Sunday, December 2, 2012

Weberman case: Calling police for abuse of 12 year old

I was recently asked to explain the halachic justification for calling the police in a case such as the Weberman case which involved a 12 year old. According to halacha she is an adult and thus it would be viewed as a consensual relationship - especially since she said nothing for years and continued going back to him.  If there is no crime of rape then on what basis can he be punished? Whatever sin occurred such as if she was a nida and the fact that they aren't married doesn't seem to provide a justification for punishing him. Wasn't she equally complicit according to the halacha? In short there doesn't seem to be a victim here.

1) A simple answer would be this a case of fiduciary relationship - where she was under the power and influence of someone she viewed as an authority and complied because she assumed she had no choice. Thus it would be considered rape and not seduction. However while that is clearly the halacha for a child - it is not the halacha for a 12 year old who is considered an adult. However I can not find any teshuva where fiduciary relationships are a mitigating factor. In fact even in secular law there is no consistency. A rabbi is not considered a special authority figure in many places - as was seen in the case of Mordechai Tendler.

2)  He can be reported to save him from sin. It can also be justified because he is a rodef for prohibited sexual relations with a nidda - even if consensual. And thus the police can be called as a way of saving him from sin. 

3) Another justification is that of stopping a nuisance.
Rambam (Hilchos Chovel u’Mazik 8:11), And thus all those who disturb and distress the society it is permitted to hand them over to the secular government to be beaten or imprisoned or fined.
Thus someone who is a public nuisance can be turned over to the police - even  if he will be imprisoned. The Chasam Sofer, Minchas Yitzchok (8:148): and others note this is connected to Gittin 7a and that even a private nuisance can be turned over to the police if there is no other way of stopping the abuse. 

Chasam Sofer (Gittin 7a): Mar Ukva said that there are people who are irritating me [verbal – Rashi]. Even though it was only verbal abuse, nevertheless if it wasn’t for the fact that Mar Ukva could save himself from this abuse by arising early and going to the study hall - it would seem that he would have been allowed to report his abusers to the government… We see from Rashi’s explanation that it was clear that if Mar Ukva had been abused monetarily or by forgery he would have been permitted to report his abusers to the government and he would not have been required to go to the study hall. That is simply because if a person comes to kill you than you have every right to kill them first. This is also the ruling of the Rambam (Hilchos Chovel u’Mazik 9:11): “And similarly if a person abuses and harasses the community it is permitted to give him over to the secular government to be beaten… In contrast if only an individual is being harassed it is prohibited to report him…” This would indicate that the Rambam is referring to verbal harassment.  Therefore if the assailant caused an actual loss it would be permitted to report him to the government so that he doesn’t cause further loss. This is the ruling of the Rema (C.M. 388:9) and it is also the ruling of the Shach (C.M. 388:59-60). However while it seems obvious to the Rambam that if one verbal harasses a community it is permitted to report him to the government – the commentaries don’t show the sources of this ruling. It must be that this ruling is learned from this gemora. It would seem that if hadn’t been for the fact that Mar Ukva had a solution to the harassment problem by going to the study hall it would have been permitted to report his assailants to the secular government. However this solution is only relevant for an individual. But it is not relevant for the community and therefore it is clearly permitted to report the community nuisance to the government. Also see the Pnei Yehoshua’s discussion of this gemora where he says that the solution of going to the study hall and complaining to G‑d about the assailant is not correct if one can stop the harasser in other ways. However he says if the harassers cause him to waste time from Torah and prayer because of his upset he can stop the harassers in any manner…

Protecting others from a sexual predator obviously is a public nuisance as well as a private one. A similar  problem is discussed in  Rav Sternbuch:Calling police for Jewish owned house of prostitution.

Consequently  it is not only permitted but it is a mitzva to report the existence of a predator to the police or  a therapist/teacher who is a mandated reporter who in turn will call the police - even if it results in the predator going to jail or losing money.

In sum, it is clear that even though a 12 year old is an adult according to Jewish law - but she can and should call the police to stop the predator from committing sin as well as to protect her well being and that of others.  She also can report the matter to a mandated reporter such as a therapist or teacher- who will report the matter to the police. Reporting a predator is a major contribution to the well being of society and is to be strongly praised.

70 comments:

  1. Recipients and PublicityDecember 2, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    It's very sad we have to find reasons to justify getting rid of pure scum!!! Do we ask shaylos if rats or even lowly roaches and ants invade our homes -- or do we just call the exterminators and that's that?

