In a previous post we attacked a rabbi for supporting the organization ORA that specializes in humiliating husbands and coercing them to give a GET, something forbidden by the Shulchan Aruch and the major poskim. We quoted in that post the Shulchan Aruch and the Gro who ways that nobody permits coercing a GET just because the wife demands freedom. We also mentioned also that the great rabbis of Israel today not only feared that coercion could invalidate a GET, but also they ruled that any rabbis who forms a Beth Din and coerces a GET, that Beth Din has lost its license as a Gittin Beth Din. Any woman who had a GET from such a Beth Din may not remarry, say these great Israeli rabbis, until she goes to a respectable Beth Din that does not coerce Gittin and gets a new GET.
In the coming generation, large numbers of children born from a woman who remarried using a GET that was coerced by certain Beth Dins, will be considered problems of mamzeruth. Here we want to show a mistake made by a rabbi who stumbled in the laws of Gittin.
One rabbi who strongly supports ORA and its coercion of husbands told me the following reason he permits it. He says that he recalled that the Shulchan Aruch says that when it is necessary, the community may force a GET by refusing to have anything to do with the husband who will not give a GET. This sounds like a very solid proof. But if so, what do we do with my proofs that it is forbidden to coerce a GET based upon the claim of the wife that she cannot tolerate living with her husband? My proofs quoted in prevous posts were the Shulchan Aruch 77 paragraphs 2 and 3.
Let us look into the Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer 164 paragraph 21. The Shulchan Aruch section is "Laws of Gittin." The Shulchan Aruch discusses what to do with a husband who has been clearly obligated by the Talmud to divorce his wife. For instance, the Talmud tells us that a husband with such a problem must divorce his wife. Since the Talmud requires a divorce, and the husband refuses, it would seem that we may force the GET, even with a beating or other serious coercions. But the Shulchan Aruch rejects this. It seems that there is an argument among the sages what the Talmud means when it says "he must divorce his wife." Does it mean that we force him to divorce even with a beating? Or does it mean only a minor coercion, such as telling him that he is wicked for not obeying the Talmud? The Shulchan Aruch quotes the Ramo, the authority of Ashkenazim, that if we do coerce such a GET for somebody required to divorce his wife, and the Talmud does not clearly say to beat him, we may not make a serious coercion. It would seem from the Shulchan Aruch there that we may tell him that we will call him "wicked" for defying the Talmud, but nothing serious like beatings or being put in Nidui.
The Ramo there states that since we have two opinions one permitting and one forbidden serious coercion, we do not make serious coercion such as a beating, even when the Talmud demands a GET. We fear that to coerce the GET in a serious manner, even when the Talmud demands a GET may produce an invalid GET.
What then can be done? The Ramo says that we can coerce the husband by decreeing on everyone in his community not to have dealings with him until he divorces his wife. That is, "not to do the husband a favor, not to do business with him, or to circumcize his sons or bury them, until he gives a divorce GET." The Vilna Gaon adds a condition mentioned in some sources for this law, that this public coercion is only permitted if the husband can escape his locality and live elsewhere without people treating him this way. Thus, the Ramo mentions only that we coerce in a passive not direct manner. We don't talk to him; we don't do business with him. But we don't do anything positive to pressure him. Furthermore, the Vilna Gaon adds that the pressure can only be made in a locality where the husband can flee and live elsewhere without the pressure. And the Shach in Gevuras Anoshim agrees.
It would seem according to this that it is forbidden to do what ORA does for many reasons. One, the Ramo only permits passive coercion, not active humiliations. Two, the Vilna Gaon maintains a text of this law taught by Rabbeinu Tam that permits such public coercion only when the husband can escape the coercion by going to a different town. ORA pursues the husband to the next town as well, so its coercion is forbidden.
