Monday, June 15, 2015

Rivky Stein - self proclaimed aguna and alleged victim of severe abuse and slavery from her husband - where are you now?

update: Added her motion objecting to her lawyers dropping her case. [I removed her address and phone number by using ocr - which caused some minor errors in text]

It has been a long time since Rivky Stein - wife of Yoel Weiss - has been in the news or mentioned on this blog. To refresh your memory I copied the news items she has on her website . It is still up - though apparently inactive.

Does that mean that her supporters have deserted her - as her lawyers allegedly have - because they don't believe what she claims? Or perhaps it means that being part of a lynch mob - stirred up by lies - is a hard act to sustain. It is exciting when a young lady stirs rage and indignation against an Orthodox Jewish husband - but it is boring when no evidence comes to support her incitement and there is always a new lynch mob forming to attack religious Jews. In fact the only evidence that has come out supports the husband's contention that his wife is very creative as a spinner of fictitious tales.

For those who joined the lynch mob based on headlines like the following - where is your honesty? None of the newspaper have printed retractions or apologies and none of Rifky's supporters has had the guts to admit they were wrong. Why not? If you tried to insult and defame Yoel from a mistaken belief you were helping a helpless victim of domestic abuse - don't you think you should acknowledge that you were mistaken and offer an apology?


EXCLUSIVE: Orthodox Jewish wife who claims she was 'raped, beaten and starved' by husband who refused divorce tells U.S. court he 'let her daughter play with his genitals'
He won’t part with her — or his money.

An Orthodox Jewish man who is refusing to grant his wife a divorce bragged about beating the system and hiding his money from the government, his bitter spouse told a Brooklyn judge Wednesday.

‘Get’ Case Heads to Brooklyn Supreme CourtRivky Stein testifies against her husband, who won’t grant her a Jewish divorce

'Raped on her wedding night, beaten while pregnant then starved and tortured by her own husband' but still DENIED a divorce: Orthodox Jewish woman fights for religious separation as partner laughs at her in court

An Orthodox Jewish woman, desperate to obtain a religious divorce, broke down and sobbed on the witness stand Thursday as she accused her husband of raping and starving her.

Orthodox Jewish woman launches social media campaign to convince her husband to grant her a religious divorceWith the help of family and friends, Rivky Stein, 24, created a Facebook page detailing her purportedly nightmarish relationship with hubby Yoel Weiss, 31, whom she married in a religious ceremony shortly after she turned 18 years old, in 2008. Weiss denies he's stalling, saying he will grant the get after the custody battle is hashed out.

Brooklyn woman turns to Facebook to get Jewish divorce. Rivky Stein launches campaign to convince husband to grant her religious writ of divorce and raise awareness in her

Orthodox Jewish Woman Fights for the Right to a Divorce
When Rivky Stein was just 18 years old, she married Yoel Weiss, a man eight years her
senior from a wealthy family who had been courting her. However, as soon as the wedding
was over, she saw a scary side of her new husband.

 Orthodox Jewish Wife Turns To Social Media In Fight For Religious Divorce
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An Orthodox Jewish woman has launched a social media campaign to help in her bid to obtain a religious divorce.

 (JTA) — An Orthodox Jewish woman in New York has launched a campaign on social media to force her husband to give her a religious divorce. Friends of Rivky Stein, 24, of Brooklyn, launched a Facebook page earlier this month calling on her common-law husband, Yoel Weiss, 31, to grant her the get. Stein married Weiss in a religious ceremony six years ago shortly after she turned 18; the couple never filed for a civil marriage certificate.

EXCLUSIVE - 'Raped, tormented and locked in a room to starve with her two babies': The shocking claims of a young Jewish mother who found the courage to flee her husband but is still 'chained' because he refuses to grant religious divorce


  1. How about Shalom Task Force.

    Their Rabbinical leader was the disgraced Rabbi DW - a man involved in sexual impropriety with supposedly battered and abused women.

    Shalom Task Force used to run a responsible ad "Calling hurts - abuse hurts more". They have now changed it to "Think You're the Only One Being Abused? Think Again". They claim to receive thousands of phone calls a year. (Easy to do when there is no oversight.)
    Speak about leading questions! Right beiside it they have another ad

  2. who is DW?

