Friday, November 15, 2013

A Change of Heart

Rabbi Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
I received the following comment to my last post from Rabbi Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer: 
RYH's article a) Is worthless, since an anonymous posek is no better than no posek at all. b) If anything, leads to the conclusion that the secular courts should be the arbiters of custody/visitation determinations, since they are better equipped than our resources to handle these issues. c) Leads, accordingly, to the conclusion that once a secular court has issued a ruling, a recalcitrant husband has no right - even according to Mr. Anonymous Posek - to withhold a get. QED. 
I see his point, and the point many others are making. As bad as false accusations are, there are other false accusations that are just as bad. Or almost as bad.I am rethinking this whole question. Someone else who I respect wrote me a personal e-mail saying that there are many more ways that a unscrupulous wife can do damage to a husband that does not include false accusations of sex abuse so why allow only that line to be drawn in the sand?

I agree. Where do you draw the line as to what warrants a Get? Ein L'Davar Sof. The Get then becomes a weapon… and we are back to square one. So as bad as any accusation might be, the Get should not be part of any solution. Yes, the husband has every right to be angry, have his name cleared and revisit the custody arrangement if it was based on a falsehood about him. But he should do that without threatening not to give a Get. As others have said, this is a devastatingly unfair advantage a man has over a woman and should never be used.