Profile Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Can we Force a Husband to Give a Divorce When Witnesses Agree With His Wife’s Bitter Complaints?

Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn         Monsey, NY                845-578-1917  eidensohnd@gmail.com               12 Cheshvon 5778

We know that a wife who demands a GET because her husband is disgusting to her is refused a GET.  Although the Rashbam and Rambam and many Geonim permit or require forcing a GET when this happens, the latter poskim led by Rabbeinu Tam and the Ri forbid forcing the husband to give his wife a GET when she claims that her husband disgusts her. See the Rashbo Volume 7 chapter 414 which is quoted by all of the authorities in Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer Laws of Kesubose chapter 77 paragraphs 2,3. See the Gro there #5 who comments that everyone [of the latter poskim] accepts that forcing a GET is forbidden unless there is a rare exception.

This seems to contradict the Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer about marriage chapter 154.There it says that a husband who takes a job that causes him to have a bad odor is forced to give his wife a GET.

The answer probably is that when a woman makes a claim that she wants a GET because the husband has something wrong with him that she cannot tolerate, we want to know if the woman is saying the truth or not. Perhaps she wants to get rid of this husband and marry somebody else that she likes better. This is taught in the Mishneh in Nedorim 90b. There was a time when we believed a woman to say things that would force the husband to give her a GET. For instance, she could say that she slept with somebody not her husband and this would force her husband to give her a GET. But then the Mishneh says that the laws were changed. We no longer believe women to make up a story that forces her husband to give her a GET. Maybe she is lying to leave this husband and find another husband she likes better.

However, if witnesses corroborate the story of the wife, that is usually proof that she is not lying and the husband can be forced to give her a GET. Thus, the laws stated in Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer 154 about a husband who has a bad odor that forces him to divorce his wife is not a contradiction to the law that a woman cannot force her husband to give a GET. If there is no proof that she is right, she is not believed. Maybe she just wants another husband. But if there is proof and others corroborate her statements about the husband, or if any Beth Din can tell absolutely that the husband goes around with a terrible smell all of the time, in such a case, we believe the wife, and the husband must give a GET.

We are not coming to pasken any Shaalose here, because the issues of believing a wife and believing witnesses is not a simple one. See the Tur Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer chapter 77 and the commentary of the Beis Yosef page 116. There is a great literature in these matters, and we have mentioned one facet. A woman is not believed to force a GET unless she can produce outside proof such as witnesses.

Tosfose in Kesubose 63b D”H Avol quotes the Shaaltose that if witnesses testify that a woman acted in a suspicious manner that she might have been sinning with a man not her husband, the husband is forced to divorce his wife. Again, these matters fill many pages and we are not coming to clarify the final laws. However, we do want to establish that although a woman may not force a GET from her husband, if her demands are supported by witnesses, it is quite possible that the husband will be forced to give her a GET. But her claims without support are not accepted.




Pesak from the Gaon Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashev zt”l in a Divorce

Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn

Some years back I was training to be a posek. I would go to various rabbis, dayanim and Gittin experts to learn from them. Once I came to a GET and I walked into the room with those getting divorced. A woman was crying bitterly and next to her sat a woman who looked at me with hate. Of course, she thought I was part of the Beth Din. But I was just a visitor who knew nothing of the people involved in the GET.

The head of the Beth Din was a friend of mine who explained that the man and women had a son. They were secular Israelis and then the husband became religious. The wife was madly in love with her husband. But although she tried her best, she could not tolerate being religious. Finally, advisors told the man to divorce his wife. The wife was crying terribly, because she loved her husband.
I was very disturbed by the decision of the advisors of the husband to counsel him to divorce his wife. Who gave the husband the right to give his son away to his wife who was not religious and would probably raise the son to be irreligious?  But I said nothing then.
Not long after this, I was visiting my rebbe in Israel, the Gaon Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashev zt”l, one of the greatest Torah authorities. I told him how disturbed I was that the husband gave away his son. (I didn’t tell him what I thought about the advisors who couldn’t make a compromise with the husband and wife. If the wife is madly in love with her husband, but she can’t be the supper fanatic that he became, let him behave in a way that her love will tolerate. But I knew nothing about the husband and wife and why should I talk about such things? So I told him what I did know and awaited his response.)
Rav Elyashev told me: “If the wife would tolerate taharas hamishpocho (go to the mikva regularly), he would not advise a divorce.” That is a tremendous ruling, something only the greatest sage can utter! It meant that the wife won’t keep Shabbos and maybe not kashruse and who knows what else. But if she keeps taharas hamishpocho the marriage continues. It means that the wife will be the mother of all of his children, and all of them will be raised by a woman who is not Orthodox.
I wonder what the Rov would rule if the woman did not love her husband madly. Maybe that was critical. Maybe he believed that her love would continue if he did not divorce her, and she would very slowly but surely become more and more religious. If she truly loves her husband, and the husband could be encouraged not to be a cruel fanatic, maybe that could improve things? But I did not ask that question. Maybe it was too late to ask questions.
One thing comes out from this sad story. When somebody is faced with such a problem, ask only the greatest authority. There is a postscript to this story that has nothing to do with divorces. I used to speak regularly to the Posek HaDor Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l. Furthermore, I only asked him questions that if he did not tell me the answer, I would probably never find an answer for them.
I once asked him if a person is hopelessly ill and there is no cure. He is in agony and wants to die. Is it necessary to keep him alive even if he wants to die? I am not referring to mercy killing. I am talking about basic “keep him alive” care. Reb Moshe told me that in such a case the person may be allowed to die. I later discovered that his pesak is two open gemoras, Gittin 70 and Avoda Zoro 12. A dying person should be kept alive long enough to arrange his financial affairs with his children so they don’t fight over the inheritance. Perhaps we assume that he is willing to suffer that long, but longer is not necessary.
I once told this to the Gaon Rav Shmuel HaLevi Wosner zt”l and he replied, “Poshut azoy” that is obvious. I wondered why he answered that way and then I realized that since Reb Moshe was the Gadol HaDor in paskening Rav Wosner felt that to say he agrees would not be appropriate, so he just said, “poshut azoy.”
I once heard from the Gaon Rav Moshe Feinstein zt"l that with a serious medical problem we may need three doctors.
Today there are many children who are not successful in schools and begin to take drugs. In Monsey two children overdosed and are buried in the Orthodox cemetery. 
For children like this, how many doctors do we need?



