Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bronx Man Arrested For Manslaughter After Beating Wife’s Attacker To Death

A husband has been arrested after police said he beat a man to death who was allegedly trying to rape his wife inside their apartment in the Bronx.

Mamadou Diallo, 61, has been charged with manslaughter, police said.

Just before 9:30 p.m. Monday, police responded to 911 calls at an apartment building on Washington Avenue.

Diallo’s son Abdul said his mother and sister were alone inside their apartment when they heard a knock on the door. When they answered, police said an attacker rushed in and started beating the mom and then pulled off her clothes.

The victim was able to break free and grab a phone to call her Diallo, who was outside the building, police said.

Diallo came rushing inside and met the attacker on the sixth floor hallway, police said. That’s where police said Diallo beat the suspect, who has been identified as 43-year-old Earl Nash.[...]

Diallo was then taken into custody. His son Abdul said he would have done the same thing.

“I think any husband would do the same thing as what he did,” he told CBS2’s Magdalena Doris. “You see your wife being attacked and sexually harassed, you’re going to beat on the person. You are not just going to sit there and let the person leave or whatever. So I don’t think he’s wrong.” [...]

Court reduces sentence for man who killed his rapist

Times of Israel   The Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed the 2013 murder conviction of a man who killed his own rapist, convicting him of manslaughter instead. Yonatan Hilo will serve a 12-year prison sentence, down from his initial 20 years.

In 2010, Hilo killed Yaron Ayalon, after Ayalon repeatedly raped, robbed and blackmailed him over a period of several months.

In December 2014, the Lod District Court — while recognizing Hilo as a rape victim — rejected his self-defense claim on the grounds that he hadn’t reported the assaults to police and that several weeks had elapsed between the last assault and Ayalon’s killing.

But in its response to Hilo’s appeal on Tuesday, the Supreme Court recognized the “ongoing taunting” that Hilo had suffered “over a long period of abuse by the deceased toward the appellant, which included a web of violent incidents, threats of violence including threats on the appellant’s life, financial extortion and sexual abuse, which included two acts of sodomy.”

In their verdict, the judges wrote that this was “one of the cases in which the law falls short of encompassing the full complexity of life and of human suffering.”

Consideration for the distress of an individual had to be balanced against society’s need for justice, the judges wrote. They added that the need to protect the sanctity of life for all, including those who have committed crimes, had to be considered alongside the fear of legitimizing an individual’s authority to mete out justice and revenge.

Hilo’s lawyer, Alon Eisenburg, told Israel Radio that his client should have been completely cleared of any crime. [...]

Monday, May 30, 2016

At 96, Dr. Heimlich Uses His Own Maneuver on Choking Victim

Since he invented the Heimlich maneuver, Dr. Henry J. Heimlich had spent decades demonstrating the lifesaving technique on people willing to play the role of a choking victim.
But this week, Dr. Heimlich, 96, said he got to do the real thing.
He used the abdomen-squeezing maneuver on Monday night on an 87-year-old woman who was choking at their senior residence community in Cincinnati, popping a morsel of meat out of her mouth.
“I felt it was just confirmation of what I had been doing throughout my life,” he said in an interview on Friday. [...]
“I made a fist of my right hand — you can do it with either hand, by the way — and put my arms around her,” he said.
He placed the thumb side of his fist just above her belly button and below the chest to compress the air in her lungs. “I did it three times, and it apparently was pretty much done on the first time,” he said. [...]

