Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Every Child a Success - Success in Torah and Success in Money, trained from childhood for both and without wasting time.

Wealth Begins with Childhood

There are two gemoras that require wealth from a Torah Jew. One is the gemora in Huriyuse 10b, where Rovo demanded from his students that they achieve wealth, so that they will not be struggling constantly to keep abreast of financial pressures. The other gemora is Sota 44A, a passage from Shlomo HaMelelch that requires one who marries to first have a house and a vineyard, in other words, wealth.
First Rovo asked his students if they achieved proper progress in Torah by learning this and that volume in the Talmud. And they had learned those volumes. Rovo then asked them if they had wealth, and they said yes.
Rovo’s disciple Rav Popo, who became himself eventually one of the greatest rabbis, told Rovo that he had wealth, and it came from purchasing land.  So, the great rabbis sometimes had wealth. How could such a thing be? People who must learn day and night, when do they make the wealth?
This question bothered me a long time, but finally I came up with an idea.
The solution is that a father trains his child in two directions. One, is to learn a lot of Torah. Two, is to earn a lot of money. We are talking about young children, so how do they make money? But the father must see that his child masters a proper amount of Torah, and a father must see that his child grows into wealth.
This idea is actually, by our present public-school standards, very strange. Our public-school system, and even our parochial schools, are designed to educate children in many things that have nothing to do directly with money. The money, in today’s educational system, does not go to young children. It does not go to teens. It does not go to people in college. It does not go to people seeking an advanced degree. At the end of the line, the person who has spent many years studying this that and the other thing, may enter the money market and use his education to achieve earnings and even wealth. But this takes place very far along the road of education. In fact, those who see money as the result of advanced college degrees may have to wait years before they see money. And before they see money after years of studying this and that without earning money, they are actually forced to pay for the college and the education that they hope will eventually produce money. And they may be right. If somebody, for instance, spends many years studying how to be a doctor, when he finally becomes a doctor, he may make good money. But the money he spent on the colleges, etc. and living for years without earning but in spending, holds his earning time back for years.
Thus, our idea does not fit in with the collegiate system. So who is right? The collegiate system or the train-the-child system?
We know that there are, in America, many people who came here as adults without knowing how to speak English. And yet, some of them make good money. How is this possible? They have no college background, but some of them make good money. An important idea emerges from this. The collegiate system is not the only way to make money. It is there because it educates American children to become good Americans, whatever that means. But if a Jewish child is trained from early age to make money and to spend even more time on learning Torah, he has learned the moral aspects of life and the next phase after Torah is money. He doesn’t need the collegiate system, which in some ways contradicts our system of morality.
Actually, the issue has reached the Supreme Court of America in Wisconsin vs Yoder, and they ruled in favor of the Amish that their religious style of training children was more important than the state’s idea of training children. Here is some of the material:
State v. Yoder 49 Wis. 2d 430 (1971) and Wisconsin v. Yoder 406 US 205, 32 L Ed 15, 92 S Ct 1526

In this case, the Wisconsin Supreme Court weighed the state’s interest in educating children against the First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom. The Court held that a state law requiring children to attend school full time was unconstitutional because it infringed on the freedom of the Amish to practice their religion, reversing a Green County Circuit Court decision. In reaching this decision, the Court distinguished itself from courts around the country that had upheld compulsory education. The majority opinion was authored by Chief Justice E. Harold Hallows. Justice Connor T. Hansen concurred joined by Justices Horace W. Wilkie, Bruce F. Beilfuss, Leo B. Hanley, and Robert W. Hansen. Justice Nathan S. Heffernan dissented.