    On the other hand, R' Twerski is featured there, and he is a respected Gadol.

  3. @Eddie DW is Dovid Weinberger - former posek for Shalom Task Force. Rabbi Twerski is not a gadol He is a respected therapist


  5. I was told R' Twersky is a Chassidic Rebbe. Maybe not one of the Gedolei hador, but he is an important Rav.

  6. @Eddie - being a chassidic rebbe in itself doesn't make a person an important Rav.

  7. I think the question needs to be asked, why is there no end to rabbanim being caught up in these kinds of scandals. It cannot be put down to them being just younger rabbis, since some of them are poskim.
    It is not limited to any one group - there are MO/Tzioni, Hareidi scandals.
    Is there an explanation, either in traditional sources, or in modern psychology?

  8. Dr. Twerski is a Rebbe? Or are you thinking of his cousin?

  9. Do you have any reason to believe or suspect that Shalom Task Force acts inappropriately is any way?

  10. @Eddie you want to know why rabbis also have a yetzer harah?!

    Perhaps you recall the statement that the greater a person is the greater is his yetzer. Also intelligent people are able to rationalize things better than less intelligent/educated people.

    Sukkah528(52a): Abaye explained that the yetzer harah is stronger against sages
    than anyone else. For example when Abaye heard a certain man say to a woman,
    “Let us arise and go on our way.” Abaye said that he would follow them in order to
    keep them from sin and so he followed after them for three pasarangs across a
    meadow. However they simply parted from each other and he heard them say, “The
    way is long and the company is pleasant.” Abaye said, “If I were in that situation I
    could not have withstood temptation.” He went and leaned against a doorpost in
    deep anguish. An old man came to him and taught him: To the degree that a person
    is greater than others, to that degree his yetzer (evil inclination) is greater than theirs.

    Avnei Milium527(Introduction):… Our Sages say that whoever is greater his
    yetzer is greater. That is because there is no comparison of one who has bread in his
    basket to one who doesn’t. When the spirit is closed in, it makes a greater effort to
    break through the restrictions and escape. Therefore one who holds to the path of
    Torah without letting his lust to express itself – the yetzer harah does not have bread
    in his basket because it is highly unlikely for the person to do a really disgusting sin.
    Therefore his yetzer harah becomes stronger and the power of his lust which is being
    restrained is aroused to escape the restraints and act. It is different with a person who
    is not a tzadik since his yetzer harah has bread in its basket. Meaning the yetzer
    harah has the ability to influence through lust. Since the yetzer harah is not locked
    in, it doesn’t make efforts to go out. This is what Tosfos (Kiddushin 31a) concerning
    that the one who is commanded has a greater yetzer. That the one who is not
    commanded to do the mitzva has bread in his basket because if he wants he can
    ignore the mitzva. However this picture changes over time. That is because it is well
    known that one who gets habituated to constant pleasure that it is no longer pleasing
    to have the same thing everyday. Therefore the power of lust and its strategies
    change everyday as is known that the way of drunkards is to search new ways to get

  11. In the deluded minds of the feminist Domestic Violence groups, women can only be victims and men can only be perps. This type of anti-male sexist indoctrination bears a heavy responsibility for the ever increasing divorce rate and destruction of Jewish men in the "frum" Jewish communities.

    "In the overwhelming majority of situations the victim is the woman"

    "I personally participated at a meeting as an advocate for a father at the ACS office...participating from Ohel was a case worker and her supervisor...basically it was a Kangaroo Court where a decision was made in advance to get the father out of the house...they insisted on going to court (for an order of protection against a Jewish father) Erev Shabbos...I found the Ohel case worker to be a liar and prevaricator...this was very terrible, very many cases they do terrible things"

  12. His brother is the Milwaukee Rebbe, R' Michel Twersky שליט"א.

  13. I was told he wears a special "Rebbe" coat by a Hassidic Rabbi who was hosting him once. But, I don't fully understand the way "Rebbe" is transmitted to the sons.
    The other Twersky, R' Yitzhak ztl, was also a rebbe - Talner rebbe.

