PHOTOS: 44 Rabbonim Sign A Psak Halacha Against Prenuptial Agreements

19

(PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)

Forty-four dati leumi and chareidi rabbonim signed a psak halacha against the prenuptial of Tzohar Rabbonim, Beit Hillel and the RCA of the USA.

The purpose of the agreement signed before the wedding is to prevent cases of anchoring by the husband or the woman when one of them refuses to accept or give a get to his spouse. The agreements to date, for example by the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization, have proposed monetary sanctions against the anchoring side by requiring that they pay a fixed amount of money each month of delaying the get. However, this solution encountered another halachic problem known as a “get me’usa ” – a divorce that is contrary to the will of the husband.

The first decision of the Council of Tzohar rabbis was to encourage the public to sign a prenuptial agreement. Recently, dozens of dati leumi rabbonim are heard objecting alongside the chareidim, and recently dozens of rabbis were added to a long document summarizing the criticism of the move.

In a document obtained by the Srugim website, signed by dozens of rabbonim, including chareidim such as Eida Chareidis Ravaad HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch Shlita, Rabbi Avraham Auerbach and Rabbi Shlomo Yosef Machpud, they attack the agreement and write about it among other things: “The truth is that this marriage agreement represents the destruction of religion truly, and leads to a fear of ‘eishes ish’ and mamzerus”.

HaGaon HaRav Avigdor Nebenzahl Shlita has also penned his objections, citing a rav who permits signing such an agreement is not an Orthodox rav and one should rely upon his halachic rulings.

Former Chief Rabbi of Hebron and Kiryat Arba Rabbi Dov Lior Shlita concurs, stating the document negates halacha and may chas v’sholom lead to serious issues of ‘get me’usa’, mamzerus, and the destruction of the kedusha of the family. He adds Chief Rabbis have and remain opposed to it and a document was released during the tenure of HaGaon HaRav Avraham Kahana Shapira ZT”L and HaGaon HaRav Mordechai Eliyahu ZT”L.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)




19 COMMENTS

  1. What do these ehrliche rabbonim propose a woman rely upon in the absence of these or similar types of pre-nups if their husband simply refuses to provide a get out of spite, anger or mental incapacity. We’ve heard too many times from rabbonim who shrug their shoulders and say to women the equivalent of “too bad…there is nothing we can do…just live out your life as an agunah”….

  2. The images are not very clear, but it looks like they’re all Israeli Rabonim.
    What do our Gedolim here in America say?

  3. Gadolhadorah- Are you for real??? (I think you should change your name to something more appropriate. Maybe bittul hatorah or somthing like that)
    You can’t come with an idea if the torah doesn’t agree to it. First learn the complex halachos then write your comments

  4. to Gadol hadorah — You may be right from a protective standpoint – to protect the women from becoming agunos because of their husbands refusal to give a get WILLINGLY ; but you can’t blame the Rabbonim! They and all of klal yisroel have to follow HALACHA , and Halacha states that the husband has to give the get WILLINGLY , otherwise , it is get me-useh! If you have any complaint , it should definitely not be against the Rabbonim who are simply following the HALACHA!!! (‘Life is not always Fair!!) .
    The real question is on the other rabbonim who allow theis kind of document when it is OPENLY against HALACHA!!!!

  5. to Gadol hadorah — You may be right from a protective standpoint – to protect the women from becoming agunos because of their husbands refusal to give a get WILLINGLY ; but you can’t blame the Rabbonim! They and all of klal yisroel have to follow HALACHA , and Halacha states that the husband has to give the get WILLINGLY , otherwise , it is get me-useh! If you have any complaint , it should definitely not be against the Rabbonim who are simply following the HALACHA!!! (‘Life is not always Fair!!) .
    The real question is on the other rabbonim who allow this kind of document when it is OPENLY against HALACHA!!!!

  6. The funny thing is that many rabbis in the US use a prenup, including those who are relied upon in EY for geirus. How does that shtim with R. Nebenzahl’s declaration that those rabbis aren’t Orthodox?

  7. 1. A Kesuba is a “prenup”. All marriage contracts are “prenups”

    2. The issue in the article results from having two pre-marriage contracts, a traditional kesuba, and a second one agreeing not to be bound by the kesuba. This suggests the parties have not agreed to be married according to “Daas Moshe v’Yisroel”, meaning that even with a proper hupah and be’ah, they are not validly married according to halacha.

  8. old news; some of the signators are no longer walking this earth. in any case RZNG and RHS and RAW, etc. are more than enough to tell people “yaish al mah lismoch.” any one who thinks otherwise, is forgetting basic principles of horaah. besides, calling yoursef gedolai yisroel is a bit much and not the custom of real gedolim.

  9. after seeing first hand the real pain of a divorce when one side decides to really be mean, I think the pre-nups should be mandatory.

    What is not halachically correct with pre-nups? perhaps we have a subject for Rabbi Yair Hoffman to write about?

