Monday, July 3, 2017

Jeremy Stern invents the Shulchan Aruch and makes mamzerim

The Halacha of Gittin and ORA’s

Mamzerim

 

By Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn

Blog www.torahhalacha.blogspot.com


Shalom, I am Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn. My blog mentioned above presents halacha with sources. We show that many people involved with Gittin don’t know halacha. They therefore invent reasons to force a GET and torture husbands that violate the Shulchan Aruch. These mistakes create invalid Gittin and eventually mamzerim. Here is an example of Rabbi Jeremy Stern speaking to YU seniors, encouraging people to do things that produce mamzerim. Let us see how.

 

 

 

First, the effort by Stern in regular text. My comments and criticism of Stern are in bold italics, with sources from Shulchan Aruch and Rishonim and Acharonim.

 

 

Rabbi Jeremy Stern, of ORA, Speaks to Seniors

By admin On May 24, 2013

by Shlomo Anapolle (’13)

This past Thursday, Rabbi Jeremy Stern from ORA, the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot, delivered a presentation to Seniors regarding a major issue facing our community, the issue of Agunot. There are two ways that a woman can become an Agunah. One is when her husband withholds a […]  [My critical comment – Why is Jeremy Stern permitted to address the seniors of Yeshiva University about Gittin, which is a very sensitive and crucial halacha that belongs with people who have intense knowledge of halacha and have studied under Gedolei HaDor. We will show that his entire program is based upon not halacha but emotional and perhaps false sources. And why is it that only Jeremy Stern is allowed to speak to YU seniors about his opinions? I feel it is only proper that rabbis who know what they are talking about be allowed to talk to the seniors at YU. And if not, we will continue with our war with Jeremy Stern and classify it as a war against all those who honor Stern and establish programs for him to spread his lies. Yes, this is war. It is not against Jeremy Stern who is a young man in YU where people approve of his lies. It is a war against YU itself for their encouraging him.]

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by Shlomo Anapolle (’13)

This past Thursday, Rabbi Jeremy Stern from ORA, the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot, delivered a presentation to Seniors regarding a major issue facing our community, the issue of Agunot. There are two ways that a woman can become an Agunah. One is when her husband withholds a Get from her, and she is then not able to remarry. The more classical one, found in the Gemara, is when a man disappears and it is unclear whether or not he has died. For example, if a man traveled overseas by ship, fell overboard, and was not found after that. Because there is a degree of doubt  as to whether or not he survived, then his wife may not remarry because he may still be alive. Today, most of the Agunot cases fall under the first category. Rabbi Stern presented us with two current examples of this type of case: Steve Scher from Roanoke, Virginia and Aharon Friedman from Silver Spring, MD. [My critical comment. Aharon Friedman is backed by the Beth Din of Baltimore. His wife is a tramp who remarried without a GET. If she has a child from the other man the child will be a mamzer. And Jeremy Stern feels that the evil one is not the tramp lady whose wealthy mother spend big money so gangsters since arrested by the police would beat up Aharon Friedman. The evil one is Aharon Stern who has strong support from the Baltimore Beth Din. May I ask what Beth Din backs Jeremy Stern? Is it the YU personality who suggested beating up husbands and perhaps worse things, and who suggested killing a senior Israeli official because he wanted to make peace with the Arabs in Israel?]

Regarding both cases, we heard and saw conversations and demonstrations organized against these husbands in order to try and pressure them to give a Get. However, both have been still been withholding for close to 10 years now, as these issues are very hard to deal with, and require much pressure to make the husbands cave in. [My critical comment. “We heard and saw conversations and demonstrations organized against these husbands in order to try and pressure them to give a GET”. Demonstrations against a husband are designed to force him to give a GET. But such a forced GET is forbidden in the Shulchan Aruch. See Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer chapter 77 par 2-3. All of the poskim forbid forcing a GET, the Shulchan Aruch Beis Yosef, the Ramo, the Vilna Gaon, the Beis Shmuel and the Chelkas Mechokake, with no exceptions. The source for these forbidding a forced GET is the Rashbo in teshuva volume VII:414 who describes different husbands when the wife demanded a GET and says that we never force the husband to divorce his wife. What is Jeremy’s source to permit forcing a husband to give a GET? Who does he have who disagree with the Rashbo, and all of the authors and commentators of the Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer?]

Rabbi Stern then provided a modern day solution: a halachic prenuptial agreement. He showed us two examples of these documents, which are legally binding in the secular court system as well. The document requires the husband to pay the wife $150 per day from the day they separate until he gives her the Get. Rabbi Stern told us that 100% of the couples that have signed this agreement and have needed a divorce have given the Get and not had to pay.

To quote Rabbi Stern, “The reason one would make this type of agreement is to show to his wife-to-be that because he loves her so much, he doesn’t want there to be the possibility of hurting her down the line in case of disagreements.” Therefore, Rabbi Stern encouraged all of us to spread the word about this prenuptial agreement and help and make it a standard in our communities.