A third reason ORA is wrong is that very senior authorities disagree with the Ramo and forbid forcing a GET based upon public passive cordination. One is the Shach, a mighty authority who in general overrides the Ramo. He writes in Gevuras Anoshim two things about this passive coercion. One, as the Vilna Gaon says, that it is only permitted when the husband can go to another place and be safe from the coercion. And two, the Shach says that there are those who feel that today the pain and pressure from the public refusing to deal with the husband is considered not a minor coercion but a major coercion. He therefore concludes that it is better not to do passive coercion. It would seem that the Chazon Ish in the Laws of Gittin agrees with the Shach see 108:12 that we should not do passive coercion because today it is considered a serious coercion more than in the time of Rabbeinu Tam. If so, that it is better not to do passive coercion even for somebody commanded by the Talmud to divorce, surely what ORA does to coerce with public and active humiliations is forbidden and produces an invalid GET. If the woman remarries with a GET from ORA her new children are possible mamzerim.
Passive coercion is only mentioned in the Laws of Gittin where the Torah demands a GET and the husband refuses. In such a case a passive coercion is permitted by Ramo. But in EH laws of Kesubose 77 paragraph 2 and 3 we deal with a husband who has no obligation to divorce his wife. And the fact that his wife demands a GET does not permit people to coerce him.The Laws of Gittin are about people who must divorce their wives. And the laws of Kesubose are about keeping a marriage going. In the Laws of Kesubose the Ramo does not permit any kind of coercion, not even passive coercion. It would seem from the language of the Shulchan Aruch and the major poskim on the Shulchan Aruch EH 77 par 2 and 3 that there is no obligation at all upon the husband to give a GET when his wife demands one. And that is the opinion of Posek HaDor Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashev zt"l. The authoriities quote a Rashbo in teshuva VII:414 that in an ordinary demand of divorce because "my husband is repulsive to me" "if the husband wants to divorce, he can divorce. If he does not want to divorce, he doesn't divorce." It would seem there is no obligation to divorce and surely not coercion of any kind is permitted. Rabbeinu Tam mentioned in Shita Kesubose says that we do not even tell the husband it would be nice or a mitsvah to give a GET. The Chazon Ish Gittin 99 says that if a Beth Din tells a husband he is obligated to give a GET and this was wrong, the GET is invalid from the Torah.
The vast majority of divorces today deal with a woman's refusal to be with her husband, something that is not recognized by the rabbis as an excuse to coerce a GET. The Ramo is talking about a husband who cannot be a man or other problems that the Talmud clearly states must give a GET. But the Talmud does not say we should hit the husband, so we don't do serious coercions, only, according to Ramo, passive coercion. And the Gro and Shach, major latter authorities both say that only if the husband can flee from his town and find peace is it permitted to coerce him passively. Thus, ORA would be forbidden even according to Ramo. And as we mentioned, the Shach and Ramo maintain that today we don't do even passive coercion when the husband can flee, because it is considered today a major coercion.
Mamzer Scandal in Philadelphia
- Book:: Philly Scandal of Remarriage without a GET
- Shalom Bayis Beth Din - For All Ages
- Men and Women: Who is Superior? And the Moon Woman...
- Broken Marriages and Derech Erets Today
- Teshuva Created a Stable World
- Projects of Jewish Outreach Congregation
- Table of Contents
- Marital Intimacy
- BLOGS BY RABBI DOVID E. EIDENSOHN
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
In our recent posts about Philadelphia and the efforts to help a married woman remarry without a GET, we attacked those responsible for this, even though they were prominent Torah personalities. Unfortunately, the Torah world does not know the laws of Gittin. But they do know that the Torah requires a woman to have a GET whenever she is fed up with the marriage. And when I ask people what their sources for this is, as I have sources in Shulchan Aruch and poskim who say just the opposite, I never get a proper answer.
Here is a letter from Rabbi Moshe Heinemann of Baltimore, posted on the ORA website, that gives his full support to ORA and its coercion of Gittin. I believe that this is forbidden. And I believe that this produces mamzerim.
Here is Rabbi Heinemann's letter, posted for a long time I believe on the ORA website, calling for everyone to support ORA.
