Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The unpleasant details of how Tamar Epstein deliberately destroyed her marriage with the encouragement of the Kaminetskys (part 2)

guest post

The terrible travesty of justice in this case is not just that Tamar decided to have custody litigated in court instead of in Beis Din – although this decision by itself is extremely troubling and contrary to halacha. The terrible travesty in this case is that the destruction of a family with a young child could have been avoided. And even if divorce was going to occur, it could have been settled amicably and quietly. 

Instead of pursuing either of these two outcomes, the Kamenetskys encouraged the Epstein family to engage in no-holds barred warfare against Aharon, the Baltimore Beis Din, and even the very notion of halacha, and a Jewish community. This has included kidnapping the parties’ child and then getting that kidnapping to be treated as a fait accompli by violating several agreements between the parties, tricking Aharon into canceling a pendete lite civil court trial in which it was likely that the child would be returned in order to bring the case to Beis Din, committing perjury in court and the Baltimore Beis Din, violating the Baltimore Beis Din’s orders regarding dismissing the civil court case, and then successfully arguing in civil court that Aharon couldn’t contest the kidnapping because he had voluntarily cancelled the pendete lite trial to bring the case to Beis Din. 

There is no low to which this campaign would not stoop or any level of crime in which they would not engage, including a vicious Tisha Ba’av assault (in which Cheryl Epstein [Tamar’s mother] signaled her henchmen to attack by telling the child to give Aharon a kiss) that endangered the life of the child, Federal capital crimes, and a capital crime under halacha.

Part 1 described what happened before the parties went to the Baltimore Beis Din.
The following describes what happened next:

The parties agreed to postpone the Court trial scheduled for December 2008 until January 2009 and then until June 2009 (at further prejudice to Aharon) in order for the Beis Din to hear and decide the case.  Until the Beis Din issued an interim custody schedule in March, Tamar generally refused to let C spend time with Aharon (such as on holidays) other than the time explicitly required by the August 2008 Order, except for a brief period covered by the mediation agreement.

Beis Din heard the child custody issue in March, and said that the next step in the process was that Beis Din would issue a custody decision immediately after Pesach [Passover] in April 2009; Beis Din issued an interim custody schedule to cover the period before Beis Din was to issue a custody decision.  Under this schedule, C was with Aharon four out of the six weekends (and starting on Thursday instead of Friday) covered by the schedule. Tamar opposed this custody schedule, arguing that it provided C too much time with Aharon. 

Tamar later wrote Beis Din she had a settlement proposal that she would present in five days. Then, Tamar wrote Beis Din that she had a proposal and wanted to mediate. Aharon agreed to consider any proposal but said he would not enter into mediation if it seemed unlikely to work because he did not want the ruling of Beis Din to be delayed. Tamar took four weeks to submit a proposal, which Aharon believed indicated the parties were too far apart to reach agreement.  Aharon wrote Beis Din that there was no agreement regarding C’s schedule, and asked Beis Din to rule that C return to Silver Spring. Tamar wrote Beis Din that she still wanted to mediate and falsely accused Aharon of lying as to whether the parties had an agreement regarding C’s schedule. Aharon again wrote Beis Din to rule that C return to Silver Spring again noting the urgency of Beis Din issuing a decision on the matter.  Tamar wrote the Beis Din demanding a get, correspondence that was not then shared with Aharon.  The Beis Din refused Tamar’s demand to order a get because there were no grounds upon which to tell Aharon to give a get.

Given that Beis Din had previously said that it would issue a custody decision shortly after Pesach and that it would hold no further hearings on custody, Beis Din’s decision on custody seemed to be imminent.

Without Beis Din’s permission, Tamar filed a motion and then a supplemental motion to postpone the June 2009 civil Court trial.  Tamar’s grounds for postponement were that she needed more time to prepare for the civil Court trial and wanted a court-ordered custody evaluation (both of which were irrelevant if Beis Din was to decide the matter).  Tamar specifically told the Court that the Court – not Beis Din – would decide the case.  In filing these motions, Tamar violated the parties’ mediation agreement for Beis Din to decide the case, as well as the binding arbitration agreement.  For Aharon to agree to this motion would have been to show his acquiescence in Tamar’s decision to disregard the Beis Din and have the court try the case.  In addition, should Beis Din have decided that C return to Silver Spring, postponement of the civil trial would have made it much more unlikely that the Court would effectively uphold such a decision, given the further time that C would have spent in PA.  Thus, Aharon refused Tamar’s request that he agree to postpone the trial so that Tamar could have more time to prepare for trial in civil Court and so that the Court could conduct a custody evaluation because the Court, not Beis Din, would decide the case.  Tamar also filed suit in civil court for absolute divorce, in which she also demanded sole physical custody, without permission from Beis Din.  

Tamar’s to’ain, Frederic Goldfein, a medical practice trial lawyer, was able to fool the Beis Din as to what Tamar was doing in civil court, which resulted in the Beis Din ordering Aharon to postpone the Court trial, even though Tamar had told the Court that the Court, not Beis Din would decide the case.

Aharon filed a motion to postpone the Court trial, despite the further legal prejudice (as explained above), in order to give Beis Din time to issue its decision.  At that point, the Court had before it Tamar’s motions to postpone the trial so that she could prepare for a court trial and so that the court could order a custody evaluation so that the Court, not Beis Din, could decide the case, and Aharon’s motion to postpone the trial so that the Beis Din could decide the case.  The Court denied the motion to postpone the trial.

Before the civil trial occurred, Aharon agreed to the Beis Din’s orders regarding dismissing the MD case before it went to trial.  Tamar refused to abide by the Beis Din’s orders regarding dismissing the MD case before it went to trial.

The civil trial on custody and Tamar’s motion for divorce was held in June 2009. Tamar complained that the temporary custody schedule from the Beis Din provided C too much time with Aharon.  Tamar’s sister and brother-in-law and Yael and Rabbi Ranan Cortell testified and harshly criticized Aharon’s parenting skills.  But on cross-examination, both admitted that they had not spent significant time with Aharon and C (then nineteen months) for well over a year.  Their testimony was so lacking in credibility that Tamar’s closing argument acknowledged that Aharon was a good parent, thus disavowing their testimony.  Instead, Tamar claimed that the fact that Aharon generally davened with a minyan while the parties lived together showed that he wasn’t that interested in spending time with C.  Tamar urged the Court to rule that C should remain in PA because Tamar had already kept her there for so long – in violation of the parties’ Reconciliation and Mediation Agreements.  Tamar specifically argued that C should remain in PA because Aharon had agreed to postpone the civil Court trial from October 2008 to June 2009 (to take the case to Beis Din). 

