Thursday, November 14, 2013

Weiss-Dodelson: Why don't you want to hear lashon harah about Gital and her family?

I am being flooded by hundreds of emails and comments dealing with the Weiss -Dodelson case. While there clearly are halachic issues that intelligent and sincere people can disagree with - there is the incredible problem of the information people are relying on to form their opinion. In particular, the extremely one sided and distorted collection of misinformation that appeared in Gital's interview with the N.Y. Post. While everyone nods their head and says in divorce cases there is the wife's version, the husband's version and then there is truth - in reality most people are simply accepting Gital's account as being objective and true.

I was at a chasuna last night in Mitzpe Yericho. It was truly a beautiful chasuna in a beautiful setting overlooking the Jordan Valley. I was talking with an old friend when a rosh yeshiva came over with one of his talmidim and asked me, "Could you explain the Weiss-Dodelson case to him? He read the NY Post article and doesn't understand how anybody could be so abusive and controlling and consider himself a Jew." I spent about 15 minutes going over the issues and the rosh yeshiva backed up my understanding of the halachic issues. The bachur kept repeating, "but she says he did...".  At the end, I told him that it was clear that he had accepted her view without hearing the other side - a clear violation of halacha.  I asked him, "I have received many emails describing Gital and much negative information about her and her family. Would you like to hear the lashon harah?" He was shocked at my suggestion that he listen to lashon harah and he walked away. He totally missed the point that hearing lashon harah from me about her - was the same as reading lashon harah or motzi shem rah from the NY Post about him.

So I ask you - "Would you like to hear the lashon harah about Gital and her family that Avraham Meir could have said if he had responded to the N.Y. Post's request for his side of the story? I hope the answer is no. Their son will grow up loving both his parents  - and one day he will have to face what his mother said about his father. It is time to stop trying to prove who was wrong - and get on with life.


  1. What about posting a "just the facts" rebuttal of the Dodelson family's "just the facts" rebuttal of all of the Weiss family's statements that appears on Gital's website?

    1. Avrohom Meir's rebuttal should be obtaining a Heter Meah Rabbonim for a beis din he'll compose and deposit a Get with them that Dodleson will get when she meets his requirements that he's entitled to. He can remarry then right away and the ball will be a Gital's court.

  2. What you and the rest of the Weiss supporters don't get is that the public is NOT interested in the facts of how their marriage fell apart and most people are NOT supporting Gital because they think she was right.

    To the public it is unconscionable that after 4 years of separation, where it is totally clear and understood to all that this marriage is over, that a husband can still withhold a Get. It is this mindset that people are protesting and supporting her.

    You yourself are proof of how difficult it is to change this mindset. As much as you state "It is time to stop trying to prove who was wrong - and get on with life." you are still publicly knocking her instead of publicly calling on the Weiss's to "get on with life".

    1. Precisely JTF. Thank you. I would only add that this matter was adjudicated in a court of law. Custody, money. And he participated I think, since he now wants recompense for legal fees.
      It is done.

    2. ואשברה מתלעות עול ומשניו אשליך טרףNovember 14, 2013 at 3:26 PM

      I agree. The tzibbur wants to know why a גט wasn't given. It is a bit difficult to fathom how this rather simple divorce takes 4 years, and Solomonesque wisdom to solve. However, I still don't know who the guilty party is. מה נשתנה גט הזה מכל מאות ואלפים גיטין בשנים האחרונות ?

      How long is the amount of time that a גט should be given? One year ? Two years ? Why doesn't it take a week ? obviously it takes time to negotiate something ? RG was trying to negotiate something ? So who's fault is it that the usual negotiations of one year, took four years ?

    3. "What you and the rest of the Weiss supporters don't get is that the public is NOT interested in the facts of how their marriage fell apart and most people are NOT supporting Gital because they think she was right.

      To the public it is unconscionable that after 4 years of separation, where it is totally clear and understood to all that this marriage is over, that a husband can still withhold a Get. It is this mindset that people are protesting and supporting her. "

      Same here!

  3. the weisses deserve itNovember 14, 2013 at 2:36 PM
    This method is now approved according to the kol korei. Stop kvetching!

