News on International Beit Din (IBD)
As I posted a few weeks ago, decisions about the proper adjudication of agunah cases need to be left to the highest echelon of halachic authorities and cannot be subject to popular petition and protest. Nevertheless, open and honest halachic discussion of the issues is of course encouraged, especially since IBD published several of its rulings on the internet for the public to read and consider.
In what can be described as nothing short of a brilliant, comprehensive and meticulous halachic analysis, Rabbi Yaacov Sasson has painstakingly examined one of the most important IBD rulings, methodically going through the sources and logic. This hot-off-the press article is a must-read.
Everyone is also encouraged to read the most recent IBD article in Jewish Link of New Jersey, as well as Rabbi Gil Student’s article on the topic in Jewish Link of New Jersey.
And finally, here is an important letter from Rabbi Menachem Penner of RIETS, in which unfortunate misinformation and rumors are dispelled and important facts are clarified.
From Rabbi Prenner’s letter:” While I commend Rabbi Blau for refusing speak to the media, some facts ought to be clarified,,,Rabbi Blau stepped down from the court after being met with an unexpected level of disagreement from his colleagues at YU… Rabbi Blau was not ready to allow his involvement in the Beth Din to be a source of friction with his colleagues and stepped down willingly – for the sake of shalom. He was neither threatened nor bullied and is happy to corroborate that fact.”
The only thing that will clear up the question about why Rabbi Blau resigned is to have a statement from Rabbi Blau not a statement from the Dean of RIETS but a statement from Rabbi Blau. Rabbi Blau has apparently told people information consistent with media accounts.One person who I know that spoke to Rabbi Blau is not BTW in agreement with the IBD. For what its worth certainly wo Rabbi Blau IMO there is no credible person at the IBD to even have a hava mina of what they apparently intend to.
Even Rabbi Prenners statement “Rabbi Blau was not ready to allow his involvement in the Beth Din to be a source of friction with his colleagues and stepped down willingly – for the sake of shalom. He was neither threatened nor bullied “can be parsed easily to be consistent with Rabbi Blau receiving pressure from RIETS/YU.
The only way for this issue to be resolved is for Rabbi Blau to state his reasons for leaving the IBD.
R Sasson’s article is must reading for anyone interested in this issue. The bottom line remains that RHS and R M Willig remain the bet advocates for the use of the RCA PNA which prevents cases of Agunos from developing and of ORA , which works day and night to free Agunos without wrecking havoc on long accepted Halachos > Those interested in which Gdolim in Israel support the RCA PNA can do do by simply Googling the RCA PNA. Contrary to recent reports in the Charedi media, the RCA did not develope the PNA, rather R Willig sweated through every line of the PNA with Gdolim such as ROY ZL, and Yivadleinu LChaim R Zalman Nechemyah Goldberg, R Asher Weiss. We also have to remember that Agunos develope in most cases because one spouse is acting in an evil way so as to not to give a get. Only responsible Halachic assistance and intervention, and widespread use of the RCA PNA and communal pressure, should be countenanced as opposed to irresponsible actions that would lead to a strong possibility of Mamzerus
wow, we (almost) agree. the pre-nup works; in one of the cases i am aware of, even after the PNA and the RCA was viciously maligned in civil court for a few years, eventually a get was given. this problem is addressed by the civil courts in Israel, by chassidim who use physical coercion and by the PNA. The one point is that we should be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater; in very, very isolated cases the method of get zi’kui and invalidating the kiddushin based on ta’oot have been used by gedolai haposkim.
the problem is that there are well known Batei Dinim and attorneys who abuse the halakha to the detriment of women seeking a get. A list of such players ought be created and they should be put in cherem by at least the RCA and the BD of A. In addition to the obvious evildoers, some on the fence, of which there not just a few, will think twice.
Why is what the IBD is doing any different than the Tamar Epstein case, where (supposedly) she also remarried without a Get under the auspices of Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky? Is he the newest member of the IBD? If so, don’t we have to give them more credit as they have Gedolim on their side?