Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tamar Epstein Friedman Remarries – What is the Public Reaction?

By Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn

Tamar Epstein Friedman, with the encouragement of the Rabbis Kaminetsky in Philadelphia, was remarried by Rabbi Notto Greenblatt of Memphis, Tennessee, even though she was still married to Aharon Friedman.   I wrote a post called “Rabbi Greenblatt Makes Mamzerim.” Other than that and my brother’s very popular Israeli blog that was filled with this, silence.  But the silence was misleading. People were reading my blog and my brother’s blog. They were reading the flyers I gave out. And they were getting very angry. As the street stiffened in its objection to this, the rabbis who struggled to find the facts had an easier time. Finally, there was a crack here and a crack there, and then, some big cracks. People now know basically what happened, and they have proof of the major points.
When the community got to work to fight this and find the facts, every shade of Orthodoxy was represented.  Those who worked on this did not go around bragging or making statements. So people could mistake the silence for disinterest. Nobody is rushing .  They want to make sure that nobody ever tries this again.
The version of the story accepted by  people I have spoken to is as follows: Rabbi Greenblatt was told by Rabbi Shalom Kaminetsky that Aharon Friedman had an incurable mental illness that made him completely unable to satisfy a wife. Out of respect for Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky, Rabbi Greenblatt completely accepted the story, and performed the marriage. Previously Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky signed a paper forced on him by two major rabbis that he no longer encouraged Tamar to remarry. But somehow she remarried anyway.
Here I want to talk about three people or groups who fought this. One is me. I fought immediately not because I knew why Rabbi Greenblatt did what he did, but I fought because I know that in halacha there is no possible permission for such a thing, as I describe in detail on my blog many times. See later here. Next is my brother Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn. My brother has an ability foreign to me. He does incredible things that nobody understands until finally everybody accepts it. His blog exploded after the marriage with ideas how to annul the marriage which turned out to be right on target. And he immediately showed why those ideas, getting therapists or psychiatrists to declare somebody with a mental illness and thus claim that the marriage is negated, has no place in the Torah.
The Gaon Rav Henkin states clearly that in the past centuries nobody ever negated a marriage because of some defect of the husband. This is also the opinion of the Nodah Biyehuda II:80, Bais HaLevi, and Kovneh Rov. See also gemora Kesubose 72,73 and Even Hoezer 38,39 and 117. Nowhere does it say that if a woman has a husband with a blemish or problems that the marriage can be cancelled. The Gaon Reb Moshe Feinstein permits this but only on the condition that the husband is truly horrendous such as a homosexual, and that it is absolutely impossible to get a GET. In the case of Tamar Epstein Friedman, the husband wanted to give a GET. But he wanted an improvement in visitation rights regarding the daughter. According to Reb Moshe, there could be no negation of the marriage in these circumstances. Thus, Rabbi Greenblatt performed a marriage for a married woman that is forbidden by all Torah authorities, the gemora and Shulchan Aruch. So he and Rabbi Kaminetskys are reshoim.
The senior Gaon Rav Nissim Karelitz of Bnei Braq said clearly that Tamar could only marry if she had a GET.  Rav Suriel Rosenberg, the Rosh Beth Din of Rav Karelitz, was there when Rav Karelitz said she had to have a GET. He subsequently wrote in strong support of what Rav Karelitz said. Rav Rosenberg is considered one of the major poskim in our generation. The Beth Din of Baltimore that dealt with the case until Tamar ran away to Philadelphia said clearly that there was no possibility to negate the marriage because of any fault of Aharon Friedman, and that any children born from Tamar from her new marriage would be mamzerim.
Let’s consider the husband, Aharon Friedman. Rabbi Greenblatt declares that his wife is free to remarry without a GET. And how is this possible? Only because Aharon has such a terrible mental illness that it can’t be cured and no woman can be married to him. Rabbi Greenblatt, besides making mamzerim of Tamar’s new children, makes a mental case out of the husband Aharon. And guess what:  when Rabbi Greenblatt believes the Kaminetskys and declares Tamar to be free to marry without a GET, he has turned her into a sinning adulteress. And when he declared that Aharon was mentally insane and unable to be a husband, he destroyed his name and future  to remarry. And both things Rabbi Greenblatt achieved, the destruction of Tamar and her new children, and the destruction of Aharon, are completely mistaken and have no place in the Torah, and no place in truth.  Aharon who has for years maintained a high position in Congress as an attorney, is not mentally ill. Furthermore, during the years that Aharon and Tamar went to Beth Din and courts about their marriage, Tamar never successfully argued that Aharon had any mental problems. The Baltimore Beth Din knows exactly what Tamar did say about Aharon and why she wanted a GET. Therefore the head of the Baltimore Beth Din told me that there is no hint at all from his experience with Tamar’s claims that she felt that Aharon was mentally incapable of being a husband. He further told me that if she has a child it will be a mamzer. So much for the lies of the Kaminetskys.
Rabbi Shalom Kaminetsky had a married woman remarry without a GET for invalid reasons. He did a terrible sin to teach the wife to ignore her marriage and remarry without a GET. He did a terrible sin to teach a woman to remarry and have mamzerim for children. He did a terrible sin to make up lies about the husband Aharon. For each of these aveirose, bain odom lichaveru, Yom Kippur does not atone, only the forgiveness of the injured person.  Can the baby  mamzer really forgive? Can anyone really forgive? If Shalom Kaminetsky was the main power in this hideous sinning, he is a rosho and can not be a Rosh Yeshiva. Do not send your child to Philadelphia Yeshiva. It is forbidden to learn Torah from someone like that.
 I called up Rabbi Greenblatt and told him that he married off a married woman. He told me that Gedolim permitted this and anyone who disagrees has chutzpah. I told him a Chazon Ish and he hung up on me.
Just as it is a mitzvah to proclaim the evil in Shalom Kaminetsky and the terrible mistakes of Rabbis Greenblatt and Shmuel  Kaminesty, so it is a mitzvah to proclaim the suffering of Aharon. He has been demonized in Washington, DC so that no shull will invite him to doven there. He has been humiliated by the cursed organization of mamzer producers ORA, sponsored by Rabbi Herschel Schachter and recommended highly by Rabbi Moshe Heinemann.  This despite the Rashbo in VII:414 that forbids humiliation even for a husband commanded by the Talmud to give a GET because he cannot be a man. Certainly a man who has a child is not to be humiliated. The pressures of  humiliation are in the words of Rabbeinu Yona “humiliation is worse than death,”  a great pressure that makes a GET invalid.
We have a world where some rabbis who get themselves a name do what they want. This is  the tragedy brought about by Rabbis Greenblatt and Kaminetsky.
In the coming generation, any woman who received a GET from Rabbi Greenblatt may be suspected of having an invalid GET. Any woman who was freed from her marriage because ORA or others humiliated the husband is also a suspected person and needs a proper Beth Din to determine if she may remarry. The anger is building against rabbis who think they are “great ones” and  twist the Torah and destroy  people’s lives.
We have to do two things. One, we have to stop demonizing men who don’t give their wives a GET, and we should rather listen to their side of the story, especially if they have children. Two, we need to increase the study of Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer, Family and Marriage Laws so we will be safe from the inventions of the “great ones.”