  4. In my humble opinion, the greatest irony of this sad story is that...

    Although many bystanders freely admit to:

    A. "not knowing all the facts", and..

    B: The possibility that the the facts they don't know may very well change the reality of "who's right & who's wrong"...


    they don't have a problem forming judgements - based on their PERCEPTION of who's right & who's wrong.

    Forget about the terrible עבירה of הוצאת שם רע for a moment - Are we really so naive as to think that Gittel's piece in the NY Post was an example of WELL BALANCED UNBIASED reporting?

    Let's face it:

    PR people are prone to use "psychological manipulation" to attain their goals. We should at least BE AWARE of the POSSIBILITY that alot of what's being saud belongs in this category - and we should be aware of the inappropriateness of judging based on such misinformation.

    1. NO, people don't CARE who was right. At this point only a fool can think this marriage is not over, so he should give a get and stop his extortion.

  5. Part 2:

    Here's part of the wikipedia entry on "psychological manipulation":

    Simon[2] identified the following manipulative techniques:

    Lying: It is hard to tell if somebody is lying at the time they do it, although often the truth may be apparent later when it is too late. One way to minimize the chances of being lied to is to understand that some personality types (particularly psychopaths) are experts at the art of lying and cheating, doing it frequently, and often in subtle ways.

    Lying by omission: This is a very subtle form of lying by withholding a significant amount of the truth. This technique is also used in propaganda.

    Denial: Manipulator refuses to admit that he or she has done something wrong.

    Rationalization: An excuse made by the manipulator for inappropriate behavior. Rationalization is closely related to spin.

    Minimization: This is a type of denial coupled with rationalization. The manipulator asserts that his or her behavior is not as harmful or irresponsible as someone else was suggesting, for example saying that a taunt or insult was only a joke.

    Selective inattention or selective attention: Manipulator refuses to pay attention to anything that may distract from his or her agenda, saying things like "I don't want to hear it".

    Diversion: Manipulator not giving a straight answer to a straight question and instead being diversionary, steering the conversation onto another topic.

    Evasion: Similar to diversion but giving irrelevant, rambling, vague responses, weasel words.


    Shaming: Manipulator uses sarcasm and put-downs to increase fear and self-doubt in the victim. Manipulators use this tactic to make others feel unworthy and therefore defer to them. Shaming tactics can be very subtle such as a fierce look or glance, unpleasant tone of voice, rhetorical comments, subtle sarcasm. Manipulators can make one feel ashamed for even daring to challenge them. It is an effective way to foster a sense of inadequacy in the victim.

    Playing the victim role: Manipulator portrays him- or herself as a victim of circumstance or of someone else's behavior in order to gain pity, sympathy or evoke compassion and thereby get something from another. Caring and conscientious people cannot stand to see anyone suffering and the manipulator often finds it easy to play on sympathy to get cooperation.

    Vilifying the victim: More than any other, this tactic is a powerful means of putting the victim on the defensive while simultaneously masking the aggressive intent of the manipulator.

    Playing the servant role: Cloaking a self-serving agenda in guise of a service to a more noble cause, for example saying he is acting in a certain way to be "obedient" to or in "service" to an authority figure or "just doing their job".

    Seduction: Manipulator uses charm, praise, flattery or overtly supporting others in order to get them to lower their defenses and give their trust and loyalty to him or her.

    Projecting the blame (blaming others): Manipulator scapegoats in often subtle, hard-to-detect ways.

    Feigning innocence: Manipulator tries to suggest that any harm done was unintentional or that they did not do something that they were accused of. Manipulator may put on a look of surprise or indignation. This tactic makes the victim question his or her own judgment and possibly his own sanity.

    Feigning confusion: Manipulator tries to play dumb by pretending he or she does not know what the victim is talking about or is confused about an important issue brought to his attention.

    Brandishing anger: Manipulator uses anger to brandish sufficient emotional intensity and rage to shock the victim into submission. The manipulator is not actually angry, he or she just puts on an act. He just wants what he wants and gets "angry" when denied.

