Thursday, January 9, 2014

Promoting divorce with children and without serious cause: Writing a new ending for Masechta Gittin

Guest Post:

It is understandable that someone who wants out of a marriage would be happy (at least temporarily) upon believing that they are “free.”  But Barbara Sofer misses the irony in her unqualified assertion that “Joy spread throughout the Jewish world” upon the news that one such woman is “free.”  [http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/The-Human-Spirit-Free-at-last-but-how-336906]  Really?  Perhaps for those in the “Jewish world” who reject Jewish laws, customs and traditions deemed inconsistent with the values of the 1960s counterculture in which a woman’s right to divorce is absolute and the devastating effects of divorce on children are irrelevant.  In contrast, Chazel’s final word on divorce at the very end of Masechta Gittn [90b] concludes that the destruction of a first marriage is so tragic that even the mizbeach sheds tears (R’ Elazar) and that G-d despises the perpetrator of such action (R’ Yochanan).  And the Gemara is particularly forceful in decrying divorce where there are children involved (for example, Eruvin 41b and Pesachim 87b).

But some in the Jewish world apparently believe the Gemara’s approach to be outdated, and have written a happy new ending to Masechta Gittin in which mourning is replaced by pure joy, and condemnation by legitimization: “Though marriage can offer a rewarding path to personal growth, it is important to remember that it cannot provide a secure or permanent status. Many people will make the decision between marriage and singlehood many times throughout their life. Divorce represents part of the normal family life cycle. It should not be viewed either as deviant or tragic, as it has been in the past. Rather, it establishes a process for ‘uncoupling’ and thereby serves as the foundation for individual renewal and ‘new beginnings’.” [A distillation of “modern” high school and college textbooks by Barbara Defoe Whitehead, “The Experts' Story of Marriage.”]
The women in both “agunah” cases much discussed on this blog and in the general media would have each received a get long ago if they been willing to be reasonable regarding custody arrangements, or at least acted in good faith. Instead, they, and the rabbonim backing them, have decided to turn their cases, which could have been and should have been treated as private matters, into very public debates (carried out in the likes of the New York Post, New York Times, Washington Post, etc.) about completely uprooting Jewish Law and tradition regarding the role of family and the fundamental definitions of marriage and divorce.

Even if one believes that these women should not have been expected to stay in marriages that they wanted out of for whatever reason, it is hard to see any reasonable argument that either had what are generally considered serious cause (domestic violence, substance abuse, infidelity, or even an unwillingness of their spouses to work on their marriages) to destroy their families, especially given that each had just been blessed with a child. Rather, after being married for a year or two, they found themselves being miserable post-partum and felt incompatible with their spouse. Indeed, that is the whole point. They have chosen, with the encouragement of the rabbonim backing them, to become poster children for the worldview that the decision to divorce should not be regarded in Judaism as deviant or tragic, but as the foundation for a woman’s absolute right to seek individual renewal and new beginnings. And each must have full custody of the children because her decision to divorce must not come with unwanted consequences such as recognizing that the children should be allowed to have significant relationships with their fathers.

44 comments :

  1. Yasher Koach. The Guest Writer above is 100% correct in everything he writes.

    Divorce is the greatest contributor to the destruction of too many Jewish homes, nebech. 99% of divorces in the frum community were avoidable and should not have happened. Nearly every single marriage is salvageable and should have been saved.

    In today's disposable society, unfortunately, for too many people marriages too have become dispoable. It is discarded at the drop of a hat. He didn't put his laundry in the hamper? She can't cook well? He is too gruff? She doesn't dress nice enough? Divorce!

    Nebech to us and nebech to society.

    We need to fight this relatively recent phenomenon with all our might. Rabbonim need to discourage divorce. Rabbonim need to even refuse divorce where it is unwarranted.

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  2. I would think that the degree of misery or happiness of a divorce is best appreciated by the principals involved and not by armchair philosopher onlookers.

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    1. while the couple experiences the misery or happiness - it is reasonable for us to judge the validity of the misery based on the complaints she has that lead to the misery. The fact that she feals such misery in this case and in many others - clearly indicates that they have unrealistic expectations of marriage and the other issues we have discussed.