    This is also in a broad sense a case of a menuval birshus HaTorah, someone who uses Torah knowledge or abuses knowledge of the Torah and Halacha to "create" rationalizations and self-justifications for committing sins that he knows on some theoretical level are sins, but his bodily lascivious lusts lunge to be fulfilled. There are Halachic consequences to acting in this manner.

    The core of the problem will only be dealt with once teachings of Chazal, mussar and hashkofa are internalized and practiced. Such as the limud that there is "a small ever (organ) in an adam, that functions unlike the other eivarim, the more he 'feeds' it the less it is satisfied, unlike the other organs that are satisfied if you feed them" meaning sexual over-indulgence can lead to sexual addiction, and runs a person into a beast, or worse.

    Another weird phenomenon is how the wife, or spouses of serial sex perverts and sexual offenders, stick with their man, quite often enabling and participating in the sins, and sometimes even procure more victims and joining in the depravities, thereby transgressing the prohibitions of being mesayei'ah lidvar aveira (assisting with the transgressions) among other sins.

    How come we see photos of the wife of Weberman strutting around like a puffed up peacock in her shpitzel yet backing him up to the hilt in court?! How come Mordechai Tendler's wife stands by him and supports him financially?! How come Leib Tropper's wife hops into bed with him to perform "threesomes" and acts surprised and "innocent" when she's caught on camera doing it?!

    These are sick and corrupt and bizarre women who deserve to be condemned as reshantes (wicked) and maybe even as mechashefes (witches) and we know what punishment the Torah decrees for them! They should be outed and ousted from frum society but instead they sit at the mizrach vant in their ezras noshim>.

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  2. "This is also in a broad sense a case of a menuval birshus HaTorah"

    No, I don't think so, because he clearly crossed the bounderies set by torah (see my comment above), I would say he is a hypocrite. He is by no way "bir'shus ha torah".

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  3. ... a "naval birshus ha torah" would be someone who buys an 11-year-old from her father and marries her and performs regular sex acts on her and says "but it is all legal according to the torah"

    Or someone who marries a 12-year-old with her consent and then performs regular sex acts on her without her consent (since on this blog, some seem to think that a wife is always obliged to have sex with her husband, even if she does not want to)

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    1. ... a "naval birshus ha torah" would be someone who buys an 11-year-old from her father and marries her and performs regular sex acts on her and says "but it is all legal according to the torah"

      This would NOT be a naval birshus HaTorah. This would be entirely legal according to the Torah, once he is married to her.

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    2. Actually it could be naval birshus haTorah - but so would it be if he did it to a 22 year old wife. The critical issue which Remark in all her incarnations has refused to acknowledge is that the Torah requires that whatever happens the wife be willing and approve. She is not a slab of meat that you can do what you want to. The point that Remark is trying to make is that a 11 year old is not capable of being a wife and thus by definition any sexual activity is an act of abuse. If you are aware of our contemporary non-Jewish society - that is clearly not true. It could be that the contemporary Jewish girls are not ready to for sexual activity at 11. But that was clearly not true in previous generations and it clearly is not true in other cultures.

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    3. If it is merely a "cultural" issue, where we acknowledge that in some cultures young girls have sex at 15 or younger but in other societies perhaps they don't, then it clearly isn't a Torah prohibition and the age-old wisdom's and Torah laws equally apply today as they did 150 years ago.

      So having legitimate and kosher sex (i.e. via marriage) with a young girl is entirely kosher today according to the Torah. Even if in that person's local society that is uncommon or even unheard of.

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    4. A: this is what "naval birshus ha torah" is all about. Technically, everything he does is legal, but it is still profoundly immoral. i.e. the person respects the letter of the law, but not the spirit...

      @daas torah: I think there was no clear agreement on the fact that intercourse could not be forced upon the wife. We had the case where she, for some reasons, does not want to divorce, and you agreed that in this case, she can be forced or "convinced" to have intercourse against her will.

      I hold that such a case is akin to a mesurevet get: to bad for the husband. But at least, he has the possibilities of heter meah rabbanin, Rabbi gestetener holds that he can even remarry with the permission of one beith din, and there is still the "pilegesh" and the "lovesh sh^chorim" option... A mesurevet has none of those options, she could just receive a (small) monetary compensation if she wants sex and her husband refuses it to her.

