Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Weiss Dodelson: Rabbi Greenwald's 3 statements regarding his role

update Tuesday Novembe 12 2013:  Update: November 22, 2013 Explanation of apparent inconsistencies between 3rd letter and first 2   In particular the claim of Dodelson supporters based on Gital's webpage that the Weiss's are lying regarding the role of Rabbi Greenwald. 

I was told by someone who spoke with Rabbi Greenwald on Sunday that he fell down after writing the November 7th letter which was annotated by Rav Dovid Feinstein. As a resultof the fall he is in great pain, suffering from a broken wrist, two broken ribs, and an injured hip, and he is on strong painkillers.The stress from dealing with this case has taken a severe toll and he is being flooded with phone calls from all over the world, and he feels overwhelmed. The next day Monday he produced the email.
The following are the three documents in which Rabbi Ronnie Greenwald states his relationship to the Weiss-Dodelson dispute. The two emails were posted on the Dodelson website Set Gital free   I have sent an email to Rabbi Greenwald asking for an explanation for the apparent contradiction as to what he claims is his role in this matter. The second clearly states that both sides approached him to mediate the dispute. The 3rd one denies that he was ever accepted as a mediator or arbitrator in the manner and indicates that he was pursing this role but not that he was asked by both sides. Rav Dovid Feinstein's psak in the second document is predicated on the belief that Rabbi Greenwald was in fact accepted as the mediator in the dispute.  I will post whatever comments Rabbi Greenwald wishes to make.


  1. It isn't completely honest to say that the first email "clearly" states anything- except for the fact that he never was a binding arbitrator. You are deciding- without any reason to make that call- that "both of you" means the Weiss & Dodelson families, while it probably means the "interested third parties" he refers to in his statement from 11/11.

    1. However the 2nd letter clearly is referring to the Weiss Dodalson families coming to him to mediate.

    2. Right- but his most recent email allows for this, & admits that something he had said previously- ie in the 11/7 letter that RDF based his psak on, gag ave the impression of something that wasn't accurate- that both families had approached him/signed on to his acting in any official capacity.

    3. So to recap- if RG put out a statement saying that the letter he write on 11/7 was misleading & he didn't mean to imply what the Weiss's have used it for, can that be called a "contradiction"? Or is that a clarification?

      As an aside, if RG stands by his 11/11 statement, that's sort of the nail in the credibility of the Weiss's. If you can stoop so low as to mislead Rav Dovid Feinstein- (your own great uncle!!!), what else won't you lie about, & who else won't you lie to?

    4. "As an aside, if RG stands by his 11/11 statement, that's sort of the nail in the credibility of the Weiss's".

      And a nail in the Coffin of Dovid Feinstein's credibility too, I might add.

      "If you can stoop so low as to mislead Rav Dovid Feinstein- (your own great uncle!!!), what else won't you lie about, & who else won't you lie to?"

      Never mind how people tried to mislead him, he has to do his own due diligence. If he does not, he cannot be taken seriously as a Rabbi. Due diligence should be the minimum of deontological standarts for rabbis, if they don't abide by it, they do not deserve to be listened to at all.

    5. Blatant your conjectures are not correct. Weiss family will explain what happened in a day or two

  2. I don't know why but I get the impression that he got pressure to write that . It seems really odd.

    1. Like I commented in a previous thread- You might not know why you think that, but anyone else can plainly see. Because you'd rather engage in some fantasy than entertain the possibility that you are wrong.

  3. Just to clarify the situation. After Rabbi Bender was chased off the case by the Dodelsons under the advice of Rav Dovid Feinstein Rabbi Greenwald was brought in on the case. As he commented he worked on this with both parties for months. All the while when the Weiss's were in good faith arbitration ...the Dodelsons were engaging in the only thing they have been good at...a relentless smear campaign sending letters all over the place aginst the weiss's. imagine while in arbitration they went in cahoots with ORA and protested in front of the weiss homwe while there was a Rav Dovid Feinstein requested arbitration!! When will people wake up and smell the cofee. While you can simply say let him give the get it is not so simple ..final court arrangements on custody has not been finalised...and the father is being dealt with unfairly at every turn...imagine having your son sent back to you with a shirt reading choo choo choose mommy....imagine being ambushed after returning your child...if there are not strict instuctions given how long do you think it will take for avrohom meir to be accused of hurting the child...after all these are the people wjho masqueraded on the internet and claimed that they were avrohom meir admitting that he was gay...the fbi had to pull it off the internet...the olam hatora has to realize that this is bigger that avrohom meir vs. gital..with the curereent situation of boys who want to learn marrying rich girls with support what will happen if the wife is not happy enough ...she will walk out with her children..brutalize her husband in court with her family money and then get ora to protest that shes an aguna...the husband will be faced with losing his children...doesn't anybody see that this si niot simple? The weiss's are 370,ooo$ dollars in debt at least after being shlepped tyhrough the courts to get rightful custody ...the dodelsons even brought in extra council to recuse a judge when things weren't going their way!! Did anybody ever ask themselves how come so many members of the moetzes were brought to bear on a completely fictitious siruv (which is not pertinent antymore anyway since the siruv was only about going to erkaos which is over already). Can it be because of the little fact that the Dodelsons are cousins of Rav Malkiel Kotlers? Is it fear when all roads lead to Lakewood both in Yeshivos feeding iont to lakewood and shidduchim based in Lakewood that an undue amount of pressure can be brought to bear on people. But you say these are the gedolim.. That is true and that is why the Torah warns us ki hashochad yaveir einei CHACHIOMIM visalef divrei Tzadikim. aNYWAY ALL THESE GEDOLIM WHEN IT COMES TO A LIFE AND DEATH QUESTION SUCH AS DNR ALL TURN TO RAV DOVID AND HE HAS SPOKEN CLEARLY AND UNEQUIVOCABLY. The fact that Rabbi Greenwald hastily backed off was that he was being harrassed by the same terror machine that hijacked Artscroll and got two relatives to resign... Imagine causing an uncle who is helping his famil to be fired...Whats next are they going to go after the families Dotors not to treat them or maybe their local butcher and grocer not to sell them food...Hashem yracheim aleinue!

