"America is degenerating to a state where anyone who marries a divorcee will need to clarify first which beis din gave her the Get and whether the husband willingly gave it.…[there are] Orthodox battei din that are known as hareidim and yet they conduct themselves contrary to halacha due to our many sins. And even by silently acquiescing to this violation of halacha they are perpetuating it – chas v’shalom!"
Here is a hurried translation of the key part of Sternbuch's letter made by Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn, a follower of Sternbuch and the author of the Daat Torah blog, [My emphasis added]:
…In the matter which is before us, the husband does not want to leave his wife an agunah. He in fact is prepared to give a Get according to the law of the Torah. He simply is requesting his rights according to the Torah. They demanded from the husband that he falsely sign that he has no reservations regarding the Get and he are giving it whole heartedly. In addition they utilized the fact that the secular law always believes the wife - even when she is makes false claims. Furthermore they utilized the fact that the secular law would imprison him based entirely on her false testimony or at least make a harsh judgment against him. It was only out of fear of these possibilities that he gave the get or validated it so that he would be free of improper criminal charges. You should be aware that this sin of permitting a married women to remarry against the halacha is extremely serious and is worse than what was done by the Generation of the Flood as is explained in Kiddushin (13a). And according what we have heard, America is degenerating to a state where anyone who marries a divorcee will need to clarify first which beis din gave her the Get and whether the husband willingly gave it. There is absolutely no concern to the Cherem [of Rabbeinu Tam] of questioning the validity of a Get – since there is clearly a valid basis to be concerned. This is the ruling of the Nodah BeYehuda (E.H. Madura Kamma 88) and other Achronim. The Nodah BeYehuda concludes there that if the beis din uses nidoi to pressure the husband then the beis din itself is in nidoi. Therefore due to the serious nature of this matter we request from the rabbis of America, who are the guardians of Yiddishkeit there, not to allow such a damaging breach. And this request is also directed to the Orthodox battei din that are known as Chareidim and yet they conduct themselves contrary to halacha due to our many sins. And even by silently acquiescing to this violation of halacha they are perpetuating it – chas v’shalom!…
Sternbuch is strikingly childish and uneducated, and his remarks about secular courts are laughable and false.
The truth is that a ketubah – which once so many centuries ago afforded women some meager protection from capricious husbands – is now worthless. At the very least, it needs to be rewritten.
But it won't be because haredi rabbis like Sternbuch's predecessors froze halakha in place in the 1800s, and now it has no way to adapt to modern life.
The even sadder truth is that the Judaism of Sternbuch and his predecessors would be unrecognizable to Maimonides and the great rabbis of the Middle Ages – the vast majority of who would have ordered the husband in this divorce case to be whipped by the officers of the beit din until he consented and gave his wife her get.
Sternbuch has, in effect, just made thousands of Jewish children sofek mamzerim (possible bastards), which limits their ability to marry anyone. In other words, if Sternbuch had any real power, he would have just ruined thousands of lives.
People like Sternbuch belong in padded cells and OCD rehabilitation therapy, not as leaders of religious communities.
May that day come exceedingly soon.