I am strongly opposed to this letter for several reasons. One, ORA itself is controlled by Rabbi Herschel Schachter, whose published audio tapes show that he believes in killing a husband who refuses to give his wife a GET. This is the same person who once told somebody that if the Prime Minister of Israel had a program of such and such that he should be killed. He had to flee Israel after saying that, but that is who you are dealing with. How can a serious Talmid Chochom give his name to an organization controlled by such a person? And does Rabbi Heinemann agree that husbands should be coerced to the point of beatings and even death? Of course not, I hope. But even if Rabbi Heinemenndid not know about these hideous opinions of Rabbi Schachter, giving your name full blast to people who may have different ideas than you do is not the way of wisdom. Rabbi Heinemenn should have checked out the ORA organization and its rabbinical leader more carefully.
Let us leave ORA for a moment, and deal directly with the idea supported by Rabbi Heinemenn, that what ORA does, to humiliate husbands and break their spirit until they give a GET, is a great mitsvah and deserves everyone's support. This is completely wrong. Every GET coerced by ORA is invalid and any Rov involved with such a GET has lost Chezkas Beis Din, as Posek HaDor Rav Elyashev zt"L told me, and as has beeen recently paskened by living Gedolim Reb Chaim Kanievsky and Rav Shmuel HaLevi Wosner and other gedolim of Israel. Again, gedolei hador of the past and present generations have said that any Beth Din that coerces Gittin in defiance of the Shulchan Aruch (the way the Gedolim read the open words of the Shulchan Aruch without twisting things) is an invalid Beth Din. Any woman who got a GET from them must get another GET as we do not recognize the first GET from a Beth Din that has no Chezkas Beth Din, because it does what Rabbi Heinemann believes in, coercing the husband to give a GET.
Now let us supply the sources in the Shulchan Aruch. See Even Hoezer 77 paragraphs 2 and 3, and the Shulchan Aruch, the Ramo, the Beis Shmuel, the Chelkas Mechokake and the Gro. All forbid coecing a GET or pressuring a husband to give one based upon the demand of the wife to be freed of her husband because she cannot tolerate being with him. If Beth Din without the wife's complaints recognizes that the husband is not fit to be a husband, that could lead to coercion. But the majority of cases today of divorce is not because the husband is unable to have children, etc., but because the wife wants out of the marriage. Her complaint that "my husband is disgusting to me" cannot allow Beth Din to coerce a GET or pressure the husband to divorce.
The Gro there EH 77 #5 says clearly that none of the present authorities permit coercion of the GET because of the wife's desire to be free of him. Posek HaDor Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashev zt"l said that there is not even a mitsvah for the husband to give a GET, but as the Rashbo says in his teshuva VII:414 "If the husband wants to divorce he divorces. If he does not want to divorce, he does not divorce." This statement is accepted by major poskim and is quoted in the Shulchan Aruch EH 77 paragraph 2 and 3.
The idea espoused by ORA and it seems Rabbi Heinemann that any wife can break the marriage and have the husband forced to give a GET is therefore completely wrong. It is important to maintain a list of all women divorced by ORA because their children may be mamzerim, which is the opinion of the Gedolim in Israel today.
Monday, February 16, 2015
Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn
We posted a previous attack on those in Philadelphia who want a married woman to remarry without a GET. It seems that certain nameless rabbis permit this, although at least those “rabbis” are smart enough not to let anybody know who they are. Let us look at the Shulchan Aruch and the idea of letting a woman remarry without a GET. The only reason somebody could permit a woman to remarry without a GET and her husband lives is because there was a condition attached to the marriage and it was violated. So, let us look at this and see how it applies to those who simply rubber stamp a “not-married” sign on any woman who wants it.
