Profile Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn

Sunday, November 30, 2014

ORA - the Mamzer Producing Organization

ORA, the organization to torture husbands and force them to give a GET, has a list of recalcitrant husbands featured on its blog. It supplies the SIRUV and other information about them. It also demonstrates and humiliates them to force them to divorce. Such a coerced GET is usually invalid. If the woman remarries with an invalid GET she is living in sin and her children may be mamzerim. ORA follows the teachings of Rabbi Herschel Schachter, the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva University. He is adamant that we must force husbands to divorce when the marriage is broken. That is, every woman who wants out can just leave the house and call ORA and they will humiliate and harrangue the husband until he gives a GET. Thus, of the many husbands broken by ORA, there are probably many mamzerim by now from the invalid divorces due to ORA's coercion. But Rabbi Schachter stands beyond this.

Therefore, it is important to recognize a huge divide among rabbis and Beth Dins in the world today. Some, especially the Modern Orthodox, but also many Haredi rabbonim, feel that a woman who really wants to leave her husband must be supported and the husband must be humiliatd and forced to divorce. Others, such as the Gedolim in Israel, say that any rabbi or Beth Din that coerces Gittin in such a manner just because the wife wants a divorce is not only wrong, but loses its chezkas Beth Din. All divorces done with that Beth Din are not accepted. The woman needs another GET. If she remarried and has children, a senior Beth Din recognized by the Gedolim must check if there is a way to save the GET.

Here we are interested, not in protesting what ORA has done, and not in defending husbands, even though they may have been treated the wrong way. We want to show something much more important. We want to show how the halacha about divorces are split in the world. And since Posek HaDor Rav Elyashev zt"l told me that any Beth Din that makes coercions he takes from them Chezkas Beth. And since the living Gedolim in Israel have agreed to this in a sefer Mishpitei Yisreol, we must establish the fact that a large number of functioning Beth Dins make invalid Gittin, and women divorced by them are not considered divorced by Gedolim. Of course, if such a Beth Din issues a summons, it is not accepted as a Beth Din, and it is probably a sin to go to it.

We hope to do here what we have done elsehwere many times: Show that the halacha is clearly that in the vast majority of cases the woman has no right to sue for a GET, and if she leaves the house, she may leave, but we cannot coerce the husband or pressure him to give a GET.

Let us take a look at the Siruv published by ORA against a man M. Kin. Again, we are not here interested in who was right. We are interested in the process of the halacha as understood by ORA and its rabbi. And we want to show that this is wrong and not accepted by Posek HaDor Rav Elyashev zt"l and lihavdik bain chaim lichaim, living Gedolim. Here is the text of the Siruva.

בית דין צדק

כתב סירוב

במותב תלתא כחדא הוינא ב , יום י"א לחודש תמוז שנת תש"ע לבה ,ע" ועייננו
בדו"ד בין מר ישראל מאיר קין לאשתו לאנא ועל סירובו החוזר ונשנה לסדר
לאשתו גט פיטורין כהלכה. ולמרות מאמצים אדירים לפייס אותו ולתווך בין
הצדדים, מר קין הנ"ל מסרב בכל תוקף לגרש את אשתו כדמו .י"
ועל כן, יצא מאיתנו לפסוק את דינו כדין "מסרב" ואינו ציית לדינא , ודינו מבואר
בשו"ע יו ס ד" ימן .ד"של וחובה מוטלת על כל מי שיש בידו להשפיע עליו לשחרר
את אשתו מכבלי העיגון ושיהא ציית לדינא .
"וע ז באנו על החתום בעיר נו א יארק:(Free translation)
Order of Contempt (Seruv)
The three of us sat together on 11 Tammuz 5770 (June 23rd, 2010), and we deliberated on the
dispute between Mr. Israel Meir Kin and his wife, Lonna, and his repeated refusal to arrange a
Get (writ of Jewish divorce) for his wife in accordance with Jewish law. Despite extraordinary
attempts to appease him and to mediate between the two sides, Mr. Kin adamantly refuses to
divorce his wife in accordance with Jewish law.
Therefore, we determine that he is considered a “Sarvan” (recalcitrant) and does not comply
with Jewish law, and the ramifications of this status are elaborated in Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh
Deah siman 334. It is incumbent upon anyone who is capable, to influence him to free his wife
from an agunah’s chains and comply with Jewish law.
We hereby affix our signatures in New York City:
(Rabbi Hershel Schachter)
(Rabbi Nachum Sauer)
(Rabbi Avrohom Union)

We make here one point. The letter of SIRUV says that he is being held in contempt and will be banned from the public because he has not given a GET. But this is a violation of the SIRUV. A SIRUV is not about the particular claim somebody has on another. A SIRUV is about refusal to go to Beth Din. The Beth Din in this letter clearly states that the SIRUV and the subsequent banning of the husband is to force him to give a GET. And this is a violation of the SIRUV itself.

Rabbi Schachter has openly declared that a husband is to be forced, beaten, and if he still refuses to divorce, he should be beaten until he dies! This is absolutely wrong.  Rabbi Schachter not only believes this. He made a tape stating this that was featured on Yeshiva University's blog until the FBI sting about rabbis who beat people to force them to give a GET when it was taken down. But many people have copies of the original.

A Beth Din that threatens to kill a husband who will not give a GET  is the ultimate GET MEUSO or coerced GET. The Beth Din is plainly in violation of halacha as taught in the Shulchan Aruch and the Gedolei HaDor.

But there is another problem with this SIRUV. The SIRUV clearly states that the Beth Din itself demands a GET. Even if there was no other coercion involved, the very fact that a Beth Din orders the husband to give a GET, telling him that the Torah requires it, can itself invalidate the GET. The Chazon Ish writes, EH 99:2 If a husband is coerced by the mitsvah to obey the rabbis and therefore divorces, the get is invalid because it is forced, and because it is a mistake. Had the husband realized that the rabbis on the Beth Din made a mistake, he never would have issued it. So the GET is botel by Torah standards for two reasons: It is coerced by the mitsvah to obey the sages and if the husband had realized that the Beth Din made an error he would not have written th GET so it is a mistaken GET.

The Rashbo in VII:414 states clearly that when the wife demands a GET because she hates the husband no pressure can be brought upon the husband to divorce. Rather, "If he wants, he gives a GET. And if he doesn't want, he doesn't give a GET." This is brought down as halacha in EH 77 paragraph 2 and 3 in all of the commentators of the Shulchan Aruch, the Shulchan Aruch and the Ramo, Beis Shmuel and Chelkas Mechokake. The Gro there #5 says that nobody disagrees [of the present authorities.] Of course, Rabbi Schachter does disagree. He even says the husband should be killed. So, what kind of Beth Din is that? It is without value, of without Torah identity. It is simply a rebellion against the Torah. I always ask the Beth Dins and the rabbis who coerce husbands: I have all of the sources mentioend above, and what are your sources? That is usually the end of the conversation.

Incidentally, the Rashbo mentioned before says that there is a class of complaint by the wife that does compel the husband to give a GET, but we may not coerce with a strong pressure. Meaning, we may not humiliate him, beat him, or put him in cherem. This is the husband who has a physical problem and cannot be a man in marriage. We coerce him by telling him that the Talmud demands a GET and if he refuses to issue a GET it is permitted to call him a wicked person. Now, this is only mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch regarding this one kind of case, where the Talmud clearly states that the husband is obligated to give a GET. But in all of the average cases of divorce demands, there is no mitsvah from the Talmud or the Torah to divorce. "If he wants to divorce he divorces, and if not he does not." And if humiliation is forbidden even for a husband who is not a man and cannot maintain a marriage and the Talmud demands he divorces, certainly a husand who has not obligation from the Talmud to divorce may not be humiliated.

This law of not humiliating the husband even one who is not a man and certainly others who are healthy is quoted by the Radvaz  IV:118,, Beis Yosef  EH 154, and Chazon Ish 108:12. Nobody disagrees. But Rabbi Schachter disagrees.

