Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Tragedy of Women Married with Kiddushin Who Can't Escape Their Husband and They Want a GET: Is it Time for Pilegesh, a True Marriage where People Can Leave without Penalty or Pressure?



To Force a Husband to Divorce His Wife
By Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn

The Rashbo[1] tells us about two wives who demanded a GET because they were fed up with their husbands. One husband was unable to have children, and the wife wanted a child. The other husband was a regular husband perhaps having children, but the wife didn’t like him at all. The Rashbo says that there are three rulings. First of all, neither of the wives can force a GET from the husband. Rarely, such as when a husband marries somebody forbidden to marry him, the Beth Din can force him to divorce her. This force can be physical. But such is rare.
Second of all, the husband who cannot have children is obligated by the gemora to give his wife a GET. This obligation is not a Torah power, but a lesser rabbinic power. Furthermore, we are limited in the pressures we may make on him. It is forbidden to put him in Nidui, to humiliate him, or to use physical force to force a GET on the husband. We can, however, tell him that the gemora must be obeyed and if he refuses to give his wife a GET he is considered wicked. This is based on the teaching of the gemora in Shabbos 40A that one who violates a rabbinic law may be called a wicked person.
Thirdly of all, the Rashbo says that a husband whose wife complains that she wants a GET has no obligation to obey her. “If he wants to, he gives a GET. And if he doesn’t want to, he doesn’t give a GET.” This ruling is quoted heavily in the Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer Laws of Kesubos chapter 77. In paragraph 3 in the Ramo we find it. In paragraph 2 in the Shulchan Aruch the Beis Yosef, the mechaber, quotes the Rashbo. The Vilna Gaon writes there[2] that the majority of Rishonim forbid coercing a GET from a husband. He then states that today everybody agrees that a husband generally cannot be forced to give a GET.
The Beis Shmuel, considered the outstanding commentator on Shulchan Aruch by the Maharsham[3], also quotes the Rashbo: “If the husband wants to divorce, fine but he is not to be pressured.” The Chelkas Mechokake there goes further and says, “If a man is pressured or forced to give a GET and his wife remarries after her husband was forced to divorce her, we force her to divorce the new husband.” Thus not one commentator disagrees with the Rashbo that a husband cannot be forced or pressured to divorce his wife, unless there are extreme circumstances such as the husband marrying somebody who is forbidden for him to marry. Rabbeinu Tam quoted by the Shita Mekubetses in Kesubose 64A says that Beth Din should not even suggest that a divorce would be a good thing.
The Chazon Ish[4] states that when a person is not from the small minority of men who may be forced to divorce their wives, and he goes to a Beth Din that mistakenly tells him that he is obligated by the Torah to divorce his wife, then the GET he makes is invalid for two reasons: One, it was a GET  given by force as the Beth Din’s instruction are ONESS or force. Two, since the rabbis made a mistake to order the GET, it is a GET given by mistake. These two reasons make the GET invalid by the strong level of the Torah, not merely a rabbinical level.
The great problem is that our wives marry with Kiddushin, and cannot leave the marriage without the husband’s approval. This has made some women irreligious, and many women bitter. Therefore, some rabbis will encourage the woman to force the husband to give a GET. This is wrong and results usually in the GET being forced and invalid. If the woman remarries with an invalid GET and has a child, the child is a mamzer, at least most of the time. This problem of women becoming Agunose is growing worse with time, especially when so many rabbis violate the Torah and encourage the forcing of the husband to divorce. As time goes on, more and more rabbis encourage invalid and forced Gittin. More and more women refuse the suffering of an Agunah. When will it end?
The idea that a woman comes to the Chupah and takes Kiddushin, in an era where so many women regret their marriage, is frightening. What can be done in an age where divorces are growing and everyone marries with Kiddushin? But should the woman marry without Kiddushin?
A woman who marries with the understanding that she cannot leave her husband unless he dies or gives her a GET, is a candidate for Kiddushin. But how long can the resolution last until she finally collapses and goes to a rabbi who will force her husband to give a GET? That number is growing constantly.
I therefore say as follows. If a woman is ready to give up her happiness forever with a husband she does not like, let her take Kiddushin. But if she is not sure (and who is sure about this), she may not want to take Kiddushin. But to live alone is wrong. Therefore, the only solution for the large number of women who are not ready to be Agunose their whole lives, is something else. It is called marrying with Pilegesh. Pilegesh simply means that a real marriage exists. But there are not in Pilegesh the chains that bind Agunose. Anyone husband or wife can leave anytime.
But is Pilegesh permitted? Pilegesh is discussed in the very beginning of the laws of Kiddushin in the Shulchan Aruch 26:1. The Vilna Gaon there quotes a gemora in Sanhedrin 21A that a Pilegesh has no Kiddushin and no Kesubo. But it is obvious that Pilegesh is accepted by the gemora. There are those who disagree with the gemora, but that is the halacha. But even if there are those who forbid Pilegesh, since there are many who permit it, such as Ramban and Yayvets, who are strongly for Pilegesh, and the gemora permits it, it surely is appropriate for anyone who fears becoming an Agunah. Because this fear can turn a woman into a forcer of her husband to give a GET and the making of mamzerim. Therefore, anyone who is not sure about living the life of an Agunah, should marry with Pilegesh. If anyone wants me to deal with their marriage as Pilegesh, call me at 845-578-1917 or write me at eidensohnd@gmail.com.


[1] Volume VII:414
[2] Comment #5
[3] IV:73
[4] Gittin 99:2 D”H יש לעיין

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

ORA Makes Mamzerim

The Halacha of Gittin and ORA’s

Mamzerim 

By Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn

Blog www.torahhalacha.blogspot.com


Shalom, I am Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn. My blog mentioned above presents halacha with sources. We show that many people involved with Gittin don’t know halacha. They therefore invent reasons to force a GET and torture husbands that violate the Shulchan Aruch. These mistakes create invalid Gittin and eventually mamzerim. Here is an example of Rabbi Jeremy Stern speaking to YU seniors, encouraging people to do things that produce mamzerim. Let us see how. 

First, the effort by Stern in regular text. My comments and criticism of Stern are in bold italics, with sources from Shulchan Aruch and Rishonim and Acharonim. 

