Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Friedman Epstein divorce: A new Divorce Bill in Washington D.C. to force a get

Washington Jewish WeekA bill being debated in the Washington, D.C., city council targets men who refuse to grant a Jewish divorce, sending them to civil court for preventing their former wives from remarrying.

The Justice for Ex-Spouses Act was introduced by Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser in December. The bill has been sent to the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, but a hearing date has not yet been scheduled.

The bill, which was co-introduced by three other council members, does not only apply to Jewish divorce, known as a get. Its aim is to “provide justice to ex-spouses whose ability to remarry is interfered with” by malicious conduct, according to a press release from Bowser.

“We must protect the freedom and ability of ex-spouses to remarry from unjustifiable interference,” Bowser said, adding, that the “bill empowers women in our city to prevent further harassment.”

Under the proposed law, if one member of a divorced couple maliciously interferes with the other’s ability to remarry, a civil cause of action could be brought against the offending member.

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld of Ohev Sholom -The National Synagogue and attorney Nathan Lewin were influential in having the issue of Jewish divorce added to the bill. [...]

The concept of a get has been in the news here for many years following the 2010 civil divorce of Tamar Epstein and Aharon Friedman, who lived in Silver Spring while married. Epstein has since moved with the couple’s child to the Philadelphia suburbs.

The couple’s dispute took a turn recently when the Organization for the Resolution of the Agunot declared Epstein free to remarry, although Friedman still has not granted a get.

According to several sources, Epstein considers herself unchained under the concept of mekach taus, which means she was married under erroneous circumstances. While this concept usually is applied when a husband turns out to be impotent or gay, in this case it is believed that Epstein is saying that her marriage was a mistaken transaction as she wouldn’t have entered into the marriage if she knew that Friedman would have withheld a get. [...]

11 comments :

  1. BH the Weiss ,Dodelson story is over. As far as I heard, the get was given.

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  2. This will put a national cloud on every get. Now all gittin may be considered gittei meusah. This is clear from the gedolei E"Y.

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  3. This will put a national cloud on every get. Now all gittin may be considered gittei meusah. This is clear from the gedolei E"Y.

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    1. National? The DC City council hardly makes policy for the entire nation. They hardly make policy for their own city as Congress has veto power. The law is problematic. If it passes it will make DC a much less appealing place to live.

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  4. These MOs just care less what haloxho says. More gittei meuseh and mamzeirim on the horizon.

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  5. Boso lestaken venimtsa MekalkelFebruary 5, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    “We must protect the freedom and ability of ex-spouses to remarry from unjustifiable interference,”

    This opens up a whole can of worms. It dismisses Cherem DeRabenu Gershom when she refuses a Get, and there goes Heter meah Rabonim. If He is forced to divorce through the law of archo'os, it causes a Get meusse, eisehs ish and forcing mamzerim onto husbands as well as to their children. Vechi mah hoilu chachamim betekantam? Boso letaken venimtsa mekalkel. This could be an onslought of Biblical proportions asides of conflict between 'religion' and state.

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  6. I wouldn't call this Mr. Shmuel Herzfeld of Ohev Sholom Orthodox. He is an Avi Weiss "Open" ideologue and believer.

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    1. usage of the word "this" before R' Herzfeld's name is an unnecessary belittlement. Accept that there are others different than you. There were twelve tribes. There are 70 pirushim for every pasuk of Torah. Understand?

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    2. There are 70 pirushim for every pasuk of Torah, but the stuff that spews forth from Hertzfeld's and Weiss's mouth isn't one of those 70 pirushim!

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    3. Open "Orthodoxy is not better than Reform or Conservative.

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