We want to publicize flyers, booklets, audio tapes, telephone conferences, and have public teachings about the laws of Gittin and family.
Anyone interested can contact me Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn at 845-578-1917 or

Thank you,

Dovid Eidensohn

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Hidden Mamzerim - And Why They Are Hidden

By Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn

I received a call from a prominent Gittin personality who told me the following:  One, the Rabbis Kaminetskys and Rabbi Greenblatt are not the only ones who make remarriages without a GET. There are others with positions in various Beth Dins. But the vast majority of Haredi rabbis and even Modern Orthodox rabbis  disagree. Therefore, this  guarantees that from these “remarried” women will come children considered to be mamzerim or at least doubtful mamzerim. And who would want to marry somebody who may be a mamzer? And if a child has even laaz, a whispering that he may be a mamzer, who would marry him?
Another thing this rabbi told me was the following:  A woman remarried without a GET. Somebody asked her why she did not fear that people will denigrate her or her children as adulterers and mamzerim? She replied, “I know ladies who remarried without a GET and they live in peace. I, too, will live in peace.”
Well, Tamar Epstein Friedman will not have this luxury, no fault of her own. She only does what her rabbis the Kaminetskys tell her. But such a pity on her new children. Everyone knows that they are mamzerim or at best doubtful mamzerim, who are also forbidden in marriage. But we have to be aware of the two things this rabbi told me. One, there are rabbis with positions in Beth Dins who permit remarriage without  a GET. And there are people among us remarried without a GET who are having children, and nobody is aware of the problem.  These children are part of our community and nobody suspects any problems. Maybe it is time to teach people to suspect problems.
There are those who are trying to organize a response to this problem on the national or international level. I wish them success. Personally, I have no hope for this at this time. I am looking for something else, a small group of people who follow the Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer and the Poskim. I am now talking to people who want to do something in response to the  Tamar outrage. It is a person here and a person there, but since so many people are good and angry, the number will grow. And when it reaches a certain level, it will become strong and able to influence a lot of people.
I want to distribute flyers about these problems to make people aware of the halochose. I want to speak in different areas to educate and inspire as many people as possible. And I want to produce educational materials to teach people the halochose with some depth.
If you want to get involved or help out in this cause, please contact me Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn at 845-578-1917 or .