Rabbi Jeremy Stern, of ORA, Speaks to Seniors

By admin On May 24, 2013

by Shlomo Anapolle (’13)

This past Thursday, Rabbi Jeremy Stern from ORA, the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot, delivered a presentation to Seniors regarding a major issue facing our community, the issue of Agunot. There are two ways that a woman can become an Agunah. One is when her husband withholds a […]  [My critical comment – Why is Jeremy Stern permitted to address the seniors of Yeshiva University about Gittin, which is a very sensitive and crucial halacha that belongs with people who have intense knowledge of halacha and have studied under Gedolei HaDor. We will show that his entire program is based upon not halacha but emotional and perhaps false sources. And why is it that only Jeremy Stern is allowed to speak to YU seniors about his opinions? I feel it is only proper that rabbis who know what they are talking about be allowed to talk to the seniors at YU. And if not, we will continue with our war with Jeremy Stern and classify it as a war against all those who honor Stern and establish programs for him to spread his lies. Yes, this is war. It is not against Jeremy Stern who is a young man in YU where people approve of his lies. It is a war against YU itself for their encouraging him.]

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by Shlomo Anapolle (’13)

This past Thursday, Rabbi Jeremy Stern from ORA, the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot, delivered a presentation to Seniors regarding a major issue facing our community, the issue of Agunot. There are two ways that a woman can become an Agunah. One is when her husband withholds a Get from her, and she is then not able to remarry. The more classical one, found in the Gemara, is when a man disappears and it is unclear whether or not he has died. For example, if a man traveled overseas by ship, fell overboard, and was not found after that. Because there is a degree of doubt  as to whether or not he survived, then his wife may not remarry because he may still be alive. Today, most of the Agunot cases fall under the first category. Rabbi Stern presented us with two current examples of this type of case: Steve Scher from Roanoke, Virginia and Aharon Friedman from Silver Spring, MD. [My critical comment. Aharon Friedman is backed by the Beth Din of Baltimore. His wife is a tramp who remarried without a GET. If she has a child from the other man the child will be a mamzer. And Jeremy Stern feels that the evil one is not the tramp lady whose wealthy mother spend big money so gangsters since arrested by the police would beat up Aharon Friedman. The evil one is Aharon Stern who has strong support from the Baltimore Beth Din. May I ask what Beth Din backs Jeremy Stern? Is it the YU personality who suggested beating up husbands and perhaps worse things, and who suggested killing a senior Israeli official because he wanted to make peace with the Arabs in Israel?]

Regarding both cases, we heard and saw conversations and demonstrations organized against these husbands in order to try and pressure them to give a Get. However, both have been still been withholding for close to 10 years now, as these issues are very hard to deal with, and require much pressure to make the husbands cave in. [My critical comment. “We heard and saw conversations and demonstrations organized against these husbands in order to try and pressure them to give a GET”. Demonstrations against a husband are designed to force him to give a GET. But such a forced GET is forbidden in the Shulchan Aruch. See Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer chapter 77 par 2-3. All of the poskim forbid forcing a GET, the Shulchan Aruch Beis Yosef, the Ramo, the Vilna Gaon, the Beis Shmuel and the Chelkas Mechokake, with no exceptions. The source for these forbidding a forced GET is the Rashbo in teshuva volume VII:414 who describes different husbands when the wife demanded a GET and says that we never force the husband to divorce his wife. What is Jeremy’s source to permit forcing a husband to give a GET? Who does he have who disagree with the Rashbo, and all of the authors and commentators of the Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer?]

Rabbi Stern then provided a modern day solution: a halachic prenuptial agreement. He showed us two examples of these documents, which are legally binding in the secular court system as well. The document requires the husband to pay the wife $150 per day from the day they separate until he gives her the Get. Rabbi Stern told us that 100% of the couples that have signed this agreement and have needed a divorce have given the Get and not had to pay.

To quote Rabbi Stern, “The reason one would make this type of agreement is to show to his wife-to-be that because he loves her so much, he doesn’t want there to be the possibility of hurting her down the line in case of disagreements.” Therefore, Rabbi Stern encouraged all of us to spread the word about this prenuptial agreement and help and make it a standard in our communities.

[My critical comment. If the prenup is kosher, why is it not mentioned at all in the Shulchan Aruch? Who mentions it anywhere? Somebody did dig deeply to find somebody, anybody, who believes in a prenup. It seems he found a source where a major Torah personality believed in prenups. The source is Nachalas Shiva (page 33 in my volume), a very prominent Sefer from a prominent Gaon of the past generations. There is written that if a wife is mistreated by her husband until she flees from him to her father’s house, the couple must come to Beth Din to straighten things out. If the Beth Din is not immediately available so that the wife must tarry a while in the father’s house, the husband must give her each month she is away from him a certain amount of money to cover the cost of her food at her father’s house. When the Beth Din enters the picture the wife will return to the house and everything will be straightened out.

            Question: Is this a prenup?  Is this a document that can force the husband to give a GET? Nobody in this case mentions a word about a GET. So this is surely not a source for a prenup. It is a source for paying for the wife’s food in her father’s house, until she is rescued by the Beth Din and returns to her home, as the Beth Din will not tolerate the husband mistreating her as he well knows. Thus, this is not a prenup that is designed to force a GET. It is a document to prevent a GET and save a marriage. This is not a prenup that produces for the wife huge sums of money that the husband cannot pay and must therefore give a GET. It is a document to pay a few dollars for a meals and it will end its payments when the Beth Din straightens thing out and the wife is back in the house.]

            Jeremy Stern writes, “The document requires the husband to pay the wife $150 per day from the day they separate until he gives her the Get. Rabbi Stern told us that 100% of the couples that have signed this agreement and have needed a divorce have given the Get and not had to pay.” [My comments on this: $150 a day is $4500 a month. In ten months it will be $45,000. In twenty months it will be #90,000. This the husband cannot pay. So he gives a GET. Is this similar to the case of the Nachlas Shiva? There the payment to the wife was only to cover her food in her father’s house, until the Beth Din takes over the case. Her food is surely not $150 a day. Jeremy notes that in all cases of those who signed a prenup the husband caved in and gave a GET. He was forced by the money involved. But paying for a wife’s food for a few weeks until the Beth Din takes over the case does not force a GET. Furthermore, the Nachlas Shiva’s case is seeking to return the wife to the husband to make Shalom. Jeremy’s case is the wife seeking to break the husband and force a GET. Therefore, we have no source anywhere to advertise as Jeremy does that all men should give prenups that will force them to give a GET immediately or any time when the wife demands a GET.

Furthermore, in Kesubose 63b Rabbeinu Tam proves that a woman cannot force a GET on her husband because if she could just get up and demand a GET and get rid of her husband we cannot believe her because “we fear that she wants to get rid of her husband and marry another man.” If so, since the prenup allows the woman to get rid of her husband whenever she so desires and marry somebody else, we cannot believe her in the first place. Thus, a prenup does not work as it is a forbidden document, because it is  forbidden to give the woman the power to force a GET and banish her husband so she can marry somebody else.

