against the Torah and distort its teaching against the halacha. There is no greater rebellion and distortion of the Torah than to say that it is permitted for a married woman to marry someone else without first receiving a Get from her husband.

In summary, this married woman Tamar Epstein is prohibited to her second husband because she married him without first obtaining a Get from her first husband. Consequently all children she has from her second husband are mamzerim and can not marry other Jews.

Signed in anguish because of the terrible destruction and the public chilul haShem

Rav Shlomo Miller
Rav E B. Wachtfogel
Rav Moshe Green
Rav Yechiel Tauber


  1. A refreshing improvement over the earlier protests in that this group of prominent rabbis does not pretend that the mamzer producers are Gedolim or great rabbis or such thing. They are precisely the opposite.

  2. The signatories in this letter did not describe either RNG or RSK as anything other than rabbonim/poskim. (In the original Loshon Kodesh letter.)

  3. I don't understand. Where is the letter of protest signed by the major leaguers such as R' Dovid, R' Ruvain, the Novominsker Rebbe, Kotler & Company, R' Aron Schechter, and all the other Rabbis that signed on the statement condemning Open Orthodoxy. Where is the outcry at the outrageous Chillul Hashem caused by an Orthodox Rabbi legitimizing and officiating at the remarriage of a woman who is so clearly still married to another.

    The arguments presented by Rabbi Greenblatt are so flimsy, that it raises the question whether if at such an advanced age a Rabbi who was until now held in such high esteem might be suffering from some form of dementia. Indeed, if that were the case, it would be incumbent upon the leading Orthodox Rabbis to publicize this vital piece of information, so as to advise the pubic not to rely on any further rulings of Rabbi Greenblatt.

    I am not sure what role, if any, the Rabbis Kaminetsky had in this fiasco and what evidence there is of their involvement. I have not seen or heard of any statement from those Rabbis officially supporting Rabbi Greenblatt's position. If they declined to make their views known out of respect for Rabbi Greenblatt, why then are they more deserving of condemnation than the silent rabbis I mentioned in my opening paragraph?

    By the way, what was the designation afforded Ms. Tamar on her Kesubah for her new Marriage? Matrachta? Besulta? Beulta? Was her Mohar, Mossayim or Moneh? Just askin'.

  4. It is incumbent on those who think they can be helpful to stop the potential of increasing mazarim in Israel is all the blogging going on here helping towards that?

  5. You are wrong!
    Please note the "" marks around the word rav
    Which is referring to R Greenblatt

  6. The answer is Mechapeh as in the other famous cases of Messira. Was mekudash beBiah, hence no Kesubah, and therefore it was bitsnuisse

  7. very good point -
    for it to become a "Langer" style scandal, we need major Gedolim writing letters in the style of what Rabbi Gestetner has produced.
    So far, there has been nothing from the major Gedolim in Israel [I mean no disrespect to Rav Shternbuch]. But we need to see the Litvish leadership making protests, and performing keriah. Is Rav Auerbach making any noises, or the Steipler's son? Or the multiple and competing/warring Ponovezh Roshei Yeshiva? Nothing coming form Bnei Brak. There is no Lubavitcher Rebbe to tell RSK to resign his post. So far some mild criticism from RAF shlita, and some stronger criticism from Monsey.

  8. Silly questions.
    The Langer case was an EY case, that's why the EY poskim and Rabbanim were involved.
    Since when do they get involved in American issues? Did they ever issue a kol koreh or letters against YCT? (The one exception might be Rav Ovadya, who answered all shaylas that came his way...)
    The real question is about the other members of the American Moetzes, the Gedolim in Israel are not to be expected to be involved.
    Just by the way, I think most would say that RavShlomo Miller, Rav Aharon Feldman and Rav Elya Ber are major gedolim, but they're not ALL the major gedolim.

  9. After all these months of discussing the issue of Tamar Epstein and mekach ta'os, askanim have devised a way to get an authoritative answer to all questions. There will be an Asifa at the annual Agudah convention to ask the gedolim for Daas Torah on the matter.

  10. "the Steipler's son"?!? How dare you

  11. that wasn't me it was Eddie

  12. R' Daniel,

    I'm writing here because I don't know how to reach you personally but I don't want this printed. Just wanted to share with you a little FYI in case you weren't aware. If you wish to discuss, please feel free to email me.

    To those in the know, Rav Shmuel K. is no longer really deciding too much. He's not senile, but he's declining to decide too much on his own and he is very much controlled by his son Sholom.

    What most don't know is that Sholom is wholly corrupt while very charismatic individual. He is the rabbinic voice behind Shlomo Gottesman as was revealed during the seminary scandal. This is a verifiable fact. I assume you're aware of it as well. Rabbi Gartner knows it as do many others. He provide rabbinical cover for Gottesman to carry on his dastardly deeds and he did it not only in the seminary scandal but in the Aish din torah which was similarly corrupted as well.

    Sholom K. is the real target here who needs to be exposed, not Rav Shmuel who in my humble opinion is largely controlled by Sholom. Sholom is shrewd, corrupt, charismatic and holds most people for fools who can easily be mislead.


please use either your real name or a pseudonym.