See Teshuvose Maharshal 41 that a woman who is very upset with her husband because he is clearly not religious and may even be interested in another religion may leave the house but cannot force the husband to divorce.But Rabbi Schachter disagrees. What is his source? I asked one of his disciples to get me his source and he told me, "Rabbi Schwartz head of the RCA Beth Din and rabbis in Washington DC." Now, I spoke to Rabbi Gedaliah Schartz and he told me that he let a couple who came to him for a GET leave without a GET because he just blew away their marriage. And the Washington rabbis humiliate a husband who doesn't give a GET because Rabbi Schachter told them that!

Of course, Rabbi Schachter allows murder to force a GET, so why not humiliation? After all, didn't he once tell somebody to kill the Prime Minister of Israel because he did something that R Schachter opposed? But decent Jews who don't murder and don't tell other people to murder don't talk that way. And any organization that accepts such a person utterly devoid of Torah learning until he disagrees with the Shulchan Aruch and all of the commentators with no source of his own except Rabbi Gedaliah Schwartz, who himself has invented a new Torah, is a disgrace.

I just mention that Rabbeinu Yona in Shaarei Teshuva III:139 says that "humilition is worse than death." If a GET forced by the threat of killing is invalid, so is a GET forced by humiliation, especially the ORA humiliation that never ends, and involves protests in public so that everyone should despite the victim. This surely makes an invalid GET.

Of course, Rabbi Schachter might feel he doesn't have to obey the Shulchan Aruch, because he knows better than the Gro and all of the commentators. But what does he do with a gemora in Berochose 23A that a Talmid in a Yeshiva killed himself after being humiliated? Maybe Rabbi Schachter has a different text for that.

We have finished our discussion today, but I just mention as an aside that should be covered in a different post, that when a husband is summoned by Rabbi Schachter or his disciples to come to a Beth Din, the first thing to do is to call the FBI.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Video II HaGaon Reb Aharon Kotler zt"l

Video I Reb Aharon Kotler

Video I HaGaon Reb Aharon Kotler zt"l 

by Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn

The video is based upon the years I learned in Lakewood Yeshiva under HaGaon Reb Aharon zt"l. The video gives us some kind of an idea what a difference it is when a Gadol is no longer with us. At least we should think of what we lost and do our best.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


The problem

The problem is that Torah marriages fail and sometimes the husband will not give a GET. The wife then goes to people who force the husband to give a GET that is invalid, or else, the latest is that rabbis, some of them prominent people, declare that the marriage is over without a GET. This is mamzeruth.
Therefore, marriage today with kiddushin can create two things: One that the wife remarries without permission from the Torah and she is sinning with niuf, and secondly, if she has children, they can be mamzerim.

Another aspect of the problem is that some people fear to marry because they know that the divorce can destroy their lives and the lives of the children and make terrible disgrace and chilul HaShem. Some people fear because they themselves have divorced, and some people, even young ones, see what is going on and refuse to take a chance with marriage.

There are thus many singles of all ages today. And these singles live close to Gehenum. If they don’t date they suffer and if they do date they suffer. Many don’t keep basic halochose because of the biological stress. There is not proper kedusho in their lives. Some openly disregard negiah rachmono litslon. And how does it stop with that?

The Solution:

The people who can't do Kiddushin should not do Kiddushin.  If people know they can marry without kiddushin, and leave on their own schedule, it will solve a lot of problems. This is Pilegesh. One who is able should make kiddushin, not pilegesh. However, we maintain, that one who will not honor kiddushin, a woman who, if not given a GET, will find a “rabbi” to permit her to remarry either with an invalid GET coerced, or as is happening in Philadelphia, to just leave with no GET, then she should not take Kiddushin at all. And if she, or a man in a similar situation, fears to make Kiddushin lest he or she be stuck with years of aggravation until a HETER is found, and meanwhile lives in sin, such a person is a candidate for pilegesh.

As we describe in more detail later, marrying as Pilegesh could require a GET. Therefore, I suggest that if somebody cannot have Kiddushin because they won't honor it, and cannot be alone because of biological urges, such a person is a candidate for Pilegesh. But ordinary Pilegesh can perhaps require a GET. Therefore, it must be a marriage without Kiddushin and without any Torah requirement for a GET. This requires a proper Beth Din to decide.

Who Qualifies for Pilegesh

We repeat: Pilegesh is only available for someone who cannot commit to honoring kiddushin. This would probably include modern Orthodox people who are not careful about negiah, who will listen to their rabbis to do things that make invalid Gittin, or who will listen to rabbis who permit remarrying with no GET. Such people should never marry with Kiddushin, but only with pilegesh.

Again, we make it clear. If someone can honor Kiddushin, it is a sin for them to refuse Kiddushin and make pilegesh. Of course, sometimes a person is not sure about Kiddushin. Such a person must decide what to do, and should talk to us or somebody else about the proper course of action. I would prefer pilegesh to Kiddushin in such a case of doubt, but that is up to the person involved and whose who advise him.

What Will Happen Without People Doing Pilegesh?

What is happening now that there is no pilegesh? People are marrying with Kiddushin, and making invalid GETS or are leaving with no GET, or are going to a “Beth Din” that claims that if the husband refuses to issue a GET, it will issue it in the name of the husband, and pretend that the husband who refuses to give a GET and says that he does not want to give a GET is not telling the truth and the truth is that he wants it! And of course there is the old standby of Rackman who promised every lady her freedom when she wants it. He just blew away the marriage. And if the wife protests that she had children with the husband and if the marriage is gone retroactively the children are born out of wedlock. Rackman assured her that his piece of paper takes away the marriage only when issued, and before then she was completely married! What this means is that the Torah is mistaken in its attitude towards Gittin, and the modern rabbis must redo the mistakes of Moshe and the Talmud. It is pure apikorsus.

Thus, pilegesh is important because the generation, with all of the gender battles, is unable to tolerate the woman suffering in marriage more than the man. Pilegesh will allow the woman to leave when she wants. This will restrain the ardor of the modern rabbis to redesign the Torah with new levels of apikursus.

What is the Actual Act of Creating Pilegesh?

The actual act of creating pilegesh is a clear commitment on the part of the husband and wife of the following:
1.       They will live together as man and wife, but without kiddushin.
2.       They will sign a document signed by witnesses and preferably a Beth Din, that they commit themselves to a relationship without kiddushin.  And even though some may feel that people living as husband and wife automatically become Kiddushin marriage, because nobody wants to live without Kiddushin, and thus zenuse, the couple declares that it is not making kiddushin, but is doing what they are advised to do, to be without kiddushin, as pilegesh.

3.       The couple is to declare that even if one of them decided to have relations with the idea of making with it a Kiddushin, the other person would object, and there would be no kiddushin. But furthermore, each side commits to refrain from doing anything that could create kiddushin. And thus, the couple marries with pilegesh with the chazoko that they do not want kiddushin and should not be suspected of making kiddushin.

4.       Should people taking the path of pilegesh  inform others about it? Of course, the first couple to make pilegesh will probably not be prepared to announce such a thing. On the other hand, if we can publicize the importance of saving klal yisroel from becoming two nations, one considered by the other to be possible mamzerim, the idea of pilegesh will become accepted. And if nobody accepts it, I will publicly call for pilegesh, for the sake of klal yisroel, and for the sake of the people who should not sin by taking kiddushin.

5.       At this point, whereas people have not made pilegesh marriages for generations, we have to be careful and think how to prepare the pilegesh arrangement.Somehow we have to make the idea a solution for a Jewish people torn to pieces by Kiddushin. Those who can maintain Kiddushin should not take pilegesh, it is probably sinful to do so. But one who cannot take kiddushin has a sin for taking kiddushin, and such a person should prefer pilegesh.