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Additional details regarding the Jerusalem mashgiach accused of abusing relatives


כיצד התגלגלה תלונת בנות המשפחה שהותקפו אל חוקרי המשטרה? מה פסק הגאב"ד המפורסם מירושלים לנפגעת ובעלה שבאו להתייעץ? מי חקר את המתלוננות? • המחדל: כיצד דלפו תמונתו ופרטיו של 'המשגיח התוקף' מהמחשב המשטרתי אל קבוצות הוואטס-אפ החרדיות? • הפעילים החרדים שהניעו את החקירה וגורם משטרתי בכיר מספרים

פרטים חדשים על פרשת 'המשגיח התוקף': המשגיח מהישיבה הממוקמת בשכונת בית וגן בירושלים, שנעצר בחשד שתקף באכזריות שלוש נשים מבנות משפחתו, הסגיר את עצמו למשטרה, לאחר שיממה קודם לכן נמלט מביתו.
גורם משטרתי בכיר אישר גם בשיחה עם כתב חרדים 10, כי התלונה כנגד 'המשגיח' הגיעה מאחת בנות המשפחה בה בוצעו המעשים החמורים, לאחר שהתקבל אישור של גאב"ד ידוע, העומד בראש בית דין בירושלים.
הפרשה החלה לאחר שמידע על המעשים החמורים שבוצעו בבנות המשפחה הגיע אל שלושה פעילים חרדים. "פנינו אל גורם משטרתי בכיר וזה הנחה אותנו לשוחח עם האשה ועם בעלה על מנת שיגישו תלונה במשטרה", הם מספרים.
בני הזוג התלבטו ופנו להתייעצות אצל הדיין הבכיר מירושלים. הדיין, שנחשף למעשים המזעזעים, אישר לבני הזוג בכתב ידו, ברמה ההלכתית, להגיש תלונה במשטרה כנגד המשגיח.
עם האישור פנו שלושת הפעילים אל הגורם המשטרתי, וזה תיאם פגישה בינם לבין מפקד מרחב מוריה במשטרה ונציגי פרקליטות מחוז ירושלים.
הגורם הבכיר סיכם עם גורמי החקירה כי החשוד יובא לחקירה במשטרה, בתנאי שיוטל צו איסור פרסום על שמות כל המעורבים בפרשה, שכן על המקרה לא חלה חובת דיווח.
לאחר הסיכום של הגורם הבכיר, נפגשו שלושת הפעילים החרדים עם גורמי החקירה וגוללו את כל הידוע להם על הפרשה.
"עם הגעת התלונה הרשמית, תיאם הגורם המשטרתי הבכיר את הפגישה בין המתלוננות לצוות החקירה, ודאג כי את הבנות יחקרו דווקא שוטרות חרדיות, כדי להקל עליהן", הם מספרים.
הגורם המשטרתי אישר בשיחה עם חרדים 10 את הפרטים.

Rivky Stein Weiss: Why are those websites still up?

The following post has been removed three times by an unknown hacker. Am working on adding another site  Daas Torah

Would appreciate any advice on dealing with this security problem.
I just received the following letter from Rivky Weiss with a request to post it. I have no independent knowledge of the allegations being made and I am simply presenting her claims.

I know everyone has a lot of questions about what happened to us. However we are still fragile and are not ready for public discussions about our marriage at the current moment. However in regards to the website redeemrivky - it was put up by my brother Ezra Stein who lives in Israel. He pressured me to go to the media and he created this website. I have asked him numerous times to take it down but he has refused. He has told me that I need to pay him money to take it down. 
In regards to the go fund me website, I did not receive a dollar from it. My brother Ezra switched everything to his account and took all the money. He now refuses to take down the website. He doesn't seem to care for me or my children. He only saw an opportunity on how to make money off of me when I was in my most vulnerable and weak state . 
When I was being evicted from my place I begged my brother Ezra to release some funds to me so I could find a place. He responded by telling me to go to a shelter with my children. I started looking for shelters but they were all full. Thank G-d, due to the kindness of one of my foster mothers I was able to secure a place for myself and my children. 
I have asked Ezra on numerous occasions to take down the site.  I am now publically asking him to please take down the website and that all the money that was donated should be given back to those who donated. That is simply because this money was given to help me in my time of need. Ezra refused to release the funds to me at that time and refused to give me any of the funds after the entire court process was over as well. Therefore I feel the right thing to do would be to refund the money. 
Bottom line - I have no control over the website or the go fund me account that was made to help me. I have not received any of the funds that were donated. Only my brother has the legal authority to take them down and he has the money that was raised. He needs to take down the website and  to return the money. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Tel Aviv 'police brutality' claim exposed as false

Analysis of footage shows Bedouin employee attacked cops first, prompts journalist to apologize for condemning police.

