Thursday, August 8, 2013

Weiss-Dodelson divorce battle in the news again: Context & documentation

The following Jewish Week article written by a relative of the wife is obviously not an objective or balanced account of this divorce case involving the Feinstein and Kotler families.   Perhaps the critical issue is the wife's claim that her husband refuses to go to beis din to negotiate a settlement. He denies it and I present here the 20 pages of documentation to support his claim. I have linked to the article as well as one of many articles on the matter published on my blog. None of this material appears or is acknowledged in the Jewish Week article even though it is readily accessible with a Google search - why not?

I submitted this comment to the Jewish Week article - don't know whether it will be published.
Unfortunately this is a very simplistic and biased presentation of a complex issue by a relative of the wife who obviously shares her pain. However there is much material that could and should have been presented if this was meant as anything other than another attack in the continuing battle. For those that are interested the husband's side - it  is available in a number of posts on my blog Daas Torah. Search for "Weiss" in the archives. Alternatively see this post http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2013/08/weiss-dodleson-divorce-battle-in-news.html which has links to the relevant information.

This is a sad and unfortunate situation - but it is not going to resolved by p.r. fluff pieces in the media. It requires both of them to work together with a neutral beis din
Important links and documentation
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The Jewish Week  My cousin, Gital Dodelson — my beautiful, poised, second cousin who is entering her third year of law school in the evening program at Rutgers University, and who belongs to the strictly observant Orthodox community of Lakewood, N.J. — seemed destined for many happy years ahead in February 2009, when she married Avrohom Meir Weiss, the great-grandson of the late Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the revered Talmudic authority of his generation.[...]

Alas, the marriage was short-lived. After nine months, Gital gave birth to a baby boy, but just one month later, at Gital’s initiative, in December 2009, the couple parted ways. Three years later, she is still waiting for her “get” — her document of Jewish divorce. 

That wait could take decades. There are cases like that, and my cousins report that Avrohom Meir has indicated if his conditions aren’t satisfied, he’ll wait until Gital’s hair turns gray to give her the get. It seems he isn’t satisfied with the settlement handed down last summer by the New Jersey courts, granting him custody of his son every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon as well as every other weekend. Among his other demands, according to my cousins: He wants to share custody 50-50, and he wants $350,000 to cover his legal expenses.

Also this: He’s not interested in going to a bet din, or rabbinic court, to resolve these matters, and has ignored a siruv (a contempt-of-court ruling issued by a rabbinic court) after failing to heed repeated summonses by Beis Din of Mechon L’Hoyroa, a reputable rabbinic court in Monsey, N.Y.  He continues to ignore the siruv even after several of the most prominent rabbis in the country urged him in writing to go to a rabbinic court. [...]
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In contrast to her claims  my brother wrote on this blog

A  signed letter from major Rosh Yeshivas has been issued attacking Rabbi Avrohom Mayer Weiss for not giving his wife, a Dodelson, a GET. The letter declares three things: One, that the Siruv given the husband by Beth Din Machon LiHorah requires everyone to treat him as if he was in Cherem. Two, everyone should pressure him with public humiliations and by taking away his livelihood to force him to give his wife a GET.

All three things are completely wrong. Let us begin with the Siruv issued by Beth Din Machon LiHorah. Yes, they issued a Siruv and claimed that he did not respond to their demand that he go to a Beth Din to settle his issues with his wife. But there is another Beth Din, that of Rav Gestetner  in Monsey, that has issued a Bitul Siruv, claiming that the husband acted in a proper way and did accept the obligation to go to a Beth Din. The family claims that it has over twenty pages of proof in writing that they did accept the demand by Machon LiHorah to enter the Beth Din process to resolve the issues with his wife.  So the issue must be resolved by a third Beth Din, impartial and fearless and not the cousin of the wife as in this letter. [...]

43 comments :

  1. The fact that the wife's relatives are turning to anti-Orthodox rags like the Jewish Week to gather and rile up support, itself speaks volumes about their case or lack thereof.