    1. First off, Anonymous, the blog rules are not to post anonymously.
      Second, you contradict yourself in too many places to count (e.g., the phony seiruv, that's expired (?)).
      Third, Hillary also claimed the great right wing conspiracy was behind all of her husband' ills.
      Fourth, I hope you feel better after the long rant. Now gei shluffen.

    2. he is using the name Truth at the bottom. While it would be better if he put it at the top - my main concern is that everyone have their unique name

    3. How come they think they are entitled to legal fees if the court refused them legal fees?

      This Weiss guy and his family just have a warped way of thinking. Doing the right thing would be so easy...

    4. I love "Truth"s comment. It's obviously written satirically- making fun of Weiss supporters. Are we allowed to do that now?

    5. The Weiss family have Jewish values! Both in-house and the way they handle this case. If the Dodelson are to blame for the expenses then they are fully entitled to get their money back.

    6. Foncused that is your conjecture but it has not been established what exactly has happened

    7. OK - I'm happy to believe that everything that "Truth" wrote is the truth, and that Gital was a horrible wife and took advantage of her husband at every opportunity.
      However, NOTHING there justifies him refusing a GET. Avrohom Meir, GIVE YOUR WIFE A GET.
      If she is as horrible as you make her out to be, you should be desperate to get rid of her - GIVE HER THE GET so taht you can both get on with your lives.

      Using a get for extortion is immoral - end of story.

  4. Obviously, the Dodelson’s never agreed to arbitration with RG.

    The Dodelson’s might have explored the possibility of arbitration with RG, but until they sign the binding arbitration agreement – they never agreed to arbitration. It is like being interested in buying a house; until you sign the purchase agreement it isn’t purchased.

    The way arbitration works, is that both parties sign an agreement agreeing to binding arbitration. Then, the arbitrator decides the case. If one side doesn’t accept the decision of the arbitrator, then the other side takes the legally enforceable arbitration agreement to the court for the court to enforce the arbitrator’s decision.

    Had the Dodelson’s agreed to arbitration with RG, then it would be game over and the Weiss’s would just take RG’s decision to the court to enforce.

    The Weiss’s have lost credibility for trying to deceive the public and as someone commented they lost even more credibility for trying to deceive R’ Dovid Feinstein.

  5. RG is not a Posek so why is he a better “arbitrator” than the NJ Court?

    People here have called the NJ Court “evil”, “feminist” and in general condemned them for how “bad” they are. The decision of the NJ court was fair and balanced. What was “evil” about the decision?

    The Weiss’s received a very fair deal and were not disadvantaged in any way. They received a good custody deal (2 nights a week plus every other weekend).

    The NJ Court were independent upstanding people with lots of experience in this area – and no one is able to point at any part of their decision to explain in what sense it was unfair.

    What is happening here is that the Weiss’s are not interested in creating a win-win situation that everyone can be happy with and live with. They are trying to find an arbitrator who will destroy the Dodelson’s using a misinterpretation of halacha. Otherwise just accept the NJ Court decision.

    1. @AZ - "The decision of the NJ court was fair and balanced" - Fine, in that case R. Weiss has no obligation to give any GET as the NJ court did not order a GET.

      In fact it is you and your ORA feminist cohorts who are continually trying to uproot the NJ court decision while playing your shell game by claiming the decision is fair and balanced.

    2. AZ what you are saying is nonsense. Dodelson have stated that they feel that the husband was given too much time with the child and want it reduced

    3. The Dodelson's would obviously want the husband's custody reduced, however, they have stated many times that they are willing to accept a Get and would live with the arrangement decreed by the Court

    4. 2 Times a week with supervised visitation...just sayin

  6. The timeline on setgitalfree makes no mention of mediation once the civil divorce had been granted, and no mention at all of arbitration.