See Nedorim 90B that in earlier times a woman  could go to Beth Din and say that she has sinned with another man and thus may not be with her husband, and was believed and the husband had to give a GET. But later Beth Dins refused to believe her as they feared that she had the power to remove her husband and banish him and marry somebody else. We in latter generations suspect women of being ready to enable themselves to force the husband out of the house and then remarry a new husband. Because of this fear that she will banish her husband and take another husband, we refuse to believe her claims that could destroy the marriage. Thus, all prenups that can drive the husband out of the house and allow the wife to remarry are not acceptable, and the wife is not believed or empowered to use one. Again, a prenup is against this Mishneh and the pesak of Rabbeinu Tam in Kesubose mentioned before that “we fear that she has an interest in another man” and wants a GET from her husband to remarry. So prenups and claims that were once accepted that ended the marriage are no longer accepted, no matter what.

The Bottom Line from me, Dovid Eidensohn, is that a lot of people want to help women force a GET. I don’t blame Jeremy for starting this. I do however ask him personally to do what the other disciple of Hershel Schechter did, to check out my sources, and if they are clearly telling us that forcing a GET is forbidden, I want Jeremy to think about whether he wants to continue. And if he has found a source for his forcing of a GET, I ask him to please inform me of it.


Incidentally, the fellow who told me that Hershel Schechter quoted Gedaliah Schwartz as a source for forcing husbands to give a GET didn’t impress me. I once spoke to Gedaliah Schwartz and asked him why an Orthodox couple married in an Orthodox ceremony with Kiddushin and Chupa was sent away by him with no GET. He replied, “Because there was no Biah (marital intimacy).” Now, in my Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer the laws of Kiddushin 26:4 it says “A woman becomes married in three ways, with monetary value [like a ring] or with a document of marriage, or with Biah.” Each of these creates marriage without the other two. The Gedolim in their teshuva seforim discuss men giving a woman a gift and saying they are married, that this alone could create Kiddushin. Whoever doesn’t know this should not deal with Gittin.

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Quiet and Terrible Crisis of Orthodox Women and Mamzerim


By Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn

What is the Quiet and Terrible Crisis of Orthodox Women all about? If it is a terrible crisis, why is it quiet? And if it is quiet, how can it be terrible and nobody talks about it?
For those who read regularly my blog at torahhalacha.blogspot.com, the quiet and terrible crisis is not so quiet. Indeed, recently when I talk to people, they increasingly interrupt our conversation to talk about Pilegesh. And although the idea is new, they are usually brought around to my claims that Pilegesh alone can solve the quiet and terrible crisis of Orthodox women. But what is the quiet and terrible crisis in the first place?
Let us talk about a couple getting married in an Orthodox marriage ceremony. Everyone is happy. Perhaps the happiest one there is the new wife. She is the target of my post here. Because if her marriage sours, what can she do? She will ask her husband for a divorce. If he refuses, and she realizes that he has no intention to ever give her an Orthodox GET, her life is over with. She is referred to by many as an “Agunah”. 
An Orthodox woman who is in such a predicament may stop being religious. As more and more women fall into this category, more and more women are either ending their religious affiliation, or ignoring part of it. Therefore, some rabbis have taken to counsel them to force a GET from their husbands. In Jewish Law, a forced GET is invalid, and if the woman remarries with a forced GET that is invalid, she produces children that are usually mamzerim. When these children grow older and realize the terrible term associated with them, we have a problem. We want to know who encouraged the mothers to make mamzerim? This will lead to a war of rabbis. I refer to rabbis who force Gittin to “help” woman, as “mamzer makers.” When the mamzer grows up and confronts that rabbi…
The Orthodox rabbis rabbis who counsel women to get forced GETS, do this because very few people in America know well the laws of Gittin. I once asked a prominent rabbi who is a big name in Gittin, “Where are the laws about not forcing a GET on a husband?” He didn’t know. Why? Because he learned the laws of Gittin and made Gittin, but he did not learn the laws of Kesubose. In the laws of Kesubose, Even Hoezer 77 paragraphs 2 and 3, all of the major commentators agree that it is forbidden to force a GET on a husband simply because the wife demands a GET. If a Beth Din clarifies that the husband is one of the rare individuals who deserve a forced GET, that is something else. But just because the wife is upset with the husband is not adequate grounds to force him to divorce. Technical material on this is in some of the posts of my blog torahhalacha.blogspot.com. The major source of material on this is a lengthy response of one of the most senior Rishonim, the Rashbo in his teshuvo in volume VII:414. There he says that even a husband who is unable to have children for medical reasons and is commanded by the Talmud to give a GET, may not be put in Nidui, humiliated or physically forced. Such a husband may be told that he is wicked for not obeying the rabbinical decree mentioned in the Talmud, but unless he does something very terrible such as marrying a woman who is forbidden in marriage to him, there cannot be a forced GET.
The great rabbis of Israel have published a book recently describing the terrible sin of making a forced GET. Some women even go to secular court where some Orthodox people and even some rabbis have convinced the government to allow civil courts to force husbands to give a GET. This produces mamzerim, and one secular court has declared, {Marsi vs Marsi), that a secular court’s forcing of the husband to give a GET is unconstitutional. But other courts go full blast and force the GET. And from these GETS come remarriages with an invalid GET that produces mamzerim.
A prominent rabbi once told me that a man came to him to remarry. The rabbi asked him who made his Get and he said “Rabbi Gedaliah Schwartz said that I don’t need a GET.” The prominent rabbi wanted me to find out what this was all about and I called Gedaliah Schwartz and asked him about it. He openly told me that the couple came to him for a GET, but he told them that they did not need a GET. I asked him why this Orthodox couple who had an Orthodox Chupah and marriage could just leave without a GET. He replied there was no Biah. Now anyone who studies the laws of Kiddushin or marriage in the Shulchan Aruch turns to Even Hoezer chapter 26 paragraph 4. It says there that a woman can be Mekushes Married in three ways: If she receives something of monetary value like a ring she is married. If she accepts a document of marriage she is married. If she has marital relations (Biah) she is married.
Thus, marriage is consummated immediately when the husband gives the wife a ring and says “You are mekudeshes [married] to me.” Gedaliah Schwartz told a man and woman who had come for GET, that it was unnecessary, because there was no Biah (marital relations). But the ring itself without Biah created a complete state of marriage. So Schwartz is obviously ignorant of the most basic things a rabbi should know. And he is the head rabbi of the RCA Beth Din. Unfortunately, there are other ones, and they are listed in my blog on several posts at torahhalacha.blogspot.com.
What then is the solution? To marry with Kiddushin at a time when so many marriages spoil, is very dangerous. The woman may be ruined for ever as one who cannot remarry. Not to marry at all is unacceptable. What can an Orthodox woman do? There is only one solution. Pilegesh. In the Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer laws of Kiddushin chapter 26:1 we find a discussion about Pilegesh. One who studies the paragraph and the commentaries there find that Pilegesh can be acceptable and can be forbidden. The acceptable side is based on what the Vilna Gaon there in his commentaries says is an open gemora Sanhedrin 21A that “A Pilegesh has no Kiddushin and no Kesubo.” Otherwise, a Pilegesh is acceptable in marriage. And “no Kiddushin” means that the husband and wife can leave anytime with no pressure, punishment or worries.
 There is, however, a problem with Pilegesh that causes some to forbid it. In a community where everybody else gets regular Kiddushin, and almost nobody gets Pilegesh, people may assume that Pilegesh is either somebody like others who has Kiddushin, and if the marriage ends by the woman walking out of the house and declaring that she is out of the marriage, people who don’t know this or don’t know the laws of Piligesh may assume she is a sinner and that her children when she remarries without a GET are mamzerim. Another problem is that people married with Pilegesh may be refused use of the Mikveh, because they may mistakenly believe that Pilegesh is forbidden. The solution of this is that somebody who wants to do Pilegesh contact a rabbi who accepts Piligesh people in a positive way. The rabbi can try to get the Mikva approved for his Pilegesh people, and failing that, can attempt to put together the funds to make a separate Mikvah. There are often in a community men with private Mikvas because they go every day and have no time to run to the local Mikvah for men and spend the money there. Sometimes, a rabbi can determine if a private Mikvah is good for ladies and if it can be used once in a while.
At any rate, anyone interested in Pilegesh marriage can contact me at 845-578-19147. Anyone who makes a Pilegesh marriage with me being responsible will have a regular marriage with the exception that anyone can leave whenever they want with no penalties. Technically, there are in Pilegesh certain rules that I will not get involved with. I want a regular marriage with all of the proper things that go with that. I would prefer making a Beth Din that would insure that the couple was not married previously or was married and then divorced properly. It would also discover if the couple is appropriate for Pilegesh as some people may insult them. It is a new thing. But being a mamzer is an old thing. That is the choice for those who live today in the Quiet but Terrible Crisis of Orthodox marriage.

