Thursday, January 22, 2015 attacks Eidensohn brothers and the "old" Torah mystery person nobody knows who it is, attacks the Eidensohn brothers for their Torah ideas about marriage and divorce.

By Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn/

The mystery author of the has several posts where he rips into my brother and myself for our Torah ideas about marriage and divorce. I am writing this to present the two sides, the Eidensohn reliance on clear sources in Shulchan Aruch and poskim, and those who feel that the Shulchan Aruch is not compatible with today’s moral standards.

My blogspot has 61 posts, mostly about the divorce and marital issues we discuss here. For a fuller understanding of the Eidensohn position, go to  my blog or go to my brother’s blog and type in coerced Gittin or anything about these topics.

My comments will be in italics and bold. Parts of the post not necessary for comments are omitted and you can go to the jblog itself to see the entire original.

Monday, December 8, 2014
Daat Torah on the Seminary Scandal
The Daas Torah Blog of Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn allows readers to descend into a bizarre segment of Orthodoxy that few Jews probably realize even exists…My responseLaws of divorce and marriage and family are “bizarre segments of Orthodox that few Jews probably realize even exists.” I know a lot of Jews who understand the sanctity of marriage and the negative sides of divorce. I also know a lot of Jews who understand that a woman whose husband never did anything terrible to her but she has problems with his personality or some such thing should work on the marriage instead of tearing the family apart. I also know a lot of husbands whose wives destroyed the marriage and almost destroyed the husband, turning children against him, draining him financially, even jailing him.
A large part of Eidensohn's blog is devoted to issues of Agunah. Eidensohn also has a brother - Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn - who also runs a blog almost exclusively devoted to the topic.

Most people understand the agunah issue as follows:

Some husbands unfortunately refuse to give their wives Gittin even when the marriage is clearly over. They use the withholding of a Get either as leverage or simply as revenge against their wives. This kind of behavior is of course outrageous. My comment – I deal with husbands who learn the hard way what happens when people like jblog demonize men in a broken marriage. There are many reasons that are not vicious leverage or revenge that cause a husband not to give his wife a GET in a broken marriage. I deal regularly with such problems and I deal with the husbands and they are so demonized by the secular courts and even the Orthodox world that they can be destroyed. There are even well know ways for a woman to destroy her husband, get the children to hate him, drain him financially, have him put in jail, and have a gag order forcing him never to publicize the hideous terror he endures. And these blogs with their hate for men who don’t fork over the GET when the people like jblog want them to, are responsible for this hate and demonizing of men, many of whom are not monsters but are scared for very good reasons. This is a very important topic and I would like to develop it, but not now as we want to keep things moving quoting the jblog. I have many posts on this topic in my blog .

Not the Eidensohn's and company. They see the Get as something a man sometimes "has" to give and sometimes does not. It all depends on the circumstances. So, if the husband has "done nothing halachically wrong" during the course of the marriage, he may not be obligated to give a Get. The Beis Din needs to make this determination based on the evidence presented to them. Furthermore, if the man is not "obligated" to give the Get than you cannot force him - even if the marriage is clearly over. Based on this understanding, the Eidensohn's and company often take issue Batei Din that try force husbands to give Gittin. In their view, the forced Get in this case would be invalid in any case, and would just produce more halachic problems. My comment This is another topic that could use corrections. But let’s continue and not quibble about the jblog  misunderstanding of GET law. I have many posts in my blog about coercing a husband and GET law and my brother does also on his blog .