6.       Kiddushin has many conditions, the consent of both parties, the action of the husband the consent of the wife, witnesses, etc. Pilegesh depends basically upon the intent of the two sides to enter into a marriage where they are loyal to each other and act as husband and wife. Once pilegesh smells like zenuse it is zenuse. But for a yiras shomayim who is terrified of kiddushin for good reasons, and who is terrified of the sins of the single scene, pilegesh is a holy thing.

7.       And for someone who can tolerate kiddushin, and decides to do pilegesh, that is a sin.

8.       We must emphasize this otherwise pilegesh becomes a destructive force, affecting the holy of holies, kiddushin.

Should We Publicize Pilegesh?

If we publicize and know about the divorces and the invalid divorces and the remarriages without the Torah’s permission and have no solution for it, why should we not publicize that there is hope for the poor suffering people who are trapped in singledom and sin regularly and who knows what sin they will do tomorrow?

We want to empahsize one thing: The laws of people marrying or having relations without kiddushin have, throughout th generations, been with various opinions. Some said that people living together are automatically married with Kiddushin, and others disagreed. Some said that secular marriage makes kiddushin and some disagree. Some feel that Pilegesh requries a GET, because the couple wants a Torah relationship. But our permission of using Pilegesh means a Pilegesh type of relationship with the condition that there is no kiddushin ever to come from it, and that a Beth Din before the Pilegesh type of relationship clearly clarifies that there will never be an obligation to give a GET when the relationship ends. There will never be mamzerim from it. Therefore, if a couple marries say with secular law, and clearly states that they want only a marriage of secular law and not kiddushin and not anything that would require a GET, we have at least established that the children are not mamzerim. Because it is harder to make a mamzer than to make a sin of adultery because a doubtful mamzer is permitted by the Torah and forbidden only by the rabbis But a question of a married woman if she is divorced is a very serious matter that must be considered forbidden. But if a Beth Din clarifies that the couple has clearly stated that they do not want any kind of marriage that demands a GET, and if there is a GET the marriage is a mistake and invalid, we have gained a lot. And since I, and not some major Rov, is saying this, there will hopefully be no uproar about it, because basically I am saving mamzerim. And again, anyone who can have Kiddushin and makes Pilegesh has a sin. And if somebody has Pilegesh and does not clarify clearly in a way satisfying to a proper Beth Din that the marriage does not require a GET, that surely is a sin.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Let's Discuss a Solution for the Mamzerim and Niuf

The Time has Come to Stop Mamzeruth and Niuf: But How?

This post is about a solution to the problems of mamzeruth and niuf. It is about four pages and touches on some very important topics, affecting the relations of the genders, and all people who plan to marry. It is furthermore a new idea, not that it is not covered heavily in the poskim, but that people don’t do it for many generations. Nonetheless, I feel that the time has come to do this. I have semicha from HaGaon Reb Moshe Feinstein zt”l that he knows me for many years as one who delves very deeply into complex halochose (published in three halacha seforim beginning with hilchose bayis neemon). And I feel confident that the great efforts I expended in speaking constantly to gedolei hador of the past generation Reb Aharon Kotler, Reb Yaacov Kaminetsky, Reb Yosef Shalom Elyashev, etc., and getting my brain redesigned on a regular basis, has helped me. HaGaon Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashev zt”l knew me from a Beth Din I made to serve Russian Jews that basically had to ask him all of the shaalose, and he gave me his name to use for my Beth Din, which is a very special type of semicha because I understand he didn’t do that very often. Now to the article.
The time has come to stop mamzeruth and niuf. If we have a major Yeshiva in America whose Rosh Yeshivas permit a woman to remarry without a GET, and refuse to say what rabbi permitted it, and nobody protests except me and my brother, the time  has come to say it like it is. Things are very bad now and they are going to get much worse.

What is the problem? There are many Torah broken families with no GET, and people “help” the lady remarry, even though these “helping” ideas are wrong. Now is a time for creating children mamzerim. Now is a time for child molesting. And now is a time, not just to protest, but to solve the problem. But how can that be done? It can be done.

The problem is rooted in the laws of Kiddushin or Torah marriage, when the husband takes the wife with “kiddushin” and sanctifies her with a divinely sanctioned marriage, this is kiddushin. The husband gives his wife a ring and says, “You are mekudeshes to me”  you are sanctified or set aside for me. At this point the woman “belongs” to the husband. Rashi tells us in the parsho of Sotah that a woman is married to a man, but also to HaShem. This is a great level of spirituality. Why a woman is relegated to the husband is one of the great mysteries, and we will deal with it here very briefly. We must do this because the main force of the mamzer producers is the fear of offending women if the Torah does not allow them freedom to leave a marriage. Implied in this is that the Torah is wrong. And some of the more leftist innovators say this openly. But we must respond to this.

I am now working on the Ari z”l’s commentary on Shir HaShirim. So far in my work, this is the major theme. The female essence, the Schechinah, is bitter and complaints about the way she is treated. Now, there is one passage where the Ari z”l says very little and skips the main portion of the passage (I:6). And even passage 6 has no heading, but five and six are together, which is strange.  And that passage really needs a commentary. But I explain that this passage refers to the gemora in Chulin 60b, where during the first days of Creation, HaShem created the Sun and the Moon, and both of them had the light of the sun, a full blazing light. The Moon complained that two kings cannot share the same crown. HaShem responded, “Go and diminish yourself.” The Moon was upset by this and HaShem said that “Jews will use the Moon for their calendar.” But the Moon was not happy. Finally, HaShem said, “Bring for Me an Atonement that I diminished the Moon.” Thus, the diminishing of the Female Essence or Din leads to great evil in the world, which is a Chilul HaShem and HaShem is humiliated by the lowest people. For this Chilul HaShem on Himself and the Female Essence which is higher than the Male Essence of Kindness, HaShem, on Rosh Chodesh, has an offering brought, as if it could be. The Ari z”l does not comment on that passage fully because we don’t want to talk too much about HaShem’s atoning that cannot be understood in this world.

The New Moon, when the new month of moon appears, is a holiday for ladies but not men. On that day HaShem remembers that He created the world with the female equal to the male, but then things changed. And so, today, in this world, there is a world of diminished female power. The Schechina is a holiness of the Female Essence, called DIN, or justice. If the world functioned with the Female Essence of Din all sin would lead to rapid destruction, and the world would collapse. So DIN and the Female Essence are “diminished,” because true Din can only be revealed in the Higher World. Let’s leave it at this for now. We will just say what is says in Shir HaShirim about the complaints of the Schechina. In this world there is no explanation. 

But the reward for the suffering is incredible and permanent in the Higher World. Briefly, the Schechina, Israel and women are treated very shabbily in this world. For this, that they suffer and still love HaShem and obey Him, they have great reward in the Future World. When HaShem reveals His Monarchy to All, these three will be elevated. When the Female Essence demanded superiority over the Male Essence HaShem responded, “Go and diminish yourself.” The diminishing in this world leads to superiority in the Future World. Indeed, the gemora indicates that it is easier for a Jewish woman to gain Paradise in the Higher World than it is for men.  But let us go back to our original issue. What is the solution to the problem of mamzerim and niuf from broken marriages?

Rule One: The Laws of Kiddushin, or Torah marriage, are quite severe. A woman whose husband disappears, as often happened in previous generations, has a big problem, until she has proof that he died or if she receives a GET from him. Rabbeinu Tam says that a woman who obtains a GET that may be kosher, but some people disagree with it and may talk about it,  spreading questions about the GET that it is not kosher, and her child would suffer from this, she is forbidden to remarry. We may say a bit differently, that a woman who marries with Kiddushin and yet is not prepared to honor it completely, even to remain an Agunah all of her life, may not receive Kiddushin in the first place. Somebody told me that this is the opinion of a Gadol in Israel.