The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which affirmed the state Supreme Court’s ruling in a 6-1 decision authored by Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. Justice William O. Douglas dissented in part from the majority. Justices William H. Rehnquist and Lewis F. Powell, Jr. did not take part in the case.    In this case, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that Amish parents could remove their children from public schools after the 8th grade as an exercise of their right to religious freedom. The Amish separate themselves from modern society and provide their children with their own system of education structured in accord with their beliefs. The appellants were the parents of three teenagers who had attended the New Glarus public schools. The parents were fined for refusing to enroll the children in the high school in the fall of 1968. This was in violation of the compulsory school law. The respondent, the state of Wisconsin, argued that the state had a legitimate interest in compelling children to attend school and that this outweighed the interference with religious freedom. In making its decision, the Court weighed the appellants’ constitutional right to religious freedom** against the state’s interest in compulsory education. In determining how heavy a burden the statute placed on the Amish, the Court considered the beliefs of the Amish religion. Justice Hallows wrote:   The period of adolescence is critical in the religious and cultural development of the child because at this time the child enters gradually into the fullness of Amish life, is given responsibilities which would be directly interfered with if he were compelled to go to high school . . To the Amish, secondary schools. . . teach an unacceptable value system . . . We view this case as involving solely a parent’s right of religious freedom to bring up his children as he believes God dictates. End of Supreme Court ruling for the Amish.
For our purposes, raising Jewish children to master a lot of Torah and morality, and to earn large sums of money to allow them to marry and buy a house and property, is exactly what the gemora in Sota 44 teaches. It is Jewish law. It is the Jewish religion. Why should we train children to learn for many hours things that are remote from Torah and earning wealth? This seems exactly what the Supreme Court ruled when it sided with the Amish, also a nation that has its own religious style of morality that conflicts with the secular American system.
Having said that, I present here a story I invented about a Jewish child doing exactly the above, learning a lot of Torah, earning a lot of money, and when he marries, he has the funds to buy a house and property and live comfortably, exactly as the gemora teaches in Hurius 10b.
Let us talk about Shimi, a young child from a farming district, who, as our story begins, is five years old. Shimi’s father spends time with Shimi to teach him Torah, besides what Shimi learns in school. But Shimi’s father also teaches his son how to earn money. This is the crucial factor that will make Shimi an experienced businessman with wealth after a few years of training from his father. When he approaches the years of marriage, about seventeen or eighteen years of age, Shimi is prepared to buy a house and a vineyard, because of his father’s strong training in Torah and wealth. Let us follow Shimi as he advances in both Torah and wealth.
When Shimi turned five, his father gave Shimi some fruit from the farm and told him to trade it with his friends in school. The children soon began to enjoy the trading, as every father and every farm had various properties that could be sold for profit. Children who made a few pennies were thrilled, and they wanted more, and more. Thus, the young children whose fathers trained them in business besides Torah learning were becoming experienced in business. How did this happen?
One day, Shimi’s father took him to a house, owned by Shimi’s father’s good friend. The good friend answered the soft knock of Shimi and noticed who was standing a bit removed from Shimi: it was his good friend Shimi’s father. The good friend immediately realized that the purpose of this visit by Shimi as he was observed by Shimi’s father was to train Shimi, and essentially, to break him into knocking on doors and losing his fear of strangers. The good friend did his part, and Shimi was full of joy when he left the house, especially as he swished his fingers into his pocket where there were a few small coins. To Shimi it was a treasure, and he wanted more. As time went on, there were more knocking on doors, and more coins swishing in Shimi’s pocket. But he wanted more and more and more. His father spent a few months just training Shimi in basic business, to knock on doors, to feel the coins, to want more. And so things went for a few months.
One day, Shimi’s father gave him a nice piece of leather, taken from the farm. This time, the father did nothing. Shimi went out and rapped on several doors before he found someone who wanted to purchase the leather. The person paid Shimi some coins and took the leather. Shimi went back full of excitement to his father, but this time, the father was not happy. “Shimi, that piece of leather was worth $25, and he paid you one dollar!” Shimi was crushed. He burst out crying. Shimi’s father sat him down and told him about business.
“Shimi, let me tell you about a friend of mine, who married into a wealthy family, and was given a very large sum of money. This money was to support him when he went into business. But my friend was never trained in business, and had no experience with thieves. So, a clever crook managed to steal half of his large sum of money. When he realized how angry his father-in-law would be, he panicked, and in desperation, invested what money was left in something that he had no experience with. He lost that too. So you see Shimi, you lost $24 dollars, and you will never forget it. You will never lose a fortune like my friend did, because you lost $24, but he lost a huge sum of money that in all likelihood he will never recover. Again, Shimi, never in your life will you earn something as valuable as when you lost that $24 dollars. Because it teaches you how to protect every penny and not to make decisions not rooted in heavy business experience and the knowledge that some people are thieves. That knowledge will save you a great amount of money. When you grow up and marry, you will never be ashamed from your mistakes in business, because you just made the last stupid mistake.”
Not long after this, Shimi’s father took him for a walk around various properties. Shimi now was very careful and watched his father and the people he talked to carefully. Shimi listened to the back and forth as his father struggled with the owner of a property trying to lower the cost, but his father could not lower the price and turned away. Shimi asked his father if he wasn’t upset that he had not closed the deal? Shimi’s father was waiting for that question. He sat Shimi down and explained to him that in business one must never push the deal beyond a certain point. When two people begin the final haggling to transfer a property each one wants the deal, and they know how much to ask for it or pay for it, and within a certain framework, they know what will probably happen. They also know not to trust people who offer large sums for an expensive property. It is all part of doing business. Shimi listened and recorded every word.
Shimi grew and advanced in Torah learning and making money. He didn’t watch television, play baseball, hang out and do nothing for a few hours every day. He was always involved with advancing in Torah and earnings. If he was tired or needed a break he took it, but he knew the important things and was determined to succeed.
As Shimi grew older he had purchased several properties. His father had trained him carefully to await the fall of the price of a property and to bargain down the seller. So he had some good properties, some he sold and made an immediate profit, and some he used for himself, if they could develop into a property that created monetary profits. The money he earned he put away. When he was younger he simply gave his money to his father, who returned some of it so Shimi would learn the value of money.
One day a wealthy man visited Shimi’s house. He began talking to Shimi and spent some good time with him asking him all kinds of questions. Shimi by that time was a sophisticated businessman besides being an advancing Torah scholar, and he realized that the wealthy man had come to the house only to see him. He knew that this man had never, as he recalled, come to the house, surely not to visit him. But he was not the slightest bit nervous. What could the wealthy man want from him? Surely it isn’t money. And if he wanted something, Shimi would just sit there until he decided to spill the beans. But the man finally smiled broadly and said that he enjoyed talking to Shimi very much but now he had to leave. When he left, Shimi noticed that his parents were very excited, but they did not tell Shimi anything.
 A week later the wealthy man returned together with a prominent Rov. Again, they focused their attention on Shimi and again they were both pleased. This time after they left, Shimi’s parents took him into a room and told him what was happening.
The wealthy man was the son of the prominent Rov. The prominent Rov was getting along in years and was about to retire from his position at a large shull. The wealthy man also had a daughter who it seemed was exactly what Shimi’s parents were interested in for Shimi. Therefore, the wealthy man and the prominent Rov came to Shimi’s parents with the following proposal. Shimi would marry the daughter of the wealthy man. In the interim the community wanted to build another shull not far from Shimi’s parents and Shimi would be the Rov of that shull. If all worked out well and people were satisfied with Shimi for the next few years, then when the elderly Rov retired, his shull would go to Shimi.
Furthermore, the wealthy man completely put at Shimi’s disposal what he suggested as a salary for the two shulls. He also agreed to leave it to Shimi if he wanted a salary at all. He knew that Shimi did not need money from a shull, as he was known as a successful businessman. Shimi even owned a lovely house with a vineyard which was obviously being groomed for Shimi’s personal use when he married.
Shimi would go into areas with small value in houses and property, buy up a few properties and houses, and encourage people to buy there. As more people came there, prices rose. Shimi would make Torah schools for children and staff them with excellent teachers and Torah scholars. More people would then come. Gradually, the value of the houses and the land rose, which brought Shimi financial profit and also great spiritual satisfaction. Once the Yeshivas and schools became well known for providing the high level of Torah learning and Derech Erets that everyone wanted, more and more parents began to move into that district and enroll their children in the schools there. Children went there for some years and when they reached marital age there were people there who wanted such students.
My dear friend. All of this is as far as I know pure fiction. My question to you is: Why is it just fiction? Why can’t your child and my child grow up wealthy in Torah and money? Isn’t this what the gemora Huriuse 10b and Sota 44a demand and require from everyone?
So far we have made a story about a child going to a boy’s Yeshiva and succeeding in Torah and money. But what do we do about ladies? Doesn’t everybody know about the Aishess Chayil, the woman of valor, who supports her husband with her hard work and has various businesses? Yes, we believe in the written Torah, and know about “the woman of valor, who can find her?” Her many jobs bring success and wealth to her entire family while her husband learns Torah with the elders of the city.
The Torah is pointing the way for men and women to become strong in Torah and wealth. What are we waiting for?

Our previous discussion was about teaching children Torah and wealth. Teaching children Torah, ideally by a parent, achieves the maximum connection between teacher and student, a parent and his child. The mother can surely connect with her daughter. We mentioned before how the “woman of valor” had many businesses and supported her entire family comfortably while her husband sat with the Elders of the Community studying Torah. In my family, my wife supports all of us including some funds for the grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
I think I mentioned before that several prominent teachers of children in elementary school told me that our schools have say four out of 25 students who despite government grants and efforts by family cannot succeed in our Yeshiva schools.
A dear friend has spent much time studying the tragedy of students in Yeshiva who at about the age of sixteen become involved with drugs, sometimes with fatal results, HaShem Yerachem. Another dear friend who teaches for many years in a major Yeshiva told me that in Monsey two boys are buried after they killed themselves.
This, that our children are becoming destroyed in our Yeshivas, is something that requires some thought, obviously. One person said that a problem with our students is that there is a great emphasis on producing those who learn deeply with complicated Talmudic studies. Not every child is able to do that. Do we tolerate a child who is not comfortable with the deepest lomduse?
A parent who has a problem child has a choice. Let the child be lost and nobody knows how lost. Or find a school that is special and let the child attend it. This costs a fortune. Who can afford it? Who can afford a lost or broken child?
I want to say that the system of education in America insists on adding many things to the program that are of no value to the child. This was the theme of the Supreme Court case about the Amish in Wisconsin. This set the ground for Torah Jews who want Torah and wealth for their children.
But let us think carefully what the next step is. I have ten children and I have succeeded with my own flock. But there is a whole world out there. What can we do to put our children on the right track, something that requires several tracks, as not all children are the same.
We have discussed in the previous pages problems and solutions. I want to present the problems of children growing up to threaten their lives or sometimes actually over-dosing and dying. I want to present the most prevalent problems of some children in a large class who cannot succeed properly in that learning environment. That is the problem. What is the solution?
Our final chapter here will be: Let every child succeed. Let us now begin:

Let Every Child Succeed

When those of us who keep up with the news, the good and the bad news, and come across the title of this article, Let Every Child Succeed, they may be turned away and even angry that anyone can be so ignorant as to claim that every child can succeed. So let us go slowly and steadily. Just keep  your shirt on and you may find some good ideas here. Now, if in the class with 25 students four are probably going to fail, and we save one child, we are surely doing the right thing. But I am proposing saving all of the children. Now, either I am making a ridiculous mistake, or else, I am onto something. In our work suggesting problem after problem I supplied solutions. So, I would like to have my ideas here at least listened to, and maybe, who knows?
Here is idea number one. This idea opens a door of great possibilities. If we are right about idea number one, we not only will find that there is here a treasure of ideas for many if not the majority of all students and all backgrounds. But we are suggesting that the failures of our students in schools are not the fault of the students at all. It is the fault of the educational model a school prepares for its children. The school prepares a very narrow view for the child of life, a view so narrow that some students, in order to win passing grades, will struggle to obey the teachers and their wrong ideas. And some students will just give up and take a loss on life. What we are saying is that we want to know what the underlying needs of all people are, and once we discern our first idea underlying needs of all people, we begin to sense that we are about to open a door, and nobody at this point knows what the door hides. We want to find out.
Okay, what is our first idea? Our first idea is an effort at knowing the machinery of the human being. What is the mechanism within people that causes them to think ideas that can bring them happiness, and what are the ideas that cause them to turn off?
Inevitably, these questions require us to think beyond what we have been trained to do, because our training is probably something that has no true source or it has a source that serves only a limited range. We want range.
We come to our first challenge. There are forces within us that are related to the infinite and forces that are related to the finite. If we begin to talk about the infinite, we must admit that we talk about the infinite with finite words and clarifications. Is this not a contradiction?
But we escape this trap when we realize that we are religious people created by heaven. Heaven knows how to create people who relate to heaven and earth, because we are all possessed of an infinite heavenly soul, and a mind that is geared to the finite. Heaven created us this way, so it must be central to us. Let us not forget the beginning of the bible, “In the beginning G‑d created the heaven and the earth.” The exact translation of that phrase is “In the beginning of ___ G‑d created the heaven and the earth.” “In the beginning of ____?” In the beginning of what?
That sentence is confusing and missing something. But it is the first passage in the Torah. We can take it or leave it. If we take it, we accept that we have within us heaven and earth, the infinite and the finite. And furthermore, we have within us “in the beginning of” which means nothing, but it is the most powerful statement. It says that there are infinite knowledge and finite knowledge, and there is something else, something that is beyond the infinite and the finite. But it is there and it is us.
For our purposes, we want to know what forces guide us in our earthly sojourn with a heavenly soul. And we note that we have the heavenly infinite to pray to HaShem and we have the this-world finite to deal with earthly matters. And we have a secret mechanism “beginning of ___” that is a secret. But it is advertised as being there and being real. So it must be important. How important? Maybe it means to tell us that all human beings can easily deal with heavenly infinite and worldly finite. But the missing word in the first passage of the biblical Torah is there for us to notice it, and to adjust our lives accordingly, whatever that means. But it means we have to think about it
Well, what do I think about it?
Let us say what we know and what we don’t know. We know that there is heaven and there is earth. We also know that there is a third dimension which is beyond finite and infinite knowledge per se. But the missing words in the first passage in the Torah is very important. But if we don’t have the source to understand it, of what good is it?
Perhaps it is appropriate to mention a teaching in the Zohar. The Zohar says that there are revealed teachings of the Torah and there are hidden teachings of the Torah. This is true in the pure Kabbalistic realm, that some achieve fantastic revelations, as Moshe Rabbeinu did, and some achieve lesser revelations. But HaShem created the world and the Torah for all Jews. Every Jew has a right to seek knowledge and Torah. Sometimes he struggles to understand something in his personal life that is not based on some Kabbalistic teaching. And after he struggles, he suddenly realizes the solution. This is crucial for parents, for people with businesses, and for all people who need good advice.
Heaven and earth are two separate dimensions that we read about and understand to a degree. But the missing word in the first passage of the Torah tells us nothing. But it is the first passage of the Torah, and the Torah was for all Jews to study. What missing word was put there for all Jews to realize and recognize? Because all Jews have the power to struggle to understand and merit divine help and guidance, some in the deepest levels of mysticism, and some in the ability to raise children, and some with ways to earn a living. There is heaven and there is earth. And above all of this is HaShem. He is above the Torah and is the missing letter, because He is everything for all who study the Torah and struggle to be good Jews.
Let us now turn once again to our efforts to know the secrets of the system of humanity.
The fact is, that most of it is spelled out very clearly for us to begin knowing it. The gemora in Berochose 35B discusses how people are supposed to conduct their lives. People live in this world and have to earn a living, and yet are obligated to learn Torah. The Shulchan Aruch teaches laws of the daily prayers. It then teaches laws for people who finish prayers and now go out to study Torah and to make a living. The gemora, and the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim, and the rabbis in Pirkei Avoth, state clearly and emphatically that a Jewish man must devote much time to learning Torah, but if he does not have a job to earn money, he will end up a thief. Rambam mentions that a person can learn nine hours a day and work three hours a day. The problem with that is who can earn in three hours what many people earn in eight hours? But earlier we have presented our idea that a child must begin earning very early in his life, perhaps when his father trains him to make money. Such a child after years of doing business, should have saved up enough money to buy a house and make a vineyard and more. Thus, great rabbis who devoted their time to learning were also wealthy. How could that be? Because they began their lives very early, as children, taught by their fathers.
A farmer once said that to be a farmer you have to begin as a child. A doctor once said that a child is designed to sense new things and to absorb them, but a child is not designed to review and review and create new understanding of his material. A child is thus designed to succeed with new things. An adult, on the other hand, is designed to study deeply what he learned already, but is not adapt so much in learning brand new things.
An adult thus rides on the success of his childhood. What the child has absorbed and liked is continued by the adult. But the adult is not designed to readily adapt new things. But those things the adult has adapted from childhood stay with the adult and he can think again and again about what he learned earlier in his life. And something new can emerge from it. But the child is busy picking up new things and absorbing them. He is not designed to review and review new things which are becoming old things. After he enters adulthood, that is the time to think deeply about earlier thoughts.
Thus, childhood is crucial for young and old. The young can only really deal with new things as a child. An adult can only really deal with deeper things if he learned them as a child. But if he is fifty years old and studies something he learned when he was thirty, that is hard going.
What we are driving at is that life centers on children. An adult who never utilized his childhood to seek out new thoughts, will probably never obtain them in a way to really understand them and their potential. The farmer who said that only a child can be a farmer might have added, “and not just farmers.”
This brings us to another aspect of success. A child has potential an adult does not have. But a child is just that, a child. A child has a potential perhaps denied to an adult. But what child can pop out of his crib and become successful? A child achieves potential from parents. This brings us to the delicate and frightening topic of how to raise a child. The parent wants to have authority. The child is not born with the obedience to senior people, even parents. How does the father inculcate respect for himself in his child? If we assume that a child is not born with the habit of being a perfect child to a parent, and we go further that a child may behave or misbehave, isn’t it necessary to crack down and to force the child to behave? On the other hand, any attempt to force a child against his will is very dangerous. The solution is to be a father who presents his child opportunities to achieve what the child wants.
Let us go back to our earlier story of Shimi, a boy raised by father to succeed in learning Torah and in business. Shimi had a glorious future all ready for him when he was just ready to get married before he was twenty years old. The entire story is my fiction, but, why does it have to be fiction?
Shimi’s father that we invented was a farmer. He trained little Shimi from the age of five to succeed in the Torah that he learned in school, and to succeed in business trained by his father. Shimi spent more time learning Torah than doing business, but he succeeded brilliantly in both endeavors. This is taught in the Gemora Bovo Basro 35A and the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim about the laws of going to work after one prays in the morning and does some Torah studying.
What was the key, the secret to Shimi’s wonderful success? Shimi was just a little kid, five years old, and his father began teaching him business. “Shimi, here are some fruits from the farm. Take them to school and trade them with some friends for their fruits or other things.” The key is: Shimi obeyed and came home with some nice things from his friends in school. His father and mother made a big fuss about it. “Such lovely pears! Tasty looking nuts!” A child who gets that kind of a response is going to continue selling the next day.
After a while of this minor selling came a new level of selling. Shimi’s father took him to a house (the house of Shimi’s father’s good friend.) Shimi was scared, but his father was standing behind him. He went and rapped on the door. Somebody answered the door and sees a five-year-old kid. What is this? He notices a man standing there, and realizes that this is a setup from his good friend Shimi’s father. Well, he puts his hand into his pocket and takes out some money and pays for whatever Shimi brought to sell. Can we imagine how happy Shimi was when he felt those coins swishing around in his pocket? One thing for sure, he wanted more. And so it went.
The key to raising children is to find what they would like, would appreciate, with the following caveat: They must be led to do something that can bring them success, specifically, financial success. This can work well in a farming community. But all communities are not the same, and sometimes people must struggle to find a way to reach their children and train them in Torah and learning.
To bring our discussion up to date: Those of us in the ultra-Orthodox community are exploding population-wise. Property in ultra-Orthodox communities that are being torn down to build on them something much more expensive can go for at least a million dollars a house. When you realize that an ultra-Orthodox family can easily have ten plus children and some have much more, you realize that finding a place for the family to live in not a simple matter. To buy houses in an area filled with established people is prohibitive financially. So some groups of Ultra-Orthodox go searching for very cheap land, usually somewhat removed from established communities, and if very few people live there, the price is surely cheaper. If a large group of people want to buy up the land for those easy prices, go for it!
The ultra-Orthodox marry off their children very early, preferably before the age of twenty. The parents do all of the work. After they find a match for their child, they give the choice to the child. If and when it is accepted there are the ceremonies to establish a marriage. The husband then leaves town until the wedding. My nephews leave the country. The early settlers in this cheap community buy in at bargain prices. Gradually, the prices rise.
Where do people in these new communities work? People may do farming, do away with driving, and get some exercise working the farm. There are those who prefer farming or some other work without driving. A person can establish a business so people come to him to fix a car, to manufacture various things, etc.
Ideally, the purchase of a large parcel of property requires a leader, such as when a Hassidic group goes somewhere suggested by their leader. If a group of individuals finds a property and moves in, and there is no clear director, we have a situation similar to partnership. And partnership is often a problem. But in life there are many situations and many opportunities and many problems. If people have to have new land at the right price, they have to figure out a way to deal with partners. It is not perfect, but being without a house is also not perfect.
We have discussed the physical purchase of a house. But we live in a country that has laws. Some of these laws give the power of the state over children. This can clash with the religious values of deeply religious people.
Religious communities must keep in mind the Supreme Court Case about Wisconsin and the Amish, which was won handily by the Amish, but only after a lengthy battle between various courts. We wrote about it above.
For our purposes, raising Jewish children to master a lot of Torah and morality, and to earn large sums of money to allow them to marry and buy a house and property, is exactly what the gemora in Sota 44 teaches. It is Jewish law. It is the Jewish religion. Why should we train children to learn for many hours things that are remote from Torah and earning wealth? This seems exactly what the Supreme Court ruled when it sided with the Amish, also a nation that has its own religious style of morality that conflicts with the secular American system.
We repeat what we said previously, that a percentage of school children fail, and some take dangerous drugs and some die from these drugs. Finding a program that offers many avenues to prosper in life, is a matter of life and death for some children. For others it is a question of happiness or suffering. Let us be open to the idea of making programs where many types of children can find their way. Give everyone a chance. If we wish it, we can find the solutions we need.
In our fictitious story about Shimi, his father was a farmer and he was raised to sell items from the farm and then to buy properties near the farm district. Eventually, these properties once barren of people became filled with people because Shimi had the money and spiritual strength to build schools for them that taught things critical for his kind of community.
If a person is raised and taught by his father, he can become a Shimi. But some children have other needs. Some can make a living mastering electronics, or selling appliances, etc. and etc. The key is to never shut the door. Keep it wide open. And encourage every child to learn what makes them happy. Today we have huge businesses that sell everything. A child should be encouraged to find out something that can turn profitable for him, and where to get the training for it. The world is ready for this. The question is if the schools are ready for this. If the community is Amish or Jewish Orthodox, the Supreme Court will back them in their efforts to train the children in morality. I hope it won’t be an expensive court case.
The bible begins with the story of Creation. In the beginning of ___ G‑d created the heaven and the earth. We explained that there are three factors taught here. One the heaven, or the infinite. Two is the earth, or the finite. And the third level of the missing word in “the beginning of___”. This is the hidden lessons that are revealed miraculously to those who deserve to understand. This missing word is HaShem, who is always available to help a Jew struggling with a problem. We need this knowledge for ourselves, and for our children. Let us wish everyone success in understanding what life has to offer them and their children and their families. One who struggles to know, merits divine guidance.