See gemora Yevomose 94b that one may make a condition about getting married and if the condition is violated the marriage is negated. But this applies only to Erusin, or Kiddushin, the stage of marriage when people agree to be husband and wife but they did not have Chupah and may not be together. The second phase of marriage, when the couple are together and certainly when they have relations, are different. When the couple comes together in marital embrace, generally, violating conditions don’t negate the marriage. Why not? Once a man and woman have relations it is not customary to continue with the conditions that may make the marriage negated. Because if the marriage is negated the husband and wife are living with zenuse which is a disgrace. Therefore, in general, one may make a condition in stage one of marriage. Kiddushin, when the two are not together. For instance, they can say that the marriage will only be valid if the wife is without a serious physical blemish. And if she has such a blemish, the marriage never took place. But once they are together, the general attitude is to refuse living with zenuse, and therefore the conditions are cancelled and the marriage remains.
Tosfoses there D”H but nisuin says that a condition may apply even after the couple is together, but this is rare because of two reasons: One, if the marriage is cancelled after the couple has been together it would retroactively have been a relationship of zenuse, so it is disgrace for a Jewish man and woman to be together without marriage which is zenuse.
Another reason that people refuse to cancel a marriage after they have relations is that the pleasure of being together in intimacy cancels their interest in negating the marriage. These two factors usually operate to cancel any conditions when the couple has relations. And yet, if the couple made a condition and they made it clear that being together will not cancel the condition but it will cancel the marriage if violated, then we could discuss about the fate of the marriage. But the lady in Philly never made any conditions to negate the marriage if such and such happened. Therefore, she has no grounds for negating the marriage. And furthermore, even if she did make a condition before having intimacy and afterwards, and really wants to break the marriage, she is obviously in violation of the standards of most Jews, and is thus a lowly woman.
Only a clearly stated condition made before the stage of marital intimacy can cancel a marriage. And once the condition is violated, the wife must leave the house immediately as she lives without kiddushin in sin. Did any of this happen to the lady from Philadelphia?
The Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer 38:35 says that “one who makes kiddushin, the beginning phase of marriage, with a condition, and then has relations, and at the time of the relations was silent and did not promote the condition, the marriage is not cancelled even if the condition was violated.”
See the lengthy study of the Beis Shmuel in EH 38:59. There are discussions and opinions about when a marriage can be negated, when it is not negated but the woman needs a GET to remarry, when the condition creates a doubt and when it is negated, etc. Thus, anyone who seeks to remarry without a GET has an obstacle course to run, and afterwards, no normal person would want to marry her. First of all, the Philly lady taught by Shalom Kaminetsky to rely on a condition to cancel the marriage shows that bias zenuse is something she accepts, and is a lower person in violation of the proper standards Jews traditionally accept. Second of all, she never made a condition that anyone knows about, and nobody knows who permitted her to remarry. What normal Jew who believes in the Torah would marry such a person? And this woman comes from fine stock, as her father was a close friend of the Philly Yeshiva. Is this what he is seeing from his place in Gan Eden, that his daughter refuses my offer to make a GET with her husband, and instead, she makes a circus that would shame almost any Jew?
For shame on her. For shame on Shalom Kaminetsky for helping her remarry and produce mamzerim. And shame on Shmuel Kaminetsky for knowing what is happening and he does not stop it. And obviously, people suspect that the son would surely not do anything without his father’s permission. If so, he has a lot to answer for.
Again, I have spoken with the husband and he wants a GET. But he wants to settle certain things such as custody for his daughter. And yet, Shalom Kaminetsky is helping this lady completely married to remarry without a GET. This can only lead to mamzeruth, something that I intend to strongly publicize. Again, if this woman remarries without a GET, I will strongly publicize the fact that the children are probably mamzerim. And I will let the husband know exactly what I plan to do. I will make him famous, along with the wicked ones who encourage a woman without a father to destroy her life and that of her children.
This woman has no father and is like a yesoma who needs rabbis who will help her, and I am here to get her a completely kosher and normal GET after certain minor things are settled. Why does she insist on following Shalom Kaminetsky along a path that can dissuade any normal Torah Jew from wanting to marry her? This is a major mystery.
