Thursday, November 12, 2015

What is Daas Torah regarding Tamar Epstein?: Asifa at Agudah Convention ( Thursday Nov 12 - Sunday Nov 15) to find out who is her husband?

update: This event has been postponed from Thursday night because of the rain. It is being rescheduled during the Convention. I will post when it will be rescheduled after the various speakers decide what is best.

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.


Is the heter of mekach ta'os valid in this case? Or is Tamar still married to Aharon Friedman and is required to leave her new husband? Does Aharon Friedman have an obligation to give a Get despite the fact that the Baltimore Beis Din  did not require it of him? Does Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky support the heter or is it true - as his son claims - that he had nothing to do with it and he rejects the heter? Do the gedolim feel that a psychologist should be the one to decide when the heter of Mekach Ta'os applies and a Get is not needed? Is it appropriate for a Jewish wife to decide to end the marriage because she thinks she can do better? Are public demonstrations as done by ORA causing the Get to be invalid because of Get Me'usa?

Transportation to the Convention

There will be transportation available to the Convention in Connecticut. Call 908 274 1501 and leave a message. Someone will call back to make arrangements.


Agudah Cnvention at the Crown Plaza, in Stamford, CT.


Opportunity for participants at the Agudah Convention to join the Asifa will be provided during breaks in the regular program.

 The Asifa will be formed a number of times during the Convention to allow adequate opportunity for everyone to ask questions and receive authoritative answers according to their level of understanding.


  1. This is clearly a job for Beis-din and not for Askonim, and as we have one (Baltimore), they should get together and issue a psak.

  2. This is good news, but what is the source?
    It has to be dealt with by the Gedolim in America, who have more knowledge of the facts.

  3. The problem is, that sholom Kaminetsky to me in a phone conversation that he facilitated the hetter with the blessing of his father
    So while the letter is technically correct, reb Shmuel definitely lent support to explore a hetter
    Which to me is just as bad

  4. They can add whether meshasse es haklovim from ORA are liable. Do you dan the meshalchim with kaasher zomam laassos, if not why not? How to deal with the Bar minan Epstein Syndrome and what to do with a ham sandwich that was beaten to death in absentia. Is it bossor treifa, or bossor neveila or bossor shenisalem min hoayin or all of the above, in spite of ein issur chal al issur. Safety of our children in the Chinuch system. 'Burning' issues in the Chassidishe velt of gdi mekules on LaG BaOmer when ovar zmano and chutz limkomo. Are the perpetrators liable for retsicha if their victims commit suicide, is it only a Gram or a Kilo. Should the family of the victims be afflicted with double jeopardy, besmirching them after their children have been harmed, or only kom lei biderabo minei. Since the time of the convention is limited, should we keep those Kofrim of Torah MiSinai off limits and dan only beinyonei deyoma of anshei shlomeinu. Sugya of mamzerim, ma mikveh metaher es hatmeim af hakessef metaher es hamamzerim. There are many more, but hazman yichle, veheim lo yichlu. Af al pi ken, vechol hamosif, mosifin lo min hashamayim.

  5. When klal Yisroel is bleeding its incumbent upon everyone to run into bthe street and scream for kavod shamaim

  6. The whole letter is weird.

    1) It makes sure to refer Tamar as a stuck in her egyoinoso. Well, problem is, she is the one who has stuck herself as Rav Landsman has made so clear.

    2) He claims never to have been mevatel it. However, missing from the letter is an objection to the "bitul." Why did he refuse to object to the bitul?

    3) On the other hand, he does refer to her Mrs. Friedman; which clearly implies that he considers her married to Tamar Friedman.

  7. Toiro - Toiro chigri sak, al shloisho pishei Yisroel, veal Shever "Bas" Ami, Oy me hoyo lonu!The RA'AVAD of BD hagodol shebeyerushalayim called us to task, in conjunction with Gedoilei Oilom shebeGolah. It breaks our heart to see such gross violations of Torah, ve'even miKir Tizak. Derbaremdiker bashefer, please have mercy on us veyomar letsoroisenu day.