Increase in Russian viewers of my blog over yesterday

United States

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers

Thursday 10/19/17
US has more viewers than Russia.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Viewing stats for my blog www.torahhalacha.blogspot.com. Majority from Russia US and Ukraine.

My blog www.torahhalacha.blogspot.com



Russia - 339

United States - 324

Ukraine - 253

Question: Why does Russia lead the pack? Why is Ukraine so much higher than other countries besides Russia and US? 

Any comments will be appreciated. Write to my email eidensohnd@gmail.com. 

Thank you.

David Eidensohn

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Problems with Kiddushin and Hope with Pilegesh


It is known that in the life of a Torah child and family, the greatest happiness is often the marriage of a child, especially a woman, who comes to the wedding with exquisite gowns and jewelry. It is appropriate for a woman to feel special about the marriage day. The gemora and the poskim tell us that a man must love his wife as he loves himself and honor her more than himself.[1] A good marriage is about a husband constantly thinking of ways to honor his wife more than himself. The Torah tells us that a man upon marriage should “make his wife rejoice.” Rashi and the Zohar[2]note that the command is not for the husband to rejoice in marriage “with the wife” but to “make her rejoice” meaning, if it is hard for the husband to give all to make his wife happy, he is doing things properly.  But if he goes about his marriage as a partnership, and he is only willing to go so far in his kindness to his wife as she goes for him, that is wrong, and the marriage is not going in the right direction.[3]
Thus, marriage, at least the beginning of marriage, is ideally an opportunity for the wife to be the center of attention, and the husband is careful to make her happy even if it is hard for him. We have come so far talking about the beginning of the marriage, the first day or so, and of course the first year is also special, and hopefully, afterwards as well. If things go well the first day and the first year, and the husband really trains himself to please his wife, and she reciprocates his love for her, that is a winning combination. But the reality is, especially today, that marriages are not always as smooth and lovely as we wish. In fact, the topic of our discussion here is about when things go wrong, and the marriage does not work out well. We are even discussing here what happens when the wife is fed up with her husband, and yes, sometimes she wants a divorce. But according to the Torah, the man has the power to control giving the GET, or ending the marriage. If he does not give his wife a GET willingly, she is not free of him.
If she finds some rabbi who encourages her to get people to pressure the husband to give her a GET against his will, that GET is invalid. If she remarries with it, an invalid GET, and has children from the next husband, there is a problem of the children born from an invalid GET to be mamzerim. But to stay married to someone she cannot stand is also terrible. Thus, the situation with Kiddushin can begin in a lovely matter, but it can end terribly. What is a woman to do?
Let us be honest. Kiddushin is a problem for women, and it could be a problem even for men, although we are emphasizing now about the problems for women. We know that the majority of Orthodox women marry with Kiddushin, maybe nearly all of them. But what happens when the marriage sours? Rather, is there any way to avoid the crisis of a woman desperate to leave her husband when he is not interested in her leaving? One idea is for the husband to promise to divorce her at a certain time, but he could change his mind, and there is nothing she can do about it. She could refuse to marry at all, but what kind of life is that? It is even a sin to refuse to marry, because people have biological forces that cause sins in one not married. No, the truth is, that Kiddushin is a major problem, with all of its glitter and glory. Increasingly, people find the worst problems from Kiddushin.
There is, however, a solution. But like many solutions, you have to think slowly and carefully into this solution. It may be for you and it may have problems. The solution is to marry without Kiddushin that gives the man the power to control the marriage and the wife’s happiness, and to marry with something known as Pilegesh. Pilegesh is a marriage discussed in the gemora Sanhedrin 21A and the Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer 26:1 in the beginning of the laws of Kiddushin. The Ramban[1] enthusiastically embraces Pilegesh, and says that the Rambam also accepts it, as long as the couple marries in a serious manner, that is, not as zenuse. A couple committed to marriage, even one without Kiddushin, but as Pilegesh, are married in a kosher matter. It is not only kosher, but it saves the problems of Kiddushin, because the husband and wife, if they see the marriage as a problem, can simply end it, with no penalties at all.
I know some women who married as Pilegesh and they were happy with it. Some had big problems with Kiddushin and were advised that the next marriage should be Pilegesh, and they were very happy with Pilegesh.
And yet, there is definitely a negative feeling in marrying with Pilegesh, at least, in some people. What I say to these people is to understand that if there is a Kiddushin marriage and it fails, and the woman goes to a “rabbi” who violates the Torah and forces the husband to divorce her, her next children will be mamzerim. Now, can Pilegesh be worse than mamzerim? No. That usually convinces people, but not all people.
I have actually dealt with people who feel that better mamzeruth than Pilegesh. Well, the children born from the Kiddushin marriage that produces mamzerim will not agree, not after they become mamzerim. So how can anyone believe that Pilegesh is worse than mamzeruth? Again, Pilegesh marriage, assuming it is a true marriage and not zenuse, is a completely valid thing, backed by gedolei hadorose, such as Ramban and even Rambam if there is no zenuse but a real marriage. Pilegesh is discussed in the very beginning of the Laws of Kiddushin in the Shulchan Aruch. The Vilna Gaon there quotes the gemora in Sanhedrin 21A that Pilegesh is without Kiddushin and without Kesubo, but it is a viable marriage, again, as long as it is a real marriage.
I know people who had problems with Kiddushin, men and women, and who are interested in Pilegesh. But it is a new thing and few people do it today, so that itself is a problem for many people. I understand that. What I don’t understand is the people who tell me strongly that when I promote Pilegesh they are at war with me. But when I tell them about Kiddushin making mamzerim, they are not at war with me. What world do they live in? Pilegesh is not a sin and mamzeruth is a sin and the worst pain for a child and for the parents. Who can feel that Pilegesh is worse than mamzeruth? But I repeat that somebody who thinks carefully, will realize that making mamzerim from your children is much worse than marrying with Pilegesh.
I also maintain that a woman who marries with Kiddushin, must realize the danger she is in. Perhaps the husband will not be what she wants, and maybe he will refuse to divorce her willingly. If so, there is no escape other than the death of the husband. Of course, she could find a “rabbi” who tells her to disobey the Torah and force the husband to divorce her. But if she does that, children born from her second marriage will be likely mamzerim.
I want to make it clear that a woman who marries with Kiddushin must be aware of the potential problem if the marriage doesn’t work out well. In earlier generations when great Gedolim like Reb Aharon Kotler and Reb Moshe Feinstein were actively involved in all kinds of issues, nobody would dream of doing what so many people do today, to go to a “rabbi” and violate the Shulchan Aruch by forcing the husband to give a GET against his will, which will produce mamzerim if the wife remarries with such an invalid GET. Surely nobody would go further and do what “rabbis” throughout the world are doing today, to tell a woman to leave her husband and remarry with no GET at all. But today, without the giants of yesteryear, people including “rabbis” are not afraid to do what they want to do, and they know how to convince women to force the husband to give a GET or to even leave the husband with no GET. This is a major reason that I suggest Pilegesh today, because Kiddushin does not carry a guarantee that the woman will honor it and if she does not honor it, it could produce mamzerim. Surely better Pilegesh than mamzerim.
We have thus concluded the first section of our discussion of Pilegesh. The next section will be about the laws of Pilegesh and how to arrange a Pilegesh marriage in practical terms.