Sunday, July 15, 2018

Ramban and Rambam Permit Pilegesh


GOAL 5 – Marrying with Kiddushin and the Problems

I once spoke to a young woman with children whose marriage had soured, and she found herself without a husband, without a GET, and with young children who had no active father. I sent her a discussion of marriage with Kiddushin or with Pilegesh. The difference is that Kiddushin requires two kosher witnesses, the act of Kiddushin such as the husband expressing his will to marry her, he gives her a ring or some valuable, and writes her a Kesubo. Kiddushin also requires the husband to give her a GET willingly. Otherwise, the GET, if forced, is invalid, and children she has from the next husband can be mamzerim.
Pilegesh, on the other hand, is very basic and simple. A man and woman want to marry, she enters the husband’s house, he provides her basic needs, they have children, and the woman is not acquired as a woman is with Kiddushin. If the woman is acquired she cannot leave the husband without his willing permission. Today this is a crisis affecting many women who are so desperate to leave their husbands who refuse for a variety of reasons to give a willing divorce, that they find some ‘rabbi’ who tells them to force the GET, or the latest disaster, is to tell a woman a reason that her marriage with Kiddushin was invalid, and she was thus never married. I heard from a prominent rabbi in Brazil that it happened in his community, a GET with no participation of the husband, and it happened in France.
The invalid GETs are producing children from the re-marriage of the woman without a GET, who are mamzerim.
I therefore, anticipating a great influx of mamzerim, recommend that women consider marrying with Pilegesh, which is not an act of acquiring the wife, but of two people marrying willingly, who can each one of them leave the marriage with no penalty at all. Especially people who have had problems with previous marriage or who anticipate a world where married people fight a lot, it is much safer to marry with Pilegesh than with Kiddushin.
The Vilna Gaon in the beginning of the Laws of Kiddushin in the Shulchan Aruch, where Pilegesh is discussed, says that the source to permit Pilegesh is the gemora Sanhedrin 21A. There is another opinion mentioned there in the Shulchan Aruch but the Vilna Gaon tears it apart and says at the end of his lengthy denigration of that opinion, for us to look at the Beis Shmuel, who also denigrates that opinion. Thus, The Vilna Gaon, together with the Ramban, who quotes the Rambam as agreeing to Pilegesh, permit Pilegesh, of course, with the condition that she goes to the Mikva.
Let us take a look at the Ramban on Pilegesh.
The Ramban is in the volume of the Rashbo entitled MEYUCHESES, meaning, ascribed as. This means that the volume is ascribed to the Rashbo because the vast majority of the almost three hundred teshuvose are without a name, meaning that we assume they were from the Rashbo, whose name, however, does not appear. We do however find that the author of the volume was a disciple of the Ramban, which explains why, if it was from the Rashbo, he put in two teshuvose from the Ramban and the Ramban’s name is signed on both teshuvose.
On the one hand, the Ramban there clearly is in favor of Pilegesh, but he also adds, in a letter to his rebbe Rabeinu Yonah, that “And you, our rebbe, may HaShem extend your life! In your locality, caution them not to marry a Pilegesh, because if they will know the permission to marry a Pilegesh they will commit zenuse and pritsuse and marry them when they are Nidose.”
This is the problem mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch beginning of the Laws of Kiddushin, that there is an opinion that Pilegesh is forbidden because she will be embarrassed to go to the Mikva without Kiddushin. However, the Ramo there brings another opinion to permit Pilegesh if she will go to the Mikva, and the Vilna Gaon and the Beis Shmuel and the Chelkas Mechokake disagree with the passage in the Ramo that brings an opinion to forbid Pilegesh as sinful. The Vilna Gaon also brings there that the Ramban and the Rambam permit Pilegesh. The fact that the Rambam seems to disagree with this in the Laws of Melochim is answered by the Ramban that the Rambam only forbids Pilegesh for one who is not a king if the marriage was zenuse, which, in of itself, requires explanation, as we will do soon.
To sum up, the Vilna Gaon, in very long passages, clearly permits Pilegesh, and says that Rambam and Rambam also permit Pilegesh. He also devotes an extremely long passage to demolish the opinion of the Ramo in his second opinion (the first opinion permits Pilegesh), and concludes that we should also consult the Beis Shmuel, who also disagrees with that part of the Ramo who forbids Pilegesh. Thus, from the gemora and the great commentators of the Shulchan Aruch in the beginning of the Laws of Kiddushin, we see that Pilegesh is permitted, according to the Vilna Gaon and others such as Ramban, Rambam, Beis Shmuel and others.
The Ramban only added in his comments to his rebbe Rabbeinu Yona, that although he permits Pilegesh, in the city of his rebbe the people cannot be trusted with Pilegesh, because they will use the permission of Pilegesh to come to great sins including not going to the Mikva. However, for others, Ramban definitely permits Pilegesh, and that is the halacha, with the caveat that a Pilegesh should be guided by prominent rabbis who will train her in how to behave in the basic laws of the Torah, such as going to the Mikva.
Let us now quote from the Ramban on Pilegesh. “If a man wants that the woman should be his Pilegesh, that she should not be acquired by him, and not owned by him, and not forbidden to other men, and not sanctified in the slightest, he may. And also the words of the Rambam zt”l are not to forbid Pilegesh to a plain person and to permit Pilegesh only for a king [as would seem from what he says in Melochim], but this is what he says, ‘Anyone who sleeps with a woman as zenuse without Kiddushin is beaten for sleeping with a Kedaisho. And taking a woman for zenuse means that he met her and slept with her and did not dedicate her to be his wife as a Pilegesh, in other words, she was a Kedaisho (a prostitute).”
Let us study these words of the Ramban. He begins, ““If a man wants that the woman should be his Pilegesh, that she should not be acquired by him, and not owned by him, and not forbidden to other men, and not sanctified in the slightest, he may.” We see clearly here the Ramban’s distinction between a woman married with Kiddushin or one married with Pilegesh. A woman married with Kiddushin means that “she is acquired by him, and owned by him.” He has acquired her as if he has taken a piece of property. Never can she leave him unless he dies or gives her a GET willingly. If she does leave without a kosher and willing GET and has a child from another man not her husband, Rambam says in the very beginning of the Laws of Gerushin that the GET given not willingly is worthless. If so, children born from the woman to another man without a kosher Get are mamzerim. This is the situation today when so many women are getting divorced and so many ‘rabbis’ teach women to force the GET or to even leave with no GET and invent some flimsy ridiculous reason why the marriage from the first husband was invalid. We face from these women and their children a crisis of mamzerim.