    In contrast, Rav Eidensohn’s post of Thursday, November 7 refers to “binding arbitration” that Dodelson had agreed to.

    In the Staten Island Advance article linked by Rav Eidensohn on Sunday, November 10 Rabbi Yosaif Asher Weiss, speaking for his family, refers to what Gitel Dodelson said in the NY Post article as “misinformation,” “fabrication” and “untruth.” We are obviously supposed to infer that in unlike her, the Weiss family is telling the truth.

    The article quotes Rabbi Weiss: “‘We suspect much of Gital's disappointment stems from her reaction to the arbitrator's findings, and she has lashed out in response,’ said Rabbi Weiss, explaining that both families have been working with an arbitrator for several months.”

    The obvious implication of “working with an arbitrator” is that Weiss and Dodelson were – are – in arbitration. In hindsight, that is odd, since in binding arbitration – which requires the arbitrator to be acting with the agreement of both parties – the arbitrator is empowered to impose a resolution (power not given to a mediator) Gital’s “lashing out” would not in any way prevent the arbitrator from ordering Weiss to give Dodelson the get, even if she didn’t like the overall terms.

    Evidently operating based on the same set of information contained in the Weiss family statements and on which Rav Eidensohn’s 11/7 post was based, Rav Dovid Feinstein paskened that even if his relative had been a mesarev and me’agen, the fact that he had “come before [Rabbi Greenwald] for a decision” would have removed that status from him.

    Now Rabbi Greenwald, the only arbitrator and mediator whose name I have seen mentioned in this case, denies that there was any agreement for mediation, let alone arbitration.

    In an extremely narrow and literal sense, Rabbi Weiss’ “have been working with an arbitrator” doesn't actually have to mean “have agreed to enter into arbitration” though he would like us to think it does if it will help us to think poorly of his former (under civil law) daughter-in-law and her family.

  7. Superintendant ChalmersNovember 12, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Daas Torah,

    Can you provide some clarification as to what they want to arbitrate on? What is Weiss looking to achieve in arbitration? More extensive custody? More money? What specifically is he trying to achieve?

    1. the Weiss family is preparing a document which will answer these questions

  8. I must say one thing. Full credit goes to Rabbi Eidenson for posting this information- even though it reflects badly on the Weiss's, whom he has previously said he believes to be in the right. Unlike Yudel Shains blog, where the silence is deafening. It goes a long way toward determining credibility. Kudos Rabbi E!

    1. The "update" states that "There will be a clarification in a day or two from the Weiss family regarding the misinformation being spread by the Dodelsons."

      You might want to re-think your comment.
      - Andrew

  9. Mediation is not arbitration. I dont see how agreeing to mediate is an answer to a seruv. It binds nobody. You can not answer a hazmana with an agreement to mediate - they demand an arbitration agreement.

    1. Your question will be addressed in the statement by the Weiss Family

  10. Asher pihem diber shavNovember 12, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    I think it is pretty clear. That Ronnie wanted to arbitrate, legally there was a problem with him arbitrating, so both sides agreed that in attempt to resolve the differences that he suggest a deal. This was accepted by Weiss rejected by Dodelsohn. Otherwise why was he writing a suggestion ? Why would he sign a letter saying that his suggestion was accepted by one and not another.

    Either way it is repulsive the way the Dodelsohn side, and some comments here and facebook, are talking against Harav Hagaon R David Feinstien. Taolamna sifsei sheker hadovrim al Tzaddik Osok bgavah vovuz.

  11. Ureshaim od einom writes--who says weiss pressured greenwald and duped the uncle? that has not been their mo until now--all their documents that they posted have been verifiable. It is the dodelsons tactics to strongarm and threaten--maybe they played that card on greenwald--maybe it is part of their social agitator's tactics? just asking to look before we leap to conclusions...

  12. who says weiss made greenwald write the letter and duped the uncle--that has not been their mo until now--all the documents they have provided have been verifiable--it is dodelsons way to strongarm and threaten--maybe they got greenwald this way as well--maybe it is their social agitator's tactics? the one who helped them create such a chilul Hashem--why should they be trusted after that travesty? Just saying we shouldn't jump to conclusions...

  13. Gitel is free, she has received a civil divorce, and may marry who she wishes. I doubt a Jew will want to marry her, so as not to make mamzeirim, I am not so sure how much she cares about that. After all chilul Hashem, to which there is only one form of atonement doesn't bother her, why does she care about a get.
    If she were to marry a gentile, her offspring will be Jewish, but not a mamzer, why does she need a get?
    He has his first amendment right not to give a get, & also according to shulchan Aruch, he is not forced to do so.
    They haven't been so nice to him, so why should he be so nice to her, and walk away from all & give a get?
    However he still has to get married, and for that reason he should give a get. I would have advised him in the beginning to do so.
    Once he remarries he could fight for custody, and prove that he is safe with his new family, he could also deposit $5.00/ $10.00 into a trust for his son every day, & keep the statements, so that later in life he could show his son, the real love he has in spite of them denying him rights to see him. BTW he could to show it to a judge too at a later date. It would have been much cheaper, and more constructive.
    The problem is now he is too deep into a fight to quit, there is a saying quit while you are ahead.

