Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tamar Epstein's Heter: R Shalom Kaminetsky's letter asking for the heter and Rav Nota Greenblatt's teshuva giving the heter

I received the letters with permission to publish them. Since they are photographs I am trying to enhance their readablity and will eventually also run ocr. There apparently are a number of different versions. Will publish the variations as I receive them. I haven't received Rabbi Greenblatt's psak to R Shalom Kaminetsky and I was just told that there is a second letter from Rabbi Greenblatt to R. Shalom Kaminetsky complaining that he was not given correct information.

This letter also makes an anonymous claim that Aharon was not only mentally ill but had threatened a girl that he had been engaged to before Tamar. Anyone who knows Aharon will realize the claim is a lie. He is not violent nor has he been violent. In all the years this divorce has been in beis din and courts and the public media - there has never been a claim that he is violent. They should have added that he steals candy from babies and throws old ladies down the steps for entertainment. The level that the Kaminetsky's and Tamar's allies stooped is really sickening.

Tamar Epstein's Heter: Is R Nota Greenblatt or R Shalom Kaminetsky going to inform Tamar that she needs to separate from her new husband?

Considerable progress in dealing with the phony heter has been made. In fact it is no longer a question of how many people support the heter. The answer is absolutely no one!

At this point - even Rabbi Greenblatt is fully aware that the heter that he gave is invalid. He blames R Shalom Kaminetsky for putting him in a very unpleasant situation where not only the Rabbanut wants to disqualify his future Gittin - but there is such talk also here in America.

Even without publishing his teshuva - enough people have read it to be aware that it is nonsense and was based on his blindly accepting everything that the Kaminetsky's told him. Even he is aware that the facts are false and that he permitted Tamar to be in an adulterous relationship.

The present question is who has the obligation to inform Tamar that her new marriage is invalid? Is it Rabbi Greenblatt who provided the heter to remarry and in fact was the mesader kedishin or is it Rabbi Shalom Kaminetsky who manipulated Rabbi Greenblatt - through his father  - into giving the heter and marrying Tamar and Adam.

Perhaps it should be the gedolim of the Agudah who stood silently by and voiced no objection even after it was clear that a horrible perversion of Torah had happened at the highest levels? Maybe it should be Rav Herschel Schechter who publicly announced that the word of Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky in Tamar's quest for a divorce should not be questioned? There are clearly other candidates.

In short, we have a situation where Tamar Epstein is living in sin because of unquestioned obedience to the doctrine of Daas Torah of Gedolim. Who is going to tell her that the Emperor has no clothes and that she has been horribly betrayed? Each minute that she stays together with Adam, there are rabbis who will be paying the price for their hesitancy.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Tamar Epstein's Heter reaches the press- "Former ‘chained’ woman remarries in Memphis"

A former Silver Spring woman who was a central figure in the ongoing efforts to reform how the Orthodox community deals with men who refuse to grant their wives a Jewish divorce has remarried.

Tamar Epstein married Adam Paul Fleischer on Sept. 24, in a ceremony in Memphis, Tenn....

Because they are still married in the eyes of Jewish law until they receive a get, such women are known as “chained” women, or agunot in Hebrew. With several religious authorities viewing a husband’s refusal to grant the document as tantamount to spousal abuse, Friedman had been banned from communal activities in several locales, including in the Washington area, pending the Silver Spring man’s granting of a get....

The process by which Epstein was allowed to remarry has come under scrutiny, according to several sources. At issue is whether her marriage to Friedman was satisfactorily annulled....

Several people told Washington Jewish Week that Tamar was told she was a free woman by a Philadelphia rabbi who declared that Friedman had severe mental issues that existed prior to the couple’s marriage, including paranoia and obsessive compulsive disorder, and that had she known of these conditions, she would not have married him. Therefore, halachically she could move on with her life, the rabbi declared....

Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, vice president of the Rabbinical Court in Israel, wrote a blog post in protest of Epstein’s remarriage.

A decision by some rabbis that the Epstein-Friedman marriage was over even though Epstein “had lived with her first husband for an extended period of time and she had borne a daughter from him,” is not the way it works, he said.

“I saw the [ruling] that ‘freed’ her. I hate to say this, but the [ruling] is total nonsense. Taking the approach of this [ruling], it is possible to destroy the whole framework of halachic marriage,” he wrote. “Such an approach is destructive to Judaism and uproots the basic laws governing Jewish marriage.”

According to Sternbuch, Epstein is still married to Friedman “in every respect.”...

[Rabbi] Kranz, who believes Epstein must receive a Jewish divorce before she can go on with her life, called the matter “a tragedy, a really big tragedy.”

Friday, November 27, 2015

Why aren't Rabbi Jeremy Stern and ORA protesting the false heter that has resulted in Tamar committing adultery?

Over the years we have had many discussions of the problem of women who want to leave their marriages but their husband refuses to give them a Get for various reasons. While we have some significant disagreements in the realm of halacha, I acknowledge there has always been one person - Rabbi Jeremy Stern and his organization ORA - that has consistently taken the side of the woman. He has sincerely devoted much effort to try and help anyone who claims to be an aguna. He has organized public demonstrations of hundreds of people to try and help a wife obtain her Get. He is very knowledgeable about the use of the media and how to create maximum pressure on the husband and his family to produce a Get. The common denominator in all those that he tries to help is that they are all women. They are viewed by Rabbi Stern and his halachic advisor Rav Herschel Schecter  as being victims of the husband, apathy of the public or rabbis who lack their commonsense human sensitivity to suffering.

In short, I am sure if I called up Rabbi Stern at 3 a.m. and told him there was a woman who needed help – he would immediate start working on finding a solution.

So why haven't we heard from him, ORA or Rav Herschel Schecter regarding the false heter that Tamar received? Why haven't they organized public demonstrations against Rav Greenblatt or the Kaminetskys? Why doesn't the fact that Tamar is now committing adultery as the result of rabbinic incompetence cause them to be outraged? Isn't Tamar also a suffering victim? Aren't they bothered by the major corruption of the halachic  process that has taken place. Why don't they heed the call of Rav Sternbuch and other rabbis to protest the disgrace to the Torah?

It can't be that they don't know about it. It can't be that they are unaware of the elementary halachic errors used to justify the "heter". Even more obvious is that they can not be unaware that the  psychological "evidence" used to justify the "heter" is total nonsense.

Perhaps they claim they are working behind the scenes to rectify the error? Or perhaps that they are worried for the loss of emunas chachomim because big rabbis made a terrible error? Perhaps they think the case should be covered up to prevent a chilul haShem of Titanic proportion? Highly unlikely.

Or perhaps they are afraid to publicize that the advice that rabbis give to women sometimes is wrong. Perhaps they don't want to acknowledge that not every strategy that seems to help women get out of a marriage is correct.

It seems that they are paralyzed because the protest against the heter is a protest against their categorical feminist focus and they simply can't do it. If this "heter" is wrong – people might starting thinking other heterim are also wrong.

Rabbi Stern - please prove me wrong. Please stand up and protest Tamar's plight.


Guest post by Ploni

Allow me to point out another serious problem with Tamar’s היתר. I believe that this problem points to the total lack of responsibility involved in attempting to use the רופא מומחה as a so called "עדות" that AF is a חולי רוח שמפריע לנשואים, as stated in Rabbi Greenblatt’s recent letter.


Got that? In cases like that of AF, the mental health practitioner has a legal obligation to disclose that both the reliability and the validity of his “product”, namely his evaluation, is of “limited” value!

A well-known fact in this case is that Tamar’s Friends and Family (TFF) are relying on a secular DSM diagnosis to prove AF’s purported mental illness. We are not privy to the personal communications between MHP and TFF. Perhaps the MHP DID disclose to TTF the “limitations on the reliability and validity of their professional products”. Unlikely, but possible.