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    1. This Elicia Brown columnist from the Jewish Week championing her cousin Gital Dodelson, is a irreligious Orthodox-bashing feminist who has previously championed causes such as JOFA and "Rabba" Sara Huruwitz on the pages of the Jewish Week.

      Her "rabbi" is "Rabbi" Julie Schonfeld of the Conservative Jewish Theological Seminary:

      http://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/29/style/weddings-elicia-brown-jeremy-pomeroy.html

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    2. The above reply is nothing more than further spewing of sinat chinom and proof of ignorance in overlooking the facts by attempting to discredit the writer with your ad hominem argument. The other party refused to provide his side of the story. Regardless, we need to get away from an un-eforceable k'tubah that reflects a time that no longer exists. If the attorney fees can't be paid in zuzim, the conract is clearly medieval and written to apply to that time frame and not today. Today, a person cannot force someone to be married to him/her; it's that simple. Let the intractable party grow up, stop acting like a two year old throwing a tantrum in the supermarket, and accept that the marriage is over, and move on. Spite is ugly and has no place among decent people. I'm sure all the ancestors are turning over in their graves at this embarrassment. The jewish communities involved should be praying for awful, petty, spiteful people who try to hurt one another, using tradition as a bludgeon.

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    3. Because "pro-Orthodox" rags like this blog are SOOOOO unbiased and so likely to give her a fair hearing. You people are supporting spousal abuse.

      Shame on the lot of you.

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  2. I don"t understand why you post all these documents, except for the big one. The kol koreh signed by 9 or 10 rabbi's. It may be that you and your brother and the weiss' disagree with the rabbi's, but at least have the intellectual honesty of posting the kol koreh.
    Furthermore, you, your brother, and especially weiss don't have a right to decide that a beis din isn't "neutral".
    Furthermore, weiss has been offered to go to any beis din in the US, Europe, and Israel and refused. He has even been offered to go to r dovid feinstein and refused.
    Just admit it, the guy just doesn't want to give a get. I don't see why you feel the need to defend him, it just makes you look foolish

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    1. peturbed: Your points are not factual.

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  3. using refusal to give a get as a tool to get what you want in settlement is wrong

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  4. Perturbed,
    There was recently an effort to get the two sides to a third party, and the Weiss side told me that they completely accepted his authority, but now I hear that the Dodelson side has rejected it unless certain conditions that they make are fulfilled. And I believe that the condition they want, a GET before the arbitration, would only produce a GET under pressure. Because as long as Dodelson continues with his Rosh Yeshivas to publicly humiliate the husband, if a GET is given it will be invalid, and there is a problem if the children of the second marriage will be mamzerim. I have asked prominent rabbonim to get involved to get the two sides to settle on a Beth Din, but it seems that the Rosh Yeshivas, including the cousin of Dodelson, are interested in publicly humiliating the husband with such articles as above, and this makes the husband even angrier, and it makes the GET a GET MEUSO that is forbidden to give.

    The Rosh Yeshivas, including the cousin of Dodelson, are doing a great sin by making pressure on a husband to divorce when such pressure is forbidden. The poskim including Posek HaDor Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashev zt"l clearly state that one may not coerce in MOUS OLEI with humiliation or any other pressure that forces the husband to divorce. The Rosh Yeshivas who signed a paper that everyone must humiliate Rabbi Weiss defy the poskim, including the Rashbo in teshuva VII:414, accepted by Radvaz II:118, Beis Yosef (author of Shulchan Arudch) EH 154, and the Chazon Ish Gittin 108:12. They defy the Shulchan Aruch in EH:77 and the Beis Shmuel, Chelkas Mechokak and Gro there, who all say it is forbidden to pressure the husband to divorce in MOUS OLEI. The Gro says this is the opinion of all major commentators. But the Lakewood Rosh Yeshivas disagrees with all of them, the Rashbo, the Radvaz, the Beis Yosef, the CHazon Ish, the Shulchan Aruch, the Beis Shmuel, the Chelkas Mechokake and the Gro. Why? Go ask them. And ask them if they have a source against the Posek HaDor zt"l, the Shulchan Aruch and commentators, the Gro, etc. Are they not embarrassed to make mamzerim?