Tamar deliberately asked the Court to impose a custody schedule that would render moot most of C’s monthly time with Aharon because he is Shomer Shabbos [Sabbath observant].  Tamar requested that C be with Aharon on alternate weekends starting at 6pm on Fridays (instead of Thursdays) and that C and Aharon be restricted during such times to the vicinity of Tamar’s house in PA.  Tamar also said that she should bring C to Aharon in Silver Spring for one additional Sunday each month.  Tamar recognized very well that these alternate weekends would actually be limited to Sundays, as Tamar knew Aharon could not generally leave work early enough on Fridays to pick C up from Tamar’s house before Shabbos, even when sundown is late.  In addition, Aharon would not generally be able to pick C up on Saturday night as he would not be able to leave Silver Spring early enough to arrive at Tamar’s house before C’s bedtime.

At trial, Aharon opposed Tamar’s motion for divorce.  After the court heard evidence on whether Tamar had grounds for divorce under civil law at the trial, Tamar acknowledged that there were no grounds for divorce.

Goldfein again lied to the Beis Din as to how the matter came to be tried in civil court, correspondence that was not then shared with Aharon. After the civil Court trial, but before the Court issued a ruling, Beis Din ordered the parties to jointly dismiss the civil court case.  Aharon agreed to follow Beis Din’s order and dismiss the civil case but Tamar violated the Beis Din’s order and refused to dismiss the civil case.

As Tamar had urged, that C had already been in PA for fourteen months at the time of the trial was largely the basis for the Court’s decision that C should remain in PA [“At this time, the child has spent fourteen months of her life in Pennsylvania with Defendant and her maternal grandparents and is undisputedly thriving.  Uprooting the child from her current environment at this time is likely to have a detrimental impact upon her”], even though the Court concluded “both parties are fit and proper to have physical custody of the child” and that “Defendant has made minimal efforts to foster the relationship between Plaintiff and his daughter.  The Court further finds that Defendant’s indifferent approach to C having a mutually awarding relationship with her father is rooted in spite and is not beneficial to the child.”  The Court also criticized Aharon for davening with a minyan while the parties lived together.

The Court largely adopted the general custody schedule suggested by Tamar: C to be with Aharon every other weekend in the vicinity of Tamar’s house starting on Fridays at 6pm and one additional weekend per month.

On July 15, 2009, Tamar filed in court a motion to amend or alter, asking that the court even further limit C’s time with Aharon.  The court denied Tamar’s motion.  Aharon filed an appeal by way of an in banc review.

As Shabbos often starts before 6 pm and Aharon generally couldn’t leave work in Washington D.C. early enough to get to Philadelphia before Shabbos starts, that meant Aharon generally couldn’t pick up C until Sunday morning.  Thus, every other weekend, that generally meant Aharon leaving Silver Spring at 5am (usually too early to daven) to pick up C and davening with tallis and tefillin at a rest stop on I-95.  No matter the weather, Aharon and C generally spent the day at parks and shopping malls -- because they had no place else to go – until Aharon brought C back, not returning to Silver Spring until 11pm.  Although Aharon eventually found a family to whose home in the general Philadelphia area he and C could come, Rabbi Sholom Kametnetsky put extreme pressure on that family to stop doing so.  Rabbi Kamenetsky eventually forced that family to withdraw their hospitality.

The Baltimore Beis Din refused the demands of Tamar to rule that Aharon was obligated to give a get.  The Baltimore Beis Din even refused to state that it was appropriate for Aharon to give a get.  This was despite the Baltimore Beis Din being fooled by Tamar’s to’ain Goldfein as to how the case came to be tried in Court. The Beis Din had held three hearings into the case with the participation of both parties, and determined that there were no grounds to rule that a get must be given.

At Tamar’s request, the Washington Beis Din sent two hazmanos [summonses] to Aharon in September and October 2009.  The summonses were signed by Rabbi Kalman Winter, brother-in-law of Shimon Glick, Tamar’s brother’s father-in-law.  The head of the Washington Beis Din at the time was Rabbi Gedaliah Anemer, longtime leader of the Washington D.C. area Orthodox community.  Aharon responded that Tamar had no right to involve another Beis Din given that the parties had brought the case to the Baltimore Beis Din whose orders Tamar had violated, causing severe damage to Aharon and C.


  1. Hello guest. Did Rabbi Anemer sign the hazmana together with Rabbi Winter?

  2. When the case was postponed from dec to jan and then to june, the court order 'confirming' the postponement should have stated that the decision of the bet din will be final, and the court is to confirm the psak din. Of course, lawyers hate to put that in the court order (fearing, probably accurately, that judges don't want to agree to that. But that maens right away that one party will not abide by the psak.)

    It also means the parties agreed to solely bet din of baltimore, not bet din of kaminetzki etc. If the postponement order is properly worded, the court may be able to order K, ORA, etc to back off.

  3. Even if we grant, for the sake of argument, that Ms. Epstein's behavior was as incorrect, nasty, and unprovoked as portrayed in this very one-sided account, does that justify Mr. Friedman's subsequent behavior? As near as I can tell, 6+ years of withholding a get to force a change in the custody arrangements has produced no gain whatsoever for Mr. Friedman or his daughter. It has come at a high cost to himself, Ms. Epstein, and the reputation of the Torah. It also presumably has a high cost to his daughter who is now old enough to be aware that he is torturing her mother. Did (and does) Mr. Friedman have no responsibility for assessing his tactics and noticing that they weren't working some time long before this point? (Of course, that is also true for Ms. Epstein) Doesn't divorcing parents' responsibility toward their children place limits on the tactics used to assert their rights?

  4. Here had and has no obligation to give a Get. So his not giving one is not wrong on his part.

  5. Is it accomplishing anything for him? Do you think this continued fighting is good for his daughter? For him? Given that it is not helping him get a more favorable custody arrangement is there any reason other than sheer spite to continue? Do you think te Torah permits one to act out of spite?