Pilegesh, on the other hand, says Ramban “If a man wants that the woman should be his Pilegesh, that she should not be acquired by him, and not owned by him, and not forbidden to other men, and not sanctified in the slightest, he may.” Thus, Kiddushin creates the act of acquiring the woman as his property, and he owns her, and is forbidden to other men unless he dies or gives her willingly a kosher GET. Pilegesh is not like that, but the husband and wife can leave any time with absolutely no penalty. No GET or any similar document is required. Personally, if I was involved with a group of Pilegesh people, I would prefer that everything be done with rabbinical supervision and advice as is advised by the greatest proponent of Pilegesh, Reb Yaacov Emden, in his sefer.
Therefore, today, amid the increase in mamzerim brought about by marriages with Kiddushin, the only solution is marrying with Pilegesh. A suffering woman said to me, after hearing about Pilegesh. “If only you had told me that when I was nineteen years old.” Well, I am telling it to you now, and at least, use it for your children.
 The Ramban explains the Rambam “to permit Pilegesh to a plain person who is not a king, not just to permit Pilegesh to a king. But this is what he says, ‘Anyone who sleeps with a woman as zenuse without Kiddushin is beaten for sleeping with a Kedaisho. And taking a woman for zenuse means that he met her and slept with her and did not dedicate her to be his wife as a Pilegesh, in other words, she was a Kedaisho (a prostitute).” But if a simple Jew met a woman and they both want to marry this is permitted and she becomes his Pilegesh, and this is permitted by Rambam. But this is only permitted when they came together with true marriage, not zenuse.
Whereas the Ramban and the Vilna Gaon both say that Rambam accepted Pilegesh for plain people not just for kings, and this seems to conflict with the text we have from the Rambam in Melochim, so we will explain this later. For now, let us go step by step. First step, is to quote the exact words of the Ramban describing what Kedushin does. Again, his words are, “Anyone who sleeps with a woman as zenuse without Kiddushin is beaten for sleeping with a Kedaisho. And taking a woman for zenuse means that he met her and slept with her and did not dedicate her to be his wife as a Pilegesh, in other words, she was a Kedaisho (a prostitute).” Ramban wrote this to explain what the Rambam meant that Pilegesh is only permitted to a king if the king took her as an act of Zenuse. But the problem is: What king will take a woman who is a zona? If the woman slept with the king and then knew that she was sleeping with somebody else, would he marry her or kill her? So this is very difficult to understand.
Another question: The Rambam there in Malochim says that a simple person may not marry a Pilegesh, with the exception of an OMO HOVIRAH with YIUDE, meaning, a woman was sold by her father who was desperate for money to a man who had a son, and she was to work in the house to pay off her father’s loan. Since living in a house with men in it is dangerous for a woman, who can suffer from them, the system of YUID was established, essentially transferring the girl to the level of being married either to the son of the father of the house or the father himself. Now, why is it that a woman who is essentially sold as a servant may be a Pilegesh, but no normal man and woman may marry as Pilegesh? This is a very strong problem.
But the answer is that the Rambam in that place in Malochim is devoting his time to the powers of a king. One thing he decides, in agreement with some in the Talmud but in disagreement with others, is whether a king has the right to take a woman or a man to serve him anyway he feels he needs. Rambam permits this. If so, a king may, as Paroah did, take Sorah for his wife for her great beauty, and only gave her back because she was a prophetess who summoned an angel to smite Pharoah whenever he threatened to take her physically. When he realized that something funny was going on, because no woman could hit with with these blows time and again, he realized that Sorah was not Abraham’s sister, but his wife. He then returned Sorah to Avrohom, with the condition that she must leave Egypt. Pharoah himself escorted with the senior officers of Egpyt, Abraham and Soroh, but Pharoah also gave Sora a gift of the land of Goshen, prime real estate. It was there that the Jews lived when they eventually came to Egypt. King David also used this power to take Bas Sheva who gave birth to his son Shlomo. Women taken by the king are not married willingly, they are taken by royal power that does not consider their will at all. Once they are married to the king and have a child from him, that child will be the next king, most likely, as Shlomo was.
We now return to the Ramban and his interpretation of the Rambam about Pilegesh. Rambam says Ramban, does permit plain people man and wife to marry as Pilegesh. He only says that only kings may do this if the king takes a woman against her will. This is what the Ramban means as one who marries a woman as zenuse. It does not mean that the king marries a harlot who sleeps with a lot of men. No king would take such a woman. A king can take the loveliest woman in the country, but more than anything else, he wants a woman who will bear him a son who will be the next king. Surely he would never take a prostitute who would probably give birth to somebody from a different father. But Rambam was talking about a woman who was a decent woman, perhaps never married, or perhaps married to one man honorably who died. Such a woman when taken by the king without asking her permission is considered marrying in zenuse, meaning, without consent. A plain man is not allowed to force a woman to marry him, even if he forces her to agree the marriage is null and void, it is zenuse. But a king is different. He takes any woman he wants and that is his right. It is not with her consent, and in that sense it is zenuse, but that doesn’t mean she slept with numerous men, because no king would take such a woman to have children from her.
This explains why the Rambam makes an incredible statement. No plain person may marry with Pilegesh other than a king, and one other person, an OMO HOIVRIAH with YIUDE, a woman sold by her father to a family to work who was given the status of somebody who is not free for the husband and his son to play with but is either married to the father or to the son. But she is not married because she wanted to come and marry them. Her father sold her into the family and to protect her from the lust of the men there, YIUDE protects her by considering her married to the father or the son, even though that was done not with her decision to go there for that reason. If so, it was the same zenuse as a king who forces a woman to marry him for his royal prerogative.  But plain men and woman, according to the Ramban according to the Rambam, can marry as man and wife because both of them want to marry each other.
And the Vilna Gaon agrees with Ramban that this is the opinion of the Rambam to permit plain people who are not kings to marry with Pilegesh, only if both husband and wife want to marry.



Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Do We Love our Money more than Our Children and Ourselves?