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    1. The way you write as if most poskim,Rosh yeshivas are corrupt. If that's the case, there is a bigger problem then a forced get.
      Does anybody know what they are fighting about. It doesn't make sense because both can't get married at this stage, unless you tell me, the boy doesn't want to get married.

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    2. The husband can get a Heter Meah and remarry without a Get.

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    3. True, but then he has to deposit a get in beis din, which he doesn't want to do. So I ask, doesn't he want to remarry, and if not, why not, if yes, then settle. It seems foolish to hold back a get, not in this case, but almost all cases. Unless, someone is so upset and is willing to remain un married to spite his wife.

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    4. Bottom line is that daniel and dovid eidensohn have zero intellectual honesty. Why won't they post the kol koreh??

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  5. This is the same thing we hear in all cases all over again. The corrupted bribe accepting rabbis in this generation will ignore all the poskim that warn about a coerced get being possul. They will come up with all sorts of justifications. Any case where ORA is involved create questionable kosher GETS. ironically, if one studies Halacha properly,you would realize that the parameters of a GET are much stricter than the parameters of KIDDUSHIN, yet too many people are looking for an "easyway out" GET and dont worry about mamzeirim.There is also an issue of Eishes Ish which is serious in its own right. People dont understand that the Agunas of the Talmud that our rabbis were looking for a solution were ones that "wished their husbands returned home". These types of women were guiltless of their status. This is in great contrast to the Modern-day Aguna which in many cases has brought upon herself her status for viciously fighting with her husband in court which was against halacha to begin with, and after the husband sustains hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses , he naturally wants that money back but she refuses. These are not men who refuse to divorce their wives but rather are requesting fairness in divorce proceedings which the FEMINISTS OF TODAY ARE REFUSING TO ACKNOWLEDGE, BUT REMAIN SPITEFUL FOR THEY HATE MEN AND DONT BELIEVE IN EQUALITY. Unfortunately, the rabbis are guilty for supporting their evil schemes.

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    1. Your examples are not all true and your bias towards Men is reeking.

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    2. Shmuel has made many good pts. Foremost:

      "our rabbis were looking for a solution were ones that "wished their husbands returned home". (...) This is in great contrast to the Modern-day Aguna which in many cases has brought upon herself her status for viciously fighting with her husband."

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  6. this concept hinted at above, of using a relative or other "nogeah be'davar" (such as a rav who gives hashgacha to a product, or a rav whose yeshiva gets donations from a party, both of which i / we have seen) is improper, even if the objection is waived (esp when "he is a godol" statements are used.)

    why not get a completely non related dayan? there are (?unfortunately?) plenty of batei din around, and they are all hungry for business.

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  7. the bottom line is the kotler are getting their share when rabbi malkeil kotler was called to bais din by mchon lhorah he got dovid bonder to have beis din be mevatel the hazmuna.

    rabbi kotler I have news for you. you cant have the whole world have to go to bais din and not yourself and if you don't like the bais din you write letters that the beis din is not a bais din like knoffler bais din from Lakewood.nj when Solomon called you for din torah or gelbwech.

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  8. This GET CASE is a high powered situation between the Kotlers and the Feinsteins,,,there will be no winners or losers in this case. It will drag and drag...

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    1. Which means the wife loses as she is stuck all alone, married but without a functioning marriage, unable to marry or move forward until she grows old and gray.

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    2. Dick Tracy,

      Women who utilize the feminist YU based Organization for Resolution of Agunot have consigned themselves to a bitter fate, and they have no one to blame but themselves. They are m'agen themselves by allowing themselves to be manipulated by the ORA puppet masters.

      If ORA manages to force a GET out of the woman's husband, in the majority of cases that GET will be PASUL according to non-feminist halachic authorities, and the wife will remain an eishes eish and "agunah", regardless of ORA's victory propaganda.