  14. But he always makes it a point to include a disclaimer in his speeches that women often make false accusations against husbands. (At least he used to.)

  15. Joseph, that is interesting, although i would generally assume that such a person would be the type who embezzles and takes a bit of the money raised for himself. But interesting theory, thank you!

  16. These are very important sources which address the problem. Is it possible to translate or rephrase in modern language, ie in that of psychology, motivation , behaviour etc?
    I see part of this as being a precursor to Freudian "repression". That is somebody has to work hard repressing his taavahs , and excels academically in his Torah studies, but the act of being frum takes its toll and eventually overcomes him.
    On the other hand, it is not always the case (I think). Somehow I don't consider major Torah personalities those who would have been trapped by their taavahs.
    It also raises the question - which is brought by Avot D'Rabbi Nathan, on whether a fence is counter-productive. He brings the example of Adam/Chava building a gezeira, to not touch the Tree, and hence this leads to more sin. Thus, the psychology is clear, when one is preoccupied in calling every little thing ervah, even though it is permitted d'oraita, it creates this repression.
    My thoughts only.

  17. Does that mean that her supporters have deserted her - as her lawyers
    allegedly have - because they don't believe what she claims?

    I have no idea if and why her supporters may have deserted her, but I'm quite certain that if her lawyers did so, it was not b/c they didn't believe what she claimed. As a rule, so long as the client pays the bill, the lawyers stay on board.

  18. Eddie said: I think the question needs to be asked, why is there no end to rabbanim
    being caught up in these kinds of scandals. It cannot be put down to
    them being just younger rabbis, since some of them are poskim. It is not limited to any one group - there are MO/Tzioni, Hareidi scandals.

    RaP: It is not just among the ones you mention, and it is not just about sex or lust, it's about domination and humiliation and revenge and the power of the dark side, the Yetser Hora and Sitra Achra and Samech Mem, aka the Devil in all of us that seeks to jump out and attack the minute it has a chance, but is also to be found....everywhere.... such as in the well-known scandals in the Catholic Church; universities and colleges; schools of all sorts; the work-place; socially with date rape etc; even in families as in incest: It is all about the abuse of power by the strong over-powering the weak and lording it over them. It is something very primal that any human being can fall this trap, just as in the animal kingdom there is the law of the jungle where alpha males or even power-besoted females get to do what they want with all the females and then that is replicated and spirals all the way up and down.

    "Is there an explanation, either in traditional sources, or in modern psychology?"

    RaP: Oh no need to be so melodramatic because the answer is very simple and it is Lord Acton (1837-1869) who said it best: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."!

    Evil is global and has no boundaries, and we must all confront it and stop it:

  19. Rivky is a BIG Nebech case! Amazing she got so far with her PR nonsense. What's up with some of her enablers, are they still concocting Batei Din out of thin air and threatening people with these fictitious organisms?

  20. Not if they now get joined into counter lawsuits. At that point, if their case is weak, they will drop out. Just like they did in this case.

  21. His brother, Reb Michel, does not consider himself a rebbe. He considers himself a community rabbi who is of the Hornesteiple decent.

  22. “In fact the only evidence that
    has come out supports the husband's contention that his wife is very creative
    as a spinner of fictitious tales.”

    Interesting. I read closely the
    referenced article: Is Battering the Only Form of Domestic Abuse?

    The article gives an example of a
    husband’s rage: “Examples of intimidation are yelling and screaming, destroying
    the spouse's prized possessions, throwing things, punching walls, driving
    recklessly while one's spouse is in the car or by blocking her exit from a

    Further examples: “Some examples
    are name-calling, put-downs, humiliating or degrading her, whether in private,
    or even worse, in front of family or friends. Some abusers will blame their
    wives for their own bad behavior or hold their wives accountable for actions
    they cannot possibly control. The abuser might to make his wife doubt her own

    “A husband may start a fight, call
    her friends or family names or make life generally difficult for his wife when
    she associates with someone he disapproves of. In other cases, he may require
    her to account for her time, listen in on phone conversations, monitor her
    activities or accuse her of imagined affairs or flirtations.”