  6. I think the term 'deliberately' is a bit too strong.
    Did she make mistakes, take bad advice, and make unwise decision? Yes.
    Did she plan this whole thing out and try to intentionally cause all the damage that came out of it? Probably not.
    To villify the imature actions of a young married, clearly inexperienced lady is incorrect as well.
    I believe strongly she was advised (incorrectly) by ignorant, and inexperienced friends/family members.

  7. Can you actually be that dense that you believe what you are saying? If this report is true (which I don't know - I have no first hand knowledge of the facts) then she had the opportunity to work through everything in a mentshlich manner. Instead she schemed and lied to remove the child from their state of residence and then further sought to prevent him from having a relationship with his daughter. Can you in your wildest dreams justify her seeking to prevent him from picking up his daughter before six on Fridays, knowing that he lived in a different town, particularly considering that she pulled a fast one on him in moving her daughter to a different location? And he is the bad guy?! If she wanted a Get so badly, then all she had to do is undo the injustice she created. Forget halacha. He left the solution in her hands the whole time. What part of common sense or common decency could lead you to reach your conclusion. Of course, all this assumes that this portrayal of the story is correct and is not missing other material components. Like I said earlier, I have no first hand knowledge of that. You do hit the nail on the head with your statement that "Doesn't divorcing parents' responsibility toward their children place limits on the tactics used to assert their rights?" What you miss is that the rational analysis should be very different if the tactics in question is being used offensively or defensively. If this description of the event is correct and complete, then he used his tactics defensively so I think he is entitled to more benefit of the doubt. If this story is correct, my biggest limud zchus I can think of for her is that she is not a bad person and just had some very rotten advisers.

  8. It is obvious that if Aharon does not continue fighting that it will be clear to his daughter that he was wrong all this time. Aharon has not displayed any spite - contary to your armchair psychological musings.

  9. “Tamar’s to’ain, Frederic Goldfein, a medical practice trial lawyer, was able to fool the Beis Din as to what Tamar was doing in civil court, which resulted in the Beis Din ordering Aharon to postpone the Court trial, even though Tamar had told the Court that the Court, not Beis Din would decide the case.”

    I quote Gittin 54b

    “Mishnah. Priests who made the flesh in the sanctuary piggul, [By declaring at the time of bringing the sacrifice that they intended the flesh to be eaten after the prescribed time.] if they did so deliberately are liable to pay compensation. [I.e., to provide a fresh sacrifice, since the first owing to their action has not brought expiation.]”

    The rabbi made a takanah, a ruling, to obligate the cohain to pay damages, where according to Torah law the cohain would not, otherwise, have to pay damages. This is one of many examples in Gittin chapter 5 where the rabbis punished with fines where the party that did his wrong and damaging acted deliberately, with bad faith, with intention to harm.

    Where the rabbis had a doubt if the wrongful and damaging acts were deliberate, the rabbis allowed the Torah ruling of no verdict and no punishment to the party that did the wrongful and damaging act. Frederic Goldfien, a medical practice trial lawyer, should be disbarred for his part. How could Frederic Goldfien possibly claim his wrongful and damaging acts were not deliberate with bad faith, with intention to harm?

  10. Well, yes it matters whether tactics are used offensively or defensively. But also whether they are effective or not. (And had the post made her look like an innocent victim, yes, I would have said the same about her behavior) At some point one has to adjust one's tactics to reality

  11. And are there no tactics he can use other than withholding a get? Some that might actually have worked?Could he not have organized people do demonstrate in front of her house? Or other forms of social pressure? Or appealed the court ruling? Or for that matter move to Philadelphia--he'd hardly be the only person commuting between Washington and Philly.

  12. you don't understand the social bias in favor of the woman. Even strong and explicit rabbinic support he can not enter the shuls in his neighborhood because the rabbis are afraid of their congregations. The strongest social support he has is from this blog and it is not viewed favorably by his neighbors

  13. yes reality is a wonderful thing which is determined by our subjective feelings. Perhaps you can give us the secret of knowing how and when to adjust one's tactics to reality? Perhaps he should have accepted the reality from the beginning when Tamar ran off with their child? Perhaps when Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky came out against him with a phony seruv? Perhaps when Rav Schachter elevated Rav Shmuel to a position close to G-d? Or maybe you meant when Tamar got the phony heter - he should have given up?
    Most of what we value comes from being unrealistic as the poet says "a man's reach should exceed his grasp Or what's a Heaven for?"

    Of course it is a gamble because you might just end up on the junk heap of history if you missed your chance at success

  14. Please note that even the Court said that it was Tamar who was the one acting out of spite, NOT Aharon!

  15. Are you kidding? He'd have been lynched of he organized demonstrations against Tamar.

  16. I do not know that other tactics would have been more effective. But I know with the certainty of hindsight, and so should all of you, that they couldn't possibly have been less effective. If indeed he had no tactic that would get him a more favorable custody arrangement then he should have recognized that and made the best of a bad situation even if it is unjust. Supposedly this is about his daughter--how is this helping her?

  17. you are simply saying he should have admitted defeat and given up his daughter. At least now she can see the mesiras nefesh to maintain a kesher

  18. Because she now sees what kind of selfish, spiteful, woman who despises the Torah her mother is. She can see her father followed the Torah even though "The Court also criticized Aharon for davening with a minyan while the parties lived together." The secular Court found this objectionable? Yet this is the venue her mother went to instead of going back to the Bais Din!

  19. fedupwithcorruptrabbisFebruary 8, 2016 at 3:54 PM

    The problem that most men face today is money and the courts.The courts tend to favor the woman especially in Ny, Nj Maryland where the GET LAW has influence on the judges. A tactic employed by women especially wealthy ones is to exhaust the husband thru financial means by endlessly filing motions in court. Its possible that Aharon is tired of wasting monies in the court and instead holds on to the GET as leverage.

  20. Hindsight is now irrelevant because of Tamar's adultery. At this point he cannot even give the get until she leaves her "husband". I believe I read somewhere on this blog that Adam Fleischer must now give her a get before Aharon Friedman can. She is forbidden forever to both men. Is ORA going to demonstrate against Fleischer? Hmm?

  21. Most likely tamar being intelligent but ignorant in the ways of the court system she would consult with professionals who know their way around the BD and secular court system she would not take advice from school friends etc. were these professionals who let her through the legal maze ?it seems that theK family has their fingerprints all over it, they clearly were involved and advising her on the BD process and Heter and alienating Aaron from the community it's most likely that they were involved advising her on the secular system too

  22. And commuting from Philly to Washington would have done better than that?

  23. Have you made that commute? The trips he made were enough mesiras nefesh. How much blood did he need to give the Epsteins?