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  3. Ad mosay meanto leanos miponoyJanuary 9, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    It is quite clear that both of these Gittin are commenced by the wives, both wives have admitted that the most crucial ingredient was there. 1) He is not a bad person, 2) She does love him, both couple's in-laws butt in and meddled with the marriage. It is mandatory for them to learn, Al ken yaazov ish es oviv vees imo, and become as one unit. Pretty Please, do not disturb. All those contributing to the destruction of a Beis Yisroel, is machriv the emunas chachomim of Daas Baalei Batim. The corruption trails all the way to the TOP. All they pursue is Money, Power, Fame shemotsiim as haadam min haolam. Anywhere from protecting molesters, destroying their victims and their families, maachilin neveilos utreifos, Kabolas Shochad, giving tORA therapy for eishes ish with gedoilim protection and supervision, prodded and annulled gittin for the right price, motsi shem ra, umachshevot libam rak RA kol hayom. Don't ask Al ma avda ha'arets, and don't tell beGAt, ubechutsot Ashkelon, ub'Post, ub'Newsweek, pen ta'aloizno benos hoareilos. Did you see how much the Post loves you this week, or any week, and you go dance the MA YAFIT Dance. You are making a mockery out of yourselves. Libi Libi al chalelehem, meay meay al chalelehem, have we yet mentioned al CHILUL HASHEM. Oy vey... , ele manhigecho Yisroel??? We need to mend our ways before it is too late, change course before the Titanic crashes into an iceberg sinking to the depths of no return. Why don't you start by saving our children, from molesters, from making them nebach lebedige yesoimim, and creating lebedige almonos. Ki kol levov davoy vechol rosh lecholi, don't you feel our pain? Please do something! Umaher.

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  4. The writer touched on a word that has immense meaning! it is "POSTPARTUM" I have seen many women that postpartum became a trigger to some form of mental illness. be it depression, mania or a personality disorder. Unfortunately our rabbis are not mental health experts and therefore they dont recognize the signs of mental instability when a woman wants a divorce without solid justicication! They then go and support the womans claims and harrass the innocent husband!

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  5. If so many women want divorces perhaps you should be looking at WHY and not blaming the unhappy women. Perhaps women don't want to be poor, married to someone who doesn't work. Or perhaps their husbands know nothing about how to treat a woman because he spent his life separated and taught they are 'assur'. Or perhaps the shidduch process is corrupt and the girl only married him to begin with because of pressure.
    Whatever the case, the gemara says that it is terrible to get divorced but the torah says that you must be nice to other humans so perhaps before you quote gemarahs you should start keeping the basic mitzvots, have a little derech eretz and stop a woman from living her life in misery. I must assume that you are not religious because I find it very hard to believe that anyone who is can so brazenly speak up against the mitzvot.

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    1. dovid your mishmash of different halachos is very problematic. Of course we have to be nice to people - sometimes. Sometimes the Torah says to beat people or even kill them.

      Before you try to explain why the rest of us don't understand the Torah properly perhaps you should study a little bit more yourself.

      In the present case it is clear that we are not dealing with a woman who is poor or her husband doesn't care about her or that she doesn't love him - and yet she decided she wants a divorce.

      The fact that you devote your comments to show that the Orthodox system is broken rather than acknowledge that there is a problem with expectation of perfection, refusal to tolerate normal difficulties etc etc - indicates that your agenda is not to help deal with the problem of divorce but rather to reform the religion.

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    2. What you are claiming boggles the mind. You are basically saying that all the women who want divorces really love their husbands and are happily married.
      These women want out. To leave their husbands. They are not happy. They are not satisfied. They are not in love. Stop deluding yourself! Your premise is devoid of any logic. This is what is broken. You read in the talmud that divorces are bad and so you assume that anyone who wants one must be crazy or intolerant. You think this is judaism?
      How dare you sit on your high horse and tell a woman what expectations she should or shouldn't have, how tolerant she should or shouldn't be. To say that she still loves her husband even though she wants a divorce. Wow. You really need to come back to planet earth.

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    3. You are also wrong in your analysis. The Torah says be nice to people that is the general rule unless told otherwise. The beating and killing only applies as a punishment for whatever sin. Getting divorced is not a sin. Trying to be happy is not a sin. You are therefore still obligated to treat the woman with respect and kindness.

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    4. Dovid you are simply ignoring the many teshuvos that I have posted stating that in regards to a claim of ma'us alei there is no requirment to give a get. So while it is true one should treat a wife with respect and kindness - there is no requirement to give a get in these cases - especially when it prevents you from getting better custody etc etc. This has been discussed repeatedly for a long time. You have simple walked into an ongoing discussion - without bothering studying any of the background material and yet you feel qualified to pronouncements and criticisms.