I don’t understand the whole story. The husband Aharon Friedman delivered the child he brought back from Washington in 2012 to his mother-in-law’s house, and was pounced on by a group of goons and beaten, but he escaped. Two years later, the FBI arrested a group of Orthodox goons. And a month after the FBI arrested the group of Orthodox goons, Aharon’s wife announced that she does not need a GET, and is free to remarry. A friend of mine was solicited by Shalom Kaminetsky to marry her, even without a GET, which Shalom declared was not necessary.
Why did the wife decide she doesn’t need a GET only after the goons were arrested? And why is Shalom Kaminetsky doing something, to help a married woman remarry without a GET, something that every child knows is wrong, when doing this will invite me and others like me to publicize that he is a creator of mamzerim? And does Shalom not realize that many people, such as me, suspect his father of being involved in all of this? Does he not care about the honor of his father?
I think I have made my point. If they don’t stop now, I won’t stop either. I have the backing of gedolei Yisroel who want me to pour on the heat. It won’t go away. I say to you Shalom, stop now. Call me and let’s settle this with a nice peaceful GET and restore quiet to Philadelphia. I have better things to do than to sit and write articles about mamzer producers. But if they are here, I am also here. And I am in the process of talking to more and more major authorities, who are shocked at this story and want me to fight as I am fighting. And who is the rabbi who told you, Shalom, to marry a married woman to somebody else without a GET? I want him on my list, right up front. And of course, you will supply that rabbi’s sources to disagree with the gemora and the Shulchan Aruch and the accepted policy of Beth Dins never to permit a married woman to remarry without a GET. This is pure rishuse. But there must be a reason for doing this pure rishuse, when it is not necessary in order to get a GET. Surely there is another reason why this woman is claiming that she does not need a GET, and there is surely another reason why Shalom Kaminetsky publicizes this.
This is such an interesting case. Rachmono litslon. I feel sorry for the poor woman who is being advised to destroy her life. But I also feel sorry for Shalom Kaminetsky, because what he is doing is obviously related to hidden things I did not mention. But maybe the hidden things are worse than anything I can write. Who knows?
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn/Monsey, NY 10952/845-578-1917
I strongly protest the incredible and unheard of sin committed by Shalom Kaminetsky of Philadelphia, probably with his father’s approval, to help a woman remarry without a GET! For years I have strongly protested the actions of Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky who tells people to coerce husbands to force a GET from them, in utter defiance of the Shulchan Aruch and poskim. But now his son probably with his approval has decided to sin even further with helping a married woman to remarry without a GET! Incredibly, we don’t hear a roar of condemnation about this from every mouth. It is quiet. Well, now it is not quiet. I hereby protest the hideous sin of the Kaminetskys: Shmuel’s sin of coercing Gittin and Shalom’s sin of encouraging a woman to marry without a GET. Upon remarriage with a coerced GET or no GET, a woman produces children who may be mamzerim, the ultimate child abuse.
Reb Shmuel Kaminetsky has long called for coercing husbands to give their wives a GET upon the wife’s demand when the marriage is broken. This is in utter defiance of the Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer 77 paragraphs 2 and 3. There the Shulchan Aruch, Ramo, Beis Shmuel, Chelkas Mechokake and Gro clearly forbid coercing a GET based upon the wife’s demands that she cannot stand the husband. The Gro there #5 says that nobody disagrees. So how can Shmuel Kaminetsky disagree? And furthermore, when Shmuel Kaminetsky signed letters calling on everyone to torture husbands because the wife was tired of them or whatever, did he talk to the husband and hear his side? See Choshen Mishpot 17:5 And did Shmuel Kaminetsky sign these treifeh letters as a favor to his good friend the father of the woman who wants a GET? Is this not highly questionable, to posken for a friend against her enemy? See Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpot VII:6 that both sides in the Din Torah must be equal in the eyes of the Dayan. So how could S. Kaminetsky pasken against the husband when he is a best friend of the father of the wife?
And Shalom Kaminetsky’s efforts to get this lady married without a GET without mentioning what rabbis permitted it is also unheard of. I say this: This woman, if she remarries without a GET, will be forbidden to her old husband and her new husband and will be a soteh living in zenuse. Her child will be a mamzer vadai. And if some rabbi does say that a woman can remarry without a GET, the vast majority of rabbis in the world and the greatest ones are completely convinced that the woman without a GET may not remarry.