Israeli media raised an uproar after security cameras apparently showed an Arab Israeli supermarket worker in Tel Aviv being hit by eight police officers- but a closer investigation of the footage has debunked the claims of unprovoked police brutality, and even caused some in the media to apologize.

Maysam Abu Alqian, 19, a Bedouin Arab from the Negev town of Hura, was asked by plainclothes Border Police officers on Sunday to see his teudat zehut (ID card) as he stood outside the Super Yuda store in central Tel Aviv where he worked.

According to Alqian, he refused to show his ID until an officer in uniform showed up, and he claims that the plainclothes officers began hitting him for no apparent reason.

But during an internal police investigation of the incident, a close examination of the security camera footage revealed by Walla shows the officers were actually attacked first and responded according to protocol. [...]

An analysis of the footage led at least one leading figure in the media to retract his initial accusations against the police.

Ben-Dror Yemini, a Yedioth Aharonoth columnist, wrote on Facebook on Wednesday: "I was wrong. I'm sorry."

"Immediately after the incident between the Bedouin youth and the officers in central Tel Aviv I published a short post condemning the police. But a check of the video footage frame by frame, which was done by Avi Ashkenazi on the Walla site, reveals that the officers apparently did indeed present documentation, and they were not the ones who started the pushing that led to violence."

"I demand that others respond to the facts. The facts prove that I was wrong," he concluded.

But despite the revelations, the backlash fueled by the initial reports of the incident have led to an outpouring of contributions for the Bedouin teen who refused to show his ID to the officers and proceeded to hit them.

According to reports on Thursday around 1,000 Israelis have raised over 100,000 shekels (over $26,000) for Alqian to pay for his university tuition fees.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Divorce: Division of assets when husband leaves vs wife leaves husband

One of the areas of great relevance to the contemporary religious Jewish community is what happens to financial assets when a couple divorce. While there clearly is an emphasis on equitable division in secular law - the same is not so according to halacha.

According to the accepted halacha the husband owns everything except what the wife brought into the marriage. Therefore split of property and assets and giving the wife alimony and child support - has no basis in halacha. In fact if the wife is given these by a secular court, it is considered theft since she has no right to them.

One of the attempts to change this is a Rema which says that we follow the common custom in division. But does dina d'malchusa constitute the minhag? That is a discussion for another time.

I was recently told of an approach which says that the above is only relevant when the wife either deserts her husband or says he disgusts her and demands a Get. Is it different if the husband deserts the wife and demands a Get from her? [to be continued]

In Switzerland, Muslim schoolchildren who refuse to shake their teacher’s hand may be fined $5,000

In Switzerland, the humble handshake between a teacher and children at the beginning and end of the day — a tradition throughout much of the country — has become an unlikely battleground in a public debate about religious freedom and sexual equality. Now, one Swiss canton has added a financial element to the controversy, warning families of children who refuse to shake hands with their teachers that they would face a fine of up to $5,000.

In April, two students at a school in the town of Therwil, near Basel, had requested an exemption from shaking a teacher's hand. The two teenagers, brothers from a Syrian family, had suggested that shaking a woman's hand went against Islamic teachings. In a compromise, the local school district ruled that the two children would not have to shake any teacher's hand, whether male or female.

After Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper reported about this, however, the agreement with the school district began to come undone. A widespread debate about immigration and integration erupted in the Swiss press, with many arguing that the students' calls for religious freedom was at odds with the Swiss tradition of gender equality. "We cannot accept this in the name of religious freedom," Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said in an interview with Swiss-German broadcaster SRF. "The handshake is part of our culture.”[...]

The regional education authorities in the Basel-Country canton had initially stayed out of the debate, but they released a statement on Wednesday that reversed the school district's decision. The schoolchildren would be required to shake the hand of their teacher, the statement said, or their guardians would be fined.[...]