    1. Atzas Achitofel vechilul hashemNovember 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      Agunah? Agunah my foot! He IS willing to give a get. She CAN buy her way out. She placed a price tag on his life to pay. Payback time is here. Let HER pay now the price of the procedure costs and rightful compensation . As of now, at best, it has nothing to do with Aguna, only whether the costs are justifiable. Do not scream WOLF, when it's only a lamb, else no one will believe you anymore. A true Agunah is when a husband is captured or lost in a war without a trace, and not when you don't want to own up to your responsibilities. As the good book says, Shalem yeshalem hamavir es haveiro.

  6. I agree. In this case, you have to dismiss everything the girl and her family has said. You also have to dismiss everything the boy and his family has said. Everything, including what they claimed in court. After you do that, only two fact remain:
    1. The marriage doesn't exist anymore. They've been separated for more than 4 years, and the civil divorce has been granted more than a year ago.
    2. The girl has no get.

    Since these are the ONLY verified facts that we know, we have to reach our conclusions using these facts, and only these facts.

    1. Except we know that there are many more facts needed to reach a true conclusion. Our lack of access to those facts should preclude us from reaching any conclusion rather than a wrong conclusion.

    2. Agreed ... now, in Jewish law, the man has to give the Get and the woman has to agree to receive the Get.

      We have no idea which party is doing what, but there is one additional fact, as Rav Leff points out ... one party slandered the other in the media, while the other party chose not to.

      Beyond that, I wish everyone would stop judging based on stuff they read on the internet when they don't know the facts.

    3. And Mark, I would also add that there's been evidence this week alone that BOTH sides are playing fast and loose with the facts.
      Nobody wants to hear about any of this anymore. Post article? Who cares?!
      Four years. Enough already.

    4. A husband has no obligation to give a Get to a wife who is wronging him, until she stops wronging him and undoes her unhalachic actions she took against him.

    5. PatentlyJewish - "one party slandered the other in the media, while the other party chose not to."

      This is media -

    6. Lakewood Guy: No more facts are needed to reach a conclusion. A get should never be used as a weapon or negotiating point. If the marriage is over, give the get. Period.

      Ben Torah: "No halachic obligation" and "it's right to not do so" are two completely different concepts (see m'nuval b'rshus haTorah), If the marriage is over, give the get.

    7. Akiva you keep repeating views which have no basis in the Torah.

    8. Akiva: If the wife is violating his halachic rights, it is his halachic, legal, moral and ethical right to delay giving the Get until she corrects her unhalachic behavior towards him.

  7. "At the end, I told him that it was clear that he had accepted her view without hearing the other side - a clear violation of halacha."

    A clear violation of halacha? Maybe they hold like Gestetner and his "some rishonim" who dont think you have to hear both sides. At least this guy doesnt consider himself a dayan.

    Also, did Rav Dovid ask the dodelson's if they accepted arbitration?

  8. Jos snow wrote:
    “people don't CARE who was right. At this point only a fool can think this marriage is not over, so he should give a get and stop his extortion”.

    Sorry, Joe – People SHOULD care who IS (not past tense – present tense) right. And people should know that they don’t know!

    Here’s why:

    First, a simple fact: A. Both sides agree that the marriage is over. B.Weiss IS willing to give Dodeldsons a Get, but only UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS.

    The issue here is – are Weiss’s conditions reasonable?

    In determining whether or not Weiss’s conditions are reasonable, I think “who is right and who is wrong” MAKES A WORLD OF A DIFFERENCE in this case. Here’s why:

    It’s obvious that the Weiss/Feinstein families are very upset with what they believe to be “accusations & pressures attendant to the campaign of slander” against them, which “are based on untruths & lies” (from the Weiss’s letter to R’ Zlotowitz of Artscroll).

    IF their claim of a campaign of slander against them based on lies is true, IT WOULD BE REASONABLE FOR THEM TO DEMAND THAT THE RECORD BE SET STRAIGHT.

    Why are they entitled to set the record straight?

    1) Because slander is unfair – and it leaves long-term effects on the WHOLE family. Shiduchim, business dealings, social ostracization, lost income and diminished fundraising abilities.

    2) Because it effects the negotiations inherent in divorce proceedings. If Weiss is the victim, his demand for favorable division of assets and custody should be seen much more favorably. If Dodelsons is the victim, then her claims should outweigh his.