Your Money or Your Life
By Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn

Your Money or Your Life, sounds like the threat of a thief, but here we are talking not about a thief, but about a pious Jew, who recites daily the Shema, where it says, “ואהבת את השם אלקיך בכל לבבך ובכל נפשך ובכל מאדך”. “And you shall love HaShem your G‑d with all of your heart, and with all of your life, and with all of your might.”
The gemora in berochose[1] says that a Jew must display his true love for HaShem with three ways. One, with all of his heart, then with all of his life, and with all of his might. Rabbi Eliezar explains that with all of his life means to give up his life for HaShem. With all of his might means with all of his money. Rabbi Eliezar does not explain what “with all of his heart” means. But he does explain that all of his life means to sacrifice his life for HaShem. And with all of his might means with all of his money.
But Rabbi Eliezar asks, “If we are commanded to love HaShem with all of our life, why does it then say with all of our might, meaning all of our money? But we see from this that some people prize their money more than their lives, and some people prize their lives more than their money.
Rabbi Akiva says that with all of your life means even if you must die to serve HaShem. But is this not included in the words of Rabbi Eliezar who says that with all of your life means that he values his life more than his money? But perhaps Rabbi Eliezar did not say that with all of his life means to die for HaShem. Maybe it meant to live for HaShem, but to give up one’s life is a very rare situation. But Rabbi Akiva, who wished always to die for the sake of heaven, says that the command means to die for Kiddush HaShem.
Let us turn now to the Medrash Tanchuma[2] that deals with the Jewish people ready to cross the Jordan River and go to the Holy Land, to make war with the pagans living there and establish communities. It seems that two tribes did not want to go into the Holy Land but preferred to stay in the land they had conquered from the giants from pagan nations, because those were ideal to raise flocks of animals. Therefore, Reuven and Gad, two of the Jewish tribes, together with half of the tribe of Menasheh, appeared before Moshe, Eloezar the High Priest, and the leaders of the Jews, and requested that they should not inherit in Israel proper, but where they were, after winning the battles with the giants and pagans before the Jews crossed over into the Holy Land.
Moshe rebuked them for this, saying that what right did they have not to cross over the Jordan and fight with other Jews against the pagans in Israel proper? They responded that they accepted the responsibility that their soldiers would cross the Jordan and stay in Israel until the other tribes finished conquering the pagan nations there and were firmly settled in their domains. Only then would the 2 ½ tribes of Reuvan, Gad and Menasheh bring back their soldiers from Israel proper. In the meantime, the tribes would build protective things to protect their wives and children, and all those who did not go with them to war because of old age or whatever. This was accepted and the tribes did keep their word and performed properly to help the other Jews gain their properties in Israel proper.
During the discussions between these few tribes and Moshe, it seems that the tribes said that they would first build structures to protect their animals, and only then build structures to protect their children. Moshe responded that first we take care of our children and only then do we take care of your animals. We see here that these tribes liked their money more than their children, for which they were rebuked by Moshe. We find that when eventually the pagans did begin the conquest of Israel from the Jews, the first one to be taken from their land were these 2 ½ tribes. The fact that they values money over the holy land resulted in their being the first tribes to be driven away from Israel or even a territory only secondary to Israel proper.
And as Rabbi Eliezar taught, there are Jews who love their money more than their lives, and Jews who love their lives more than their money. But to say that a Jew loves his animals more than his children, that is extreme.


[1] Berochose 61b
[2] Bamidbar Matose page 95 in my volume “And the sons of Reuven and Gad had many animals”


The End of Respect for American Rabbis? Joe Orlow

The End of Torah in America

by Joe Orlow

It is evident from many places in the Chumash that the Torah is a package deal. The Torah may not be added to. The Torah may not be subtracted from.


What the exact parameters are of adding and subtracting is not the subject here. Suffice it to say that the threshold is reached when any Jew declares that a Mitzvah is no Mitzvah. Even if a Rabbi, or a group of Rabbis say a Mitzvah is no Mitzvah, the condition of subtracting has been reached.


We are at a point, after years of collective research, where we have in our hands most of the details of the mechanics of the Heter given to Tamar Epstein to remarry without a Get.


I apologize to those are not in the know that I cannot at this time reveal certain aspects of the Heter, such as those particulars surrounding the report on which the Heter hangs. One should not do to others what is distasteful to oneself. And it is distasteful to me when I am excluded from the inner cool club house. Yet, I cannot offer one and all membership now for valid reasons. I hope I have gained enough of your trust so that I can make the rest of the points below with some credibility.


Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky is considered the greatest Gadol in America by many. Rabbi Kamenetsky told me I can rely on Rabbi Greenblatt. 


Rabbi Greenblatt has basically nullified the Torah through his nullifying Tamar's marriage to Aharon Friedman. I've written extensively about this elsewhere on this blog. And my contribution to proving this thesis is just a drop in the ocean of material on these webpages.


To summarize, virtually any woman can get her marriage nullified by Rabbi Greenblatt if she acts cleverly.
She has to be a follower of Rabbi Kamenetsky. She can then rely on Rabbi Greenblatt.


All that is required next is to have a mental health professional call Rabbi Greenblatt and testify that her husband had an incurable mental illness from before the marriage and that she was unaware of her husband's condition when she married him. She receives a Heter to remarry, and may do so without a Get.
That's it.


Rabbi Greenblatt holds that he does not need to interview the wife nor the husband before issuing the Heter.


And if Rabbi Greenblatt can give such Heters, then so too can others. Because Rabbi Kamenetsky has said you may rely on Rabbi Greenblatt.


Now some may point out that Rabbi Dovid Feinstein ruled for Rabbi Kametsky that Rabbi Greenblatt's Heter in this case is not valid. But it must be noted that Rabbi Feinstein did not order Tamar to separate from the man she is living with, Adam Fleischer, who is not her husband. And I tried to notify Rabbi Feinstein that Rabbi Kamenetsky did not order her to separate. Nor has Tamar on her own separated. 

Rabbi Feinstein's not telling her to separate makes him complicit in her continued cohabitation with a man not her husband.


Rabbi Kamenetsky and Rabbi Greenblatt have thus uprooted, or at least mangled, the Torah of Gittin, which is equivalent to destroying the entire Torah. Rabbi Feinstein has covered up the indiscretion.
A Mitzvah has died. The Torah in America is dead.