      As far as sex with 11-year-olds go in other times or other cultures: I do not think it is funny for all the 11-year-olds who are in such a situation... It might be that some 11-year-olds crave sex and are happy to be married, but I suppose that most 11-year-olds who are married (in Yemen, in Africa) are terrified and suffer from the abuse.

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    5. but you are just guessing that you point is correct - no evidence at all


      "but I suppose that most 11-year-olds who are married (in Yemen, in Africa) are terrified and suffer from the abuse."

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    6. oK, you want a few sources of very young wives who were not happy having sex with their husbands?

      there is the famous case of nujood ali
      http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/08/26/yemen.divorce/index.html

      two other cases in Yemen
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GRHD7nmWz0

      here a case from afghanistan
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbtT8oHuap4

      ethopia
      http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0412120360dec12,0,6964856.story

      Africa
      http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/indepth/upfront/features/index.asp?article=f022006_africa_brides

      Need more?

      An iranian friend of mine said her cousin (in a small mountain village) was married age 9, they tied her to the leg of table because she tried to run away. Later, she suffered a total nervous breakdown, from which she never recoverd.

      read the biography of Amina Lawal (she was later sentenced to death for adultery, but saved thanks to the intervention of western NGOs). She describes that she was married to a 30-year-old man at age 9. On the "wedding night", she fled to her in-laws house, and they told their son to wait till she reached puberty. Once she reached puberty, she felt "she could no longer refuse him"...

      Do you think it is not abuse, just because it is culturally tolerated?

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    7. What are you referring to?

      Do you still hold that a wife can be forced to have sex with her husband in case she refuses a get?

      That's exactly my problem.

      As to the negative consequences of child marriage: see the link below and my comment that was not published, containing many more sources...

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    8. you keep repeating over and over something which simply isn't true. A wife can not be forced to have sex with her husband in case she refuses a get. so you are right that that is your problem because you refuse to pay attention to what is being said.

      You have shown that there are those who don't like be child brides. You haven't shown that this is endemic or that they are worse off then non-child brides. I can use your approach to argue that no one is happily married.

      Regarding your comment that wasn't published - yes when you revert to extreme and inappropriate comments I will simply not publish them

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    9. You did not say so in the other thread. You said it was "fair enough" that she was talked into having sex against her will, by rabbis, husband, etc...

      I don't think it is "fair enough". If you changed your mind meanwhile, I would be very happy...

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    10. Are you serious?

      Do you really, seriously think that a 9-year-old is as fit for having intercourse, getting pregnant, giving birth and raising children as a 20-year-old?

      Do you really, seriously think there are no health risks involved?

      do you really, seriously think a young girl should marry a husband 20, 30, 50 years older than herself?

      All this is - theoretically - permitted according to the torah. But whatever man does this is a naval, in my eyes.

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    11. You are changing the topic. I am saying that you haven't shown that in a society where there are child brides that they are less happy than non-child brides. So while I agree with you that ideally that a woman get married when she is older - but that was not the topic.

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    12. Yes, this is the topic.

      1) there are major health risks with underage sex and underage pregnancies and births

      2)look at the link I posted below: they say young wives setting themselves on fire is endemic in Afghanistan... Is this really something you would wish for your daughter?

      Yes, there are also resilient women, baruch hashem, but that does not make the practice acceptable.

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    13. You still didn't answer the question. You seem to have a problem with understanding English

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    14. You did not say so in the other thread. You said it was "fair enough" that she was talked into having sex against her will, by rabbis, husband, etc...

      I don't think it is "fair enough". If you changed your mind meanwhile, I would be very happy...
      ===================
      Again you don't seem to understand English fully. I don't think we are in disagreement but English does not seem to be your mother tongue.

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    15. Well, you see, I'm witnessing a couple who is exactly in this situation and where the wife, who does not want to divorce until her children are married (yes, I know, that's not such a good idea) is told by the rabbis to have sex with her husband, whether she wants or not, and the husband insists on having sex, whether she wants it or not (yes, I know, this is a sorry person). It ain't pretty to watch, and I don't think it is "fair enough".

      so we fundamentally disagree on this point.

      As long as you do not state the rabbonim are wrong to tell her to have sex and to tell the husband he can have sex, I will state that judaism does not oppose coerced sex.