  8. Honesty -I can not read the letter from the image you posted.

    Can you send me the original file at

  9. Where is the letter from the Rosh HaYeshiva saying that the hetter is no good, that Princess Tamar is still an eishes ish, and that any kids would be mamzerim? Reading between the lines this letter just says "it wasn't me" but does not reject the psak. By the way, anyone following this story over the years knows that this letter, while technically true (it wasn't his psak), is disingenuous to say the very least.


  11. Is the questions posted above that will allegedly take place at an asifa at today's Agudah convention supposed to be parady? It certainly seems to be parody and that is the presumption I have about a meeting taking place with the abovementioned questions.

  12. I am more interested in hearing guidelines as how couples should act. A dayan,posek, a head of a kehilla here in israel said to me that divorce has nothing to do with halacha. One can be a 'naval be'reshut ha'torah' and the beit hamikdash was destroyed because people focused on their rights. The torah gives guidelines like - doing what is straight and good etc , the focus must be to find out what hashem wants from the parties with the help of the beis Din and not on winning or losing or getting the best deal - the best deal is one that is best for the children and the parents. An adverserial atmosphere turns the beis din into a secular court. The dayan said , that divorce proceedings is about having the seichel and goodwill so an agreement that meets the concerns of all can be reached and this will facilitate a collaborative atmosphere to co-parenting

  13. A question that might be posed to the Gedolim at the Aggudah Convention, would be: Is it advisable that from this point for all Chassanim to visit a psychiatrist (or a series of psychiatrists) in order to obtain a written opinion as to whether they are or have ever been subject to any incurable mental defect (which is in itself paradoxical because if they had been at one point afflicted with an incurable disorder, by definition they would forever be afflicted)? Else-wise, should not any Chosson be concerned lest his Kiddushin might at some point (even after many years) be dissolved retroactively and render all his conjugal activities dissolute?

    A follow-up question might be: In the absence of such a letter as described above may any Rabbi accept Siddur Kidushun or any lay person accept a kibbud of Sheva Brochos? Without an assurance of the Chosson's mental fitness, should not the Kallah be considered Sofek Mekudeshes? In turn, should we not avoid the "chashash" of a Brocha Levatolah until we determine otherwise?

    This matter ought not be dismissed as a sick joke, since the retroactive dissolution of a marriage on the grounds of mental defect would be an extremely rare event. Not so!. Once the floodgates have opened, the divorce rate among Jews will soar to the level equal to that of the secular,world,namely, more than 50%. You can be sure that many of thesee will be marriages that were dissolved retroactively.

  14. I thought this was an inside job from the Agunah to cleanse itself from the suspicions about one of its senior members who happens to be the main speaker. But now I find out that I was wrong. The people teaching about the laws of marriage are not part of the Agudah at all. It is a protest coordinated with the police, outside of the hall where the Agudah meeting is head. At least, that is what somebody told me who I assume knows. I also heard that there will be people there, specially trained by a senior Posek, who know how to answer these questions.
    In addition to what they will receive from their rebbes, I have much material on this on my blog . Many posts are about Philly and the mamzer issue.

  15. The same idea can be applied for dor yeshorim. Disclose all the gene faults amongst the prospects and see who is the fittest. Do you think that will ever happen?

  16. What does "receive authoritative answers according to their level of understanding" mean?

  17. "Opportunity for participants at the Agudah Convention to join the Asifa will be provided during breaks in the regular program."

    Rovetz bein hamishpsoyim will not suffice. That is good only for chamorim. What is required is of the "Uforsu es hasimloh" kind. Disclose all the players and participants, doers and machers, mumchim and Dayonim, eidim and meheichan dantoni vechol asher lohem UBICHSAV! Only that will tell us who did/said what and to whom and when. One picture is worth a thousand words. Filibustering under the counter, in the back rooms, off the records will not do the trick. It has to be done T..... ofin tish uleinei kol hoeido for lack of a better word.

  18. I think this whole "assifah" business is illconceived, but noe it's really a joke -- Rav Shmuel will only be at the Convention Thursday night...

  19. Are you insinuating that if it is because of fear of getting a get that people don't get divorced and therefore if it were easier 'the floodgates' would open? Are you saying people stay married for halachic reasons?

    Worst of all, you seem to be saying that this is a good thing and are bemoaning that if divorce was easier more people would do it!

