Beit Midrash

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To dedicate this lesson
Igrot Hare’aya, Vol. I, #16, p. 14

Dealing with Unauthorized Marriage


Beit Din Eretz Hemda - Gazit

Adar 10 5781
Date and Place: 18 Marcheshvan 5665 (1904), the Holy City of Yafo

Recipient: In honor of my friend, the rabbi who is exceptional in Torah and fear of Hashem, our master Rabbi Yaakov Mordechai Zinger (the rabbi of Rishon L’Tzion).

Greeting: Peace and blessing!

Body: I have heard a rumor that recently a man was found, whose name is Ch. H., who married a woman from Kishinev, whom he claims is a widow. This woman has come from a great distance with the claim of being a widow, and as such requires certification by a beit din. Heaven forbid, Heaven forbid, that the world should run as without any sense of order, whereby whoever wants to get involved in such serious matters (allowing a formerly married woman to remarry without proving that she is now single) can come forward and do so.

I have heard that the officiating rabbi at the wedding was a certain man whose name is T., and that he is a worker at the winery. He is deserving of a punishment of a monetary penalty, as is fitting for him for his brazenness, that he had the chutzpa to officiate a wedding without authority and without permission from a beit din. Such discipline would be appropriate even if things had been done in a proper manner. All the more so that he is fit for the punishment to be increased for misappropriating a matter to which it is not feasible for him to justify getting involved. This simpleton is fit to receive a scolding and great castigation.

I hope afterwards that I will be able to investigate the matter closely. In the meantime, I request of your honor to let me know what is happening regarding the case. But first of all, you shall send a warning in my name, that this couple should present an authorization from a beit din to allow them to get married, and then send them to me, or they themselves should come directly to me so that I can look into their ability to get married. Until it will be clarified that they are permitted to marry, they are forbidden to live together.

I am certain, based on the fear of God that you, my friend, may you live, have, that you will make the best efforts in this matter and inform me what has transpired as soon as is possible. I look to Hashem, may He be blessed, that He will help me arrive at the right conclusion and not leave Hashem’s portion (religious matters at the fabric of society) to be trampled by the feet of all the lightheaded people in the world.

Sign Off: May this be a time of peace and blessing, and may there be closeness between your dear spirit and the spirit of your true friend who cares about the welfare of a person of your stature of Torah. I await your response promptly, Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook.
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