The situation is the latest controversy over the role of Islam in Swiss society. Muslims are thought to constitute about 5 percent of Switzerland's population, but many Swiss argue that the community has not integrated fully. In 2009, Swiss voters banned the construction of minarets, and last year the canton of Ticino made the wearing of a burqa in public punishable by a $10,000 fine. There have also been other disputes involving education, with some Muslim parents fined for demanding that their daughters be exempt from swimming classes.[...]

Switzerland's Muslim community had largely refused to support the boys' refusal to shake hands, pointing out that it was a Swiss tradition that many Muslims quite happily accept. To "the students and parents I would suggest the following reflection: Can the denial of shaking hands be more important than the Islamic commandment of mutual respect?" Montassar Ben Mrad, president of Federation of Islamic Organizations in Switzerland, had said in the statement.

Eleven states sue Obama administration over bathroom guidance for transgender students

Eleven states and state officials filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the Obama administration over federal guidance directing schools to allow transgender students to use restrooms and other facilities that match their gender identities.

The federal lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, states that the guidance “has no basis in law” and could cause “seismic changes in the operations of the nation’s school districts.”

State officials have hinted they might file a legal challenge since the Obama administration released a letter earlier this month from the Justice Department and the Education Department that the federal agencies said was in response to questions from schools around the country.

“There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement when the letter was released. “This guidance gives administrators, teachers, and parents the tools they need to protect transgender students from peer harassment and to identify and address unjust school policies.” [...]

This lawsuit — which bears the names of nine states as well as a governor and another state’s education department — is the first filed in response to the administration’s letter. Although some politicians, parents, elected officials and school districts embraced the directive, others aggressively argued against it and said the administration was overstepping its authority.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) almost immediately said his state would fight the letter because President Obama is “not a king.” Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general, accused Obama of trying to “bully Texas schools into allowing men to have open access to girls in bathrooms” and vowed a legal fight. [...]

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bnei Brak mashgiach accused of molesting students - has left Israel

kikar haShabbat

משגיח מישיבה חרדית מוכרת נעלם מהארץ לאחר טענות נגדו על פגיעה בבחורים. אחד מהם, מדבר לראשונה בשיחה עם "כיכר השבת": "אמרו לי 'אם המשגיח עושה משהו כנראה שהוא יודע'" (חרדים)

חרדית מוכרת ממרכז הארץ, נמלט מהארץ בימים האחרונים לאחר סדרה של טענות למעשים חמורים כלפי תלמידים במוסד. בשיחה כואבת עם "כיכר השבת", מדבר לראשונה אחד מבוגרי הישיבה, שלטענתו נפגע על ידי אותו משגיח.
י' (שם בדוי), מעלה טענות קשות ביותר נגד המשגיח הנמלט ונגד הישיבה בה למד במשך שנים. לדבריו, המשגיח פגע בו לפני מספר שנים בצורה קשה וחמורה בעת שלמד בישיבה. לטענתו, הוא סיפר על הדברים לחבריו, ואז הופתע לגלות כי ישנם בחורים נוספים שנתקלו במעשים דומים מצד המשגיח המדובר.
י' מספר כי התבייש לפנות לראש הישיבה ולספר לו על המקרה, אולם חבריו ששמעו על מה שעולל לכאורה המשגיח, פנו לראש הישיבה. לדברי י', ראש הישיבה השיב כי "אם המשגיח עושה משהו כנראה שהוא יודע מה לעשות, זה בסדר".
לאחר תגובתו של ראש הישיבה, י' החל לאסוף עדויות נוספות מתלמידים שלכאורה נפגעו מהמשגיח. לדבריו, הגיעו לידיו עדויות מוצקות על עוד שמונה בחורים לכל הפחות, שלמדו יחד עמו בישיבה ונפגעו לטענתם על ידי המשגיח. "חלק ניצלו לאחר שהתנגדו, אחרים נפגעו באופן קשה ביותר" אומר י'.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Why 'Crooked Hillary' is likely to stick

Donald Trump has a knack for nicknames. Low-energy Jeb caught something of Jeb's entitled aura. "Little Marco" got at something truly juvenile and naive about Marco Rubio. And "Lyin' Ted" was an effective way of branding Ted Cruz's dishonesty. Lately, Donald's been trying new nicknames for Hillary Clinton, but he seems to like his original "Crooked Hillary" best.

