Announcement: ORA Rally in Flatbush

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Rally with us to convince Aharon Friedman to give Tamar a get

Sunday, June 10th, 2012, 12-2 PM

12 PM: 1812 E. 12th Street, Brooklyn
Home of Yafa Friedman, Aharon’s mother and supporter

1 PM: 1898 Bay Avenue, Brooklyn
Merkaz Hasimcha/HaTefillah, owned by Rabbi Jay Horowitz, Aharon’s uncle and advocate. Aharon is dependent on the support of these family members. We are confident that Aharon would give a get if they stopped defending his refusal to do so.

www.FreeTamar.org

[I plan on attending if other obligations permit – Gil]

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About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

43 comments

  1. I read the prior discussion regarding the halacich analysis if Mr. Friedman is required to give a get or not. My question to you is if you can explain the halachic legalities of protesting outside the home of Mr Friedmans mother. What proff do you have the she is encouraging her son not to give a get? And even if she is encouraging him not to give a get what basis is one allowed to publicly protest outside her home?

  2. The Arukh Ha-Shulchan explicitly permits coercing a relative even when the husband may not be coerced.

    I don’t know what proof exists but I believe the ORA administrators and board would not organize a protest without firm knowledge.

  3. Can you point me to that arukh hashulchan

  4. Fotheringay-Phipps

    Gil, you are completely misrepresenting that AHS, who says nothing of the sort. What he really says is as follows:

    1. A coerced get is invalid.
    2. Coercion of someone other than the husband (e.g. if they beat up someone else until the husband agrees to give a get) does not count as coercion, and if this is done, the get is valid.
    3. Coercion of the husband’s son or father (e.g. if they beat up the husband’s son or father until he agrees to give a get) it does count as coercion, and the get is invalid.

    Nowhere does he say or imply that it is permitted to coerce a relative to force a husband to give a get.

  5. That’s hardly completely misrepresenting the AHS. There are two issues: 1) coercing a get, 2) embarrassing someone. The AHS deals with the first. Is your question then merely how we can protest against people who are supporting the improper refusal to give a get?

  6. Fotheringay-Phipps

    No that’s not my question, and in fact I don’t have any question. Rather, I’ve an assertion.

    Again, you’ve stated that “the Arukh Ha-Shulchan explicitly permits coercing a relative even when the husband may not be coerced”. This is a complete misrepresentation of the Arukh Ha-Shulchan, who is not discussing whether coercing a relative is permitted. (And to the extent that he discusses relatives, says it’s more stringent, in that with some relatives the get is invalid after the fact, while it valid with strangers.

    According to the AHS, if you grab some completely random stranger who has no connection to the case and beat the guy up until the husband agrees to give a get, the get is valid. That does not mean that the AHS permits doing this, either explicitly or implicitly.

    Even if you would be right about being allowed to publically humiliate people who (you believe) are supporting the husband, that would not make your claim that the AHS explicitly permits this any less of a misrepresentation.

  7. I didn’t think there was a halacich source for this protest.

  8. As was made clear in the previous threads about this case, the only Beis Din that has heard this case and met with both parties – the Baltimore Beis Din – did NOT rule that a get is required in this case. They still have jurisdiction in this case (based on the shtar beirurin signed by BOTH parties) and have not relinquished it. Aharon Friedman has repeatedly claimed that he WILL return to the Baltimore Beis Din – and there is no halachic responsibility to respond to orders of other battei din to which both parties have not agreed and which certainly create the *appearance* of bias in favor of one party. No other Beis Din has the right to issue orders or seiruvin and certainly not to coerce a get (or even initiate harchakos). Even if a get is given after these tactics, it will not be valid.

  9. koshergitten: Why are you letting the facts get in the way? Rabbi Gil along with ORA believe in the “no fault Get” process.

    Rabbi Gil doesn’t care that Tamar walked out of the Baltimore Bais Din. Rabbi Gil doesn’t care that Rabbi Shuchatowitz from the Baltimore Bais Din said (http://washingtonjewishweek.com/main.asp?SectionID=4&SubSectionID=4&ArticleID=14039 ) ”Currently, the Epstein-Friedman case remains open but dormant, as “neither party has approached” the Baltimore beit din, requesting that it reconvene, according to Rabbi Mordechai Shuchatowitz, a rabbi on the court. “Right now,” he said, “the ball is in [Epstein’s] court” because, as the party seeking the get, she is responsible for reinitiating proceedings. Since the court has yet officially to order a get, Shuchatowitz said, it’s “a bit premature” to be holding rallies and other events meant “to pressure [Friedman] because he’s not been given his day in court.” After all, “you can’t disobey something you’ve not been told to do.”