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    16. What is the coercion? If the rabbi is saying that she has a choice of being divorced or having sex - it is her choice to have sex if she doesn't want to get divorced. Her husband is simply saying I am not going to remain married to a woman who wants a platonic relationship. if she stays married and has sex she is forcing herself - that is not called coercion. Or to put it another way - what right does she have to tell her husband he must stay married to her without sex. what kind of nonesense is that. She can't claim she wants to be married but not fulfill the obligations of marriage. Your position is absurd and I am surprised you are defending this woman and see nothing wrong with her torturing her husband.

      I will repeat Judaism does not coerce a woman to have sex. This woman is coercing herself to stay marrried.

      What if I say I want to buy a house but then refuse to pay the mortgage. Are you saying I am being coerced to pay the mortgage in order to own the house? Is paying the mortgage coercion or is just the accepted part of acquiring a house. In sum - coercion is pressure to do something which is not a normal part of the status. One does not say I am coerced to eat food or else I will die or I am coerced to breath air. Do something which is inherent in the relationship is not called coercion

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    17. RDE: Who said this woman is entitled to a divorce? Jewish law does not allow a woman a divorce-on-demand. If she has no valid grounds to demand divorce, she can't force her husband to divorce her.

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    18. I didn't say she was entitled to a divorce. Just saying that a wife is not entitled to stay married when she refuses marital relations. Please reread what I said. "If the rabbi is saying that she has a choice of being divorced or having sex - it is her choice to have sex if she doesn't want to get divorced."

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    19. RDE: I don't understand your point. You agree that

      1) A wife is not necessarily entitled to a divorce
      2) A wife cannot refuse to ever have sex again with her husband.

      (Point 1 you just made and Point 2 you've been making all along with "Remark".)

      So the obvious net result is that if a wife is not entitled to a divorce then her husband can insist she have sex with him. (Not necessarily at any specific time she declines, but she cannot always decline. Sometimes she will have to have sex with him, like it or not.)

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    20. You're saying Kesubos 64a backs up the conclusion I made in my last comment?

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    21. 1) Where do you see it contradicting it?

      2) It isn't my point. It is the net result of YOUR point. I was merely pointing it out.

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    22. a woman does not have to have sex with her husband whether she likes it or not. The husband however has the right to divorce her if she refuses to have sex. Why is that so hard to understand?

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    23. yes, but since rabbi Gershon decided that she has to agree to a divorce, it can happen that a husband is a mesurav get, but the wife refuses sex (like in the ahron goldberg case described in the gestetener psak).

      In this case, it might be that the rabbis allow the husband to remarry without a get, but I am honestly shocked if they allow coerced sex. However they do. And it is coerced sex.

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    24. RDE: You just said the opposite in your response to Remark. You defended the rabbi's correctness in advising the wife she is required to have sex with her husband even if she doesn't want to. Remark told you a) the wife refuses to get divorced b) she refuses to have sex c) the rabbi is forcing her to have sex with her husband. You said the rabbi is correct to force her; you didn't say the husband should divorce her.

      And what if she refuses to accept a divorce (per Rabbeinu Gershom)? Can she then be forced to have sex with him?

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    25. A and Remark -your comments make no sense. A wife is not forced to have sex with her husband if she doesn't want it. On the other hand marriage involves two parties and he doesn't have to stay married if she wants a platonic relationship.

      She can't be forced to have sex but if she doesn't she is a moredes. It really isn't complicated but the two of you don't get it. This is my final post on the nonsense.

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    26. Sorry for coming late into this conversation, but isn't a wife forbidden from doing something that makes her a moredes? I mean, being a moredes is forbidden, no?

      If so, then she cannot withhold sex. Maybe no one can force her to have sex, but she should be told that withholding it is wrong.

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    27. Does it say that is forbidden for her to a moredes? Please cite the relevant sources

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    28. Kesubos (63b): What is a rebelious woman (moredes)? Amemar said it is a wife who says I like my husband but I want to torment him. In contrast if she says that he is repulsive to her (ma’us alei) no pressure is brought on her to stay with him. Mar Zutra disagreed and said pressure is to be brought on her to stay with him. There was in fact a case where Mar Zutra exerted pressure on such a woman. [As a result of the reconciliation] Rav Chanina of Sura was born. However this was not the correct thing to do. The successful result was the result of Divine assistance.

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    29. Rambam (Hilchos Ishus 14:8): A woman who witholds sexual relations from her husband is called a moredes (rebbelious woman). Beis din asks her why she has rebelled. If she says he is disgusting to me and I am not able to have sexual relations willings – we force the husband to divorce her immediately. That is because she is not like a prisoner that can be forced to have sexual realtions with someone she hates. However while she receives a get she does not get her kesuba at all. She can take the possesions she brought into the marriage... but she can not take anything that belongs to her husband. Even the shoes on her feet and the scarf on her head she is required to take off and give them back to her husband. Similarly whatever presents he gave her must be returned because he did not give them so that she go keep them and leave the marriage.