    If a marriage is not working heaven forbid that halacha should force a couple to be miserable. What kind of religion do you think you belong to where halacha enforces years of hardship and suffering. What kind of person are you that you think this is a good thing? Sickening.

    Divorce is terrible but sometimes it is necessary. It is in no way dependant on the ease of getting a get (or annulling a marriage).

    You are also talking absolute garbage concerning the halachic issues of sofek. Annulling marriages has always been possible halachically and nothing has changed.

  20. A few more lies next to matir eishes ish lashuk, beni ubeincho ma hi.

  21. Divorce is overused and most divorces are preventable and most marriages that were terminated were saveable.

  22. Any update for yesterday's Asifa of what transpired?

  23. As noted on the post - it was postponed because of the rain. Will post what I receive regarding what happens

  24. Or perhaps you want to see a story in there, but there is none. If Rav Shteinman and Rav Kanievsky were ready to attack Rav Auerbach for setting up his own party, and banning avreichim who followed him [where there is no violation of Torah or Halacha], they would not be shy of attacking RSK [where there is alleged eishes ish and potential mamzerus].

    Perhaps the sons have learned from their fathers, and Rav Kanievsky, Rav Auerbach, Rav Eliashiv's son in law, etc do not want to create a Haredi Rav Goren. This would destroy the hareidi world once and for all. The only person who so far has done this is Gestetner. Rav Shternbuch is critical of the decision, but the Eidah are not part of the voting hareidi world - Degel/Agudah etc,. and do not sit on their Moetses.
    But all this should have been obvious when I raised objections to Rav Sherman's mass Goren-isation several years back. You can create mamzerim if you have a good Hareidi Gadol to back you. It is only when you are outside of the camp that you will be attacked.

  25. When is your novel being published?

  26. Stop exaggerating!

  27. The Nominsker's grandchild got married in Eretz Yisrael and "know it all" Rap basically says it didn't happen. Was he mafkia the kiddushin?

  28. Ari, don't be silly!

    Of course the Novominsker was in Israel for a family simcha, that is not disputed, it is true! But you miss the point entirely (deliberately?) that Rav Yaakov Perlow is not just a "private citizen" he also the "ROSH AGUDAS YISROEL" of Agudas Yisroel of America and the head not just of the American Aguda but he is also the head of its Moetzess Gedolei HaTorah, and as such he is THE Captain and captain does not abandon his ship FOR ANY REASON when it is passing through a serious storm or if there is discord among its chief officers (the American Gedolim).

    In other words, he "skipped town" when he should have been at the helm attending to the duties that ONLY he can do as the official head of the Aguda. Obviosuly he knew well eahed of time that he would be required to be at the Convention, since it's THE event of the Aguda calendar as anyone knows. Yet, still and all, he chose to go away at this crucial time when his voice and leadership were needed to attend a family simcha (that they could have easily planned around his duties to be at the Convention, and rescheduled a long time ago knowing that he would have to fulfill his leadership responsibilities as he has done every year, but punkt this year, he had to be away for a "family simcha."

    They could have held the simcha without it, he is not a "tnai in the kiddushin" to have to be there, but the Convention is LEADERLESS and HEADLESS if he is not there. Sorry, but tzorchei tzibbur trumps personal simchas when you are that much of a "head-man"! Imagine you board a ship, and it start sailing and then when the weather gets a little bumpy you read that the captain of the ship decided to take a helicopter ride away from the ship to attend a party of a far-off island? No one would be happy camper, and such a captain would probably be fired if not hauled up on charges of abandonment of ship, dereliction of duties, abandonmnet of his post, loss of nerve, reckless endangerment of the ship and its passengers, and who knows what else, that would make him liable for summary dismissal, or worse.

    On the other hand, who can blame him if his choice would have been a "choice between the devil and the deep blue sea" so he did what many ordinary people would do, he went AWOL, he skipped town, and he thought that "discretion is the better part of valor" -- yeah, he spoke via teleconference, very nice, it means nothing, when tough choices, bold leadership and direction and decision making were required.