For the above reasons, the Eidensohn brothers often believe that it is wrong for a woman to take action to try to get herself a Get. My comment    Yes, I believe that some women are rushing out of a marriage, especially if there are children. Hate organizations like ORA gather people into the street where the husband and his family are humiliated and eventually broken until the husband gave a GET. ALL OF THE FORCED GITTIN GIVEN BY ORA ARE INVALID AND CHILDREN BORN FROM IT ARE MAY BE MAMZERIM. THE WOMAN IS FORBIDDEN TO BE WITH HER NEW HUSBAND AND OLD HUSBAND IF SHE REMARRIES WITH SUCH AN INVALID GET. Hate blogs such as jblog simply feed the fire to produce more invalid Gittin.
Children of divorce suffer terribly, but ORA is concerned about the mother. ORA is led by someone who has publicly called for the murder of husbands who does not give a GET on demand when the marriage is broken.
 And, they certainly oppose using the secular courts under any circumstances. My comment – This is wrong. This jblog reviewer is ignorant of things that he talks about. A Beth Din can give permission to go to court when it is warranted.
…And, what if the women tries to bring her husband to Beis Din? Well, he doesn't have to show up. My commentThis is a lie from an ignorant person who owns a blog.
He can say he does not like her Beis Din and he wants to go to his own Beis Din. My comment – Another lie based upon ignorance. In such a case each side selects a judge and the two judges select a third judge.
There is little doubt in my mind that deep in the recesses of this Daat Torah community lies some very misogynistic ideas. I believe that at their core they believe that women are less than men and that women should be subservient to men ... I think that this bias against women fuels them to search for halachic literature that supports them. And, make no mistake - it is not hard to find such halachic literature, especially considering that much of halacha was written hundreds of years ago when this view of women was prevalent. In fact, much of the "support" that they find is really just a reflection of the mores of the time, and not actually "halachic" strictly speaking. My commentYou believe that people who believe strongly in children and marriage and oppose divorce unless it is really necessary are old fashioned and have an old fashioned Shulchan Aruch based upon an old fashioned Torah. And when you have to deal with all of the children broken by divorce, and with the children from forced Gittin who come to marry into the Haredi world and are told that they are mamzerim, what will you write on your blog?

The Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer 154 at the end of Seder HaGet writes, “A person must take great care not to be involved with making Gittin unless he is an expert in the laws of Gittin. Because there are many important details. And it is very easy to stumble in them. And this leads to mamzeruth.” And yet, we see people ripping into my opinions on coerced Gittin, with no sources of their own, simply because they disagree with what I say and what I prove is the opinion of the Shulchan Aruch EH 77 paragraphs 2,3: Reb Yosef Karo, the Ramo, the Vilna Gaon, the Beis Shmuel, the Chelkas Mechokake, etc. And I respond, “If the Vilna Gaon #5 says clearly that it is forbidden to coerce a GET, and nobody disagrees with this, why are you disagreeing?” I have asked many people that question and never got an answer.
The Vilna Gaon on that statement of the Shulchan Aruch that only qualified people should deal with Gittin brings a source as Kiddushin 13a. It says there that those who make Gittin without knowing the laws properly are worse than the generation of the Flood, and greater punishments comes into the world than what happened in the time of Noach.
I made a Beth Din for Gittin under HaGaon Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashev zt”l and I asked for permission to use his name for it, which is an incredible chutzpah, but he gave it immediately. We dealt with Russian Jews who at that time had no rabbis who could give Gittin. The Rov at that time was fighting the New York State GET law, and I spoke with him at length about coerced Gittin. He told me that any Beth Din that makes Gittin with coercions not accepted in the Shulchan Aruch loses its right to give Gittin. Women divorced in that Beth Din must get another GET. If they did not, and remarried with the GET from the non-Shulchan Aruch Beth Din, her GET is not accepted, which could make great problems for her children from the second marriage and for her. It is possible that her children will be considered mamzerim and that she would be forbidden to be with either or first or second husband. When that happens, chas vishalom, and it is happening right now, with many women, and children are being born from these questionable Gittin, what will klal Yisroel do? What can we do? We will split. Those who don’t believe in the Shulchan Aruch will marry the mamzerim, and the rest of us won’t. This is the ultimate child molestation. And the people who are responsible for it will answer to a Higher Source. Recently, a Sefer Mishpitei Yisroel about the laws of Gittin and those who transgress it has come out. Gedolei HaDor Reb Chaim Kanievsky and Rav Shmuel HaLevi Wosner and others have said what Reb Elyashev zt”l told me, that any woman who received a GET in a Beth Din that coerces husbands in violation of the Shulchan Aruch, that the GET is invalid and she must have another GET. Now, what do the bloggers who are attacking me going to do when the mamzerim come to the Yeshiva and then want to marry?  Will they publish in a blog that they are sorry?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ignorant Rabbis Talk about Gittin

Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn/

The following article appeared on my brother’s blog I have printed here almost the entire article, underlined certain of its words, and put here and there my bold comments in brackets []. My blog contains 61 posts about topics of marriage and divorce and shows how widespread is ignorance about laws of Gittin.

