Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, the head of the beit din (religious court) for the vehemently anti-Zionist Edah Haredit haredi umbrella organization, rules halakhic prenuptial agreements are not kosher because a prenup may force a husband to divorce his wife unjustifiably. This would be a break from acceptable Jewish tradition and provides Jews with no great benefit, with the exception of a small amount of women whose husbands make them agunahs (chained wives).
Above: Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch
Yeshiva World reports (apparently based on a report from the Israeli haredi news website Kikar HaShabbat):
Eida Chareidis Ravaad HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch Shlita has come out in harsh terms against pre-nuptial agreements, which have become increasingly popular as rabbonim are working to prevent future agunos. A growing number of organizations that work to free agunos are backing such agreements, as are major rabbinical organizations around the world. In some cases, rabbonim will not marry a couple that does not have an accepted pre-nuptial agreement. It is important to point out that there are various texts and rabbonim who frequently marry couples are more in the know as to which texts are viewed as halachically acceptable to them.
In his lengthy responsa the Ravaad addresses the pre-nuptial agreements, and Rav Sternbuch and other Gedolei Torah remain adamantly opposed to such agreements. The rav explains an agreement was brought to him, the version written and accepted by the Rabbinical Council of America.
After conducting a lengthy halachic discussion on the agreement, it is reported the rav has concluded the agreement may compel a husband to divorce his wife unjustifiably, and therefore he feels the agreement represents a ‘פרצה’, a break from acceptable tradition, adding the agreement does not carry great benefit with the exception of a small amount of women whose husbands make them agunos against halacha.
What has Rav Sternbuch more concerned is that he feels that on the other side, such an agreement may destroy the institution of marriage for if a husband does not want to give a divorce, which is often the case, the woman has worked it out but now, a woman can force her husband to divorce her. He adds that Rabbeinu Gerson made his cherem not to divorce a woman against her will so that there would not be too many divorces and therefore we would not create an agreement that will facilitate getting divorced.
The rav adds the agreement is bound to the courts and therefore, not what it appears to be on the surface.
שאף שלמראית עין הסכם זה כפוף לכאורה להוראות בית הדין מכל מקום אין זה אלא מסווה בלבד.
And finally, Rav Sternbuch calls on gedolei torah in Eretz Yisrael and the United States to sign against the agreement, which he fears may even R”L lead to mamzerus.
את דבריו חותם הגר”מ שטרנבוך באמירה חריפה וכותב “הנני קורא לגדולי תורה כאן ובארה”ב לעמוד בפרץ למחות נגד מתקני הסכם קודם נישואין שלא יתפשט תקנתם רח”ל, כי שטר הסכם נישואין זה אינו תקנה אלא תקלה, שהוא חורבן הדת ממש ומכשילין בחשש איסור אשת איש ומרבים ממזרים בישראל”.
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