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Horror of Tamir Epstein Freidman Making Mamzerim

By Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn

Tamir Epstein Friedman of Philadelphia has left her husband without a GET. Rabbi Notto Greenblatt of Memphis, Tennessee, re-married her although he knew that she did not have  a GET from her husband. Tamir’s real  husband Aharon wanted to arrange a GET, but the Rabbis Kaminetsky claimed that they have proof that Aharon, the husband, has serious mental illnesses that cannot be cured and she is therefore justified in leaving him and remarrying without a GET.
We will bring sources here to show that even if this claim that Aharon Friedman had mental problems that can’t be cured and no woman could live with it was true, and it surely is not at all true, she would still not be free. These are the words of the Gadol HaDor in America before Reb Moshe and during some of Reb Moshe’s life, the Gaon RavYosef Eliyohu Henkin, in his work The Writings of The Gaon Rav Yosef Eliyohu Henkin (Volume I in the section Pirushei Ivro page כג  45): “We have not heard and have not known from Talmudic times that a Kiddushin can be negated because of a blemish, and certainly after a full Marriage [when the couple was together] or [have we heard] that it was ruled that she is free without a GET. And we have seen these kind of questions in all places and at all times, and in all of these instances they required a GET! We see from this that no matter what the circumstances of the blemish and problem, it was at best still a doubt and it was impossible to negate the Kiddushin at all. Even if the blemish was proven and even if the other side did not know about it previously. And look at the Teshuva of the Noda Biyehuda II number 80…”
The Noda Biyehuda there discusses many cases of women who were trapped in terrible marriages and were Agunose mamosh, and some wanted to claim that “for such a husband she did not accept marriage”.  But the Noda Biyehuda rejects this and shows that even many women who were unable to tolerate their husbands and were Agunose and were tricked into marriage could not negate the marriage. The Gaon Rav Henkin in his two volume collection of writings devotes much time to explaining these laws and basically says that when a couple marries even if great problems and blemishes are found the marriage cannot be negated without a GET, similar to what the Noda Biyehuda says. If there are physical problems that render a woman AILENUSE or incapable of serving as a woman in marriage, or if a man had a similar problem, there may be a possibility to negate the marriage. But if someone is a normally structured male or female, and has serious problems, what Rav Henkin says is true. He also treats in his work at length about Ailenuse. See also Tosfose Kesubose 72b d”h על מנת. Rav Henkin devotes much to these kind of questions in Volume I page 39 – 50.                                                                                                                                                                HaGaon Reb Moshe Feinstein zt'L  disagrees and with certain extreme cases will consider the woman unmarried because had she known about the husband she never would have married him. But I heard from Reb Moshe’s gabei and the Gaon Rav Avigder Miller zt”l that Reb Moshe refrained later on in his life from doing some of the more extreme findings in his teshuvose about Gittin.  If so, we can probably doubt if Reb Moshe would want the teshuvose about remarrying without a GET to be done today. This is because even Reb Moshe accepts that nobody who dealt with these issues ever agreed with him, going back generations. The greatest authorities such as Kovneh Rov and Bais HaLevi the Rov of Brisk and father of Reb Chaim Soloveitchik clearly forbid negating a marriage regardless of blemish or such problems. And their refusal to accept this is a statement of the gemora Kesubose 73b based on a Mishneh Kesubose 72b and a gemora that is quoted in the Shulchan Aruch EH 39:5 with no disagreement.  From the Gro and Beis Shmuel there it would seem that the obligation for a GET is a Torah obligation not just rabbinical obligation. See also Even Hoezer 117 3-4.