I conclude that the crisis is here but quiet, but just wait till the children created from invalid Gittin grow up, and are found to be of questionable parentage. That will not be a quiet crisis. Meanwhile, I do what I can. I have semicha from the Gaon Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l on my halacha work that “I know Rabbi Eidensohn for many years as one who delves deeply into complex halacha.” The Gaon Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashev zt”l stated orally that I may run a Gittin Beth Din under his name. Earlier, I studied intensely under the Gaon Rav Aharon Kotler zt”l to understand his Derech.

Monday, May 8, 2017

To Force a Husband to Divorce His Wife


By Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn

The Rashbo[1] tells us about two wives who demanded a GET because they were fed up with their husbands. One husband was unable to have children, and the wife wanted a child. The other husband was a regular husband perhaps having children, but the wife didn’t like him at all. The Rashbo says that there are three rulings. First of all, neither of the wives can force a GET from the husband. Rarely, such as when a husband marries somebody forbidden to marry him, the Beth Din can force him to divorce her. This force can be physical. But such is rare.
Second of all, the husband who cannot have children is obligated by the gemora to give his wife a GET. This obligation is not a Torah power, but a lesser rabbinic power. Furthermore, we are limited in the pressures we may make on him. It is forbidden to put him in Nidui, to humiliate him, or to use physical force to force a GET on the husband. We can, however, tell him that the gemora must be obeyed and if he refuses to give his wife a GET he is considered wicked. This is based on the teaching of the gemora in Shabbos 40A that one who violates a rabbinic law may be called a wicked person.
Thirdly of all, the Rashbo says that a husband whose wife complains that she wants a GET has no obligation to obey her. “If he wants to, he gives a GET. And if he doesn’t want to, he doesn’t give a GET.” This ruling is quoted heavily in the Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer Laws of Kesubos chapter 77. In paragraph 3 in the Ramo we find it. In paragraph 2 in the Shulchan Aruch the Beis Yosef, the mechaber, quotes the Rashbo. The Vilna Gaon writes there[2] that the majority of Rishonim forbid coercing a GET from a husband. He then states that today everybody agrees that a husband generally cannot be forced to give a GET.
The Beis Shmuel, considered the outstanding commentator on Shulchan Aruch by the Maharsham[3], also quotes the Rashbo: “If the husband wants to divorce, fine but he is not to be pressured.” The Chelkas Mechokake there goes further and says, “If a man is pressured or forced to give a GET and his wife remarries after her husband was forced to divorce her, we force her to divorce the new husband.” Thus not one commentator disagrees with the Rashbo that a husband cannot be forced or pressured to divorce his wife, unless there are extreme circumstances such as the husband marrying somebody who is forbidden for him to marry. Rabbeinu Tam quoted by the Shita Mekubetses in Kesubose 64A says that Beth Din should not even suggest that a divorce would be a good thing.
The Chazon Ish[4] states that when a person is not from the small minority of men who may be forced to divorce their wives, and he goes to a Beth Din that mistakenly tells him that he is obligated by the Torah to divorce his wife, then the GET he makes is invalid for two reasons: One, it was a GET  given by force as the Beth Din’s instruction are ONESS or force. Two, since the rabbis made a mistake to order the GET, it is a GET given by mistake. These two reasons make the GET invalid by the strong level of the Torah, not merely a rabbinical level.
The great problem is that our wives marry with Kiddushin, and cannot leave the marriage without the husband’s approval. This has made some women irreligious, and many women bitter. Therefore, some rabbis will encourage the woman to force the husband to give a GET. This is wrong and results usually in the GET being forced and invalid. If the woman remarries with an invalid GET and has a child, the child is a mamzer, at least most of the time. This problem of women becoming Agunose is growing worse with time, especially when so many rabbis violate the Torah and encourage the forcing of the husband to divorce. As time goes on, more and more rabbis encourage invalid and forced Gittin. More and more women refuse the suffering of an Agunah. When will it end?
The idea that a woman comes to the Chupah and takes Kiddushin, in an era where so many women regret their marriage, is frightening. What can be done in an age where divorces are growing and everyone marries with Kiddushin? But should the woman marry without Kiddushin?
A woman who marries with the understanding that she cannot leave her husband unless he dies or gives her a GET, is a candidate for Kiddushin. But how long can the resolution last until she finally collapses and goes to a rabbi who will force her husband to give a GET? That number is growing constantly.
I therefore say as follows. If a woman is ready to give up her happiness forever with a husband she does not like, let her take Kiddushin. But if she is not sure (and who is sure about this), she may not want to take Kiddushin. But to live alone is wrong. Therefore, the only solution for the large number of women who are not ready to be Agunose their whole lives, is something else. It is called marrying with Pilegesh. Pilegesh simply means that a real marriage exists. But there are not in Pilegesh the chains that bind Agunose. Anyone husband or wife can leave anytime.
But is Pilegesh permitted? Pilegesh is discussed in the very beginning of the laws of Kiddushin in the Shulchan Aruch 26:1. The Vilna Gaon there quotes a gemora in Sanhedrin 21A that a Pilegesh has no Kiddushin and no Kesubo. But it is obvious that Pilegesh is accepted by the gemora. There are those who disagree with the gemora, but that is the halacha. But even if there are those who forbid Pilegesh, since there are many who permit it, such as Ramban and Yayvets, who are strongly for Pilegesh, and the gemora permits it, it surely is appropriate for anyone who fears becoming an Agunah. Because this fear can turn a woman into a forcer of her husband to give a GET and the making of mamzerim. Therefore, anyone who is not sure about living the life of an Agunah, should marry with Pilegesh. If anyone wants me to deal with their marriage as Pilegesh, call me at 845-578-1917 or write me at eidensohnd@gmail.com.



