Profile Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn

Monday, February 13, 2017

Struggles of a Tsadik in Our Times and Comments from Rav Dovid Eidensohn

Notice from Rav Dovid Eidensohn: When this was first published I received a call from a prominent Posek who pointed out that this troubled tsaddik that I quote had a lot of trouble with Torah Jews, and this can leave a negative impression on a lot of people that we have no proper Torah leadership. On the other hand, my blog is filled with my bitter complaints against senior rabbis who make invalid Gittin and mamzerim. It is also filled with complaints that besides me and my brother Daniel we have a dearth of people who complain about senior rabbis who encourage women to remarry without a kosher GET. There is now a woman who remarried with the encouragement of senior rabbis with no GET at all, and almost nobody is telling her today to beware of mamzerim for children except me.
In fact, when this senior rabbi was finally attacked by major poskim for lying about the facts of the case and encouraging the woman to remarry with no GET and absolutely no logical Torah reason, a Beth Din of very senior rabbis was announced to deal with the problem, but guess what! weeks later nothing was done! I called up one of the major poskim on that Beth Din and asked him what the Beth Din decided. Should the woman remain with her new husband with no GET or not? The important posek then answered me, “This is not  your business. The Beth Din was made for the benefit of Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky. Ask him if  you want to know what the Beth Din ruled.” Then I realized that the very senior rabbis on this Beth Din were working for the very man who encouraged a woman with lies to remarry without a GET.
 The two names of people that I single out in the blog are Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, the Rosh Yeshiva of Tiferes Yerushalim, the son of Reb Moshe Feinstein, who created the entire fake Beth Din to invent protection for a first rate liar and mamzer maker, Shmuel Kaminetsky. And Hillel David, who told me it was none of my business, is somebody that I say to him, “It is my business. And if  you made a Beth Din with David Feinstein to support a mamzer maker, then you are a mamzer maker, and deserve to be denied the right to sit on any kosher Beth Din.”
Moshe Heinemann is a major mamzer maker, who advertises in the Internet that everyone should support Ora, the organization that forces husbands to give a GET and thus makes mamzerim. Rabbi Hershel Schechter, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva University and the head of the OU Kashruth division and a major posek, has called for forcing husbands to give a GET and even to get violent with them. He is a mamzer maker. And then, there is Shmuel Kaminetsky, considered by Agudas Yisroel to be a Gadol who is a liar, a  mamzer maker, and when somebody asked him if he would continue to support the woman who is remarried without a GET, he replied, “It is an argument of the rabbis.”
Thus, I consider it my job to tell it like it is, and if people think that the above people are great tsaddikim, and the Agudah honors them as major speakers, etc, along with other organizations, let the world know, I am different, and I will continue to be different. I spent much time talking to Reb Aharon Kotler, and he once hinted to me that I understand his derech in gemora. I spent much time talking to Reb Moshe Feinstein, and he gave an haskomo on my halacha sefer: “Rabbi Eidensohn is known to me for many years as one who delves deeply into complex halachas.” Rav Shmuel HaLevi Wosner Rov of Bnei Braq wrote in his haskomo, “Words of truth are recognized” and “words are written Lishmo.” I have many more haskomose from the greatest Torah teachers of the past generation. I also have a very strong semicha from Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashev zt”l, which includes his personal name to use for my Beth Din in Gittin. Now my chaverusa was furious with me that I asked the Rov for that, but when you are in my line and want to talk to the Gedolei HaDor, the only way is pure chutzpah, and I played it to the hilt.
 We now turn to the troubled tsaddik and his remarks. I believe he has suffered and is surely not the only one. Let us hear what he had to say, which is only his personal suffering and not the suffering of all Jews.