      If ORA cannot force a PASUL GET, a long battle will of course ensue with ORA being the only real victor, due to the ORA PR-propaganda windfall, due to donations to ORA gathered from the feminist faithful, and due to the pressure on "Orthodox" rabbis to reform the divorce laws.

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  9. The basic problem is that the Torah handed husbands a whip hand over their wives. This is passe in today's age.

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    1. NO THE BASIC PROBLEM IS THAT COURTS HAVE DECIDED THAT A WOMAN CAN TAKE THEIR SHARED CHILDREN AND DO WHAT THEY WANT. THE TORAH FORSAW THIS AND GAVE PROTECTION TO THE HUSBAND-FATHER

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    2. The Torah is always right no matter your or my feelings about any matter.

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    3. If you believe the Torah changes it would seem that HaShem made an imperfect Torah. Also, who determines when the Torah changes? And, in the thousands of years since we received the Torah from Sinai, how many times has it changed? Or do you deny that G-d gave us the Torah at Sinai? If so, who invented it? And why should we believe in it at all?

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    4. Rabbi Michael TzadokSeptember 30, 2013 at 9:19 PM

      Interesting point, especially considering that both you and your brother have argued that the Torah does change, and that the Gedolei HaDor decide how that works.

      When I argued that the Torah was perfect and eternal I was told that I was promoting a Sephardi view, that was not followed by by Ashkenazim.

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  10. Emes Lyaakov is right. it has been verified That ORA ACTUALLY ADVISES THE WOMEN NOT TO SETTLE! they dont want the man to have any sort of victory as it weakens the ORA MACHINE so any woman who is dumb enough to listen to ORA should remain in her status because She CHOSE SO!! She has no status of AGUNA.

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    1. Shmuel,
      Years ago a woman asked me for help. It seems she was taught by some women she thought were important people to put her husband in jail with a trumped up charge. When the husband got out of jail he said, "I know a few things" and the woman was terrified. I straightened things out, but I asked the woman, "Do you want a divorce?" and she said, "no." If so, I asked, why did you put your husband in jail? She replied, "The ladies told me to do it." Okay, this is not Mrs. Einstein, but there are people going around trying to make Agunoth to force the rabbis to change the Torah, and they are doing it. The woman who founded the Agunah movement told me she did not want to work with rabbis. She wanted to change the Torah.

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  11. R dovid eidesohn. Perhaps you can enlighten tour brother as to the behavior of r dovid cohen with regards to his encouraging women in arko'oys sheli kdin.

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  12. Dt since you go by the majority even when wrong perhaps you can explain why we dont accept r belsky's psak that r s molested his sin, why avrohon weiss is not a mesarev k'din and similarly why aaron friedman is not mesarev ldin and why chas veshiolom we don't join the world's more popular religions. I believe your approach is not just a mistake hashkafically but illogical

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    1. emes,
      It is hard to argue with emes but I will do my best!

      In earlier generations a community created a rabbinic leadership usually a rabbi and a Beth Din. Because the rabbi and the Beth Din were created by the community, it had great power. Today, anybody can hang out a shingle and say they are a Beth Din. Posek HaDor HaGaon Rav Elyashev zt"l told me that any Beth Din that invents halacha to force a GET that he takes away from them the Chezkas Beth Din, the right to issue a GET that we assume is kosher. We know that prominent Rosh Yeshivas and some dayanaim are calling on people to force a GET in the Friedman and Weiss case and other cases. They are not acceptable rabbis and what they say is worthless, and they have no power. Even if three rabbis who obey the halacha and utter rulings, since they do not have power from the community, we have to wonder just what their authority is. But that is a small problem relative to the rabbis who are known to invent halacha contrary to Shulchan Aruch, such as those who sign to coerce Gittin where coercion makes mamzerim.