    1. Superintendant ChalmersNovember 12, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      SAM, Are you actually advocating that she remarry a gentile (without a get)?

      The comments her just get more and more strange...

    2. mordy schlisselheimerNovember 14, 2013 at 10:51 PM

      anonymous, this may be the stupidest post yet. I cant believe you wasted so much time writing it. your idea of showing love with a $5 a day donation to his bank account? too dumb for a reply

  14. sorry the last one was mine, I by mistake put in anonymous.

  15. The parties explored at length with Rabbi Ronnie Greenwald whether they wished him to help negotiate a resolution of their conflict. After protracted discussions back and forth, he did not obtain the consent of the two parties to the conditions he proposed for the proceeding. Accordingly, there was nothing for him to negotiate or arbitrate. He wrote letter to make it clear to both sides not to expect him to be involved in their dispute any further in any way.
    Rabbi Greenwald had nothing to gain personally. He was hoping to be able to help Klal Yisroel resolve its disputes l'shaim shomaim. He has nothing to answer for and no explaining to do - the dispute is unrelated to him. he was not a party.
    So, carry on the fight without him. He is not an advocate, agent nor ally of either side. no

  16. Rabbi Greenwald was not pressured by anyone to write any letters. At this stage of his life, and after a very lengthy career negotiating disputes, prisoner exchanges and the like all over the world, he is not subject to pressures to write letters in a little snit like this.
    He tried to help. It didn't work out. He is bowing out. What is this, a "Who Killed JFK" conspiracy? If you are interested in Weiss/Dodelson, don't waste more time barking up the "Greenwald" tree.

  17. Lakewood Suburbinite Spoiled Pampered BabiesNovember 12, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Lakewood Is The Only Place Where The Goyim Live In Golus. The Old Time Families Here in Lakewood Related To The Kotlers, Finkel, Bursztyn, Etc. Have it way To Good Here. These are Heavily Spoiled Families Who Are allways Used To Getting Their Way and Buldozing Everyone Else Into Submission all in The Name of Torah

  18. As a newcomer to this blog, I hope someone will help me figure this all out.

    It seems to be no secret that Weiss is refusing to give Dodelson a get unless she gives him (a) $350,000 plus (b) better child custody terms than Weiss can get in court.

    Question: Can any regular Jew require his wife to pay for a get?

    In this case, there don't appear to be any Torah issues involved. There's no claim that she is not a strict adherent to Torah law, kashrus, nida, Shabbos or anything. The two obviously were a wrong match.

    It seems them, that Weiss refusal to give a get is based solely on money - cash and the savings in legal fees if he can get his custody demands without paying lawyers.

    So where does halacha fit in to all this? It seems that he is fighting about money, not Torah.

    Question: If Weiss demand for money is in conformity with halacha, how can newspapers like the Jewish Press publish a column naming men who wont give gets?

    Surely, each and every man named wants money from his ex?

    Question: Why shouldn't Dodelson complain about being held up for $350,000? Wouldn't anyone complain?

    Last Question: What would the Rosh Yeshiva, Reb Moshe Feinstein have done?

    1. Heh, I'M Chaim! Rabbi Eidensohn, what is your policy about people sharing the same name - surely it can cause confusion?

    2. jondaba@msn.com it is nice that you have decided to join us - but instead of reading the previous posts you want me to explain to you personally what is going on.

      I'll be brief 1) Weiss is not witholding the Get for the sake of profit. The money involved is to partially compensate for the severe financial damage the Dodelson's have caused. 2) There are significant halachic issues including the fact that he is not required to give a Get in the present case. 3) He is also witholding the get because of custody issues. The Dodelson's have stated that they want his access to the child be significantly reduced from what the court provided. 4) I don't believe the Jewish Press has listed him. Furthermore he has not been ordered to give a Get by beis din. The seruv issued was canceled by another beis din. 5) As stated before he is willing to provide the get for a fraction of $350,000. What he is asking is not extortion but as compensation for the war of attrition which the Dodelson have conducted.

      Rav Moshe Feinstein would have done as his son Rav Dovid Feinstein is doing and support the Weiss' fully on the basis of halacha.

    3. Rabbi, I appreciate your response and appreciate intelligent discourse.

      You say: Weiss is not witholding the Get for the sake of profit. The money involved is to partially compensate for the severe financial damage the Dodelson's have caused.