I am presently over 40 years of age, and see it as a chessed from Above that I continue to look and remain "young at heart" amidst all the trials and tribulations that I've undergone - first with the "erlich" society, and then with my seven and a half years of marriage with my ex-wife.
My parents [they should be well] are coming from the same time and place that you're from; only, they are both baalei teshuva from after their marriage in the 60's day and age. When I was 7 years old our TV broke, and they didn't bother fixing it. (My father was then listening to Rav Miller's tapes, and he hated TV.) A year later we moved from White Oak (Silver Spring area) to Baltimore, and I began 3rd grade in T.A. My parents had always encouraged us to increase in our yiddishkeit; only, socially we never really "clicked" with the community at large.
Seven years later made aliyah, and moved to Bnei Brak. if we didn't socially "fit in" with Baltimore, well... just try to figure what the "Bnei Brak move" was to us teenage kids!
I myself was 15 years old at the time we made aliyah, and I was left to my own devices to "break in" with my surroundings. My parents only saw positive in the "erlich" surroundings, and any dissention on our part was seen as a sign of "rebellious Americanism". [Little did I know then - it was totally inconceivable by any stretch of the imagination - that the main "beis din" there would some time later smear an individual hounded by his rebellious wife to give a GET (the infamous "Chaimsohn" case) - posting a "teshuva" from Rabbi Akiva Eiger well out of context; creating a GET MEUSEH, and allowing a married woman to the shuk!]
I myself went to learn in yeshiva here in Yerushalayim, finally finding myself "at home" with a more American crowd - but not for long. In the year 5749 the "olam" erupted in mahlokes over the "gimel vs. eitz" controversy, and I found myself in disfavor with those around me. I simply couldn't comprehend what was happening right before my eyes: Grown men, kollel yungerleit with beards and payos, distinguished rabbanim and roshei yeshivos had joined in the fray with extreme zeal - slamming and smearing all those who challenged them and their "daas torah"... They were clearly aware of the chillul hashem going on around them with 7 year old kids gleefully cursing out known Rabbanim who happened to side with their opponents. They claimed they were following Rav Shach... If they only cared a shred what Rav Shach REALLY wanted vis-a-vis the"Yated" model that they dressed him up to be. I did see it though, as a "siyata from Shamayim" the fact that we moved from Bnei Brak to Yerushalayim on Isru Chag (Tishrei) that year - the day that Bnei Brak erupted.
But the one thing that bothered me tremendously at the time was that at my yeshiva the one concept they attempted to "burn into us" bochrim was what they called "hisbatlus"; namely - we had to "nullify" ourselves before "daas torah" (strictly by THEIR definition). I simply could NEVER be led to believe that the typical "shtoddy" American bochur, clean-shaven with a Borsalino hat doubling his facial features, who smoked and talked politics in seder- that HE had a clear ticket to Olam Haba, merely because he "nullified" himself to his Rosh Yeshiva; while I simply could not. (To me this smacks of Christianity.)
Other than this I did feel, at the time, that I could yet "go with the flow", and that we all still had the same fundamentals in mind - serving Hashem, and growing in Torah.
When I got married I was close to 23 years of age - still living in this "bubble" thinking that we all had the same goals and ideals in mind. It took me several years of shaking up and rude awakenings to get me out of this thinking process. I was already aware then of the paradox of "top bochurim" selling themselves out to the wealthy in terms of shidduchim, and I myself would have none of it at all. I had begun taking to the teachings of the GRA some time before, and I recognized that for me there was no other way. At the time I naively assumed that this was basically the accepted approach in the yeshiva "velt" as well; I simply could not be led to believe that the modern day "daas torah" was off on a far different track altogether...
To talk about my marriage, which lasted 71/2 years, is a story in itself... At this point I'd rather not talk too much about it, but it started going REALLY sour after my wife began splurging money, and I told her that I wasn't going to bother her too much about this; rather I would simply leave kollel to go out and work. This really unnerved her, and she began smearing me hours on end behind my back. It was particularly an insult to one of the local rabbanim, whom she was closely connected with prior to our marriage, and had previously convinced her to get married with me in the first place. Even still, he wasn't chiefly the one who ruined our marriage - it was someone else (who signed his name "Rabbi ...", despite his haughty and greedy policies which had ruined other marriages as well). He's been dead for several years now; even still, I'll never forgive him - just to hear his name repulses me. But time itself reveals all that people try passionately to hide... my ex-wife who wanted so badly for me to remain in kollel - she eventually connected with a lawyer who had a similar story to mine, and subsequently proceeded to deplete his monetary resources.
My turbulent nature with present "modern chareidi" society (a paradox in terms like "warm ice") causes me to minimize any talk which is liable to create conflict, and misrepresentation. I definitely consider it obligatory to expose the treachery of modern day RA - banim who create "new faces" to our Torah which negate it entirely. The higher they are - the harder they must and will fall! I am afraid; however, to open up a can of worms which will be gleefully misused and distorted by nay-sayers and baalei machlokes, (who "are what they eat") to only further disgrace the Torah, and thereby do the opposite of what my intention is. Therefore, I jotted down in a single line the peirush of the GRA in Megillas Esther. There - he explains at some length how during the Ikvesa DeMeshicha the level of chutzpah will be so overwhelming - that even the gedolei hador will defect to the interests of the younger ones.
I hope that I've cleared up here any misunderstanding, and I fervently wish that you continue to make the TRUE voice of Torah resound in our midst - over the rattle and ramble of all the phony "daas torah" pervading the media today - which is actually "daas taavah/toaivah".