  29. It's not a novel, it's a history!

  30. Why is that a joke? At least R Shmuel Kaminetzky was there, while the head of the Aguda was ne'er to be seen at the Convention at all, while dancing the night away in...Yerushalayim at a family simcha.

  31. Not in our modern times, many marriages will break up quickly (as they are doing all the time) and there will be rising divorce (as there is) simply because because the young couples are very infantile and immature, brats really, and very spoiled, and young people only know how to take and know nothing about all the heavy lifting and tough nuts and bolts of what really makes a marriage work. It is far, far worse than you think, and stop fooling yourself about it. We are in real crisis!!

  32. There is no such thing as "a history." It is either "history" or "historical fiction." You invented an entire conversation out of whole cloth.

  33. If you knew the reality of of the personalities and the organization, you'd realize how absurd that you're reading is.

  34. Yehoshua you are obviously ignorant about English literature, history, psychology, political science, sociology, not to mention learning a Sefer, where ANYTHING THAT IS PRINTED can and is subjected to analysis, study and commentary.

    By the way, what would you call "Lomdus" or asking Kashyas?

    In Medicine they call it "diagnosing" or "post mortem" or even a "prognosis" or some such term indicating the study of a subject matter. You are obviously not familiar with that approach because you seem to be saying that if someone reads something, as in say the Yated, or in a ArtScroll book, they must just take the words at face valued, and never read between the lines, the fine print, or what is implied. You obviously would not accept that words of Torah have multiple layers of meaning as well, such as in "PARDES": P'shat, Remez, Drush, (mots importantly) Sod, and just trying to get at what the facts and truth are in any given situation or words.

    That is why countries have INTELLIGENCE Agencies do not just read words and and take people and events at face value, which would be silly, superficial, and even very dangerous, but to have folks who can digest the data, sometimes even small hints, and like detectives, try to understand why the great things are taking place and what to do about them. It is also called arriving at UNDERSTANDING and KNOWING, interestingly the Torah uses the term "yada" ("KNEW/To KNOW") for the most intimate and profound relations and connections between people. To know something means to have a deep knowledge of it, not just to go by externals, superficiality, which is often lies, untruths, and dissembling. In a court of law, lawyers, juries and judges pay a LOT of attention to STATEMENTS, meaning words that were either said or written.

    So read my post again, and you will see it is not "fiction" or a "novel" but it is an analysis and commentary. It is attempting to fulfil the needs for DESCRIPTION and more importantly EXPLANATION. As in journalism for examples, they teach that the at least 5 QUESTIONS must be addressed and hopefully given in any article one reads: Who? What? When? How? (and most importantly) WHY?

    Please tell us what points you disagree with by the way! Thanks!!

  35. All of them.
    1: He came to Israel for a family wedding. This family wedding was scheduled months ago, before the Epstein story occurred. Are you suggesting that his grandchild had ruach hakodesh and new to get married this week so that he could come to meet with Rav Shteinman to discuss it?
    2: He meets with Rav Shteinman every time he comes to Israel, and the Yated prints a similar article each time.
    You are taking an event that needs no explanation, and inventing one of your own. You apparently have a very active imagination.

  36. If you are determined to keep your blinkers on and act silly, there is nothing anyone can do.

    Don't make up your own "excuses" and long tales either, they are really feeble.

    The most important point in the Yated blurb is this:

    "For the first time in years, he will not be attending the Agudah Convention this week."

    as it relates to the situation at hand, nothing to do with Epstein, but everything to do with the allegations against Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky that he aided and abetted Tamar to get a heter to remarry from R Notta Greenblatt, and for which he was taking serious flack that presumably was going to be settled when all the Gedolim, the full Moetzes would be together at the Aguda convention.

    Is Rav Perlow the ROSH AGUDAS YIROEL OR NOT? As such he has no choice but to forego relatively minor personal simchas of grandchildren and great-grandchildren (he must B"H have dozens of them by now), and if he went to every grandchild's wedding, vort, etc, he would never be able to be a Rebbe and Rosh Yeshiva of Novominsk let alone head a huge organization like the American Aguda. Rav Avidor Miller was only the Rov of a small shull yet he never missed giving any shiur in his small shull for any family simcha. He never went to EY either for a simcha. Rav Elyashiv had over one thousand descendants B"H and if he would go to every simcha of a grandchild he would not be able to do his job for Klal Yisroel either.

