Friday, April 6, 2012

Rav Schachter's "Daas Torah" letter:Context

Guest Post: Regarding Rav Schachter's Letter posted here

Epstein's abuse of the Beis Din process, Ora's lies and Rabbi Schachter

This is more general background, particularly points 2 -6.

1. Epstein violated the Baltimore Beis Din's orders regarding dismissing the civil case both before and after the case went to trial in June 2009. That Beis Din did not order a get to be given. At Epstein's urging the Court ruled that the child should remain in Pennsylvania because Epstein had kept her there for so long because Friedman had agreed to cancel an earlier trial set for October 2008 in order to bring the matter to the Baltimore Beis Din. This was despite the Court's finding that “both parties are fit and proper to have physical custody of the child” and that “[Epstein] has made minimal efforts to foster the relationship between [Friedman] and his daughter. The Court further finds that [Epstein]’s indifferent approach to [the child] having a mutually awarding relationship with her father is rooted in spite and is not beneficial to the child.”

2. At Epstein's request, the Washington Beis Din later sent Friedman several hazmanos. Friedman wrote back that Epstein could not involve another beis din after she had violated the orders of the Baltimore Beis Din thereby causing Friedman severe damage. The Washington Beis Din acknowledged in September 2010 that it could not intervene in the case.

3. Before even attempting to contact Friedman, Ora plastered Friedman's mother's neighborhood with flyers harshly condemning Friedman and containing pictures of Friedman and his family. This was on a day that Epstein (and presumably Ora) knew that Friedman would be at his mother's house with the child. This was in August 2010, before any beis din finding or seruv against Friedman. This makes a mockery of Ora's claim that it tries to handle cases amicably. (Jeremy Stern:

"When ORA takes on a case, we always try to solve it amicably at first, looking deep into its facts and following the paper trail, making sure we’re hearing as many perspectives as possible" -

4. Rabbi Schachter wrote a letter attacking Friedman (see attachment) in December 2010 (which Ora publicized, but is not currently (for some reason) on Ora's website) before any beis din had called upon Friedman to give a get, or otherwise found any wrongdoing on his part. The letter (especially in light of a speech by Rabbi Schachter, previously linked to on Daas Torah, see below) was a call to violence against Friedman.

5. The Union of Orthodox Rabbis sent Friedman one letter before purporting to put him in "seruv" - a letter that it did not label a hazmana but a "hasra'ah acharona." The letter was sent about a week before a civil court trial regarding custody to hear Epstein's contempt motion against Friedman demanding that the child's time with Friedman be limited to "supervised visits." So Epstein was seeking to invoke the jurisdiction of (at least) a third beis din (after the beis din chosen by both sides, and (at least) one other beis din chosen by Epstein, refused to order a get), while at the same time demanding in civil court that the child have only "supervised visits" with Friedman. Epstein extensively complained to the court about the get issue, essentially trying to use the civil court process to force Friedman to give a get - before any finding on this matter against Friedman in any beis din.

6. The Washington Vaad later seized upon the Union of Orthodox Rabbis action to issue its own letter harshly condemning Friedman, even though the Washington Beis Din had earlier acknowledged that it could not intervene.
One of the sources Rabbi Schachter cites in the December 2010 public letter against Friedman (Rabbi Akiva Eiger) is also referenced in the audio as grounds for beating someone over a get. (It is ironic that Rabbi Eiger writes about a husband who is leaving the city of the marital residence and that immediate action was necessary before it was too late, whereas in this matter it was Epstein who left the city of marital residence with the child and abused the beis din process so that her abduction of the child would be treated as a fait accompli in court.)

In the letter, Rabbi Schachter says that Friedman's situation is the same as "a slave whose master provides for him a Canaanite maidservant, that until now it is has been permissible, and now it is forbidden." In the audio, he explains that in such a situation the slave, or Friedman, as he writes in the letter, should be beaten, and that any person can take the law into his own hands to deliver the beating.

It is also very telling that at 42:45, Schachter says that in the case of someone desiring a get, it is wrong to pressure the other spouse without the orders of a beis din - when Schachter wrote the December 2010 letter, there was no beis din that had stated Friedman had done anything wrong or that a get should be given.

see in particular:
4:00 - beat someone over a get (citing Rabbi Akiva Eiger)
4:30 - beat a slave for wrongfully remaining married to maidservant, analogizing this case to the get case, and that anyone can take upon himself to take the law into their own hands to beat the person
9:10 - beat someone up over a get
10:20 - bludgeon someone to death over a get
13:33 - have right to beat someone over a get (citing Rabbi Akiva Eiger)
26:50 - beating for a get with a baseball bat

1 comment :

  1. What is the current stance of the original beis din?


please use either your real name or a pseudonym.