  24. Why doesn't Tamar move to Baltimore/Silver Spring (as she is the one who illegitimately moved away with the child without the other parent's consent to move from where the child was born and the couple lived all their marriage) rather than you insist he move to a town he never lived in and is a two and a half hour daily, five times a week, commute from his work rather than his normal 20 minute commute?

  25. What do you mean “he cannot even give the get until she leaves her husband”. Adam p is not her husband and he can give a get whenever he wants

  26. Are you really suggesting that he should adjust to reality and give up having a meaningful relationship with his daughter? In my view, that adjustment should be made when his daughter reaches the age of majority.

  27. do you have any clue what the commute from Philadelphia to Washington is like and how long it take, particularly during rush hour. Do you know if his job would even allow for him to leave early enough on Fridays to get home to Philly every week - or are you suggesting that he spend shabbos in the office? Please stop. You are just making yourself look like a complete idiot. Even your argument that he should just have admitted defeat and given up on having a relationship with his daughter was a better argument than this one.

  28. Of course her family and friends and esteemed and choshuv rabbanim and rebetzin walked her through it!!
    What does a good frum jewsish girl know from legalities and halachos of gitten...
    Hence my comment that the term 'deliberately' is way too strong...
    I'm sure that if she understood what all her choices would lead to, she would have tried other means to do things.
    I feels like the title of this post vilifies her and makes her sound like the bad one...
    In every divorce there are 4 sides to the story, 1. His side 2. Her side 3. The internet and 4. The truth

    I don't think anyone but God really knows the truth at this point....

    There is no need to vilify her and make her imature actions seem like the reason her marriage was destroyed... Her actions may be the reason it can no longer be repared.
    But the foundations were crumbling way before that.....

    For all we know a bad marriage counselor is the reason it never got repared properly....

    This title is incorrect and wrong and mean in my opinion.

  29. I have. It is not commutable on a daily basis. Certainly not during rush hour.

  30. The time to have done what follows may have passed already - and I have no idea of the myriad of practical details, even beyond all of the legal, secular and other details, that figure into the equation here - but at a certain point some more useful, if difficult-to-execute, strategic strokes were in order here, and at the very least couldn't have brought about a worse result than the ridiculous shanda and catastrophic mess that this has become.

    For one, what you suggest as being the most preposterous simplistic defeatist tactic, is precisely what he should have done: i.e., he should have conveyed unequivocally that (i) he no longer has any interest in seeing his daughter under the circumstances unilaterally foisted upon him and (ii) TF, your get is available to be collected ASAP. Good riddance and good bye. End of story.

    TE then, immediately or over some period of time recognizes, that she has created an untenable situation for herself for various reasons, and even more so has backed herself into a very hard wall with respect to narrating this reality in perpetuity to their daughter. And, even if not, AF has done his job kameih shmaya and the rest is up to Him.

    This may all sound counter-intuitive and against all base parental instincts, but doing the above has worked in similar circumstances. To your point, their daughter - without providing you with the "evidence" that you're very wrong about this - sees what is going on as "mesiras nefesh to maintain a kesher" the same way I see UFOs in my weekly chulent pot. Halevai v'ulai, but that is not how children think in these situations. And, as an adult, which ultimately is the only period of this child's life that will eventually matter, he has a much better chance of having a positive relationship if he has the cleanest most upstanding historical facts to stand on.

  31. I recall reading (it may have been on this blog) that the situation is such now that this adulteress must first receive a get from her current "husband" before Aharon can give a get to Tamar. I am not sure why but I think it is to make clear that the second "marriage" is negated because it is not clear that (even though it is forbidden) it is not an invalid transaction. Can anyone recall where this was explained?

  32. Here it is: "Tamar must leave both men and is prohibited to either forever. Before
    Tamar separates from Adam Fleischer through receiving a get, it is
    prohibited for Aharon to give a get to Tamar. And even after Tamar
    receives a get from Adam there is no obligation on Aharon to give a get
    before Tamar agrees to an appropriate custody arrangement. Any children
    born by Tamar from Adam even after Tamar receives a get are mamzerim
    according to the rabbis. There is an obligation to encourage them to

    It was in http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2015/11/english-translation-of-rav-gestetners.html

  33. If anyone were foolish enough to follow your advice, the wife would never "recognize" or change anything after she got a Get.

  34. I do know what the commute between Wash. and Philly is like, and one does it by train if one is sensible. And yes, if the story is as has been presented, Ms. Epstein should have moved back. But seeing that Mr. Friedman couldn't force her to do so, at some point before his two year-old daughter turned 8 (or even 4) he might have realized he couldn't compel her mother to move back and reacted accordingly. The course of action he took, after all, did nothing to increase the amount of time he could spend with his daughter. That really ought to be more important to him than proving that he was right and Ms. Epstein wrong. Even if it means spending a large amount of time on the train, adjusting his work schedule or even changing jobs.

    It has been 7+ years since she moved out and his tactics have accomplished nothing. The ones I suggested may or may not have worked better, but no matter how many names Mr. Emes calls me, they can't possibly have accomplished less.

  35. TE then, immediately or over some period of time recognizes,

    Wishful thinking. I've seen too many cases where it has not worked.

  36. @Mike_S2500 Why not focus your comments on questioning the wife's refusal to move back to MD rather than your focus on the husband not moving to PA?

  37. And I have seen many where 'it' - whatever that means to you - has. And, to boot, revisit what "work" means in this context and what the objective(s) ought to be in these situations. I agree though with your assessment that it's thinking - just not wishful or foolish.

    With the cabarnita shel chachomim assembled here (some of whom appear to be in contact with AF), and enormous experience you all have individually and in the aggregate managing these disputes to resolution, it's no wonder that he and she are stuck in a slog of epic proportions. Hopefully, someone other than you self-proclaimed experts in behavioral game theory have or can get access to his ear.

  38. All the other ones your ok with? Tamar Epstein's Heter: Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky is becoming a pariah amongst Orthodox Jews. Thats correct not mean and not wrong?