And his first instinct is best. The Clinton Foundation and other associated concerns really are a kind of globalist grift.

Funded by the rich, the foundation allows the Clintons to travel around the world and to network with other high net worth individuals. It even pays the salaries of Clinton friends and other flunkies. And where does the money come from? Bill Clinton would often raise it from people who had direct financial interests at play in the U.S. State Department when Hillary was there. One such deal resulted in a Russian company, Uranium One, obtaining control over one-fifth of the world's uranium production.

As Peter Schweizer's book Clinton Cash details, Hillary's loyalty could be well-bought. Consider the financial interests of Mohammed al-Amoudi, who committed $20 million to the Clinton Foundation in 2007. Al-Amoudi profits from the Mohammed International Development Research and Organization Companies, which could have been harmed by U.S. policy changes in Ethiopia, particularly if the U.S. government scrutinized Ethiopia closely for human rights violations, as required by U.S. rules on foreign aid. Clinton dutifully gave a waiver to Ethiopia during her time as secretary of state. Bill Clinton would praise Ethiopia's leaders as a new guard for the continent, even if their rule included extra-judicial killing and plunder.

There are dozens of other sordid little tales, like that of Claudio Osorio, currently in federal prison for fraud. The Clintons, to whom he donated generously, helped his firm InnoVida obtain a $10 million loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. More evidence of financial corruption may be coming now that Charles Ortel, who uncovered wrongdoing at General Electric, is examining the Clinton Foundation's disclosures. He's already describing their work as "charity fraud."

There's also the matter of Hillary's speaking fees. In just the two years between leaving the Obama administration and launching her bid for the presidency, she made nearly $22 million from speeches. Right after her service to Obama, Hillary Clinton began giving one to two speeches a month at around $225,000 or more per speech. Who wanted to hear Hillary speak? Lots of financial services companies, including Deutsche Bank, UBS, and Fidelity Investments. Goldman Sachs even hired her to speak in South Carolina in June of 2013, and then again in New York and Arizona that October. Her clients included major investors in government projects, like TD Bank, which had major investments in the Keystone Pipeline. [...]

How corporate America bought Hillary Clinton for $21M

“Follow the money.” That telling phrase, which has come to summarize the Watergate scandal, has been a part of the lexicon since 1976. It’s shorthand for political corruption: At what point do “contributions” become bribes, “constituent services” turn into quid pro quos and “charities” become slush funds?

Ronald Reagan was severely criticized in 1989 when, after he left office, he was paid $2 million for a couple of speeches in Japan. “The founding fathers would have been stunned that an occupant of the highest office in this land turned it into bucks,” sniffed a Columbia professor.

So what would Washington and Jefferson make of Hillary Rodham Clinton? Mandatory financial disclosures released this month show that, in just the two years from April 2013 to March 2015, the former first lady, senator and secretary of state collected $21,667,000 in “speaking fees,” not to mention the cool $5 mil she corralled as an advance for her 2014 flop book, “Hard Choices.”

Throw in the additional $26,630,000 her ex-president husband hoovered up in personal-appearance “honoraria,” and the nation can breathe a collective sigh of relief that the former first couple — who, according to Hillary, were “dead broke” when they left the White House in 2001 with some of the furniture in tow — can finally make ends meet.[...]

As “Clinton Cash,” a new documentary based on Peter Schweizer’s 2015 book, shows in excruciating, irrefutable detail, it’s always “pay to play” with the Clintons, whether personally or via their family racket, the Clinton Foundation (which includes the Clinton Global Initiative). They’ve sucked up vast sums of “contributions” from some of the most unsavory folks on the planet, including Nigerian dictators and Kazakhstani despots.