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    5. Dovid your comments are rude and are not contributing anything except your uninformed opinion.

      "How dare you sit on your high horse and tell a woman what expectations she should or shouldn't have, how tolerant she should or shouldn't be. To say that she still loves her husband even though she wants a divorce. Wow. You really need to come back to planet earth."

      If you want future comments to be approved - tone down your rudeness and take the trouble of reading something about the halacha and psychology as well as the facts of the cases.

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    6. Elef layla velaylaJanuary 10, 2014 at 2:44 AM

      They both think they can do better. Why didnt they in the first place and first time around? Now after having a child they remind themselves. I have news for you, they both had the best ingredients, they can never do any better as second hand, it' only a delusion. All they need do is nechos darga by getting off their high horse. Ask those that discarded choshuve husbands how well they fared second time around, who knows better than Rabbi Eidensohn. What is YOUR qualification anyway. Just because children love candy does not mean it's in their best interest, ask the Dentist.

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    7. I am commenting on this article alone and not any previous articles. The guest author seems to say that the gemarah, and therefore judaism, approves of unhappy marriages. This is wrong; it says divorces are bad but it does not force a woman or man to spend their life miserable. He feels that the law requires some kind of abuse in order for there to be a divorce yet he can halachically divorce her for burning his dinner and she can ask for one if she feels he isn't doing a good job in bed. One of the reasons a man has to divorce his wife is if he doesn't provide for her so halachically every kollel wife should be able to demand a get. It is every woman's right to seek 'renewal' if she so desires. This doesn't mean that divorce is not tragic but the two are not mutually exclusive.
      The beit din may not be able to force the husband to give a get but rabinically and morally he is obliged to and I don't understand the insistence that the women should not be able to ask for a divorce without some serious abuse accusation.

      Refusing a get as a bargaining chip for children is another matter and as a man I'm not sure where I stand on that but that is not what I am talking about. It is the principle that halachically, a woman has the right to decide if she wants to stay married or not and others have no right to lay claims as to whether her reasons are justified as the author most emphatically tries to do.

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    8. Elef layla velayla, your attitude is despicable. Grown women are not children. You are not a dentist telling them what they should or should not have. Who are you to tell an adult what is best for them? Do you feel that you should control women in other areas too or just when it comes to their marriage and happiness?
      What happens the second time round is immaterial. It is not your job to defend them. It is not your job to do anything for them. It is their job as human beings given free will and intelligence by God to make their own decisions.

      Why didn't they the first time round? As I mentioned earlier, inexperience due to a culture with complete separation of the sexes. Pressurised into a shiduch by family. Married whilst very young. All kinds of reasons.

      Daas Torah, I do not mean to be rude but the attitude shown concerning grown women, as if they are children and random men know what is best for them is very disheartening.

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    9. Superintendant ChalmersJanuary 10, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      Read the notes written by Tamar and posted earlier this week here. We clearly are dealing with grown children.

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    10. haelef lecho ShlomoJanuary 10, 2014 at 5:48 PM

      Super and Dovid,

      "Ki ani H' Rofecho"! Anyone can improve on a marriage, provided that they cooperate. Poschin besholom indicates that it is imperative. I did read the reasoning's and complaints of both, and neither justifies a valid pursuit of a Get. T admitted that she loves him, he is good to her... G said the same, he is not a bad person. When a marriage hits a bump on the road, and all do without any exceptions outside of Alice in Wonderland, you have shock absorbers, and don't just get rid of the car. If the springs got damaged, you can still have it repaired, but you must take it to the garage first. Some need more adjustments, some choose to have the road repaired, and there are many ways to skin a cat. It is not logical to ride the car off a cliff more than cutting off your nose in spite your face. Torah gave 'samchut' for a Doctor to heal and get your health back in order as well as to maintain it, see Rashi Achrei 16:1. Any Rav would advise a Counselor as per SA, and if you don't or you don't heed to the advice, domoy berosho and it is like commiting suicide chas vesholom, and you just do not stand idly by. Both marriages could have had it repaired had they pursued doing so. Moving back to mommy is unbecoming of a responsible partner, it does not prove that it is beyond repair, and cannot buy grounds for a legitimate divorce as incompatible, virtual sadist, just the same as thinking you can do better. Changing bad habits takes will power, getting off your high horse, and willing to make those few extra steps to the well, as well as drinking the well water to become well, it is called HISHTADLUS! No, you do not throw out the Husband, the Baby together with the bath water. Only if and when an Honest and competent Doctor prescribes a DNR, of which is very rare, may you proceed. Our Dear Rabbis Eidenson are both competent, have Smicha and A PhD hen beDinei nefoshos sheonu askinan, vehen bedarchei Refuah, ukeday hem lismoch alehem. Eitzo tovah komasham lan. Yogati velo matsati al taamin, Yogati umotsoti taamin! t'se ubkod vetishkach. Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom umvorach veShalom al Yisrael.