[1] Volume VII:414
[2] Comment #5
[3] IV:73
[4] Gittin 99:2 D”H יש לעיין

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Challenges in Torah Marriage

A great part of the Torah Family and Marriage is marriage with Kiddushin and a Kesubo. Kiddushin is from the word "sacred" and involves a marriage that sanctifies husband and wife. But there is a price to for that sanctification. For the husband or wife to leave the marriage made by Kiddushin is a difficult process. The woman has a much greater problem as she cannot leave the marriage unless the husband dies or gives her a GET divorce paper willingly. If he is not willing and is forced to give it, the GET is invalid, and children from the next marriage are probably mamzerim.

In earlier generations women usually did not have independent sources of money so they had to stay with the husband no matter what. But today women work and don't need support. This leads to much conflict, and the husband may not give her a GET willingly so she is stuck, maybe forever. We have explained elsewhere that today this creates two situations unlike earlier generations. One is that a woman who is not religious enough to maintain Kiddushin no matter what may not marry with Kiddushin. Two, when certain rabbis want to "help" women in this difficulty by offering them invalid and forced GETS, if the woman accepts, she is a sinner, and her children by the next husband are usually mamzerim.
On the other hand a woman or even a man with biological needs not being met in marriage will likely find some sinning to do, which is a terrible thing. Therefore, a husband and wife must marry, but to marry with Kiddushin and not honor it is a terrible sin. What can be done?
I therefore have suggested a solution that is perfectly legal by the Torah. The husband and wife can marry without Kiddushin by accepting the level of Pilegesh, meaning they are married, and their children are perfectly acceptable like other children of Kiddushin, but with Pilegesh the husband and wife live together as long as they are both satisfied with the arrangement. When one wants to leave it is permitted and there is no hassle or sin. However, to have a proper Pilegesh marriage a rabbi should be involved who will instruct how to behave so that everything is completely kosher.
If somebody is so religious that they will maintain their religiosity with Kiddushin no matter what, perhaps they don't have to think about Pilegesh, but today, this is getting more and more rare, as so many rabbis and married people are forcing a GET from the husband.
In very early generations, such as the time of the Geonim who were many generations before Rashi and the authors of the Tosfose in the gemora, around the time of Islam's arrival, the rabbis permitted women to force a GET. Nobody knows what connection there is between this permission and Islam, but it happened. There were other periods when people felt that the rabbis had addressed a crisis by permitting a forced GET. Those days are gone.
The Talmud finally decided that the earlier power of women to declare they despised their husbands and could leave are gone The reason is based upon an ancient Mishneh that although in earlier times women were believed when they claimed they deserved a GET and sometimes it was forced upon the men, this changed in latter generations when we suspected women of lying so that they can find another husband that they wanted instead of their present husband. This is called "we fear that the woman has put her eye on another man" and wants to leave her husband by lying about her relations with him. This is the rule today. We no longer allow women to just walk out of a marriage despite her claims that the husband is awful, etc.
Rabbeinu Tam and the RI, the greatest rabbis of their time a bit after Rashi, maintain with proof, that the Talmud did not allow a woman to force her husband to give her a divorce based upon her claims against him. This is brought in Kesubose 63b in Tosofose beginning "But if she says MOUE OLEI". There Rabbeinu Tam says clearly that we fear that she will lie and find another husband that she prefers over her old husband.
Rabbeinu Tam proves this from the gemora there where the law of a woman who claims her husband is disgusting to her is discussed. The gemora wants to know if the woman is forced to remain with the husband, because as time goes on, perhaps things in the marriage will straighten out. Rabbeinu Tam asks, "If, as some believe, a woman can claim that her husband is disgusting to her and this causes the rabbis to force the husband to give a divorce, why is this ignored by the gemora? The gemora only asks if we force the wife who complains that the husband disgusts her to remain with him, but there is no discussion at all anywhere in the gemora that we should force the husband to give a GET. Perhaps at some time in history the great rabbis had to provide such a ruling, which is possible when all of the rabbis agreed to it, but the Talmud completely ignores is. In fact, the gemora states clearly that we fear that a woman will lie in order to free herself from her husband and find another husband "her eyes are upon another man." If so, it is obvious that no woman can force her freedom from a husband with a claim that he is disgusting to her. Only if a proper Beth Din determines that they personally know that certain bad actions have actually happened in the house do we then talk of a forced divorce by the husband. But this cannot be done just because the woman says that her husband is disgusting to her.