    Rabbi Gil will not let facts stand in the way of a good rally. After all Rabbi Gil said that ” I believe the ORA administrators and board would not organize a protest without firm knowledge” As if ORA is an objectional party.

  10. As said in previous versions of this discussions, I continue to believe it is not right to protest a third party based on, at best, allegations of support by an advocacy group. I also doubt this rally will have a positive affect. In addition, I have major problems with the bias of the beit din that issued the seruv and suspect there were behind-the-scenes steps taken to make sure it got there and nowhere else(forum shopping).

    However, koshergittin and Yisroel Stein are quoting out-of-date information. The original beit din (which bears a fair share of responsibility for this predicament, both custody and get) has forfeited jurisdiction and other batei din that previously believed no one could hear the case except that original one, now believe other batei din could hear it and have recognized specifically the authority of the beit din that issued the seruv.

    I hope (but doubt that) both parties come to their senses and do what is best here … and what is right here. There is a little girl’s long term psychological development and well being to think of here and that should be paramount. Both parents should have as much interactions with their daughter as possible and each parent’s interaction should be supported by the other. The get should be granted as soon as possible. I think to outsiders these twin basic positions are somewhat obvious, even as each parent has forgotten one side of this.

  11. MiMedinat HaYam

    is it true that another uncle is a dean at touro, but ORA is not interested in demonstrating there.

  12. This is pathetic. I cannot believe Gil Student, a rabbi, is posting this. Do you know anything about this case, other than what Tamar Epstein’s people have told you? Do you know that she has sued the court system to effectively prevent him from seeing his own child? Surely you know there are always two sides to every story.

  13. DF and the rest of you: You are all not only wrong on many of the facts but also the halakhah. Aharon Friedman is obligated al pi din to give his wife a get. He continually refuses despite the many people who have tried to step in and mediate. R. Yitzchok Breitowitz, R. Yisroel Belsky and R. Hershel Schachter (among many others) have all independently concluded that Aharon must give his wife a get.

    If his aunt and uncle are supporting him in his violation of halakhah, then they should be protested in order to stop their and his violations.

  14. Yisroel Stein: Why are you letting the facts get in the way? Rabbi Gil along with ORA believe in the “no fault Get” process.

    It isn’t me but R. Yosef Eliyahu Henkin: ואפילו אם האשה ממאנת בבעל, אם השתדלו לעשות שלום ולא הועיל ועברו יב״ח, מצוה עליו לגרשה (דאין בנות ישראל כשבויות להבעל לשנוא להן – רמב״ם

  15. Please do not dishonestly edit my comment, as though that was all I wrote. I wrote more, which you obviously cannot answer. If you’re going to duck the hard questions, then either dont print them at all, or print this letter in entirety so that readers will know at least you’re engaging in selective editing. Dont misrepresent my comments like you do to the Aruch Hashulchan and orthodoxy in general.

    Now I remember why I stopped coming to this site.

  16. If you don’t comment responsibly, expect to be edited.

  17. Fotheringay-Phipps

    “It isn’t me but R. Yosef Eliyahu Henkin: ואפילו אם האשה ממאנת בבעל, אם השתדלו לעשות שלום ולא הועיל ועברו יב״ח, מצוה עליו לגרשה (דאין בנות ישראל כשבויות להבעל לשנוא להן – רמב״ם

    It’s well known that we don’t rely on that Rambam. I would guess that’s why R’ Henkin said “mitzva alav” and not “mechuyav”.

    [In any event, the facts could be very different depending on the situation, e.g. if she got an unjust verdict in court – I don’t see that R’ Henkin is talking about that case – certainly the Rambam isn’t.]

  18. “Now I remember why I stopped coming to this site”

    You did? No one noticed.

  19. The practical difference between mitzvah le-garesh and chiyuv le-garesh is whether beis din coerces the husband, which no one is suggesting in this case.

    I give you explicit words of Rav Henkin halakhah le-ma’aseh and you respond that it’s well known that we don’t pasken like the Rambam?!? Rav Henkin was not paskening like the Rambam either, but if he was then the response of something being “well known” is insufficient.

    I quoted Rav Henkin in response to an objection to a so-called “no fault divorce system.” I agree that every case needs to be judged on its own. I add that it needs to be judged by experts and not commenters on a blog. Hence my reliance on Rav Schachter, Rav Belsky and Rav Breitowitz and not DF and Yisroel Stein.