      I say: I'd like to know specifically what the Dodelsons have caused? Legal fees? If you go to court, you have an opportunity to ask the judge to grant legal fees. The court can do so if it wishes. Weiss can still sue Dodelson for his legal fees, and she can counter sue him. As I asked, is he invoking the Torah to save legal fees? You seem to say he is. Let him list his other expenses. Who paid for the wedding?

      You say: There are significant halachic issues including the fact that he is not required to give a Get in the present case.

      Name the other halachic issues. Shouldn't we just be honest and say that Jewish law doesn't require Weiss to give her a get so the heck with her. The Torah itself does not appear in this dispute. So far, you haven't given any reasons to withhold the get except money. Whether or not he is right or wrong about wanting the money, we could clarify the dispute by just admitting its money he wants.

      You say: He is also witholding the get because of custody issues. The Dodelson's have stated that they want his access to the child be significantly reduced from what the court provided.

      So who cares what Dodelsons say about child custody? Please understand that in America, the civil courts control child custody. I personally promise you that whatever Dodelson might agree to as child custody under coercion, the civil court will throw out anything it doesn't feel is fair to the child. So all this is a waste of time for two reasons: 1. The civil court has the final say no matter what the parties agree to.
      2. You do make it seem like Weiss wants to save legal fees of fighting with Dodelson over custody. If so, it is clearer than ever that this is only about money, not Torah. Why should Weiss pay lawyers? Its much cheaper to use the get to achieve the same thing.

      You say:I don't believe the Jewish Press has listed him.

      My point is this. If the Jewish Press doesn''t list Weiss as a get-refuser, who can it list? Is there any ex-husband who doesn't want money and custody? In what way are the men listed in the Jewish Press as get-refusers different for Avraham Meir Weiss?

      You say: What he is asking is not extortion but as compensation for the war of attrition which the Dodelson have conducted.

      What is this "war of attrition" the dodelsons have waged? I'd like to see a list of the money damages for which he seeks compensation.

      Rabbi - in all honesty, in all dollars and sense, how much financial harm has Dodelson caused him NOT INCLUDING her efforts to obtain her get.

      In other words, if he had given he the get when the civil divorce was final, what would he need to be compensated for?

      If you say legal fees of child custody, then you are saying that the get is solely about money. Rather than spend money on child custody lawyers, he is withholding the get to obtain for free what he would otherwise have to pay lawyers for.

      Let me say in conclusion. The child custody issue is illusory. She can have it undone tomorrow by a civil court if it is unfair.

      You may not understand this, but I am not particularly a fan of Dodelson. Don't know her. No family connections. never heard of her till the current eruption. I am not a fan of Lakewood or its denizens.

      I do love Reb Dovid and Reb Reuven. I met the Rosh Yeshiva ztal twice. I just breaks my heart to see them struggling in the mire, awash in filth, using the Torah to get their grandson some money. They are throwing away the dignity, respect and position of leadership the Feinstein family once held. It may be too late to save their reputation, but if you love them, convince them to give the get and move on.

    4. ChaimNovember 12, 2013 at 9:27 PM

      Heh, I'M Chaim! Rabbi Eidensohn, what is your policy about people sharing the same name - surely it can cause confusion?
      There obviously should only be one person to a name. However I have no way of using IP addresses to establish who is the first one to use the name and who is the usurper. so you are right it only causes confusion. Whoever took over the name chaim should pick another name or add a number such as chaim 2

    5. I'll change my spelling to Chayim in order to avoid confusion.

  19. Perhaps the Weiss family should make their position and requirements for a Get public. Since this battle is already in the public domain what have they go to lose?

    1. Asher pihem diber shavNovember 12, 2013 at 9:16 PM

      Yes they should no doubt, I would like to see their claims go public. Whatever their claims were, they should add a significant claim for the public embarrassment of their families, and loss of their jobs. There is no shame in being open about their claims. All of them.

    2. You are correct. Their reply should be ready in a day or two

    3. Rabbi,

      I hope you will not post another Weiss reply that sets forth more generalities, accusations and conclusions.
      Please don't let their statement of claims consist of allegations that Dodelson is telling half-truths and lies.
      Let them spell out what they claim is due them in cash and child support.

      Don't let them provide Weasel answers such as "We want our rights under the halacha".

      Let's be honest and forthcoming here for a few minutes.

      Q. Is it correct that you are refusing to give Dodelson a get unless she complies with your demands ? yes or no

      WEASEL ANSWER: "Jewish law provides for certain obligations on the part of each party which they wil have to work through themselves at a duly constituted beis din.

      Q. Are you demanding that Dodelson make a cash payment as a condition of you giving her a get? yes or no

      WEASEL ANSWER: "These are private terms which cannot be discussed in public, but must be worked out between the parties.

      Q. What is the amount of money that you demand Dodelson pay you in order to receive her get. $_________.

      WEASEL ANSWER: That's not the question. The question is the obligations between the parties and what financial obligations might exist between them.

