Tamar Epstein and her supporters consider Tamar to be free to remarry under Jewish Law. But that is not enough. Instead, Tamar’s supporters are continuing their years long international propaganda campaign against Aharon Friedman, making misleading and even outright false allegations against Aharon.
A recent article in the Jerusalem Post by Barbra Sofer, J Post, claims that Aharon refused to give Tamar a get despite Aharon’s decision to divorce Tamar. “She [Tamar] and Friedman agreed to end their marriage, and received a civil divorce in 2010.” This allegation is completely false. Tamar insisted on divorce while Aharon wanted to keep their family intact. ;After Tamar brought Aharon to trial in civil court over her claim for divorce, Tamar admitted in her proposed findings:
“[Tamar] filed a Counterclaim for Limited Divorce and subsequently filed a Supplemental Complaint for Absolute Divorce based on mutual and voluntary separation without cohabitation. [Aharon] testified and the court finds that [Aharon] has repeatedly asked [Tamar] to reconcile, thus eliminating the grounds of mutual and voluntary separation. However, either party may file an Amended Complaint for Absolute Divorce based on two years of separation [which Tamar subsequently did] and the hearing will be held on April 12, 2010 [the date Tamar subsequently obtained a civil divorce]; two years after the date of separation.”
Sofer also asserts that Tamar left Silver Spring where the family lived and “moved back to the safety and sanity of her parents’ home in Philadelphia.” The very clear insinuation is that Tamar was not safe in Silver Spring because Aharon physically beat her. In a similar vein, ORA has repeatedly accused Aharon of domestic abuse and Tamar herself asserted in another Jerusalem Post article that Aharon abused her while they lived together.
These vicious accusations are completely false. Tamar, in compiling a list of pros and cons for leaving the marriage, wrote that she believed that Aharon was “loving, sweet, affectionate, gentle” to her. During the trial, when asked directly by the Court, Tamar admitted there was no domestic violence. [The Court had interjected while Tamar was going on at length with vicious but nonspecific accusations concerning how horribly Aharon supposedly treated her.]
Perhaps most tellingly, Sofer neglects to mention that Tamar didn’t just move back to Pennsylvania; Tamar unilaterally relocated the child over Aharon’s objections and without even bothering to tell Aharon. In other words, Tamar abducted the child to another state. The official Comment to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act [codified by nearly every State in response to the federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act], describes the unilateral relocation of a child by one parent as “reprehensible” and explains that the Act “ensures that abducting parents will not receive an advantage for their unjustifiable conduct” –including a “parent who abducts the child pre-decree.” But to Sofer and Tamar’s other supporters, that Tamar would (and should) abduct the child is so obvious that it goes without saying, apparently because a child is a mere piece of chattel wholly owned by the mother who has an absolute right to relocate the child, without permission of any court or beis din, to wherever the mother pleases.