Rule Two: There is a mitzvah in the Torah for a man to marry with Kiddushin. See Charedim 20:6. But  a woman who will not honor Kiddushin properly, and will remarry without a proper GET, or who will seek to coerce her husband to make an invalid GET, or go to the Philly mob that allows a woman to remarry without a GET, how can she marry in the first place? It is a sin for her to accept Kiddushin.

Rule Three: A man or woman must be married for biological and Torah reasons. A man or woman who is not married but is mature biologically is a threat to himself and to the community, especially if they have been married once before and have experience in marital intimacy.

Rule Four: If a Jew has relations with anyone without marriage, he has committed the sin of Zenuse. This is very serious.

Rule Five: We thus have Rule One that it is a mitzvah in the Torah to marry with Kiddushin. But there we learn that one who will not honor Kiddushin to the end may not marry with Kiddushin. So what can such a person do? Zenuse is a serious sin, Kiddushin is forbidden. What can he/she do? There is a third way, marriage that is not kiddushin, referred to as Pilegesh. Pilegesh was once a term used to differentiate between one’s main wife, and secondary wives. Some say that marriage without Kiddushin is forbidden, and some say it is permitted. But the ones who permit it have rules that it must be a real marriage and not an excuse for zenuse. Now, in case a person is forbidden to make Kiddushin, and is forbidden to be alone and end up sinning with zenuse, chas vishalom, the only viable path is pilegesh, or marriage without Kiddushin and without zenuse.

I am now in the process of working out the exact process of pilegesh, or marriage without kiddushin. It will have to contain two things: One, a clear commitment from the male and female to marry with real marriage not zenuse, and they must clearly reveal that they do not, under any circumstances, want  kiddushin. 

Preferably, a Beth Din should draw up papers where they both sign in severe terms their intent to marry without ever making kiddushin, until they change their minds and want kiddushin and return to the Beth Din to arrange this. This is because someone may feel that when anyone marries in a community containing Orthodox Jews and they see someone living as man and wife, they assume that the marital relations were done with the intent of using biah as the act of kiddushin. We may encourage an oath or something very serious to make sure that no Kiddushin is involved. We will also strongly emphasize that zenuse is forbidden.
Years ago I suggested a similar thing to a group of Orthodox rabbis who served Conservative pulpits. I told them that they make Kiddushin diorayso but afterwards the people don’t honor the kiddushin, possibly making mamzerim. I suggested that they not make Kiddushin, but some ceremony such as a two ring ceremony where it is clear that the marriage is a partnership and not a taking of the wife by the husband. I asked some rabbis who approved.

Later somebody else who was a major rabbi in a major city in Israel suggested something similar to avoid mamzerim, and there was an uproar. His suggestion would have rocked the boat with the control of the rabbonuse over marriage in all of Israel. But in America, and in Israel if there is no  government issue, I don’t see what is wrong with avoiding mamzeruth.

At any rate, there is a great weakness in all of this. Those laws that people constantly need are well known to many rabbis, the laws, the sources, and the limaaseh, exactly how to fulfill them. But when we are talking about something that was done far in the past, such as making marriages without kiddushin, we have two weaknesses. One is that there will be an uproar over the breaking of tradition. And two, nobody really has the experience to know what to do in this area.

As far as the uproar goes, I say that those rabbis who made no uproar when the Philly Yeshiva told a married woman to remarry without a GET, without saying what rabbi permitted it, I don’t know why they should yell and scream when somebody does not do kiddushin because they are afraid of mamzeruth. And as far as the second problem, that we are far removed from making marriages that are not kiddushin, that is true. But on the other hand, there are many seforim that talk about these laws, some with many pages of details.

Thus, we are sure that kiddushin is forbidden for many people and yet marriage is their only option. So if a Beth Din can clarify their relationship that it is not kiddushin and will not become kiddushin, and everything is written down, signed by the couple and the Beth Din, there should be no problems. Whether the couple should take a GET when they separate, and the exact procedure of marrying in this way, must be developed. At this point I simply advance the basic idea. It may be, as with other halacha issues, that only time will allow for us to realize the best way to handle all of this. But one thing, I hope we never have to worry about mamzerim.


The Jewish Nation is built up from Jewish Communities around the world. And the cornerstone of the Jewish Community is the Jewish Family. The Zohar says that the first word in the Torah has six letters that spell בית ראש meaning “the house comes first.” The house and the family are the beginning and key element of the Torah and the Jewish experience.

Yet, the concept of Jewish Family, as handed down from generation to generation, is under attack. There are many broken homes. Children are adrift as they shuttle back and forth from their two-family homes. They struggle to balance the fights of their parents with their own need to survive. Husbands are suddenly bereft of their wife and children. Wives find themselves abruptly alone with children and small resources. But the pain of parents and children pales beside the pain of the child born when a woman remarries without a Get or with a coerced and invalid Get. Children born from another man -- not the true husband of the wife -- are Mamzerim, and such Gittin are great problems. ORA is an organization that prides itself on having publicly torturing dozens of husbands who subsequently gave coerced Gittin, and who caused problems of Mamzerus. I wonder if ORA’s mentor, Rabbi Hershel Schachter, will encourage his progeny to marry these children. And when the Kamenetskys in Philadelphia finish getting a married woman remarried without a Get, I wonder if they will encourage their grandchildren to marry her children who will be considered Mamzerim by those who believe in the Shulchan Aruch.

Yes, there are Rabbis who advise women to remarry either without a Get or with a coerced and invalid Get. But the great Rabbis of Israel reject these innovations. Any child born to a woman who remarries based on an invalid Get, will be considered by most Rabbis to be a  Mamzer.

Failure to resist those who attack the Family will mean that the Jewish People will split into two camps that cannot marry from one to the other. If present trends continue, the assorted “solutions” of marrying without a Get, as is now being done in Philadelphia, or coercion of the husband, which goes on elsewhere, will produce Mamzerim, and also doubtful Mamzerim; many women who will be told that their Get is not acceptable will have to divorce their new husband, while their children may have a permanent status of Mamzerim.

One Talmid Chacham has assumed the mantle of leadership. His teachers, the Gedolim of the past generation, directed him to publicly teach the Halachos of marriage and family. Through intensive discussions he had with these leaders, he was able to receive the right and true Tradition on how to preserve and expand the Jewish People.

I have the privilege  to serve this Talmid Chacham. He is Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn, who I have worked with for years, and have had the merit to also provide with truly modest financial support.

Join our efforts of educating the Jewish people about the problems of invalid Gittin. My phone number is (301) 754-1128.

Please click the Paypal link to the right. Donate $1. Do it now. Do it for the Eternity of the Jewish People, and for your eternal reward. When you see the new Mamzerim, you will be able to say, “I did what I could.”

Yosef Orlow

Monday, November 24, 2014


Why Make Invalid Divorces?

There are people working hard to make invalid divorces. The invalid divorces mean that when the woman remarries with her invalid divorce, her new children will be mamzerim, or doubtful mamzerim. So why do so many people even rabbis work so hard to force invalid Gittin? Even when they are confronted with open sources in Shulchan Aruch, Rishonim and Acharonim, they continue. These are Orthodox people, even rabbis. Why?

A Jew once did something so terrible that nobody heard of a Jew doing such a thing. A rabbi was asked how this could be and he replied, “I don’t know why. But one thing I know. He did it leshaim shomayim.” He did it to serve HaShem. When a person steals because he needs money, he knows it is wrong, so he tries to minimize his sin. But when somebody steals because he feels it is a mitzvah to rob a rich man to feed himself, a poor man, there is no limit. Again, when a person is excited about doing a mitzvah but it is an evil thing, he will do any anything. And if he is convinced that the right thing to do is to free a woman from a bad marriage, he will make an invalid GET.

This is one way of looking at it. But this is true for people who are not scholars. But how do the rabbis and the scholar do these things? And what about people who are told clearly the exact places in Shulchan Aruch where it is forbidden to coerce a GET in the vast majority of cases? Why do they continue to coerce divorces?