  39. His daughter can never grow up and say " daddy why did you give up on me?" She can never say, "Daddy you were a coward and subcommed to social pressure"
    She can see for herself how her father fought inspite of all against him to keep her in his busy life....
    He has never once bad mouthed her mother, or shames her publicly.
    A father lime that is hard to find.....
    He may not be the most perfect father, but he certainly tried his best to be noble about it.

  40. Asher your words are a bit too harsh. Tamar doesn't take the Torah lightly. She has been misgueded by people who know much more Torah then most people of this dor.
    Let's put the blame where it belongs....
    Tamar would have NEVER remarried without an ok from a reputable Rav....
    She is a victim here as well. She has lost her chance to be with someone she accutually wants to be with.
    My heart cries out for her.
    The rabbanim involved will have to answer din vichesbone for all of this....
    Stop vilifying Tamar, there are much bigger fish to fry!!!

  41. Why would anyone want to withhold a child from having a relationship with their parent???

  42. And I have seen many where 'it' ...has.

    I'm sure that you have some scientific data to back this up. Please provide it. Thank you.

    If you do not have such data, then please do not seek to throw your surrender advice upon anyone else. Thank you.

  43. Welcome to the vindictive world of divorces initiated by women. They then seek to with hold their children from their father. Actually, I rescind the welcome - much more fortunate not entering it.

  44. Rather access to her ear. She should be convinced and agree to move back to Maryland with their daughter, and this entire issue will be resolved with her receiving a Get.

    This is the quickest and cleanest solution today.

  45. Tamar would have NEVER remarried without an ok from a reputable Rav...

    Do you think that her reputable rabbonim advised her to be uncompromising; or was it that since she refused to compromise, they decided to advise her on how to get her way? How is she not guilty as well?

  46. @Philly Woman, it seems Tamar was party to the crime, as she provided the false information to the posek that resulted in the issuance to her of the incorrect heter to marry. Had she stuck to the truth and not given the posek misinformation about her husband, the posek would not have given her the heter. Thus the largest portion of blame is on her.

  47. I knew Reb Yaakov Kamenetzky, zt'l. My bar mitzvah was in his house, in his minyan. My father was his gabbai. Yes, his sons and grandsons knew much more Torah than Miss Epstein. That's why I have to believe that it is they who through a misplaced sense of Hakoras Hatov to the Epsteins distorted Reb Yaakov's heritage. Without Tamar the Kaminetzky name would not be disgraced. So yes, I am harsh.

  48. 1) Well, what we had in the original post was a one sided presentation of the situation presenting him as the innocent victim and her as being completely at fault. My point was that even if you grant, arguendo, that he is an innocent victim his behavior is still problematic. Had the post began with a similar defense of her position, I would have said that, even so, she should have moved back. Fundamentally neither being right nor winning an argument is as important as doing what is best for your child, whether you are the mother or the father.

    2) That's not what the original post made it sound like--"Tamar recognized very well that these alternate weekends would actually
    be limited to Sundays, as Tamar knew Aharon could not generally leave
    work early enough on Fridays to pick C up from Tamar’s house before
    Shabbos, even when sundown is late. In addition, Aharon would not
    generally be able to pick C up on Saturday night as he would not be able to leave Silver Spring early enough to arrive at Tamar’s house before C’s bedtime." It sounds like he isn't getting is full time. Indeed, I thought that was the main issue. If it isn't, so what is the fight over?

    3) My tactics may or may not work any better, but since his aren't working at all, it simply isn't possible for mine to work any less well. And no, he isn't being ethical. Sometimes it may be ethical to play hardball, but it isn't ethical to play losing hardball--you are just hurting someone else for no benefit to anyone. You know what Chazal think of "zeh chaser v'zeh lo neheneh."

  49. I didn't suggest that he give up--rather that he either try other tactics to change the custody arrangement, or organize his life around the existing custody order, even if it is unfair. At some point if your tactics are both costly and ineffectual you have to change what you are doing.

    "He has never once bad mouthed her mother, or shamed her publicly." Good for him! Let me give credit where it is due!

  50. Here goes. The reason she needs a Get from second, since people might think that the marriage WAS valid, and if she goes without a GET, it will SEEM that an eishes ish can be freed without a GET.

    Now this is my own thought and logic about the following. If she takes a GET from first husband first, then it will SEEM that a woman MAY and CAN have TWO husbands at the same time. It can even become worse, if she first receives a Get from first husband first and remains afterwards with second, than mideoraysa the second could be Tofes Kidushin, and if she than needs a second Get of which is now a Deoraysa, than it SEEMS much much worse, having two husbands while both Gittin are Deoraysa. Suppose she wants to stay with second and that chashash no more exists, this is also a KNASS for both to discourage eloping with paramour, and NOT to be a chote veniskar.

    Yes, it has been written here previously, tetse mize umize and in THAT order.

  51. Salty, think rationally...
    The Ks know better....
    But Tamar is as much of a victim in this case.
    She too has suffered due to the bad advice if knowledgable people she trusted.
    She would have never remarried without an ok from a reputable Rav....
    Look how that turned out.

  52. Most very correct , frankly many people wondering for years about all those quiet lenient rulings he gave that no other Orthodox rabbi would rule quietly or otherwise and shrewdly no one can call him out, since no one knew exactly what he said but things definitely smelled fishy . Well his luck ran out and finally he's getting his comeuppance ,yes his legacy is shot . And the longer it takes for him to be a man , a honest man and own up to this scandal the more damage he is doing to himself no one forced him to create this mess nor should anyone go out of his way to clean up after him .maasecha yikarvucha umaasecha yirchakucha! it's always how it's been.

  53. Why isn't T required to bring C to SS euery other friday, yom tov, legal holiday, etc? After all, she is the one who moved out of the marital home?

    And bring the child not a half hour before candle lighting; that means the child is too tired, taking away from parenting time.

    If that means T loses time, that's her problem, not A's problem.

  54. Yes, Shmuel Kaminetzky should have known better. The moment he undermined the Bais Din of Baltimore, he should have been censured. When he allowed his son to use sheker to obtain a false "heter", he ceased to be a "gadol". We learn from Yehoshua Perek 7 that Hashem abhors chachash. Whatever motivation caused him to stray from the truth, he is the one ultimately responsible for the fiasco that has resulted. If his son went behind his back, then he must say so! He alone bears responsibility to restore the dignity of Reb Yaakov's legacy.

