Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Rabbi Kaminetsky-Rabbi Greenblatt Heter: Summary: Does a gadol have to give permission to protest against Rav Shmuel Kaminetky's heter

Question: Regarding my posts about the terrible perversion of Torah and halacha that Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky has engineered with his production of the Kaminetsky-Greenblatt Heter - how could I publicize this matter without a psak from gedolim (i.e. Daas Torah) that it was permitted and also being told explicitly what kind of publicity should be done? Answer:

1) Rav Sternbuch in his letters regarding this matter has made it clear that we are required to  publicize and protest this perversion where a woman was allowed to remarry without first receiving a Get. He does not mention anything about remaining quiet unless you personally receive a psak to protest.
November 2015 letter
          November 2015 parsha sheet
January 2016 letter

2) However even without Rav Sternbuch's explicit statement as well as the many public letters of major rabbis attacking this heter - there is no halachic source which requires a person to ask a person viewed as a gadol or even ask a rabbi. Obviously if the determination that something wrong has been done comes from a single individual it is a good idea to confirm with a competent rabbi that his evaluation is correct. But in the case of this "heter" there are many strong letters of condemnation from major rabbis and there are no dissenting voice that the heter is valid - that is simply not an issue. The consensus is that Tamar is an eishis ish who is living with a man who is not her husband.

phony seruv against Aharon Friedman by R Shmuel Kaminetsky

R Herschel Schachter:Beat Aharon Friedman with baseball bat - rely on authority of R Kaminetsky

R Shalom Kaminetsky asking for heter in name of his father

R Shalom Kaminetsky asking for heter and Rav Greenblatt's reply

Summary of the facts regarding the Heter

Rav Herschel Schacter: Mekach ta'os - making a farce of the halacha

Bedatz protest against heter

Rav Shmuel Feurst revealed as signer on heter

How Tamar destroyed her marriage with the assistance of the Kaminetskys

Wohlmark gang false seruv and Epstein lawyer Goldfein

Therapists that met with Aharon Friedman - deny discussing him with others

R Shmuel Kaminetsky to Rav Weiss - agrees to psak of Rav Dovid Feinstein

Who should be honored with Sandek for the mamzer?

Kaminetsky-Greenblatt Heter: Rav Eliahu Rominek's teshuva explaining why it is worthless
Tamar's diary clearly showing Aharon has no mental illness

Tamar's own words refute psychiatric claims of mental illness

psychologist says the psychiatrist report used is invalid

lawyer in family law : even if psychiatric report was accurate - the conclusion of mekach ta'us are not

Dr. Baruch Shulem - illegal and invalid to write report about someone therapist didn't meet

Pamphlet with most of the protest letters

Rav Gestetner Hebrew

Rav Gestetner English translation

Baltimore Beis Din first letter with Israeli gedolim agreement

R Shalom Kaminetsky's letter asking for the heter and Rav Nota Greenblatt's teshuva giving the heter

Baltimore Beis Din revised letter Nov 2015

Baltimore beis din apologizes to Aharon Friedman + Rav Reuven Feinstein and Rav Miller jan 2016

Rav Aharon Feldman      English translation of Rav Feldman's letter

Rav Aharon Feldman Only talmidei chachomim can decide this issue

Letter to Rav Aharon Feldman

Rav Malinowitz criticzing Rav Feldman for indicating this a macholes haposkim

Rav Landesman

Open letter to Rav Aharon Schechter regarding his attempt to save Rav Kaminetsky

Rav Shmuel Auerbach

Rav A C Sherman

Rav Avraham Yehoshua Solveitchik can not learn by Rav Kaminetsky

Open letter to the Moetzes of the Aguda

Washington area rabbis shun Aharon Friedman with feminist justification

Rav Herschel Schacter recording - heter no good

Rav Sternbuch letter November

Rav Sternbuch parasha sheet

Rav Sternbuch letter

Rav Sholom Kametsky letter

Rav Sternbuch criticized by R Brodsky for calling for protests

Assertion that layman can't criticize crimes of rabbis

Rav Pinchus Rabinowitz

Hisachdus HaRabbonim of USA and Canada

Hisachdus letter posuling Rav Greenblatt

Rav Shlomo Miller Rav Wachtfoget et al

Refutation of support of heter from Yevamos

Rav Chaim Kanievsky and other Israeli gedolim

Eidah Chareidis

Rav Rominek's teshuva

Rav Feivel Cohen and Rav Shlomo Miller

R Sholom letter saying he and his father accept Rav Dovid Feinstein's psak
=============================Critical of those who made the heter ------------

Rav Shlomo Miller - Rav Greenblatt is referred to as "rav"

Rav Sternbuch criticized by R Brodsky for calling for protests by the masses

Hisachdus letter posuling Rav Greenblatt

Rav Avraham Yehoshua Solveitchik can not learn by Rav Kaminetsky
3) An additional question is whether a gadol is different and that a gadol can never be publicly condemned.