      Q. What are the terms and conditions that you demand in child custody?

      WEASEL ANSWER: Child custody is always an important matter for the parties to work out. Weiss wants to have a full share in raising his child and is willing to accept all the obligations the Torah places on him as a father. (Well, duh!)

      Q. Are your offering to give Dodelson anything in return for any concessions she might make - other than her get ?

      WEASEL ANSWER: Negotiations are always a process of give and take between the parties and Weiss certainly wants to do the maximum for his child.

      Its up to you, Rabbi. While there are hard-core believers on each side who will not be swayed by actual facts, if the Weiss side gives WEASEL type answers - where they do not honest reveal what they are coercing Dodelson to give them - in my mind, this will irrevocably, and sadly, blemish their family name.

    4. I have to respect you now. You are an honest host for this debate.

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. Jondaba - you seem to be approaching this topic as one who isn't familiar with halacha. Do you understand what a get me'usa is or the case of ma'us alei?

    7. Jondaba your list of question is really not what this fight is about. Your "weasel answers" indicates a fine mind for understanding debate - but not the nuances of this case.

    8. Rabbi, you're right! I now almost nothing of halacha. I am an ignorant BT, rescued at the age of 30 by Reb Meir Schuster and Ohr Somayach.

      As is endemic to BTs, we come tachas canfei ha shechina with an innocent fervor. Then the realities of today's Torah life pose a great challenge to our naive faith. Then the yetzer hora calls to our attention the Jewish thieves, child molesters, swindlers. "Its all bunk" says the yetzer hora".

      Jewish people borrowed from me but didn't pay back. Jewish people obtained money from me under false pretenses.

      My kosher colleagues tell me this is how it is! Growing up as Jews, they knew about and accepted all this, including get hold-ups.

      Are you telling me that the Torah and halacha condone extortion? If so, maybe Ohr Somayach should have told me that when they told me to become Torah observant.

      I met the Rosh Yeshiva a few years after I became a BT. I then met his two sons. I have always admired them greatly and have contributed in a small way to their yeshivas. I'm not a big shot.

      So it is breaking my heart that the Feinstein clan is holding up the ex-wife for money. It is such a misjudgment on their part.

      All this "get me'usa is or the case of ma'us alei"? With all due respect, Rabbi, in the case at hand that is all pretense. Its money. Weiss wants money. Dodelson is not interested in such nuances as get me'usa. It is not a talmudical debate for her.

      I don't know the halacha - but you, Rabbi Eidensohn, say clearly that the halacha is that giving the get is optional. Plainly, if Weiss wants to hold up Dodelson for $350,000 for the get, the halacha permits him to do so.

      But if Weiss WANTS to give her the get, the halacha permits him to do so.

      So, just between you and me, halacha-shmalacha, Weiss can make his own decision. His decision is in no way required by halacha - Weiss just wants money. I never learned shulchan auruch - just what you said. Its optional to him. The halacha does not require him to give her a get or not give her a get. It's Weiss personal choice, no?

      So that's my problem. When everyone stops spewing baloney, Weiss wants money for the get and he is simply using halacha and Torah as an excuse. Can't we be real about that?

      As I have explained elsewhere, since the civil courts always control child custody, that's just a fake issue. Money. That's what it is all about.

      Let's say you go to rob someone and pull out a knife to coerce them to hand over the money. Now, let's say, they pull out a gun and shoot you.
      Who is at fault that you got shot?

      The Feinsteins are trying to hold up Dodelson - knowing full well that she is willing to pull out a gun and shoot them. Who is at fault if she shoots them?

      Sure, she is at fault. But now everyone knows that she is going to shoot them if they try to hold her up.

      If they continue to try to hold her up, isn't it reasonable to expect she will pull out a gun again and shoot them again?

      Is this a game of "chicken"? Let's see who has the guts to keep going until one kills the other.

      Everyone now knows that Dodelson going to do anything she feels is necessary to avoid being held up, including Chilul HaShem.

      Knowing that Dodelson is likely to go back to the newspapers or worse if they continue to hold her up for money, does the the halacha permit the Feinsteins to continue to hold her up for money, despite the Chilul HaShem that will result?

      Think about this irony: Who more than the Feinsteins have made ORA famous?

      This "ignorant of halacha" writer foresees that there will come a time, soon, when the pressure grows on the Feinsteins and they will have to give her the get. I'm sure about that.

      The only question is not a halachic question. It is a simple question that even an ignorant BT can ask.

      Will the Feinsteins give Dodelson a get before their entire family heritage goes into the toilet, or after.

    9. I'm with you mate! You're on the money!

    10. Jondaba, the truth shines forth from your words. Thank you for saying so eloquently what so many of us have struggled to convey.

    11. Jondaba: respect for your brilliant analysis of the situation.

      And note that RDE does not answer your very justified questions, but tries to escape them with snarky remarks.

