Volume 25 Number 50
                      Produced: Tue Dec 24 16:04:51 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Agunah and Heter Meah Rabbanim
         [Carl Sherer]
Get and Civil Divorce
         [Susan M. Chambre]
Heter Meah Rabbanim
         [Jeffrey Woolf]
Heter Meah Rabonim (2)
         [Eliyahu Shiffman, Isaac Balbin]
         [Shimon Schwartz]
         [Tanya Scott]
The Mitsva of Rebuke
         [David Herskovic]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 1996 15:58:19 -0500
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All!

For those of you for whom this afternoon and tomorrow are days off from
work, if you have email access at least I hope to fill your day with
mail-jewish. It is a much more reasonable hour of the day for me to be
writting to you, and I will be working my way through some of the older
mail that is still sitting in my email box. So you may see some old
messages coming through. For messages that I do not feel have any
current relevance, you may be getting email from me letting you know
that I have actually read your email, even if it is somewhat late, and
why I think it is no longer relevant. If you sent things in for
mj-announce and the time relavency is clearly over, I will simply be
discarding it. My apologies to those of you whose time based requests I
missed getting out.

As I close out the old calendar year and bring in the new, now is a good
time for those of you who have been thinking about (or maybe let it slip
your thoughts) sending in the voluntary subscription contribution to do
so now. If you are using a Rosh Hashana to Rosh Hashana cycle, that is
also fine, or any other cycle you may wish to choose.

For your review, here is the information on the subscription fees from
the new user welcome message:

Subscription Fees

I am requesting a yearly subscription fee from readers of mail-jewish. I
am modeling it somewhat like some museums, in that I am recommending a
suggested subscription level, but you are free to choose what level of
subscription you wish to contribute. The suggested subscription levels
are (for US readers) $36.00 for employed individuals or families (i.e.
if you have more than one person in your family on mail-jewish, only one
subscription fee is requested), and $18.00 for students, under-employed
etc. At the present time, it does not appear to me to be practical to
request this subscription fee from the non-US readers, due to the issues
of converting the currency, etc. The exceptions are Israel, where I will
take the subscription fees in Shekels (NS), at the suggested levels of

The address to send the contribution to is:
NOTE: Please make checks out to Avi Feldblum or mail-jewish in US, and
M. Feldblum in Israel. Thanks.

USA:                        Israel (Please indicate clearly that it is
				     for mail-jewish:)
Avi Feldblum                Dr. M.S. Feldblum
55 Cedar Ave                Kalishar 7
Highland Park, N.J 08904    Petach Tikveh, Israel

Avi Feldblum
Shamash Facilitator and mail-jewish Moderator
<mljewish@...> or feldblum@cnj.digex.net


From: Carl Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 11:57:58 +0000
Subject: Agunah and Heter Meah Rabbanim

 Elu Klagsbrun writes:

 > In our times this legitimate heter has been warped to suit
 > illegitimate ends.
 > Rabbi Moshe Feinstein clearly ruled that a Heter Meah Rabbonim is
 > inherently invalid, in a situation where the first wife is willing
 > and able to accept a Get. Rabbi Elyashiv has expressed orally, the
 > same opinion and has instructed his talmidim to gather world-wide
 > support amongst Batei Dinim to this effect. This has not stopped
 > some rabbis from propagating this criminal nonsense.
 > Some of the rabbis involved (I am maintaining list for future
 > use), are fairly well known, but there is a certain recalcitrance
 > on the part of the mainstream to start defrocking rabbis in
 > public.
 > The bigger problem is that there is also a reluctance on the part
 > of Batei Din to question the actions of another Bais Din. This is
 > even in the case where they feel that what the first Bais Din was
 > negligent and/or criminal.
 > [snip]
 > I would welcome any feedback as to how this situation might be
 > resolved in the future.  Anybody who has daughters (as I do), has
 > one more nightmare to keep them up at night.