Times of Israel    by Rabbi Levi Brackman
In my fourteen years of practicing as a rabbi I have been asked numerous times to offer counsel and support to couples in failing marriages. Despite the fact that it takes two to tango, often the breakdown of a marriage is more the fault of one party than the other. Yet, no matter how the marriage ends and who is at fault, if the husband does not actively agree to give a Gett (Jewish religious divorce) immediately after the wife requests it he is always in the wrong no matter what.     [ I disagree. Let us assume that a husband has ten children who will be destroyed by a divorce, and let us say that the divorce is being pushed by the mother of the wife, and the husband refuses it. Is he evil? Again, the idea that a woman  can just get up and destroy the lives of the husband and children because of reasons that may be open to debate, has nothing to do with the Torah. To put it a different way. I have semicha from HaGaon Reb Yosef Shalom Elyashev zt”l to be a Rosh Beth Din in Gittin, and I have a very strong semicha from Reb Moshe Feinstein on my seforim in halacha. And I don’t talk the way this article talks. I don’t get up and pontificate about things that are not supported by the Shulchan Aruch. This entire article has nothing to do with the Shulchan Aruch, and the quotes that it makes have nothing to do with the laws of Gittin as we will explain.]
From a religious perspective, the Torah is very protective about the feelings and dignity of women — even more so than that of men. The Talmud warns men to never hurt their spouses feelings and or cause them to weep. It cautions men to be exceedingly careful about their spouses dignity and honor (Baba Metzia, 59a) and to respect and honor them more than they honor themselves (Yevamot, 62b, Maimonides, Ishut, 15:19). These guidelines are based on Biblical sources and have been codified into Jewish law. Furthermore the Talmud tells us that in matters of worldly and household affairs the women’s opinion takes precedence to that of the man’s (Baba Metzia, ibid). [These quotes are about married women and have nothing to do with women who leave the house taking the children.]
Clearly a man who refuses his wife’s request to give a religious bill of divorce for any period of time after it is made clear that from her perspective the marriage is over, is contravening these extremely serious sections of Jewish law in the most grievous manner possible. But refusing to give a Gett is also the mark of a man who lacks basic human empathy and common decency.[...] [Pure baloney. Why does the author of this article not quote the exact place in Shulchan Aruch that talks about a woman who wants out of a marriage? The answer is that he probably doesn’t know where it is, and secondly, if he does know, he also knows that it says just the opposite of what he is saying here. The statement in Shulchan Aruch about a woman who wants out of the marriage is in Even Hoezer 77 paragraphs 2 and 3. There, all of the commentators go along with the words of the Rashbo in a teshuva VII:414 that a wife who wants a divorce “if the husband wants he gives a divorce, and if he does not want he does not give a divorce” meaning, as Rav Elyashev explains, there is no obligation upon a man to give his wife a GET when the wife leaves the marriage. The Gro there #5 says that nobody disagrees.]
Some men hide behind Jewish law as a reason not to give a Gett. They argue that all aspects of the divorce needs to be settled before they are Halachicly (according to Jewish law) allowed to give the Gett. [I believe this is the pesak of HaGaon Reb moshe Feinstein zt”l that everything must be straightened out before the GET. Especially today, when after the GET the wife can go to secular court and get a gag order to destroy the husband, it certainly makes sense to delay the GET until everything is worked out exactly.]
They then proceed to make any settlement as difficult as possible, allowing them to continue their abusive and controlling behavior. Tragically there are some Jewish courts that allow men to behave this way. Happily, however, most of the larger reputable Jewish courts will not allow narcissistic men to use religion as a tool to further abuse and blackmail their wives. The most obnoxious Gett refusers, however, seem to avoid reputable Jewish courts. As pernicious, are men who tell their wife, who is desperate for a divorce, that they “want to work on their marriage” and therefore won’t give a Gett. Again this ploy won’t work at most reputable Jewish courts.
In the final analysis, the refusal to give a Gett by a husband, for any reason, will cause pain to his wife and therefore is not only contrary to the spirit of Judaism it contravenes the letter of the law as well. [What letter of what law?]
[We see here just one of many examples of people who never learned the laws of Gittin, who don’t  have any great authority to quote, but who invent and distort to prove their invalid points. And from these “rabbis” many women will have broken families, invalid divorces, and now, a new thing, women told by “rabbis” to leave their husbands with no GET! And it just gets worse and worse.]

Monday, January 5, 2015

Marry or Not Marry?

Marry? Yes or No or Maybe

Should one marry or not? Let us look at this from a Torah perspective. First, should a person remain unmarried? The Shulchan Aruch answers that question in the beginning of Even Hoezer. A man surely is a sinner for not marrying. And a woman, also, should marry. The reason for this is one to fulfill the mitzvah of having children, which is a mitzvah even if one already has a son and a daughter, because each additional child is an additional mitzvah.