    An honest arbitrator should attempt to ascertain: Is Weiss the tyrant that the NY POST article makes him out to be?

    An honest arbitrator would DIG DEEPER & check: Are we perhaps missing some of the facts because of: Lying…. Lying by Omission… Rationalization… Minimization… Selective inattention or selective attention… Diversion… Shaming… Playing the victim role…Vilifying the victim &… Playing the servant role? (From the wiki article I quoted earlier).

    I don’t know the facts – and the facts matter. All I know is that depending on the CONTEXT Weiss MAY or MAY NOT be a tyrant, and the same goes for Dodensons.

    I wish we had a system for ascertaining facts – it’s is so sorely lacking, in my humble opinion.

    השיבה שופטינו כבראשונה... והסר ממנו יגון ואנחה!

    1. "The issue here is – are Weiss’s conditions reasonable?"

      No. The issue here is whether it is *ever* reasonable to place conditions on giving a get when all parties agree that the marriage is over. It is not. A get should not be used as a weapon or leverage, in any circumstances. Thus, the conditions are ipso facto unreasonable simply by virtue of being conditions.

    2. Akiva - that is not what the poskim say.

  9. Recipients and PublicityNovember 14, 2013 at 5:52 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.

  10. If he has legitimate halachic claims against her, and I have no idea whether he does or whether he doesn't, why is he obligated to give her a Get and effectively relinquish his halachic claims before they are adjudicated. It might be a midas chassidus for him to do so, but why should we be forcing his hand. Are you going to make him whole for his losses? You may say that he has no halachic claims against her, monetary or otherwise, but I have no idea what claims one has against the other and you don't either if you dismiss what the parties have said about each other.

    1. You are exactly correct. This is a din Torah. The Torah dictates the rights of each party to this matter. Boo Hoo, the Torah gave the man the upper hand. Deal with it. I happen to believe that the Torah understood how vindictive and spiteful some women can be, and that's why things are the way they are. Most men do not withhold a get out of spite, and neither is AMW.

      If this was a choshen mispot issue, should one side simply decide to be give in just because the other side bashmutzes him in public? Or because pursuing the claim in beis din might make the other side feel sad?

    2. Why does "giving a get" "effectively relinquish his halachic claims"? If he has halachic claims, give the get and then take her to Bais Din to adjudicate those claims. The only thing withholding the Get does is attempt to get her to *agree* to those claims in order to obtain the Get.

    3. Akiva a brilliant idea - but it doesn't work in real life

    4. Akiva, I'm going to assume that you are genuinely interested in an answer and are not just trolling. The answer is that the second the woman receives the get she ignores any hazmono you send and instead runs to court. This happens routinely in these situations. Yes, you might be able to get the beis din to issue a siruv against the ex-wife for running to court, but today most people simply ignore the siruv. Most men do not have a PR team that will get their stories in the paper. The men end up broke and broken, and their halachic claims don't matter one bit. Understand?

  11. You hypocrite. Yes, Rabbi Eidensohn, I am talking to you.

    You have spent weeks criticizing Gital at length. Now all of a sudden, as Gital gains the upper hand, you decide it's time to stop talking about who's right and wrong and just get on with life. Contemptible.

    To make matters worse, there have been some whispers that you have your own ties to Avraham Meir and his family. That you did not disclose this at the very beginning of - and all throughout - this debate is inexcusable. You may very well be right about who's causing all the trouble, but you should at least have the decency to disclose your negios. And don't tell me that has no basis in halacha.

    My faith in you will be restored when you issue an apology to your readership.

  12. Disappointed,
    So you have discovered that my brother is a hypocrite. All of a sudden, now that Gitel has gained the upper hand, my brother stops talking about her. My dear friend, do you really think that the filth coming out of Gitel's pen has given her the upper hand? She and her family and her rabbis have been utterly debased, they and their terror and their filth. At this point, why should my brother work hard to smash Gitel when she is doing the job herself? And if my brother suddenly became afraid of Gitel, why is he putting my stuff on the blog every day, along with the thoughts of many people who are sick and tired of the filth and the terror coming from the Dodelsons and their cousin?


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