Is it ever proper to withhold a get?

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    frumnotyeshivish: Why is it so difficult to believe that both parents are fully capable parents and that in many cases it could be an even or close to even choice? Such a scenario is very far from outlandish. There can be many cases where the child will do equally well with either parent. Why do you persist in insisting that in almost all cases there is one parent who will be more detrimental with having custody of the child compared to the other parent?

    DY on the other hand is coming here and insisting it is the mother over the father that gets the benefit of an “assumption” that she is better and more fit as custodian. Despite asking him specifics as to why he believes it, other than giving a vague that’s how it’s in our generation and he knows this based on his “observation”, he hasn’t provided coherent specific reasons that a child is generally best in the custody of the mother. (DY: Sorry for not addressing this point directly to you; I assume that you have a valid reason that you chose not to respond to my last question to you.)


    “This is not the question that I asked. If the rabbis stated that it is G-d’s will, then there would be a ???? or ???? and we’ve already covered that.”

    Actually you did openly imply that their “recommendation” was based on “G-d’s will” when you asked me if “he knows G-d’s will better than those rabbis” following your hypothetical question on such a recommendation. Nevertheless I will be happy to respond to your newly clarified question.

    ” I asked about a case where the rabbis recommend a get be given based on their “personal experience” informed by their Torah knowledge and experience as dayanim. So assume that there isn’t a provable ???? ????? or ???? ?????, but the rabbis tell the man, “even so, we recommend that you give a get.” What should the man do?”

    I think he should give it. I would recommend he give it. But if he chose not to accept the rabbis’ recommendation, depending on the sincerity of his motivation (even if sincerely unrealistic), I don’t think he committed a sin by not accepting the recommendation. If his motivation was out of stubborness or to punish her and he wasn’t truly interested in continuing a functioning marriage, then I think he is acting sinfully.

    “The problem with hypothetical situations is that some of them may never occur in real life.”

    Agreed, though I think the hypothetical beis din case I presented is pretty close to some real life situations. OTOH, due to the very limited situations that halacha empowers a beis din to force a husband to issue a Get (i.e. proven abuse uncorrected after b’d warnings), it is very infrequent that a beis din these days issues a formal ruling following a trial that a husband is halachicly obligated to give one. (If a beis din did order that in error, IOW when halacha didn’t allow the b’d to order it, the result is a get me’usa.) The unfortunate situations that sometimes hit the news are not true aguna cases (despite the PR) as in virtually all of them there was never a b’d order for a Get; and in many of them for good reason. In fact, according to halacha if the husband G-d forbid fails to respond to a hazmana to appear for trial on the issue of a demand for a Get, the beis din is limited to issuing a siruv against him and/or putting him in cherem for failing to accept a beis din’s jurisdiction over an issue he is being sued in beis din for. (Every Jew is obligated to accept a beis din [though not necessarily the one the plaintiff chose] to adjudicate a dispute with another Jew.) But even in that aforementioned situation beis din is precluded for ordering him to give a divorce or pressuring him in any way to do so, prior to conducting an actual trial with both parties present to determine if ordering him to give it is halachicly warranted (which requires circumstances that is rarely halachicly met). It can only pressure and potentially force him to appear for trial.

    “In this hypothetical scenario you made, not only would I wholeheartedly advocate that they wife return to the marriage work towards reconciliation, I believe there is a mitzvah for her to return, and if she did not do so there would be grounds for excommunication from the community.”

    Throughout this long discussion on this thread, I don’t see any points of disagreement between us regarding the pertinent halachas.

    “Direct enough answer? :)”

    Yes. 🙂

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