Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Weiss-Dodelson: Her side of the story

update -For Weiss Family viewpoint  - letter of Rav Dovid feinststein.
****NY Post interview ****
It is important to note that the comments to the NY Post article are not so much concerned with sympathy for Gital but rather are a gloating condemnation of Orthodoxy. I am not sure what "chachom" advise her to go public in the NY Post - but it surely isn't helping her cause - or adding to her Olam HaBah. 

NY Post   Four-and-a-half years ago, Gital Dodelson, now 25, of Lakewood, NJ, married Avrohom Meir Weiss, part of a respected rabbinic family on Staten Island. Ten months after the wedding, Dodelson left the marital home with their newborn son, claiming her husband was controlling and manipulative. Despite getting civilly divorced in August 2012, they remain married under Jewish law because Weiss refuses to grant the faith’s decree of divorce, known as a “get.” As a result, Dodelson’s life in the Orthodox community is in limbo and she is unable to date, let alone get married again. Now, after more than three years of pleading with Weiss to sign the document that will set her free, Dodelson has gone public with her story in The Post: [...]

When I first met Avrohom in October 2008, I thought he was great husband material. That’s what my parents and friends told me. After all, in my society you’re expected to listen to them on these matters.

They told me that at 23, he was learned, a great Talmudic scholar from an esteemed family, whose great-grandfather, Moshe Feinstein, was a legendary rabbi.

It’s traditional to arrange the date through a matchmaker. Days later, there was a knock at my front door. My dad opened it and led a handsome, dark-haired man with bright blue eyes into the room. He spoke softly and politely, but seemed shy. I happily got in his car.[...]

It was a chilly December night, and he took me to a glitzy hotel in Midtown. We were walking around on the mezzanine level, watching all the tourists whizzing around below. Avrohom suddenly dropped to one knee, pulled out a black velvet box with a sparkling, round diamond ring inside, and asked me to marry him.

“Gital,” he said, softly. “We can have a wonderful future together.” He talked about the kind of marriage he wanted, where we’d be equal partners and make decisions together. Suddenly my reservations about him melted away. All I could think about was the excitement of the wedding.

The engagement period in our community, like our dating, is very short. There was so much to do before our February wedding that I didn’t worry too much about our compatibility.[...]<

But only three days into the marriage, I knew I made a terrible mistake. It was our first Shabbat together as man and wife — and it was spent in silence. We were about to light the Sabbath candles, and we discussed how each of our families likes to light it. It’s a female tradition, and you typically do what your mother did. When my way contradicted his way, he criticized me and turned angry. Avrohom said: “You have no choice. It’s not my way,” and gave me the cold shoulder for the next 24 hours. From Friday night to Saturday night, we didn’t speak a word.

When I couldn’t stand the hostility anymore, I said, “You can’t just ignore me — this isn’t how a relationship works. We have to be able to talk about these things.” The only response he could muster was: “When I don’t get my way, I don’t know how to function.”[...]


  1. Asher pihem diber shavNovember 5, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    It is not abusive to pick your wife's OBGYN, nor to tell her how to light candles. Him pushing his mother in law seems far fetched, there is definitely more to that story. He seems like a wonderful Talmid Chacham. She is a Moredes without any amasla, if he wants to divorce her, he can.

    Her trying to have her father in law fired from artscroll is puzzling. On what grounds does she get to try to harm her father in law ?

    Also, why are any Rabbonim backing her ? Her claim doesn't even seem to be "Maus alai". She seems to say he was attractive. Did they also call the Weisses to hear their side (as the NY Post did)? Or was hearing one side enough ?

    1. I'm sorry, but not allowing your wife to select her own doctors and giving her the silent treatment on your first (or any) shabbos over a minhag dispute is absolutely abusive. More, whether it was "abusive" or not in some objective sense, it clearly does not make for a good marriage between these two particular people, as she sees his conduct as abusive and he as justified. As a husband who went through a divorce that did not treat me particularly well (and now, b'h, am happily remarried), I am 100% behind the following statement: There is no justification for ever refusing to give a Get.

      Nobody who does this should have communal support in any way - regardless of their last name

    2. Kol hakavod.great comments.it'd sad to see rabbi eidenson so wrong on an issue

    3. She never claimed he was abusive so I'm not sure why you have to even say that anything he did is not abusive. She was just explaining why the marriage didn't work and that she can't get remarried without a get, I think it boils down to that simple argument.

    4. It is controlling behavior that is a danger sign that the person that you are with is an abuser. Domestic abuse takes many forms including emotional abuse, physical abuse, financial control and manipulation.

      But thanks for the mansplaining. It's always good when women are told that their abuse experiences aren't really abuse. I'm sure there's a rape forum where you can say that the descriptions of rape aren't really rape.

      And most of the people who truly care about this case are Orthodox Jews who want to be proud of their decision to remain frum and not ashamed of their fellow Jews for allowing this behavior to continue.

    5. "Her trying to have her father in law fired from artscroll is puzzling. On what grounds does she get to try to harm her father in law?"

      Her father-in-law is supporting her ex-husband in his continued campaign of domestic abuse against her.

      A man who openly advocates such a chilul Hashem has no right working at an ostensibly religious publishing house.

  2. If a woman wants out it is disgusting of a husband to chain her against her will

    1. Asher pihem diber shavNovember 5, 2013 at 1:03 PM

      Actually, the Torah doesn't share your viewpoint.

      From a strict Torah perspective, it is disgusting for a woman to "rebel" against her husband, and break up a marriage unnecessarily. In the event that one does rebel, it is the husbands choice as to whether or not to give her a get.

    2. Do you also think that it is disgusting that a woman bored with her husband - can't have a lover who interests her?

      In other words - is it desirable to have divorce on demand - no matter what the reason for the demand is?

    3. I don't get this. Is there something I'm missing? Is it a greater sin for a woman to ask for a get then for a husband to ask for a get? Or is this all about misusing halacha for one's selfish benefits with no consideration about what that does for the woman?
      What is her alternative? Do you feel it is proper to force a woman to live with her husband if she doesn't want to?
      It is difficult for everyone to go through a divorce, and if she chooses to take that path she must have good reasons for that.
      To use halacha to tie her hands and "punish" her for her decision is despicable in my opinion. Refusing to give her a get is in and of itself Abuse!
      As far as those quoting halacha let us also remember some other halachas...
      like husbands are obligated to supported their wives according to halacha.
      Wives are entitled to a Ketubah during a divorce, (which hardly ever happens now-a-days,) according to halacha.
      Man may not force his wife to live with him against his will according to halacha.

    4. Wow, DT - What a bizarre leap! She wants a get, so giving it to her somehow relates to a fictitious story of a bored housewife wanting a lover? What does this have to do with a someone taking a lover?

      This is a story about a marriage that is absolutely over. Like it or not, these two are not getting back together. Apparently he does not accept that reality, or he would have given her the get to be rid of her. The only reason for him to NOT give the get is to use it as leverage for something. He may have halachik "rights" to do this, but that just makes him a naval birshus hatorah. The torah is code of law, and of ethics. It allows someone to get away with downright rotten behavior by threading a path through the legal parts, but ignoring the moral part. Let's be realistic - not giving a get when you are divorced-in-fact IS a disgusting thing to do.

    5. Asher...:Thw Torah isn't a big fan of naval birshus hatorah. But it's still birshus. Just because someone is able to legally do something doesn't categorically make it correct/good/appropriate according to the Torah. Do you have anything to support what you present as the torahs position on if withholding a get is disgusting (not discussing if she was or wasn't disgusting first. We are discussing now 4 years later if he is keeping her chained for "fun")

    6. jeffk - you are dense aren't you. putting the emphasis on her right to happiness "not giving a get when you are divorced-in-fact IS a disgusting thing to do" is arguing from contemporary Western ethics - not Torah ethics.

      The gemora is very clear regarding this as are the major poskim. Furthermore there other other issues here. It is disgusting to take a father from his child and a child from his father - because she doesn't like being "controlled". Even if what she said is true - it is not a complicated issue for a competent therapist or rabbi to deal with. With the resources she has available - both rabbinic and financial - it is astounding that this marriage failed after 10 months.

      In fact assuming that the marriage could be saved - even at this point - it is clear that she is not interested and was not interested in salvaging the marriage. Throwing away a marriage that can be saved is disgusting.

      Bottom line - if you want to base your arguments on current secular western society's values - you are right. But they are not the ethics of the Torah.

    7. Disposable marriage, regardless of whether thare are children, is not even current secular western society's values, but a relic of the radical counter-culture of the 1960s and 1970s. Even while large parts of secular western society have been walking back from that mindset - large parts of the "Orthodox community" are embracing the "right" to no-fault divorce regardless of the terrible impact upon children, never mind that divorce without cause is contrary to halacha.

    8. In the 1970s, popular culture glorified and justified no-fault divorce based on the absurd conclusion by several researchers (such as Judith Wallerstein) that divorce has no long-standing ill effects on children. Even Wallerstein herself later acknowledged that her original conclusion was fatally flawed, and that divorce has life-long negative consequences for children and that absent the most extreme circumstances, children are much worse off in divorce - even if the parents themselves believe that the parents are better off.

    9. Masechta Gittin concludes with a discussion of how the mizbaech itself cries when a couple is divorced. Apparently, the "Orthodox" advocates of no-fault divorce have a different version of that gemara - or maybe they have decided that it is just "outdated" so they are free to disregard it.

    10. Asher pihem diber shav said...
      "Actually, the Torah doesn't share your viewpoint.

      From a strict Torah perspective, it is disgusting for a woman to "rebel" against her husband, and break up a marriage unnecessarily. In the event that one does rebel, it is the husbands choice as to whether or not to give her a get."

      Well actually the I don't think that the torah looks too highly on a rebellious husband either. Rebellious meaning; intentionally not being a provider, withholding sex, taking a job overseas without her permission, etc... I also suspect that the torah does not take to kindly to a husband who abuses his wife whether physically, sexually psychologically whether verbally or through other means.

      Also does the act of requesting a divorce for whatever reason however frivolous make a woman rebellious according to halacha? Fine, in the it is up to a beit din to decide if her request has merit. However, in the final analysis I do not see the act of a woman wanting a divorce as being rebellious.

    11. Forgive my cynicism but the term "strict Torah perspective" has been used in recent years to protect fraud artists, violent husbands and pedophiles while bringing all those people to justice has been dismissed as mesirah to those nassssty goyim. Are we trying to make the "strict Torah perspective" look this bad?

    12. Asher pihem diber shavNovember 5, 2013 at 7:28 PM

      This case is not about abuse, nor going overseas, withholding sex, or any of the things you mention. She says that upon leaving, she told him "you are not a bad man, I just am not for you". This is a classic "No fault divorce".
      Halachically, asking for divorce without cause is a Moredes, I stand by what I wrote .
      People have done all kinds of things, some right, some wrong. The Halacha is still not a fan of no fault divorce by the woman.