And the Torah in America lives on. It lives on in those who reject Rabbis Kamenestsky, Feinstein, and Greenblatt and who maintain their fidelity to the old fashioned Torah true teachings of men like Harav Dovid Eidensohn.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Gadol or Liar?

this is a copy of a letter I sent to a Rav in the U.S.

Dear Rabbi [redacted],

As you are aware, I am part of a team that holds that the Halacha has been severely compromised by the actions of men considered to be Gadolei Yisrael in America.

To your credit, you have defended these men. You have challenged my attacks on these men. And you have done it from the best of places and purest of motives: your adherence to the principle that decisors of Halacha are to be given the greatest deference.

Yet, I think the Rav should be aware of some new developments on the Epstein-Friedman front.

I have spoken to Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky several times. The first time was several years ago when Tamar Epstein declared she was free from her marriage. She made this declaration despite her husband being alive and well, and despite his not giving her a Get. For the record, she was married to him with Kiddushin.

At that time, Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky made light of the matter. He declined to speak in depth with me about it, and referred me to his son.

In a follow up call two years ago, after Tamar remarried, Rabbi Kamenetsky told me that one may rely on Rabbi Greenblatt as far as the legitimacy of Tamar's remarriage. He acknowledged that there are other Rabbis who hold the remarriage is not legitimate.

In a recent call, Rabbi Kamenetsky again said one may rely on Rabbi Greenblatt, while acknowledging that Rabbi Dovid Feinstein holds the remarriage was not permitted. He made it clear that he, Rabbi Kamenetsky, was not involved in the Heter given to Tamar to remarry.

Rabbi Kamenetsky is apparently a liar. Before Tamar received her Heter, Rabbi Kamenetsky was sending out letters to other Rabbis to induce them to provide the Heter. Recently, Rabbi Nota Greenblatt told me he was contacted by Rabbi Kamenetsky and his son Rabbi Shalom Kamenetsky regarding finding a way for Tamar to remarry without a Get.

On the face of it, Rabbi Kamenetsky was not only involved in the issuance of the Heter. He was also the impetus behind finding the Heter.

Furthermore, the Kamenetskys gave Rabbi Greenblatt the contact information for a mental health professional. Rabbi Greenblatt called this professional. Rabbi Greenblatt told me that the testimony of this professional became the basis of the Heter Tamar received.

So Rabbi Kamenetsky's involvement was critical to the issuance of the Heter. In fact, the Heter might not have come about except for the Kamenetskys supplying to Rabbi Greenblatt the contact info for the mental health professional.

Rabbi Dovid Feinstein's Bais Din determined that Tamar's remarriage was not permitted, as I mentioned above. Two years have passed since I notified Rabbi Hillel David by telephone and Rabbi Dovid Feinstein (both sat on the Bais Din) via email that Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky has not told Tamar Epstein to separate from her second husband, Adam Fleischer. This is despite both Rabbis Kamenetsky giving the world the impression that they adhere to the decision of the Feinstein Bais Din, a Bais Din that was convened for one and only one reason: to determine Tamar Epstein's marital status and issue a ruling for Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky, and Rabbi Kamenetsky alone.

Furthermore, the Feinstein Bais Din never ordered Tamar Epstein and Adam Fleischer to separate.

In conclusion, Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky is your Gadol. The man is a liar. And he facilitated the ongoing Halachic adultery of Tamar Epstein. He has it within his power to stop the Halachic adultery, and does not. He thus carries the sin. And so does the Feinstein Bais Din. Rabbi Kamenetsky is a Rasha. Rabbi Dovid Feinstein is fitting to be put in Nidui.

I admire that you will read all this and still maintain that the Rosh Yeshiva in Philadelphia is someone I should recognize as the greatest Gadol in America.

I will not do so. In no way does that diminish my respect for you. As long as I have strength, I will continue this fight against those who tear down the Halacha. And I will do it precisely out of my respect for you and other Jews.

You deserve better Gadolim than Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky and his son Rabbi Shalom Kamenetsky who is reportedly designated to one day to become the next head of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of the Agudath Israel of America.

Sincerely,
Joe Orlow

What Mental Health Professionals Say About Cures for Mental Disease


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From: softwinemarket <softwinemarket@gmail.com Joe Orlow>
Date: Tue, Jul 10, 2018 at 11:11 AM


An abstract analysis of Rabbi Nota Greenblatt's basis for granting Heterim

Rabbi Greeblatt writes in a letter published elsewhere on this blog a statement about mental health. He seems to assume that mental health professionals have an agreed upon list of mental illnesses. I assume he is referring to the contents of the DSM. He writes, if I understand him correctly, that the professionals have agreed upon which of these conditions are curable, and which are incurable.

I do not think that this is the case. I am not going to prove that here. I will say that the burden of proof is on Rabbi Greenblatt to demonstrate that his assertion is true. As far as I can tell, mental health professionals tend to talk in terms of treating mental illness, not curing it. Cf. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/braintalk/201408/cure-mental-illness%3famp



Rabbi Greenblatt basically told me the following. Say a doctor diagnoses a man with an incurable mental illness, determines the illness pre-existed the man's marriage, and is confident that the man's wife was unaware of the condition at the time of marriage. Those circumstances are the basis for a Heter to annul a marriage.

Taken to a logical extreme, they are also the basis to effectively uproot the laws of Gittin.

Any woman can go to a psychiatrist and manipulate the psychiatrist into diagnosing her with an incurable, pre-existing, mental illness. Then, the woman can go to Rabbi Greenblatt, and ask him to annul her marriage. He will determine that it is unlikely her husband would have wanted to marry her if he had known she had such a mental illness.

For example, the woman could state to a psychiatrist that before she met her husband she was "hearing voices", feeling alternatively "depressed" for several weeks and "maniacal" for several weeks, and had an intense desire to kill herself. She can say she hid all this from her husband and/or all these conditions disappeared when she met her husband only to have them recur after the marriage; that is, she can say she is now back to hearing voices, the cycle of depression and mania, and having suicidal thoughts.

The below from Dr. Stephen Seager M.D. discusses cures for mental illnesses. 

Joe Orlow
A Cure for Mental Illness by Dr. Stephen Seager M.D.
So what.
Posted Aug 15, 2014

magine we had a cure for mental illness. Today. Right Now. Imagine we had a pill, a “magic bullet,” that, if taken on a daily basis, would eliminate the voices, delusions and cognitive difficulties of schizophrenia, the mood swings and psychosis of bipolar disorder and the grinding depths of depression. What would that world look like? How would things change? Would it be the ultimate day, so longed and hoped for? The end of millennia of suffering? Maybe. Maybe not.

