Friday, February 19, 2016

Kaminetsky-Greenblatt Heter: Will Rav Dovid Feinstein throw Aharon Friedman under the bus to save it?

update: Added the Hebrew text of Rav Zilberstein 

We are faced with a very strange situation. A heter was given to Tamar to remarry based on a seriously flawed psychiatric report which was based on conjecture and evidence primarily from the estranged wife - without any input from Aharon Friedman. While it is clear to the majority of rabbis who have seen the evidence that the heter is invalid, that Tamar is still married to Aharon and thus is committing adultery and her future children are mamzerim -  we are facing a new problem.

The matter has been turned over to Rav Dovid Feinstein at the request of Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky - who instigated the heter and was instrumental in obtaining it for the sake of Tamar Epstein - whose family members are prominent backers of his yeshiva.

Rav Dovid Feinstein has been given the task of resolving the matter. He has a narrow mandate - to determine whether the heter can possibly be valid - and thus save the reputation of Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky -  as well as that of Tamar from the status of being an adulteress.

The halachic process is not inherently concerned with truth but procedure. Thus if facts are not established by the testimony of two kosher male witnesses - they don't exist. Or rather they have no halachic significance. A judge only concerns himself with the evidence that he has - not with what he doesn't have.

Therefore the question Rav Dovid Feinstein is looking at is whether on the level of pure halacha - can he accept the reasoning and evidence behind the Kaminetsky-Greenblatt heter.

He has the psak of Rav Greenblatt that given the evidence he had - the case was comparable to those that Rav Moshe Feinstein declared that the marriage was invalid because of kedushei ta'os. Rav Greenblatt acknowledges that he himself did not investigate anything and knows nothing beyond what he has told by the Kaminetskys and the psychiatrist report. He also has been established by both Rav Kaminetsky and Rav Feinstein as a bar samcha. Meaning that the psakim he produces can be presumed to be valid - unless there is clear evidence to the contrary. He has the report by a psychiatrist (let's call him Dr. K) who is a well known psychiatrist with a very impressive background - a recognized expert in the field of psychiatry. The report clearly states that Aharon suffers from 2 incurable personality disorders - both so severe that a normal woman would not put up with him. As Rav Greenblatt has stated - the psychiatrist can be relied upon to be halachically valid - because if he were lying it would damage his professional standing. The fact that it wasn't based on a direct interview is halachically irrelevant since it is from an expert.

Normally the above evidence would be sufficient for a halachically oriented judge to accept the heter. The fact that Rav Feinstein has not told Tamar and Adam to separate until his evaluation is done clearly indicates that Rav Feinstein is starting with the assumption that the heter is good.

Now what role does truth and reality play in this sordid mess. The answer is that halacha doesn't require that it play any role. Rav Dovid Feinstein does not have to concern himself whether Aharon Friedman is crazy. After all, he is not himself a psychiatrist. And even if it is clear in speaking with Aharon that he is not crazy - Rav Feinstein can simply say, "I am not an expert on mental health". Even if Aharon has a psychiatric evaluation that says he is healthy or 6 therapists who say the report is mistaken - Rav Dovid Feinstein can say it doesn't overrule the halachic sufficiency of the report by a known expert. By sticking closely to the question of halachic sufficiency, he can ignore the many troubling facts in this case. He merely needs to find that there is a sufficient halachic basis to the heter - not whether it is true or likely to be true.

Thus if Rav Feinstein takes this very narrow halachic mandate seriously, he can in fact declare the heter to be valid. That saves Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky's reputation and Tamar's new marriage. He can thus sacrifice truth and Aharon Friedman for the seemingly greater good of the Orthodox World without transgressing halacha.

It is only if Rav Feinstein deviates from his mandate and is concerned about truth and the severe injustice done to Aharon Friedman by the lies declaring him to have severe incurable personality disorders will he decide that the heter is false. It is only if Rav Feinstein is bothered by the severe loss of emunas chachomim that this scandal has produced will he take the issue of truth into consideration.

Will Rav Dovid Feinstein chose the minimal sufficient rule of pure halacha and save Rav Kaminetsky and Tamar - or will he chose truth and redeeming the reputation of Aharon Friedman? We will soon know the answer.

Rav Yitzchok Zilberstein tells the story of a young wife whose husband beats her severely - but only in the privacy of their home. Obviously there are no witnesses to the abuse which the husband denies. The dayanim say they have no basis to believe her word over his and thus say they can not force or even ask him to give a get.

Her brother than pays two Jews to testify that they saw the husband beating his wife. Based on this false but true testimony the dayan order the husband to give his wife a divorce which he does. Thus we have a Get given by a proper beis din based on the halachically valid testimony of two witnesses. All halachic procedures were complied with.

Can she remarry with this Get that she knows was obtained through false witnesses (who told the truth)?  Rav Eliashiv said no.

עלינו לשבח (ויקרא עמוד שי"ז)

מרן הגרי"ש אלישיב לא רצה ,להקל בדיני עדי השקר
ולא תשקרו (י"ט י"א)  

מעשה שהיה באשה שבעלה חיכה אותה ואף אחד לא ידע מכך , לבד מבני הבית. היא התלוננה על כך בבית דין, והדיינים היתרו בו כמה פעמים, אבל הוא המשיך באיוולתו הנוראה.

אחי האשה שידעו גם הם מסיגלה, החליטו לעשות את שלא ייעשה. הם שכרו עדי שקר, שיבואו ויעידו שראו בעיניהם שהבעל מכה את אשתו , למרות שלא ראו , כי כאמור הדברים נעשו בהסתר .

בית הדין חקר את העדים, ולא מצא בעדותם כחל ושרק, ומיד לאחר מכן קיימו הדיינים את שכתוב בשו"ע שבעל שמכה את אשתו כופיו אותו לתת גט.

האשה באה אליי עם הגט בידה, ואומרת לי כן : ברור שעדותם של העדים היא 'נכונה', שכן בעלי חיכה אותי, אבל מאידן אם אני עושה את חשבון נפשי עם הקב"ה, הרי מדובר בעדות שקר ממש וכיוון שבית הדין הסתמך בהחלטתן לכפיית הגט על עדי שקר , אולי הגט פסול ואינני יכולה עתה להינשא ?

הבעל ההרי  יודע אח האמת !

והיה מקום בליבי להתיר לה להינשא, כיוון שההסבר בהיתר לכפיית הגט (למרות שבדרך כלל הגט צריך להינתן בהסכמה), הוא, שאנחנו יוצאים מנקודת הנחה, שכל יהודי רוצה לעשתוב רצון בוראו, אלא שלפעמים 'היצר סוכן בנו', ומפריע לנו בכך, ואם 'נותנים קצת מכות' אזי הכל בא על מקומו בשלום, וזה הפשט ב'כופין'.

ואם כן, בנידון שלנו, רי הבעל יודע את האמת, ובתוך ליבו הוא יודע שמוטל עליו חיוב לתת גט, וממילא נחשב הדבר כאילו נתן מרצון, למרות שכפו זאת עליו.

אבל מרן הגרי"'ש לא הסכים לכך, והורה שםא הגט נין לע סמך עדי שקר, אסור לאשה להינשא. אלא שבמרה כזה, לאחר שהגט כבר בידיה של האשה, אין צורך לבוא אל הבעל ולספר לו שהרב אלישיב אמרשהגט אינו כשר... אפשר לומר לו שכיוון שהגט כבר נמצא ממילא בידיה של האשה, אולי תכתוב עכשיו גט מרצונך, כוי'.

No comments :

Post a Comment

please use either your real name or a pseudonym.