    13. Asher pihem diber shav; as a single girl, you scare me. my nightmare is to somehow miss these subtle potential-abuser signs when dating and end up married to someone like you.
      "It is not abusive to pick your wife's OBGYN, nor to tell her how to light candles" theres a diff between ask and tell.

    14. Asher pihem diber shavNovember 6, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      I. Cohen
      I wasn't suggesting that husbands tell their wives anything. Women should always be treated nicely. However, This girl is going to the NY Post, calling her ex out publicly. She is trying to hurt him. Her claims are either real, and the guy is a horrible person, or it is a terrible case of very public motzi shem ra.

      Critcally speaking, we can't take a one sided op-ed at face value, and destroy this man's reputation. Analyzing her words, he doesn't seem abusive.

      You have to assume, this is the worst she has on him. If he constantly made fun of her weight, height, looks, she would have mentioned it. She didn't.

      Her examples are: He didn't work.and controlled the finances helping his brother with "her" money. Is this the smoking gun ? Did he come back after having a bad day. and berate her ? Did he embarras her in front of her family and friends ? No. Never did. Did he ever lay a hand on her ? No. never did. If he would have, you have to assume she would have mentioned it.
      If she claimed these things, I would call it abuse.

      Whiile I don't condone the specific acts, don't even want to get into every specific fight any couple has, there is no abuse here.

      The only real abuse she mentions in the article, is him abusing not her, but her mother in the hospital. The problem is, she didn't really explain what happened. It was also in front of a man, her father, who stopped the "abuse" immediately. The questions i would ask are as follows: Was it a push ? A tap ? A joke ? Was a police report filed ? Was it assault ? The story doesn't ring true, nor does she say she left him because of it, she didn't witness it, it wasn't abuse of her, and frankly, there isn't enough information in the article explaining that story. Also, her saying when she left him "you are not a bad man, just not for me", tells me that there was no abuse.

    15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    16. Asher,

      If what you say is true and the Torah encourages domestic abuse then the Torah is worthless and Judaism is a failed religion.

      Those of us who advocate for an addressing of the halachic problem of Agunah and an end to husbands using the Torah as their means to domestic abuse love the Torah and do not want it to be used as a means to this kind of abuse.

      Those who argue on behalf of withholding gets because you claim that the Torah supports such behavior are doing more to damage Judaism than a thousand messianists, haskalah and Christians. They attack from the outside. You are trying to destroy Judaism from within.

  3. the worst thing to do in a media reported case, is to start taking sides. Certainly, a Dayan must not take sides and judge in favour of their "friend".

  4. 1) this is her side only. who knows what he would say were the post to have given him the right to reply. having said that, on to point 2.

    2) i don't know if sitting in silence over shabbat counts as abuse. having said that, it is clear (again, as presented) that he is a control freak who needs help. if he isn't willing to get help, what is she suppose to do, take pills, go for counseling herself, learn to handle his micromanaging her everything? seriously, those that are coming down on this woman, what would you tell her? do you have ANY sympathy for her situation? would you tell your daughter "it doesn't matter if he treats you like this guy treats his wife"?

    1. Asher pihem diber shavNovember 5, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      Eddie, As presented, he doesn't seem like a bad husband at all.
      1. She refuses to follow his minhagim on the first week he is married to her.
      2. The worst he's done is is help out a relative in need of a few dollars, which she is bent out of shape about.
      3. Silent treatment. Are you kidding ? Who hasn't been on the recieving end of the silent treatment from a woman ? Perhaps she needs well too much attention.
      4. No cursing. No hitting. No hurting the kid. No putting her down. Studies Torah all day. I would tell my daughter to respect her husband at all times, even more so, because he is a Talmid Chacham. Respect. That is what is missing here.

      I discount the story in the hospital completely.

    2. The post did try to reach his side, but got no where.
      Still can't figure the guy out. The marriage is over, now get on with life. Doesn't the family want the boy to remarry and have a normal life?

    3. i'll tell my daughter to respect her husband as long as he respects her and treats her well. if not, drop him, and it doesn't matter how many mesechtot he's learned.

    4. Asher pihem diber shavNovember 5, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      For the good of your daughter, and her husband. Teach her young, and often, to respect the Rabbi, the father,the teacher, the husband. This teaching, and all teaching can be done by example only.
      When you teach them to wait until they feel respected, before respecting, you are essentially setting her up for misery, divorce, bitterness. Nothing rips apart a marriage, like a disrespectful wife. Everyone knows this, it's not a secret.

    5. I wish you would tell us which yeshiva you learned in because I want to teach my daughters to stay away from guys that come from yeshivos like yours. I daven that my daughters marry talmidei chachomim who are mechabed them yoiser megufum.
      These days great mechanchim have taught that you don't hit your children. Ayi it says in Mishlei "Chasoch..."?! Yeah but do you keep the rest of Mishlei? You can't just keep one pasuk and expect it to work, your child will correctly conclude that you have an anger problem or maybe even some hatred toward him. You can't expect the support Rachel gave to R' Akiva and spend Shabbos sheva brochos hurting your wife's feelings.
      Irelevant this particular case, which we may not know who did what, but some of these comments are misognyst of the lowest class, and they have the chutzpah to blame it on a gemara that they take out of context.
      Someone who doesn't understand that hurting your wife emotionally is oiver on various d'oraysa's and that he would have so much more success in his home if he treats her with love and respect is not just a partial am haaretz, he is an idiot.

    6. Asher pihem diber shavNovember 5, 2013 at 10:18 PM

      Firstly, speaking of am Ha'aretz, it doesn't say chasoch, it says chosech Shivto. Get the passuk right.
      Secondly, you may think you are a great mechanech, but your not. While everyone should treat their wives with love and respect, mechabda Yoser megufo is wonderful, the plain Halacha is that a woman is mechuyav in the kavod of her husband, more than a man is mechuyav in the kavod of his wife.
      How do i know ? it is a gemara mefureshes. It says, if the father and mother both ask for water, who do you bring the water to first ? The father. Why ? Because he and his mother are mechuyav in the kavod of the father.

      Now I ask you, why don't we say it should be brought to the mother ? It doesnt say anywhere a woman is mechuyav to respect her husband. But it does say Mechabda Yoser megufo ?
      The answer is, mechabda Yoser megufo is a midah tovah of talmidei chachamim, not the Halacha.

      The Halacha is, the wife respects the husband. Always. The Gemara doesn't even ask "how do we know that a mother has to respect the father" ? Where is the mekor ? The answer is it's a sevara. The mother respecting the father is a svara. Get it ?

      So you go preach that the problem of today is men not being baalei midos, not mechabda Yoser megufo. I will do something you know not much about. The Halacha.

      As R' Elya Svei ZT"L used to scream against the feminism killing klal Yisroel, I will too. It is people like you who don't realize that the problem of today is the blatant disregard of Halacha, and feminism, and those shelo higeu lehoraah, and are trying to teach our children.

      If for every one abusive man, there were 10 abusive women, you would still go ahead and preach mechabda Yoser megufo, when you should be screaming halacha Isha mechabedes baalah. This is why we need true Daas Torah, which is not possible without Halacha.

    7. Superintendant ChalmersNovember 6, 2013 at 3:56 AM

      Your moniker is truly apt, because there appear to be some serious divrei shav in your comment.

      Rambam in Ishus 15:19 - vechen tzivu chachamim shyehe adam mechabed es ishto yoser migufo...

      Can you tell me where the Rambam indicates that this is a "midah tovah of talmidei chachamim"? Is "adam" in the Rambam supposed to mean talmidei chachamim? Does tzivu chachamim mean a midah tova? Did you just make that up out of thin air?

      The Rambam in the very next halacha says vechen tzivu that a wife be mechabed her husband. It appears that the geder of the chiyuv kavod from wife to husband is equivalent to that of husband to wife.

      I understand that you have a kashya from the gemara in kiddushin, but you can't just make stuff up and claim that it's the halacha. You have to actually read the Rambam.

    8. Asher, you are clearly bias and probably should recuse yourself from this conversation.
      Two: כבוד אב ואם grants כבוד from the child's perspective to the father more than mother, however doesn't address the dynamic of a spousal relationship. Don't stretch and relate the two in such a way.
      Three: Saying she "deserves" the silent treatment, or she demands too much attention doesn't bode very well for whomever you might be in a relationship with. In this and every day and age, the husband listened to the wife. אברהם was enforced to listen to שרה, and יצחק listened to רבקה when she asked him to daven for a child. don't go around aggrandizing the respect of a husband over a woman's when the אבות themselves trump your logic.
      Four: a wife respects a husband who provides her with her needs.
      A man MUST be careful how they speak or treat their wife
      Just as it is forbidden to wrong a colleague in trade or commerce, so too, it is forbidden to wrong him through speech, as [Leviticus 25:17] teaches: "A person should not cheat his colleague, and you shall fear G-d." This refers to wronging someone with words.

      Wronging someone with words is more serious than wronging someone financially, because the latter can be repaid, while the former cannot. Furthermore, financial loss affects merely one's property, while this affects one's person. A person who cries out to G-d over being wronged through speech will be answered immediately.

      In particular, it is necessary to be careful that one does not wrong one's wife in this manner or distress her by speech. Women have a sensitive nature and are prone to cry, even about minor things. G-d takes particular note of tears [as Berochos 32b teaches]: "The gate of tears is never locked."
      In terms of "rebellion"- she was pregnant right away, don't even try and bark up that tree, you minuvel- assuming she rebelled. How dare you even attempt to spread such מוציא שם רע.
      Once again, I can go on about your flawed arguments for a while, but I'll go easy on you for now. and tit for tat, I think you need to חזר not only the גמרה but your sense of דרך ארץ as well.

    9. Asher pihem diber shavNovember 6, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      Firstly it is גמרא not גמרה. I will answer your points one at a time.

      Point one: I am not sure why I would be more biased than you in this case, care to explain ?

      Your second point doesn't make sense. I brought a גמרא, that shows that a woman must respect her husband. What exactly is your response ?

      Your third and fourth points are clouded, and not very applicable. True Avraham listened to Sarah. Does that mean that a woman should not listen to her husband? Does that mean that a man is not the leader of his home ? You then say " a wife respects a husband who provides her with her needs". Is that a גמרא you are quoting ? Is that your feelings of how the world should work. If her needs are met, respect him, if not, don't ?

      I am not a proponent of embarrassing a woman, so all your quotes about the prohibition of embarrassing a women or anyone for that matter, doesn't apply.

      I the last point (if I can even call it a point) about her being rebellious, is totally incoherent. Let me quote you
      "In terms of rebellion, she was pregnant right away don't even bark up that tree you menuval assuming she rebelled. How dare you even attempt to spread such מוציא שם רע."

      I am not really sure what you are referring to, nor what your point of her being pregnant right away has anything to do with it, not why I am a menuval, nor why this is מוציא שם רע.