I spoke to a major Rov who was a backer of people who coerced divorces. I asked him how he could do this against the sources that I mentioned. He told me that he had a source. It was brought in Ramo in the laws of Gittin, that if a man is not able to be a man with his wife, he must  give a GET. But we may not beat him or put him in cherem. We may only do minor things, such as telling him he is wicked for doing this and disobeying the Talmud. Ramo mentions also that we can ostracize the man in a passive manner, as long as he can leave the community and save himself their ostracizing. In this case itself, of the man who is not able to perform in marriage, the Rashbo, Radvaz, Beis Yosef and Chazon Ish and others say clearly that it is forbidden to humiliate him. And yet, this Rov sponsored rallies outside of the house of the husband to force him to give a GET. He reasoned that if it was permitted to tell a man who is not able to function in marriage that he is wicked for not giving his wife a GET, then any case, any man, who refuses a GET for whatever reason, may be humiliated.

And although the Ramo permits only passive ostracizing, this major Rov permitted open active tormenting of the husband with public demonstration that could make him and his family, especially older parents, sick, and terrorize little children. Why? When you want to do a good deed the Satan has you. There are no boundaries. The Ramo says coerce a man who is told by the Talmud to divorce, because he is not a man. So  you coerce every man who will not give a GET, even if he had children with the wife. The Ramo says that we  ostracize the husband only in a passive manner, but the major Rov permitted humiliating the husband in an active manner. Why? You are doing what you think is a good deed. So you invent sources and excuses for it, even though it produces mamzerim.

How can a major Rov cause great pain to completely innocent people? Because the “Agunah” people have demonized men who won’t cough up the GET on demand. The fact that such a lady is the ultimate child molester and will have mamzerim for children is not the issue. People don’t demonize the wife even if she remarries without a proper GET. They demonize the husband.

It is time for men to copy the ladies. Organize, and have your public say. Our blog will allow both men and women to say their piece, without mentioning any names, just in general what their complaints and suffering are. I hope it can be done in a positive way, so that people know that suffering in a broken marriage includes everyone, especially children. And we have to stop working hard to break up marriages. A letter from HaGaon Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlit”o is circulating about a prominent Beth Din that he criticized for breaking up marriages. This has got to stop.

Therefore, if anyone has a comment to make about the divorce situation, male or female, and from my experience I know that such things exist, I will consider putting it on my blog. No names. Just send me an email at I don’t take comments easily on my blog, so please email me. If you email me you can say your name, and you can call me also. But the blog usually will not quote a person’s attack on another with using a name or names.

Thank you.

The Latest Treifeh Excuses for Making Mamzerim - GET ZIKUI

Recently a new group of people who invent halacha different than what it says in Shulchan Aruch and poskim have done it again. They have created a new law that doesn't exist that permits women to remarry without a GET. They claim that when their Beth Din says that the husband wants to give his wife a GET, he does want to give the GET, even though the husband is yelling that he does not want to give a GET. They call this ZIKUI. I call it a bald lie and a formula for making mamzerim, which it is.

It is incredible that people have no shame and say complete lies that back their claim that although in Jewish history nobody ever did such a thing they are doing it and they are smarter than the previous rabbis.

The great flaw in all of this is that when the woman says my husband is repulsive to me there is no mitsvah upon the husband to give a GET. Not only that, it is a sin for the husband to divorce his wife if they have children, and if they have no children, it is a sin for the marriage to break up without at least efforts at repairing it. This is based upon the Rashbo in VII:414 "if he wants to divorce, he divorces, and if he does not want to divorce, he doesn't have to divorce." This is brought by all of the poskim in EH 77 two and three. See Gro #5 that nobody disagrees. Thus, the basic premise in all of this that it is a mitsvah for the husband to divorce his wife is wrong. Furthermore, if every single case where the wife wants a GET it is a mitsvah to give a GET and therefore Beth Din can assume the identity of the husband or whatever they call it to represent him and his will and force a GET, why in all of the generations was this hidden from those searching a way to save a woman from a terrible husband? See Teshuvose Marshal 41. Now, in the case where it is a mitsvah to divorce, such as in EH 154 at the end, and the Shulchan Aruch struggles to find a way to help coerce the husband, why doesn't it bring down this idea? Obviously, nobody ever thought of it there or anywhere because it is wrong. Furthermore, even if somebody did think of it, the fact is that most authorities ignored it. We then have the Chasam Sofer in two places in his teshuva that when there is an argument about whether to coerce a GET and the husband is coerced the GET is definitely invalid, even though some rabbis permit the coercion, it is not a doubtful GET but definitely no good. Now, in this case, the Beth Din is giving a ZIKUI based on the idea that they represent the husband who really wants a GET. Why, according to the Chasam Sofer, is this definitely not GET when BETH DIN can invent the husband's will based on their pesak? If so, some rabbis invented the husband's will and the GET is kosher, at least, it is doubtful. But the Chasam Sofer says that the GET is definitely no good. This is proof that Beth Din cannot speak for the husband. And if this is true, that Beth Din can speak for the husband anytime it is a mitsvah to divorce, why, when the Shulchan Aruch says clearly in 154 that a husband who is not a man must divorce by the teachings of the Talmud, that we can't make zikui?
The Latest Treifeh Excuses for Making Mamzerim - GET ZIKUI
The Latest Treifeh Excuses for Making Mamzerim - GET ZIKUI
The Latest Treifeh Excuses for Making Mamzerim - GET ZIKUI

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mistaken Teachings about Gittin

Exhibit number one of mistakes:
"Ironically, this type of agunah, the one whose husband is very much present but refuses to give a get, is a relatively new phenomenon. According to halachah, though it is the husband who gives his wife the get, a woman too may demand a divorce if she can prove that the husband is neglectful, repulsive or abusive. In such an instance, the halachah is unequivocal:
"One who is halachically required to divorce his wife and refuses to do so, a Jewish beth din – at any place and at any time7 – corporally punishes him until he says, 'I wish [to divorce].' The get is then written and it is a kosher get."8
In short: the beth din is empowered to use any and all methods at their disposal to compel the husband to "agree" to divorce his wife. This includes imposing sanctions on having casual or business dealings with the noncompliant husband, and even using brute force if necessary

End quote

This is completely wrong. Beating a husband and forcing a divorce is only permitted in extreme cases that almost never occur in real life. A husband marries a woman forbidden to him, even dirabonon, is coerced even with beatings to divorce his wife. But a regular divorce case, where the wife simply claims that she hates her husband, she surely cannot have him beaten to give a GET. Nor can she have Beth Din make any coercion, period.

There is an in between level, between an absolute mitzvah to coerce the husband even with beatings, and the prohibition to coerce at all, at any level, that operates in most cases of divorce. And that is a husband who is not a man. In such a case the Talmud demands a GET. However, the Talmud does not specify the pressure, if any, that is permitted to make to force the GET. Therefore, in practice, we do not beat the husband. We follow the Rashbo, Radvaz, Beis Yosef and Chazon Ish and others that we may not put the husband in cherem, we may not humiliate him, and we may not hurt him physically. But a husband who is a normal person and surely one who had children with the wife cannot be forced with a beating and surely not with cherem, humiliation or physical pain. Furthermore, coercion with great financial pressure is also grounds to invalidate a GET.

Beth Din does not have any power to force a GET other than the exact cases taught in the Talmud and Shulchan Aruch. These cases usually have nothing to do with the vast majority of marriages, unless the wife starts to lie and gets others to agree with her. Even then, a reliable Beth Din doesn’t pretend that it accepts everyone’s claims in a Din Torah and the truth will out. The Chazon Ish writes that if a Beth Din told the husband that the halacha is that he has to give a GET but this was not true in the husband’s case, then, if the husband issues a GET, it is invalid even by Torah law, because it is coerced and because the husband  was in error when he gave it. Had he known the truth, that he was not obligated to give the GET, he would not have given it. So the giving was a mistake and worthless.