Rav Moshe Feinstein says it is permitted to publicly disagree with a gadol even as big as the Chazon Ish - and even in his community
Diasgreeing with the Chazon Ish in Bnei Brak
From one of the letters (2:133) of the Chazon Ish it is clear that he permits criticizing gadolim because they are influential - but not people who no one pays attention to.
Criticizing Gedolim
Mo'd Koton (17a) is clear that one can publicize the misdeeds of gedolim. We in fact pasken like this gemora.

if a disciple ‘separates’ someone in [defence of] his personal dignity his ‘separation’ is an [effective] . For it is taught: ‘One who has been "separated" [as under a ban] by the Master is [deemed] "separated" from the disciple; but one who has been "separated" by the disciple is not [deemed] "separated" from the Master’.1 [That means], not ‘separated’ from the Master; but in regard to everybody else he is [‘separated’]. [Now let us see; ‘separated’] for what [offence]? If [it was imposed] for some offence towards Heaven, then there is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord!2 Therefore [presumably] it is only so3 [where a disciple had pronounced it] in [defence of] his personal dignity. R. Joseph said that a Collegiate4 may enforce his own rights in a matter where he is perfectly certain [as to the law]. There was once a certain Collegiate whose reputation was objectionable. Said Rab Judah, How is one to act? To put the shammetha on him [we cannot], as the Rabbis have need of him [as an able teacher]. Not to put the shammetha on him [we cannot afford] as the name of Heaven is being profaned. Said he to Rabbah b. Bar Hana, Have you heard alight on that point? He replied: ‘Thus said R. Johanan: What means the text, For the priest's lips should keep knowledge and they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts?5 [It means, that] if the Master is like unto a messenger of the Lord of Hosts, they should seek the law at his mouth; but if [he be] not , they should not seek the law at his mouth’. [Thereupon] Rab Judah pronounced the shammetha on him. In the end Rab Judah became indisposed. The Rabbis came to enquire about him and that man came along with them. When Rab Judah beheld him he laughed. Said the man to him: Not enough for him that he put upon that man [me] the shammetha, but he even laughs at me! Replied he [Rab Judah]: I was not laughing at you: but as I am departing to that World [beyond] I am glad to think that even towards such a personage as you I showed no indulgence. Rab Judah's soul came to rest.6 The man [then] came to the College [and] said, ‘Absolve me’. Said the Rabbis to him, There is no man here of the standing of Rab Judah who could absolve you; but go to R. Judah Nesi'ah7 that he may absolve you. He went and presented himself to him. Said he to R. Ammi: ‘Go forth and look into his case; if it be necessary to absolve him, absolve him’. R. Ammi looked into his case and had a mind to absolve him. Then R. Samuel b. Nahmani got up on his feet and said: ‘Why, even a ‘separation" imposed by one of the domestics in Rabbi's house was not lightly treated by the Rabbis for three years; how much more so one imposed by our colleague, Rab Judah!’ Said R. Zera, From the fact that this venerable scholar8 should just now have turned up at this College after not having come here for many years, you must take it that it is not desirable to absolve that man. He [R. Judah Nesi'ah]9 did not absolve him. He went away weeping. A wasp then came and stung him in the privy member and he died. They brought him into ‘The Grotto of the Pious’, but they admitted him not.10 They brought him into ‘The Grotto of the Judges’ and they received him.11 Why was he admitted there? — Because he had acted according to the dictum of R. Il'ai. For R. Il'ai says, If one sees that his [evil] yezer12 is gaining sway over him, let him go away where he is not known; let him put on sordid13 clothes, don a sordid wrap and do the sordid deed that his heart desires rather than profane the name of Heaven openly.14

Additionally we have Berachos (19) that to stop a chilul haShem we don't show respect to a rav. And this corruption of halacha to allow a woman to remarry without a Get is clearly a chilul hashem as well as something that the poskim says sets a dangerous precedent.
 R. Judah said in the name of Rab: If one finds mixed kinds in his garment, he takes it off even in the street. What is the reason? [It says]: There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord;4 wherever a profanation of God's name is involved no respect is paid to a teacher.

