RCA Prenup: Rav Ovadia’s Haskama?
James, a valued reader and commenter sent me the supposed haskamah of Rav Ovadia Yosef to the RCA prenup(see below). I say supposed for two primary reasons. First is that is not on Rav Ovadia’a letterhead. Standard rule of practice is to not trust haskamot that are not on the Rav’s letter head. I once asked the Rav about a book to which he had supposedly given a haskamah(it was appended to the haskamah of another Rav). He replied that it was not to be trusted, as it was not on his letterhead.
I know that it may sound as if I am being overly pendantic. However these things are like Kashrut. Would you trust a kosher certificate that was scribbled on a napkin? Of course not. You want to make sure that everything is legitimate.
Second to that, there is the text of the prenup itself. The Hebrew text(to which Rav Ovadia supposedly agreed) is markedly different than that of the English language RCA prenup(see paragraph VII) that can be found here. In the Hebrew text that husband obligates himself in a fine that the Beit Din may impose according to the law of Moshe and Israel. That is not the case with the English language prenup in which the support is automatic.
I fully understand and support the idea of predetermining a Beit Din. That way the embittered husband does not wind up running off to Rav Gestetner’s thoroughly corrupt Beit Din to do whatever he pleases. I think that is a great idea. The issue becomes fining a husband without the prior consent of a Beit Din to give a Get.