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  13. thank you Rabbi Eidensohn for sharing that. i have been saying this for a long time. Are there real Agunoth today, yes there are, but one needs to carefully examine the facts. I advocate all men to deposit a GET at Rabbi Abraham or gestetners bais Din and then see if the woman is willing to come to Din Torah to face up to the atrocities that she had committed. A woman who doesnt go to court has nothing to fear and she will receive her GET. The current system will only procure a coerced GET which isnt kosher anyways.

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    1. Shmuel,
      I agree with you that we have a lot of problems with the Agunah people who are making mamzerim. ORA claims it forced almost a hundred Gittin, and that means a hundred women who are producing mamzerim. And their children will attempt to marry our children and of course will attend the schools our children attend. But the Rosh Yeshivas who signed for Dodelson are working, not on stopping mamzeruth, but on producing more mamzerim! This shows that the entire system of Torah in America is in the ground, because the top Agudah and Lakewood Yeshiva people are for producing mamzerim, and they have no source to permit what they are doing, at least, they refuse to reveal it. And to my knowledge my brother and I are the only ones protesting this. What kind of world is it when the top Rosh Yeshivas are working to produce mamzerim and almost nobody protests?

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  14. Post the Kol Koreh with all the signatures please!!!!

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  15. reb Dovid

    You said it is difficult to argue with me. These are not my views but unfortunately your brother's. He claimed I was trashing R dovid Cohen. When I brought him enough skeletons in this man's closet he finally allowed me to post. However he still claimed he was a respectable posek and the majority don't agree with me.

    Are you aware of R Dovid Cohen's encoureagement of women to be oyver mesirah as well as run to arko'oys shelo k'din? If you are please enlighten your brother? If you are not which I find hard to believe i will make sure that a document gets to you which proves who r dovid cohen really is. It is really depressing that this man has faked who is even to r chaim kanievsky.

    My rov who learned in Brisk explained to me that we get the leadership we deserve. We are on such a low madreigo spiritually that we have such terrible leaders. In today's dor we should look up to baale batim who are kovea itim as the paragons of the community not the self appointed elites. We do not need any intermediaries and unfortunately if we can't find yashrusdikke rabbonim and psokim we are on our own and don't need intermediaries.

    Unfortunately it would appear that rav elyashiv was the last godol, the last one who held lo soguru mipnei ish.

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  16. Reb Malkiel Kotler will Have his Uncle Gavriel Finkel use his Bais Din Vaad Hadayonim do what ever Dodelson wants

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  17. Rav Malkiel Kotler is Going around Telling everyone to Vote for Mastronardy for ocean county sherrifs office which runs the Family Division Courts as Mastronardy in a recent interview conducted by the Lakewood Shopper said he feels Lakewood Orthodox Woman are Repressed

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  18. The Lakewood Rabbonim and The ocean County Family Court System allways do Whatever the Woman wants That is why it is Necessery To Go To Rabbonum and Botei Dinim in Brooklyn and Monsey otherwise if you are a Man you will allways find yourself in Jail in Lakewood

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  19. Points to ponder...... New Jersey divorce law is heavily weighted in favor of the wife. If a regular bochur was married to a girl with yichus would batei dinim be as solicitous of the boy's kavod and avoid "get meuso" through public humiliation? What are the limits of standing on kavod -even for a young man with yichus when so much damage is being wreaked upon the klal, themother, the growing child and kavod ha Torah itself ????

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  20. anonymous comments not accetable

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  21. Whether there is forced get or not is a totally separate issue. The fact that it got to this point is huge shanda and hillul Hashem. They did not live together for 3 years already and clearly the wife wants out of the marriage, the get should have been given long time ago.It disgusting that learned people do not have basic dereh heretz.

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  22. http://www.setgitalfree.com/uploads/2/3/0/0/23001734/kol_koreh_-_translation.pdf

    When I saw Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky shlita and Rav Shechter's signatures on this I felt shaken. This really is very serious, the get must be served any other issues should be solved in another manner, not by using the get as leverage. Anything else is open rebellion against batei din and the framework that makes up our world.

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    1. This issue has been addressed by my brother here

      http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2013/03/weiss-dodelson-case-rejection-of-rosh.html

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