In the July 11, 2014 issue of Psychiatric Times, Dr. Thomas R Insel MD, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH,) address this hypothetical issue and draws some salient, if disturbing conclusions. Insel compares the situation of a potential cure for mental illness to that of the current situation with HIV/AIDS treatment. Recent advances, primarily in Antiretroviral Therapy (ART), have changed AIDS from a certain death sentence to a treatable chronic illness with a near-normal life expectancy. Despite this, however, fully 75% of persons infected with the HIV virus do not have complete access to treatment. They either do not participate in care, get partially treated or drop out of treatment for various reasons: side effects, cost, they don’t feel “sick” anymore.

What does this mean? I think it means that regardless of any scientific breakthroughs looming on the horizon, the treatment for mental illness tomorrow, will look pretty much like it does today. Mentally ill persons will still need a coordinated team of professionals to deliver adequate care. We will still need psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, financial assistance programs, outreach teams and crisis intervention. There will still be sticky court cases regarding “forced” treatment. Psychiatric hospitals, outpatient offices and emergency rooms will still be there.

Whether this is good news or bad depends upon your perspective. But I think it allows the scientific inquiry into mental illness to proceed full speed without a diminution in the role for the other members of a patient’s treatment team. It appears that as long as human beings with a chronic illness continue to act like human beings, we will see things in the mental health field continue pretty much as they are.

Unless, of course, a vaccine is developed that prevents mental illness entirely. But that’s a topic for another day.

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Greatest Disciple of Moshe Rabbeinu and His Failures


Yehoshua and Moshe Rabbeinu
Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn

We find an incredible teaching about Yehoshua ben Nin, the disciple of Moshe Rabbeinu who led the conquest of Israel after the Exodus from Egypt. The Tanchuma[1] earlier shows how Moshe was told by HaShem that he was not to lead the Jews into Israel, but would be given the privilege of seeing the land before his death, which was imminent. Moshe then immediately launched a war with the Midianites who had caused many Jews to sin with their women so that a huge amount of Jews were punished with death by HaShem. It would seem that Moshe’s senior disciple, Yehoshua, would follow in his rebbe’s path, and that he, too, would launch wars to conquer Israel as fast as possible, even if by so doing he may somehow shorten his own life. This was after all the way Moshe did. Moshe could have delayed the war with Midian until he lived a few years longer, but he did not. He flung himself into the war, knowing that he would die immediately afterwards, and thought only of serving HaShem. But it seems that Yehoshua had different concerns. He thought that only be dragging out the conquest of Israel would he merit a long life, and for this he was punished that Moshe lived 120 years and Yehoshua only 110.
In fact, the Jews had always tormented Moshe, and even HaShem, saying they wanted to go back to Egypt and not go to Israel, (the men, that is, but the woman demanded to go to Israel as the Medrash teaches, a Medrash we have produced in a recent piece.) If so, it is very strange that Yehoshua, who was a faithful servant of Moshe for so many years, when becoming the successor of Moshe, should reverse this and drag out the conquest of the holy land, perhaps the most important thing that any Jewish king ever did.
Furthermore, we find that Yehoshua had no sons. If he had a son, it was possible and even likely he would have succeeded his father. Perhaps this too was a punishment for his lack of urgency to conquer the holy land for the Israelites.
Another problem is that the great rabbis who succeeded Moshe, such as Yehoshua and others, were not so interested in insisting that the Jewish residents in Israel learn the Torah properly. What these great Jewish leaders did was to go to a few cities easy for them to reach, but to spread their reach so that all Jews would learn how to behave in Israel, they did not do. This led eventually that Jews of the majority of the Jewish cities did not know the Torah and the will of HaShem properly.
 It is also known that the Jews in the early times of the first settlement of Israel regularly turned their back on HaShem and worshipped idols. Would this have happened if the senior rabbis of the generation had taught everyone the entire Torah and drilled it into everyone with a strict series of classes in every city of the Holy Land? Thus, the plan of Joshua to minimize the conquest of Israel and leave it in the hands of the pagans had a role in the eventually paganization of the Israelites who delayed conquering the land because of Yehoshua.
The failure of Yehoshua is followed in the Medrash Tanchuma there with the tragedy of the tribes who noticed that the first land conquered by Moshe for Israel was perfect for raising animals. They received permission from Moshe to go there on the condition that they first lead the Jews to conquer Israel, and they agreed and kept their word. They then returned and established their communities. These communities were the first Jews to be driven away from Israel when pagans conquered the Israelites in latter generations. The Medrash says specifically that their love of money, produced by the many animals that grew there in the earliest conquests of the Jews under Moshe, caused them to be driven away from Israel before the rest of the Jews, who came to Jewish lands that did not produce so many animals and wealth, but theirs’ was a holier land than the land that produced the wealth and the animals.
We thus have a sad story of failure and destruction, which had a strong source in Yehoshua and his determination to live longer by prolonging the conquest of the Holy Land.
To my knowledge this failure of Yehoshua is unique. Here was the major and unique disciple of G‑d’s close friend Moshe, who, at the great moment of conquering Israel quickly for Israel and teaching the Jews, not money and farming, but Torah, failed. How tragic was his failure. It set up the habit of the Jewish people living in the early generations of the Holy Land to be missing in knowing Torah properly and missing in knowing and HaShem properly, until Jewish history became a catastrophe of paganism, wicked kings, pagan women marrying Jewish kings, beginning with Shlomo HaMelech who married the daughter of Pharoah who taught him how to worship idols.
And why? Because the greatest disciple of Moshe wanted to live a longer life, something that was denied to him, along with the greatness of Israel which became a settlement filled with paganism and lost Jews.
The Mishneh at the end of Sota talks about the decline of the Jewish people in the Second Temple period, the gradual decline of the rabbinate, and the sad story of the loss of the level of Torah to the Jewish people through the generations and the destructions. It concludes about a new period, called Footsteps of the Moshiach. It is a period where Moshiach waits to be revealed but we find evil that never existed in the world. “A son fights with his father, a bride with her husband’s mother…and there is nowhere to be saved other than our Father in Heaven.” Reb Elchonon Wasserman zt”l, the leading disciple of the Chofetz Chaim explained that this Mishneh is the bottom of all bottoms, but HaShem is watching, and is prepared to reveal Moshiach and turn the world into a much better and holier place. This, however, requires that we turn to Him, because only He can change things.


