A haredi rabbi revoked a death almost 25 years after it occurred. Why? To raise the dead?
As Rabbi Jeffery Woolf tells the tale, the rabbi's ruling was anything but life-giving:
"…Rabbi Avraham Dov Levine, who heads an independent rabbinical court based in Jerusalem that specializes in determining Jewish genealogical trees (yihus) in the haredi community for couples before marriage, claimed in an interview this week on Radio Kol Hai that the vast majority of converts converted by Druckman's authority did not adhere to Halacha after the conversion. Therefore, this was proof the conversions were not valid."
I was not aware of R. Levine's existence until last week. It was then that a colleague called my attention to a decision issued by R. Levine, when he served as chief marriage registrar of the Jerusalem rabbinate (פסקי בתי הדין הרבניים, תיק תקכ"א שעל ידי בית דין מס' 126, תש"ס).
A girl came to the Rabbinate to register to marry. Her mother had been married to a young man who was killed in the Yom Kippur War, when his tank took a direct hit. No physical remains were found, though shreds of clothing were identified as belonging to him. Based upon this and the military reports, the Army Rabbinate declared him to have died and issued a certificate that the young widow was free to remarry. After some time she did so, and the young lady in question was the child of the second marriage. Twenty-Seven years later, she came before Rabbi Levine to receive the required documentation that would allow her to marry.
R. Levine reexamined the Army Rabbinate's decision and disqualified it. He argued that the latter had not elicited sufficient evidence of the soldier's death. Hence, the wife was a safeq Eshet Ish and her daughter a safeq mamzeret. He informed the stunned girl that she was unable to marry. The only out that he offered was that if she were to represent the case to a 'God fearing Bet Din' , she might find relief and be able to marry. (בית דין ירא שמים)
Now, anyone who knows anything about Halakha knows that one NEVER reopens the case of an Aguna, who was freed by a recognized Bet Din, certainly not a quarter of a century later.
One never creates the circumstance to create mamzerim.
Why did he do this? He did this because he is part of what, to my shame as a proud Litvak, religious commentators are terming the 'Litaliban.' He cares not for anything but the supererogatory demands of his tiny coterie. Otherwise, how does this charlatan dare to term the military Rabbinate's Bet Din as not being 'God fearing'? Was he ever in a tank? Did he ever suffer the heat of battle? Does he know the circumstances of what type of remains one might expect to find in a burning tank? [By contrast, as described by R. Benny Lau, Rav Ovadia Yosef sat with military experts to determine the realities of battle, locked himself in a room with the outstanding cases of missing soldiers, and found solid halakhic reasons to release over 1,000 agunot! Evidently, the spiritual heir of R. Isaac Elhanan Spector, the Rov of Kovna who was famous for helping agunot, was born in Baghdad. The Lithuanians have, it would appear, dropped the ball.]
…This cabal is out to totally destroy the non-Hareidi rabbinate, and it does not care how many lives it destroys in the process.
There is not much I can add.
[Hat Tip: Michelle.]