      I have said earlier, the Torah perspective is that a woman who rebels against her husband (leaves husband without cause) is a מורדת, and loses her כתובה. From the Torah perspective, there is no right for a woman to recieve a גט. She is breaking up a family, and unless she has cause, she is viewed negatively. This is not my view, it is the way Halacha views it.

      To your points, halachically she rebelled regardless of whether she was pregnant right away, is deep down a good person, was the best in her grade in seminary, it is all immaterial. She left the marriage, she is a מורדת unless she shows cause, which she hasn't. Pregnancy alone is not a cause for divorce. There is no מוציא שם רע here, she is admitting leaving her husband in the NY Post article, while saying he is "not a bad man", and he is attractive. It seems like there is no grounds for halachic divorce here.

    10. אשר פיהם דבר שואNovember 6, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      My point wasn't that a man doesn't need to respect his wife. He definitely should. We have to understand the problem, in order to solve it. Quoting חז״ל is easy. Knowing when it is applicable, is the harder part.

      If someone response to the Shidduch crisis was אשה אינה מחויבת בפריה ורביה, it would be insensitive, and not helpful. אין בן דוד בא עד שיכלו נשמות שבגוף, would be a more applicable מאמר חז״ל to mention. The חסד of making שידוכים should be brought to light.
      This עגונה, and שלום בית situation, has everyone throwing around a גמרא or two, the question is which גמרא is applicable. Is the problem of today's society, men not respecting women ? Or is women not respecting men prevalent, and destroying the fabric of our society ? I believe that part of the problem is that many rabbis have not identified this as a problem. They run around quoting מכבדה יותר מגופו, as if if is one of the עשרת הדברות, yet you will never hear a word from them about a woman respecting her husband. They are not getting their view from Halacha, but from the culture of the western world in the 21st century.

    11. Superintendant ChalmersNovember 6, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      You're changing the topic to try to avoid answering my points - the Rambam is clear "vechen tzivu chachamim" that he has to be michabed yoser migufo, vechen tzivu that she has to be michabed him yoser midai.

      Where do you see anything about "a mida tova of talmidei chachamim"?

      If you said such a thing in Brisk, you'd be laughed out of the bais medrash..."azay shtayt in Rambam??!!!"

      Sorry to say, but it appears to me that you are just as guilty as anyone else in making up "Torah" to suit your political agenda.

    12. Chalmers please stop the nonsense. I assume in Brisk they would bother looking at the source of the Rambam.

      רמב"ם אישות טו:יט

      וכן צוו חכמים שיהיה אדם מכבד את אשתו יתר מגופו ואוהבה כגופו, ואם יש לו ממון מרבה בטובתה כפי הממון, ולא יטיל עליה אימה יתירה ויהיה דיבורו עמה בנחת ולא יהיה עצב ולא רוגז.

      Magid Mishneh says

      מגיד משנה הלכות אישות פרק טו הלכה יט

      [יט] וכן צוו חכמים שהיא וכו'. בפרק הבא על יבמתו (דף סב:) תנו רבנן האוהב את אשתו כגופו והמכבדה יותר מגופו עליו הכתוב אומר וידעת כי שלום אהלך ופקדת נוך ולא תחטא:

      In other words the Rambam is taking a mida tova described in the gemora and adding the words tzivu chachomim.

      Please explain the disparity between the mida tova of the gemora and the tzivu chachomim of the Rambam? It looks like it is the Rambam who is elevating the status of a mida tova to a command. Or do you have an alternative sources in Chazal that says that commanded this?

    13. Asher pihem diber shavNovember 6, 2013 at 4:09 PM

      I am not sure how they learn in brisk, but other than the word צוו, everything about the רמב״ם , seems like it is מדת חסידות. The next Halacha וכן צוו על האשה שתהיה מכבדת את בעלה the מקור there is from the גמרא of הוא ואמו מחויבים בכבוד אביו. Which is הלכה. Also, the רמב״ם is מוסיף these words: ויהיה עליה מורא ממנו ותעשה כל מעשיה על פיו ויהיה בעיניה כמו שר או מלך מהלכת בתאות לבו ומרחקת כל מה שישנא וזה דרך בנות ישראל ובני ישראל הקדושים והטהורים בזיווגן ובדרכים אלו יהיה ישובן נאה ומשובח.
      Correct me if I am wrong but it seems to me, that the רמב״ם advocates respecting a husband. You would never know this רמב״ם exists, if you'd listen to these liberal מתגדלים who have decided that they ARE klal Yisroel. They beat up on talmidei chachamim, in order to find favor in the eyes of women. They ignore דרך ישראל סבא. They ignore the הלכה, the רמב״ם, the תורה. It's all to fit into western culture, at the expense of הלכה, תלמידי חכמים and the מסורה.

    14. Superintendant ChalmersNovember 6, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      Nonsense? Reading a Rambam is nonsense???
      I know what the Magid Mishneh says, (duh!), and no I don't have an alternative source, nor do I feel an obligation to provide one.

      The bottom line is that the Rambam says vechen tzivu chachamim. Period. You can question the source, and raise a kashya from the gemara in Kiddushin, and you are certainly mekayem the mitzva of talmud torah, but that doesn't change the halacha psuka.

      (To pretend that the Rambam doesn't say Vechen Tzivu chachamim is not an answer to the question.)

    15. http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/kitveyet/hamaayan/rambam-2.htm

      Please look up this list of places where the Rambam uses the term "tzivu chachomim" when he clearly is referring not to a rabbinic commandment but to advice

    16. I have it on scholarly authority that it's a clal in the Rambam that he uses the term 'tzivu chachamim' to refer exclusively to good advice, not to a chiyuv. As to why he should use that wording, well that's another matter, but it's clear (apparently) from a review of all the places where he uses the term that he always and only means good advice.

    17. Superintendant ChalmersNovember 7, 2013 at 4:50 AM

      Interesting. I will have to look into this further.

  5. Heiche damya HarmonyNovember 5, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    According to the Talmud, bemiley dishmaya the wife follows the husband and she did base her choice on the fact that he was learned and a great Talmudic scholar. We just learnt that by Rivka imenu, Toldos 27:14: vataas imo mataamim i.e. 'kaasher ohev aviv', and that is the art of having a good marriage of give and take. If she insisted on having it her way on candle lighting, you can imagine how it was with everything else. Think of it like a mutual bank account, you both must deposit before you can withdraw, otherwise the account goes bankrupt. Each party comes from a different background, and you must follow proven customs in order to harmonize, give and take, share and share alike, else it is chaos. The same applies even when you bow out of a marriage, you do not have to take your laundry and wash it in public, it is only utilized as a revenge, in collecting public opinion and putting the other into shame, even if that takes making up unfounded facts. It takes a Kosher Beth Din to decide which way it goes, and not PR. Since there are organizations that dedicate themselves in fanning the flames, taking sides that seem to take particularly always favor one gender, that in itself talks volumes. The late Epstein and Co. sting operation uncovered the injustices and sadistic atrocities that these groups inflicted, against the law of the land, high crimes against humanity, bifrat against our Torah hakdosha, Shulchan Aruch, and against the true Gedolei uPoskei hador. It was all done leshem Kessef, uleshem Kessef, and again Kessef, and NOT leshem Shamayim. Costing One hundred Thou$and to execute such crimes, talks for itself, and is a crime within itself. Where are the Organizations that ever care for Chilul Hashem, NADA! For alleged Messira, and so called Lashan hara with self serving purposes, you can get for a dime a dozen. It would be helpful for the victims to know where there is a place to deposit their experiences, and eradicate such schitut and shfichas domim, tartei mashma. Why isn't there an update of the sting follow up? If you know something, please say something. Velo yishoma od shod vashever beyisrael.

  6. She already has 2 websites telling her side of the story.
    Why does she need a NY post article ?

    1. Superintendant ChalmersNovember 5, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      Perhaps because he also has 2 websites dedicated to telling his side of the story. Regardless, any websites haven't helped her secure a get, so I'm not sure I understand your question...

    2. what are his 2 websites ?

      you really think that going to the NY Post will help her receive a get ?
      (She actually already knows what she needs to do to get a get )

      My comment is based on the title of this post. It seems to be misleading .

    3. Superintendant chalmersNovember 5, 2013 at 8:17 PM

      This one and Yudel.

      I didn't say I think that, I don't know Weiss so I have no idea if it will accomplish anything, but she obviously thinks it will help.

      What do you think she needs to do to get a get?

    4. She has 2 websites which she controls completely. Daattorah and Yudel are not controlled by the Weisses.

      She has already shed his blood (and his families blood) in public over many years through many campaigns and she has not gotten her get. Why would she think a pr campaign in the NY Post will help get her a get ?

  7. It's a known fact that Feinstein's and Kotler's are not to intermarry. The bad blood goes back for generations. Wouldn't you expect the Lakewood Kotler's and the SI/Lower East Sider Feinstein's to have different minhagim, hashkafas, derech hachaim, etc.

    This will ONLY END in COMPROMISE, are the families up to it, is the question?

    1. huh? what does feinsteins and kotlers have to do with anything?

    2. Superintendant ChalmersNovember 5, 2013 at 5:44 PM

      We all know the story of RMK and the daughter of RMiF, but what do you mean by "goes back for generations"?

      what else is there to this story?

  8. i see, a quick google search shows the husband's pedigree.

    1. It is telling that the pedigree of the wife was left out of the post story. I would think it is as relevant to what is going on as the fact that the husband is a Feinstein. The article makes it seem as if the wife is up against a powerful group of people with no help for herself. Is that how it was meant to be presented? If the Post had mentioned that she is a kotler, would that change how someone unfamiliar with the case would understand the situation?

  9. The dirty hands of Esau (the YU ORA organization) seem to be all over the non-Jewish media focus on this case.

    Dodelson (as quoted in NY Post) "I said, ‘This isn’t working, I’m moving back to my parents.’ I packed up Aryeh right then and there, and drove off. I told him I wasn’t coming back, and I meant it...it takes a certain kind of person to thumb his nose at Jewish tradition like that...I hope I can use my legal experience to help people."

    Dodelson's hypocrisy and double standards are blatant. Not a word was mentioned by Dodelson about allowing Weiss to see his son after she abducted him, and before Weiss obtained court orders. Yet Dodelson, Michael Tzadok & his ORA allies will claim Weiss had no right to file an action in NJ courts to have parenting time with his son.

    ORA Reformadox "rabbi" Jeremy Stern - "The refusal to issue a get is never justified". Which religion is Stern quoting? Can't be Torah Judaism. Stern and his boss Herschel Schachter have simply invented a feminist religion and called it Judaism.

    The barefaced anti-Torah feminist hypocrisy of Dodelson, Stern, and Schachter are on full display here. Abducting her husband's child and using the Reformadox ORA thugs against Weiss are perfectly acceptable. Using the legal system to "help people" (ie help Jewish women jail their husbands and force pasul GITTIN) is perfectly acceptable. But if Weiss attempts to obtain parenting time with his child he is "thumbing his nose at Jewish tradition".