It is a great mitzvah that everyone call Shalom Kaminetsky and his father and ask them what source they have or what rabbi they have to permit a woman remarrying without a GET. If they remain in their position of being poskim against the Shulchan Aruch we call upon all parents not to send their children to the Philly Yeshiva of the Kaminetskys and not to support the Yeshiva, and to protest to the Kaminetskys that they are making a chilul HaShem and mamzerim.
The idea that one rabbi or two rabbis can permit a woman to remarry for reasons nobody else ever heard of has no place in halacha. See teshuvose Mahari ben Lev IV:19:3 “Even if most rabbis permit dovor shebierva (if a woman is permitted to marry somebody) but some forbid it, we are stringent and forbid the woman to remarry.” And even if we can understand following the majority of poskim who permit her to remarry as we usually follow the majority in pesak, if we have a majority who forbid the woman to remarry and some rabbi or two claim she is permitted, we surely must follow the majority. If so, how can the woman remarry?
The Philadelphia woman is not an Agunah. I speak to the husband regularly and he is happy to settle with a GET but he wants to organize the visitations of the child and perhaps some other things, as in every GET. Shalom Kaminetsky is destroying this woman’s life. He should convince her to contact me and get a GET and settle with the visitations like every divorced woman. This way she will not be a zona and her children will not be mamzerim. And if she does remarry without a GET, will the Kaminetsky family accept the child in marriage or will they fear to take a mamzer in marriage?
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
What are the first teachings of the Talmud? The Talmud begins with a question: When do we recite the evening Shema prayer? It does not answer the question directly by telling us that we recite the Shema prayer when it becomes night. It answers something else, “When the Cohanim priests enter to eat their Teruma, a sacred food.” So, we still don’t know when to say the night Shema.
The second teaching of the Talmud is that the end time to recite the Shema of night is the first Mishmar or Watch of the night. Whose Watch? This is not answered. One question brings two statements that are meaningless.
When we look deeper into the two answers we detect important teachings about prayer in general and indeed about relating to G-d. And just as these two answers seem to be confusing but actually reveal major concepts of the Torah as we will explain, so when somebody learns any part of the Talmud, he must anticipate deep ideas and find the hidden jewels.
The first teaching that we begin the recitation of the night Shema when the Cohanim enter to eat their Teruma is an interesting law. A Cohan became seriously impure somehow and during the day purified himself in a mikva. He is not yet completely pure and cannot enter the Temple until he offers a sacrifice, but he is pure enough to eat Teruma. Thus, the recitation of the Shema takes place at night but this teaching is taught indirectly. First we must learn that Cohanim eat Teruma before they are completely pure. This tells us that reciting the Shema, accepting the Yoke of heaven, the love of G-d, the great mitsvose of the Torah mentioned specifically in the Shema, do not require a perfect person. Even one who is trying to escape a past of mistakes may say the Shema and turn to HaShem. Shema is a very holy thing and all of us hope to recite it before we die, so our souls enter Paradise with the Shema. But we don’t have to be completely pure to do that. We do what we can, even though further work is necessary the next day. And that qualifies us to say Shema and come to HaShem and declare “And you shall love the L-d your G-d.” Maybe your love of G-d could be improved. But say Shema as you are , as you are struggling to find holiness, and that is enough.
The second statement in the Talmud’s beginning is that the final time for reciting the night Shema is at the end of the First Watch. But when is that? The gemora says that this opinion, of Rabbi Eliezar, is talking about the Watch in heaven of the angels. In heaven the angels sing songs of praise to HaShem in assigned times and places. They have Watches. The night is divided into three watches and there are angels for each of them. When the First Watch of night ends, new angels appear, but the time to recite the night Shema has passed according to Rabbi Eliezar.