But it’s their parlaying of “public service” by two career “civil servants” into personal enrichment that’s shameless.

Bill Clinton’s speaking fees skyrocketed just days after Hillary’s nomination as secretary of state in 2009. Corporations, such as TD Bank, that had never paid a dime to hear him speak suddenly bellied up to the bar, waving fistfuls of cash. Coincidentally, TD Bank was the largest investor in the Keystone XL pipeline, which needed approval from the new secretary of state. Hillary dodged and weaved and Obama later nixed it — but the Clintons kept the cash. It makes sense to make friends with the woman who might just be the next president. But what does that say about what the office has become? [...]

Terrorist or pedophile? This start-up says it can out secrets by analyzing faces

An Israeli start-up says it can take one look at a person’s face and realize character traits that are undetectable to the human eye.

Faception said it’s already signed a contract with a homeland security agency to help identify terrorists. The company said its technology also can be used to identify everything from great poker players to extroverts, pedophiles, geniuses and white collar-criminals.

“We understand the human much better than other humans understand each other,” said Faception chief executive Shai Gilboa. “Our personality is determined by our DNA and reflected in our face. It’s a kind of signal.”

Faception has built 15 different classifiers, which Gilboa said evaluate with 80 percent accuracy certain traits. The start-up is pushing forward, seeing tremendous power in a machine’s ability to analyze images.

Yet experts caution there are ethical questions and profound limits to the effectiveness of technology such as this.

“Can I predict that you’re an ax murderer by looking at your face and therefore should I arrest you?” said Pedro Domingos, a professor of computer science at the University of Washington and author of “The Master Algorithm.” “You can see how this would be controversial.” [...]

Faception recently showed off its technology at a poker tournament organized by a start-up that shares investors with Faception. Gilboa said that Faception predicted before the tournament that four players out of the 50 amateurs would be the best. When the dust settled two of those four were among the event’s three finalists. To make its prediction Faception analyzed photos of the 50 players against a Faception database of professional poker players. [...]

Part 2 of "Hell, hope and healing" - There is hope for survivors to heal Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea

In the first article of this series [2]First Article   I discussed the commonality and damage of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), including clergy sexual abuse. Here, I focus on the hope that most  trauma survivors can heal because of inherent or learned resilience and/or through access to healing resources.


Since the 1980s, when child abuse and domestic violence emerged from society's skeleton closet, researchers and clinicians have rightly prioritized the tremendous wounds caused by adverse childhood experiences. Recently, however, researchers also have concluded that while about two-thirds of trauma survivors will experience at least some negative outcomes after trauma, almost another third will emerge into adults who seem not to have been deeply affected by earlier traumas.

Even more exciting are indications that resilience can be learned or expanded to moderate the long-term impact of traumatic stress on the body, mind and spirit.

The American Psychological Association defines resilience as "the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of threat." Resilience researchers like Dennis Charney and Steven Southwick have investigated the genetic, biological, social and spiritual factors contributing to resilience. They and others have identified a number of factors that appear to endow an individual with resilience:

- Above average intelligence.

- An internal locus of control. A sense that the individual can determine his/her own fate, even when trauma occurs.

- An optimistic cognitive style. Resilient individuals tend to be able to find the silver lining in even the darkest, most thunderous clouds. They are able to imagine a time when life will be better.

- A close, safe relationship with at least one adult not involved in the trauma. This is an area in which abusive priests were often the most despicable and damaging. Children known by predator priests to be in difficult home situations, or kids who came to the priests for advice or comfort about other traumas, were often selected as victims. Instead of responding to an already hurting young person with kindness and mercy, abusing clergy too often became another trauma for the child or teen.

- A consistent faith and/or cultural traditions that provided hope and a steady belief system. Once again, we see the travesty of priests whose sexual violations robbed victims of a faith-based building block of resilience to life's challenges.

- A good sense of humor, even when life is tough.