ש"ך יורה דעה סימן שג ס"ק א
א ואפי' היה רבו. דבמקום שיש חילול השם אין חולקין כבוד לרב וע"ל סי' רמ"ב סכ"ב: 

4) Finally the Rambam is very clear about what to do. He makes no stipulation that his psak is dependent upon going to a rav or gadol to get permission to protest. He clearly indicates that if private protest doesn't work then protests should be escalated to public degradation of the person sinning.

Rambam(Hilchos De'os 6:8):At first, a person who admonishes a colleague should not speak to him harshly until he becomes embarrassed as [Leviticus 19:17] states: "[You should]... not bear a sin because of him." This is what our Sages said: Should you rebuke him to the point that his face changes [color]? The Torah states: "[You should]... not bear a sin because of him." 
From this, [we learn that] it is forbidden for a person to embarrass a [fellow] Jew. How much more so [is it forbidden to embarrass him] in public. Even though a person who embarrasses a colleague is not [liable for] lashes on account of him, it is a great sin. Our Sages said: "A person who embarrasses a colleague in public does not have a share in the world to come." 
Therefore, a person should be careful not to embarrass a colleague - whether of great or lesser stature - in public, and not to call him a name which embarrasses him or to relate a matter that brings him shame in his presence. 
When does the above apply? In regard to matters between one man and another. However, in regard to spiritual matters, if [a transgressor] does not repent [after being admonished] in private, he may be put to shame in public and his sin may be publicized. He may be subjected to abuse, scorn, and curses until he repents, as was the practice of all the prophets of Israel.


  1. I'm guessing I read every 4th/5th post of yours. But it's also true that I quit reading once your post transitions from the blogpost subject to your personal life.

  2. Not sure I understand how this works. The blogpost is date-marked "Thursday, January 23, 2020", yet the Comments below are all from 3-4yrs ago.

  3. it is simple i recently republished an old post

  4. Is rav Shmuel Kamenetsky now the leading Gadol for misnagdim around the world?

  5. A question regarding conversion -
    as far as I am aware, there is no chiyuv for a woman to marry and have children, that only pertains to the man. it is not a mitzvah or aveir for a jewish woman to marry, so if a prospective convert does marry a Jewish man, it is not a "motive" - the motive could be to keep kosher, Torah, Shabbes, and taharat mishpacha in case she does marry. Just like there is no chiyuv for her to eat meat, but if she so wishes, it has to be kosher shechita and cooked in separate dishes.

    So my question - how can the motive of "marriage" disqualify a convert if they are intending to keep the Torah either way?


    Great article about reb Nota ztl

  7. A big man, who made a HUGE mistake.

  8. Many other great men also made mistakes. It's just that admitting it became difficult after the Old Testament was completed.

    Interesting to read how rav Moshe bestowed honor on him

  10. Big deal.
    That didn't give him a lifetime pass to permit married women to marry someone else, without having received a kosher Get.

  11. Sure, if you are gadol, you have a lifetime pass. His issue was that he was not the greatest gadol hador.

  12. When did the Testament become "old"?

  13. ז זְכֹר יְמוֹת עוֹלָם, בִּינוּ שְׁנוֹת דֹּר-וָדֹר; {ס} שְׁאַל אָבִיךָ וְיַגֵּדְךָ, זְקֵנֶיךָ וְיֹאמְרוּ לָךְ. {ר} 7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations; ask thy father, and he will declare unto thee, thine elders, and they will tell thee.

  14. This distinction is meant to say that Judaism was supplanted- chas v'sholom

  15. that may be what the xties say, but it is Old in the sense of ancient and timelessness.

  16. חֲדָשִׁים גַּם יְשָׁנִים דּוֹדִי צָפַנְתִּי לָךְ״ — אָמְרָה כְּנֶסֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא: רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם, הַרְבֵּה גְּזֵירוֹת גָּזַרְתִּי עַל עַצְמִי יוֹתֵר מִמַּה שֶּׁגָּזַרְתָּ עָלַי, וְקִיַּימְתִּים
    Eruvin 21b

  17. I know the Xtian reason for using the phrase. I'm just surprised that a religious Jew would fall prey to using a blatantly Xtian phrase.