Thank you for listening!
Hatzlachah! May Hashem be with you always,

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Post by Chaim Levin about money and learning comment by Rav Dovid Eidensohn

Chaim Levin

Comments below in italics from Rav Dovid Eidensohn

Shalom uvrachah! Thank you for responding to my enquiry last night!
I received your follow-up e-mails. As I was going through your blogspot I saw it necessary to add the following comment, and the computer gives me problems trying to upload it directly: 
"Someone in Yeshiva could go for a few years on the sums of support demanded for marrying a Kollel fellow, and people were found who would pay it."


The Shulchan Aruch (Even Ha'ezer 2) says clearly in the name of the Rem"a that one should not bicker over money in regards to this - as it is not "properly earned money". See the Biur HaGr"a 7 [regarding the apparant internal contradiction upon face glance in the Rem"a] that "if he would marry her anyway (without money) then he need not worry".
This is not a "technical issue" - it is fundamental! All of the raving and ranting against fraudulent Ra-bannim distorting Torah and divrei chaza"l - the "quiet defection" all began years ago when these "top talmidim" sold themselves to materialistic families in marriage; with the "holy" ideal of being able to "live and learn in peace and comfort without financial worries". It was ultimately this "peace and comfort" which caused them to slip and slacken from the duty and authority that the Torah will demand of them as recognized Rabbanim - aside from the obvious fact that there is nothing more lethal to a person's Yiras Shamayim than living together with a materialistic woman. This type of defection did not begin in America either - it was tragically prevalent in Europe as well.
The Chafetz Chaim told his son in his old age that all of his Torah is credited to his wife - from a poor and simple upbringing. He said, "What would have been with me now, had I not married your mother?". What would have become of me had I accepted then the offer of 10,000 rubles from a distinguished tycoon in Vilna?"
Yes - the Chafeitz Chaim worked for a living - writing and selling books. And this certainly did not detract from his Torah in any way!
Comment from Rav Dovid Eidensohn – [The Vollozhner Yeshiva had the world’s leading Torah scholars but they learned and did not earn. Top students there could eventually find rabbinical positions, some that paid well, and some found wealthy families that supported their learning in Kollel for some years. Some had little support but lived with little and relied on HaShem’s help. When I learned in Lakewood under Reb Aharon we stayed in Yeshiva because of Reb Aharon’s influence, and I don’t know how many people had big backing, but it was generally limited. There was a top student who learned by Reb Aharon but his father said if you learn in Lakewood you are not my son. Those were difficult times. When Reb Shneur took over Lakewood he realized he could not support the influx of students and was worried about taking over the Yeshiva which under his father had very little money especially for the students when they married. But Rav Yosher Ber Soloveitchik saw that Lakewood was at risk that it may close down, and he ordered his students, the YU rabbis, to support Lakewood. Other factors such as President Johnson’s war on poverty where huge sums were disbursed for the poor, and who is poorer than a Lakewood Kollel person? made a difference. There were various American Kollel students, and I don’t think it is fair to lump them all together. Some I know were worried that the influx of money was detrimental to the Yeshiva, and some welcomed it. But still some where tsaddikim and not interested in money per se, and some were interested. But I don’t think there is a rule to just dismiss everyone who had some money to be considered a spiritual failure.]