    The Torah teaches us in parshat
    Matos that a husband could cancel his wife’s vows. In olden times, the wife, enraged, makes vows
    and the husband, also enraged, affirms the vow.
    Later, the couple goes to the Rabbi to cancel the vows.

    Nedarim 20b:  “Mishnah. Four types of vows have the sages
    invalidated; viz., vows incentive, vows of exaggeration, vows in error, and
    vows [broken] under pressure.” My theory
    is that our sages didn’t want to offend women, but, it was enraged wives vowing
    that our sages were concerned about.

    In modern times, the enraged wives,
    spin “fictitious tales” and go to court. King Solomon warns: “Do not quarrel with a man
    for no cause, When he has done you no harm” (Proverbs 3:30)

  23. @Gerald Aranoff - are you saying that because abuse sometimes happens in marriages - it must have happeneded in this case?!

    A rather strange approach

  24. Thank you all for your help on this. What I am trying to understand from the Gemara is as follows: Is it saying there is a direct relationship between a person's level of observance/learning and his taavah? And is the cut off point where someone becomes a tzaddik?
    Or is it teaching something else? It seems that this is not always the case - Reish Lakish, for example, when he was still a bandit had a great taavah, but when he attacked R' Yochanan, and R' Yochanan offered his sister to him, he already lost his base desires.
    So what is the relationship between greatness and yetser hara?
    thank you.

  25. @Eddie - there seem to be three answers to your question 1) greatness increases the yetzer harah 2) there is always a balance between knowledge and lust and thus the test remains constant 3) a tzadik loses his yetzer harah [Rav Tzadok has a major discussion of this in his Kedoshim tihiyu

    Actually the Malbim notes that a tzadik is someone who is successful in fighting his yetzer but he is constantly fighting in contrast someone who is a yosher - does the right thing without a fight

  26. Eddie - while we're on the subject of your thoughts only, perhaps you could indulge me. The Rambam and Shulchan Aruch state that a person should keep "very very far away" from Arayos (a term that I think only appears in this context). Could you give an example of something which, in your opinion, is not strictly prohibited as גילוי עריות yet we would nevertheless be exhorted to desist from based on the above statement of the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch?

    (You've told us many times about activities which you don't think are included - I'm curious to know which ones you think are included.)

  27. I read Rivka Stein’s 18
    pages. I looked up Index number 54467/12
    on Etrack. This is a criminal court
    case. There is a trial scheduled for
    today June 15, 2015. The judge is Ester Morgenstern. What Judge Morgenstern says will be very interesting. I read the older blogs, Yoel Weiss’
    side. Surely, the truth is with Yoel

    Yes, I’m interested. My ex is trying to scratch my name from the
    marital property. My index number
    54688/12 in the Brooklyn Civil Court. I
    have an appearance June 30, 2015. I have
    a motion on this same matter at the Appellate Division Second Department return
    date June 19, 2015. I have a motion
    #2015-741 at the NYS Court of Apeals return date June 22, 2015.

  28. What property is your ex trying to seize from you and why is this case only occurring over 20 years after your divorce? How do you have cases simultaneously in the trial and appeals level, and how will you fight your case without a lawyer if you live out of the country?

  29. They drop out only if they are working on contingency. If they are being paid, they have no reason to drop out no matter how weak the case is.

  30. Chaim, what I think or what my opinion is on a matter is quite irrelevant. The example I cited above is the one that Rabbi Nathan gave, and is based on an aggadah. I.e. Adam/Chava knew that the Torah permitted touching the tree, but they built a geder around it, and said it is forbidden. Thus, if this principle (of Avot D'Rabbi Nathan) is valid, (which you seem to be questioning), then it may apply also to other gezeiros which are d'rabbanan, or modern chumros. Remember, Rambam also says that saying something is forbidden by the Torah when it is in fact not, is being bal tosif.