  10. As most Halachic issues you have have different shitot, just as there are rabbanim who are against prenup, there are many rabbanim who signed a letter in favor, such as Rav zalmin nechemya Goldberg ( Rav shlomo zalaman arbauch son in law), Rav ovdia , Rav Asher Wiess and many others. Rav willing who wrote up the original document with the gidence of Rav Shlomo Zalman Orbach as a news outlet should give all the information to let people know that this is not a simple subject and as many years ago when Rav Yehuda who came up with prizbal also may have come up with opposition. – at this time of year something to rethink, I found your artical creating more sina than being helpful – it seem a I am right and you are wrong approach to Halacha, especially when you , your selfs are no were knowledgable in Halachic jurisprudence. Please be carful what you write and how you write, it does not create shalom bait

  11. “HaGaon HaRav Avigdor Nebenzahl Shlita has also penned his objections, citing a rav who permits signing such an agreement is not an Orthodox rav and one should rely upon his halachic rulings.”

    * and one should NOT rely upon…… EDITOR!!!

  12. Origins of The Prenup

    The Prenup was drafted by Rabbi Mordechai Willig, Sgan Av Beth Din of the Beth Din of America, and a Rosh Yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University, in consultation with halachic and legal experts. The concepts contained in The Prenup predate 1994, when it was introduced. In 1664, Rabbi Shmuel Ben David Moshe Halevi, the rabbi of Bamberg, Germany, published a compilation of Jewish legal forms called the Nachalas Shiva. One of the forms in that book is a version of the tana’im, a Jewish wedding document, with a provision that is very similar to The Prenup. In a footnote to that provision, the Nachalas Shiva cites some authorities who held that the provision dates back to the Takanos Shum, the authoritative communal enactments adopted in the early Middle Ages by the leaders of the German communities of Speyer, Worms and Mayence.

    Rabbinic Endorsements

    The Prenup has been endorsed by a number of leading poskim (Jewish legal authorities). These include:

    Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg (Member, Beth Din of Yerushalayim)

    Rabbi Yitzchok Liebes, zt”l
    (former Av Beth Din, Iggud HaRabbonim)

    Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz
    (Av Beth Din of the Beth Din of America)

    Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, zt”l
    (former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel)

    Rabbi Chaim Zimbalist
    (Member, Beth Din of Tel Aviv)
    Click here to see the approbation of The Prenup by the rabbis listed above

    Rabbi Asher Weiss
    (Rosh Kollel, Machon Minchas Asher L’Torah V’Horaah)
    Click here to see Rabbi Asher Weiss’s approbation of The Prenup

    Leading roshei yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University, including Rabbi Hershel Schachter, have issued a statement endorsing halachic prenuptial agreements generally.
    Click here to view a letter signed by RIETS roshei yeshiva in March 2012

    In 2016, the Rabbinical Council of America passed a resolution requiring member rabbis to utilize a prenuptial agreement when officiating at a wedding.
    Click here to view the 2016 resolution

    In 1993 and 1998, the Rabbinical Council of America passed resolutions encouraging the use of prenuptial agreements such as The Prenup. In 2006, the Rabbinical Council of America passed a resolution declaring that rabbis should not officiate at a wedding where a proper prenuptial agreement has not been executed.

    Click here to view the 1993 resolution

    Click here to view the 1998 resolution

    Click here to view the 2006 resolution

    Origins of The Prenup

    The Prenup was drafted by Rabbi Mordechai Willig, Sgan Av Beth Din of the Beth Din of America, and a Rosh Yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University, in consultation with halachic and legal experts. The concepts contained in The Prenup predate 1994, when it was introduced. In 1664, Rabbi Shmuel Ben David Moshe Halevi, the rabbi of Bamberg, Germany, published a compilation of Jewish legal forms called the Nachalas Shiva. One of the forms in that book is a version of the tana’im, a Jewish wedding document, with a provision that is very similar to The Prenup. In a footnote to that provision, the Nachalas Shiva cites some authorities who held that the provision dates back to the Takanos Shum, the authoritative communal enactments adopted in the early Middle Ages by the leaders of the German communities of Speyer, Worms and

    Rabbinic Endorsements

    The Prenup has been endorsed by a number of leading poskim (Jewish legal authorities). These include:

    Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg (Member, Beth Din of Yerushalayim)

    Rabbi Yitzchok Liebes, zt”l
    (former Av Beth Din, Iggud HaRabbonim)

    Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz
    (Av Beth Din of the Beth Din of America)

    Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, zt”l
    (former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel)

    Rabbi Chaim Zimbalist
    (Member, Beth Din of Tel Aviv)
    Click here to see the approbation of The Prenup by the rabbis listed above

    Rabbi Asher Weiss
    (Rosh Kollel, Machon Minchas Asher L’Torah V’Horaah)
    Click here to see Rabbi Asher Weiss’s approbation of The Prenup