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    11. Eno yodeah she'einoh yodea Searching for the car keys while holding it Grown - I don't think so, Children - much more likelyJanuary 10, 2014 at 6:43 PM

      She is ambivalent whether her intuition is reliable, by starting with "my intuition tells me". High time to grow up, my friend.

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    12. Dovid,

      Halacha does not allow a woman to demand and receive a divorce because her husband is poor. Or even because she says she is unhappy in the marriage.

      Halacha does not allow such a woman to receive a divorce upon demand.

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  6. The life of a frum divorcee is a difficult one, and every woman who asks for a divorce knows this. That they choose that life over staying with their husbands is a good indication that their marriages are making them extremely unhappy and that staying married is not an option.

    In the case of the two women discussed here, though the initial circumstances of their separations do not seem to include "serious causes", the subsequent behavior of the husbands in refusing to grant gittin when they cannot possibly desire to be reunited to their wives shows that they were justified in feeling they could not live with such unmentschlich people.

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    1. Your logic is like Rabbi Rackman that the refusal to give a get shows that the husband is a sadist and therefore the marriage was not valid.

      However you obviously ignored the fact that the husbands are not withholding the Get out of spite and thus it is not a sign the they are unmentschlich people. Thus your circular justification falls apart.

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    2. I think that, as a matter of principle, get-withholding for extorsion, revenge or blackmail should not be encouraged.

      You seem to hope that get-withholding can produce "shalom bayis". Like R, I think that this is a contradiction in terms. A shotgun will not produce a happy marriage.

      Therefore, I do not object to limited waiting periods before divorce (1-2 years), where efforts at reconciliation can be made if both spouses are willing. But get-refusal for an indefinite length of time is not acceptable.

      I can understand that there might be problems in forcing a get. However, I cannot understand any rabbinic authority who encourages get-withholding (beyond a reasonable waiting-period of 1-2 years after separation).

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    3. Obviously this is your opinion but it has nothing to do with the halacha. Please study the halacha or ask for clarification. I am not interested in dealing with uninformed opinion. Please provide sources to justify your opinion.

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    4. Elef layla velaylaJanuary 10, 2014 at 2:57 AM

      R: That can only be established after listening to what their reasonings are. Waiting around to prove that it is over is not good enough. Why can't they explain why they grab the child and run home to mommy. If you didn't give your best shot with a Counselor if necessary, you did nothing. If you cannot do that much for your own child, you are not mature enough to get married and have children. Once married, you have responsibility towards your partner as well. It is not like a dress or a fashion, this is for keeps.

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    5. DT wrote: "Obviously this is your opinion but it has nothing to do with the halacha. Please study the halacha or ask for clarification. I am not interested in dealing with uninformed opinion. Please provide sources to justify your opinion."

      See "I'M Y'D 4:15:

      My humble understanding of that teshuva of Rav Moshe ztl is as follows --

      In the case before Rav Moshe, the couple had not had shalom bayis for many years; had been separated for 1 1/2 years; and the beis din had been unsuccessful in bringing them back together. Rav Moshe held that each have an obligation "midin Torah" to give / receive a get without being m'akev each other (in that case) regarding monetary issues. Rav Moshe said that the couple must go to beis din to arrange the claims regarding the monetary issues and to arrange for the giving and receiving of the get. I read Rav Moshe as saying that the get and monetary issues are separate, and are not coupled together since he clearly states that the get may not be held up in light of the monetary dispute. [I do not see conceptually how a case involving an custody issue, versus monetary ones, would make a difference in terms of what Rav Moshe held.]

      If my reading is correct, there is an independent chiyuv under such circumstances to give/receive the get irrespective of the money issues, i.e., that the get and other issues are not coupled together and that once the marriage is irretrievable, there is nothing more for a beis din to decide before ordering a get. Thus, where a husband and wife admit that the marriage is over -- perhaps by undergoing a civil divorce, or otherwise simply orally or in writing, or by admitting so yet holding out for better monetary or custody terms -- there is nothing left for the beis din to decide relating to the get and each side respectively must agree to give and accept the get.