  31. Listen, David, I don’t really know
    what’s going on. Actually I never did. I was always in good spirits and trusting in
    God that all will be well. Yes I have
    Index number 54688-2012, docket number 2015-04424, and motion number 2015-741.
    In the old days, rebellious wives would make wicked vows to aggravate their
    husbands. “whereas you incur no guilt if you refrain from vowing” (Deuteronomy 23:23). Nowadays, rebellious wives file lies and
    forged documents to courts to aggravate their husbands. I also have NYS Commission on Judicial
    Conduct number 2015/N-0227.

  32. Thanks for replying - at the very least, you satisfied my curiosity.

  33. They took a huge gamble with the RICO case, where they worked for her as well. (See this ) The Federal judge had warned the lawyers that tying up the court with frivolous suits will not be without consequence. Weiss counter sued the firm for filing the frivolous suits - which brought them to ask to withdraw from the federal case. She is refusing to allow them to withdraw. She is trying to claim that they are withdrawing from the family case in order to punish or pressure her to allow them to withdraw from the federal case.

  34. Well, if my understanding of R' Nathan is correct, the permitted pleasure of touching the Tree was denied Chava, and hence this caused the yetser hara to act in order to eat the fruit.

  35. what happened to Yoeli? He was in touch with this blog, but has also disappeared...

  36. @Yoel is doing fine - don't worry

  37. Dear Rav Eidensohn,

    I was sent to this page by a friend and was hoping that you can put me in touch with Rivky Stein so I can testify on her behalf if necessary.

    On two separate occasions I personally witnessed Yoily acting abusive (physically and verbally) towards Rivky in public and on one occasion towards one of their children.

    I dont know if it would be appropriate to elaborate on the specifics here but I would be happy to over email, phone or in person.

    Please feel free to email me for more details and let me know how I can help.



  38. @chaim - it is very easy to contact Rivky - simply do a google search.

    I am sure she would really like to hear from you since her campaign has gone into reverse and she is losing on all fronts. I gather you are the only person in the world who claims to have evidence and are willing to testify for her in court. At this time she is widely viewed - even by many of her former supporters - as a nut, liar and mentally unstable . I am sure you can give her chizuk.

  39. Rav Eidensohn,

    Thanks for responding. I already tried to google her but did not find a phone number. I sent a message to her facebook page but have not received a response.

    Do you have any contact information that you can email to me directly?

    I am not the only person that witnessed this, I was with my wife and her sister on one occasion when this happened. So if this is the case that she is considered a nut and liar I would like to do the right thing and come forward to tell what I saw first hand.

    If you can help me get in contact i would appreciate it and it would be a great mitzva to help a bas yisrael in her time of need.


  40. @Chaim - don't have any direct contact method other than what you have tried.

    The fact that she did not respond would suggest she is trying to extricate herself from the situation rather than pursuing it anymore.

  41. Rav Eidensohn,

    Do any of the court documents you obtained have her contact information? If so would you be able to email them to me privately?

    It seems that her page is not up to date so it is possible she is not moderating or checking it.

    I dont know anything about her slavery or rape claims, I did not see them so can not support them. I can only testify regarding the abuse that I saw as well as my wife and her sister. There were others in this location as well but I do not know them.

    Since this does validate some of her claim regarding abuse to her and her children I feel it is my Jewish obligation to come forth and try to help in any way I can.

    If you have any other way to reach out to her please let me know so we can both share in this good act.

    If anyone reading this has any information on how I can contact Rivky Stein to offer my testimony on what we saw please feel free to email me at c.teichman at inbox dot com (i spelled it out so as not to receive spam).

    Gut Shabbos

  42. Rav Eidensohn,

    No need to publish but i just wanted to update you and let you know that this post was helpful and I have been put in touch with her and her family.

    Tizku lemitzvos


  43. Perhaps you can be her lawyer since her lawyer dropped her case and she's on her own now.

  44. How long have the proceedings benn going on? If a husband doesn't give his wife a get after six months of deliberation, he can't be called a sarvan get because cases can take longer than that. If we are talking 3 years after the case, this is something different. How long has this been going on?

  45. What is the basis for your halachic "timetables"?

    If there is justification for the husband withholding the Get, then she can wait forever...

  46. Didn't they reconcile? Leave them alone.


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