  And even if Reb Moshe did want marital negation done today, he makes it clear that he only permits this if there is absolutely no chance for a GET.  Everything, everything, must be done to get a GET otherwise he does not give permission for the woman to remarry without a GET. Aharon Friedman told me he would give a GET but wanted better visitation rights. Reb Moshe would thus never permit Aharon’s wife to remarry. Thus the two Gedolei haDor of the past generation, Rav Henkin and Reb Moshe, would both forbid Tamir from remarrying without a GET. The Noda Biyehuda, one of the greatest poskim of the past centuries, makes it clear that in the case of much worse problems than what Tamir faced, he forbids her to remarry without a GET. And we mentioned before that the Kovneh Rov, Gadol HaDor and the Bais HaLevi Rov of Brisk and father of Reb Chaim Soloveitchik, also required a GET. So Rabbi Greenblatt and the Kaminetsky crew disagree with Reb Moshe, Rav Henkin, the Noda Biyehuda, the Kovneh Rov, the Bais HaLevi and the fact that Reb Moshe himself says that throughout the generations, when these questions come up, the rabbis always refused permission for the woman to remarry. But Rabbi Greenblatt disagrees with centuries of clear pesak based upon a teaching in Shulchan Aruch which is based upon an open gemora in Kesubose 73b and a Mishneh 72b.
Those who dealt with Aharon and Tamir in their marriage problems say that the whole Heter of Rabbi Greenblatt is completely wrong, and that any child Tamir will have with her new husband are mamzerim. The sin of this falls on Rabbi Greenblatt, and those who tricked him with clever deceptions will answer in this world and the next.
1.       See EH 39:5 – If one marries a woman with Kiddushin alone, and does not make a condition but finds that she has a blemish most people refuse to accept, it is a doubt if the Kiddushin is negated and so the woman must have a GET.
2.       If one marries a woman with Nisuin and makes no conditions, but finds that she has a blemish most people refuse to accept, it seems that she is married and needs a GET  but does not get any Kesubo money. EH 117:3-4
3.       See Kesubose 172b the Mishneh and the gemora on 173b about if a marriage is negated because somebody had a problem.  One opinion is that we need a GET dirabonon and one holds it is a doubt and we need a GET from the Torah. The Beis Shmuel and Gro rule in Shulchan Aruch 39:5 that the GET is a Torah obligation (see Tosphose על מנת 72b, which is the opinion of Rovo in the gemora).
4.       In the event that the blemish or problem was that the male or female were physically unlike normal men or women, this may produce a situation when if this is discovered after the marriage that the marriage is negated. See Rav Henkin’s sefer Volume I page 41 about a woman who had a structural problem and men who lacked the ability to procreate, etc. See 41-50 there.
5.       A prominent Dayan went to Israel and talked to Rav Nissim Karelitz, who told him that Tamir needed a GET to remarry. The Head of a Beth Din said that without a GET her children will be mamzerim.
6.       What is the halacha when rabbis disagree about a woman being able to remarry? The rebbe of the Beis Yosef, Reb Yosef ben Leiv the מהר"י בן לב states that if rabbis disagree the woman should not remarry. And even if the majority of rabbis permit the remarriage but some forbid it, the custom of the rabbis in his time was for the woman not to remarry.
7.       This has a source in Tosfose Kesubose 2a that when somebody deals with a possible sin that will last for a long time, such as a marriage to a woman who is forbidden to him, we reject the usual standards that would create leniency, and are strict. This is because a sin that lasts for a long time and occurs many times must be treated in a strict matter.
8.       If rabbis disagree and the question is a Torah sin not a rabbinical sin, we must take the stringent side. See Ramo Choshen Mishpot 25:2 in Ramo.
The question now is, what is next? How many women will apply for negation of marriages that produce mamzerim? How many rabbis will be influenced by Rabbis Greenblatt and Kaminetsky to invent new laws about freeing women from their husbands?
Another question is, what do we do when we want to marry off our children? Who can we trust?
We have to find responsible rabbis and Beth Dins and check out each person if they had a GET or not, if it was coerced or not, if it is valid or not.
The next generation will have mamzerim. We must be aware of this, and make sure that we check as carefully as we can not to marry people ruined by Rabbis Greenblatt and Kaminetsky.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Remarrying Without a GET: The Halacha and the Problems - Unit Two

By Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn
When the news came out that Tamir Epstein Friedman remarried without a GET, nobody knew why and how this could happen.  Little by little from speaking with Rabbi Greenblatt and other sources an idea of what happened emerged.  But this itself that a rabbi should remarry a woman without publicly explaining a) why he did this and b) what rabbis signed with him to permit it - is a very strange thing. The vast majority of rabbis who heard of this are strongly opposed to the remarriage and fear that a child born from it would be a mamzer.  A prominent rabbi from Yeshiva University called me and was so much opposed to the remarriage of Tamir  that he started to sputter with fury.
I am writing this for a variety of reasons. One, since prominent rabbis arranged this remarriage without a GET, many other women will follow Tamir and get annulled marriages from Rabbi Greenblatt and Rabbi Kaminetsky. And since the vast majority of rabbis say that babies born from the remarriage of a woman without a GET are mamzerim, we will have a crisis when these problem children reach marriageable age, and even before, when the terrible label is known. I therefore, number one, want to show that there is no reason whatsoever to rely on what Rabbi Kaminetsky and Rabbi Greenblatt did, and they remarried a woman who is still married to her first husband. Furthermore, since the second marriage is not recognized, the remarried woman now becomes forbidden to her first  husband and also her second husband. And if she stays with the second husband, her children will be mamzerim, and she will be known as a woman sinning with adultery.
Let me say this immediately. I do not blame Tamir Epstein Friedman for what she did. She has always, as her father before her, turned to the Kaminetskies as her Rov. Her father died before all of this started, and she is simply doing what the Kaminetskies tell her. Her mother gave her lawyer sixty thousand dollars to pay for a gang to kidnap and beat the husband Aharon and force a GET out of him. The gang attacked after Aharon had dropped off his daughter at his mother-in-law’s house. Aharon managed to escape the attacking goons and eventually the FBI proved that the mother’s lawyer, Goldfine, had sent a sixty thousand dollar check to the goons to kidnap and torture Aharon until he gave the GET. This has nothing to do with Tamir Epstein Friedman, although her mother and her mother’s lawyer are surely in deep legal trouble, as kidnapping is a capital crime in America. The Kaminetskys father and son will answer for their sins in the next world, a process begun now in this world, as people are furious at them for doing such a thing and making mamzerim.
I called up Rabbi Notto Greenblatt and told  him that he performed a marriage on a married woman. He replied that “Gedolim” permitted the marriage and whoever disagrees has Chutspah.” I responded that the Chazon Ish says that if a Beth Din requires a husband to give a GET when he is not obligated to do so, and the husband writes it, the GET is invalid for two reasons: One, the Beth Din pressured him with their authority, and the pressure of honoring Beth Din when the Beth Din has no legal right to pressure invalidates the GET by the standards not of the rabbis but of the Torah. Furthermore says the Chazon Ish, if the husband had known that the rabbis spoke without the authority of the Torah and had erred, he never would have given the GET. Therefore, the GET is invalid as a mistake, by Torah not just rabbinical standards.
Rabbi Greenblatt hung up on me.
Anyone who reads the Shulchan Aruch or gemoras knows this. Even if “Gedolim” ruled on something but were mistaken, their ruling is cancelled. Not only do we have an extensive coverage of this in Choshen Mishpot 25, when the mistakes of great rabbis are cancelled, and when the rabbis have to pay for their mistakes, but we have an entire trachtate in the Talmud Huriyuse about the mistakes not of just great rabbis but of the greatest rabbis, the Sanhedrin, who cause all of Israel to sin and sacrifices must be brought to atone for this.
And now Rabbi Greenblatt has done a strange thing to marry a married woman without explaining why, and he considers all of the prominent experts on Gittin to be “chutzpah.”
Well, Rabbi Greenblatt, a lot of chutzpah is out there, because all of the senior rabbis that I spoke to are furious with those who made this ridiculous  marriage and maybe mamzerim. And since the story broke recently, people  who are familiar with all of the great authorities on marriage and what they hold about annulling marriages have been hard at work, and no Gadol has been discovered. Precisely the opposite. Senior rabbis have signed against the second marriage;  the major rabbis of America, Israel and Canada. Even prominent Modern Orthodox rabbis such as Rabbi Herschel Schechter are disappointed with the Kaminetsky invention.
 Months before Tamir remarried, a prominent Dayan went to HaGaon Reb Nissim Karelitz of Bnei Braq to discuss this, and Reb Nissim said that the woman may not remarry without a GET. That Dayan told me that when he was in Israel Dayanim came to him with disbelief that anybody could perform a marriage for a woman who is already married and has no GET. Yes, what the Kaminetskies did is unbelievable, but it happened. And what we have to do now is to make sure that everyone understands that what the Kaminetskies did is pure rishuse that will produce mamzerim. As for Rabbi Greenblatt and his “Gedolim” he refuses to name them and nobody has discovered a “Gadol” who agrees with him.
There are those who point to Reb Moshe Feinstein that he permits some women to leave their husbands without a GET only if no GET at all is possible. But since the husband Aharon Friedman wanted to give a GET if the custody could be improved and perhaps other things as with all divorces, Reb Moshe would forbid Tamir from remarrying without a GET.
Second of all, Reb Moshe’s ruling is in defiance of the major poskim generations before him and also in defiance of Rav Henkin who was the older Rov and probably greater than Reb Moshe. Furthermore, there is an open gemora forbidding the woman to leave her husband without a GET in Kesubose 73b.  How can anyone permit a woman to remarry even with a husband who is truly a monster, when this conflicts with open gemora, a ruling of the Shulchan Aruch and the Gro and the Beis Shlomo, that we pasken like Rovo and the woman needs a GET because it is a doubt of the Torah, and the fact that the greatest gedolim forbade a woman to remarry without a GET even when the husband was truly a monster.
I also heard from HaGaon Rav Avigder Miller zt”l that some of Reb Moshe’s leniencies he retracted as he got older and the world got more frum. I was told by the Gabei of Reb Moshe clearly not to use a certain leniency mentioned in Igeres Moshe. If so, we cannot rely on Reb Moshe, especially when we know that Rav Henkin, who lived at his time and was older and more senor to him, forbids this. Rav Henkin says that some did want to make conditions even after marriage that could free the wife, but four hundred rabbonim attacked this leniency and ruled that no conditions can free the woman once she is in the state of Nisuin or intimacy and surely when she has a child from her husband, as Tamir did.
Thus for generations rabbis here and there invented the right to toy with marriage, but the were greatly outnumbered by rabbis who were much greater than they were. As Rav Yosher Ber Soloveitchik said of one suggestion to make a change in marital law: All of the Ends are Ended