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    30. שולחן ערוך (אבן העזר עז:ב): האשה שמנעה בעלה מתשמיש, היא הנקראת מורדת; ושואלין אותה מפני מה מרדה, אם אמרה: מאסתיהו ואיני יכולה להבעל לו מדעתי, ( ודוקא שמבקשת גט בלא כתובה, אבל אם אומרת: יתן לי גט וכתובתי, חיישינן שמא נתנה עיניה באחר, ויש לה דין מורדת דבעינא ומצערנא ליה) (ב"י בשם תשובת הר"ן וכן פירש"י בגמרא), אם רצה הבעל לגרשה אין לה כתובה כלל, ותטול בלאותיה הקיימים, בין מנכסים שהכניסה לבעלה ונתחייב באחריותן, בין נכסי מילוג שלא נתחייב באחריותן, ואינה נוטלת משל בעלה כלום, ואפילו מנעל שברגליה ומטפחת שבראשה שלקחם לה, פושטת ונותנה, וכל מה שנתן לה מתנה מחזרת אותו. ( וי"א דאף מנכסי צאן ברזל אינה נוטלת אלא מה שתפסה. וי"א דאפילו נ"מ אינה נוטלת אלא מה שתפסה) (ב"י בשם תשובת הר"ן שכ"כ בשם הרשב"א). ואם מרדה מתחת בעלה כדי לצערו, ואמרה: הריני מצער אותו בכך, מפני שעשה לי כך וכך, או מפני שקללני, או מפני שעשה עמי מריבה וכיוצא בדברים אלו, שולחין לה מב"ד ואומרים לה: הוי יודעת שאם את עומדת במרדך, אפילו כתובתיך ק' מנה הפסדת אותם. ואחר כך מכריזין עליה בבתי כנסיות ובתי מדרשות, בכל יום, ד' שבתות זו אחר זו. ( וי"א דא"צ להכריז בכל יום, אלא ד' שבתות ממש), (הר"ן והגהות מיימוני וכן משמע לשון הטור), (וכן נ"ל עיקר). ואומרים: פלונית מרדה על בעלה. ואחר ההכרזה שולחין לה ב"ד פעם שנית: אם את עומדת במרדך הפסדת כתובתיך, אם עמדה במרדה ולא חזרה, נמלכין בה ותאבד כתובתה, ולא יהיה לה כתובתה כלל; ואין נותנים לה גט עד י"ב חדש; ואין לה מזונות כל י"ב חדש, ( ואפילו היא מעוברת) (ב"י בשם תשובת רשב"א); ומעשה ידיה שלה, אבל נוטל פירות (טור); ואם מתה קודם הגט, בעלה יורשה ( וחייב בפדיונה וקבורתה (טור); ולאחר י"ב חדש אין לבעל עליה כלום, וכן היא עליו; מאחר שאבדה הכתובה, אין לה כל תנאי כתובה, מאחר שיוכל לגרשה בלא כתובה והוא מעכבה מרצונו) (דברי הרב וכן משמע במהרי"ל סימן כ'). כסדר הזה עושין לה, אם מרדה כדי לצערו, ולאחר י"ב חדש לא מהני חזרתה, אלא אבדה כתובתה, ואם רוצה לקיימה, צריך לכתוב לה כתובה אחרת. אבל תוך י"ב חדש יכולה לחזור בה, ויש לה כתובה. ואם מת תוך י"ב חדש, יש לה כתובה מן היורשים (כל זה בהר"ן פ' אף על פי). ואם רוצה לגרשה תוך י"ב חדש נותן לה צ"ב שלה, וכתובתה וכל מה שכתב לה (ב"י בשם תשובת הרשב"א). וי"א דבזמן הזה שאין נושאין שתי נשים, לא משהינן לה י"ב חדש אם רוצה לגרשה, ואם אינה רוצה, מתירין לו לישא אחרת (מרדכי סוף אף על פי בשם ראב"ן). ויש חולקין שאין להתיר לו לישא אחרת (שם בהגהה ותשובת הרשב"א סימן תת"ס ומהרי"ק שורש ס"ג), וכן עיקר. ודוקא בנשואה, אבל ארוסה המורדת על בעלה ואינה רוצה להכנס לו, יגרשנה בעל כרחה, או ישא אחרת, ומתירין לו (שם). ונ"ל דוקא תוך י"ב חדש, אבל לאחר י"ב חדש אם הוא רוצה לגרש צריכה לקבל ממנו בעל כרחה, או מתירין לו לישא אחרת, דאין כח ביד האשה לעגנו לעולם, וכן נראה (להורות). וי"א דאפילו תוך י"ב חדש אם עבר ונשא אחרת מחמת מרידתה, אין כופין לגרש. (מהרי"ק שורש כ"ט) ואפילו היתה נדה או חולה שאינה ראויה לתשמיש ואין חילוק בין התחילה למרוד קודם חליה או אח"כ (הר"ן פרק אף על פי, וכן משמע במרדכי בשם ראבי"ה ובהגהות אלפסי), (ויש חולקים) (שם בשם מוהר"ם) ואפילו היה בעלה מלח שעונתו לששה חדשים, ואפילו יש לו אשה אחרת. וכן ארוסה שהגיע זמנה לינשא, ומרדה כדי לצערו ולא נשאת, הרי זו מורדת מתשמיש. וי"א שגם יבמה שלא רצתה להתייבם כדי לצערו, כסדר הזה עושין לה.