Let's Do Something about the Mamzerim

Let’s do something about the mamzerim. How awful to talk about mamzerim. I once met a doubtful mamzer. I was involved when gedolei hador argued if he was a mamzer or not.  I got to know the fellow in a special way. I never in my life saw such yiras shomayim. After I risked my life and got him a heter from the gedolim in Israel to ask his shaalo to Reb Moshe who permitted him to marry, he refused it. He said, “I am an Israeli and want my rabbonim to pasken.” A young man, just like that, and he gave up his life. Because his rabbonim were not going to permit him to remarry. They told him to go to Reb Moshe because they would not permit him to marry. And he refused to go. I found a Rov who spoke to him and convinced him to go to Reb Moshe. And these are the holy neshomose that are flooding the market with mamzerim and doubtful mamzerim. What will we say to them? I know what I will say to them. I fought for you tooth and nail. But what will you say to them? In a hundred and twenty years, what will we say to the heavenly court, that we did  enough?

My failure in this regard is that I am doing things on my own. I got my brother on his blog involved. That made quite a difference. Husbands who were being battered without mercy because his wife was a cousin of a major Rosh Yeshiva or because her father was a friend of a major Rosh Yeshiva, now had a friend, little me, and my brother. And we gave back, full blast. I challenged the Rosh Yeshivas and Dayanaim: What is your source to permit this coercion? The vast majority of them never even spoke to the husband. They just signed letters to destroy him because the corrupt Rosh Yeshiva asked them to. Their corruption and ignorance was revealed for all to see. And when one of them finally got around to producing a source, I made thirteen pages to refute it. My work was accepted by the rabbonim in Israel and letters went all around the country forbidden coercion through humiliation. Then a sefer was put out with these warnings, signed by Gedolei HaDor including Rav Chaim Kanievsky and Rav Shmuel HaLevi Wosner shlit”o. But the inventors of excuses to free a woman are still busy.

And if this blog of mine in two weeks got about four thousand page views, it was because my brother pushed it on his blog. But is that the end?
I got a phone call yesterday from a prominent Head of Beth Din in a major city. He told me that he had a Din Torah that day, and major rabbis of the community were there. He discussed with them what I am doing to fight coerced divorces that make mamzerim. One Rov knew about me and had seen my writings. The other Rov knew nothing about me or the entire subject. So we need more people to be informed about what is going on. At least every Rov must know not to perform kiddushin when one of the couple is the product of a coerced GET. Otherwise the Rov will himself create mamzerim.

A lot of people read this blog. But this is war. It is war for the next generation. Just as there are now many Roshei Yeshiva and rabbis who permit a woman to escape her marriage with coercions and worse, such as the Philadelphia idiot who permits a woman to leave her husband without a GET, despite the fact that the husband wants to give a GET if the wife will fix up the custody situation, after she left the city the husband lives in. Yes, tomorrow will be more idiots and inevitably, more mamzerim. I ask you, what are you going to do about it? Or isn’t that your business? If we have a world where the rabbonim do nothing when a Rosh Yeshiva permits a woman to remarry with no GET, who is tending the store? I ask this, and in the next world, it will be on the agenda.

Rosh Chodesh - Holiday for the Suffering of Israel, Women and the Moon

My Shabbos table for years, at least when I had the energy, was devoted to long deroshose about two things. One was the old Torah that I had learned from Gedolim Reb Aharon Kotler, Reb Moshe Feinstein, Reb Yaacov Kaminetsky, etc., and the second thing was the greatness of women. For instance, I would note that in the first three Jewish families of Avrohom, Yitschok and Yaacov, the men wanted to do things that would destroy the Jewish people, and the women opposed them and saved the Jewish people. Avrohom wanted Yishmael to stay in the family and Soro disagreed. HaShem told Avrohom that Soro was right and that all that she said he must listen to her because Soro was greater than Avrohom in prophecy.

Yitschok wanted to give the birthright, the leadership of the Jews to Aiso, and Rivka fought with him and succeeded in getting the birthright for Yaacov.

Yaacov opposed Leah, but from her came the major tribes and the greatest ones. Also, in Egypt the men gave up under the pressure of slavery and refused to have any more children. Then little Miriam said to her father, "Father, Pharaoh decreed to kill the boys, and  you decree to destroy everyone, as nobody has babies." From this her father relented, took her mother back, and Moshe was born.

Also, the only Jewish leader who was perfectly successful was a woman, Devorah. Furthermore, at Sinai the men worshiped the Golden Calf and the women did not. When the Jews crossed the sea during the escape from Egypt, and the Egyptian army drowned, the men stood and chanted their thanks, but the women took musical instruments, played joyful music and danced. The men took swords from Egypt and the women took musical instruments, as they trusted in HaShem to protect them.

But there is another side to all of this. The women suffer more than men. The man does nothing painful to have a baby, but the mother suffers for nine months of gestation, and child birth, and the raising of the child. Although the home is the realm of the mother, the household is led by the father, who leads the meals in the prayers, and who is the boss.

Men make a berocho "who has not made me a woman." And yet, the gemora says that Jewish women have an easy time entering heaven but not the man.

There were two Jewish prophetesses, Devorah and Chulda. Both of these names are interesting. Devorah means a bee, and Chulda is a mole. This is because a woman has a very holy and elevated status, until she enters the public arena. Then even if she saves the Jewish people spiritually and physically, as Devorah did, she is shaming herself and is thus a "bee". Indeed, the Torah begins with the word בראשית that means בית ראש according to the Zohar. If so, the Torah begins with the role of women, and the first word of a book is its whole essence. And yet, women are not the ones who read the Torah nor do they devote much time to learning Torah.  Are women high or not? Here they are superior to men and here they are the opposite. What is going on around here?

This problem began before men and women were created. Briefly, the sun and moon were created equal. The moon blazed its light just like the sun. But the moon knew that it was superior to the sun. So it requested of G-d that the sun shrink its light and the moon would rule. HaShem replied, "Go and diminish yourself," Thus, the moon is a tiny bit of light and often dark, while the sun blazes away. The Moon protested bitterly but nothing helped. However, HaShem told the Moon that the Jews would count their holidays according to the Moon, not the Sun. The sun is the "male" essence and the moon is "female."

Keep in mind that this happened before people were created. The sun and moon were angelic servants of G-d, so how could the Moon act this way and argue with HaShem? And what is so wonderful of having the Jews count their holidays according to the Moon that she should be in darkness and the sun lights the day?

But  this Medrash is telling us about the Jewish people. It, too, by keeping the Torah, wants to be special, but instead, the Jews suffer more than anyone else. G-d is telling the Moon, and the Jewish people, that this world is for testing, and those who pass the test merit the happiness of the Future World. But there are various levels in the Future World. Those who have had a good time in this world may have a more difficult time in the other world. But those who worship G-d in this world with suffering, merit in the Future World fantastic rewards.

This is the theme of Shir HaShirim, the Song of Songs. A woman seeks her husband, and while she looks for him the police beat her. She suffers and cries out to her husband to help her. She has questions, meaning, the Shechina has questions, because the Shechina suffers along with Israel in this world, and she wants answers. HaShem tells her that precisely because she was so deserted and desolate in this world, she will merit fantastic glory and happiness in the Future World. Thus, women, Israel and the Schechina are one. This world offers them challenges, and for this, they merit quickly the highest levels in the Future World.

