Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Agunah, Facebook, & Mediation/R' Martin Rosenfeld

My interest in volunteering to mediate the matter of the Epstein/Friedman divorce was based on a feeling that this matter has gotten to the point where there are only losers and no winners. I count among the losers, the Jewish community, as our controversies do not belong in cyberspace or on Facebook campaigns. The fact that Mr. Friedman was the only party to agree to mediation is not something from which I choose to draw any conclusion. A party does not need to mediate a dispute, and certainly does not need to be bound by an unknown mediator’s offer.to assist. However, the entree to Mr. Friedman has given me the opportunity to spend close to 30 hours looking into this matter. I have spoken to parties on both sides of the controversy. I have read much and done some due diligence. What I will say is meant to lead to a possible resolution. It may offer some insights into the need for mediation in highly contested matters, but more importantly it is a plea for constructive action in one divorce matter.

Mr. Friedman has been accused of many matters. He has been called an abuser in a published statement that has likely been seen by Jews world-over. Nothing I have come across helps me understand how this libelous charge can be made. Mr. Friedman, like all of us, is an imperfect being. He has made, in my opinion, errors along the way. That can be said of probably most who go through a difficult divorce. Is he an abuser? Not that I know. If any organization feels that he is indeed an abuser, I would suggest they produce the documentation to us all. There are strict libel laws in this country. Words do matter. Is anybody who does not give a Get an abuser de facto? If that is so, who will decide the matter?. The Talmud calls one who publicly embarrasses someone, a murderer. Would that entitle an organization, which advocates that such a person give a Get  to put that person’s picture on-line with the caption: This murderer refuses to give his wife a Get? I think not.


  1. His emotional abuse - to her and then to their child - from before she left him is what caused her to want to get divorced. After she left him she went to try more therapy in the hopes of being able to work through the issues . Ultimately it didn't help and she has been waiting for a get for years.

  2. avf - do you know that as a fact? Do you have evidence that he was emotionally abusive? I have heard this from a lot of people who do NOT, and I'm wondering if you do.

  3. I have heard it first hand and second hand from people who I trust who are part of the community. These reports I heard right after she first separated , before the public mud slinging. These reports made sense to me based on my impression of his personality that I observed.

    1. All right. Now, would you recommend that I, hearing it from you who heard it from someone who was in the community (and therefore "really knows" what happened), should believe it and jump on the bandwagon to support Tamar? Or should I continue to maintain my neutral position?


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