  20. I have defended ORA and RHS on other blogs and do not feel that their actions violate halakhah but from a public policy standpoint, I must object to protesting outside of Aharon’s mother’s home.

    We can not know what his mother tells him in private. What does ORA want from a suffering mother (I have no doubt that this situation is causing her suffering)? Must she publicly disown her son before they stop protesting, or will they continue protesting her until he gives a GET regardless of what she says?

    I dont know if their actions violate halakhah but they are unseemly.

  21. We can not know what his mother tells him in private. What does ORA want from a suffering mother (I have no doubt that this situation is causing her suffering)? Must she publicly disown her son before they stop protesting, or will they continue protesting her until he gives a GET regardless of what she says?

    I dont know if their actions violate halakhah but they are unseemly.

    My view as well. How does ORA know what his mother tells him? Its obvious that ORA has long preferred to protest his mother and uncle simply because they are more easily accessible to the base of ORA’s support. They’ve had more protests by them (including before there was any seruv or Rav Belsky , Rav Breitowitz or even Rav Schachter, had a public position on this situation) then by him.

  22. ORA has a rabbinic board to iron out precisely these issues, which should not be laid out in public. If you have questions, contact the board. Don’t assume they’re incompetent or immoral.

  23. The decision-making process of ORA is not public. Nor is the rabbinic board’s membership, structure or contact information (I assume RHS is on it but have no idea beyond that). Nor is any reasoning behind this decision.

    I don’t assume they are incompetent or immoral. Neither do I assume they are competent or moral.

  24. Last post went up before completion when I guess I unintentionally hit some combination of buttons:

    The decision-making process of ORA is not public. Nor is the rabbinic board’s membership, structure or contact information (I assume RHS is on it but have no idea beyond that). Nor is any reasoning behind this decision. Nor would there be any recourse if I disagreed with their assessment.

    Not knowing who they are, I don’t assume they are incompetent or immoral. Neither do I assume they are competent or moral.

    I do not believe an organization’s “word for it” should be taken before people try to harass others they know the beit din did not find guilty of anything whatsoever.

  25. R’ Gil, what Rabbinic Board of the ORA are you talking about? Rabbi Schachter admits that he accepts the facts of the cases from Rabbi Stern in the recent YU panel, so the Rabbinic Board is Rabbi Stern to Rabbi Schacter as Rabbi Scachter clearly explained in the Agunah Panel. Who else is on this Rabbinic Board? I am giving you the benefit of the doubt on this statement, but please provide me with more proof because Rabbi Schachter clearly explained publicly otherwise. Some people view this “Rabbinic Board” process as a bit one sided. I suspect you don’t. I was shocked to hear Rabbi Schachter state that he paskens based on Rabbi Stern’s research because he doesn’t have the time to research each case personally. Their incompetencies come from their own contradictions and failure to respond or explain themselves to the public. Such as Rabbi Stern stating that it is immoral and against halacha to protest without the psak of a Beis Din (minute 58 of YU Agunah Panel). However, he did just that to Aharon Friedman as the Daas Torah Blog has clearly exposed, and the sound of silence is deafening from the ORA. Also, Rabbi Schachter’s lectures on YU Torah totally contradict themselves. In 1 lecture (Plight of Agunah minute 52) Rabbi Schachter says we pasken like the Gevoras Anashim in Pitcha Teshuva 154:21 and don’t even do the harchakas of R’tam today. In the Agunah panel, Rabbi Schachter says we do actually follow the Harchakas of R’tam today. In Options for Agunah’s minute 13, Rabbi Schachter says that husbands in broken marriages are in the category of Kofin Oso Bshotim. I have attempted to get in touch with the Rav, but haven’t gotten a response. Can you explain his 3 sided view please? You seem to clearly understand what is the halacha in these cases, so which version of Rav Shachter is the actual halacha? Lastly, I don’t understand your comment about the Rav Henkin quote. Rav Henkin quotes the Rambam as his proof (in a general case where the woman did no wrong and wants out of a marriage). So I think everyone agrees the Rambam would hold there is a mitzva to divorce. The Rambam has been rejected in actuality, and therefore there is no proof as Rav Elyashiv illustrates in his Kovetz Teshuvas 134.

  26. I dont question the competence of ORA or their halakhic justification. I question the wisdom and propriety of their actions.

  27. At the rally right now. Please come join.

  28. MiMedinat HaYam

    “He continually refuses despite the many people who have tried to step in and mediate.”

    actually, mrs tamar is the one who refuses mediation. mr aaron is the one who wants mediation or din torah (which today is basically mediation.)