Pilegesh in Halacha

 We begin with the gemora in Sanhedrin 21A quoted by the Vilna Gaon in his commentary to the beginning of the Laws of Kiddushin in Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer 26:1. A Pilegesh has no Kiddushin and no Kesubo. What then are the laws of Pilegesh?
A major source to permit Pilegesh is from the Ramban. The Ramban is found in the volume of the Teshuvose of the Rashbo entitled “Responsa of the Rashbo that seem to be from the Ramban.” Let us explain what this means. The Rashbo has many volumes as he was one of the greatest codifiers and poskim. One of those volumes is known as Meyucheses meaning, it is included as a volume written by the Rashbo, but actually, it is from the Ramban. Let us explain this a bit. The volume called Meyucheses is classified as being from the Rashbo, but at least two teshuvose are clearly not from the Rashbo but from the Ramban. These are responsas number 283 and 284. Both of these teshuvose are clearly marked as being not from the Rashbo but from the Ramban. Many other teshuvose in this volume are not marked as being from the Ramban, and they are generally included with the other responsas of the Rashbo, although at least two of the Teshuvose ascribed to the Rashbo are definitely from the Ramban and not the Rashbo, as stated before. Again, the other of the 288 teshuvose in this volume are not clearly marked as being from the Ramban, which would seemingly indicate that they are not from the Ramban, but from somebody else, maybe the Rashbo. But the two responses that are clearly marked as being from the Ramban, these two are surely from the Ramban. Responsa 284 is about Pilegesh. Let us see what the Ramban says about Pilegesh.
It is a long teshuva but let us take a few passages that clarify somewhat what Pilegesh means and what Kiddushin means. It seems that Kiddushin means that the woman the husband marries with kiddushin becomes his wife, as if he has acquired her. The Pilegesh does not have this aspect, and she is not acquired by the husband. Thus, in Kiddushin, since the wife is acquired by the husband through the Kiddushin, she may not leave him without his permission, unless he gives her a GET willingly or dies. Pilegesh, on the other hand, does not confer upon the husband the right to claim that the woman is acquired by him. She can therefore leave whenever she wants, as can the husband.
The second law the Ramban discusses about Kiddushin and Pilegesh is that in Kiddushin the woman is sanctified by the Kiddushin and becomes forbidden to everyone other than her husband unless he dies or gives her a GET willingly. The Pilegesh married to a man her husband is forbidden to be with other men, as this is zenuse. But the Pilegesh husband doesn’t have power over the wife as does the Kiddushin husband. The Pilegesh husband does not “acquire” the Pilegesh wife.
A Pilegesh does not have this acquiring in the sense that the husband acquires her and has power over her. Now a Pilegesh surely is forbidden to go with men not her husband as long as they are married. But it is not because the husband acquires her as he acquires a Kiddushin wife. It is rather because a Pilegesh must be careful not to turn her relationship with the husband into Zenuse, or prostitution. If the wife of the Pilegesh husband goes around sleeping with other men she has violated the sanctity of marriage for Pilegesh, and Rambam would consider her a sinner because she acted with zenuse.
The third level discussed by Ramban is that Pilegesh is not Mekudesh [sanctified with Kiddushin] as is the woman who is sanctified with Kiddushin. It is not clear what this means. Possibly, it means that a woman who accepts Kiddushin is somewhat sanctified by it, but Pilegesh has no sanctity similar to Kiddushin. She and he her husband must honor their marriage and not run around with zenuse, but she has no sanctity bordering on Kiddushin.  What we gain from this is that a woman with Kiddushin must deal with her elevated status of holiness not to leave the husband without his permission, etc., but the Pilegesh lady is not “acquired” and can leave her husband whenever she wants to.
The Ramban then says that even though the Rambam in the Laws of Kings says that Pilegesh is permitted only to a king, the Ramban says this means that if one takes a woman as zenuse without marrying her, that is forbidden for somebody who is not a king, but one who takes a Pilegesh to marry her, Rambam agrees that a Pilegesh is permitted. Possibly a king who marries a Pilegesh does not fear that she will commit zenuse, because once the king takes her as a Pilegesh and surely if he has relations with her, nobody will go near her for zenuse, nor will anyone violate her marriage with the king out of fear of the king.
Another major backer of Pilegesh is Rav Yaacov Emden, son of the Chacham Tsvi. See his Teshuva sefer Shaalas Yayvetz II:15. At the end of the lengthy teshuvo there, he writes how to do Pilegesh properly: “The husband must designate a room in his house for his wife the Pilegesh, and to warn her against ever being alone with any other man, and if he ever discovers that she sinned and was not careful, that he should immediately send her out of his house, and also he should command her to go to the Mikva regularly, and he should notify her that there is absolutely no shame in this. Also, he should clarify for her that children born from him are kosher children just like the meyuchesdika children in Jewish homes, so long as she guards her covenant and will be faithful to this man her husband, but not if she goes with other men to have zenuse with them. Because then her children are the products of zenuse. And she is a Kedaisho prostitute who deserves a punishment for every biah that she has with this man or any other man.”
In Pilegesh marriage the wife must be faithful to her husband. But the husband may have more than one wife, or the Pilegesh wife and another wife. Nowadays it is rare to find a man with more than one wife but I am referring to the laws of Pilegesh. There the woman must be faithful to her husband but the husband is allowed to marry other women. Today, marrying more than one wife is a problem but in ancient times men did have the right to marry more than one woman. But the woman never had the right to marry more than one husband.
We have covered basic halochose of Pilegesh. And now we come to understanding in practical terms the proper halacha applications and status of a Pilegesh marriage.