If somebody wants to discuss these matters with me I can be reached at 845-578-1917.
Dovid Eidensohn - Talmid of Geonim Reb Aharon Kotler, Reb Moshe Feinstein, and Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashev, all of them zt"l.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Selling Chomets to a non-Jew on Pesach: How? Text in Hebrew based upon Aruch HaShulchan YD 320:15




וזה לשון הערוך השלחן י"ד סימן ש"ך סעיף טו' וז"ל כל דבר שנהגו בו באותו מקום לקנות בו, אם הוא מנהג קבוע הוה קנין גם לענין בכור, כמ"ש בח"מ סימן ר"א. ולכן אם המנהג לקנות בערבין היינו באוף גאב שקורין זאדאטאק או שקונין בהאנט שלאק וכיוצא בזה אם הוא מנהג קבוע מהני ופטור מבכורה. ואם מהני מנהג במקום שע"פ הדין אינו מועיל כמו קנין בדבר שלא בא לעולם בארנו שם שיש מחלוקת ורוב דיעות ס"ל דמהני. וכן קנין על פי דינא דמלכותא מועיל. ולכן אם על פי דינא דמלכותא קונין מטלטלין בשטר כמו שהמנהג במדינתינו שמוכרין סחורה בקאנטראקט ועל פי דינא דמלכותא מועיל, מועיל גם בבכור. וכן בררנו שם דקנין דרבנן מועיל גם לדאורייתא ע"ש. וכל אלה הם רק לאחר פסיקת המקח. דקודם פסיקת המקח אין מועיל שום קנין כמ"ש עכ"ל

ומה שנוהגים לעשות כמה מיני קנין לא אדע אם זה טוב מן הדבר הפשוט והברור על ידי שטר העולה בדינא דמלכותא שהשיטות של תורה אין הגוי רגיל בהם ואיך יבין והם גורמים בילבול ואם הגוי לא מבין כל השיטות של התורה זהו לכאורה קילקול ולא תיקון. לכן לכאורה יותר טוב לעשות קנין פשוט שהוא מובן לגמרי להגוי ולא לומר לו כמה דברים שהוא לא מבין ומי יודע אם הבילבול יקלקל.


How to Get Married


The great problem for an increasing number of people is how to get married. There are many shadchonim. There are many programs for singles. But, as one of the experienced leaders of these groups told me, people are not marrying after a divorce, and many are divorced. The divorces cause such pain, such a drain of finances and energy and great struggles and hate, that getting married is a challenge that is not being used as much as we would like.

The Talmud and the Code of Laws tell us that marriage is something to be done at a young age. Then people are ready for it, but as they age, something changes, and it is harder to marry. But those of us who believe in the Torah as taught in the Talmud, know that marriage at a young age is the way to go.
My mentor Rabbi Dr. Shmuel Toledano of Israel, was a major Kabbalist. The senior Kabbalist in the world wrote about him that surely Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) possessed him to write his many books, usually very deep and lengthy books going into the words of the Vilna Gaon on Kabbala. Once I was visiting him, and I told him that I want a blessing for my children that they marry well and soon. I insisted that he sit down, while I mentioned each of my ten children, and he responded.
The first child was my oldest daughter. He heard her name and immediately blessed her. She married a major Torah scholar at the age of seventeen. Next was my son. Rabbi Toledano paused a bit before he answered. This son married into a prominent Torah family, but it took a bit longer.
When I heard the pause for my son, I thought, well, it won't be as fast as I would like, but I am going to try my best to make it fast. At any rate, things worked out nicely, Baruch HaShem.
A major master of helping people with their troubled marriages is Mort Fertel, author of Marriage Fitness. He is not a professional therapist, but thought through his own program, which seems to be much different than general therapeutic thought. He maintains that if you want a marriage based on love, you are making a mistake. People change as they get older and the love declines. What you should do, is to marry not out of love, but with commitment. That is, you see someone that you know has the proper traits you desire, but you have no special love for her. Marry her committed to the marriage, and the love will come of its own and last, says Mort. His rule is, “Love does not last, but commitment creates lasting love.”
In Yeshiva there was a fellow who was getting older but not getting married. I went over to him and asked him if he knew the phrase "hefsed merubo." Of course, he knew it. It meant "A great loss." That is, sometimes when there is a great loss a person has to do something that would ordinarily not be done. I asked him, "If you had married a few years ago, by now you would probably have children. Isn't that a great loss?" Not long after, he married.

If we find somebody with the right attitudes that we respect, and agree to commit to the marriage, there is hope that the children born will not be "hefsed merubo" but living and happy children who smile because of the commitment of their parents.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Kiddushin and Pilegesh


by Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn
The gemora in Sanhedrin 21A tells us that general marriage of Jews requires two things, Kiddushin and Kesubo. That is, the husband gives his wife a ring and tells her that she is hereby married to him. Once he does that, she can never be free of him unless he either dies or willingly gives her a GET, a bill of divorce. A Kesubo is a document declaring how much money the husband promises his wife when he divorces her or dies.


Today, as predicted in the Talmud, there is great upheaval in families, unlike in earlier generations. Many are the divorces, the bitter battles and hate, and it gets worse all of the time. But the woman who is in agony cannot obtain relief without a GET given by her husband willingly. And he is not always willing to give her a GET willingly. This causes great turmoil, and it even effects rabbis. When rabbis see the pain of the women who cannot escape husbands they hate or despise, they realize that these women have such pain they may give up their religion. Therefore, these rabbis will sometimes force the husband to give a GET through humiliation, or public demonstrations against him and his family, or other matters. These forced divorces are invalid and if the woman gets an invalid GET and remarries, her children are mamzerim. Therefore, Kiddushin with its iron control of helpless women, is a major problem, perhaps the major problem for many helpless women. What, therefore, can be done, if anything?


First of all, we must be realistic, and face the horrible facts, as they are, and not as they are not. A woman trapped in a bad marriage who can't take it, is most likely, today, going to go to one of the many rabbis who want to "save" women from their helpless entrapment with husbands they hate. These rabbis will force the husband to give a GET. And because of the general anger in society at husbands who cause pain to their wives by not giving a GET willingly, many people will join the fight to force the husband to give a GET. There are movements today that have succeeded in using the secular courts to force a GET on a reluctant husband. Such a forced GET is not a kosher GET, and the children are mamzerim born from it, but the secular courts are not concerned, and in major cities, it is rabbis themselves who got the laws passed.
Things are going to get worse, much worse, before they get better. So what can be done? In Torah terms, nothing can be done, other than to create invalid forced GIttin that make mamzerim. That is surely not a solution.


But there is another solution. Before I explain what it is, I want to say that there are two types of women who suffer terribly with husbands they hate. One is religious enough to tolerate her pain until she dies no matter what. And the other is not religious enough to last so long in pain, and will go to a rabbi who forces a GET that is not kosher and makes mamzerim. Keep this in mind as we get to the solution for many women in agony.


The solution is Pilegesh. Pilegesh is a kind of marriage without the problems of Kiddushin. The woman or man can leave any time with no moral or Torah problems. It is a true marriage, but each person is free to leave when they want.


