In our recent posts about Philadelphia and the efforts to help a married woman remarry without a GET, we attacked those responsible for this, even though they were prominent Torah personalities. Unfortunately, the Torah world does not know the laws of Gittin. But they do know that the Torah requires a woman to have a GET whenever she is fed up with the marriage. And when I ask people what their sources for this is, as I have sources in Shulchan Aruch and poskim who say just the opposite, I never get a proper answer.
Here is a letter from Rabbi Moshe Heinemann of Baltimore, posted on the ORA website, that gives his full support to ORA and its coercion of Gittin. I believe that this is forbidden. And I believe that this produces mamzerim.
Here is Rabbi Heinemann's letter, posted for a long time I believe on the ORA website, calling for everyone to support ORA.
I am strongly opposed to this letter for several reasons. One, ORA itself is controlled by Rabbi Herschel Schachter, whose published audio tapes show that he believes in killing a husband who refuses to give his wife a GET. This is the same person who once told somebody that if the Prime Minister of Israel had a program of such and such that he should be killed. He had to flee Israel after saying that, but that is who you are dealing with. How can a serious Talmid Chochom give his name to an organization controlled by such a person? And does Rabbi Heinemann agree that husbands should be coerced to the point of beatings and even death? Of course not, I hope. But even if Rabbi Heinemenndid not know about these hideous opinions of Rabbi Schachter, giving your name full blast to people who may have different ideas than you do is not the way of wisdom. Rabbi Heinemenn should have checked out the ORA organization and its rabbinical leader more carefully.
Let us leave ORA for a moment, and deal directly with the idea supported by Rabbi Heinemenn, that what ORA does, to humiliate husbands and break their spirit until they give a GET, is a great mitsvah and deserves everyone's support. This is completely wrong. Every GET coerced by ORA is invalid and any Rov involved with such a GET has lost Chezkas Beis Din, as Posek HaDor Rav Elyashev zt"L told me, and as has beeen recently paskened by living Gedolim Reb Chaim Kanievsky and Rav Shmuel HaLevi Wosner and other gedolim of Israel. Again, gedolei hador of the past and present generations have said that any Beth Din that coerces Gittin in defiance of the Shulchan Aruch (the way the Gedolim read the open words of the Shulchan Aruch without twisting things) is an invalid Beth Din. Any woman who got a GET from them must get another GET as we do not recognize the first GET from a Beth Din that has no Chezkas Beth Din, because it does what Rabbi Heinemann believes in, coercing the husband to give a GET.
Now let us supply the sources in the Shulchan Aruch. See Even Hoezer 77 paragraphs 2 and 3, and the Shulchan Aruch, the Ramo, the Beis Shmuel, the Chelkas Mechokake and the Gro. All forbid coecing a GET or pressuring a husband to give one based upon the demand of the wife to be freed of her husband because she cannot tolerate being with him. If Beth Din without the wife's complaints recognizes that the husband is not fit to be a husband, that could lead to coercion. But the majority of cases today of divorce is not because the husband is unable to have children, etc., but because the wife wants out of the marriage. Her complaint that "my husband is disgusting to me" cannot allow Beth Din to coerce a GET or pressure the husband to divorce.
The Gro there EH 77 #5 says clearly that none of the present authorities permit coercion of the GET because of the wife's desire to be free of him. Posek HaDor Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashev zt"l said that there is not even a mitsvah for the husband to give a GET, but as the Rashbo says in his teshuva VII:414 "If the husband wants to divorce he divorces. If he does not want to divorce, he does not divorce." This statement is accepted by major poskim and is quoted in the Shulchan Aruch EH 77 paragraph 2 and 3.
The idea espoused by ORA and it seems Rabbi Heinemann that any wife can break the marriage and have the husband forced to give a GET is therefore completely wrong. It is important to maintain a list of all women divorced by ORA because their children may be mamzerim, which is the opinion of the Gedolim in Israel today.