We are however EXTREMELY CERTAIN that TFF did most definitely NOT notify any of the Rabbonim about this lack in validity and reliability. What makes us so sure? NO Rov with even one iota of ירא שמים – including both Rabbi Kaminetsky and Rabbi Greenblatt – would ever be מתיר אשת איש, had they known from the get-go that said evaluation is of questionable worth. To the contrary, TFF made EVERY EFFORT to prove that the evaluation IS valid and reliable. Rabbi Greenblatt’s letter pretty much says the same thing.

What we see here is לפענ"ד mind boggling. A היתר based on secular “science”, while that very “science” states unequivocally that it lacks validity and reliability! שומו שמים!!!

Who is responsible for this obvious lapse in judgement???? Did none of the מתירים have the אחריות to ascertain the validity and reliability of the diagnosis? Is this what סוד ה' ליראיו has come to???

This monumental חילול ה' could easily have been avoided, had we only had people with both יראת שמים and working KNOWLEDGE OF SECULAR LAW pertaining to mental health diagnosis and treatment.

This knowledge gap needs to be fixed quickly.

The issues at stake are not just relevant to this particular fiasco with Tamar. They are much, much more wide-ranging. Outdated secular theories of mental health at loggerheads with Torah values have made serious inroads into our communities in areas like Marriage counseling/שלו' בית, parenting/education/חינוך … The list is long. Ironically, more recent theories with strong backing from those at very pinnacle of their respective scientific fields are MORE CONGRUENT with Torah thinking - yet they are all but ignored.

Let us band together to turn this terrible חילול ה' into a tremendous קידוש ה', by dedicating the time and resources necessary to really get a “handle” on these complex issues.

Rav Moshe Sternbuch: It is required that we protest the "heter" to remarry without a Get

This is a selection from Rav Sternbuch's weekly parasha sheet. He denounces the "heter" to remarry without a Get and says that there is not sufficient public protest against it. Furthermore the "heter" needs to be protested even if the protest doesn't seem to be effective.

מאמר שבועי בדרכי עבודת ה' וענייני הזמן 

מפי מרן רבינו   

הגאון רבי משה שטרנבוך שליט"א 

פרשת וישלח תשע''ז

אין לי מנוחה כשעה כזאת שהפרצות כעיקרי הדת מתגברות והולכות בארץ ובחו"ל, ואין שומעים מספיק קול מחאה על חילול ה' ותורתו, ובאמריקה נתנו 'היתר' :'בטל קידושין בלא גט בטענת מקח טעות, ואף שנבלה נעשתה בישראל כמו פילגש בגבעה מ"מ לא פורסם מספיק קול מחאה.

הדבר פשוט שאין כאן הוראה אלא טעות מעיקרא, שכל בחור ישיבה יודע שאם לאחר שידע מהמום המשיך להשתמש בו אח"כ, אין דין מקח טעות, ולכו"ע תצא :מזה ומזה והוולד ממזר .

וחובה להצטער ולהוקיע מה שנעשה בעו"ה, והחילול ה' הוא נורא מאוד כשרבנים עוקרים בשם התורה יסוד דיני אישות, וכבר כתב מהרש"ל בפ"ק דב"ק שהוא ביהרג ובל יעבור שלא יעקרו דין תורה. ובארץ ישראל בשעה שהתיר הרב ראשי ממזר, ולדבריו חתמו עמו עשרה רבנים, צירה הגאב"ד בעל מנחת יצחק וגדולי ישראל זצ"ל לכנוס את כולם וישבו בארץ ואמרו קינות, ורבים קרעו עמו בגדיהם על חילול כבוד ה' ותורתו, ואף שהוא התיר ממזר שהוא באיסור לאו, וכאן הפרצה היא על איסור אשת איש שחמור יותר, מ"מ לא שמעו עדיין קול מחאה מספיק. ומצווה למחות אף אם לא יוכלו לפעול, שעצם הדבר שמוחים הוא זכות רבה מאוד, וישוב חרון אף ה' על עמו שפוגעים בתורתו, שהרי קיבלנו ערבות לשמור התורה לנצח לעולם וועד.