    2. ORA rabbinic board is not only secret, but they refuse to confidentially (or publically) discuss cases / policy with reps of opposing sides (of a client i represented who wanted to give a get the (ex) wife refused to accept. couldnt even get an appointment, despite numerous phone calls and faxes.)

  29. MMHY: You’ve got your facts wrong

    The address for ORA is R. Jeremy Stern. He deals with his board and poskim.

  30. These rallies are just a way for Jeremy Stern to promote himself and ORA. There is no rabinic board that approves these rallies. Jeremy Stern had these rallies before there was a Seruv against Friedman. See my previous post where Jeremy Stern had a rally in Dec 2010 despite the fact that it was counter to the Baltimore Bais Din. Rabbi Schachter said himself he relies on Jeremy Stern to do the research. Would like to risk your chelek in Olem Habah on Jeremy Stern’s say so?

  31. Yisroel Stein: I know for a fact that there is a rabbinic board and that R. Hershel Schachter strongly supports ORA’s current protests. I have no problem deferring to their judgment. The member of the rabbinic board with whom I am closest is one of the finest individuals I’ve ever met.

    Rav Schachter has been personally involved in this case and has spoken to many individuals on his own. So did R. Yisroel Belsky, who put Aharon is seruv.

  32. Rabbi Schachter said he supports what Jeremy Stern tells him.

    I think “James” expressed how most of us feel.

    Gil – Did it make you feel accomplished to stand outside the home of an older woman who has done nothing wrong and yell like a fool?

    The question I would most want you to answer is do you really think your actions today will help resolve this situation?

    I feel sorry for you.

  33. Yes, but Rabbi Schachter has many sources. I don’t think you realize how much time has been spent on this case. R. Schachter has spoken to many, many people about it.

    Yes, I believe our actions today are the only way forward. Aharon’s family has to step up to the plate and take responsibility for getting him out of his situation.

  34. The only way forward? It’s been a very successful tactic for the past almost two years. A tactic used months before even picketing the man himself. I am not sure why you believe harassment, of all the tools employed, is the one to be continued. Also its odd that you advise the ORA rabbinic board should be contacted to answer questions but then say really the contact is the man organizing the protests.

  35. I do realize how much time has been spent on this case and I appreciate the effort. Again, I have no halachik objection to their actions. I have dealt with Agunah situations and have, in the past, called ORA for their expertise. (FYI – they were not interested in helping and not very responsive. I find them to be very unprofessional.)

    That being said, neither you, Rav Schachter, Rav Stern, or the halachik board are privy to the private conversations between Aharon and his mother. You can not know what she advises her son or the trouble this is causing her.

    What I really find distasteful is the argument that this rally will somehow cause Mrs. Friedman to “step up to the plate”? I suspect that is ploy. You can not expect a loving mother to react to mobs insulting her son by turning against him. Mothers generally defend their children. If that is what ORA is hoping to accomplish, it will never work. What I think is really going on is not and attempt to change Mrs. Friedman’s behavior (how could they? For all they know she already told him to give a GET). I think they are trying to elicit a response by Aharon. They are trying to get him to give a GET in order to spare his mother. That, R’ Gil, is nothing less than holding an elderly woman hostage.

  36. James, both in content and form you, on this thread, have been making the main points that need to be made far better than l.

  37. James: This tactic has worked many times before. And it is done in conjunction with other methods.

  38. Gil are you saying that the end justify the “means” – no matter what the “means” are?

  39. No. I’m saying that in this case the means are entirely appropriate.

  40. Please do explain how the means are appropriate because hagtbg, James and myself are having a hard time with that.

  41. hagtbg,
    Thanks for the compliment. What, may I ask, does hagtbg stand for?

    Yisroel,
    I dont think we are on the same page. I have no halachik objections to ORA’s rallies and fully trust Rav Schachter’s analysis of the sources. My objection is to the propriety of their actions.

    R’ Gil,
    Even if you are correct that these rallies work (though I am not convinced they work in this case and I am not convinced that ORA has ever protested outside of an elderly woman’s home), so what? Taking hostages is often every effective. Beating Aharon would also work.

    Feel free to continue protesting elderly women and doing “everything” possible to free Tamar. Just dont pretend that these rallies are somehow more enlightened or appropriate than taking Aharon “out back” for a good beating. They are far worse.

  42. How autism got to be gilgul which years ago was a topic i commented on and just kept using it.

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