Sunday, July 17, 2022

Defending R Nota Greenblatt

 Many are puzzled how to explain or even understand R Nota Greenblatt's involvement in the Tamar Epstein Get annulment

 The facts are clear and are publicly available

Tamar Epstein and her husband were going to a well known and highly regarded beis din - the Baltimore beis din

At no time did Tamar mention the claim that she thought her husband was mentally ill. She wanted a divorce because she and her mother decided she could do better. Not a basis for forcing a get or annulment.

R Shmuel Kaminetsky's son wrote an embarrassingly ignorant  letter outlining the reason for dissolving the marriage without a get that he claimed to have shown to his father and gotten his approval. The letter was sent to many poskim trying to get someone to agree to it.  The letter makes claims  about incurable mental health issues based on an anonymous source as well as claiming to be based on the psakim of Rav Moshe Feinstein. Neither Shalom or Shmuel Kaminetsky are viewed as experts on the laws of Gittin

The letter was widely ignored/ridiculed by those poskim that received it. Which is why it was shown to me even when it was not made public

Tamar's father was a major supporter of the Philadelphia yeshiva so this intervention can not be viewed as neutral and impartial. There were also peripheral figures such as R Rakefet who were providing advice to the mother that the marriage could be annulled

The correct procedure would have been to bring the so called evidence of incurable mental illness to the Baltimore beis din which had been accepted by both sides instead Shalom Kaminetrky bypassed this and tried to get any outside posek to annul the marriage

R Nota was one of the outsiders contacted and he agreed not only to annul the marriage but to remarry her to another man.

This was absurd and in addition he agreed to do this without investigating the facts of the case or speaking to the husband or the Baltimore Beis din. R Shmuel made his acceptance dependent on the approval of Rav Dovid Feinstein. When Rav Dovid decided the heter was invalid he withdrew his support. Rav Nota bizarrely did not.

In sum Rav Notah was annulling a marriage based on facts he didn't know to be true, an invalid heter and he had not been authorized to intervene in the case of the authorized beis din and refused to alter his position when the only basis for his involvement was removed.

I will now try to defend this absurd behavior which was universally condemned by all the major rabbis and rabbinic leaders


R Nota viewed the request to be involved by a recognized gadol as binding at least as a rabbinic halacha.

R Kaminetsky is on record claiming the request of gedolim is at least as binding as any rabbinic takkanah

As long as R Kaminetsky did not ask him to withdraw his heter he felt he was obligated to support it.

In sum R Nota did a horrible perversion of halacha because he felt the need to obey the words of a gadol and the gadol insists  incorrectly that Rav Nota was an independent authority that can be relied upon. As a result of this nonsense a marriage was destroyed and an adulterous relationship was given credibility to the loud acclaim of feminists and incompetent "orthodox" rabbis.

It appears to me that Rabbi Kamenetsky still actively supports the annulment, stating that it is a machalokes and that Tamar may rely on Rabbi Greenblatt. it also seems that the beis din convened by Rabbi Feinstein was intended by Rabbi Kamenetesky as a smoke screen so that he could pretend he doesn't support the annulment.

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