[My critical comment. If the prenup is kosher, why is it not mentioned at all in the Shulchan Aruch? Who mentions it anywhere? Somebody did dig deeply to find somebody, anybody, who believes in a prenup. It seems he found a source where a major Torah personality believed in prenups. The source is Nachalas Shiva (page 33 in my volume), a very prominent Sefer from a prominent Gaon of the past generations. There is written that if a wife is mistreated by her husband until she flees from him to her father’s house, the couple must come to Beth Din to straighten things out. If the Beth Din is not immediately available so that the wife must tarry a while in the father’s house, the husband must give her each month she is away from him a certain amount of money to cover the cost of her food at her father’s house. When the Beth Din enters the picture the wife will return to the house and everything will be straightened out.

            Question: Is this a prenup?  Is this a document that can force the husband to give a GET? Nobody in this case mentions a word about a GET. So this is surely not a source for a prenup. It is a source for paying for the wife’s food in her father’s house, until she is rescued by the Beth Din and returns to her home, as the Beth Din will not tolerate the husband mistreating her as he well knows. Thus, this is not a prenup that is designed to force a GET. It is a document to prevent a GET and save a marriage. This is not a prenup that produces for the wife huge sums of money that the husband cannot pay and must therefore give a GET. It is a document to pay a few dollars for a meals and it will end its payments when the Beth Din straightens thing out and the wife is back in the house.]

            Jeremy Stern writes, “The document requires the husband to pay the wife $150 per day from the day they separate until he gives her the Get. Rabbi Stern told us that 100% of the couples that have signed this agreement and have needed a divorce have given the Get and not had to pay.” [My comments on this: $150 a day is $4500 a month. In ten months it will be $45,000. In twenty months it will be #90,000. This the husband cannot pay. So he gives a GET. Is this similar to the case of the Nachlas Shiva? There the payment to the wife was only to cover her food in her father’s house, until the Beth Din takes over the case. Her food is surely not $150 a day. Jeremy notes that in all cases of those who signed a prenup the husband caved in and gave a GET. He was forced by the money involved. But paying for a wife’s food for a few weeks until the Beth Din takes over the case does not force a GET. Furthermore, the Nachlas Shiva’s case is seeking to return the wife to the husband to make Shalom. Jeremy’s case is the wife seeking to break the husband and force a GET. Therefore, we have no source anywhere to advertise as Jeremy does that all men should give prenups that will force them to give a GET immediately or any time when the wife demands a GET.

Furthermore, in Kesubose 63b Rabbeinu Tam proves that a woman cannot force a GET on her husband because if she could just get up and demand a GET and get rid of her husband we cannot believe her because “we fear that she wants to get rid of her husband and marry another man.” If so, since the prenup allows the woman to get rid of her husband whenever she so desires and marry somebody else, we cannot believe her in the first place. Thus, a prenup does not work as it is a forbidden document, because it is  forbidden to give the woman the power to force a GET and banish her husband so she can marry somebody else.

See Nedorim 90B that in earlier times a woman  could go to Beth Din and say that she has sinned with another man and thus may not be with her husband, and was believed and the husband had to give a GET. But later Beth Dins refused to believe her as they feared that she had the power to remove her husband and banish him and marry somebody else. We in latter generations suspect women of being ready to enable themselves to force the husband out of the house and then remarry a new husband. Because of this fear that she will banish her husband and take another husband, we refuse to believe her claims that could destroy the marriage. Thus, all prenups that can drive the husband out of the house and allow the wife to remarry are not acceptable, and the wife is not believed or empowered to use one. Again, a prenup is against this Mishneh and the pesak of Rabbeinu Tam in Kesubose mentioned before that “we fear that she has an interest in another man” and wants a GET from her husband to remarry. So prenups and claims that were once accepted that ended the marriage are no longer accepted, no matter what.

The Bottom Line from me, Dovid Eidensohn, is that a lot of people want to help women force a GET. I don’t blame Jeremy for starting this. I do however ask him personally to do what the other disciple of Hershel Schechter did, to check out my sources, and if they are clearly telling us that forcing a GET is forbidden, I want Jeremy to think about whether he wants to continue. And if he has found a source for his forcing of a GET, I ask him to please inform me of it.


Incidentally, the fellow who told me that Hershel Schechter quoted Gedaliah Schwartz as a source for forcing husbands to give a GET didn’t impress me. I once spoke to Gedaliah Schwartz and asked him why an Orthodox couple married in an Orthodox ceremony with Kiddushin and Chupa was sent away by him with no GET. He replied, “Because there was no Biah (marital intimacy).” Now, in my Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer the laws of Kiddushin 26:4 it says “A woman becomes married in three ways, with monetary value [like a ring] or with a document of marriage, or with Biah.” Each of these creates marriage without the other two. The Gedolim in their teshuva seforim discuss men giving a woman a gift and saying they are married, that this alone could create Kiddushin. Whoever doesn’t know this should not deal with Gittin.