[1] Tanchuma in Bamidbar the Sedra of Matose page 95 in section two of the book.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Wife and Marital Relations


Marital Relations

By Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn

The gemora in Nedarim 20A brings four kinds of damaged children born from parents whose marital relations lacked modesty. The gemora on the next page 20b reverses this by saying that “a person may do with his wife whatever he chooses.”

The problem is that the previous gemora that blamed immodest marital behavior for producing four kinds of very sick children claimed that the rabbis who said this were “administering angels” the highest form of angels, who were much greater than human beings. If so, the rabbis who argued with these holy rabbis were less than they were, and the law is surely not like those rabbis, but rather, we would accept the thoughts of the rabbis whose holiness made them to be as the administering angels. Furthermore, rabbis so holy as to be as wise as administering angels surely knew more about the formation of children than the rabbis who were less knowledgeable, who had no title to know angelic matters.

Furthermore, the idea that a rabbi who prized marital modesty would make such a bold statement as “a person may do with his wife whatever he chooses” is amazing. And to believe that a person who speaks this way is greater than rabbis who are so holy that they resemble administering angels, is incredible. Yes, the rabbis who disagree with the rabbis who were as administering angels were the greatest rabbis of the Talmud, Rebbe and Rav, but still, their bold statement of turning people loose to do in marital intimacy whatever they want to do is incredible, especially as the gemora quoting them strongly blocks this idea by advising people to abstain from a lot of marital relations. Something is missing here, something very important. This is reinforced by the fact that ladies complained to these great rabbis about the way they were mistreated by their husbands, and the rabbis replied, “What is the difference between you and a fish?” meaning that just as a person may eat a fish with any style of cooking it, the same applies to one’s wife. That is astonishing in the extreme.

Let us return to the statement of the rabbis who disagreed with the rabbis who were as the administering angels. “Anything that a man wants to do with his wife, let him do it. This is similar to a piece of meat that comes from the butcher store. If he wants, he eats it with salt, or fried, or cooked, and the same applies to buying a fish.” But are the greatest rabbis of the Talmud saying that treating a wife is like cooking a fish or a piece of meat? Is it not incredible to insult women like this? We can infer that rabbis even great ones have absolutely no respect for women, or else, we can be honest and say that such a statement requires some serious study, because the Talmud clearly honors women greatly. Let us first establish this, and then, only then, can we attempt to answer our problem with this gemora.

How do we know that the Talmud greatly honors women? First of all, there is a gemora in Berochose, the first volume of the Talmud, that says as follows:[1] “Greater is the trust that HaShem has trusted women more than his trust for men, as it is said, ‘Hear my Voice women of trust, hearken to My words.’”

One of the great classics of the Talmud in Medrash, or studies of the biblical text, is the Tanchuma. We find there in the Torah portion of Pinchas where five women petitioned Moses, the assembled Jewish leaders and senior rabbis, in front of the entire assemblage of Israel, to give them the land owned by their father, because he died and left no sons. G‑d responded to this and ordered that they be given the father’s possessions. This is stated clearly in the Torah[2].

The Medrash Tanchuma then states, “In that generation (of Moses) the women were strong in believing in G‑d, but the men were sinners. We find that Aharon, when pressed by the Egyptian sorcerers among the Israelites at Sinai, who, together with the Jewish Israelite men, were sure that Moses had gone to heaven after the Giving of the Torah by G‑d and died there. Therefore, the sorcerers pressured Aharon to take gold from their hands, because they knew that if he did, it could turn into a Golden Calf that could talk, and inform the Jews that it was the new god for the Jews. When a prominent Jew opposed this, they killed him. And no Jewish men stood up to this idolatry. The men, as a matter of fact, gave huge sums of golden material for the idol, but the women refused to give anything. They had trust in G‑d and did not believe the sorcerers that Moses was dead and it was time to seek a new god. THE WOMEN DID NOTHING TO MAKE THE GOLDEN CALF.”

The Medrash continues, “We find the same difference between men and women regarding the disaster of the senior Jewish princes of the twelve tribes of Israel, who went to Israel to spy it out and returned saying that HaShem cannot bring the Jews to Israel because of the strength of the gentile nations that lived there. But the women trusted in G‑d that He was stronger than those nations, as they had seen, that Moses had personally killed the great giants who protected several of these nations, and had destroyed their armies and divided their conquered territories among the Jews coming into Israel. The women believed what they saw and defied the men by not joining the masses of men who called for the Jews to defy G‑d by returning to Egypt and forgetting about ever going to live in Israel. Rather the women demanded a portion in Israel after the Jews would succeed in conquering it, something they were sure would happen, unlike the men who rebelled against G‑d.”

The Medrash continues, “Therefore, this portion [about the piety of the five ladies] is written in the Torah right after the death of the prophetess Miriam. She saved Moses when he was cast into the river by the Egyptians. From that we see that the men rebelled against G‑d and the women trusted in Him.” The Medrash is not clear in how Miriam was involved in this, but it is indicated in the story of the Jews leaving Egypt and crossing the sea miraculously, where the men stood and sang a song of praise to G‑d, but Miriam gathered all of the women who took musical instruments they had brought with them from Egypt, formed a huge circle, and danced to celebrate the miracle of salvation from the destroyed Egyptian army. The key to that victory was the Jewish women’s faith in G‑d. The men did not bring musical instruments from Egypt, but rather swords. They did not believe that G‑d would save the Jews, but only that the Jews would save themselves with their swords. And when G‑d wiped out the Egyptian army, the Jewish men without any musical instruments, and with no dancing or song, only recited some praise for the divine miracle, but nothing compared to what Miriam did with the women, who danced and sang in a great circle playing the musical instruments they had brought from Egypt, because they trusted in G‑d to save them from the Egyptians. From this we see that the women were superior to the men in their trust in G‑d, as taught in the gemora above and the Medrash we quoted.

All of this is very nice and completely correct, but actually, it makes our problem with the above gemoras even more problematic. How, after all of this, did the men have the right to do what they wanted with their wives, when the wives protested this as insulting or painful? Does not the Torah and the gemora command men “let him make his wife rejoice” meaning, a man must sacrifice his own happiness to make his wife happy[3]. If so, how could men insult women who did not want them to do certain things that could be quite painful? This is a major problem.

