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dayan rothBy Rabbi Yair Hoffman for the Five Towns Jewish Times

It has recently been reported that Dayan Yechezkel Roth, the Karlsburger Rov, who had recovered slightly from a massive heart attack, had upon some improvement in his condition, remarried his wife anew. Sources within the Karlsburg Beis Din have responded to this author that the entire story was a hoax.

Supposedly, the remarriage occurred after Dayan Roth was released from the hospital on Erev Pesach. The report had it that the Dayan had asked his wife, Rebbetzin Chaya Rechel, if she wanted to remain married to him. When she of course replied in the affirmative, he performed a kiddushin before two witnesses.

It was further reported that Dayan Roth’s concern was based upon a Trumas HaDeshen.

The report stated:

“Rav Roth, it has been explained, was acting based on the p’sak of the Terumas Hadeshen, who maintains that if a person hovers between life and death and falls unconscious, he should perform a second kiddushin with his wife after he has recovered.”

This is a woefully mistranslated Trumas HaDeshen, who discusses another matter entirely.

But first, some background:

There are two people in our Torah tradition who achieved a form of immortality.

The Navi (Malachim II 2:11) informs us that Eliyahu HaNavi ascended to the heavens alive. The Talmud further tells us that Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi fooled the Angel of Death and entered Heaven alive as well. The Gemorah (Ksuvos 77b) explains that Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi was so great that, when he was ill, the Heavenly court instructed the Angel of Death to go to him and fulfill anything that he wishes. Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi requested to see his ultimate resting place in Gan Eden, but first asked the Angel of Death for his knife.

The Angel of Death complied with the requests. When he was shown the place, Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi jumped over to the other side. The Angel of Death held onto him by the edge of his cloak. Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi swore an oath that he will not come back. What was the Angel of Death to do?

Hashem Himself responded and ruled, If Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi in his lifetime had ever annulled an oath, he must go back and cannot enter Gan Eden alive. If he had never annulled an oath then he may remain. The Gemorah explains that, in fact, he had never annulled an oath and Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi was let alive into Heaven.


The first halachic authority to discuss the issue as to whether their wives were to be considered married women or not was Rabbi Yisroel Isserlein the author of the work entitled the Trumas HaDeshen in his Psakim UKesavim (#102). He explains that the Torah forbade the wife of a man – not the wife of an angel (VaYikra 17:5). Rabbi Isserlein lived in Vienna, Austria in the early 1400’s. His rulings form the basis of many laws of the Shulchan Aruch. This ruling is also cited in the Bais Shmuel Even HoEzer 17:11.

It is also interesting to note that Eliyahu HaNavi’s student also ripped Kriyah after the ascension of Eliyahu haNavi. The Gemorah in Moed Kotton 26a understands this as an obligation and we derive our obligation to tear Kriyah for a Rebbe from this very case. It seems that the conversion to a state of immortality would also bring on the halachos of sitting Shiva and other forms of mourning.


Another issue is why the issue was addressed by the Trumas haDeshen in the first place. He answers that he addressed it in case something like this should ever happen again. One might also add that it is feasible that a related question might also crop up in the future and the words of this responsa of the Trumas HaDeshen might be most apropos.

The Gemorah in Megillah 7b discusses a case where Rav Zeira came back from the dead on account of Rabba. There, however, the Gemorah does not mention anything about remarrying one’s wife. This could perhaps be proof enough that the story is not correct, because Dayan Roth certainly knows the Gemorah. [EDITORS NOTE: Since this story was first posted, there have been conflicting reports from the family members as to whether or not the incident happened. We will hopefully report any new developments]


It is possible that the rumors were started by the same people that went to Rav Elyashiv about Dayan Roth a number of years ago, regarding his permitting certain types of marehs – those who were angry at him for permitting the Eiruv in Borough Park. However, this seems to be below that group – since the Dayan has just recovered from a massive heart attack.


It happens to be, however, that the case is discussed in the Birchei Yoseph (YD 260), where the husband died and came back to life. He concludes that there is no need to marry again. In his Pesach Aynayim commentary on Megillah 7b, he writes that since he came back to life before he was buried there is no need to remarry his wife. The indication is that if he was actually physically buried, then he would have to remarry his wife.

The Nefesh Chaya (Even HaEzer Siman 3) however, disagrees with this implication and rules that even if there was tchiyas hameisim after burial – there would still be no need to remarry a spouse.

Regardless, I am sure that all readers wish Dayan Roth a complete Refuah Shleimah and nachas from kol maaseh Yadav and all his children.

Dayan Roth heads the Karlsburger Bais Medrash and Bais Din, and is the author of the ten volume Emek Hateshuvah. When this author was in Eretz Yisroel, the Batei Dinim in Bnei Brak that all of Klal Yisroel are somech upon were in communication with him and held him in the highest esteem.

All are asked to say Tehillim for the complete recovery of Rav Yechezkel ben Yehudis

The author can be reached at [email protected]

7 Responses

  1. Yesterday, reported that Rav Yechezkel Roth, the Karlsburger Rov, after returning home from Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, following a heart attack, was mekadeish his wife anew when he was released from the hospital on Erev Pesach, explaining that he had a halachic chashash based on the fact that he had been in critical condition.

    Since’s initial report, some have taken the liberty of calling the story a “hoax” or a “fallacy” and casting aspersions, claiming that members of the Karlburger Bais Din and perhaps others said that the story never happened.’s reporter, before publishing the story, personally spoke to the Roth family members, who confirmed that it was 100% accurate, as first reported by Following attacks on Matzav‘s report today, it was again confirmed as being accurate, just as Matzav reported it.

    Claims to the contrary are unfounded.

    All are asked to say Tehillim for the complete recovery of Rav Roth, Rav Yechezkel ben Yehudis.


    Moderators Note: YWN spoke to the Roth family, and they have never EVER heard of anyone or spoke to anyone named “G. Sitrit”. Rabbi Hoffman on the other hand, is well acquainted with the Bais Din. People running anonymous blogs have less credibility. Rabbi Hoffman placed his name to the article, but those who are running fake blogs and denying that they run them is a much bigger Avla.

  2. ‘but those who are running fake blogs and denying that they run them is a much bigger Avla’
    Who exactly are the people denying that they run the blog? According to you that G Sitrit is his real name, then hes not denying anything?

  3. Modorator
    G sitrit is obviously a fake name so of course the family never heard of him. No one did. But if stands by a story & claims its verified we should trust him. Anyway this isn’t anything negative it just shows he’s being machmir on something. That’s all

    Moderators Note: Fake name? The family has never spoken to anyone with such a name. And Rabbi Hoffman, who has published his real name and contact information – and whom the family and Bais Din are well acquainted with – stands by his story. Anonymity means absolutely nothing and has zero substance.

  4. Amazing how some people are so quickly willing to accept motzei shem rah even when concerning a Gadol! To all the previous commentators – perhaps get off the net and start learning Sefer Chofetz Chaim instead! It will do you a lot more good than wasting your time spreading motzei shem rah!

  5. @moderator
    Fake name means pen name so obviously he didn’t call the family using that name. Just for the record why didn’t R hoffman ask the family if its true, and who is the ANONYMOUS person he spoke to on the bais din?

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