Proper Halacha Application and Status of a Pilegesh Marriage

Until now I have quoted various sources to explain why Pilegesh is permitted, and we have touched on various aspects of living as a Pilegesh. But now we want to go into a new area, so let me explain what it is.
As I mentioned above, most people marry with Kiddushin and few people marry with Pilegesh. This itself is a problem for those who marry with Pilegesh. For instance, Mr. A marries Mrs. B. as a Pilegesh. They live together for several years, and have children, but then decide to break up the marriage, which for a Pilegesh is basically simple. No GET is required. Permission of the husband is not required. Okay.
Now, let us imagine that Mrs. B. decides to leave her husband. One day somebody comes to her and asks her if she is interested in remarrying. She replies that she wants to know who the man is. So she is told who the man is. Then the shadchon asks the Pilegesh lady, “Can you show me a paper that you received a proper GET?” Mrs. B. never got a GET, because a Pilegesh doesn’t need a GET. But if she replies that she is a Pilegesh and doesn’t need a GET, people may not accept that. Very few people do become Pilegesh. So what does the Pilegesh lady do?
Another Pilegesh problem is mentioned in the section of the Shulchan Aruch that begins the laws of Kiddushin. One of the problems of Pilegesh is that she may be embarrassed to go to the Mikva to be cleansed of Nida. In fact, there is an opinion that forbids marrying a Pilegesh because she may be embarrassed to go to the Mikva. But if she is prepared to go to the Mikvah, which may have some embarrassment for her, she is permitted. But let us make a mental note of this, that if you are in a community with thousands of people who have Kiddushin and maybe five people have Pilegesh, some people, including the Pilegesh, may not understand or perhaps they will understand too well that they should be embarrassed! If we talk about people married with Pilegesh, we must deal with these issues. We don’t want women refusing to go to the Mikva, and we don’t want women attacked because they have no GET when they are Pilegesh who don’t need a GET.
Recall that our title of this section is Proper Halacha Application and Status of a Pilegesh Marriage. I want to present the following here: Proper Halacha Application and Status means dealing with Pilegesh people as human beings who are protected from problems that crop up when somebody is different than most other people. This is especially true in something as sensitive as marriage and having children. So, what do I suggest?
One, I suggest that a couple that wants to marry as Pilegesh be trained by a rabbi who is prepared to explain all of the possible difficulties, and who is willing to work hard to find solutions to those problems.
Let us talk about the problem of going to the Mikva. Whose problem is this? It is the problem of the Rov who manages the couple who are Pilegesh. The Rov must find the proper Mikva. I know somebody who is very interested in Pilegesh and told me about a person who paid for an expert in constructing kosher Mikvas, even for ladies, and built such a Mikva. Now men use that Mikva during the day and women at night. Of course, there have to be men on duty by day and women on duty by night. But if the owner of the facility is willing to cooperate, it can be done.
Another solution is to find somewhere a place to build a Mikva, perhaps one for ladies. If the proper expert can be found, and be told that it is for ladies, who require a much more professional Mikva than the one for men, and he agrees to keep it kosher for ladies, we have achieved something.  Of course, money is needed to build a Mikva. But many good things require money. At any rate, there are always things that crop up and the Rov who helps out the Pilegesh people in his area has to be ahead of the game, but it can be done.


The Practical Rules of a Pilegesh

What do we mean by The Practical Rules of a Pilegesh? What it means to me is as follows: There are from the senior rabbis of the generations various teachings about being a Pilegesh. I personally would not want to utilize some of their ideas. I want a Pilegesh family to act like a very conservative family that will try to avoid anything that could somehow be construed as too liberal for people making a family.
Originally, I thought that a person who chooses Pilegesh must tell me that they are not confident that they could keep the laws of Kiddushin, which means essentially to give up one’s hopes for a normal marriage if the marriage sours and the husband won’t give a GET willingly. But if there is any doubt in the person if they would last a lifetime with no happiness in the marriage, then I would accept them as Pilegesh. And furthermore, if the person would tell me that if they take Kiddushin they feel they could give up their lives, but they nonetheless fear that maybe, if certain rabbis tell them to force a GET maybe they will listen and make a GET that is invalid and maybe make mamzerim, if they fear this, I would also give them Pilegesh. That is how I once thought. But today, when I see the great decline in the rabbis and how they encourage things that are plainly forbidden by the Torah, I see that encouraging Pilegesh must be done even for somebody who won’t fear Kiddushin. Why? Because I fear it. And daily, things get worse out there with the rabbis. Very recently a prominent Rov called me from a far-off country about people in his area who are marrying women without a GET. The same thing was publicized in the name of a senior rabbi in a European country. It just keeps getting worse, HaShem Yerachem. So I feel that marrying with Pilegesh takes off a lot of fear and makes a lot of sense.
Anyone who wants to marry with Pilegesh would have to be trained in the laws of Pilegesh and how to behave properly. They must know the difficulties, such as what happens if the local Mikva doesn’t want to permit a Pilegesh to come there. I am not sure it won’t happen. At any rate, we must anticipate all of the potential problems and hopefully find solutions for them, before they marry as Pilegesh.
Ideally, if I was accepting people to become Pilegesh, I would prefer that several people, let us say me and two others who understand people, and the three of us would talk to the people involved and make sure that they are emotionally and mentally ready for Pilegesh. We would also have to find people who can do the detective work necessary to find out whatever we have to find out about the couple involved. Were they married before with Kiddushin? Did they have a kosher GET? Do they plan after their Pilegesh marriage to live in a neighborhood where Orthodox Jews live? This is a problem because these Orthodox Jews may assume that they are married with Kiddushin. To avoid such a problem the rabbi who takes care of the Pilegesh family would want to notify the rabbis in the community that this family is Pilegesh. And we would want to establish classes for them in laws of Nida, kashruse, Shabbos, etc. Marrying with Pilegesh doesn’t exempt a person from keeping the Torah.
Making classes and having a Mikva could run into money, and when the first few people become Pilegesh in a community it may not be practical to have to spend a lot of money. We can, however, only do what we can. And if we can find some people who realize the crucial need for Pilegesh, we may succeed. The difference between Pilegesh and Kiddushin is the difference between mamzerim and kosher Jews. Isn’t that worth something?
[1] Yevomose 62b
[2] Devorim 24:5 – Rashi, Targum Unkeluse, Zoharדברים רעז:2
[3] Rashi and the Zohar are as stated before to make the wife rejoice, not himselfRashi notes that ViSeemach [Seemach with a chirik] ess eeshto is translated “and he will make his wife rejoice” not himself. However, if the phrase would be “and he will rejoice with his wife” it should say, “Visomach [somach with a komets] ess eeshto” meaning, he will rejoice with his wife meaning both together. The problem is that the Targum Yonoson translates, “and he will rejoice with his wife.”  The gemora in Succa 28A says that Hillel had eighty students and that the greatest student was Yonasan ben Uziel and the most minor of the students was Yochanan ben Zackai.  Yochanan mastered the Torah as mentioned there, but Yonasan was greater. When he taught Torah, a bird that flew over him was burned by the fire of his learning. See Tosfose there. Perhaps we can refer to the gemora above that one should love his wife like himself and honor her more than himself. Perhaps if we refer to one’s love for his wife it should be equal, but he honors her more than himself. Thus when referring to love it is equal as he loves her as he loves himself. But when it comes to honor, he honors her above himself. Rashi thus can be talking about honoring the wife where he honors her more than himself. But Yonasan is talking about love, that they love equally.