      I particularly appreciate the part about the weasel answers.

  20. From RG's statements it sounds to me like he was the one who mislead Rav F with an inaccurate statement (second letter) and that he did so unintentionally. Can we stop assuming everyone is a rasha?

  21. RDE,

    I don't understand your point on how Rabbi Greenwald's injury (Refuah Shelamo) has anything to do with his latest (Nov. 11) e-mail. Please clarify.


    1. The legal issues and facts are not simple. In order to properly explain them in a way which is fair to both sides - requires much effort, concentration and strength. Especially in the face of an international campaign against the Weiss' and anyone who supports them. As you noticed Artscroll was forced to let his father and uncle go after suffering significant financial damage as the result of this campaign. The Dodelson's and their consultants and supporters are not naive simple souls and the pressure they have generated is severe - even for an experienced negotiator such as Rabbi Greenwald.

      Bottom line he doesn't have the strength to fight against the pressure and he has bowed out.

    2. No, artscroll were not forced to convince them to resign, they decided to do so.

    3. Only because of the pressure brought on Artscroll.

  22. According to today's new Newsweek article on the Dodleson/Weiss dispute, Dodleson is using Shira Dicker from Shira Dicker Media International to press her media/press war against the Weiss'.


    Shira Dicker is a frei Orthodox-hating Jew.

  23. "... misinformation being spread by the Dodelsons." How do you come to the conclusion that this is "misinformation"? It seems, from the past few days, that it is the Weiss side who is being less than upfront.

    He's hold up her get, and complaining about the bad press for doing so.
    - Andrew

    1. Asher pihem diber shavNovember 12, 2013 at 9:19 PM

      It's crazy. But since it is within his halachic right to do withhold the get, he now has a serious claim for public embarrassment and loss of his family's source of income.

    2. Andrew I gather you are one of Dodelson's supports who has no interest in the fact or halachic issues involved.

  24. Thinking of the childNovember 12, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Rabboisai, I would like to ask all of you on theses websites, why you think your comment are of any toeles and not full-fledged Lashon Harah? All the schmootz all of you are sending off to float around in cybersspace is conjecture. Unfortunately, all that does is create a situation that buries the truth even further. Even more importantly you are expanding the dark shadow this child will be living under. What claim will any of you be able to make in front of the Kisai HaKovod after 120?
    As a Mother, I beg of you, if you have something constructive by which to help this couple to resolve their issue, than by all means go to them and do it. Otherwise, leave the situation to the two estranged parties.

    1. All the shmutz has been generated by Dodelson and her media PR campaign on social media, websites and worst the shmutzy NY Post.

    2. People are outraged, and rightfully so, that in this day and age, purposely withholding a get as a means of leverage, has been condoned and encouraged. This case will only embolden other present and future get refusers. If we don't speak up, who will? That is the toeles.

    3. Asher pihem diber shavNovember 12, 2013 at 10:26 PM

      Forget about the child for now. He is fine. He is not being abused. He is loved by his parents and grandparents. The abused here are potentially the wife, husband, father of husband, uncle of husband, family of husband, depending on your vantage point.

      This I love the child, for the sake of the child, is utter nonsense. These adults are abusing each other. It is a family war, and unfortunately very entertaining. Halachically, he has his right to withhold the get, and may have a claim for damages as well. American public opinion, is that it is wrong to ever withhold a get, for any reason and extortion to boot.
      Let's see how this plays out.

    4. I agree with wholeheartedly.

      Problem is that one has hired a PR director to constantly bombard us with shmootz and casting a huge chillul hashem upon us as a nation. Now this involves every frum Jew to stand up against those that go to the secular press to air their dirty laundry.

      As a person like yourself who is thinking of the child maybe for starters you should contact this boy's mother to stop parading herself around and deal with this in private.

      Lo samod al dam reayecha!

    5. In my view, many pro-get-withholding opinions expressed and published on this blog are a bigger chilul hashem than the newspaper articles.

  25. This case is a reflection of an important disconnect in the Orthodox world. Once upon a time, very few people, Jewish or non-Jewish, got divorced. It was legal in Judaism, legal under Islamic law, almost impossible under the Catholic Church but everywhere, because of social and economic forces, rare. The rich and well-connected were always an exception, though few went to the lengths of Henry VIII. And we must admit that since Halacha puts divorce in the hands of the husband, it also gives the man the edge on being a naval b'reshut haTorah. But that's the historical baseline.