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  4. "I was recently asked to explain the halachic justification for calling the police in a case such as the Weberman case which involved a 12 year old. According to halacha she is an adult and thus it would be viewed as a consensual relationship - especially since she said nothing for years and continued going back to him. If there is no sin - how can he be punished?"

    You're entire basis of this discussion is wrong, RDE. I'm very surprised at your elementary error.

    No sin? What on earth are you talking about? Even if it is consensual. It is an equal sin on both their parts, his and hers. But it certainly is a sin.

    A) She is a nidda. So any touching, even, is sinful.

    B) They are not married to each other.

    (You make the point further in your discussion, but I don't even understand the basis for your question.)

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    1. You are correct- I didn't express myself properly and will correct it.

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  5. Consequently, since it is alleged that this was non-consensual (I don't understand why RDE refers to it as consensual), as she never agreed or wanted to participate in the fondling, it is the male sinning and no one else.

    (All this is assuming he is guilty of doing what she alleges. This has not been established. It is a simple he-said/she-said argument. And I don't even believe that Halachicly a non-Jewish court conviction of him establishes his guilt under Halacha. He still maintains his innocence post-secular conviction, should a conviction actually occur in secular court, and his innocence or guilt remains unestablished unless a beis din hears the case.

    Now THAT would be a better discussion. How can we ever be sure if an accused in such situation is considered Halachicly innocent or guilty in a he-said/she-said situation, such as this one, where there are no witnesses and no evidence whatsoever.)

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    1. Have you previously had a thread on this site discussing how the Halachic innocence or guilt can or cannot be established in a simple he-said/she-said situation, where it is only one's word against the other's word without any evidence, witnesses or proof whatsoever? (Normally under Halacha, in such a situation where there is nothing but a claim, we do not consider the accused to be guilty.)

      If not, perhaps this is a good time to have such a discussion.

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    2. Important point and one which we have discussed a number of times.It is in the Sho'el U'Meishiv, Rav Moshe Halberstam, etc etc.

      I'll try providing links later to some of the previous posts.

      Bottom line it is normal for a person to be presumed guilty based on circumstantial evidence as well as the fact that he was convicted by a secular trial and even if you don't want to declare them definitely guilty you would be required as a principal or employer or friend etc to inform others of his status, as well as to take precautions as if they might be true.

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    3. Ok, fair point in general. But here, as in many other cases, there isn't even any circumstantial evidence. There is merely a claim or accusation made by a person. Thus it is only a "he-said / she-said" situation. No other evidence.

      And, secondly, you say even in a case with circumstantial evidence, short of proof, we are required to take precautions so that the accused should not be in a position where he can carry out such an act. That is fair and true. But that would seemingly still not allow us to punish him punitively -- like jailing him -- for what you are saying we don't have proof for (only circumstantial evidence).

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    4. The point about the wives standing up for their husbands: I would say it is admirable except for the Tropper example.

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  6. Sam wrote:
    Have you previously had a thread on this site discussing how the Halachic innocence or guilt can or cannot be established in a simple he-said/she-said situation, where it is only one's word against the other's word without any evidence, witnesses or proof whatsoever?