  55. Correction: among conservative modern Orthodox and reform reconstructionist too, some disgusted of his lack of morals and some disgusted at his lack of efficiency in being Mattir arayos

  56. I can offer several reasons:

    1) They are embittered souls, who seek to avenge their former or soon-to-be former spouses for the 'crime' of realizing that marriage to them is untenable. Thus embittered, they use the children as pawns in their game of revenge.

    2) They receive sadistic, evil advice from people on the sidelines, who convince them that using the children as pawns will garner negotiating advantages in a final settlement.

    3) They are sick individuals, without the ability to understand healthy parental love, likely because they had no such love as children.

    4) They are cruel and evil.

    I might add that I believe none of the above are exclusive (i.e., more than one can be present in any given case).

  57. While solid evidence is probably hard to come by, I believe there are plenty of divorcing spouses whose divorce trajectory closely followed the one portrayed in this post.

    Unfortunately, those who have lived it know this only too well. And those who haven't lived it probably can't comprehend how a (supposedly) rational person would play their stack of cards in this manner.

  58. Tamar also asked for the heter to remarry without a Get based on kiddushei ta'us as mentioned in Reb Sholom's letter to Rabbi Greenblatt

  59. Where does it say that she need a get from her new boyfriend is this your own gzaira

  60. Try this for now.

    פח: האשה רבה פרק עשירי יבמות

    צריכה גט מזה ומזה: בשלמא מראשון תבעי

    גט אלא משני אמאי זנות ב עלמא הוא אמר רב הונא גזירה שמא יאמרו

    גירש זה ונשא זה ונמצאת אשת איש יוצאה ב לא גט

    גזירה שמא יאמרו. כשרואין הראשון חי סבורים ששני זה
    כשנשאה על ידי שגירשה ראשון נשאה ואשת איש גמורה היא ואס מוציאה שלא בגט נמצאת אשת איש כוי:
    A woman who was halachically married to a man, but she erroneously thought that she wasn't married to him and therefore went ahead and married a second man, is prohibited to continue living with either man.

    See Shut Harashba (Vol. 1, #1089) cited by the Beis Yosef (EH 17, end):

    בית יוסף אבן העזר סימן יז

    כתב הרשב"א בתשובה (ח"א) סימן אלף קפ"ט, על אשה שנתן לה המשודך טבעת, וחשבה שלא היו קידושין, והלכה ונישאת, אשה זו מקודשת גמורה היא לראשון, ותצא מזה ומזה, וכל הדרכים האלו בה. ואם תאמר אנוסה היא זו, שלא ידעה שתהא אסורה להנשא, הא ליתא, דהוי לה למידק

    שולחן ערוך אבן העזר הלכות אישות סימן יא, סעי' ב

    כל אשה שבאו שני עדים והעידו שזינתה עם זה כשהיתה תחת בעלה הראשון, הרי זו תצא מזה אף על פי שיש לה ממנו כמה בנים.

    Daas Torah - Issues of Jewish Identity: Rav Moshe Sternbuch ...

    Nov 9, 2015 ... תצא מזה ומזה just means that they are both forbidden to continue living .... So it looks like Rav Shternbuch will go away empty handed from this ...


    Rav Moshe Sternbuch: It is required that we protest the "heter"

    27 נובמבר 2015 ... הדבר פשוט שאין כאן הוראה אלא טעות מעיקרא, שכל בחור ישיבה יודע שאם לאחר שידע מהמום המשיך להשתמש בו אח"כ, אין דין מקח טעות, ולכו"ע תצא:מזה ומזה ...


    Daas Torah - Issues of Jewish Identity: Tamar Epstein:Rav Shlomo ...

    Oct 28, 2015 ... It is clear that if the public will accept this heter then the next heter will pass even quicker and more ... תצא מזה ומזה is no laughing matter!


    Gevald!!! The sounds of silence after Gedolim approve the marriage

    Oct 6, 2015 ... What does a man do when faced with the reality that he willbe ..... והלכה ונישאת, אשה זו מקודשת גמורה היא לראשון, ותצא מזה ומזה, וכל הדרכים האלו בה.


  61. 2) That was earlier in the dispute. By this point what I wrote in Point 2 is the current situation. The fight now is over a) where the child should live - he wants her living in MD and b) here wants more time with his daughter than the secular court granted - he wants the Baltimore beis din to issue a determination how much visitation he should receive.

    3) His giving a Get unilaterally will virtually certainly not result in his achieving either of these two above goals or of the goodness of her heart. Not now and not previously. So following that advice to give a Get would achieve nothing for him.

  62. Do you mean medical malpractice?

  63. I have been in filly for a long time... Let me just say that the heter business is just the straw that broke the camel's back....
    It is not because of Tamar that his name has been disgraced..... This is just the catalyst for something that has been deeply rooted all along.
    This is just something that became publicly know now.
    Many people privately have lost respective for his actions years ago.

  64. I hope to never understand how anyone can be so cruel.
    I know a situation like that... A man grewnup thinking the worse of his bilogical father, but now as an adult he has come to learn the truth.... And he can no longer with his mother the same way.
    The truth always prevails.

  65. Maybe not all of it but certainly some of it. Ultimately the blame is Rav Shmuel's in the same way that it was Shaul's for not wiping out Amalek's livestock. There is irony here that it was SHMUEL Hanavi who chastised Shaul for not acting as the King to do as Hashem commanded instead of as Shaul claimed the People wanted. Shmuel Kamenetzky acquiesced to the desires of Tamar and her "advisor" Jeremy Stern when he knew better. In that regard he is like Shaul. And like Shaul's actions, the best way to sum this up is to paraphrase Harry Truman, The Buck Stops There.

  66. Just and observation. Your opinion when you first started commenting on this blog about a week ago went from unaware to acceptance. And now to full out guns against the heter underworld of Philly.
    Pretty quick transition.

  67. I'm reading a good book on how bad these malpractice lawyers are: The King of Torts by John Grisham, Doubleday, 2003.

  68. When a group of people are part of a lynching there is no coherent defense that will make any sense to the mob. I have stated time and time again what my position is. You have questions about what happened you made assumptions and drew conclusions and state them as facts. I come to a different conclusion then you did. I don't say that there is noway to see things the way you do its just i think your wrong.