      In the instant case in question, there was a beis din that claimed that it had jurisdiction over the parties. If so, based on R. Moshe's t'shuvah, respectfully, that the beis din could and should have issued two simultaneous but separate orders -- 1) each party should appear respectively to give/receive the get unconditionally; 2) each party should appear to decide the custody issue. Neither appearance should be contingent on the other; issuance of the get should come first since it should be with no "ikuv". To the extent that either side does not appear, the beis din can then properly issue a siruv.

      All in all, this teshuva appears to me to mean that Rav Moshe held that where the marriage is over and can't be salvaged as evidenced by the fact (at least in part) that the couple had been separated and had not had shalom bayis for 18 months, a get must be given and received, and that a beis din should so order. If I am wrong in that conclusion, I welcome your different understanding. Thank you in advance.

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    6. yes this teshuva has been brought up a number of times including by the supporters of the Dodelson's who claimed incorrectly that this shows that the Weiss/Feinstein are transgressing Rav Moshe's view.

      1) The teshuva however is not a categorical requirement to give a get - no matter what. It simply says that one can not refuse to go to beis din to deal with the Get until the monetary issues are solved. The problem in both these cases is that they can not agree on which beis din to go to. In the Friedman Epstein cases both sides signed an agreement that they would abide by the decision of the Baltimore Beis din. Tamar has since gone to other rabbis in apparent violation of this agreement. Gittel has involved parties that have no authories to issues a seruv and kol koreh - even though there is no halachic justification for their involvement.

      2) Thus this teshuva is not a prohibition of witholding of a get as leverage nor is it a requirement to give a get independent of settling other demands.

      3) Rav Moshe has a number of teshuvos which clearly state that all issues need to be resolved before the get is given

      4) your solution is interesting but it is not consistent with the reality that there is not a common agreement as to which beis din will deal with the case.

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    7. DT wrote: << Rav Moshe has a number of teshuvos which clearly state that all issues need to be resolved before the get is given.>> I tried to locate those teshuvos using your Yad Moshe but was unsuccessful. Could you please provide the mareh m'koros? Thanks.

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    8. page 53 in Yad Moshe
      גט:עיכוב מחמת ממון

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  7. I think that there is a fundamental flaw in a logic that wants to force a spouse to stay in a marriage through get-withholding.

    Get-withholding can serve purposes of revenge or blackmail, but not of achieving Shalom bayis.

    This would be like holding a gun to someone's temple and tell him "love me". If you want to be loved, you have to let go of coercion.

    If you want to cure a broken marriage, you can only do it on the base of the good will of both spouses, not with coercion.

    Therefore, it is futile to pretend that get-withholding serves the stability of marriage in any way, shape or form.

    And I find the way you mix halacha and concepts of marriage counseling quite strange.

    I do not agree with your assessment, that the notes you published prove that there were no grounds for divorce. To me, the notes show that there was an incompatibility. Now, you can say that different caracters might get along well, but this was disproven in this case, because the wife left the household, where she did not feel at ease. You cannot just ask a spouse to replace their own emotions by the emotions you want to impose on them.

    Again, on the part of a PHD in psychology, I find this approach very strange. I would assume that this is not what good practice in marriage counseling looks like.

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    1. @Great do you have any experience in marriage counseling or halacha. If not than why do you insist that your opinion is superior?

      We are not dealing with forcing a wife to stay in marriage but rather requiring her to give up something that she wants. Please read the Jewish Week article which discusses the parameters of leverage vs extortion

      http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2013/12/withholding-get-between-leverage-and.html

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    2. If you are not satisfied with the way civil courts settle divorces in your country, you should draw up a legally binding marriage contract right from the beginning. You find terms both you and your wife agree to, and the problem is solved.

      I personally find the terms of divorce in the two cases you cited quite fair.

      By the way: halacha does not encourage joint custody, since it wants the spouses to be really separated after divorce. Kitzur shulchan aruch even notes that a lump sum is preferabe to monthly payments in child support, etc.

      If the terms of civil divorce are your problem, you should immediately start a campaign for marriage contracts. You can also set them up once you are married, provided both spouses agree.

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    3. Halacha IS a marriage contract that dictates the terms of marriage AND DIVORCE. And it takes precedence over non-Jewish Law.

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    4. Great:
      If your child only spent four nights a month with you, it is unlikely you would think that was "fair" or somehow in the best interests of the child.