    I have dealt with the issue of circumstantial evidence or testimony of women and children or the case of strong rumors.

    So I have not dealt with a case of claims in a vacuum without any context or circumstantial evidence. The Weberman case is not such a case.

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    1. The District Attorney prosecuting Weberman is basing the entire case on her word. Absent her claims and testimony the DA has no case. This is not a secret. The DA will readily acknowledge their entire case is built around her word. There is no circumstantial evidence to speak of, let alone real proof or witnesses. It is essentially a "he-said/she-said" case.

      Considering this, surely the Weberman case is in fact just this.

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    2. "(Normally under Halacha, in such a situation where there is nothing but a claim, we do not consider the accused to be guilty.)"

      If that is indeed the halacha, I would say that it is a huge problem and that halacha could not be used, practically, to judge cases of criminal law...

      but I suppose

      1) that halacha is really more differentiated than that
      2) that halacha is in a limbo for criminal law, because it has not been applied for 2'000 years, i.e. "criminal law halacha" would have to be "reinvented" nowadays if it was to be used in practice. In the process of "reinventing" halacha for criminal law, many solutions are imaginable, and rabbonim likely will not agree just like that... i.e. it would be a rather complex process to make halacha fit for contemporary criminal law, until rabbonim from various stripes and minhagim find a minimum consensus. The same problem applies, by the way, to family law, as we so in the numerous discussions about gittin on this blog, although jewish family law has been applied all through the last 2000 years...

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  7. Sam wrote:
    And, secondly, you say even in a case with circumstantial evidence, short of proof, we are required to take precautions so that the accused should not be in a position where he can carry out such an act. That is fair and true. But that would seemingly still not allow us to punish him punitively -- like jailing him -- for what you are saying we don't have proof for (only circumstantial evidence).

    ================
    You are missing the main point i.e., the halachic dynamics. We are not judging the case in beis din. We are dealing with a case of purported self-protection which involves revealing information to a mandated reported who in turn contacts the police and then the courts get involved. This is the case of Gittin (7a), Rambam(Chovel u'mazik 8:11) and BM 83a. Once you are allowed to protect yourself - you do not need to be concerned with the consequences i.e., jail or monetary fine. The standards of evidence which allow taking protective measures are much different than the standards of guilt in beis din.

    Thus we are only facilitating the secular courts involvement.We do not conducta trial or gather evidence nor punish.

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    1. So your point is that if the New York State legislature passes a law mandating judges impose a death penalty upon anyone merely accused of nonconsensual fondling, we Torah abiding Jews should report a Jew to secular authorities someone accused of nonconsensual fondling -- even though their is no proof -- and he will be executed by the State?

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    2. How do explain BM 83 where Rabbi Eliezar was required to report theives to the goverment based entirely on weak circumstantial evidence and then they were crucified. This is accepted as halacha l'maaseh. So how is that different than your case?

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    3. RDE: That is NOT accepted as "halacha l'maaseh" across the board as a rule. It may be utilized by a posek in specific situations. But Shulchan Aruch or Rema do NOT pasken that this is a basic halacha we can utilize routinely or normatively.

      (And as it turned out in BM 83, Rabbi Eliezer at the end justified their being executed by the government by finding they were mechallel Yom Kippur.)

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    4. Berel wrote:
      And as it turned out in BM 83, Rabbi Eliezer at the end justified their being executed by the government by finding they were mechallel Yom Kippur.)

      That is a total misreading of the gemora - try again

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    5. Berel wrote:

      RDE: That is NOT accepted as "halacha l'maaseh" across the board as a rule. It may be utilized by a posek in specific situations. But Shulchan Aruch or Rema do NOT pasken that this is a basic halacha we can utilize routinely or normatively.

      Sorry but you are wrong. Read the teshuvos in Yeschurun of Rav Eliashiv Rav Moshe Halberstam, etc Rav Moshe Feinstein cites it halacha l'maaseh

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  8. Sam wrote:

    The District Attorney prosecuting Weberman is basing the entire case on her word. Absent her claims and testimony the DA has no case. This is not a secret. The DA will readily acknowledge their entire case is built around her word. There is no circumstantial evidence to speak of, let alone real proof or witnesses. It is essentially a "he-said/she-said" case.