ומפי מו"ר הגה"צ רבי משה שניידער זצ"ל שמעתי כמה פעמים שבשמים מצפים ושואלים האם נשמע קול מחאה, ואם נשמע קול מחאה, אז מתקיים מאמר הכתוב (מלאב' ג' ט"ז) "ויקשב ה' וישמע ויכתב ספר זיכרון לפניו ליראי ה' ולחושבי שמו", ויהי רצון שיהא חלקינו עמהם".

Tamar Epstein Heter: R' Greenblatt said he simply accepted whatever R Shalom Kaminetsky told him - Retraction of heter can not be far away

In this recent letter Rav Greenblatt says he knows nothing accept what R Shalom Kaminetsky told him. He did not do any independent investigation of the facts or bother hearing both sides. A rather sad and irresponsible use of the excuse of Daas Torah to avoid the elementary responsibility required of a posek. This is especially troubling concerning the issue of permitting a married woman to remarry without a Get.

With this announcement it is clear that the retraction of the heter must follow since the facts on which it was based are clearly not true. The question  now is what happens when the heter is retracted?

Yehoshua wrote:
A translation for those interested:
To whom it may concern:
I certify here what I said in writing to several talmidei chachamim who asked, and that is that I do not know Mr. Aharon Freidman, may he live and be well, or Ms. (?) Tamar Epstein, may she live and be well, and it is certainly not possible for me to know anything about their marriage or any detail [that transpired] between them. Rather, Hagaon R' Sholom Kamenetzky shlita asked me: When there is testimony by expert doctors that someone is mentally ill in a way that disrupts his marriage, if it is possible to nullify the kiddushin due to this. And I said that if the matter is clear and is similar to the incident in the responsum in the Igros Moshe, it is possible to permit it under certain circumstances.
Nota tzvi Greenblatt

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Rav Dovid Eidensohn Telephone Conference about Tamar Epstein's Heter Thursday at 9 p.m.

Last night the telephone conference didn't work because they changed the numbers and I didn't know about it. So I am making the conference tonight Thursday at nine oclock PM. The old numbers are no longer valid.

The new numbers are
call in 641-715-3580
access code 884800#

Why are Sex Offenders Welcomed? Don't worry about me . . . worry about your kids By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Yona Weinberg, is a convicted, registered, New York State Level 3 Sex Offender who served 13 months in an American jail for seven counts of Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree and two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
The New York State Division of Criminal Justice website describes a Level 3 registered sex offender, their highest level, as one who has a "high risk of repeat offense and a threat to public safety exists."
In the United States, registered sex offenders are carefully monitored and are not permitted to live near schools. In fact, it is common practice for American School Districts to issue email warnings when a registered sex offender relocates within the boundaries of their District.
In Israel, American sex offenders like Yona Weinberg are welcomed with open arms; rewarded with Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return and given new immigrant status, which affords them a  wide range of benefits.
Oh; we forgot to mention an additional perk.
They get to file (you can't make this up) defamation lawsuits against child safety advocates who warn Israeli parents about the danger posed to their children, as was recently reported in Yediyot Achronot. (Click here and scroll down for the Yediyot article and its English translation)
Here is Weinberg's story in a nutshell:
As reported earlier this year in the NY Daily News and  UK Daily Mail,
Weinberg allegedly assaulted an 11-year old boy after being released from jail for sexually assaulting two (other) boys. Knowing he was about to be arrested, Weinberg fled the USA to Israel.
His wife and children followed him, and they settled in Har Nof as Israeli citizens. Israeli's Ivrit YNet ran a story about the concerns of Har Nof residents ( English translation here) and their fruitless efforts to have Weinberg's citizenship revoked.
I utilized Twitter as a means of warning the residents of Har Nof that Mr. Weinberg presents a clear and continuing danger to their children. 
In June 2015, I was served with papers at my home in New York, informing me that a summary judgement was issued against me in an Israeli court, obligating me to pay Mr. Weinberg 200,000 shekel (about $55,000) for slandering him. 