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  8. There are two reasons I can think of for their withholding gittin when the marriage is clearly over. Spite is one, but if not spite, then it's for leverage. I don't see why that's any better. These men want to be divorced, but are using the fact that their wives want it more to extract favorable custody agreements and / or money.

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    1. (This was meant as a response to the above comment)

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    2. Please read the Jewish Week article which discusses the parameters of leverage vs extortion

      http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2013/12/withholding-get-between-leverage-and.html

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    3. I did read the article (where he advocates prenuptial agreements and preestablished jurisdiction for negotiations, not things I think this blog supports) But regarding the point of leverage, he supports it as far as it supports the "mutual consent paradigm", where get withholding ensures that when a get is given, the desire for divorce is mutual. Since in these cases (I assume) the desire for divorce is, at this point in time, mutual, there is no justification for withholding a get.

      Furthermore, he makes a point of stressing the difference between leverage and extortion and maintains that the difference between the two is to be decided by rabbonim. The husband cannot decide he is not guilty of crossing the line.

      In any case, I don't agree with him. The only right reason to withhold a get is to save a marriage. When that is not a possibility, and both parties want a divorce, there is no reason the husband should have an advantage in negotiation. The technical right to withhold a get does not make it the right thing to do.

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    4. Not all are mature enough to know what's best for them. That is the reason why good friends are consulted for their input, and that is why there are salesmen who ask what you are looking for. They then offer the best match that you can get for what you are worth. An outside assessor is so much more impartial to evaluate, every person has a negius, odom korov etsel atsmo. Ein odom roeh nega atsmo. Neither of these husbands do it for spite, or for leverage, after reading about their inner feelings. Both husbands would be willing to go back, provided they apologize and more. It ain't over till it's over. AMW is about to grant anyhow, provided that she does not divorce the child as well.

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    5. Unless a man has declared that he wants to divorce, or he has been found as abusive, we must presume he may still want the marriage. Nevertheless, we find women trying to stigmatize their husbands as "withholders" simply because he doesn't agree with their interest to end the marriage.

      WHY IS IT SO HARD TO REALIZE THAT RABBEINU GERSOM WAS NOT A FEMINIST (in his legislating that men can't divorce their wives unilaterally), BUT TRYING TO KEEP KOSHER MARRIAGES TOGETHER, WHICH SHOULD APPLY EQUALLY TO WHEN IT'S THE WOMAN WHO WANTS OUT?

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    6. As to when a marriage is definitely over, it certainly isn't until and unless the husband decides their is no salvaging of the marriage. So long he holds out the marriage can be salvaged, no one else can tell him to give a Get.

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    7. A Get should not be given until the parties agree to use Halacha and not non-Jewish Law in separating assets, child custody arrangements as well as all other divorce issues.

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  9. The Guest Writer has written an excellent posting describing the perversion of Torah family values occurring nowadays. The feminist divorce on demand culture has penetrated deeply into the "Orthodox" Jewish community, and is being aggressively imposed by militant feminist organizations like the YU ORA group.

    The "Orthodox" feminists have very successfully exploited the Jewish media so that masses of Jews blindly accept feminist propaganda without thinking into the issues. For example, the feminists constantly rant and convince masses of Jews that many Jewish husbands are allegedly "get withholders", "get extorters", "blackmailers", etc. In fact these terms have no validity in many divorce cases.

    Men with strong Torah family values and who firmly believe children need two parents are not "get withholders", "get extorters", or "blackmailers".

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  10. Interesting how some of these ORA fanatics want to "have their cake and eat it to" as the expression goes. They twist the words of a teshuva to imply that the man is obligated to give a get (from a teshuva which says to resolve the matters in beit din) and then take the man to secular court and hammer him there for all he's worth.

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  11. Tragically, it would appear that the quote below, which has previously been posted on Daas Torah, is particularly applicable in the cases of the celebrity "agunah."

    Sir Paul Coleridge, British jurist
    "The Hollywood image of marriage has a great deal to answer for. The more we've spent on weddings, the greater the rate of family breakdown. The graphs would be interesting to plot," he says. "People also seem to think good, stable marriages arrive fully formed and drop out of the sky, and if you're lucky you'll catch one. But, actually, long, stable marriages are carved out of the rock of human stubbornness and selfishness and difficulties. The way you make them work is by chipping away bits over the years so you end up with something beautiful."
    http://www.marriagefoundation.org.uk/Web/Content/Default.aspx?Content=403

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