Also, a single is suspected of sin. One is not supposed to be suspected of being a sinner. Therefore, one should marry  to fulfill the mitzvah of having children and to save from himself or herself suspicion that they are following the yester hora in their singledom.

The great Reb Chaim Felagi in Chaim Vishalom taught that in a broken marriage husband and wife are a menace to society. Anyone in a non-functioning marriage is a constant threat that he may fulfill his biological drives in the wrong way. There is suspicion of that, and there is the actual threat of that. Therefore, not only should one marry, but if the marriage breaks down the husband and wife are potential dangers to the community.

There is also a thought of the Tsemach Tsedek of Lubavitch that a woman who is trapped in a bad marriage may simply leave Judaism, and maybe take her children with her. Thus, a bad or broken marriage is itself a mighty problem. And one who is not married is also such a problem.  And today with so many broken marriages, things just get worse and worse. HaShem Yerachem.

Coercing a GET is also a problem. So, there are many problems.

There are those who marry and do their best. And some marry and do better. They attach themselves to people who can help them maintain a good marriage.  People need constant help and encouragement to maintain a good marriage. Those who know this and act upon it have a much better change of sustaining a good marriage. And those who go their own way, without proper guidance, take a great chance.

Shlomo taught in Mishlei 20:24 “From HaShem are the steps of a man. And a man, what will he understand about his road?” We are born onto paths where we go. But do we understand what we are to do and where we are to go? Our hope is that HaShem will guide us and help us. Without that, what hope is there? Praying to HaShem and asking advice from our elders give us the wisdom to succeed.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Wife Leaves the House with the Children: Is this Stealing from the Husband and Children?

Does a wife have the right to leave the marital house?
Does she have the right to take the children with her?
Does the husband have no rights to his children?
Does the husband have no rights to the wife?

Rashi Bamidbar 12:5 "When one sins against her husband by living with a strange man, she sins against her husband and against HaShem." The holiness of marriage means that a woman must respect her husband and she must respect HaShem who is also involved in the marriage.
If so, may a woman just walk out of the marriage?

The Maharshal, the greatest of the acharonim, teaches in teshuva 41, that a woman who complains about her husband that she cannot tolerate living with him, that we do not force the husband to divorce her, but we do not force her to stay with him. Even if she cannot prove her complaints against him, she may leave and stay with her father. All money spent by the husband on his wife must be returned, if she leaves him.

The Maharshal does not discuss what happens with the children. May the wife take them? It  would seem that any money the husband gave his wife as a gift must be returned to him if she left him. Why should the children be any different? It would seem that the husband has a right to demand that his children stay with him.

Furthermore, if we have a situation where a wife leaves a husband, does the husband not have a right to be heard, that perhaps the marriage could be saved with some marriage counseling? I have heard from leading marriage counselors that even very difficult marriages can be saved, sometimes with much effort, but they can be saved. If so, a husband has a right to be heard, that maybe things could be changed and improved and the wife should stay.

A child has a right and a great need for two parents. If a parent takes a child away from a parent, that child suffers. The Beth Din says the gemora, is the "parent of orphans." That is, young children are the province of Beth Din who must protect them. Surely when the wife runs away with the children, Beth Din must return them to their father.

See Even Hoezer 77 when a woman claims she cannot stay with the husband. There are various situations and various opinions but surely there are times when she leaves with no Kesubosa and if so how can she claim the children that surely have a father?

All of the above applies to women leaving the house with the children. If the husband leaves sthe house with the children, he violates the rights of his wife and the mothet of the children.

All of the above assumes that the wife or husband leave the house and take children along with them. But if the parent that takes the children inculcates in them dislike for the other parent, this is surely a very serious situation. A child has the right to love his parents, both of them. A parent who teaches a child to hate another parent violates the rights of that parent and the rights of the child.

How sad that today we have such problems. And how sad that some of these problems are encouraged by some parents and somse friends and some idealists.

A prominent therapist once told me that there are children who grow up without understanding what it means to be married properly. And today, he said,  this is often because the children grew up in a house where their  parents did not know how to behave in a marriage. And what about the third generations? When does it end? And does it end?

These are family problems predicted in the Mishneh end of Sota. And it concludes, "And there is nobody to help us except our Father in Heaven." Reb Elchonon explained, "Even in such terrible times, if we apply ourselves, HaShem can help  us. We must never despair."