Sunday, February 14, 2016

Kaminetsky-Greenblatt Heter: Putting to Rest the Claim that Rav Kaminetsky was never Matir

Guest Post

Hello R' Eidensohn,

First of all, thank you for your continuing coverage of the Epstein situation. Your thorough coverage and posting of the relevant documents has allowed us all to make our own informed and educated judgments on the issue rather than having to fall back on blind reliance on others.

I would like to note one point that I believe has been overlooked. RSK has written that he was never matir Tamar, and some commenters on your site continually repeat this claim ("It's not his psak", etc.. On the other hand, Rav Nota Greenblatt has said that he was relying on the "Gedolim",which indicates that the Kamenetzkys were in fact the first matirim. How to resolve this seeming contradiction?

If you look at the first document in this post - there is no question or shayla expressed in the document. The document simply presents the (alleged) "facts", and then states flatly that Tamar is muteres without a get. It does not ask for a heter, or for anyone's opinion or agreement, rather it states that Tamar is muteres without qualification. It then says "kol zeh nichtav al yeday Shalom Kamenetzky", and that he showed it to his father, and he approved him to sign that indeed everything is correct.

In other words, the Kamenetzkys did in fact declare that Tamar is muteres. They may not have communicated their psak directly to Tamar, which might explain RSK's denial of ever being matir her. But it's worthwhile to know, that black on white, they both gave the heter, which Rav Nota Greenblatt then rubber stamped, with his (entirely honest and true explanation) that the Kamenetzkys were matir her and he was following their lead.

Thank you.

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