My Israeli attorney had that judgement set aside, but Weinberg's frivolous and disgraceful defamation lawsuit was permitted to proceed, despite the fact that we submitted to the Israeli court clear evidence of his American conviction and registered sex-offender status.

To add insult to injury, my attorney was notified that if we did not pay 1,500 shekel in court costs to Weinberg, the illustrious judge would reinstate the 200,000 shekel judgement against me.

Since I will be in Jerusalem next week presenting at the  Tahel Child Safety Conference
and launching the  Hebrew version of our child safety/abuse prevention book; Mah She'batuach - Batuach!(scroll down for information about the book, and for a wide range of free child safety/abuse prevention resources), and cannot afford the possibility of being detained in Israel as a result of a possible judgement, I was basically forced to make that outrageous payment.  

These lines were written, not to present my case, but to present the sorry state of affairs in the Israeli courts and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption as it relates to the safety of your children.

Worded differently, don't worry about me; worry about your kids.

The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES will not be deterred or intimidated. We will continue to advocate for the safety of our children, and vigorously defend the right to warn parents about the presence of registered sex offenders in their neighborhoods and the danger they pose to their children.

We do, however, have deep concerns about the safety of children in Israel so long as convicted, registered Level-3 sex offenders are embraced by the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption and are permitted to manipulate Israeli courts to intimidate and silence child safety advocates.

Vayishlach; What We Need To Know About Camel Milk

Rabbi Shloime Pollak  Published on Nov 26, 2015

Yaakov Aveinu sent to Eisav a large gift. Five different types of animals were included; sheep, goats, camels, cows, and donkeys....

However, there is an interesting difference between them. With four out of five of the species, Yaakov Aveinu included both male and female, but he did not include a male camel. Additionally, the child of the camels were included, but no other calf's were sent...

Rashi quotes a Medrash as a SECOND pshat/explanation, but in the simple meaning, these discrepancies don't seem to be addressed...

For questions or comments please email

The Smoking Gun: I am requesting a copy of a rumored letter written by R Shalom Kaminetsky requesting a psak of Mekach Ta'os for Tamar Epstein

 Update: I have been contacted by a number of people who have the actual letter.  Hopefully in the near future I will receive a copy with permission to publish it here.
I was contacted 2 days ago, through a 3rd party, by someone who claims to have a letter written  by R Shalom Kaminetsky himself. Supposedly it states that Tamar Epstein is looking for a heter of Mekach Ta'os. It allegedly describes the evidence of mental illness that is identical to that noted in Rabbi Feldman's letter and it was claimed that it explicitly says that this evidence is justification for mekach ta'os. 

This letter, if it exists, is much more significant than the report I published from a posek concerning a summary letter from a student at the Philly yeshiva. This letter is claimed to have been written by Rav Shalom Kaminetsky himself and he allegedly says that his father is fully informed of all the facts and supports the request for a heter of mekach ta'os.

I requested that a copy of the letter be sent to me so I can publish it here. Such a letter would be the "smoking gun" regarding the direct involvement of the Kaminetsky's in obtaining the heter. It would also confirm the conjectures I have published on this blog. So far I have not received the letter. If anyone else has a copy please send it to me for publication.

On the other hand if someone knows for sure that there is no such letter - I would appreciate receiving that information also. 

If someone has contact with R Shalom Kaminetsky, please ask for confirmation or denial of the letter's existence.