But all of this comes with a cost. The world despises a Jew and women are relegated. The Schechina is also a holiness in suffering because of this. And it seems that HaShem made a mistake, chas vishalom. Therefore, HaShem honors women on Rosh Chodesh, and gives them the day as a holiday, but not the men, because men worshiped the Golden Calf. HaShem commands the Jews to bring a special offering on Rosh Chodesh, the New Moon, to remind him that this holiday for the superior level of women does not really exist in this world, as it is really in the Next World that Israel and women will merit greatness and happiness. HaShem says that this offering is an atonement for Him, for making such a world of suffering for the Moon and women and Israel. We are thus reminded on Rosh Chodesh that what seems down and low in this world is not necessarily down and low. HaShem made it this way to allow for a higher perfection in the Future World. Only there are answers to the suffering of Israel,women, and the Schechina.


Demonize Husband and Make Mamzerim

A New Solution to "Agunoth." A husband refuses to give a GET, and a "Beth Din" declares that the husband does want to give a GET, despite his refusal to give one and despite his saying he doesn't want one. The Beth Din says too bad what he says and too bad what he wants. They then declare that the husband wants the GET and tells the woman she can remarry. Of course, the children from such a "solution" will be mamzerim. I understand that people can want to help ladies, but don't they have some shame when they tell this to Orthodox people and say that this is rooted in the Torah?

An apologist for this Beth Din has written in the Baltimore Times, "And while rabbinic authorities offer sympathy for these women, they maintain they are constrained from action in many cases by the boundaries of halacha. The result, at times, has the husband using extortion before granting a divorce, insisting on large sums of money and/or refusing joint custody of children. According to Jewish law, if the agunah marries and has a child, the child is considered a mamzer, illegitimate, and cannot marry." 

Let's stop there. This is the process of demonizing the husband. A man was married for ten years and has five children. His wife demands a GET and he refuses. Did he refuse because he wants money, or did he refuse because he wants his children, or did he refuse because he wants to go to marriage counseling and have his wife, which is crucial for the children who need two parents in the house? No, along comes the new garbage Beth Din and demonizes the husband, and once he is a demon, they know that people will ignore the Beth Din's fantasies in halacha. After all, who will defend a husband who is a demon?

And thus, the "Agunah" war becomes an extension of the hate for men so popular today. The Agunah may jump into secular court and destroy the husband, say lies about him and have him jailed. have him declared a menace to his children and he can only see them  with supervision, and then there are the problems of women who have the children most of the time and teach them to hate their father. Some husbands have reasoned that the wife will do all of these things to them unless she fears about getting a GET. That is the husband's only protection. And there is some logic to this. Just ask the husbands whose wives have demanded a GET. These are  husbands with a good name. There was never any complaints about his being violent, etc., But all of a sudden, when the wife wants a GET, the complaints pour out. And the husband is some time dragged off to the police station in front of his children. Such a person may be quite bitter. And if he knows that everything she said about him was lies, he may want a  financial settlement, and he is in his rights to do so. Furthermore, the basic freedom to split with the husband and destroy his life, and to damage the children who will grow up without a father in the house doesn't say in my gemora. In my gemora is clearly states that when you have a child, even if  your wife is evil, you stay married. You have no right to harm your children because you don't get along with your wife. But the women who want their freedom don't know that gemora.

A prominent therapist told me that these broken marriages in Torah families can surely be helped with the proper counseling. Why do we rush to support a woman who wants to destroy her husband and damage her children, when we don't really know that she has a right or that she is right in what she is saying and doing?

I know husbands who were on top of the world, with good positions, good money, honor and success and lovely children, and the wife wanted out. She went to work on them and they were wiped out. Sometimes a house they paid for ended up with the wife and the children and the husband drained of every penny to pay for incredible level fees as the wife takes him to this and that and the other secular court, always backed by people who have sympathy for an "Agunah." This is terrible.

A judge once asked a wife why she is teaching the children to hate her husband. They are supposed to visit him and they don't. She replied, "They don't want to go" and that was it. Another wife called the police and said that her husband had just raped the little daughter and she had blood to prove it. The authorities rushed over and discovered the whole thing was a lie. And the rabbis and community activists still backed the mother and attacked the father. And the judge kept the children with the mother.

This latest assault on marriage by the International Beth Din which is simply a few rabbis who banded together with such a title, is opposed by Rabbi Willig and Rabbi Schachter of the RCA Beth Din. And then we have another "rabbi" who wants to simply make marriage vanish, another approach that very few people accept, if any, but accepted because it is a help for "agunoth." But  this innovator, Rabbi Riskin, agrees that all those who oppose his idea of making marriage vanish, will also oppose the new idea of the International Beth Din, that when the husband refuses to give a GET they interpret to mean that he really wants a GET! Okay, it is a lie, but aren't we helping Agunoth?

May I ask, If  you want to help Agunoth, do you not mind making mamzerim? And what kind of help is it to have a woman remarry without a GET when she will sin with adultery? Okay, it is a mitsvah to help ladies, but do you help them when they will end up in Gehenum? And when she goes to Gehenum, what about the people who encouraged her?

Every Yom Kippur, those people who have engaged in coercing a husband to divorce without knowing all of the facts, must face up to the fact that the Shulchan Aruch clearly forbids these things in the vast majority of cases. And anyone who forces a GET, or who engages in secular court to terrorize the husband, or who violates the Torah in any way to get a GET, or who encourages such things, will surely face a Judgment, in a court that does believe in the Shulchan Aruch. And in that court, anyone who violated and disregarded ithe Shulchan Aruch is going to have an interesting time.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How a Troubled Marriage Should Behave

How should a troubled marriage behave? This is a difficult question. And the reason it is difficult, is because people with such a problem have three basic avenues to turn to. One, each person in a troubled marriage, husband and wife, can do one of three things. One, they can turn to their parents or close friends. This can often provoke fights that lead to utter destruction. Again, involving parents or close friends in a problem with a spouse is an invitation to disaster. I told this to a prominent Israeli Rov and he strongly agreed.

Two, a person in a troubled marriage can turn to a therapist to try to make Shalom Bayis. But there are those who claim that some therapists are not effective, or rather, some therapists are effective at breaking up the marriage.. Some, of course, can be very helpful, but this option is not a sure avenue of success. The third option is to go to a Beth Din or Rov. Here too, there are Beth Dins that succeed in making Shalom, and some that succeed in destroying marriage. There is a letter from a Gadol about a prominent Beth Din that it destroys marriages. But after the letter was issued, I think it is still in business.

Thus, a troubled marriage has three very delicate options. And often, none of them succeed. Because if  you don't go to parents and friends, and you don't go to therapists, and you don't go to Beth Din or Rabbonim, what else can you do?

What often happens is that after the three things above have been tried and the husband and wife see no change, not only has there not been an improvement, but things may have reached a new level of anger and bitterness. At that point, and probably before, the flies have begun to swarm. There are organizations of people who believe it is a great mitsvah to destroy a marriage, children and all. And they inculcate in husband or wife such hate for the other that nothing is forbidden. This has nothing to do with Torah, but the people who advocate these things usually blame it on some rabbi, and they may be telling the truth.

If there is a rabbi who wants to save marriages, not break them up, or there is a therapist or Beth Din known to save marriages, they should be consulted.

If there are people giving "advice" about how to destroy the other spouse, the couple should refuse any such advice.

When the couple goes for advice with the appropriate person, they should identify the pressures and the problems that are hurting the marriage. Pressures and problems could be lack of money, or not enough money, or bills or things that are needed but there is no money for them. The gemora says that when the kitchen is bare fights in the family begin.

Today, when we live in urbanized areas where real estate prices are quite high, owning a house or paying rent is beyond many people. Some people just suffer. And this hurts the marriage.

Another problem may be the children. Sometimes, a child can be difficult and the parents struggle to deal with it. They may have different ways of dealing with it. And they may argue about whose way is best.

Another problem could be that somebody hurt the other one and they remember it. How to rectify the hurt is a big problem.

Overriding all of this is one thing. Does the couple have the right attitude about marriage? Namely, is the couple committed to marriage? Is the couple committed to their children? Or do they feel that marriage and children must step aside for the personal happiness of the husband and wife?