Why Tamir's Remarriage Produces Mamzerim - Unit One - Gemora and Shulchan Aruch

By Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn

I am writing this on Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvon, October 13, 2015. The Yeshiva world is in a turmoil because of the report of a woman remarrying without a GET. The rabbi who performed the ceremony, Rabbi Notta Greenblatt of Memphis, Tennessee, does not publicly reveal his reasons for this, nor do the Rabbis Kaminetsky of Philadelphia, who were the main influence on the woman to accept a remarriage.
I had heard previously about Tamir’s declaration that she no longer needed a GET. In my blog, I attacked the Kaminetskys for backing this. I said that if she marries and has a child I will declare the child to be a mamzer. When she did marry without a GET, I called up a Rov who was the most involved with the couple for several years and knew all of the aspects that pertain to their marriage. I asked him if there was anything that he noticed in the husband that would qualify for the woman to declare that her marriage was a mistake and nullified. He said there was nothing. He also said that if she has a child the child will be a mamzer.  I have spoken to major heads of Gittin Beth Dins, and they are universally opposed in the strongest terms to this remarriage. And yet, some of them will not sign against it, for various reasons. This leaves the impression that the remarriage isn’t so terrible, and maybe there is a reason to be lenient. I am therefore writing this to show that there is no excuse for the remarriage and if she has a child the children are mamzerim.
A woman who married and found out that her husband had serious problems, or a man who married and found out that his wife has serious problems, is a field with a lot of literature on it, from the Talmud, Tur and Shulchan Aruch, and poskim. Keep in mind that marriage takes place first with Kiddushin, when the wife is not in the house of the husband and not in a Chupah, but perhaps in her father’s house. Then there is a complete marriage called Nisuin, when the wife goes to the  husband’s house, or to a Chupah, or has intimacy.
A condition made before the woman went to the house of the husband is very strong. If somebody violated the condition by Kiddushin and not by Nisuin, the marriage is negated. But if the couple made a full marriage or Nisuin and it was determined that the condition made by Kiddusin was violated, we reject the condition. This is because once a couple completes the marriage and are together, we assume that they negate any condition that could negate the marriage. Perhaps because being together with a negated Kiddushin in Zenuse. Also, the pleasure of intimacy can somehow cause somebody to cancel any conditions that would destroy the marriage. We will soon quote the Shulchan Aruch in these matters.
First, a Mishneh in Kesubose 72b: “A man who takes a woman with Kiddushin on the condition that she not have oaths] and he finds out that she has oaths, the marriage is negated. If he marries her [full marriage] without conditions and she is round to have oaths she leaves him without a Kesubo [meaning she must have a GET]…If he married her  [full marriage]without conditions and finds that she has blemishes she must leave  him [with a GET] but no Kesubo.”
The gemora discusses if “He married her with Kiddushin and then married her completely without a condition: Rav says she needs a GET.” The Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer 38:35 says, “One who marries Kiddushin on a condition, and then had intimacy with her, or took her into his house without a condition, she needs a GET. Even though the condition was not fulfilled [we fear that] maybe even though the condition was not fulfilled, perhaps he cancelled the condition when he slept with her or brought her to his house.”  Ramo adds, “And if somebody else gave her Kiddushin she needs a GET from both of them.”
See Shulchan Aruch EH 39:5 “One makes Kiddushin without conditions, and then discoverers a serious blemish, the woman has a doubtful marriage [meaning she must have a GET].” Beis Shmuel there quotes Chelkas Mechokake that as soon as the person realizes the problem he complains and wants to break the marriage. But if he procrastinated and delayed, the marriage is valid.
The Beis Shmuel then says that if the Kiddushin and the Nisuin were done without making conditions, and it was discovered that a major blemish, etc. was there, the marriage is valid. Meaning, perhaps the blemish negated the marriage and perhaps not. The Torah requires the couple to divorce with a GET or else the woman is considered married, at least,there is a doubt  if she is really married.
The gemora discusses this in Kesubose  73b: “One who makes Kiddushin and the Nisuin without a condition and it is discovered that the woman [or the man] has a serious blemish, she leaves the marriage [with a GET] but no Kesubo.” The gemora says, “She needs a GET but does not get money for the Kesubo.” One opinion is that the GET is only a rabbinical requirement, but it seems that Rovo feels that it is a genuine doubt, and the Torah requires a GET.
The Beis Shmuel says that the Rambam and the Tur rule like Rovo, that the woman needs a GET by the Torah standard not just rabbinical standards. It seems that the Gro agrees that we rule like Rovo. The Gro also suggests that we look at EH 38:35. There we find “One who makes Kiddushin with a condition, and had intimacy or came to the house of the husband without a condition, she needs a GET, even though the condition was not fulfilled [there was a bad blemish or similar thing that called for the cancelation of the marriage] perhaps the man cancelled the condition when he had intimacy or brought his wife to his house.”
 “Ramo writes, “And if another man makes Kiddushin with this woman she needs a GET from both of them.” We thus see the process of making a doubt if the marriage is cancelled. But the doubt leaves a Torah level doubt that must be dealt with strictly.
We thus have learned of two cases that are doubtful negations of the marriage: if the man made a condition and it was violated but he also had intimacy or brought the wife to his house; another case is that with no conditions made it was discovered that a bad blemish exists. If so, there is a doubt if the person suffering from this blemish cancelled the marriage, and we must be stringent and give the woman a GET. She cannot just leave.
See also EH 117:3-4 “A man marries a woman without conditions, and it is discovered that she has oaths  as taught in 39, she should depart from the husband without a Kesubo [but she must have a GET.]
Also, one who marries a woman without conditions, and it is discovered that she has serious blemishes as mentioned in chapter 39, and the husband did not know about this blemish, she should leave without a Kesubo.”
We have shown so far the gemora and the Shulchan Aruch ruling that if people marry and find problems the marriage is not cancelled. And even if they did make a condition before they achieved full marriage and intimacy, we assume that the full marriage caused the husband to cancel his conditions, at least, there is a doubt about this.
If so, what happens when somebody has a husband like Aharon Friedman, a person who has achieved a high position in the National Congress in Washington, DC for years, a person who is admired by many people. What grounds are there to negate the marriage?