    Origins of The Prenup

    The Prenup was drafted by Rabbi Mordechai Willig, Sgan Av Beth Din of the Beth Din of America, and a Rosh Yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University, in consultation with halachic and legal experts. The concepts contained in The Prenup predate 1994, when it was introduced. In 1664, Rabbi Shmuel Ben David Moshe Halevi, the rabbi of Bamberg, Germany, published a compilation of Jewish legal forms called the Nachalas Shiva. One of the forms in that book is a version of the tana’im, a Jewish wedding document, with a provision that is very similar to The Prenup. In a footnote to that provision, the Nachalas Shiva cites some authorities who held that the provision dates back to the Takanos Shum, the authoritative communal enactments adopted in the early Middle Ages by the leaders of the German communities of Speyer, Worms and Mayence.

  13. Money offered to the recalcitrant husband can also be considered a Get Meusah. The Rabbanim will not say this because it would cause problems with all the money that has been paid to pressure husbands to give a get, now those would be considered get meusa. But if they had the courage to say that money cannot be paid for a get, then it would put the get back to its intended purpose, to help the wife, not to hurt her.

  14. Years ago when we used to have a real beit din with real power, A husband whom refused to give his wife a GET was brought in and PHYSICALLY BEATEN in order to get a GET. The question was proposed 2,000 years ago- How is this not a GET me’usa?” Clearly a person being beaten will give such a GET just to get out of being beaten. The answer was that deep down every Jew wants to do the right thing but because of personal grudges and anger he is refusing to give a Get. The same thing is being done with a prenup. A large financial beating is being applied each day such a husband refuses to give his wife a GET. The only difference is that its monetary vs. physical.

    Think about this clearly Chaveirim who agree with this psak halacha proposed. Can you HONESTLY think of ONE situation where a woman not holding anything over her husband should be forced to suffer in a marriage that is harmful to her emotional (and many times physical) health?

    Marriages do not always work unfortunately. The whole concept of GET that Hashem instituted is the BIGGEST proof for this. Otherwise there would be no need for a GET if marriage was only created to last until death. Clearly Hashem in his infinite wisdom saw that some times for whatever reason a marriage would not work and created a system so that the woman would still be cared for (for at least awhile) while she looks for another shidduch.

    The excuse to say that people are concerned for “Mamzeirim or eishes ish” is completely hypocritical to the argument.
    A woman does not create Mamzeirim unless she is with another man while married. A woman is not considered an eishes Ish unless she is married. If she receives her GET right away then neither of these 2 concerns would EVER come up. It is only the disgusted AGUNA woman who is treated like a subhuman and forced to sit while her husband holds her captive that decides to give up on Torah and Halacha that creates the above concerns. If she would receive her GET immediately this issue would never come up. Lifnei eiver lo sitein michshol- before a woman blinded by captivity and feeling that nobody is there to take care of her that makes the unfortunate decision to do something wrong. The ultimate blame falls on the husband for forcing his “wife” into such a terrible position that she chooses to leave the life of a Jew and do something that is Assur.

    The last argument proposed by this letter is that such a document “leads to the destruction of religion truly”. Yet again this argument is hypocritical to the intended outcome. Hashem created GET within our religion to protect woman from bad marriages. It is only in the breakdown of Ahavas Yisroel, Sinas Chinum, Kas, and a plethora of other issurim that a man refuses to give a GET. So I ask you my chaveirim- where is the real destruction of yidishkeit? In the man who in the beginning creates the problem by not giving the GET or later on by the woman who after watching how the lifeline created by Hakadosh Baruch hu was totally denied to her and then leaves the religion and lives with another man?

    Clearly the initial cause (ie the man) is the one responsible.

    I believe I have addressed each of the concerns the above letter proposed.

  15. I’m not a big enough Talmid Chocham to have an opinion on the halachic status of prenuptials but having seen some I think any man who signs one is an idiot.

    They say that if the wife walks out on the on the husband for ANY reason he is subject to all sorts of sanction until he gives a get. If he walks out on her he is subject to the exact same sanctions!

    The wife faces no potential sanctions no matter what she does or doesn’t do unless she refuses to go to a Beis Din. She only has to go to BD. She doesn’t have to actually listen to them.

  16. “an agreement is not an Orthodox rav and one should rely upon his halachic rulings”

    Isn’t there a VERY important word missing?

  17. “the hard truth” should know that this was talking about extremely rare cases, and even then beating was only allowed for issurei dOraisa. The cases allowed for lesser force (telling someone they’re against Chazal and saying they’re a rosha) are enumerated in Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 154. In any other case, even saying that he has to makes it a get mutah and posul midOraisa – and any coercion makes it a get meusa. One can explain and lead someone gently to give a get after a certain time has passed and that’s the more effective way too. One cannot invent new halachos and before posting on a public form, on an issue that can cause mamzerus R”L if not handled properly, one needs to at least look up the halachos. Otherwise one ends up posting false information, with huge ramifications.