One way to avoid this happening in the future might be to expose the
names of the Rabbanim (which you have) and let the lay community do the
"defrocking" if the Rabbanic community is, for whatever reason,
unwilling to do so.

It seems to me that, if done properly, exposing the names would not
violate laws of Lashon Hara, because you could simply publish the Heter
itself (assuming you have it), which ought to be deemed a Maaseh Beis
Din, and which could be published like any other judgment of the Beis
Din.  Alternatively, since there are piskei halacha by the Gdolei HaDor
that signing such a heter other than under the very specific
circumstances set out in Rav Feinstein zt"l's tshuva is assur, I don't
think it would violate Hilchos Lashon Hara to publish a list of the
Rabbanim who have signed such heterim in contravention of Rav
Feinstein's and Rav Elyashiv's psak.  It would then be up to the
community to pressure Rabbanim who have signed these heterim not to do
so in the future (at the least).

For your mother, I would start taking your friends to hold a vigil
outside your father's house and place of business.  Exposing these
people to their employers, employees, customers, neighbors and friends
has done more to pressure men to give gittin than any other tactic I've
heard of.

-- Carl Sherer

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  
Thank you very much.

Carl and Adina Sherer


From: <Smchambre@...> (Susan M. Chambre)
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 15:01:17 -0500
Subject: Re: Get and Civil Divorce

 Elly Klagsbrun's description of his father's actions toward his mother
is indeed shocking and Rabbi Yosef Blau's candid response

> Unfortunately silence is seen as aquiescence and a new weapon is now in
>the hands of recalcitrant husbands. It is critical that such second
>marriages, which invariably follow, be rejected by the orthodox

 is greatly appreciated but nonetheless disturbing in light of a need
for Rabbinic and lay leadership to respond to a problem that is growing.

A related instance, with different implications, is the case of the
woman who has gotten a get but not a civil divorce and has a (Jewishly)
remarried husband. What is the status of this situation? Should it be

Susan M. Chambre


From: Jeffrey Woolf <woolfj@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 10:34:54 +0200 (WET)
Subject: Re: Heter Meah Rabbanim

I would like to second my friend Rabbi Blau's comments on the need to
exert 'quality' and 'responsibility' control on the part of unscrupulous
Batei Din. 
As to the requireent to post a get upon receipt of a Heter Meah Rabbanim.
This practice is at least five hundred years old, and appears to condition
the validity of the Heter.

Jeffrey Woolf
Dept of Talmud
Bar Ilan University


From: Eliyahu Shiffman <sarash1@...>
Date: Tue, 17 Dec 96 04:29:43 PST
Subject: Heter Meah Rabonim

Ely Klagsbrun <eklagsbr@...> wrote:
>I would welcome any feedback as to how this situation might be >resolved
>in the future.  Anybody who has daughters (as I do), has one more
>nightmare to keep them up at night.

I would think that one of the most effective tools for solving this
general problem after the fact (I am leaving aside for now the idea of
revised ketubot as a before-the-fact solution) is to publicly embarass
the individual involved by publicizing or threatening to publicize his
misdeeds. One has to determine before which of his publics he is
susceptible to embarassment -- shul, neighborhood, workplace, business
customers, VIP friends, etc. This assumes, of course, that the
individual is still capabable of being embarassed.

Eliyahu Shiffman
Beit Shemesh 

From: Isaac Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 16:51:57 +1100
Subject: Re: Heter Meah Rabonim

  | From: Ely Klagsbrun <eklagsbr@...>

  | I have heard even from Rabbonim who represent the right-wing Torah world
  | (a world by the way that I consider myself a part of), that in their gut
  | they feel that it would be alot better if we disbanded Batei Din and
  | just went to secular court. At least we wouldn't have to answer to
  | HaShem for the way Torah is being perverted and if there weren't any
  | Batei Din around, it wouldn't be such a big sin to go to court in the
  | first place.