The idea here is for us to realize that human prayers are closely connected to heaven. The angels pray to HaShem and so do people. This lets us realize how holy prayer is.
Thus, the two lessons in the Talmud are taught in a way to reveal important ideas about the service of HaShem in prayer. First, the holiest prayers don’t require perfect people. And secondly, when we pray, we are praying with the angels, and we are close to the greatest holiness.Perhaps the greatest problem in life and especially in Torah is to be proud of our relationship with G-d and not depressed by our mistakes. There is so much failure and frustration many people don’t say the Shema and pray with the proper confidence and joy. Here we are encouraged to say Shema and pray with the angels before the Presence.
Monday, February 9, 2015
A Jew once sinned so terribly that nobody recalled a Jew doing such a thing. A rabbi was asked to explain how this could happen. The rabbi answered, "I don't know why this Jew sinned so terribly. But one thing I tell you. He meant with his evil did to serve HaShem."
All of us have temptations to do evil. Many people will do what they can in business to make a buck, even though it may be improper. But because they realize that what they are doing is wrong, akin to stealing, or actual stealing, they don't lose control completely. They may do some bad things, but there is some kind of control remaining. However, once a person is convinced that the evil deed he is doing or he wants to do is really a good deed, what can hold him back from serving HaShem?
We read this coming week the Torah portion of Mishpotim, meaning "judgment." In this portion laws of stealing and killing are discussed. This is amazing, because the portion before Mishpoatim it Yisro, when the Jews received the Torah from G-d Himself at Sinai and heard the Ten Commandments. Would it not have been more appropriate to follow such an elevated event with something about the highest holiness, such as the building of the Tabernacle, instead of the hideous evil that portion deals with?
But a Jew has a Torah soul, and is not so close to killing and stealing and damaging. But when he is convinced that killing or stealing or damaging is a good deed, and by so doing he serves HaShem, what is to keep him from killing and stealing and damaging?
Someone called me that he had borrowed a large sum of money, and had to repay it. But he had no way to repay it. He became emotional, and began talking about his situation and why the lender should understand. Finally, he got to the point. He won't pay the wealthy man, and the wealthy man won't miss it. But the wealthy man will have the mitsvah of giving him charity. Acording to this, by now paying what he borrowed, the rich man will merit the pleasures of the Future World. Of couse, this was uttered in bitter desperation, but when people are pressured, and they have no recourse, they do the worst things and call it a mitsvah. Thus, the worst evil can sprout from the greatest good.
A woman once came to me with a bitter tale about her husband who wanted a divorce. She wanted him to remain with her. She wanted me to talk to the husband to save the marriage. Now, this is surely a worthwhile and good thing. But this lady was chasing her husband for decades. Her youth had left her and she just kept at it. I told her that if she lets go of her efforts there is a chance she can remarry and find some happiness instead of running around the world asking for people to call her husband. But she was serving HaShem and HaShem surely wants people to stay married. Thus, she gave up her life to serve HaShem. This woman was once young and lovely. She could have left one marriage and quickly found another one, maybe with better help and preparation to find the right husband. But no, she just kept up serving HaShem, as she saw it.
Not long after this I was by the great Posek Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashev zt"l and asked him if I was right when I told her to stop chasing her husband and to remarry. He agreed with me. Some times, we serve HaShem and destroy others. And sometimes, we destroy ourselves, HaShem Yerachem.
In one of our discussions, Rav Elyashev zt"l pointed out to me that there are rabbis who want to help women remarry when the husband refuses to give her a GET. These rabbis can help get a GET for the woman in appropriate ways, or they can do something not appropriate. It is not that rabbis want to do evil things. But they want to do a mitsvah and help a woman to be freed when she demands her freedom. Now, maybe the husband and the children don't want a divorce and a broken family, so why break up the family for the wife? But some people feel that the wife has her rights to break the family and damage the husband and the children. Now, a forced GET is invalid. The woman who gets such an invalid GET remarries and has a child. That child is a mamzer. Making a mamzer is the most hideous sin. But some people do it because they want to do good.