We understand that somebody went to some rabbis and said that Aharon was mentally ill and cannot be cured. The rabbis believed these somebodys, which is a grave error. When two people differ and argue, and a rabbi or a Beth Din gets involved, they must talk to both side of the case equally. Did  this happen with Aharon? End Unit One in this Discussion

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Family Problems Audio - Part One

Family Problems Audio - Part One

A series of audios about Family Problems, the recent scandal of a woman remarrying without a GET, and a discussion of where things are and where we are going and what to do about it.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Mamzer Maker Talks about "Gedolim"

The Mamzer Maker  Talks about "Gedolim"

By Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn

In my previous post I described my phone call to Rabbi Greenblatt of Memphis when I challenged him why he performed a marriage on a woman married to somebody else. His response was that what he did was an act of Gedolim. He said further that any Beth Din that disagreed with him was a mechutsof, because once Gedolim have ruled nobody can disagree. When I quoted for him a Chazon Ish that a Beth Din that rules differently than the Shulchan Aruch is to be ignored and if they made a GET it was invalid for two reasons by Torah not only rabbinical ruling, he hung up the phone. What I gained from this phone call was very important, not just for me, but for everyone. We now know the problem of “Gedolim.” In this letter I will talk about Gedolim and if others may challenge their decisions. Hopefully, our next post will be to explain what reasons Rabbi Greenblatt may have had to do something that everyone I spoke to who knows the laws of Gittin feels is wrong and that children born from this marriage would be mamzerim. And because the problem of rabbis ruling about Gittin in defiance of the Shulchan Aruch is a major problem, we have made posts on it in my blog at and will produce more. The growing violation of  the Shulchan Aruch is a problem even a crisis, especially for the children born from it.

Let us return to the subject at hand: May a rabbi who considers himself a Gadol and has found other rabbis who consider themselves as Gedolim, rule on taking somebody’s wife away without a GET, and then claim that anybody who shows that their procedure is not proper according to the Shulchan Aruch and poskim is a mechutsaf.

The Chazon Ish clearly states that a husband who is not supposed to be forced to divorce his wife and Beth Din tells him he must give a GET and gives it because of the command of the Beth Din, that the GET is invalid by Torah ruling. One, it was forced by the command of the Beth Din, and two, it was given by mistake, because had the husband known the Beth Din was wrong, he never would have given the GET. If so, people can surely challenge  rabbis because everyone can make an error. People who set themselves  up as Gedolim and therefore impervious to error are violating the Shulchan Aruch and the Torah. Let us show this.

The subject of great rabbis, even the greatest rabbis in the world, making an error, is found in the Talmud.  In Moed Koton 19A we find that a thief was stealing the fruit from the orchard of Reish Lokish, one of the greatest scholars of the Talmud. Reish Lokish found him stealing and shouted at him to stop but he refused to stop. Reish Lokish then pronounced the ban upon him, called SHAMTO, a very serious curse. The  thief replied, “You pronounced the ban on me for stealing from you. But if I stole from you I owe you money, but I don’t deserve such a terrible curse. The curse is therefore not on me, but on you.” The man then left and Reish Lokish went to the authorities to ask about what the man said. The Beth Din said, “His curse is valid and  your curse was not.” From here we see that a thief, a lowly man, can criticize the work of a great rabbi in such a matter. If a rabbi makes a mistake, he can be corrected. And if the rabbi does something wrong, he can be told so. And the rabbi cannot respond, “But I am a Gadol.”

The Talmud has an entire section on great rabbis making mistakes, called Huriyuse. There on 4b there is a Mishneh that the entire Sandhedrin, the leaders of the generation in Israel, can err with a mistake or even by deliberately declaring a wrong opinion. In another Mishneh there we have a Sanhedrin, the greatest rabbis, deciding a case, and one rabbi tells them they are mistaken. That disqualifies the entire ruling. Thus, it is possible for dozens of great rabbis to make a mistake that is noticed only by one rabbi, and that negates the entire power of the ruling of the Sanhedrin, although in ordinary lower courts majority rules. But people at the highest levels do make mistakes. Being great is not a guarantee that you are right. And when somebody offers a correction, you must listen and be ready to change your mind.
Furthermore, for a rabbi to rule on negating a marriage, something unheard of in the Torah community, he may only do such an invention after he asks permission from the greatest rabbis in the world.

I was involved in a case of a doubtful mamzer whereby the greatest rabbis in Israel had a certain innovative plan to permit him to remarry, but although it was mentioned in ancient books it was not done today. They therefore sent me to HaGaon Reb Moshe Feinstein for his opinion, that is, if he would approve of what they wanted to do. He told them that they had his permission to do what they proposed, but he hinted strongly to them that he wanted them to give him the question, and they did. The Israeli rabbi who told me to give the question to Reb Moshe and not the Israeli gedolim was the senior rabbi in Israel, Reb Shlomo Zalman Aurebach. But to do something new you have to have backing from everyone, and Reb Moshe solved the problem with nothing new.

For a rabbi living in Memphis Tenn. to negate a marriage and remarry her  without asking all of the great rabbis their opinion is a major chutzpah that I never heard of. And nobody it seems knows who the Gedolim are, other than Rabbi Greenblatt and probably one other rabbi who is not at all an expert on the laws of Gittin but a Rosh Yeshiva. Why don’t we have a list of the “Gedolim” who permitted this and their reasoning? What we do know is that the vast majority of Torah rabbis who know the laws of Gittin are completely opposed to the remarriage of a married woman. If so, this itself creates a situation whereby most rabbis almost all of them will consider the children born form this couple to be mamzerim. So who will the children marry? Isn’t this an incredible cruelty? 