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Joe Orlow talks about Chaim Levin’s complaint that a Beth Din accepted a GET from a man who was a vegetable. Comments from Rav Dovid Eidensohn.

 A report about a Bais Din in Eretz Yisrael has been brought to my attention. The Bais Din was petitioned by a wife seeking a divorce from her husband. The husband is in a state where he is uncommunicative. Let me expand here for a moment why I use the term "uncommunicative". There are cases where people come out of comas after years. A while back there was an article about a normal boy who was "missing" a part of his brain. The amazing thing is that when someone does not have activity in this part of the brain, doctors will declare this person "brain dead". Yet this boy, without this section, was fine. 

Experts like brain surgeons and others who study the brain probably have many cases that don't fit the accepted medical models. This is important to consider in light of the following. The Bais Din decided that they could act on the husband's behalf. This is without precedent in Halacha, according to my understanding. The husband, being alive, cannot give his wife a Get. So his wife remains his wife. But the Bais Din decided that were the husband to be communicative, he would communicate that he wants to give his wife a Get because he, the husband, is in an apparently permanent uncommunicative state. So the Bais Din "divorced" the wife.   

The Bais Din issuing this ruling was overruled by a higher court in the Bais Din system known as the "Rabbanute". The higher court decided the wife remains married. Then the higher court of the Rabbanute was overruled by a civil court. The civil court said the Rabbanutes's lower court ruling remains in effect and that the wife is divorced. This raises two questions:

(1)   What kind of education and vetting is there for Rabbanute judges? Clearly, the lower court did not act according to Halacha.
[Comment from RDE –Major rabbis in America such as Moshe Heinemann in Baltimore, Hershel Schachter in New York, and Shmuel Kaminetsky in Philadelphia promote forced Gittin by humiliating husbands and such devices, something clearly forbidden by all commentators to the Shulchan Aruch in laws of Kesubose 77 paragraphs 2,3. Plainly, these rabbis, the cream of the students of Rabbi Aharon Kotler and Rabbi Yosher Ber Soloveitchik, do not follow the Shulchan Aruch, as all of the commentators there forbid pressuring a husband to give a GET. I spoke to Moshe Heinemann and to a student of Herschel Schachter while the student was on the phone with Schachter, and I am sure that Schachter does not know the laws of Gittin either. Shmuel Kaminetsky is considered by the Agudah to be a Gadol but the major poskim rabbis who criticized him for telling a married woman to remarry with no GET and make mamzerim had only derision for him. The Gaon from Brisk in Israel said that Kaminetsky is forbidden to teach Torah.]

 (2) What kind of high court puts itself in a position where it can be overruled by a civil court? [Commentary from RDE - This took place in Israel where the majority are not Orthodox Jews. And yet, the government accepted Orthodox rabbis to have official government positions. Having little choice because of their minority status, many prominent rabbis accepted that Orthodox rabbis will have governmental power but not Conservative or Reform rabbis, and with this came the problem of the government courts who can overturn at least some rabbinic decisions.]

 In the U.S. we are in a similar position where unlearned and/or renegade Batei Din are releasing women wrongly from marriages. Furthermore, civil courts, under so-called "Get Laws", force Gittin, thus leading to women wrongly released from marriages. This leads, in some cases, to Mamzerim being born.