    Today, for reasons beyond anybody's control (I know that attempts are made to control it, but they don't look too successful,) divorce is increasing in the religious Jewish world. Gittin being what it is – critically important for future generations, highly technical and optimally requiring deep understanding of human nature on top of all that – it is best suited for, if you will, an "artisanal" approach. Many divorces are relatively amicable, and successfully managing the technical aspects is enough. But even if the scorched earth divorces are a relatively constant percentage of all divorces, as divorce gets more common, there will be more demand for Rabbis and Batei din who can handle the full spectrum of cases. Because no matter how nuanced the halacha is, if there aren't enough competent yirei shamayim to staff the divorce courts, bad things will happen. And they are happening. Between the Weiss/Dodelson divorce and the cattle prod shanda, we are having our noses rubbed in the fact that there is impropriety, if not outright corruption in some batei din. That is true whether Dodelson OR Weiss or both are playing fast and loose with facts. This is not just a family problem, though it is certainly that. It is a family problem made worse by – and shining a light on – some fundamental problems in the administration of halacha (at the very least, in the USA; news from Israel suggests it is pervasive.) Even worse, there doesn't yet appear to be a way to clean things up.

    1. Kol Hakavod Yoel. Your insightful analysis is excellent. Well done.

    2. Brilliant analysis.

  26. Daas Torah, it seems that you are speaking as a baal dovor for the Weiss's, not as an impartial bystander. After the Weiss camp claimed Rabbi Greenwald was an agreed upon arbitrator, he responded with a letter clarifying that this was inaccurate. You're entitled to think as you imply that his clarification was due to injury and not the facts, but his letter is more reliably the truth then any "clarification from the Weiss family regarding the misinformation being spread by the Dodelsons (and Rabbi Greenwald).

    1. Rabbi Greenwald's reply is being misunderstood and he is not accusing the Weiss's of lying. I am now in communiation with Rabbi Greenwald about a clarification of this point. Hopefully he will provide a statement later today or tomorrow that I can publish.

    2. I concur, Josh. It is becoming harder to read DT's comments and efforts any other way.

    3. Agreed as well. I have no dog whatsoever in this fight but it is clear to me that your most recent attempt to "poison the well" and undermine the veracity of RG's recent clarification of his previous writings (which were not as clear as they could have been) calls your objectivity into question. Specifically you insinuate that the most recent writing (crystal clear to my trained eye - 3 decades an attorney and a rav) should be read in light of 1) the pain of recent injuries 2) the effects of medication and 3) the overwhelming stress of being involved in this debacle (ironically that sounds a lot like the Weiss'es output in this matter). I've known RG since my days at Mogen Av in the 60's - he's quite capale of explaining his position which he did. Why does a clear explanation call for another explanation and clarification?
      Also, try not to sound condescending. When you are askexsd a question, it's too easy to come back with a non-responsive answer claiming that the facts are simply too overwhelming for mere mortals like your readers to comprehend. In your own words;
      "The legal issues and facts are not simple. In order to properly explain them in a way which is fair to both sides - requires much effort, concentration and strength."
      C'mon - you're capable of better.
      Shmuel Simenowitz

    4. DT has sure lost the plot on this one

    5. Daas Torah,

      Boy do you owe me an apology! I wrote all of this a few days ago and you had the chutzpah and lack of respect to call my comments vile because I disagreed with you. I know you live on planet delusional and planet defend Weiss's at all cost without being מכיר the הלכה or the אמת but RG's e-mail to you is saying CLEARLY in bold and underlined words that he was not, is not, and never will be the arbitrator/mediator for this unfortunate ordeal. He IS saying that Rav Dovid's shlita's psak based on the Nov. 7th letter of RG being an arbitrator was false and gave a wrong impression, and therfore as I originally stated Rav Dovid was (deliberately) misinformed and hence AMW is a מעגו. Remember Rav Dovid said he was not a מעגן specifically because AMW went to arbitration with RG, and since that is not true anymore, it means Rav Dovid's psak was misinformed.

      Also, please reread the 2nd letter and understand it: it never says the words and "accepted me as arbitrator/mediator..." it says, the "families" approached him, implying not the baalei davar, it says things like "accepted my proposal," "consulted with families, outside experts..." and then it says at the end, "I believe some compromise can be worked out..." Again, none of that means arbitrator, it means he was an outside party approached by the FAMILIES (not the baalei davar), and he came up with an idea how to peacefully settle this and he was waiting for input from both sides to see if it was accepted. That is NOT an arbitrator, that is helpful advice and suggestions from a friendly outside party. Please do the right thing and apologize for what you said about me as this corroborates everything I wrote to you.

  27. I see my comment was deleted. It wasn't meant as negative toward any party involved. In fact I called for giving benefit of the doubt (which seems obviously warranted) for RG and RDF. I hope my comment did not come off as in any way negative toward these individuals c"v.

  28. >> update Tuesday Novembe 12 2013: There will be a clarification in a day or two from the Weiss family regarding the misinformation being spread by the Dodelsons - in particular the issue of negotiating a settlement with the Dodelson with the aid of Rabbi Greenwald.

    How do you know that only the Dodelson family is spreading misinformation and not the Weiss family?

  29. Recipients and PublicityNovember 14, 2013 at 6:02 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.

  30. 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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