    The case is built on strong questioning and how the jury perceives their credibility. There is also the testimony of others regarding the circumstances of the "therapy" in a bedroom and the extracurricular trips he took with girls. The "therapy" itself will obviously be an important issue - why would anyone need to spend so much time with a young girl - what was he doing? In addition she is not the only victim. There is also the testimony of her parents and husband as to what was going on. In short - this is not simply a he said/she said case

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    1. "The case is built on strong questioning and how the jury perceives their credibility."

      That's the definition of a "he-said/she-said" case.

      "In addition she is not the only victim."

      No one else has formally accused him. Hearsay anonymous accusations have no relevance in a criminal case. (Both in American courts or in Jewish courts.)

      "There is also the testimony of her parents and husband as to what was going on. In short - this is not simply a he said/she said case"

      All that testimony is based on the girl's word. Thus a he-said/she-said.

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    2. I disagree with your definition
      ===============
      he said she said

      An argument between a guy and a gal where the points made on either side can't be proven convincingly enough by either party to someone who has no clue what they're arguing about. Further exacerbated because you have no idea if either person is exaggerating or telling the truth and so nothing can be resolved. You know someone is lying about something, you just can't tell who. Usually the argument revolves around the relationship, money (who spends more on who), or some other pointless crap. Usually they've reached a point in their relationship where they really shouldn't be together and they're just arguing about anything and everything just to argue. Lawsuits can come from this.
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      There will be a clear verdict in this case and the jury will have no trouble deciding who is telling the truth. That takes it out of geder of he said/she said.

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  9. Sure there will be a clear verdict one way or the other, as their is in almost all cases. But secular courts judge he-said/she-said cases every day and come to a verdict one way or ther other. The 12 jurors simply base it on whose lawyers or clients they guess is more believable or likeable.

    But that doesn't negate the cases are he-said/she-said cases. Of course Beis Din cannot adjudicate a case based on sounds more believable.

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    1. actually the Rambam says it can. Not sure about contemporary courts - if they were dealing with the case would they just throw it out because of lack of evidence.

      There is no question that rabbis do make decision based on this type of evidence - such as what is going on with Chaim Halpern. The Mordechai Tendler case was also similar and yet the Monsey rabbis came to a conclusion.

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    2. RDE: NOT in a criminal matter to determine a criminal penalty against an alleged criminal.

      It may be useable in a civil matter or to determine preventative measures that are not punitive against the accused.

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    3. Tendler too wasn't jailed. The rabbis dismissed him from his membership in the RCA. (And his laymen baalei batim fired him as their rabbi.) But no criminal penalty for Tendler.

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    4. What beis din gives out criminal penalties? What are you talking about?

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    5. I'm talking about when Beis Din still did adjudicate criminal matters with criminal penalties. Either when the Sanhedrin was around or perhaps afterwards when the non-Jewish governments in Europe or elsewhere used to empower Jewish courts for Jewish matters.

      In cases where Beis Din was empowered (ie Sanhedrin), Beis Din wouldn't apply a criminal punishment against a defendant based upon a mere claim that the beis din felt was credible but nevertheless lacked hard evidence.

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    6. Sorry - read simon 2 in Choshen Mishpat

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    7. I could be wrong but I thought Tendler was accused of multiple affairs with adult women. That is not a jailable offense. Despicable yes, but not child molestation.

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    8. The secular charges were violations of a fiduciary relationship. Case was thrown out because rabbi congregrant relationship is not considered a fiduciary one in New York - it is in other states.

      The point that I was making is that Tendler was publically condemned by the Rabbis of Monsey based on the the same type of evidence as the Weberman case. And he is finished as a rabbinical figure in the Orthodox world as a result of this. He was also kicked out of the RCA for refusing to cooperate with the investigation.

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    9. The legal case against Tendler based on violation of fiduciary duty is described here

      http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ny-court-of-appeals/1113727.html

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    10. A further description of the Tendler case is here

      http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new_york/monsey_rabbis_call_colleague_untruthful

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  10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c_zppPutQw&feature=endscreen

    here is an interesting report about underage marriage in Afghanistan...

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  11. Satmar rebbe speaks out against Weberman's victim (in yiddish).

    hat tip: failed messiah...

    http://www.twitlonger.com/show/k7447u

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  12. http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2012/12/protest-against-satmar-rebbe-tuesday-234.html

    demonstration in monroe against Satmar rebbe who spoke in an inappropriate way about the alleged abuse victim in his drasha about the parasha last week.

    Pleas publish in a separate post.

    It refers to this
    http://www.twitlonger.com/show/k7447u

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