    1. Umm... you are selectively quoting. The other signitors on the letter of last April pleading with people to comply with the siruv are such MO names as R' Yaaqov Perlow, R' Shemuel Kamenecki, R AM Schechter, R Aaharon Feldman, etc...

      But don't let the cross-the-spectrum support get in the way of your biases.

      Simply put, the attitude toward gitting you and this blog promote is a daas yachid and not how the vast majority of gedolim today hold.

  10. Lets not forget that he went to arkaos first. She has a seruv from Machon Lehora'a in monsey - not exactly a left wing feminist modern orthodox beis din.

  11. Dodelson (as quoted in the NY Post) - "I would love to find a stepfather for Aryeh".

    Dodelson's attitude is nauseating, absolutely nauseating. This poor child already has a father who is alive and well. That child doesn't need a stepfather, he needs his real father!

    1. Asher pihem diber shavNovember 5, 2013 at 8:08 PM

      Those words were not lost on me either. Replacing a live healthy father is close to kidnapping. Kidnaping the heart of the kid, replacing it with another man. Now THAT is a crisis we should be talking about.

  12. Extortion -- For sure!

    But who's extorting whom?

    A wife refuses to go for any marriage counseling. Then she refuses to let the father have his agreed-upon visitation.

    After he sues for visitation she calls him to a Rabbinic Court to force him to suspend this legal action. He agrees to go to a Rabbinic tribunal in which they each choose one of the Rabbis -- something to which he is entitles under Jewish law and common sense -- but the wife rejects this.

    Over a year ago, the husband agrees to binding arbitration, the wife's family meets with the arbitrator then backs out.

    In May of this year they agree to another arbitrator. Several weeks ago, without seeing the decision, the husband agrees to issue a get subject to the arbitrator’s decision as long as that decision will address all and the agreement is binding and cannot be appealed.

    The wife insists on a get while she has 45 days to have it overturned.

    So yes, there's extortion. He's ready to give a get, but she refuses to accept it until she gets just what she wants... sounds like she's doing the extorting. Especially when she hires a PR firm to get the story into the papers while she should be in good-faith arbitration.

    If you want some of the facts about the early part of the case, see the documents here (including page 16 that shows that -- despite what Jeremy Stern asserts -- as of January 2011, the wife was the plaintiff, and that she rejected arbitration and mediation:


  13. James lets not forget rav gestetner said siruv is fatally flawed despite what the biryonim say.

  14. She is a real spoiled baby. It wasnt good enough that she forced Weiss to move to NJ. Great no Get law there. She is clearly not marriage material.

  15. Seriously, this brings up a major point: exactly how ready was the guy for marriage? A boy raised in the heileger walls of the yeshiva, who has probably never spoken to a female other than his mother and whose entire knowledge of marriage is derived from the gemara meets a girl whose been trained to think that the right guy wearing the right hat from the right family will be a loving, understanding tzadik just like the guys in those frum novels she's been raised on.
    Both these folks need a good marriage counsellor to sit them down and teach them to speak to one another.

  16. "In other words - is it desirable to have divorce on demand - no matter what the reason for the demand is?"

    Well, the Torah allows divorce on demand and a husband can give a get for any reason. That may not mean he can escape consequence or that we have to "respect" his decision but there ALREADY is divorce on demand with all of the potential abuses. (c.f. M.T. Ishus 14:17)

    "you are dense aren't you. putting the emphasis on her right to happiness "not giving a get when you are divorced-in-fact IS a disgusting thing to do" is arguing from contemporary Western ethics - not Torah ethics."

    Your ad hominem attack doesn't help you argument. Whatever the technical halachah is the onus to demonstrate how refusing a get passes the "what is hateful to you do not do to others" litmus test is on those who view her status is "like a captive". As it stands most of the vitriol sounds like a bunch of misogynists protesting to protect their right to be naval b'reshus haTorah.

    G-d forbid my daughters every marry those with such an outlook.

  17. Weiss is sinply asking for his legal coats which he is entitled to al pi halocho. She comes fron a rich family. Let then oay

    1. Ghost of Langer PastNovember 5, 2013 at 7:02 PM

      Where does the shoolchan arooch say that a person go to arkoyos cneged hadin is entitled ot legal costs?
      Is this another chiddoosh of Rab Gestetner?

  18. I'm not sure why everyone here is swallowing the personal facts presented in article as at all true.

    The Dodelsons hired a PR firm to get reporters to present their story. Had the reporter done even a basic internet search, she woudl have found the Weiss documents posted on this site and elsewere, proving that things are not as the Dodelsons and ORA claim.

    It's incredible that this passes for reporting. It's even more scanadlous that teh Dodelson's have no regard for kevod Shamayaim. And what even worse is that people are ready to read drivel they read in the New York Post.

  19. Ghost of langer past is simply a modern orthodox masquerading as a chareidi. Notice he only criticizes rav gestetner but not ORA. I am not as stupid as you think. This guy relied on a rov to go and get visitation for his kid after Dodelson preventwd him access Dodelson then ran to arko'oys for for everything else. This demand is a chiddush to yoy but obviously nit to feinsteins.

  20. On the flip side of the coinNovember 5, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Marriage is about comittmernt and obligations. If she abrogates them, she has no right to make the husband a used second hand car to be recycled on the market, in addition of the cost starting all over again. He will not get the fair market value he originally had. She thereby causes a loss for him. Instead, she should have amended her ways and seek out help how to improve on herself. If she doesn't abide by the professional advice, then she is a cause for all the trouble, and must own up to it. The same applies to the husband. There is no such thing as a no fault marriage, some people are luckier and some people have to work harder at it. Having all things considered, not all people are created equal, some are more equal. Keshem shepartzufehem ainon domos, kach deiosehem einan shavot. If you look at the sheva Brachos, it states beahava veachva veshalom vereius, not how to spite each other. A woman that robs the husband of his g-d given rights to his own child, says a lot about her. Adam nikar bekisso, bekosso uvekasso. Of course she can come up with all kinds of justifications, but those are all tricks of the trade Organizations like ora or other ra people teach her to claim. When they already have children, the more the obligation to work it out. Why not employ the Epstein method of koyfin ad sheyomer rotze ani on a isha moredet. The prod works wonders, doesn't discriminate between genders. If and when all else fails, i.e. she happens to be a Lesbian, than it is a case of spare the rod, but there is a price to pay and you must compensate. You must disclose that before the marriage because of veohavto leracha kamocha, and if you didn't, you just can't wake up one day and walk out. The damage you inflicted is beyond repair, and there is a knass to pay for it. Did oh-RA ever disclose on a case where she is at fault, didn't oblige to the advice of Counselling, or being a lesbian, or just went on as if business as usual? The Torah states " ve'el ishech teshukosech ", short of that it is eish benehem. Epstein and his henchman together with his goon squad will face the music, as the canaries are singing. veshalom al Yisrael.

  21. Is she going OTD?

    This tidbit from the Post article seems to say that she isn't remarrying only because of social reasons......

    "If I move on romantically without a get, I would have to leave this community — my friends and family and entire support system — because it’s committing adultery. My children and I would be ostracized and not welcomed in the community".

  22. looking at the comments and how this page has become a lashon harah festival, i am sorry that i wrote anything. as we say in twitter language, #lasttweet.

  23. this entire discussion is ridiculous. When there is a woman who wants a GET, whether the husband thinks it is "legitimate" or not, it is wrong and CRUEL to bound her to him for YEARS against her will. When she RUNS to her parents home two months after giving birth you gotta think there is a PRETTY good reason compelling her to do so. Being a divorcee with a young child is no one's first choice. The fact that there are many people siding with Mr. Weiss is REPULSIVE and a HUGE chilul Hashem. Saying that she should think about her olam haba? I think that is the same as accusing someone who goes to the authorities for child molestation as causing a chilul Hashem. What corrusption! What distortion!!! Every post on here has been made by those who most likely have severely messed up relationships. YES it is abusive to stand on yoru "rights" as husband and "ruler" of the home. No we should NOT teach out daughter to be doormats. We should teach them to respect thoe who DESERVE respect, to think with their minds, to be a wife according to Halacha which yes, does mean to defer to the husband on many matters. But we learn over and over again that binah yeseira is not to be discounted (avrohom and sara, eishes chayil, devorah hanevia, yael...do I need go on???). No Rav I know (and I live in a chareidi community in Israel...and have never met a dodelson in case you were wondering) would EVER justify withholding a GET. Stop attacking the victim! You are standing on one sided distorted argument...the wrong side.

    1. Your comments clearly indicate that you are neither familiar with the facts of this case - other than presented by the wife - nor are you familiar with the halachic issues.

      If you don't understand the chilul hashem aspected - please read the comments to the NY Post article and tell me why you think that the strong hatred expressed towards Orthodoxy and Torah is helping her cause?

      Anybody who goes into a rant after hearing only one side of the story is totally irresponsible.

    2. "When she RUNS to her parents home two months after giving birth you gotta think there is a PRETTY good reason compelling her to do so."
      She could have run to her parents for any number of reasons. The idea that because she took the child and ran means that she must have beeen justified in doing so is beyond absurd.

    3. There might be a chillul Hashem in this case, but not on her part. She wasn't the one that took him to court. She doesn't have a seiruv written against her. All she wants is a get as the marriage is over. Why some bloggers want to blame her is beyond me. She only went public because he won't give her a get, which I can see why she did it 100%.
      But what does he gain by with holding the get, he can't remarry, nor can he go forward in life as he will be shunned by many people. Whoever is advising him is certainly not giving him good advice.

    4. Sam,
      Are you really that gullible? A one sided story written up in the New York Post? How can you pass judgment based on a one sided article? Going to the national press with your dirty laundry does not automatically determine guilt on the party that refuses to sink that low level.
      What was the point? What will it accomplish? Do you really think that will get her any closer to a get? As you can see from the past few "high profile case" ORA has just caused the sides to come to an impasse. The only thing one accomplished by going to the secular press is creating more hatred and prolonging the divorce process.

      As for your claims of the siruv. I suggest you read this http://www.yudelstake.blogspot.com/2013/11/re-dodelson-weiss-arbitration.html

      You obviously know nothing about the divorce process how women can use their children as weapons against their husbands and the constant merry go round of schlepping the man back to court till the child turns 18 in order to bankrupt him and make his life a living hell.
      ORA will never tell you these things because they actively encourage the woman! The media will never cover this because it is politically incorrect.

      In a secular society that favors women, the only way for a frum man to protect himself of being abused in these cases is using the Get.

      Sam, ad nauseum you have consistently posted on this blog how withholding a get is wrong. You forget one important concept that our chachamim have given over to us this is that in a case of a moredes there is no obligation for a man to give a get. Apparently, in your circles no woman can be a moredes. Please spare us your regurgitated ORA propaganda by leaving out key pieces of information in the cases you have commented on.

