Haredi Rabbis Move To Invalidate Gets Of Women Who Divorced In Secular Court
Women who divorced in secular court and who abide by the custody arrangements and financial arrangements made by secular judges would have their religious divorces ruled invalid if several haredi rabbis have their way. The same would be true of women who rely on public pressure from groups like ORA to receive their gets or who have received gets from Israel's state rabbinic courts – because the rabbinic judges in those courts have the power to imprison get refusers. The wording of the ruling by these three rabbis could even be understood to prohibit women from calling police when they are battered by their husbands. And who are among the supporters of this haredi nonsense?
Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn and his brother Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn.
Daniel Eidensohn writes the Da'at Torah blog where this notice was published. He fancies himself to be an anti-child sexual abuse advocate, but he mostly serves as a mouthpiece for Eidah Charedis' Rabbi Moshe Shternbach.
His brother Dovid is, shall we say, only marginally brighter than a tree stump. Responding to a claim that this ridiculous ruling would invalidate "95%" of gets issued worldwide and create tens of thousands of mamzerim overnight, the Dovid Eidensohn wrote the following:
I spoke to a prominent posek and he told me that the pressure to give a GET through public humiliation practiced by ORA makes the GET invalid from the Torah and the children are mamzerim gemurim.
On the other hand, we have the above comment that such is "utterly disgusting?" What is "utterly disgusting"? The Rashbo who says it? The many poskim who quote the Rashbo? HaShem who commanded a Torah? Let us be clear who we are criticizing here.
Dovid Eidensohn isn't smart enough or honest enough to grasp that very many rabbis who were contemporaries of the Rashba disagreed with him, and that halakha has never followed the strict interpretation of the Rashba's view – until recently when haredim produced leaders like the bunch that head Eidah Charedis and the recently deceased Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv,who was a cruel, cold, and inhuman man.
The Rashba ruled many things with regard to kashrut and other issues but we do not follow those rulings today – just as Orthodox Jews did not follow them in 1600 Tzefat or in 1400 Spain.
One example that pops into my mind at this obscenely late hour is hagalah b'ochlim, koshering a pot by cooking pareve food in it, rather than through the common (and more strict) ritual used today. You took your empty pot of lamb stew, cleaned it normally, and then boiled vegetables in it. After that, you could use it for making cheese soup or even boiled milk.
We don't do this today.
But what passes for the mind of David Eidensohn, that doesn't matter because this was a lenient opinion of the Rashba, and any good kanoi knows that he makes his 'spiritual' living by cherry picking the stringent rulings (or rulings which can be twisted to appear to support a stringency) of dead rabbis while strenuously ignoring the bulk of the rulings which are moderate or lenient.
So Eidensohn willingly, joyfully, supports a ruling that, if accepted on its face, would cause tens of thousands of Jews to become unmarriageable (except to each other). And that stigma, that scarlet letter mem, would halakhicly remain on them their whole lives, and on their children and their children for generations to come – hundreds of years to come.
Since there are more and more Gittin that are invalid mi de oraita [from the Torah], which contribute to the remarriage of married women and more and more mamzerim [bastards], we publish this letter of a Beith Din to clarify the halacha concerning the coerced get.
The halacha states that a get that was given under pressure that was not exerted according to the din torah is invalid min ha torah.
Therefore, a woman who makes demands upon her husband that do not conform to Torah law, like demands of money, alimony, sharing of the possessions, and the husband gives a get in exchange for annulling the demands, this could be a coerced get, as explained in the sources (sources cited). In the same way, a get obtained by physical constraint or threat of imprisonment is invalid. (sources cited). A woman who obtains a get through coercion or threats as explained above cannot be married and needs a new get.
Nachum Menashe Gutentag,