Now I want to say something very important. The great authorities who talk about Pilegesh among the Rishonim and acharonim, sometimes permit with Pilegesh things that I don't want anything to do with. I also want to say that if anybody on their own goes out and makes a marriage of Pilegesh, I want nothing to do with it. That could make major problems for the couple who make such a marriage, for reasons we will soon discuss. The proper way of doing Pilegesh, as I would participate in doing, is when a couple comes to a Rov or Beth Din and clearly announces their acceptance of Pilegesh laws as the Rov or Beth Din describes. They may leave any time, but while they are married they must be faithful to each other. The proper way, as I would guide the couple, is to establish a true marriage, with two faithful spouses, and if any of them wants to leave, they can leave. But they should notify the Beth Din or Rov of their leaving, which protects them from people accusing them of having Kiddushin and leaving without a GET. If I was involved, and I knew they were Pilegesh, and had it in writing with witnesses, nobody could accuse them of violating Kiddushin, because they are clearly Pilegesh. Pilegesh marriage means that the husband and wife live together in a house, and the wife has an honorable part of the house where she lives as a faithful wife with her spouse.


I wish to add this. If a woman can endure the terror of Kiddushin with a husband she hates, it is possible that some Rov will tell her that there is a problem with Pilegesh, but others will tell her that there is no problem. Especially today, Pilegesh marriage rather than Kiddushin means the married woman would no longer have to live in fear that maybe she will commit some terrible sin because she just can't take it anymore. But the only way to be sure is not to have Kiddushin at all. Somebody who cannot tolerate Kiddushin for their entire lives, should not take Kiddushin at all. Such people should definitely take Pilegesh, but as I explained, if I was dealing with a couple who chose Pilegesh, I would insist on a real marriage with two faithful spouses. But if anyone wanted to leave and break up the marriage, there would be no problem. But if I was involved, I would insist on their leaving their marriage with signed letters and witnesses, preferably a Beth Din.


Anyone interested in talking to me about a real Pilegesh marriage, can call me at 845-578-1917.Thank you, Dovid Eidensohn Disciple and Musmoch of Geonim Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashev.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Divorces and Broken Families: What Can Be Done?


Some years ago I spoke to a man who was separated from his wife for ten years and refused to give her a GET. He was expelled from the local shulls but was not fazed. I suggested that we learn a bit in the Shulchan Aruch, namely, the beginning of laws of marriage, where the subject of marriage and having children is discussed. The man heard some of it and jumped up saying, “I need a wife.” He then began to talk about how he would get his wife back.

I saw from this that a Jew who believes in the Torah who cannot be moved by thunder of rabbis at the pulpit, or anything of the kind, can suddenly be transformed by the holy words of the Code of Laws, with teachings going back to the earliest biblical teaching. It is there that we find the teachings about marriage and children, and it is also there that we find how to sustain marriage and succeed with children.

I add to this my program of Shalom Bayis Beth Din, which is a program of education, at any age, to prepare people for marriage and raising children. I spoke to my dear friend a major therapist Dr. Dovid Montrose (pronounced Montray) in Chicago, and suggested that we begin classes at the age of three. He disagreed. Such a program, said he, must begin at the very time of conception, exactly when the parents begin bringing a child into the world! In more practical terms, we can stretch this a bit, of course, but education is key. And the key to education is to tell people what it says in the Torah, straight from the great rabbis who learned the Torah of Moses and the great prophets, and pass it on to us, especially in the Shulchan Aruch where are laws are.

I have ten children and they have various very senior positions, especially like my son Rabbi Shmuel Zalman in Beis Shemesh, who is a principle of many schools, which is impossible unless you have his training where he can teach the best teachers how to teach properly and not make mistakes that many people do make. Another son, Ephraim Hershel, is an assistant principal in a large school in Lakewood, NJ. My daughters are sought after teachers and senior teachers and one of them has to stand up to major rabbis who insist she became a principal in a school, but she has to take care of the children.

Then there is another issue I deal with, the problem of money. I have an entire program that explains how many of the greatest Talmudists were very wealthy. How can that be? How can somebody who spends his time learning Talmud become very wealthy? And yet, Rovo demanded from his students that they master wealth in money and wealth in Torah! (See Huriuse 10b) I have a solution, one based entirely on the teachings of the Torah.

If we can raise children to have confidence in their financial future, instead of raising children to watch television, maybe we can get somewhere.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Struggles of a Tsadik in Our Times and Comments from Rav Dovid Eidensohn

Notice from Rav Dovid Eidensohn: When this was first published I received a call from a prominent Posek who pointed out that this troubled tsaddik that I quote had a lot of trouble with Torah Jews, and this can leave a negative impression on a lot of people that we have no proper Torah leadership. On the other hand, my blog torahhalacha.blogspot.com is filled with my bitter complaints against senior rabbis who make invalid Gittin and mamzerim. It is also filled with complaints that besides me and my brother Daniel we have a dearth of people who complain about senior rabbis who encourage women to remarry without a kosher GET. There is now a woman who remarried with the encouragement of senior rabbis with no GET at all, and almost nobody is telling her today to beware of mamzerim for children except me.
In fact, when this senior rabbi was finally attacked by major poskim for lying about the facts of the case and encouraging the woman to remarry with no GET and absolutely no logical Torah reason, a Beth Din of very senior rabbis was announced to deal with the problem, but guess what! weeks later nothing was done! I called up one of the major poskim on that Beth Din and asked him what the Beth Din decided. Should the woman remain with her new husband with no GET or not? The important posek then answered me, “This is not  your business. The Beth Din was made for the benefit of Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky. Ask him if  you want to know what the Beth Din ruled.” Then I realized that the very senior rabbis on this Beth Din were working for the very man who encouraged a woman with lies to remarry without a GET.
 The two names of people that I single out in the blog are Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, the Rosh Yeshiva of Tiferes Yerushalim, the son of Reb Moshe Feinstein, who created the entire fake Beth Din to invent protection for a first rate liar and mamzer maker, Shmuel Kaminetsky. And Hillel David, who told me it was none of my business, is somebody that I say to him, “It is my business. And if  you made a Beth Din with David Feinstein to support a mamzer maker, then you are a mamzer maker, and deserve to be denied the right to sit on any kosher Beth Din.”
Moshe Heinemann is a major mamzer maker, who advertises in the Internet that everyone should support Ora, the organization that forces husbands to give a GET and thus makes mamzerim. Rabbi Hershel Schechter, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva University and the head of the OU Kashruth division and a major posek, has called for forcing husbands to give a GET and even to get violent with them. He is a mamzer maker. And then, there is Shmuel Kaminetsky, considered by Agudas Yisroel to be a Gadol who is a liar, a  mamzer maker, and when somebody asked him if he would continue to support the woman who is remarried without a GET, he replied, “It is an argument of the rabbis.”
Thus, I consider it my job to tell it like it is, and if people think that the above people are great tsaddikim, and the Agudah honors them as major speakers, etc, along with other organizations, let the world know, I am different, and I will continue to be different. I spent much time talking to Reb Aharon Kotler, and he once hinted to me that I understand his derech in gemora. I spent much time talking to Reb Moshe Feinstein, and he gave an haskomo on my halacha sefer: “Rabbi Eidensohn is known to me for many years as one who delves deeply into complex halachas.” Rav Shmuel HaLevi Wosner Rov of Bnei Braq wrote in his haskomo, “Words of truth are recognized” and “words are written Lishmo.” I have many more haskomose from the greatest Torah teachers of the past generation. I also have a very strong semicha from Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashev zt”l, which includes his personal name to use for my Beth Din in Gittin. Now my chaverusa was furious with me that I asked the Rov for that, but when you are in my line and want to talk to the Gedolei HaDor, the only way is pure chutzpah, and I played it to the hilt.
 We now turn to the troubled tsaddik and his remarks. I believe he has suffered and is surely not the only one. Let us hear what he had to say, which is only his personal suffering and not the suffering of all Jews.