    So you know that you do not have any argument, and you are upset that i am just saying the obvious, so you resort to silly points that have nothing to do with anything, while you ignore the seriousness of the Novominsker's "playing hookey" the oldest trick in the book when you do not want to face the music and make the tough decisions that may require you to crack skulls and speak up for the Emes. Pity!

  37. Stop acting dumb please!!

    We are talking about the America Aguda's Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, nothing else.

    A week or two ago Rav Perlow joined 11 Moetzes members, including Rav Shmuel Kaminetzky, in signing a "kol koreh" against the OOs.

    The Moetzes speaks for the Aguda's Daas Torah in America.

    That means that Rav Perlow's last public "statement" with his name and signature on it was presented as "in agreement" with Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky, and unless he (Rav Perlow) SPECIFICALLY states otherwise, it is both logical and correct to assume that Rav Perlow is in agreement with Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky about the latest Tamar scandal, OTHERWISE HE WOULD NOT BE CO-SIGNING PUBLIC LETTERS WITH HIM AT ALL, on the contrary if he truly opposed Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky he would be co-signing the letters of those Rabbanim who have attacking Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky and Rabbi Notta Greenblbaltt (or have you not been following what's this blog has been so dramatically reporting in the last few months??) allowing Tamar to remarry without obtaining a legitimate Get first from her first husband.

    Wake up and smell the coffee, and for goodness sake please stop acting dumb, or making lame attempts to create false tangents, because people see through that kind of act very quickly and you fool nobody!

  38. especially the crucial annual convention which is the greatest event for the Aguda during the year.

    Please. The type of Aguda you speak about is long passe. Then, the other type of Aguda you speak about - the supposed Rav Aaron Shechter powerhouse - never existed outside of a very special person's imagination.

  39. Yeah, yeah, and with your kind of bald-faced spin-meistering no wonder the in-crowd (like Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky in his way and RAS in his way) can get away with anything, and with that kind of response there will NEVER be an answer to this blog's opener:

    "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."

    So I guess you are saying that the Aguda really is a useless organization and this it's Moetzes is a just a mythical collection of old fools who cannot make tough choices like censuring and expelling one of its members who may have gone too far astray, unless it comes to making useless "kol Korehs" against the OOs who do nor care what the Aguda or Moetzes do or say in any case.

    By the way, to refresh your selective memory, here is a letter of protest that someone wrote years ago to Chaim Dov Zwiebel Esq. the chief bureaucrat at the American Aguda, that is sings a different tune to you, enjoy:

  40. that is a classic letter, i look forward to reading it every so often when you post it!

  41. ok, just trying to illustrate a point.
    it seems this ma'aseh does not have the mileage to go very far. A few letters here and there, but nothing big is taking place outside of this blog.

  42. Thanks! In that case, here's the famous Hazmona and P'sakim from Rav Moshe Feinstein that remains unresolved to this day, judge for yourself what its import is:

  43. RaP,
    Again, I very much appreciate your posts and analysis here.
    One question which I have which you might be ab;e to shed light on - why did Aguda promote RAS to the Moetzes? Which of the Moetzes memebrs at the time pushed for him to come aboard? Was there pushback from other Moetzes members? In short, how did such a thing happen?

  44. I'd like to see Zweibel's response.

  45. Eddie says “that is a
    classic letter, I look forward to reading it every so often when you post it!”

    I printed out and read the 2 page letter: “After Reb Moshe
    Feinstein signed the Hazmanah to summon Rabbi Aron M. Schecter…and they refused…”

    That a true, serious, most grave seruv in contrast to
    FBI sing seruv that worked on Mendel Epstein et al.

    The most outrageous aspect of Mendel Epstein et al and
    Rabbi Ralbag forced gets is that they hear make do with a minimal seruv without
    any checking. They make no effort to talk to recalcitrant husband to see if
    there is any way to save the marriage or to get the recalcitrant husband to
    willingly divorce his wife. This is not
    justice when the judges hear only the angry wife’s side.

