Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia, as well as halachicly challenged verbiage and dress, are external manifestations of a critical lack of personal yiras shomayim which has lethal consequences.
No matter how wronged the husband may consider himself to be, exploiting the Torah as an instrument of pain is evil. It results in elbonah shel Torah, the insult of the Torah, as we have read in the letter.
It is not, of course, the Torah that is causing the pain but the husband himself. Evil people or even just resentful people seeking revenge can exploit a complex legal system to hurt others. This is a characteristic of every legal system in the world.
What should be done about it? The suggestions offered in the letter are misguided and unworkable. Kiddushin as defined by the Torah is a basic feature of halacha that cannot be controverted. Deliberately subverting it renders it meaningless. What we require is a solution that permits all Jewish women to enjoy a complete marital relationship with a loving husband and children.
More knowledgeable observers have, over the centuries, suggested more workable solutions. One of these was kiddushin al t’nai, conditional marriage. There is a vast literature on such solutions. Unfortunately, they proved unworkable, too.
So can anything be done short of abrogating the Torah, rachmana litzlan? Yes, there is a solution that has been approved by leading poskim, the Halachic Prenuptial Agreement. The Prenup has historical antecedents that go back centuries. Under the terms of the Prenup, the couple agrees to submit to the decision of Beis Din in the event their marriage effectively disintegrates. To my knowledge, in every case in which the Prenup has been properly filed with Beis Din, the agreement has done its job. For more information, you may visit theprenup.org or contact the Beth Din of America at +1-212-807-9042.
The Prenup is another example of Torah scholarship in service of Am Yisrael. Letters like this one are a reminder that Talmud Torah remains vital to prevent elbonah shel Torah and promote free and fulfilled lives for everyone.
About the Author: Rabbi Ozer Glickman is the Rosh Yeshiva at RIETS.
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The sand is rapidly running through the hourglass, as the centrifuges in the secret Iranian nuclear plants spin furiously. It is quite clear that the Iranians are on the brink of attaining nuclear capability, and we are well aware of the danger that would face Klal Yisroel in that event, chas v’sholom. All the sanctions, threats, and computer worm attacks do not seem to be stopping them, and it is terrifying. And when we see how vulnerable we are to terrorist attacks anywhere in the world, we become even more terrified.
Miriam spoke disparagingly about Moshe Rabbeinu. Because of this, she contracted tzaras, and for seven days she was sent outside the camp of Israel.
Samuel Scherr was a very successful businessman. He also was generous and would share of his wealth with others. In this way, he became the uncle of favor to his nieces and nephews, whom he would frequently shower with gifts.
In this week’s parshah we read about the individuals who were tamei and thus could not bring the korban Pesach. They approached Moshe Rabbeinu and asked him whether there was anything they could do to bring the korban. Ultimately, Hashem told Moshe that they should bring a korban a month after Pesach, on the 14th of Iyar.
Question: As Shavuot is fast approaching – a holiday on which we dwell on the story of Ruth and the origins of the royal house of David – I was wondering if you could help me resolve something. Some people say that Rabbi Yehudah HaNassi, the redactor of the six orders of the Mishnah and a scion of King David, purposely kept any mention of Chanukah and the Hasmonean kings out of the Mishnah because the Hasmoneans improperly crowned themselves and ignored the rule that all Jewish kings are supposed to come from the tribe of Yehudah. Is this true?
One of the thirty-nine prohibited melachot on Shabbat is carrying an object from a private domain, reshut hayachid, to a public domain, reshut harabim, or carrying an object a distance of four amot, six to eight feet, in a reshut harabim. The Torah does permit, however, carrying within the reshut hayachid itself. The definition of a reshut hayachid and a reshut harabim is crucial, therefore, to the laws of carrying on Shabbat.
Question: The Midrash notes that the song the Jews sang after they crossed the Red Sea (“Az Yashir”) was unique; its likes had never been heard before in the world. Our Sages even refer to it as a shirah chadashah, a “new song.” What made “Az Yashir” so unique and in what sense was it a “new song”?
The rav was not a wealthy man, but earned enough to live comfortably. He earned his money by serving as the rav of a religious community in Yerushalayim. He also received some royalties from sefarim he had written over the years. He was well known, and many people approached him for a berachah, advice and help. They were not turned away.
Tanach, the Hebrew Bible, is remarkable for the extreme realism with which it portrays human character. Its heroes are not superhuman. Its non-heroes are not archetypal villains. The best have failings; the worst often have saving virtues. I know of no other religious literature quite like it.
Last week I shared a letter from a newly observant Jewish woman. She and her husband reside in a small suburban community outside of Los Angeles. Last year they came to consult with me on a personal religious issue. While they were both ba’alei teshuvah, there was one fine difference between them. He had become a ba’al teshuvah earlier than she and was therefore somewhat more settled in an observant lifestyle.
I watch my children use blocks to build a large structure, observing the trepidation with which they add each block. As the structure becomes larger there is a greater risk of it collapsing, thus bringing an end to an hour of playful labor. I anticipate what will happen when one child adds a block to the top floor, compromising the integrity of the building and resulting in the collapse of the entire structure. The argument that ensues is predictable, as each child blames the other for “ruining” the fun. As an adult, I wonder about the need to attribute blame. Will assigning blame be instrumental in rebuilding the structure?
In this week’s parshah the Torah discusses the halachos of when one steals from another and when confronted in beis din, the thief swears falsely with his denial that he stole. This parshah was already taught in parshas Vayikra; however, there are two halachos that the Torah adds in this parshah to this topic.
In order to carry from one’s home into the street (even when the area is enclosed by a properly constructed eruv), the eruvin ceremony must be performed. This ceremony involves the placing of food in one designated home on behalf of all Sabbath observers in the enclosed area. In order for the eruvin ceremony to be valid, however, it must be performed on behalf of all owners of streets and homes in the enclosed area.
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