This sentiment is in fact explicitly cited in the introduction to Chelek
8, of Igros Moshe. Apparently, Rav Moshe Z"TL refused to sit on certain
Bottei Din because of the corruption of the members. In those days, it
was matters of kashrus. True Torah Leaders like Reb Moshe could not
tolerate any corruption in Torah. Let us hope that Hashem allows a
spirit of Torah to infuse those instititutions that are motivated by
issues external to Torah.


From: Shimon Schwartz <shimmy@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 01:32:06 -0800
Subject: re: Shadchonim

>  From: <anonymous@...>
>  ...  and on the third
>  date, by accident, they pass blockbuster, and she mentions something-
>  one thing leads to another, turns out both of them are modern
>  orthodox- who go to movies, listen to secular music, etc. This rov had
>  no idea about the true nature of these two people, but BH both of them
>  found out before it was too late.

I'm not certain whether Anon. uses "before it was too late" in a
positive or negative sense here, but a critical issue surfaces: the need
to date for sufficient time before making a decision one way or the
other.  I knew my kallah for five months (three dating actively) before
I proposed.  We've been married a little over a year now, rock solid.
Taking the time to learn about each other before marriage, even at that
supeficial level, reassured us both that we were making the right

I hope that this series of posts clarifies that dating and marriage is
*not* just about satisfying a checklist--that is what the *shadchanut*
process is for.  Dating is about determining that the two of you are
both going in the same general direction in life, sharing goals and
perspectives, and that you both want to go there together.  And making
that determination takes time if you want to do it right.

During fifteen years of dating [guess my age, anyone?  :-) ], I took out
numerous women--most through shadchanim that I barely knew--who decided
within 5-10 *minutes* that I was not for them.  And they spent the next
hour or two letting me know as much.  Then there were a few who decided
in the first 5-10 minutes that I *was* right for them, although I didn't
share that view.  Given the midos tovos of the woman I now make my home
with, I have no regrets about losing all the earlier offers.

Still, I wonder if those whose hashkafa seemed to require a preliminary
decision *by the end of the third date* are either eliminating good
possibilities--including *the* bashert (it's possible)--or chas v'shalom
making a premature commitment.  And, as I said above, taking the time
while dating to reinforce that this was the correct decision for both of
us gave us significant fuel to make it through the choppy waters of the
first year of marriage.

P.S.  The second year has begun on most excellent footing.  :-)

Shimon Schwartz
With Rebecca, Forest Hills, NY: <shimmy@...>
NYNEX Science & Technology, Inc., White Plains, NY: <schwartz@...>


From: Tanya Scott <SCOTTT@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 96 17:20:00 PST
Subject: Shidduchim

I'm finding all this talk about Shidduchim a little distressing.  There
appears to be an unwarranted emphasis on "having" instead of "being."
  What about spiritual qualities, don't these rank anymore?  How can you
expect to find out the nature of a person from a list of externalities
that could apply to thousands of people.  Perhaps if Anonymous made a
specific request for someone who was known to be kind, thoughtful
etc. he'd have a more interesting selection of women from which to
choose.  And of course, one often attracts those qualities that one


From: David Herskovic <100114.750@...>
Date: 16 Dec 96 18:34:45 EST
Subject: The Mitsva of Rebuke

Am I the only one round here who feels slightly uncomfortable when
'shales' such as whether to give directions to a Jew on Shabos or not
come up.

Has common sense flown out of the window? Does all this preoccupation
with the pedantry of Haloche mean that it must all be at the cost of
manners and civility? Can one not be a medakdek bemitsvos and a decent
human being at the same time?

And regarding the Chilul Shabos demonstrations which have been discussed
in the same context, they all rely on the Posuk 'Thou shalt rebuke thou

Well, in the Gemore there is a machloikes as to what is the limit of
rebuke.  According to one opinion the limit is when the transgressor
shouts back, to another when he curses and to the third, most extreme,
view one must continue rebuking until he is about to hit you.

However we pasken in this case all three limits have long been surpassed!

David Herskovic


End of Volume 25 Issue 50