[Commentary by RDE – Joe is right about that and in his original paper continues about the great problems of Kiddushin making women helpless if the husband does not want to give her a GET. Let me explain a bit. I believe that a woman who won’t honor Kiddushin by remaining with their spouse even when the marriage is broken until the husband gives a GET willingly, is forbidden to make Kiddushin. And to remain single is also a sin, as taught in Shulchan Aruch. The only solution is to marry with Pilegesh. Pilegesh is a real marriage and the children are the true family of the parents. The basic condition is for the woman to come to the husband’s house and live there with him as husband and wife, with the understanding that there is no Kiddushin, but Pilegesh rules, so that either spouse can leave whenever they want to, with absolutely no penalty. The couple must behave as a married couple regarding not having relations with others. If somebody wants to marry with Pilegesh another thing is to have a rabbi tell a few other rabbis and people in the community that these two, the husband and wife of Pilegesh, are not married with Kiddushin. Again, in my blog I devote more detail to Pilegesh. Anyone interested can write to me email at or call me at 845-578-1917.]

A GET for a vegetable and the focus of outcry against it

Question from Chaim Levin:
Chaim Levin <>

I'm trying to clarify why there isn't more outcry over this new "ruling" by the so called "Safed Rabbinate" to invent a non-existant "get" that someone classified as a "vegetable" can divorce his wife...
It is clearly discernable from the Shulchan Aruch Even Haezer 121 that a "shchiv mera" cannot arrange that a get be given to his wife unless we ascertain that he was in full faculty of his mental state at the time (also at the time the get is given).

Reply from Rav Dovid Eidensohn:

Chaim, very good question. Let’s first make clear what your question is: A married man became a “vegetable” and had no normal mental capacity to decide and declare things. His wife was therefore trapped in a marriage with a vegetable who could never give her a GET willingly, as he had no capacity to decide to give his wife a GET and to utter the statements that are required to give one’s wife a GET. And you correctly quote the Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer 121 that a GET may only be given when the husband gives it willingly and says that he wants his wife to be divorced. A vegetable cannot do this. But an Israeli Beth Din ruled that the woman is free to remarry, because the husband would surely want his wife to be divorced in light of his situation. When a senior Israeli rabbinic court decided to overruled the first Beth Din and declare the GET for a vegetable invalid, a secular court overruled the religious court and said that the GET was valid, even though the husband never said one word about giving his wife a GET and had no mental capacity to even think about doing such a thing.

And Chaim, your point is “why there isn’t more outcry over this new ruling" is surely a very valid point. It is not a point against the Beth Din which surely erred in its ruling. It is a ruling against those of us who were not moved to protest such an outrage as accepting a divorce from a man who was a vegetable and could not think or speak those things needed to produce a GET.

As for myself, I feel the real discussion must be something else: What can we do when there is a government sponsored rabbonuse where people are free to invent rulings that produce mamzerim and the secular courts back them so there is no recourse?

In such a case, who should we attack? The erring Beth Din, or the entire system? And if the entire system, does that mean we do away with the rabbonuse? If there were reasons to make an Orthodox rabbonuse, do we now reverse this?

Yes, Chaim, your question is a good one. But many people are confused. If there is an Orthodox rabbinate, and if it is  under the control of a secular government, we are inviting the outrage of the Tsevas Beth Din. So who do we scream at, the Tsevas Beth Din or the secular court that backed them or the entire structure of an Orthodox Beth Din capable of making such rulings that are backed by a secular court and a secular government. This makes for a lot of confusion, and confused people don’t usually sound off when they don’t know who to complain about.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Problems with Kiddushin, and a Solution