  46. Did anything of note happen at the convention regarding the Epstein Episode? "Postponed because of the rain" sounded to me a weak excuse. Was this "asifa" supposed to be an outdoor event, that was weather susceptible?

  47. "Postponed because of rain" is a code for "no rabbis of significant stature were willing to participate."

  48. Thank you for the letter. Knew I can always rely on you.

    What does that have to do with your amazing explanations of the Agudah? Interestingly, Rav Moshe never reached the same conclusions about YRCB or Rav Aaron as you and the once-upon-a-time mashgiach. Why wasn't Rav Moshe as righteous as you two?

  49. "Houston, we've had a problem here.

  50. What about inside the convention, was it raining in there as well? Why didn't any rabbi, never mind their signicant stature, willing to participate to adress this T.E. Episode after the rabonim of our times have protested. This Omerte code of silence speaks loud and clear. Ignoring it and ducking it will not make it go away. Don't they have a spine? Ve'im hachresh tachrishi lo'es kazos, mi yodea ma yulad yom.
    Does anyone know where the couple resides, and whether they are still living under one roof?

  51. divorce proceedings is about having the seichel and goodwill so an
    agreement that meets the concerns of all can be reached and this will
    facilitate a collaborative atmosphere to co-parenting

    In most cases, people with an abundance of seichel and goodwill would not be getting divorced in the first place. It is precisely the lack of those things that often leads to divorce.

  52. Obvioulsy Rav Moshe Feinstein was not thinking, feeling, or acting like you allege when he gave this out:

  53. Nice letter to help Rabbi Karlbach find a job - something Rav Moshe did for many people. However, where is the letter criticizing, and attempting to degrade and ridicule YRCB or Rav Aaron Schechter?

    Don't have one? Thought so. Oy, oy, oy, poor RaP.

  54. How many Semichas from Rav Moshe Feisntein like that have you seen by the way? I am sure they could be worth a lot of money. Let me know when you across some, and let's post them to see what they say, okay? You make it sound like Rav Moshe Feinstein gave them out to anyone who knocked on his door!

    As long as Rav Moshe Feinstein was alive he did not need letters to make his views known. He was the head of the Moetzes and under no circumstances would he allow RAS sit with him there, that should be obvious.

    That lasted until 1986 when Rav Moshe Feinstein, and Rav Yaakov Kmainetsky, passed away.

    After that he had no control, the Aguda and its Moetzes was up for grabs, only Rav Ruderman stood between RAS and the big seat he coveted on the Moetzes, and once Rav Ruderman passed away in 1987, the road was open for super politician the big Aguda CEO Moshe Sherer to rush RAS onto the Moetzes and get the big money help from Fruchthandler, who then brought in guys like David Schick who gave the Aguda millions, Sherer called him a "mashiach' of the Aguda, but Schick went to jail for stealing hundreds of millions, much of it from fellow frum Jews. Another chillul HaShem that RAS helped to cover up by ordering Shick not to squeal and go to jail and take the hit for others.....

    As for the kind of letters you ask for, they exist, here is just one famous one from a Rov who was active on the major Orthodox organizations for along time. It is not pleasant reading, so i will not say "enjoy" because it is a horrible indictment of the kind of people you hopelessly trying to "defend" and falling flat on your face spinning your wheels:

  55. RaP,
    Thank you for your lengthy and incisive analysis. You explained very well the financial aspect of what went on. You noted above that Rav Moshe and Rav Ruderman under no circumstances wanted RAS on the Moetzes. Do you have any insight as to what the members of the Moetzes thought about bringing RAS on at the time (after the passing of Rav Ruderman)? Who was pro and who was against, who was neutral? Or did they not have the power to veto a decision by R Moshe Scherer? I also vaguely recall you stating some time ago that R Yaacov Kaminetsky wanted RAS appointed to the Moetzes because he had a kluger kop like R Yaacov or something to that effect. Could you please elaborate on that? Did R Yaacov in fact want RAS appointed?

  56. Rav Moshe Sherer did NOT get to select who goes on the Moetzes. Nor does Rav Zweibel today. It is selected by the remaining members of the Moetzes itself.

  57. Who is this Rabbi Dr. Weiss and who is he to critique gedolim any more than any other rabbi doctor?


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