  69. Your make very astute observations. And you are 99% correct.
    I knew nothing about the heter. (I, as most ppl here were explicitly told years ago she received a get -that exact term was used, and I never questioned it)
    Then I heard some issues, I came here to discover I was lied to.
    I dismissed it as saying, it was the easiest lashon to use for the hamon am.
    Then I looked into the issues of the heter, "seruv", and realized the rabbanim I though were erlich messed up royally.
    Betrayal #2,3,4....
    Then came the many emotions of why, and how etc...
    Finally the exeptence.
    And then the realization that no one becomes a sinner overnight.
    A good by girl doesn't just start wearing pants overnight.
    And that's when it hit me: why didn't I see the red flags when x,y, and z happened.
    I've over heard ppl kvetching and speaking things I wrote off as lashon harah, bitterness, lack of kavod Hatorah for almost two decades....
    I wrote each situation off as not really knowing the details, these complaints are bitter, they have no respect, how dare they, etc..
    And now I realize it is possible all these different people had valid points.
    Because a rosh yeshiva who is carefully and 100 kashur viyasher does not lose his shemira overnight to lead a woman down such a path....

  70. Yes when Rav Shmuel's supporters attempt to lynch me they offer no coherent defense but just assume that anyone who raises any questions is an apikorus.

  71. My brother in law who is part of the Philly community was also told that she had been given a Get and he is a talmid chachom who doesn't need things watered down

  72. I hate to say this, and I know how bad this is going to sound super sexist, but I speak a bit from personal experience: woman can be lead to believe anything.
    We are hormonal, emotionally, and volitile humans.
    You get me roses today and I'll fall in love, you get me roses tomorrow and I'll roll my eyes and ask, what did you do? What do you want?....
    A can sees her husband wash dishes and if her friend tells het that her own husband only washed dishes when felt guilty for cheating on her, the first woman will be mad at her husband because "he probably cheated"....
    I know this sounds extreme, and crazy, but its true.

  73. I don't know. Fair point.

  74. "When a group of people are part of a lynching there is no coherent defense that will make any sense to the mob." Yes, that is precisely what happens every time Jeremy Stern organizes unjustified protests.

  75. I hear what you are saying, but I believe that a person has an inner 'voice' or gnawing feeling that should not be ignored.

    When this woman unleashed the forces of hell against the father of her child, making him a pariah in his own community, is when her conscience should have said, "What about our daughter?"

    The fact that she went along with this process is now on her ledger. I don't agree that she is as deserving of pity as you seem to describe.

  76. The Epsteins themselves. Cheryl Epstein used those words from her mouth.

  77. Wow.

    Interesting. Seems like she didn't want to state publicly that they used bitul kiddushin. Maybe she knew it was on shaky grounds?

  78. Teireh reb salty K, there is no lynching mob frankly I am shocked at the outpouring of support for the K camp everybody and everybody was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt but at some point slowly ever so slowly people are coming around to realize that something is just not right. because of the immense arrogance even his closest confidants are finally seeing the light .now in this world and in Halacha, you don't need to wait till you actually see here and prove to the enth degree till you make a decision even a Bais din , works with rov and chazzaka for dinei nefashos ,you haven't given any plausible explanation for the events nor have you shared with us your conclusions all you have done is criticize the minutia, and whine about all that the flak coming your way it's about time you realized that it's RFK's doing and he can easily with a bit of humility get past this by apologizing

  79. MOB????? Are all the gedolei Torah who came out in the opposition a mob ? Are the hundreds if not thousands of Benay Torah world over who are horrified about the scandal and disaster a mob? What arrogance!!! typical K arrogance who for reasons unknown were put in the world full of sheep and only they really get it

  80. Tamar may not have backed down but had they stood their ground for the Torah they would have ended up looking courageous instead of being equated with her today.

  81. could it be, that if they would have been strong and stood their ground, she would have eventually backed down?

    I don't know anything about this woman, but I certainly think that she would eventually have compromised if she had no other options.

  82. Hard to say. Maybe yes maybe no. Sometimes people just get tired of having to explain themselves..

  83. Why shod he give a get? Because Tamar wants? Because ora organized rallies? Because Facebook was spammed?

    Or because laymen in the street think its the proper thing to do?

    The Poles and Germans thought it was the proper thing to do when they turned over Jews to the Natzis.
    The Muslims think its the proper thing to do when they stone gay men.
    A bunch of guys (some who were in medschool and had wives in children) thought beating up men for a get is the right thing to do.

    Who determines what the proper and menchlich thing to do is?

    As Jews we are told the answer: The Torah tells us what is good and what is not proper

  84. The Gemora makes very similar observations about Acher; that he was always attracted to Apikorsus.. However, we do find many Amoraim making terrible mistakes despite being kasher viyashur. Based on this many Rishonim say that Hashem does not prevent a Takalah from happening through tzadikim except for specific circumstances(e.g. food). Although there is a famous story about R' Moshe and R' Henkin never having made a mistaken Heter to remarry, there is no proof from the fact that someone caused something terrible to happen that he is not a Tzadik. One example is Makkos 5b where R' Yehuda ben Taboi killed someone who wasn't chayiv misah and spent the rest of his life doing teshuvah.

  85. Are all the gedolei Torah who came out in the opposition a mob ? NO
    Are the hundreds if not thousands of Benay Torah world over who are horrified about the scandal and disaster a mob?No such group of people.

    I am referring to this BLOG where anyone that has an opposing position is lynched by a mob. that's about 10 people so don't get so excited.

  86. I hate to say this, but there is no excuse whatsoever for an adult not taking full responsibility for either HIS or HER actions, especially ones that take place over prolonged lengths of time and have been thoroughly contemplated.

  87. So we're only dealing with 10 people ? And you're sitting here day in day out with 10 people?. This blog has 60,000 plus hits a week , week over week and you don't feel you have to give them any coherent argument as to why you so steadfastly approve of the K position , of course besides your familial connection

  88. You are a hundred percent correct. I wasn't trying to exuse her behavior, just explaining the possible psychology behind it.

  89. This is true too. And as I said, I understand that humans make mistakes. I am not stripling Rav Shmuel or Rav Shalom of their titles.
    But I can not fathom how a tzadikim does not fix his mistakes. He made what appears to be very grave and public mistake. So let him please either explain how it is not a mistake or admit to his erro and rectify it.

    The only story you mentioned that I am familiar with is that of acheir. But to my understanding he never pretended to be a holy person when he was not....