Problems with Kiddushin, and a Solution

Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn

 A woman who accepts Kiddushin, can only leave her husband with his willing giving of a GET. A forced GET, one made with humiliation or threats or one made by the decree of the secular court makes an invalid GET and the woman who remarries with such produces in general mamzerim. Therefore, for a woman and even a man, taking Kiddushin is a very serious problem. It should only be accepted if the woman is ready to give up her happiness if her husband refuses a GET. And in the Modern Orthodox camp and other camps, even some deeply Orthodox people, we see clearly that a lot of women are not ready to give up their happiness, and do what they can to force the husband to divorce and then make mamzerim. Therefore, for such women, taking Kiddushin is a sin and she should not take Kiddushin.On the other hand, the Shulchan Aruch opposes living alone. Living alone is unnatural especially in young people with burning biologizes. So what happens when somebody is not ready to give up their happiness for Kiddushin?The solution is Pilegesh, a union of man and woman mentioned in the Code of Laws and the Gemora in Sanhedrin 21A. The union or marriage of man and woman without Kiddushin can never produce mamzerim, and it can never produce forcing two people to remain together.Pilegesh is not the preferred way of Orthodox marriage, but it is approved when there is a need for a marriage that does not have the problems of Kiddushin. Today, most marriages are problems with Kiddushin, surely for women, and even men cannot just leave without a lot of trouble and maybe years of work and expense. Therefore I believe that people who are not sure about honoring Kiddushin if the other spouse refuses a GET, should not remain alone, but should marry with Pilegesh.

A possible problem with Pilegesh is that people don’t see, in general, people marrying today with anything other than Kiddushin. Furthermore, if a person is strong enough to give up their happiness to honor Kiddushin, they should marry with Kiddushin, and for them Pilegesh may be a problem. I personally only recommend Pilegesh for somebody who cannot be positive that they will put up with the problems of Kiddushin, such as having a broken marriage the rest of her or his life. I also fear that today and tomorrow for sure, honoring Kiddushin properly is something that few people can be positive about until they taste the horror of a broken marriage.

Another problem with Pilegesh is that there are two ways of marrying with Pilegesh. One way is to marry with Pilegesh rules and publicize this, which is the proper way to do it, and the other way is to keep it quiet, which can make problems. For instance, if people see a couple living together and having children, they assume that the couple is married with Kiddushin, at least if the couple is Orthodox. If so, when the Pilegesh couple decides, or one of them decides, to leave the other one, they have the right to do so. And they can immediately remarry somebody else. But people may think that they are leaving each other without a GET required by Kiddushn, because most people do marry today with Kiddushin. If so, people may mistakenly assume that if the woman remarries without a GET her children in the next marriage will be mamzerim!Therefore, anyone who wants to marry with Pilegesh, should contact me, and I will first of all explain exactly what their marriage entails, and what it does not entail. Yes, they can split at any time, but while they live together in the same house, they must honor their marriage. Failure to honor the marriage can be a big problem.Also, it is important that I notify key people in the community that I assume responsibility for the Pilegesh marriage, and that this is not Kiddushin, so a remarriage will not be a problem.

A recent Matsav article about Open Orthodoxy replacing Kiddushin leaves not a trace of disagreement, as if Matsav itself considers Open Orthodox much more important than those who properly write in protest on the Facebook site of FrumMen that Open Orthodox are not Orthodox. After all, a senior Open Orthodox person said openly he does not accept the stories in the Torah, so how Orthodox is Open Orthodox? Surely Matsav knows about that apikores, and yet it has no mention at all of any criticism of Open Orthodox. Yes, there is Modern Orthodox, but they had a rebbe Rav Soloveitchik who was a stickler for true Torah Halacha. But Open Orthodox is far removed from Halacha. They want to be Open, to do what they want.There are problems with marriage and family today. And to the rescue come apikorsim and Open Orthodox and “rabbis” who make mamzerim. From now on, don’t marry anyone until you check them out thoroughly, especially what rabbis gave them a GET. Details about this problem are in the very important book Mishpitei Yisroel, with dozens of articles by Gedolei Yisroel.