Rabbi Shlomo Miller of Toronto and Rabbi Aharon Schechter of Yeshivas Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn complain about Rabbi Israel "Yisroel" Belsky's handling of Jewish divorces. Belsky is linked to Rabbi Mendel Epstein, who allegedly ran a get (Jewish religious divorce) extortion ring that used kidnapping and torture – including an electric cattle prod – to compel recalcitrant husbands to agree to issue a get.
Above: Rabbi Yisroel Belsky
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I want to bring to your attention that a matter of "marriage infidelity" --- to permit a married woman "to the street" to anyone under the guise of a "mistaken marriage" used to be a matter only adjudicated by the Gedolei Hador....but today anyone can permit a married woman by his own reasoning - to claim that she is not a married woman.
So, based on the above....after a number of years after the marriage, if there are serious complaints lodged against the "groom/husband"....there is never a good enough reason to nullify the marriage.
It is well known as well, the signatories on this nullification document, are not qualified to rule on any (minute) matter of Jewish law, but yet they feel free to permit a married woman to commit adultery.
The main complaint against the husband, and the reason to nullify the marriage, is that he frequented houses of prostitution before his marriage, therefore he could have contracted AIDS, and it is now dangerous for the wife to be with him. in fact there is no evidence at all that he contracted AIDS, and that even if there was, she would not be permitted to remarry because she could transmit the virus to her new husband. But of course there is no evidence, because there is no kosher witness, perhaps only the prostitute herself. In addition, the wife did not go for testing at a laboratory, which we can assume because she in fact does not believe the allegations.
I am told, that up to 8 years there is no way of telling if a person has AIDS....but this is utterly false, because with appropriate blood testing you can tell within a year....Again, if she suspects she has contracted AIDS, than she is forbidden to remarry because of the danger that she is to her new husband.
The second reason that was given to nullify the marriage is that he ate in non-kosher restaurants, in places where there were kosher eateries. But they have not established if there are witnesses. And on the first claim, there are no witnesses other than the prostitute herself, and she was paid for this testimony.
Even if there are bona fide witnesses that he ate in non-kosher restaurants, this is no reason to nullify a marriage.
And even if he is an apostate, and some would say the marriage is based on false pretenses (that he's a law abiding Jew), this would be only if he was an apostate that did not believe in the entire Torah (and it's laws)...but here he is not being accused of being such an apostate, only that the is a rasha in one area only (kashruth); we may assume that he ate non-kosher only because he could not find a kosher eatery....and would not be considered an apostate in all manners of the Torah prescribed laws.
In my opinion, there is no reason to be lenient, and she is considered a full fledged married woman according to Jewish law. If we permit this type of leniency, in the end we will permit all types of leniencies in this area of Jewish marriage laws....
And in the end we will start nullifying all the holy lineage of the Jews because of some small-minded individual with the audacity that he has the power and his band of arrogant cohorts to cause such damage. I hear in America there is a so-called rabbi that will nullify marriages if some 13 sins were committed under the guise of a "mistaken/fraudulent purchase"....
It pains me greatly that our generation has descended to "new lows", and there is nobody that will/can contradict these lenient positions.
Therefore I seek to erect a "fence", and call out these transgressors of Jewish law...And issue a proclamation that no woman can be permitted to be considered divorced under the guise of a "bad deal", only if the Gedolei hador sanction such an action.
Signing with much pain,
Shlomo Eliyahu Miller
I come before the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of America to seek their ruling on a huge issue - that pertains to the Mesorah of our holy Torah that has been transmitted from generation to generation by the Gedolei Hador.
This issue is before us: Rabbi Yisroel Belsky gave permission (heter) to Mrs....(redacted) (nullifying her marriage)...on the grounds that her marriage was based on a mistaken marriage..(based on the concept of non full disclosure - my words).
I spoke with him many times... regarding the issue of him needing permission from the "beth din gadol" of our times, if not, it is a definite breach of protocol "prikat ol" - derelict in his duties and in violation of the Torah....His response was that he will not do anything without seeking advice of the gedolei hador.
I am now aware that her family is seeking a shidduch (husband) for her, even among Yeshiva people ---- I can't grasp who with a soul would do something like this.
It is beyond belief - that anyone called a "rabbi" would find a heter (permission) to sin.
If indeed in such a stringent matter as this..a married woman...and the holiness of the Jewish lineage...is at stake....caused by a person in "our camp"...to be lenient and permit this transgression....This is something new ...that is not in our Mesorah.
(flowery language....) May God strengthen us....
Aron Moshe Schechter
Shraga Feivel Cohen
[Hat Tip: UOJ.]