      Obviously, when a woman is not classified as a moredes then a man is obligated to divorce his wife then there should be no delay. But in this case going to the media to attempt to force a get is not yosher and basing mr Weiss's guilt based on the new York post is morally wrong.

    5. I read the other side. You are putting words into my mouth. She did get a seiruv from a choshev beis din. The fact that they make a claim that it was obtained in some illegal way and prove from another beis din where few people accept doesn't change the story.
      She was never classified as a moredes by any accepted beis din, just the opposite, he is considered as someone who went to court without permission according to the Rabonim involved.
      The only argument you can say is that all the Rabonim are corrupt and either don't know or willfully ignore the Halacha , something which I am not inclined to believe.
      I will agree with one fact, going to the post won't help her, if he won't listen to beis din, hold back a get for so many years, I doubt that anything besides a lot of money will change his mind.
      And I don't trust to much yudel shain either.

    6. What words did I put in your mouth? The only one putting words in peoples mouth is yourself. Where did I say that all Rabbanim are corrupt or willfully ignore halacha?

      In any normal situation, Any parent whether the husband or wife that unilaterally picks up and leaves with the child without the other spouses permission is morally wrong. A woman who drags her husband through the mud in the secular press while still married to him is a moredes since Halachiclly she is till married to him and she is hurting him. If the roles were in reverse and a man were to do the same thing then he would be a rasha.

      Besides going to the press with her version of intimate details it served no purpose to getting her closer to a get. Will the readers of the post get her a get? Did you or me need to know what went on behind closed doors? This was pure loshon hora if not motzei shem ra.
      I will not take sides in this issue but telling the world in a tabloid rag like the post does not show her to be a person with integrity.

      As for you defaming Yudel Shain, What's wrong with his take on the matter? He was involved with the issue more than you who just reads and reposts ORA propaganda. I would take his word over some poster with the name Sam who claims that only chillul hashem is on the mans part while "understanding" the huge chillul hashem his ex has done..

      What troubles me is why do you leave the part out where at the last minute she demands a get before arbitration by refusing to sit down before a get is issued. Causing one of the arbitrators to resign. If she really wanted to end this, sit down with the arbitrators work your issues out and a get is given and everyone is done with this and they both could move on. Instead right after this she runs to the post? Is this a way to end this?

  24. I see here a repeat pattern of "THE FEMINIST AGENDA". Dodelson is attending law school, one of the deepest pits of the feminist movement. Surely she will never listen to her husband and any comment from him would be regarded as verbal abuse! You see the feminist movement is trying to reverse the laws of nature. They want to emasculate every man to the point that any disagreement between man and woman is regarded verbal abuse. please read suzannevenker.com where a non jewish author is trying to restore traditional feminine roles and attitudes to preserve and promote healthy marriages.

  25. Rabbi Eidensohn,
    In the update to this post, you voice dismay at the chilul hashem that Dodelson and ORA are causing by putting this issue in the national media. I was wondering if it might be worth a new post on thie issue (which was previously part of a longer post on several different issues on Daas Torah), specifically inquiring as to why it is ORA has reversed its previously purported position on this issue.


    "From our perspective at ORA, advocating on behalf of agunot is an internal issue for the Jewish community, not a cause to be advocated in the national media."

    1. Perhaps you would be interested in writing a guest post on the subject?

    2. “From our perspective [], advocating on behalf of agunot is an internal issue for the Jewish community, not a cause to be advocated in the national media."

      Why do some, such as ORA, insist on continuing to highlight in the national media the issue of under what circumstances a get is or is not appropriate [and what measures should be taken in the case of the former], regardless of the tremendous chillul hashem this is causing? Do the rabbis backing ORA, such as Rabbi Hershel Schachter, support ORA’s actions over the past several years in turning this issue into a national news story?

      Whether a get is appropriate is a very complex halachic issue that is dependent on the facts in each case, which is another reason these issues should be decided privately in beis din, not aired out in public.

      Ironically, the quote above comes from … ORA’s head, Rabbi Jeremy Stern, in January 2011.


      And finally, given ORA’s repeated and continuing actions in flagrant contradiction of ORA’s own stated purported position, it is amazing that anyone would give the slightest shred of credibility to any of ORA’s assertions regarding any of the cases in which it is involved.

  26. Dodelson (as quoted in NY Post) - "I would love to find a stepfather for Aryeh". - What a grotesque perversion of Torah values!

    Within ORA feminist ideologies, no man can be a true father. He is allowed to be a temporary impregnator and/or ATM machine. When the man is not needed any more, he is just discarded like an old pair of shoes. A stepfather is then found to replace him.

    If the father arrogantly refuses to be discarded and insists on parenting his children, anything and everything possible must be done to save the poor oppressed "agunah".

    In fact there are many ways to convince the father to cooperate - YU prenup payments of $150 per day, ORA protests outside his employer destroying his parnassa, ORA orchestrated ruthless public defamation in non-Jewish media, Orders of Protection, jail, cattle prods, etc.

  27. The week after we were married my wife told me that her Kallah teacher told her we have to follow her minhag for lighting candles. I was not to happy because her mother lights two oil candles in addition to the candles lighted for each child. Since its my job to prepare I was quite resentful but kept my mouth shut since it was only one week into our marriage (It was worth keeping my mouth shut as I now appreciate the minhag more). A few years later we were by my mother in law for a seudah and she nonchalantly told us that she follows her Husbands minhag of lighting candles!! I had a good laugh with my wife about that.

    1. When I got married, I told my wife that she should follow her mother's Minhag with lighting Shabbos candles, which was different from my mother's. When it came to choosing furniture, I went along and got to understand to the best of my ability my wife's taste, and was helpful in her choosing what SHE likes. I tried to do this in most areas of life. She quickly learned to trust me that I mean to please her. She now wants my input on most things because she believes that I will make my best effort to do that which is best for the family. In those areas which are truly important to me, she respects my wishes even if she doesn't like it, but I seldom use(abuse) this privilege. This works with most women. I can't be Dan anybody else, and may Hashem spare us all from an Isha Ra'ah Chas V'sholom.

  28. Regarding Minhag - Rav Moshe Feinstein paksens that a wife needs to adopt her husband's minhagim. Just as someone who travels to a new country with the intention of remainthing and thus adopts the new countries minhagim. In fact he told my mechutan that a woman who does not daven with her husband's nusach - her prayer are not accepted. In contrast Rav Eliashiv paskened that a wife should continue davening the nusach she grew up with and is comfortable with.

  29. i have a divorced daughter who was abused by her ex in many of the ways that this woman describes. so, her story certainly 'rings true.' my daughter fortunately, b'H, did receive a get although not without difficulty. i have read the weiss side of the story and they maks very good points about the batei din, rabbanim involed, and the custody issue. but in the end, unquestionably he should give her a get so that they both can move forward with their lives. it is distressing to see that such an intelligent person such as you, dt, can't see that and advise him and his family to willingly and voluntarily give the get -- even if from his and their perspective she does not "deserve" it. he should be m'vatair and move on.

    1. I understand it upset you - but it upsets the rest of us also.

      You walk into the middle of a discussion and feel that you understand it well enough to tell everyone what they should do - just because "it rings true" with your daughter's experience?!

      You are unaware of the facts of the case, the complex halachic issues and don't know even know what my views are.

      They recently went for arbitration - the husband agreed to accept the decision of the arbitrator. Bizarrely the wife announced that before they got started - he first had to give her the get! Not suprisingly that was the end of the arbitration session.

      In sum, giving mouthing platitutdes about "he should just get on with his life" etc etc - really is not helpful.

    2. "Bizarrely the wife announced that before they got started - he first had to give her the get!" - This does not surprise me for a few reasons:

      1) I have serious doubts how many of the so-called "agunot" really want a GET. It rather appears that many of these women are waging a vindictive war against their husbands, and the GET is a convenient club they can wield against their husbands, and at the same gain undeserved sympathy from feminist useful idiots who fantasize about rescuing alleged "agunot".

      2) Dodelson's ORA handlers may have programmed her to take extreme positions they know the husband won't accept. This keeps the conflict broiling in the media, and gains valuable PR and monetary donations for the "agunot" rescuers like ORA.

    3. I will not pick a fight and this will be my last comment so that you may have the last word. You presume that I do not know all the facts or the complex halachic issues. You are right in the sense that all I know is what I have read on your blog and on the link to the Weiss side and what she has now written. I am entitled to my opinion just as you are to yours. Presumably, one point of your blog is to allow people to express their opinion - which I did. I agree that the husband has valid taynos. And she is not necessarily a tzaddekes. Though he is not necessarily a tzadick.
      It is clear to me that your opinion is that he should continue to withhold the get. If I am wrong then I stand corrected. But if I am right, I simply respectfully disagree with that opinion.

    4. If the marriage is over then the husband must give a divorce. This is regardless of whether he or she is 100% right, 50% right or 100% wrong.
      It is about time that the Rabbi's insist that if husbands/wives wish to remain within the 'frum' environment that they abide by this principle. The reason is that to deny a 'get' under these circumstances is a form of abuse. Both husband and wife should be given every opportunity to move on with their lives even under the circumstances that one of them is 100% wrong.

      The same would apply when the wife is refusing to accept a 'get'.

      All financial and child visitation rights can be worked out later.

      The only criteria that should ever determine if a get should be insisted upon by the frum community at large, is whether the marriage is over or not. The Rabbi's and/or community must keep their sticky beaks to themselves and stay out of whatever financial/visitation arrangements are to be made.

      Unfortunately, it is only because of misguided advice and support given by Rabbi's and community leaders that have resulted in this sad story. The Rabbi's have no place in determining how people should run their own lives. They should stick to the halachic question of is it a kosher 'get' or not and leave the human aspect to the parties themselves to sort-out.

    5. @ Fred 'All financial and child visitation rights can be worked out later.'

      They can't wait until later, because once she has what she wants she will not comply or cooperate. Then he will have to wage war in a much more difficult way and from a much weaker position, or if he isn't willing or able, he will just give in and give up, unjustly. I'm not talking about this case in particular, because I know nothing about this case, but I'm speaking in general as your comment is a general statement. The Rabbis can't just do the Get and ignore all else that is going on, because as I explained it's connected, and to do so would have an effect and would be taking sides on the other issues.

      It's nice to discuss things in general. It's not nice to discuss this specific case in the public arena, because many fools are enticed to think that they know exactly who's right and who's wrong, and state opinions vehemently. Some of the discussion here looks as silly as when you see two people arguing about a soap opera or a serial story and getting all worked up about it.