I am presently over 40 years of age, and see it as a chessed from Above that I continue to look and remain "young at heart" amidst all the trials and tribulations that I've undergone - first with the "erlich" society, and then with my seven and a half years of marriage with my ex-wife.
My parents [they should be well] are coming from the same time and place that you're from; only, they are both baalei teshuva from after their marriage in the 60's day and age. When I was 7 years old our TV broke, and they didn't bother fixing it. (My father was then listening to Rav Miller's tapes, and he hated TV.) A year later we moved from White Oak (Silver Spring area) to Baltimore, and I began 3rd grade in T.A. My parents had always encouraged us to increase in our yiddishkeit; only, socially we never really "clicked" with the community at large.
Seven years later made aliyah, and moved to Bnei Brak. if we didn't socially "fit in" with Baltimore, well... just try to figure what the "Bnei Brak move" was to us teenage kids!
I myself was 15 years old at the time we made aliyah, and I was left to my own devices to "break in" with my surroundings. My parents only saw positive in the "erlich" surroundings, and any dissention on our part was seen as a sign of "rebellious Americanism". [Little did I know then - it was totally inconceivable by any stretch of the imagination - that the main "beis din" there would some time later smear an individual hounded by his rebellious wife to give a GET (the infamous "Chaimsohn" case) - posting a "teshuva" from Rabbi Akiva Eiger well out of context; creating a GET MEUSEH, and allowing a married woman to the shuk!]
I myself went to learn in yeshiva here in Yerushalayim, finally finding myself "at home" with a more American crowd - but not for long. In the year 5749 the "olam" erupted in mahlokes over the "gimel vs. eitz" controversy, and I found myself in disfavor with those around me. I simply couldn't comprehend what was happening right before my eyes: Grown men, kollel yungerleit with beards and payos, distinguished rabbanim and roshei yeshivos had joined in the fray with extreme zeal - slamming and smearing all those who challenged them and their "daas torah"... They were clearly aware of the chillul hashem going on around them with 7 year old kids gleefully cursing out known Rabbanim who happened to side with their opponents. They claimed they were following Rav Shach... If they only cared a shred what Rav Shach REALLY wanted vis-a-vis the"Yated" model that they dressed him up to be. I did see it though, as a "siyata from Shamayim" the fact that we moved from Bnei Brak to Yerushalayim on Isru Chag (Tishrei) that year - the day that Bnei Brak erupted.
But the one thing that bothered me tremendously at the time was that at my yeshiva the one concept they attempted to "burn into us" bochrim was what they called "hisbatlus"; namely - we had to "nullify" ourselves before "daas torah" (strictly by THEIR definition). I simply could NEVER be led to believe that the typical "shtoddy" American bochur, clean-shaven with a Borsalino hat doubling his facial features, who smoked and talked politics in seder- that HE had a clear ticket to Olam Haba, merely because he "nullified" himself to his Rosh Yeshiva; while I simply could not. (To me this smacks of Christianity.)
Other than this I did feel, at the time, that I could yet "go with the flow", and that we all still had the same fundamentals in mind - serving Hashem, and growing in Torah.
When I got married I was close to 23 years of age - still living in this "bubble" thinking that we all had the same goals and ideals in mind. It took me several years of shaking up and rude awakenings to get me out of this thinking process. I was already aware then of the paradox of "top bochurim" selling themselves out to the wealthy in terms of shidduchim, and I myself would have none of it at all. I had begun taking to the teachings of the GRA some time before, and I recognized that for me there was no other way. At the time I naively assumed that this was basically the accepted approach in the yeshiva "velt" as well; I simply could not be led to believe that the modern day "daas torah" was off on a far different track altogether...
To talk about my marriage, which lasted 71/2 years, is a story in itself... At this point I'd rather not talk too much about it, but it started going REALLY sour after my wife began splurging money, and I told her that I wasn't going to bother her too much about this; rather I would simply leave kollel to go out and work. This really unnerved her, and she began smearing me hours on end behind my back. It was particularly an insult to one of the local rabbanim, whom she was closely connected with prior to our marriage, and had previously convinced her to get married with me in the first place. Even still, he wasn't chiefly the one who ruined our marriage - it was someone else (who signed his name "Rabbi ...", despite his haughty and greedy policies which had ruined other marriages as well). He's been dead for several years now; even still, I'll never forgive him - just to hear his name repulses me. But time itself reveals all that people try passionately to hide... my ex-wife who wanted so badly for me to remain in kollel - she eventually connected with a lawyer who had a similar story to mine, and subsequently proceeded to deplete his monetary resources.
My turbulent nature with present "modern chareidi" society (a paradox in terms like "warm ice") causes me to minimize any talk which is liable to create conflict, and misrepresentation. I definitely consider it obligatory to expose the treachery of modern day RA - banim who create "new faces" to our Torah which negate it entirely. The higher they are - the harder they must and will fall! I am afraid; however, to open up a can of worms which will be gleefully misused and distorted by nay-sayers and baalei machlokes, (who "are what they eat") to only further disgrace the Torah, and thereby do the opposite of what my intention is. Therefore, I jotted down in a single line the peirush of the GRA in Megillas Esther. There - he explains at some length how during the Ikvesa DeMeshicha the level of chutzpah will be so overwhelming - that even the gedolei hador will defect to the interests of the younger ones.
I hope that I've cleared up here any misunderstanding, and I fervently wish that you continue to make the TRUE voice of Torah resound in our midst - over the rattle and ramble of all the phony "daas torah" pervading the media today - which is actually "daas taavah/toaivah".

Thank you for listening!
Hatzlachah! May Hashem be with you always,