Today, many or most Torah Jews live in urban areas where real estate costs and the costs of tuition for Yeshiva are terrible burdens. This hurts the marriage. When we factor in the fact that in America people often get what they want as children, and want to supply their children with the same, we realize that marriage can be a challenge. The parents are used to plenty and can't easily adapt to less. And they are upset that they cannot supply their children with what they had as children.

And there is another factor that I heard from a prominent therapist. I once mentioned that there are people who don't understand marriage. He laughed and said that today the problem is worse than that. Today, the parents of the parents don't understand marriage. The present parents as children never saw a truly functioning marriage, so where do they learn how to behave in marriage?

Today it is very hard. And as the pressure builds, and the flies of "helpers" swarm to "help" the wife be free of her husband, and to "help" the husband to have a better wife, how can marriage survive?

Mort Fertel is a prominent therapist available online. He is a Torah Jew with a strong following for his ideas and help for marriage. He insists that commitment is the key to marriage. He says that commitment creates love. But that love does not last, as it is caused by people at a certain age, and as they change, the love weakens. But one who is committed, and constantly creates commitment, produces a love that lasts. But to be truly committed is truly possible when one had parents who were truly committed. Otherwise, it is a problem. But problem or not, if two people, especially Torah people, commit themselves to being committed, for their sakes and for the sake of the children, there is hope.

Sources on the Draft of American Women in 2016

Will American women be drafted after 2016? This is an important issue. Here are some sources from the US government. There are also important documents in the Defense Department's collection of reports on this issue.

While women officers and enlisted personnel serve with distinction in the US Armed Forces, women have never been subject to Selective Service registration or a military draft in America. Those women who served in the past and those who serve today in ever increasing numbers all volunteered for military service.
The US came close to drafting women during World War II, when there was a shortage of military nurses. However, there was a surge of volunteerism and a draft of women nurses was not needed.
After America's draft ended in 1973, the Selective Service System was maintained in a standby status, just in case a return to conscription became necessary during a crisis. After March 29, 1975, men no longer had to register and Selective Service was placed in "deep standby." But then, in 1980, President Carter reactivated the registration process for men in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and in reaction to reports that the standby Selective Service System might not meet wartime requirements for rapid manpower expansion of the active and reserve forces.
Although the specter of a future draft remained solely the concern of young men, discussions in Congress and the Administration about registering and conscripting women periodically took place. Section 811 of the Department of Defense Authorization Act, 1980 (PL 96-107, Nov. 9, 1979) required the President to send to the Congress a plan for reforming the law providing for the registration and induction of persons for military service. The President sent his recommendations for Selective Service reform in a report dated Feb. 11, 1980. As noted above, the President requested reactivation of registration for men. But another recommendation to the Congress was that the act be amended to provide presidential authority to register, classify, and examine women for service in the Armed Forces. If granted, the President would exercise this authority when the Congress authorized the conscription of men. Although women would become part of the personnel inventory for the services to draw from, their use would be based on the needs and missions of the services. Department of Defense (DoD) policy, which was not to assign women to positions involving close combat, would continue. In response to these recommendations, the Congress agreed to reactivate registration, but declined to amend the act to permit the registration of women. In the legislative history for the Department of Defense Authorization Act, 1981, the Senate Armed Services Committee report stated that the primary reason for not expanding registration to include women was DoD's policy of not using women in combat. Additional reasons cited in the report included agreement by both civilian and military leadership that there was no military need to draft women and congressional concerns about the societal impact of the registration and possible induction of women.
The exclusion of women from the registration process was challenged in the courts. A lawsuit brought by several men resulted in a 1980 US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania decision that the MSSA's gender-based discrimination violated the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment, and the District Court enjoined registration under the Act. Upon direct appeal, in the case of  Rostker v. Goldberg , 453 US 57 (1981), the Supreme Court reversed the District Court Decision and upheld the constitutionality of the exclusion, ruling That Was there no Violation of the due process clause of the  Fifth Amendment . The Supreme Court based its decision largely on DoD's policy that excluded women from combat. The Court reasoned that since the purpose of registration was to create a pool of potential inductees for combat, males and females could be treated differently. The Court also noted its inclination to defer to Congress since draft registration requirements are enacted by Congress under its constitutional authority to raise armies and navies, and observed that Congress had in 1980 considered but rejected a proposal to expand registration to women.
In 1992, a Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces reexamined the issue of registration and conscription of women. In its November 1992 report, by a vote of 11 to 3, the Commission recommended that women not be required to register for or be subject to conscription. The Commission cited the 1981 Supreme Court Decision in Rostker v. Goldberg  upholding the exclusion of women from registration as the basis for its Recommendation. The Commission also discussed enacting existing ground combat specialties exclusion policies into law to provide an additional barrier to the amendment of the MSSA to provide for the conscription of women. However, an appendix to its report suggested that public opinion was divided on the issue. The appendix, which included the results of a random telephone survey of 1,500 adults, showed that, in the event of a draft for a national emergency or threat of war (and assuming an ample pool of young men exists), 52 percent of respondents indicated women should be drafted, about 39 percent of respondents indicated women should not be drafted, and 10 percent responded they did not know.
In May 1994, President Clinton Asked the  Secretary of Defense  to update its Mobilization Requirements for the Selective Service System and, as a part of the Effort, "Continues to review the arguments for and tukar continuing to exclude women from registration now That they 'll can be assigned to combat roles other than ground combat. " In its subsequent report, the DoD position remained "that the restriction of females from assignments below the brigade level whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground, provides justification from exempting women from registration (and a draft) as set forth in the Decision of the US Supreme Court in  Rostker v. Goldberg  (1981). " However, the report also recognized the vastly increased role being played by women in each of the Armed Services who, in Fiscal Year 1994, comprised 16 percent of recruits. "Because of this change in the makeup of the Armed Forces," the report observed, "much of the congressional debate which, in the court's opinion, provided adequate congressional scrutiny of the issue ... (in 1981) would be inappropriate today. " While maintaining that it was not necessary to register or draft women, the DoD review concluded "the success of the military will increasingly depend upon the participation of women."
In 1998, at the request of US Senator Charles Robb (D-VA), ranking Minority member of the Subcommittee on ReadinessSenate Armed Services Committee , the  General Accounting Office  (GAO) Addressed a variety of questionsMy related to gender equity in the Military . Included was a budget and resource examination of the impact of requiring women to register with Selective Service. The GAO report *  did not address the pros and cons regarding, the exclusion of women from ground combat Positions or from the Selective Service registration Requirement, nor did it make Any policy Recommendations. Instead, GAO simply described the DoD position that there is no need to register women as "being consistent with its policy of restricting women from direct ground combat."
NOTE: On January 24, 2013, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta announced the end of the direct ground combat exclusion rule for female service members, following a unanimous recommendation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Based on the American Forces Press Service's news release, "Defense Department Expands Women's Combat Role," dated January 24, 2013, key statements are highlighted below:
The secretary announced that the service branches will continue to move forward with a plan to eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service. The change is intended to ensure that the best qualified and most capable service members, regardless of gender, are available to carry out the mission. Panetta added, "If members of our military can meet the qualifications for a job, then they should have the right to serve, regardless of creed, color, gender or sexual orientation."
The secretary directed the military services to undertake an evaluation of all occupational performance standards to ensure they are up to date and gender-neutral. Specialty schools will be included in the evaluation, a senior defense official said. ... The entire process is to be completed by January 1, 2016.
Once the policy is fully implemented, military occupations will be closed to women only by exception, and only if approved by the defense secretary, a senior defense official said.

 (Compiled and edited by The Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Selective Service System, February 2014.)
* Appendix I of the GAO report is Entitled, "Historical Perspectives on Women and the Draft." It provides an excellent chronological summary about this issue and nearly all of it is incorporated, verbatim, in this paper.

Last Updated February 25, 2014

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