      Another thing. People project their own issues into other people's stories, so when someone is venting his peeve, I can't help but suspect that he has this issue in his own life and wishes he could get the message across where it counts for him. This is one of the reasons you find such diverse opinions here, which is somewhat odd as everyone has the same information to base on, and all these opposing views stated with such tremendous certainty. And there's a particular reader out there who says my thinking is consistent.

    6. Fred --

      What is the source for your assertion? Why should a get be treated any differently than other avenues through which one spouse can make miserable the life of another?

      To use a pertinent example, suppose the wife actively badmouths the husband to their children, making them treat him with complete disrespect, a serious breach of halakha. Why is this something to be tolerated, but his withholding of a get is not?

      It seems to me that the עִם-נָבָר, תִּתָּבָר וְעִם-עִקֵּשׁ, תִּתַּפָּל applies here.

    7. Tal,

      I don't understand your question.

      Ex-Spouses should not make each other miserable, but that will often happen anyway just as a result of the natural frictions that led to the divorce, assuming they have children that require them to stay in each others lives (I say as a man with an ex-spouse who often makes me miserable, and who I no doubt often make miserable). That is reality.

      What is unacceptable - especially when there is a child involved - is to go out of your way to make the ex-spouse (or, in this case, wanna-be ex-spouse) miserable. The only benefit to Mr. Weiss of withholding the Get is leverage by making her miserable. That is abhorrent.

      Badmouthing an ex-spouse to the children is also abhorrent. It should not be tolerated.

      The one does not preclude the other.

    8. Akiva, my post was directed at Fred, who wrote that, no matter what, the man should give a get if it is clear the marriage is over. The community should never tolerate anything else. OTOH, any other issues should be dealt with later, and presumably no special communal disapproval need be directed to other forms of misbehavior.

      That is why I asked, what is so special about withholding a get that does not apply to other misdeeds.

      I know a few divorced couples, and by and large they treat one another like a mensch. Sure, the process was no doubt painful, but neither went out of their way to hurt the other. In that circumstance (I would like to think most divorces are this way), then I agree there is a moral imperative to give a get.

      But where the wife acts in an outrageous manner (alienating the children from their father, false charges of abuse of either her or the children, insisting on going to a secular court and getting more than she deserves), then why is there an imperative on the husband to give a get while the other issues remain unresolved?

      (BTW, I am not commenting on this particular case, since I do not know enough about it, nor have I heard both sides.)

  30. He absolutely should not be mevater. Ein hicheteh niskar.

  31. Superintendant ChalmersNovember 6, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    Daas Torah,
    Ben Waxman raised a question above which you haven't addressed and I would like to hear what you have to say.

    If it was your daughter who was married to a man who was guilty of what Dodelson is accusing Weiss (I don't know if any of it is true in this case, but let's say it happened to your daughter) and he refused counseling, therapy etc., and it was clear that under no circumstances would he change his ways, honestly how would you advise your daughter to handle the situation?

    1. I have asked this question twice already, but Mr. Eidensohn has not seen fit to approve my comments. I doubt this one will get through either.

  32. It seems to me that this situation might have been vastly less messy if the couple had signed a prenup that specified which beis din they would go to in the event that they ceased to live together as husband as wife. (ie, they both agreed that if either party wanted a divorce they would go to BD X and abide by its ruling re: a get.) then there would be none of this dueling battei din, seruv vs. anti-seruv, etc.
    i am NOT speaking about a prenup re: $150/day payments, etc, just choosing a beis din.
    do any of the advocates (for either side) here support encouraging such prenups to make these battles less messy for others? if you think there are halachic problems, what are they?

  33. The family heartbreak (it looks as though at least one, if not both of these young people with good yichus has something serious wrong with him/her and the shidduch process broke down here; there is a young child in the middle) aside, there are many troubling aspects to this situation.

    There are two batei din (at least two, I'm a bit confused about that) that are being accused by one side or the other of impropriety if not corruption.

    The possibilities look like this to me; all are appalling:

    • Perhaps both batei din are law-abiding, and both parties (see yichus above) to the family breakup are making false claims. By the stories so far, this one appears unlikely.
    • One beit din is law abiding and falsely accused, the other is corrupt.
    • Both are corrupt and both sides are making valid accusations.

    Coming on top of theThe Epstein mess, the conclusion – that at least one major Beit Din in the USA is lawless – is sickening. Scavengers like the NY Post are just doing what they do; they wouldn't be around if there wasn't something rotting.

  34. Sorry I didn't read the above comments, maybe this was mentioned.
    If I was on Bais Din, when a moiredes who calls herself aguna, came in. If she wanted a husband to give up his kid, and pay anything he earns to her & the kids. Which would render him, an Ogun, or chained financially to his old wife, with no hope of remarrying, especially when he hasn't been Mekayem Pru Urvu.
    I would explain her, the same way the Torah, doesn't allow her to give him a get, so to he doesn't have to give her a get. In olden times people suffered, today you don't want to suffer. You may have made a mistake marrying him, if you don't like him, but is it his fault?
    Does he get punished for your mistakes, by being deprived of his child/ren, by having to pay out expenses of 2 homes, going through expense of another marriage, and possibly taking in other children.
    A mistake has consequences, falling asleep on the wheel could cost lives.
    You must come to an amicable acceptable agreement on custody, and not demand alimony & agree to pay fair compensation. If you do I would advise not force the man to accept the deal, and have it ratified by judges & move on. Albeit only if therapy was tried & failed. I would not force him though.
    However if she insisted she was the agunah, & he has to pay alimony,& not have custody or fair custody, & may not be compensated for her mistakes, & would then go around besmirching him, at home & in the media, I would explain to her that the Torah is larger than a get, & if she wasn't keeping it anyway, why wouldn't she civilly divorce her husband, & get married to anyone who ill marry her, even a gentile, it won't even make mamzeirim.
    Why is she only worried about the commandment of get, compelling her husband against his will, won't be a get anyway.
    Bottom line if you decide to write your own Torah on who is an agunah, why aren't you matir aishes Ish, or bias akum?
    Some food for thought I guess..

  35. Daas Torah wrote: "Do you also think that it is disgusting that a woman bored with her husband - can't have a lover who interests her? In other words - is it desirable to have divorce on demand - no matter what the reason for the demand is?"

    If the attitude of these men is that the Husband owns all the money, and even the wife's earnings belong to the Husband etc., and similar attitudes where they don't believe that the wife is their equal partner is it any wonder that their actions and character traits follow their outlook (Deos) and they mistreat their wives with their condescending attitude and by being controlling?! And on top of that when the Husband has the attitude that his wife is stuck with him as he doesn't have to give a get if his wife wants to be divorced, then the Husband thinks that he could get away with not treating her correctly. These 2 attitudes are not conducive to a healthy marriage. However, if a Husband believes that his wife is his equal partner in marriage (equal in every sense, they share the money equally and in all other areas they are equal) and on top of that he knows that he better treat her well or else she could leave he is more likely to treat her well because his attitude is that she is an equal and he is incentivized to treat her well because otherwise she will walk out. Notice that in this case, the husband was careful not to be controlling when they were dating (because then she was able to walk out). He made sure to wait to be controlling until after the marriage when he thought she was stuck with him.


  36. Daas Torah,
    You write regarding those who insist the husband must give a get that they are following “Western Values” and not “Torah Values”. Hashem implanted in us a Musar Hativi – a natural sense of morality and values. This isn’t “Western Values”. These are the same values as when the Gemara says that we could learn it from a sevara and we don’t need a pasuk as a source. We are not supposed to stifle our Mussar Hativi. When we want to know the Torah approach, we are not supposed to learn Torah sources without bias – without preconceived notions – Adderabba! – we learn the torah sources with the preconceived notions from our Mussar Hativi, as it states Derech Eretz Kadmah L’Torah. If my Bubby (a holocaust survivor) was alive, she would know that Weiss is morally obligated to give a get –she wouldn’t need a Torah source.
    As a side note, perhaps that explains why you didn’t publish my previous comment – I spent time writing it, I signed it, stayed up late writing it, - but I didn’t know how to use the special ID system on the comment thread. I guess, you didn’t locate a source in Shulchan Aruch that says that you are required to publish someone’s comments. However, if you would use the Mussar Hativi….

    1. actually I did publish your previous comment. I would appreicate it though if you stick your name at the top of the comment. When I am moderating comments it only shows about half of a long comment - and your comments therefore are seen as anonymous comments.

      Regarding your natural ethics - yes there is such a concept in Torah - but it doesn't override halacha nor does one person's natural ethic override other natural principals.

      In sum, if there were no other factor and he was withholding the get just to hurt her - then you are 100% correct and I have brought such views. However if he stands to lose seriously in such areas as relationship with his child and financial issues - your natural ethics runs into a problem. Look at the first mishna in Bava Kamma. 2 people are having a dispute. one of them is nice guy and acknowledges that they both have equal rights - but the other guy insists that he is the sole owner. What is the halacha?

    2. My main objection, is that going forward (not in this case) the natural ethics of a woman receiving 50% of assets by divorce need not contradict the Kesuba if going forward the Roshei Yeshiva insist that by all future weddings the Kesuba states that the wife will receive 50% of assets.

      So first, the Roshei Yeshiva refuse to implement this simple suggestion, and then when there is a divorce they claim that they have no choice but to only award the woman the $2,000 Kesuba.

      Chazal in their wisdom created enough flexibility in the Kesubah to allow us to increase the Kesubah at the time of the wedding. This would allow us to fulfill our ethical and halachic obligations.

      Now some small points: If I understand correctly, you are saying that he is withholding the Get to use as leverage to get more custody and more money. My question is, as far as custody, he is getting every other weekend plus 2 nights a week. That is almost 50% custody. As far as money, what moral right does he have to $350,000. I am familiar with the costs of legal fees; however, there does not appear to be any reasonable way for his legal bills to be this high.

    3. I am sorry for my remark about you not publishing my comments.

    4. Asher pihem diber shavNovember 6, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      Nowadays, the kesuba won't make a difference. Even if every mesader kidushin wrote alll the assets to the women in the kesuba. The reason is, 95 percent of divorces today, are women who walk out of their marriages. They lose respect. They can't deal with the pressures. It isn't what they dreamt it would be. They fall out of love. They caught him cheating. They themselves are cheating, or want another man. All these cases the woman will not recieve a kesuba. The only time she gets the kesubah is if he dies, wants out of the marriage, or the rare occurrence where beis din halachically can force him to divorce.

      Extortion is 100 percent wrong. However, usually there are some assets which halachically belong to him. So not every case that the man wants money, is he extorting, or wrong for that matter. Sometimes the money is his money. I don't know the details of this case, whether 350,000 dollars is a lot, a little, or even the amount that was discussed. The guy asking for a million dollars, when he owned a million dollars, isn't extortion.

  37. Daas TorahNovember 6, 2013 at 2:53 AM
    They recently went for arbitration - the husband agreed to accept the decision of the arbitrator. Bizarrely the wife announced that before they got started - he first had to give her the get! Not suprisingly that was the end of the arbitration session.