  90. I told the Rosh Yeshiva of this blog to start a poll to see if there are any merits to my argument. There is nothing to say that the 60,000 hits are for or against from the one poll he did do it would seem that this blog is the biggest threat so those numbers are not reflective at all of what everyone else out there holds.

  91. Is Jeremy Stein really Yudel Shain? I wonder............

  92. On second thought, after close reading of your comments, I am going to agree with the earlier poster who accused you of being a man posing as a woman. Aside from the yeshivish spelling errors in your posts, which cannot be attributed to autocorrect, no woman would say what you have just said.

  93. They think that you have viciously attacked Reb Shmuel and in their opinion wrongfully so. I would hope you would do the same for your Rebbe. Your opinion is that he worked hand in hand with Reb Nuta in concocting this Heter. You have a few quotes that you interpret to mean that he was involved he says not and there is no glove that fits so you must acquit! Even if there is a 50% chance your right (and don't take this as a concession on my part) why would you take the chance that your wrong? fight as hard as you want but keep it honest. Everyone on this blog said Reb Dovid wouldn't get involved he did. Now are we going to say if he says there is a basis for the Heter he caved to pressure? Your brother in his statement seems to say that.

  94. I would hope you would do the same for your Rebbe.

    No, he would not. He would publicize any person who made a mockery of the Torah, C"V. The whole purpose of respecting and honoring a rebbe, is because he has brought you to Olam Haba. If, however, defending and honoring him brings you to ...., then you have no right to defend him.

  95. And I quote you "Rav Shmuel has become a pariah amongst orthodox jews". So I guess the only way you can win the poll would be if we are all Polynesian...

  96. "It was reasonable to assume her desiring a Get would encourage her to compromise and accept the jurisdiction of the Beis Din". Even if this was reasonable at the beginning, after how many years of failure does it still remain reasonable? Is it possible he never has to take into account evidence that his strategy is failing?

  97. @Mike_S2500 If she insists on remaining a moredes, having grabbed his child and moved away with her, and ran away from beis din and refused to accept the beis din's jurisdiction, and will prevent the father from seeing his own daughter any more than he currently is, why should he give her a Get? He gains nothing.

    The shailos and teshuvos of the Achronim are replete with stating that a moredes is denied a Get while the husband is permitted to remarry with a heter meah. See Shut Mishpat v’ Tzedaka b’Yaakov (2:36), for example. The psak is that the moredes wife should be punished and made to grow old until she gets white hair without her receiving a Get.

  98. Rav Moshe Feinstein did not agree. See for example EH 4:3

  99. See Igrot Moshe EH 4:3. Not only does Rav Moshe disagree, he says the position you are espousing is inconceivable.

    Here is the full text of the t'shuvah:

    כבר מפורסם דעתי שהיתר דמאה רבנים אף
    במורדת הוא דוקא בהשלשת גט כשר אשר בכל
    זמן שתרצה האשה לקבל גט תוכל לבא ולקבל
    הגט ולהיות מותרת לעלמא, אפילו
    אם יש להבעל עליה תביעות ממון, כי
    שהגאון רגמ"ה
    יתקן דבר תקלה לעגן בת ישראל איזו שהיא,
    ואף באופן
    שודאי חטפה משל בעלה איזה סך ממון לא תיקן
    ושום ב"ד
    דגאונים לא תיקנו ולא יתקנו באופן שיוכל
    הבעל לעגנה לגמרי או עד שתתן לו כמה שירצה,
    עניני גיבוי ממון לא תיקנו ולא יתקנו שום
    תקנות שיהא ביד הבעל כח בעצמו לעשות כרצונו
    ולעגנה, וכשלא
    נעשה כן אין ההיתר של הב"ד
    שהתירו כלום אף אם יחתמו ע"ז
    אלף רבנים ויותר, ויש
    על הבעל איסור וחרם דרגמ"ה
    מלישא אשה אחרת אם לא יגרשנה קודם בגט
    כשר, ואני
    חתמתי רק שיתירו להבעל כדין דהוא אחר
    שישליש גט כשר שתוכל לקבלו בכל עת שתרצה,
    וכן אמרתי
    גם בעובדא זו ביחוד לקרובי הבעל שלא שייך
    שום היתר בלא השלשת גט כשר שתוכל לקבלו
    בלא שום עיכובים, וע"ז
    באתי על החתום למען האמת שלא יעותו דיני

    However, at least you have answered a question (that I intended to be rhetorical) from my first comment on this thread. You do think the Torah permits one to act out of spite. Indeed, you seem to think in this case it is a mitzvah to act out of spite.

  100. @Mike: No, absolutely incorrect. How can you accuse the Gedolei Poskim Achronim of that? He is not acting out of spite. He is following the Torah and Halacha as paskened by the aforementioned poskim and others. The reasoning of the poskim is to pressure the wife to comply with the Torah and her halachic obligations that she's stomping upon and violating against her husband personal rights and hurting him. If she knows the beis din ruled that she will be punished until she passes child bearing age and becomes an old lady preventing her from having the companionship of marriage and thus remaining alone, that is a very very big incentive for her to comply with beis din, halacha and the Torah. Or might take one year, five years, ten years or more but given enough time it is likely she'll buckle and comply. In some rare cases indeed she might never comply but there Torah and beis din system can't give up their compliance tools for such reshaim who deserve no more. As you know, beis din had the right to punish, even with physical beatings, parties in contempt of beis din and the Torah.

    In conclusion, Rav Moshe might disagree with the Shut Mishpat v’ Tzedaka b’Yaakov and with Rav Elyashiv and with Rav Shternbuch on this point, as is certainly his right. But the husband has every right to follow and utilize a beis din that follows the normative psak halacha of these gedolei poskim I mentioned (as week as others).

  101. See my response to your duplicative comment.

  102. A friend of mine called him to try to convince him to give the get.

    He said until the heter is retracted there is nothing to talk about.

  103. See Teshuvos v’Hanhagos (4:301) where Rav Shternbuch paskens the husband should be given a heter meah rabbonim to immediately remarry while the beis din will hold unto the Get and only give it to the wife after she stops being a moredes and undoes the anti-halachic damage she caused her husband.

  104. According to Rabbi Gestener he is not even supposed to give a get until after Adam Fleischer gives one.


please use either your real name or a pseudonym.