  18. Ancient is old, but timeless is not.
    The Torah is timeless. and is as fresh and relevant today, as when it was given to us at Sinai.

  19. History peaks of the past, but the Torah was never supplanted by a "new" version.

  20. Yochana Koen Gadol, was a High Priest for 80 years, and then became a Sadducee.
    He was called out for it.

    In the days of the prophet, Yirmiyahu, there was a true prophet who became a false prophet - Hananiah ben Azur. He is called out for it.

    Our Sages said, don't believe in yourself until the day you die. Our Sages knew that every person has weaknesses, and anyone can make a mistake. NO ONE should get a free pass.

  21. It's old, 3400 years old, depending on how you calculate.
    I think in English and often type completely in English, so I couldn't think of an English version of tanakh other than OT.
    Nt is sheker, although for them it might hold some basic value _ see rambam and Meiri.

  22. It's interesting that the Torah tells us davka to remember the days of old, and to ask our elders. Nothing pejorative about the word Old. Perhaps the Beatles said its hip to be young, but just look at what the Torah tells us.

  23. I never suggested that it was supplanted by a "new" version. The xtians call their stuff new, so the Old is the original true Bible. They thought the Torah was too machmir for them, so they wrote some mumbo jumbo and justified their distance from the Torah.
    But Torah is called Pentateuch in English. Tnkh is not translatable in English as far as I know, other than Hebrew Bible or OT.

  24. Ignoring the commonly accepted understanding of words is not helpful for communication

  25. I looked at a few google results. They don't claim (at least not today) that the Hebrew Bible us no longer valid, but that it's the Brit that the Jew's have. Their new t. Is just for them.
    Perhaps in the inquisition they tried to persuade us to accept their claims. A good test of this concept would be to talk to an archbishop, and use the term OT. if he were to exclaim that my mere use of the OT designation is proof that I accept the NT, then you have a valid argument. But I've never come across such a triumphant charge from any xtians.

  26. Of course that is their claim - the fact that no one has told you this directly is not proof of the validity of your position

  27. They misread this pasuk in Yirmiyahu 31:30 which talks of a Brit Hadasha.
    So does correctly reading this posuk entail accepting that man's distorted tumah?

  28. I also think in English, and when I see the term "Old Testament" used, I instinctively think that it must be an Xtian who is speaking.
    When I want to refer to the Tanakh, I use the term, "Hebrew Bible".
    When I want to refer to the Xtian book, I refer to it as the "Greek Testament".

  29. The greater a Gadol a person is, the harder it is to call them out.
    There was a controversy about Artificial Insemination donors, and a lenient psak by the preeminent gadol hador. Had a middle tier posek come out with this, he would be finished. The same goes with nullification of gittin - such that Rav Elyashiv disagreed with RMF , but he was even greater than Rav Elyashiv, so RMF could not be assailed. Had it been Someone like R Goren or Tzitz Eliezer, the Hareidi world would wash their hands of them.

  30. Using "new" and "old", gives undeserving legitimacy to those who coined these terms.
    "Tanakh" or "Hebrew Bible" should work just fine in this forum.

  31. I am not disputing the principle of what you say. Some posts I type on my old smartphone, and I am thinking in English, which is how it comes out on the typepad.
    However, no current translation suffices -
    Bible is just Biblios, a book. Septuagint (ignore the variations) refers to the 70 elders who translated it to Greek.
    Using the OT notation does not imply that one accepts the NT. Using BC, is less problematic than "AD". If there was a phone book 2000 years ago, his name would be J. Christ, so it simply means before his birth.
    BTW, you presumably use the name Tammuz for last month, and refer to the Taanith of Tammuz, even though Tammuz is a babylonian god, which is decried in the book of Yechezkel? So you have to be consistent. Practice what you preach and abandon the idolatrous names of the current hebrew calendar.

  32. I accept the second part of your statement, I will avoid that OT notation.

    However, it gives no legitimacy to them at all.

    From Middle English [Term?], from Latin Vetus Testāmentum. Old refers to ancientness, not to obsolescence. Equivalent to a retronym, by comparison with the New Testament.",comparison%20with%20the%20New%20Testament.

    I was unable to paste this earlier when using my "ancient" smartphone


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