    This is the best argument, and by far the most convincing, I have heard for the Weiss side of this argument so far.

    EmesLeYaacovNovember 6, 2013 at 3:32 AM
    1) I have serious doubts how many of the so-called "agunot" really want a GET. It rather appears that many of these women are waging a vindictive war against their husbands, and the GET is a convenient club they can wield against their husbands,

    Assuming what D"T said is correct, it would appear that this may very well be the case.

    1. 1) I have serious doubts how many of the so-called "agunot" really want a GET. It rather appears that many of these women are waging a vindictive war against their husbands, and the GET is a convenient club they can wield against their husbands,

      Assuming what D"T said is correct, it would appear that this may very well be the case.
      You seem to forget that Weiss went to court first - and lost! He now wants a second chance to litigate those issues. It is clear from the article that he does not want to be married to her anymore and is using the get to torture her. How can you make the determination that she is waging a vindictive war against her husband?
      DT is correct that there are complex halachic issues but he is totally incapable of dealing with those issues.
      We have a seruv from a valid beth din - Machon Lehoraa - not a left wing MO feminist beth din. IT is a chareidi beth din that no feminist would ever choose to go to first. It is a beth din accepted throughout the world. They issued a seruv and that seruv must be respected. End of discussion.
      Please find me an equally respected beth din saying otherwise?

    2. It's plain and simple going to tabloid rag like NYP displaying intimate details was nothing more than a shmear campaign. there is no purpose in any of us knowing those details. This will not bring her any closer to a get.

      I will not go into the validity of the seruv since the circumstances about it are mirky. The Jewish Press which usually takes a pretty liberal view in these situations has not published the seruv even once in their seruv.column .

      but in light of the recent an attempt of arbitration and her making demands before it starts causing an arbitrator to resign shows she has no interest in settling this. Whatever, happened in the past is the past, the fact that he is willing to sit with arbitration does show that he is attempting to work this out. Her making preconditions only shows that she really has no interest in attempting to end this.

    3. You seem to forget that Weiss went to court first - and lost!
      You are right. He did, and strictly speaking according to halakha she can keep what she won. However, there is nothing that has so far been presented that would at all be an אמתלא that would obligate her husband to give a get.

      Further the Sh"A urges compromise and a B"D should try to work out compromise, Dayyanim are told that specifically in the Sh"A. Arbitration is a form of compromise.

      Further as mentioned before no B"D is a B"D Kavua. Unless(and until) Weiss gives a B"D the authority to judge him, they cannot, so honestly the Seruv is worthless. She can either go to his B"D or they can do Zabl"a.

    4. What she won is exactly what Weiss wants to take away. I am not arguing one side or the other. I am saying that if you believe people should go to B"D and not arkaot, then you have to stand up for the integrity of the system. Dodelson did everything she was supposed to do. Weiss did everything he was not supposed to do. They both belong to a community fairly represented by the Machon Lehoraa. (If she had run to a feminist BD or he to R' Gestetner, maybe it would be a different matter.) That BD, universally accepted, issued a seruv which means Weiss is mesariv ledin. The seruv still stands.

      I dont think ORA is running this campaign. This is Dodelson taking it to the next level. I wouldnt have suggested this PR approach and I think a few years ago, she wouldnt have either. But at this point she is desperate to get out of a marraige that even her husband agrees is over. He doesnt want to live with her anymore. What he wants is what he lost in arkaos - let him take his punishment like a man.

  38. The people defending the Husband's refusal to give a Get remind me of the following quote, quoted by Barry Jacobson “A Response To ‘Misguided Mesorah”
    "As Nobel physicist Steven Weinberg commented, good people will do good things, and bad people will do bad things, but to get good people to do bad things requires religion."

    Usually the defenders of the Husband say that the Husband has the right to refuse to give to his wife anything more than the Kesuba, but in this case there are no significant assets - so the Husband is extorting his wife for $350,000!!! And these people are defending his right to insist on the wife having to pay him $350,000! If the wife would ask for 50% of their joint assets which they worked together to accumulate - these holy people would say that she has no right to anything more than the Kesuba, but here they defend the Husband when he commits outright extortion by demanding $350,000!!
    By the way, do you really think his legal fees were anywhere close to $350,000?

    1. Weinberg is a bright physicist but he is a lousy historian. Read Paul Johnson's "Intellectuals" which notes how destructive non-religious ideologies such as communism, nazism, colonialsim, etc have caused more destruction than religious views.

    2. Feminists like AZ are constantly ranting about "the Husband's refusal to give a Get". Yet in this case, like many other fake "agunot" cases, there doesn't seem to be the slightest evidence that the husband Weiss has actually refused to ever give a GET.

      The GET issue is simply the straw-man exploited by ORA and its fellow travelers to justify assisting women such as Dodelson who has apparently filed a full divorce lawsuit against her husband in NJ family court.

      In the present case the husband may recognize that AL PI HALACHA (REMA in Evan HaEzer, Igros Moshe etc.), IF a GET is to be given, then it should only be given when all matters are settled properly. So if Dodelson has in fact refused to settle the case except on her terms (ie NJ family court) then she is no "agunah", she is M'AGEN herself.

  39. I didn't know anonymous comments won't be posted. How do I get it back??

  40. Dear anonymous - I am renaming your post - please in the future pick a name

    Daas Torah,

    Your resume is very impressive and I'm sure you are someone who deserves a lot of respect. However, you remind me of Obama and his ilk, sitting in Universities and deciding what type of jobs we should all have, how to tax and punish businesses, what type of health care we should have access to, etc, because we don't know any better. The point is, when one party has been so turned off that he/she would be miserable to continue it, IT SHOULD BE OVER. There is no difference if it's after ten months or ten days. Why should you as a torah scholar/ psychiatrist claim otherwise? To do so, is to be arrogant and condescending to any such party, in effect using your torah knowledge to try to dictate to others who have "bechirah", free will. Also, the gentlemen who used the term "Moredes" to not allow a woman to pick a doctor or make other day-to-day decisions is way out-of-line. He sounds like an arrogant bench-sitter who has very limited connection to real life. That's right, I said it, and I'm very frum too. Back to daastorah, I know it's quite simple to criticize western civilization, but a lot of it was formed by Judaic values, so don't be so quick degrade it. For the record, since I've read the article today, I have also looked at both sides, but I agree with the sentiment that no matter what the courts issues are all about, he should let her be free; he can subsequently go to any court or bais din for any of these issues. I also have to agree that I am really taken aback by the roll of art scroll in all this. I buy a lot of their seforim and now this is shaking my faith in their works. OF COURSE, they should not put only put those authors on administrative leave, but also re-think if these authors are worthy of their jobs in the long-term by supporting this barbaric act.

    1. You sound like an anarchist. "How dare someone make decision that impact might life!" Again the point is that if the get is being withheld simply out of spite - then of course there is an obligation to give a get - I have brought a number of poskim who clearly state that. But contrary to your black and white scenarios - the world is messy. It is not a trivial thing to try to change things once the get has been given. From what you have written I would assume that if your spouse walked off one day with the children - that you would just get on with life and start a new family? After all no use crying over spilt milk!

  41. Before you file for divorce on your own, you need to talk to your spouse, if possible, and find out how he/she feels about the divorce and about the issues mentioned above. This will give you an indication on how to proceed with the divorce.

    1. A related issues is not to take unilateral action such as suddenly moving back to Mommy with the kids

  42. Gittel Dodelson Mentions That Avrohom Weiss Comes From a prominent Rabinical Family, Gittel Dodelson is also Related to a Prominent Powerful Rabinical Family with Very Strong Connections to the Ocean County Family Courts. Her Cousin Is Rav Malkiel Kotler, Whos Uncle Rabbi Gavriel Finkel Heads a Beis Din Vaad Hadayonim in Lakewood

  43. Given Dodelson's actions until this point as described in her article in the New York Post, it appears that if she were to receive a get, she would act in an even more aggressive fashion to minimize the child's relationship with his father.

  44. I am puzzled by tzaddoks com5nents here. I I believe Aharon Friedman has a stronger case al ou halocho. After all his wife unilaterally unilaterally pulled out of bais din whereas in this case Dodelsons are complaining with some justification that Weiss only obtained a hetter from a single rov (as did friedman) but tamar was already li tzias dina.

    but then again tough to keep up with tzaddok's repeated changes of positiob aa the wind blows

  45. Arguing about a situation in which most of us are simply bystanders serves little purpose.
    What would make more sense is understanding the principles that emerge from this situation:
    1- At what point can a wife leave (“take the kids and run to Mommy”) without being a “moredet”. Where exactly is the line:
    -If he attacks her with a knife?
    -If he threatens her with a knife and says he will kill her?
    -If he pushes/punches her once? If he pushes/punches her repeatedly?
    -If he punches/shakes/harms the child?
    -If he demands that she do something to the child that she considers harmful (insists she take newborn child out in the cold; does not allow her immunize the child; does not let her take child to a doctor; insists on a particular doctor who the wife does not trust)
    -If he is violent to her family (pushes mother-in-law)? [just as an aside- I've never heard of any Jewish husband who would mess with his mother-in-law]
    -If he calls her derogatory names?
    -If he calls her derogatory names in front of the kids?
    -If he encourages the kids to call her derogatory names?
    The cases of sexual abuse, you have repeatedly stated that the rules are clear—someone who knows of an abuser should go straight to the police.
    In the case of domestic abuse, how can the abused spouse protect themselves without losing their “rights” in case of subsequent divorce? As was asked above- in each of these situations, what would you advise your daughter to do?

    2- What can be done to change the shidduch process to reduce the incidence of these sorts of situations where “warning signs” may be ignored during dating, and then problems start right after the wedding?

    1. To answer your question as to what can be done,
      All people who are asked about a boy or girl for information on a shidduch should be told the whole truth and nothing but the truth. If the boy or girl has health or controlling issues, is on pills for mental problems, can't get up for davening, is depressed, anything that you would want to know before entering a marriage . Where people get this notion, you can lie or twist the truth is beyond me.
      I've formulated a question which we should all ask, "do you know any information which a Rav told you not to reveal unless you were asked on that specific question"? And if the other side pauses, drop the shidduch .
      I know of a case where the boy wasn't mentally stable and nobody, including many Rabonim wouldn't say anything as it would ruin the shidduch .

  46. Before we start with this abuse stuff, lets focus on the real issue of a woman violating halocho and running to arko'oys. The courts especially in the US and especially in the liberal NE are notoriously biased against men and are simply there to destroy the man. A wonan who goes to arko'oys and her whoke family should be ostrasized if she does this (as should a man). All frum I mean krum divorce lawyers should be thrown out of shuls their children out of schools etc. As long as this does not happen we will have problems.

    A major chilul Hashem as moslems worldwide demand sharia law. Drum jews are frun up to the check book

    1. hey beis din is worthless nowadays. If she doesn't go to arcayos then he probably will.