We could explain this by quoting the entire passage there about one who must make his wife happy. It says, “When a man takes a new wife, he should not go out with the army, no duty should befall him for any reason. For one year he should be completely bound up with his house, and he should make the wife that he took rejoice.” Note that the entire passage tells us a behavior for the first year of marriage, not anything afterwards. If so, we could say that just as the passage tells us to bring joy to the wife, and as Rashi and the Zohar explain, it means he must make his wife rejoice, not together with him, but separately, even if he is not happy by making he happy. The key is to make the wife, not himself, happy, for the first year. If so, we can say that the passage in Rambam and Shulchan Aruch that a man can do whatever he wants in marital relations with his wife, does not apply to the first year, because then his whole concern is to make her rejoice, and causing her unhappiness with certain marital experiences is surely not to be done the first year. But subsequently, after the first year, if the husband has already shown the wife his great love for her that cancels his own needs, even if he has to spend money on her that he needed for himself, as Rashis Chochmo explains, then the husband may have whatever marital pleasures he really needs with his wife, less he be tempted to sleep with a strange woman. And the wife, realizing this, suffers somewhat and she may go to great rabbis to protest, but the husband must protect himself from going to strange women, even if he has to, after the first year, do things to her that she doesn’t like.

To explain this, we have to go to the source of the statement of that gemora, and quote the entire piece. We find it in the Shulchan Aruch Aruch Chaim 25:2 and the Rambam in Isurei Biah 21:9 who say essentially the same things, so we quote Rambam here: “A man’s wife is permitted to him. Therefore, whatever a man wants to do with his wife, let him do it. He may have relations with her whenever he wants to, and he may kiss her in any part of her body that he so desires, he may sleep with her normally [in the front] or the other way [in the back] as long as he does not emit seed that goes to waste. Nonetheless, it is a sign of piety when a person does not do these things whenever he wants to, but rather sanctifies himself during intimacy…”

This is incredible. It says that the Torah completely permits all of this anytime and anywhere in the woman, and then he says that piety request us, but does not demand from us, that we not do these things, but display a more modest approach to intimacy, unlike the “what difference between women and a fish” taught in the gemora above.

Something is very much out of place, and we must find it.

The answer is as follows. Let us look carefully at the words in the Rambam, which are the words of the Shulchan Aruch, and the true meaning of the very strange gemora about women being fish and meat.

The missing idea is this: A Jewish man has usually only one wife, although in past and long gone generations a man could have more than one wife. But this was rare, even in ancient times. Now, a man with one wife, sometimes is as the “administering angels” meaning, now, something different than what we said before. We said before it means he was as angels who knew about babies and what makes them to be born with blemishes. But now we explain it as something else. A rabbi like the administering angels is a rabbi who has no understanding of the excitement of all kinds of sex. That is an advanced level of holiness, not available for most people, not even for most rabbis. And since most rabbis don’t have this perfection of holiness, they have active evil inclinations, which can very easily connect with a pretty woman with the worse sins. Nearly all men have this imperfection and are not angelic at all, but rather, are endangered by any sight of a pretty woman. The only protection for most men, even great rabbis, is to have the kind of open intimacy with their wives which may not please the wives so much as to completely satisfy the husband, who eats his “fish and meat” and is completely satisfied. The wife may not be totally pleased, and she may even go to the greatest rabbis and complain that her husband did this to her or that to her in intimacy, but if the husband has a choice of doing that or doing it with another women who may be somebody else’s wife, and produce mamzerim, we know why the Rambam and the Shulchan Aruch clearly emphasize the freedom of the man to do what he needs to protect himself from sinning with other women.

We can understand this from the basic language of the Rambam. “All that a man wants to do with his wife, he should do it.” That means exactly what it says. A man has a need for his wife for a certain kind of intimacy. If the husband desires to do this act with his wife, and the wife doesn’t do it with him, for whatever reason, either because she refuses to do it, or he refuses to do it, the desire of the husband doesn’t disappear. It would appear when the husband notices the wrong woman, who may be married to somebody else, but who likes this husband as he likes her. To protect the husband, and his family from disaster, the husband is commanded to do what he wants to do with other women only with his own wife, not with a strange woman, and thus be satisfied in a proper way, and not to feel a need for other women. Because any man who has any kind of sexual need that is not available from his wife for whatever reason, is one step away from Gehenum. So he is not on the level of the administering angels, and is ready to go to a hot place. To save himself and his family, he is told: Do it with your wife. Don’t live in danger.

And the wife must accept this, as if she was a fish or a piece of meat. Better an insult than to find out that her husband is sleeping with a woman married to somebody else, besides her, his own wife.

We now return to the great question that the passage in the Torah instructs a Jewish man “and make your wife happy” which means, as Rashi and the Zohar explain, that he is to make his wife happy even if it costs him his own happiness. He must make her happy, not together with him, but only for her. If so, we surely have a problem with treating his wife like a fish or a piece of meat. What about the mitsvah “and he shall make his wife happy?” What happiness is there in suffering physically and emotionally by being a fish or piece of meat?

But this passage “and he shall make his wife happy” is considered by the Zohar as talking about the first year of marriage, and indeed that is clearly stated in the passage that requires making the wife happy. The first year of marriage must be dedicated not to the passions of the husband but to making his wife happy, not making himself happy. Therefore, if the first year in marriage the husband refrains from certain appetites in intimacy, and yes, this could be a problem, nonetheless, the first year is devoted to one thing, making the wife, not the husband happy. Afterwards, when the husband for the first year has shown the wife his great love for her, despite his inner problems with his biological drives, the wife can more readily accept his love for her, which she clearly witnessed the entire first year, and accept whatever the husband requires to maintain his holiness in marriage. Thus, the first year the husband may refuse his biological appetites in intimacy, to make his wife truly happy with him, even though he may not be happy himself with this making his wife happy and not himself. But after the first year, we do not allow the husband to deny his appetites with his wife, because if he does that, he is endangering himself to end up sleeping with a strange woman. That surely is not what the wife wants. Better for her to be a fish or a piece of meat, but to have a husband who does not sleep with other women, even women married to another man.









[1] Berochose 17A
[2] Bamidbar chapter 27 from passages 1-21
[3] Devorim 24:5