An Aspiring Mekubal

The confessions of a Rabbi and would be mystic

The Deadly Question?

I have been following and commenting on the various conversations going on around Agunot over at the Daattorah blog.  While admittedly the comment thread looks more like Jerry Springer than it does Torah discussion some interesting back and forth has happened.

Really the discussion does not center on Agunot so much as it centers on an Agunah, Tamar Epstein and her husband Aharon Friedman, as well as the actions of ORA and Rav Schacther of YU.  There have been a lot of “facts” flying as well as “apikorus” “kofer” and the like.  However, one thing that no one on the Aharon Friedman side will touch is a rather simple question.  Why do they support him?

Let me explain.  One is not permitted to go to secular court against a fellow Jew without permission from a Beit Din.  Not only did Aharon Friedman go to court over custody of their daughter without permission from a Beit Din, but once a Beit Din ordered him to dismiss the case, he refused.  See this is a big problem.  The majority of the Aharon Friedman, anti-ORA anti-Rav Schachter folks on that blog, have been making a big issue about the evils of women going to secular court without a valid heter from a B”D.  But as soon as you ask them if they then equally condemn Aharon Friedman, they balk, and generally don’t answer.  Furthermore the Sh”A C”M 26:1,

1 It is forbidden to bring a case before non Jewish dayanim and their courts(meaning, a permanent seat for their ministers to hear cases) even if they rule by dinei Yisrael, even if they agreed to bring the case before them, this is forbidden. All who come to judge before them, are considered to be Reshaim it’s as if they blaspheme against Moshe Rabbeinu, peace be upon him.  Rama: the Beis Din may put into nidui or cherem one who brings a case before a non-Jewish court until he withdraws the case (Maharik, shoresh 187). And any one who supports a Jew who is  bringing a case to a non-Jewish court was also put into cherem (Rivash (Siman 102). And even if he does not bring the case to be tried before the non-Jewish court but rather to use the non-Jewish court to force his Baal din to come to him for the case in Beis Din by means of their issuing a court order for this, it is appropriate to stretch him out on the pole (i.e., give him lashes) (Mordechai, Bava Kama, perek hagozel kama).

In other words, supporting said person is also a big no no.

This leaves me with one conclusion about their arguments in general.  That beneath it all they are not seeking Torah, and its views.  Rather they are trying to impose their misogynistic views upon Torah.  I personally have a hard time seeing how one could think and act in a hypocritical and misogynistic manner in one are(so clearly defined) in Torah and not do so in others.

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6 thoughts on “The Deadly Question?

  1. Josh Eley on said:

    Shalom Kavod HaRav,

    I truly and honestly love everything you write about. I have been following this blog for quite a while now and I LOVE IT!!! I have learned so much Torah here all to the Rav’s zechut.

    I was wondering if the Rav can along with the interesting topics everyday also post some halacha or musar drashot, anywhere from pele yoetz to yalkut yosef. Giving a daily halacha along with a mussar twist will also be amazing with the posts.

    Just a suggestion.

    Thanks for everything!!!

  2. shaulshapira on said:

    R Tzadok- I greatly appreciate your tenacity on the DT blog. You’ve been “keepin it real”. Mazel Tov and Yeyasher kochacha (and mabrouk if you say those things)!

  3. Raymond on said:

    I second the comments above, always informative and interesting.
    Now if I may diverge a little, a question from a position of little knowledge.
    Some religious publications refuse to print pictures of women. But you don’t seem to mind. Obviously we are not refering to anything rude or provocative. Is there any halachic ruling or views on this matter.

    • Dovy on said:

      Artscroll even has pictures of women, sometimes they obviously don’t even have a head-covering IIRC (even if they are hero’s mother or wife!)

    • Raymond I know of no actual halakhot banning it. I know the Ben Ish Hai says that women should not allow themselves to be photographed by strangers, because then those strangers can look at their pictures and have impure thoughts whenever they want.
      However, at the same time, he had family portraits done with the women of his family and his grandson had those published in books.
      Stritcly face shots would seem to me to be the least problematic(like the one above). Tznua cartoons shouldn’t be problematic at all. Aside from that I try to use discretion so as not to transgress “lifnei iver” however, it is not something that I am overly makpid about.
      Honestly I am much more makpid about not letting strangers photograph me or my children, especially tourists.

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