All of this could have been avoided if any of the people on the wife’s side had responded to my request that we make a GET by approving some deal with the husband about custody so he can see his daughter more often. The husband wanted to give a GET but only if the wife will improve his custody instead of fleeing to Philadelphia and making him travel many hours to see his daughter.

The story of the husband and his suffering is hideous, and is another story, a story that tells a lot about the level of rabbis and their dealings with women who demand a divorce. The entire process of a few individuals who are closely associated with certain people and certain ideas who just pronounce a woman free from a marriage with no proof and no list of who are the “Gedolim” involved, is an outrage. And Rabbi Notto Greenblatt Makes Mamzerim when? In Tishrei the same time of Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur, and Succose. That tells us a lot about what is holy to Rabbi Greenblatt. 

We have a lot of material to add from the Shulchan Aruch on how Rabbi Greenblatt mishandled this very sensitive and serious matter. Much material on this exact case is on my blog . I wrote there to protest the Kaminetsky family in Philadelphia encouraging Tamir Epstein Friedman to remarry without a GET. I brought down proofs from the Shulchan Aruch and the Talmud that there is no way to  permit her to remarry without a GET. This position was taken by the Gaon Rav Nissim Karelitz when he was asked by a prominent Dayan. The Dayan told me that he was inundated in Israel with questions by other Dayanim how anyone can allow a married woman to remarry without a GET and nobody had ever heard of such a thing. The Rosho Greenblatt and the Rosho Kaminetsky thus are doing something that is considered completely wrong by everyone this Dayan spoke to and those that I spoke to. Is this not cruelty to the babies born from them? How heartless are they to do such a hideous thing.

This whole thing could have been settled with an improvement in custody for the husband. But no. The Kaminetskies encouraged Tamir to declare she doesn’t need a GET and she began dating, and now is “married” to somebody while she is really married to Aharon. And when Tamir has children from her new “husband,” and nearly all rabbis consider her children to be mamzerim, who will they find to marry?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Rabbi Greenblatt Makes Mamzerim

Noto Greenblatt Makes Mamzerim
By Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn
Today Thursday Chol HaMoed Succos I received a call that Rabbi Notto Greenblatt  of Memphis marriedTamir Epstein Friedman to somebody although she had no GET from her  husband Aharon Friedman.  I called Rabbi Greenblatt and he said that he had performed the ceremony. When I told him that great rabbis forbad the remarriage without a GET he replied that Gedolim had permitted her to remarry. He told me that if Rabbi Elyashev zt”l would disagree it would not change his mind, and that the rabbis who disagree with his “Gedolim” just have chutzpah. He asked me what a person like me has to do with this that I disagree with him. I told him that  the Gaon Rab Yosef Shalom Elyashev zt”l gave me a semicha to have a Beth Din for Gittin and further he gave permission for me to use his name for it.

 I called up a Rov who was intensely involved in the couple when they discussed their marital problems, and I asked him if there was any chance that the husband has some kind of defect that could have cancelled the marriage and thus allowed her to remarry. He told me there was no such defect and that if the woman has any children they will be mamzerim.

I quoted to Rabbi Greenblatt the pesak of Chazon Ish EH 99:12 that if the Torah does not require a husband to be coerced to divorce his wife but a Beth Din told the husband he is worthy of being forced to divorce and he gives the GET because of that statement, the GET is invalid. First it is invalid because the Torah did not require a coercion and the Beth Din did require a coercion. Thus, the Beth Din coerced the GET in violation of the Torah and the coercion is invalid and the GET is invalid. Secondly, the husband gave the GET under false pretenses thinking that he must be coerced to give a GET. Therefore, the GET is invalid by the Torah not just rabbinic level.  Anyone who learns carefully the laws of Gittin regarding this issue knows that there was no source to permit a married woman to just remarry and the “Gedolim” like Rabbi Greenblatt who permit these things are just making mamzerim. I wonder how many mamzerim Rabbi Greenblatt has made. Any woman married with his special inventions should ask a proper Beth Din if she is permitted to remain with her husband and if her children are mamzerim.

But the main problem is that married women cannot remarry without a GET or the death of their husband. Reb Moshe Feinstein was asked about a husband who was discovered to be strongly addicted to homosexuality and the wife ran away. He said that the great authorities of all generations had refused to permit her to remarry for various reasons. But he showed that in this extreme case there is room for leniency but since the great authorities disagreed with him he ruled that the woman must do everything possible to get a GET. Only if all fails does he permit this. And this only in this extreme case and with the understanding the no other great authority in centuries permitted it.

In this case of Mrs. Friedman, I spoke to the husband months before and he told me he would give a GET if the wife would allow him proper custody rights. Therefore, Reb Moshe would never have permitted her to remarry. Therefore, in this case, not only do all of the great rabbis of the generations forbid the woman to remarry without a GET, but even Reb Moshe would forbid it until she gave in to the custody demands.

On my blogspot I have many posts on these topics and in the leading Book Section there is a collection of many of them.
I can be reached at 845-578-1917 or

Dovid Eidensohn