1) a women who had a kosher divorce and remarried a second husband with a pe
marriage be allowed to remarry her first husband if the second one died (or "divorced") her?
Questions about the Laws of Pilegesh from Deena Tova

1) A woman who (married with Kiddushin) had a (Kosher GET) divorce and remarried a second husband with a pilegesh marriage. Is she allowed to remarry her first husband if the second one died (or "divorced") her?
Dovid Eidensohn – A Kiddushin married and divorced woman who then marries again somebody else with Kiddushin and gets a GET may not return to her first Kiddushin husband. This is a specific law for a woman who married twice with Kiddushin, but if she married once with Kiddushin and then with zenuce or Pilegesh, she may go back to her first husband. Here are some sources of these laws.
See Even Hoezer 10:1 in Ramo and Bahare Haiteev 2: A Pilegesh leaves her husband and marries with Kiddushin, is divorced and then returns to husband. This is permitted. See there Even Hoezer 10:1 – A woman is married with Kiddushin, is divorced, and then is mezaneh. She may return to her husband. But if she marries a second husband with Kiddushin, she is forbidden to return to the first Kedushin husband. Beis Shmuel explains that the Torah forbids a woman who was divorced from her husband after Kiddushin, and then married a second husband with Kiddushin and got a divorce from him, to return to the first Kiddushin husband. But if she had Kiddushin and a GET and was mezaneh she may return to the first husband. The reason is that the sin to return to the first husband if the wife was married twice with Kiddushin is because  she had two Kiddushin husbands. After the second husband’s GET she may not return to the first Kiddushin husband. But this is only forbidden if there were two cases of Kiddushin. But if the first husband was zenuse and the second husband was Kiddushin who gave her a GET, she may return to her second or Kiddushin husband. The question is, what if there was Kiddushin and Pilegesh and then she wants to go back to the husband? Pilegesh is not Kiddushin, but it is a real marriage, otherwise, it would be zenuse. But the Bahare Hayteev there says that if there was first Pilegesh and then Kiddushin and then a GET from Kiddushin, she may return to the Pilegesh husband. In other words, Pilegesh and zenuse are the same, even though Pilegesh is a real marriage, it is not Kiddushin, and והלכה והיתה לאיש אחר means only two husbands equal with Kiddushin, but not if the first one was Pilegesh. It would seem likely that if the second husband was Pilegesh and the first husband was Kiddushin, that she may also return to the husband, because there was no והלכה והיתה לאיש אחר meaning the second husband was the same as the first husband, both had Kiddushin but if one was kiddushin and the other zenuse or Pilegesh she may return to her other husband. Again, probably as long as both husbands were not kiddushin but zenuse or Pilegesh, she may return to either husband she happens to be divorced from or removed from. It would seem from the Beis Shmuel and the Bahare Hayteev that as long as there are not two husbands with Kiddushin she may go back to the Kiddushin husband.  וצ"ע.     See also Pischei Teshuva #1 there in the case where a Kiddushin husband gave his wife a GET posul dirabonon. She was then mezaneh. May she return to her husband who gave her the GET posul? He quotes it seems Birkei Yosef that she may return to him.

2) Would a kohen who married using a pilegesh marriage be allowed to stay with his wife if she was lo alanu raped.
Dovid Eidensohn – This is an interesting question. First, see Even Hoezer 6:10 – If the wife of a Kohen who is married to him with Kiddushin is slept with even if it was forced she is forbidden to her husband the Kohen. See Beis Shmuel there 22 that the wife is forbidden to her Kohen husband because she is a zona. Thus, even if the rapist was a Yisroel or a gentile the wife becomes a zona because we rule that anyone who is forbidden to marry the woman and sleeps with her in sin whether willingly or forced she becomes a zona and is forbidden to a Kohen. Thus, we have a source to forbid the wife of a Cohen who was raped if she was married with Kiddushin. The question is if that holds true even if she is Pilegesh. And this question suggests another question. If a Pilegesh wife is raped, does she become a zonah and is she forbidden to her husband the Cohen?
If Pilegesh is a marriage even if it has less strict laws than Kiddushin, it is still a marriage. And if it is a real Torah recognized marriage (see Sanhedrin 21A and the Gro in the beginning of the laws of Kiddushin in Shulchan Aruch) and if the woman would sleep with another man during her marriage of Pilegesh she would violate Pilegesh marriage even in rape, and become a zonah. If so, she is forbidden to her Kohen husband. But if a raped Pilegesh woman would not become a zona despite the fact that her Pilegesh marriage is a real marriage, because the status of zona does not, for any reason, apply to a Pilegesh as it applies to Kiddushin marriages, then we have a question.

3) Would the children of a pilegesh marriage of the father being a kohen be considered kosher kohanim? Dovid Eidensohn – Yes, see Even Hoezer 3:9 that if ten Cohanim stand together and one steps out and sleeps with somebody and has a baby boy, that boy is a Cohen. However, even one who is really a Cohen, if he was born with zenuse, and we are not really sure who the father is, even though we know he was a Cohen, we silence the child when he wants to publicly perform as a Cohen. It would, however, seem that if we know who the father is, such as if people are married properly with Pilegesh, there is no problem as we know who the father is. וצ"ע.

4) Would a man be allowed to marry more than one wife with a pilegesh marriage? Dovid Eidensohn – See Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer 1:10 that Rabbeinu Gershom forbade a man to take two wives. However, the Shulchan Aruch says that this lasted only to the end of the fifth thousand years of world history, which is about 777 years ago. However, the Shulchan Aruch quotes most communities who have on their own established a sin of marrying two wives. See Even Hoezer 1:10 in Ramo and 1:11. Whether these communities made Pilegesh with two wives a sin has nothing to do with anyone other than those communities who made rules for themselves. Rav Yaacov Emden seems to permit marrying in Pilegesh two wives, but only for very urgent reasons, such as when the first wife cannot have children and the husband has a choice of divorcing his wife of many years or marrying Pilegesh. I personally feel that Pilegesh is such a revolutionary thing in most people’s eyes that to start with two wives might destroy Pilegesh. But I do not say that as a general rule, but as a preference in the difficult effort to get people, anybody, interested in marrying with Pilegesh. Once we start permitting strange habits such as having two wives, we threaten the success of Pilegesh so I would prefer not to encourage such things, although some people have sources and rabbis who permit it.

6) Why would there be a problem about a lady going to a regular mikvah? Who has to know if it is a marriage by kiddushin or by pilegesh marriage?
Dovid Eidensohn – You are completely right. But people who run the Mikva can have standards that they invent and these things do happen. The fact is that a lot of people are very nervous about the concept of Pilegesh which they think is some kind of bad thing, because they don’t know what Pilegesh is. But it is in the Shulchan Aruch and there the Vilna Gaon Even Hoezer 26:1 quotes a gemora in Sanhedrin 21A that obviously accepts Pilegesh and the Shulchan Aruch talks there about Pilegesh, so it does exist.

7) Would this solve problems if a husband dies but it can't be proven, or he disappears, that the wife could somehow get remarried? Dovid Eidensohn – Yes. Kiddushin requires the husband to give the woman a GET or die. But if nobody knows if the husband is alive or dead and nobody knows where the husband is, the wife is stuck. But Pilegesh ladies and men are never stuck. They simply tell the other spouse they are leaving and the marriage is over, just like that. Of course, if I had to deal with an actual parting of the ways, I might prefer to have something in writing and by a Beth Din.