  47. All this case is really about is weisss being too serious and not cool enough for poor gittel. She really wasn't for a serious learner. Since she is is immature hard not to blame her parents. No abuse here except of the Weisses

  48. RDE,

    I am surprised at you. You say that "It is disgusting to take a father from his child and a child from his father - because she doesn't like being "controlled". Even if what she said is true - it is not a complicated issue for a competent therapist or rabbi to deal with." You have written an entire volume on domestic abuse! You of all people should know that it is DEFINITELY a complicated issue to deal with (and I am both a competent therapist and rabbi who has dealt with such cases). None of us really knows what happened inside that marriage. But her description is one of a classic abuser, and it is a rare instance where counseling can fix such a problem.

    And why do you put quotes on "controlled"? I am not sure what you mean by that. Do you mean to say that abuse is not real unless he's hitting her? But you yourself know that's not true! I am very confused as to where you are coming from.

    1. Raffi I am suprised at you - since you are a competent therapist and rabbi. You must have had plenty of cases of listening to one side describing how abusive and controlling the other side was - only to find out it wasn't so? so "controlled" it is until there is some objective support for the claims.

      You will notice that when she says goodbye to him - "you are not a bad person just not for me". If that is how she summarizes the situation - it is not a complicated problem to deal with if she wanted to stay in the marriage. I have dealt with real abusive husband - who were able to have a satisfactory marriage. I have dealt with couples one of which was schizophrenic or bipolare and there were still able to have a meaningful and fulfilling marriage. Here is a couple that has access to the great tzadikim, talmidei chachom in the world. Who have the money to pay for the best therapists in the world.

      The only thing that seems to be missing is the desire that it work out.

    2. You are quite right that we can't determine from her words alone what has happened. What I said is that her description is one of a classic abuser. If what she says is true, then there's no need to modify "controlled." If you were indicating by that simply that we don't know, I am in agreement (which is why I asked what your intention was there).

      But how do you reserve the right to judge that "the only thing that seems to be missing is the desire that it work out"? Again, we don't know what happened within the walls of their house, but she says "I told Avrohom that we needed to see a marriage counselor. He flatly dismissed the idea." It COULD be that she is a classic victim of domestic violence. It could be not at all. But you seem to have decided: "assuming that the marriage could be saved . . . it is clear that she is not interested and was not interested in salvaging the marriage. Throwing away a marriage that can be saved is disgusting." How can you be so certain of any of this?

      I repeat, I am not saying that she is definitely a victim and he is definitely an abuser. But it's certainly a possibility - and if it's true, her actions don't seem unreasonable at all.

    3. Raffi I am simply responding to what has been said and reported to me.

      Having dealt with some failed marriages, if I heard one spouse say to the other , "you are not a bad person just not for me" - I would not write off the marriage no matter what horrific claims had been made.

      Secondly, Rav Diskind told me the the following story about his father-in-law Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky,

      There was a couple whose marriage was in trouble that all the rabbonim were trying desperately to fix. Apparently they were both from important families and there had children of marriagable age - and it was really important that they stay together. Finally Rav Yaakov was called on to repair the marriage. He was driven to the house in Monsey. He walked up to the door and walked in - took one look at the couple - and turned around and left. Everyone was in a state of shock. Reb Yaako said simply, "The marriage can not be repaired so why should I waste my time?"

      The rabbis had called on a gadol, a wise man - but he was acting as a navi. "How do you know that you can't help them - you didn't even speak to them".

      He replied, "Normally when a marriage is not working out both sides are hurt, embarrassed, frustrated,angry and in pain. However when I walked in and saw how they looked at each other with total contempt and loathing - I knew there was nothing that I could do. "

      In neither the Friedman-Epstein or the Weiss - Dodelson marriage have I heard that either spouse expressed contempt and loathing for the other. In fact both of the wives are on record of saying some positive things about their husbands. They want a "better" husband but the first one wasn't that terrible.

    4. Well, you have information I don't. I looked at some of what you posted from his side. I didn't see anywhere any denials that he fits the bill of an abuser - just that he had the right to go to arkaos, etc.. It's possible I missed it though. If he did in fact behave the way she described, I don't believe that a one-line apologetic statement - said as she was trying to walk away from him (a potentially dangerous thing to do) - is an indication that things just need a little tweaking and then they'll be fine.

  49. @ChanaRachel - "Arguing about a situation in which most of us are simply bystanders serves little purpose" -

    Funny you mentioned that. The ORA crowd feels its perfectly acceptable to drag the Dodelson case (and other Jewish divorce disputes) in front of the US non-Jewish public on major websites like the NY Post, and even attack men on D.C. subway signs. All for the purpose of course of publicly defaming and embarrassing Jewish husbands to the maximum extent possible.

    Yet I don't see you or anyone else criticizing ORA & Dodelson for that?

    1. EL"Y. While ORA deserves our criticism, and more than that our loathing considering the level of Chilul HaShem this is causing. Personally I think Gittal is a victim in this.

      Having had a marriage that failed young, I can speak from personal experience that even a seemingly highly intelligent and well educated 23yr old girl/woman will often undertake very self-destructive behaviors if encouraged to do so by people who should know better.

      Let's call this what it really is, and has been from the very beginning, a media grab by ORA. They are using this girl to score points with the Chareidi crowd that is loyal to the Kotler side, and to flex their muscles by putting the Feinsteins "in their place."

      When this thing first started, and it seemed like Gital may actually be the one in the right, I used various contacts that I had in Lakewood in an offer to help her put forth her case. The constant response I got back was that she and more her family wanted to keep it quiet and private... And honestly considering some of my sources I truly believe that they did at the time.

      However you have ORA which brags about the "Agunot" that it has freed, who ran to the media, and ran to the blogs, and ran to... well just about everyone that would listen, and have convinced her and her family(again from my same sources in Lakewood) that she can get everything she wants, or thinks she wants(more likely is being told she wants) if they just turn the pressure up enough.

      The poor girl is a pawn. Maybe they were a broken marriage. Maybe they should never have married, and maybe the best thing for both of them would have been an amicable divorce... The world will never know at this point.

      I still believe that Weiss was wrong for initially going to Arkaot without a valid heter from a Beit Din(and all he would have had to do to get one was pick up a phone, call Rabbi Brisman from Philadelphia and take a two hour car ride on Monday or Thursday of any given week, all things considered).

      However, his initial mis-step does not excuse all that has come after, and it definitely does not excuse this Chilul HaShem.

    2. Tzadok, in this case I agree with most of what you wrote above (except for the issue of Weiss going to ARKAOT).

      I agree that Dodelson (and other women like Epstein) are pawns of ORA, but these women are not victims as you claim. These women choose to engage ORA to wage a vindictive all out media war on their husbands. Wreaking vengeance on their husbands seems to be a primary motivation of these women. By becoming ORA's poster girls, these women have sealed their fates with never ending conflicts, PASUL GITTIN, and massive negative publicity.

      The ORA gangsters are the only real "winners" here.

  50. Jews are supposed to got to beis din.

    Beis din nowadays is worthless,

    1. They have no power to enforce their decisions and
    2.There is no reason to think they will give a just pesak. Even in case of zeh borer, what's to stop the other side from choosing someone like Gestetner.

    There is one authority that has the power to enforce their decisions: the secular courts.

    This solves problem 1 but not problem 2.

    The woman usually has the upper hand in the secular courts.

    A man who believes he is entitled to more than he can get in the secular courts, and is not convinced that he can overcome the problems with the beis din system can justifiably withhold the get as a means to ensure that the woman will meet with him in beis din. Once again this only solves problem 1.

    He may at times do this to solve problem 2. However using a get to circumvent beis din (as worthless as they are) is not justifiable there is no legal framework to attach this to. The remainder of this comment does not address this situation.

    Women can and do refuse to accept a get at times also. This is rare because they usually don't need to. They have their own leverage, the secular courts.

    In summary This is the playing field: The woman has the advantage in the secular courts. Either side has a withhold/refuse get button they can press if things aren't going their way. It's usually the man that presses it because he usually doesn't get his way.

    A woman can solve her get withholding problem by going to a beis din. However once again she will run into problem 2.

    Sometimes the parties just need to skip the worthless beis din and negotiate among themselves.

    And sometimes people like ORA get involved. They portray withholding a get not as simple leverage in a disagreement that must be resolved. They say the disagreement is irrelevant. They say the one pushing the get button is controlling, manipulative, and abusive.

    But there's no reason to think he is. He's probably just a guy trying to make the best of a tough situation.

    They say this is an abuse of the torah, get wasn't meant for this. While true that get may not have been meant for this, nothing is wrong with using it as leverage in an already uneven playing field. Especially if the intention is just to force the matter to come to a beis din.

    And the two parties becomes someone else's pawns in a much bigger debate.
    There is nothing that can prevent resolution more than giving each side a false sense of righteousness.

    1. The answer to question #2 is that the point of the Zabla beis din is precisely to ensure that the two arbitrators who may be sympathetic to one particular side agree on one independent, neutral arbitrator. While the first two may advocate on behalf of their side, the consensus pick generally is the swing vote.

  51. "Yet I don't see you or anyone else criticizing ORA & Dodelson for that?"
    are you not reading this website?

  52. Regardless on where you stand in this apparent War of the Roses, it is ridiculous that after 3.5 years of marital stalemate, there is no resolution in sight.

  53. "Stating the obvious" is clueless. There are arbitration laws with regards to money. He is right with regards to custody. His comments on rav gestetner have no basis. If rav rav gestetner were in eretz eretz yisroel he would not be controversial because he simply reoresents the chareidi aporoach. Frankly his calling bais din a waste of time is despicable but on thw mark. As I said earlier people are frum uo to their wallets. If this is how low ww have sunk then why keep any torah? Everything is expendable. This is the dor before moshiach

  54. Now his side is on kikar shabbos web site.

    1. Its not his side. Its the same thing he said two years ago.

  55. Recipients and PublicityNovember 14, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Stop the madness and stop fighting with each other ALL of you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Second Bais HaMikdosh was destroyed because of Sinas Chinam ("causeless hatred), and the third Bais HaMikdosh will only be rebuilt by Ahavas Chinom ("selfless love")! You are ALL making yourselves into a laughingstock in full view of the world !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To the Weisses and Dodelsons STOP IT and tell your warring kids who are fighting each other to grow up and stop acting like BABIES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's a disgrace.

  56. Rabbi Eidensohn,
    I was hoping that you could comment about the following underlying attitude towards marriage


    Dodelson’s public fight for a religious divorce has changed her, especially in terms of how she might approach future relationships.

    “It’s kind of too depressing for me to even think ahead to this, given my current situation, but I do now understand why people live together before marriage,” she says. “I’ve even told my mother that next time I like a guy, I’m going to live with him for five years first. Of course I was joking. I know what I would and wouldn’t do — and I would never do that.”

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