8) Would this mean that the wife’s earning in a pilegesh marriage belongs to her?
Dovid Eidensohn – I know of a Pilegesh couple who sit down every year and write up the rules for their marriage. That makes a lot of sense. Kiddushin assigns great powers to the husband who has “acquired” the wife. This does not exist in Pilegesh. There the ideal is for the two spouses to sit down regularly and decide how to run their lives financially and other such matters.

We have two major poskim who strongly suggest marrying with Pilegesh. One is the Ramban and the other is Reb Yaacov Emden, son of the Chacham Tsvi. The Ramban states clearly that Pilegesh is permitted, period. He even claims that the Rambam agreed with him if the marriage was real and not zenuse.  The other person is Reb Yaacov Emden, who is very strong about encouraging Pilegesh, but for different reasons. He maintains that many people need the freedom to marry a Pilegesh, because Pilegesh can save many people from sins and problems.
My great fear today of women stuck in marriages done with Kiddushin is rooted in the reality that today many “rabbis” are encouraging many women to remarry without a kosher GET and thus have children who are mamzerim. The count of mamzerim is going to rise more and more and the only hope is Pilegesh. Pilegesh is the only way to solve the problem of making mamzerim with invalid Gittin. Unless the husband dies!
Of course, the RCA and other Modern Orthodox rabbis came out with a prenup but many people feel that the prenup is an invalid document that will make mamzerim. Senior rabbis in Israel feel that the RCA prenup and other such prenups will greatly damage Judaism and make mamzeirm.
My great fear today of women stuck in marriages done with Kiddushin is rooted in the reality that  today’s rabbi in general are very weak on knowing the laws of Gittin. Thus, they are encouraging many women to remarry without a kosher GET and thus have children who are mamzerim. The count of mamzerim is going to rise more and more and the only hope is Pilegesh. Pilegesh is the only way to solve the problem of making mamzerim with invalid Gittin. Unless the husband dies!


The Opposition to Pilegesh

Kiddushin forces women to remain married with their husband unless he gives her willingly a GET or dies. Some “rabbis” teach these Kiddushin women to force a GET from their husbands. Such forced GETS are invalid and children born from the next marriage will be mamzerim. Recently, a new idea has been invented by “rabbis.” A woman just leaves her husband with no GET. This is happening all over the world. The desperate situation of some women trapped in a Kiddushin marriage is the catalyst for this violation of the Torah. Yes, people want to violate the Torah in order to help desperate women. But what about the fact that a woman who remarries with an invalid GET, such as one forced on the husband, has no GET at all? Thus, her children born from the next marriage will be mamzerim. Why don’t people worry about the children/mamzerim? And is this a normal thing to do to destroy children out of concern for their mother? Will the mother really be happy if she had mamzerim children?
All of this is completely true. And yet, amazingly to me, there is, among the senior ranks of our Torah scholars and experts in Gittin, tremendous opposition to teaching women about Pilegesh. And yet, not only are many senior rabbis teaching women to force a GET from their unwilling husbands, but now the style has become to teach a woman to leave her husband with no GET. Throughout the world, this is becoming the style. I know it happened in America and there was a huge outcry. But it also happened throughout the world. I received a call from the senior rabbi in a section of Brazil about this, and at the same time, there were articles about a senior French rabbi who permitted a woman with no GET to remarry without a GET at all. So, I say, firmly, without Pilegesh we will have, in a short time, many mamzerim. Now, who can tell me that Pilegesh is worse than mamzerim? And yet, when I talk mamzerim, people are quiet. When I talk about Pilegesh these same people hang up the phone, or ridicule me, and when I talk about mamzerim they think it is funny. It isn’t funny. At least, the helpless mamzerim whose children will be mamzerim with no cure forever, are not laughing now and will never laugh. And the mother of this mamzer who learned from a “rabbi” to make mamzerim, is she going to laugh when she hears her child’s bitter tears? Now nobody will ever marry him, and he will be shunned more than a person with leprosy. And these people I talk to are just full of fun. Why?
When I grew up, there were great Gedolim who had control of the Torah community. Nobody would think of defying the great ones like Reb Moshe Feinstein, Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashev, Reb Aharon Kotler, and others who were the mighty giants of that generation. In a world like that everyone married with Kiddushin, and nobody said a thing about Pilegesh. Now, it did occasionally happen that a rabbi here or there would see the misery of a member of his shull and advise that the next marriage will not be Kiddushin, because the woman has suffered enough. But after the senior rabbis would hear the suffering of the woman in Kiddushin, and the local rabbi advised Pilegesh, they said nothing. If a woman suffered so much from two bad husbands, if she remarries with Kiddushin for a third time, it is quite likely that she may just quit with the Torah chas viShalom. Why are things today so different that “rabbis” begin hanging up the phone and saying the worst things when I mention Pilegesh? The answer is, that today is different. When Reb Moshe or Rav Elyashev or Reb Aharon had power in the community, the occasional emergency to do Pilegesh would not get out of hand. But today things are much different. Today there are no Reb Moshes or Reb Aharons or Rav Elyashev. Let me tell a story I heard from a prominent Gittin posek.
This Posek held a certain way in a problem of Gittin, and he wanted to solve it in his Beth Din, but it was something that required a major Rov to agree to. He therefore went to a country that had a senior Rov who was the accepted authority in that country. But the Rov refused to agree, although he saw nothing wrong with the logic of the Rov who requested the Rov’s backing. Finally, that Rov went to the senior Rov’s son. He asked why his father who for many years did Pasken these questions regularly, refuses to pasken now. Why?
The son replied, “When Rev Elyashev was alive, all Gittin questions were brought to him by my father. Now he is not here, and nobody took his place. My father cannot and never could assume responsibility to pasken complicated Gittin laws. All he did was to ask the question to Reb Elyashev, and Reb Elyashev is no longer with us.”
The poskim who snarled at me with tooth and nail about Pilegesh were from the old school. They were raised in a time of great Gedolim, not a time like today. Those great Gedolim are gone. Nobody has taken their place. Today the major rabbis in the US and elsewhere are very, very different from the past generation when I grew up, and when the rabbis who snarl at me grew up. At that past time, the greats terrified the community so much that nobody would imagine doing something with Pilegesh that is disruptive of the Torah community. But today, this is no longer true. Now a person who makes Pilegesh has nobody to control him, and people are terrified of the results. What these people who mean leshaim shomayim to prevent at all costs Pilegesh don’t realize that they are preventing Pilgesh, but their friends the rabbis who make mamzerim are now free to make mamzerim, plenty of them. Now, somebody has to get up and tell it like it is. There is nobody to control Kiddushin ladies from making mamzerim. And the rabbis who encouraged making invalid Gittin or leaving the husband with no GET at all, are free to do what they want, as there is nobody to fear.
In such a world, my brother and I stood up years ago to fight the “rabbis” who encourage forced Gittin, and we were, for a long time, the only ones. Eventually I threatened senior rabbis, that if they do nothing to attack Shmuel Kaminetsky who is making a woman leave her husband with no GET, I will attack, not just Shmuel Kaminetsky, but the rabbis who are silent. Then things started to pick up. Various prominent rabbis sent their protests to my brother’s blog and it was eventually published elsewhere. And yet, that woman encouraged by Shmuel Kaminetsky to remarry without a GET, is still living with her new “husband” and nobody protests. In fact, when the Philadelphia Yeshiva put out a journal celebrating a Kollel or something like it, the two zonose in person bought an add and were published together in the journal. This is the Yeshiva of Shmuel Kaminetsky. As for me, I will fight for Pilegesh. There will be less mamzerim, and all of the prominent authorities who insult me, hang up on me, and laugh at me, can hang up on me again when I tell them about the latest mamzer. Because that is the halacha. When we know that a mamzer is born in the community, we are obligated to publicize it.  But some authorities will just say, well, it is not Pilgesh. Good for them. Let them explain in the other world why they laughed at Pilegesh and ignored mamzerim. Will they laugh then or be sent to a hot place?

[1] מיוחסת בשו"ת הרשב"א ואיזה תשובות בפירוש מן הרמב"ן  ואחד מהם רפד'