It is important to note that all researchers point to sexual abuse while young as a particularly pernicious ACE that results in multiple times the risk of trauma-related challenges than other ACEs do. Early sexual trauma also is likely to correlate with the most serious symptomatology.

Further, resilience researcher Emmy Werner maintains that even the most resilient person has a breaking point. The trauma survivor's breaking point may be lower than for those not coping with past ACEs and the sexual abuse survivor's breaking point is likely to be lower still.

At the same time, the research and my 30 years of working clinically with sexual abuse survivors convince me that healing is possible even when wounds from sexual abuse are deep and suppurating. Part of trauma-focused psychotherapy, in fact, is increasing resilience, also known as strengthening ego functioning. [...]

Monday, May 23, 2016

Kaminetsky-Greenblatt Heter: Who doesn't belong in this picture? Shameful!

It is a tragedy when gedolim make mistakes - especially serious ones. It is an even bigger tragedy when they refuse to acknowledge their mistakes and make amends as the Torah requires. But worst of all when is they are being held as paragons of virtue - when they clearly aren't. Please note the topics to be discussed and please note the hypocrisy.

Child abuse and [no] Rabbinic Coverup

As a sign of significant improvement in rabbinic dealings with child abuse, I received a letter from a child abuse advocate which states:

Subject: Ultra-Orthodox leadership group in Israel defends senior colleague
Outrageously - but unsurprisingly - a senior ultra Orthodox leadership group in Israel has today issued a public statement in support of their colleague, Rabbi M[****]., who has been indicted for a 'series of rapes carried against a number of female relatives over the course of several years
Shortly after I received a follow up letter

Dear colleagues,
 I have recently heard from [****] that after further research, it has been determined that the letter is bogus.

[The letter was removed from the Facebook page of the advocate.]

In fact in this case of the Jerusalem mashgiach - I have heard that the rabbonim have fully cooperated with the police - there was no cover up. The knee-jerk reaction of the above advocate needs to be tempered with the reality that awareness of the problem of abuse and how to properly handle it - has been penetrating the world of rabbis. So while there is still clearly room for improvement - it is time to acknowledge that things have changed and are getting better.

It would be nice for the advocates to at least acknowledge this change - instead of merely silently removing bogus letters from their Facebook accounts.

Transgender Regret Is Real Even If The Media Tell You Otherwise

Update: An example of Transgender regret
Daily Mail

'There isn't enough NHS psychiatric evaluation': Says the man who had £10,000 sex change to become a woman and now wants it reversed 
Update: An opposing view: Myths About Transition Regrets
Huffington Post

Recently there has been a spate of blog posts raising the specter of transgender people regretting transitioning. They cite their two favorite studies, without actually looking at what the actual studies said, and drag out some old anecdotes. In short, they try to muddy the waters the way climate-change deniers or creationists do by throwing up a cloud of chaff and hoping no one will look any closer. And then there’s the fact that the authors of these blog posts also think that same-sex marriage will abolish all marriage.
The Federalist

They don’t want you to know: regret 20 percent, attempted suicides 41 percent, mental illness 60-90 percent among transgendered population.

When Carol Costello, CNN reporter, interviewed me in June on the subject of Olympian, trans-Jenner, she couldn’t help beginning with a false narrative that only 2 percent regret of transgender have regrets. That is, the media’s propensity to fluff over the regret statistics.

Early in the interview, she made the statement, “We have researched… and we found a recent Swedish study that found only 2.2 percent of transgenders, male and female, suffered from sex change regret.”

Costello is a bright reporter. That it is why it was so puzzling she would use her interview of me to misinform her audience, unless the intent was to diminish and dismiss reports of sex change regret among the transgender population. Costello used only one study to reach a conclusion on the frequency of regret. She or her staff did not look at the wealth of other studies that suggest sex change regret is quite common. One such study commissioned by The Guardian of the UK in 2004 reviewed 100 studies and reported that a whopping 20 percent (one fifth) of transgenders regret changing genders, ten times more than CNN’s Costello reported.

The review of 100 studies also revealed that many transgenders remained severely distressed and even suicidal after the gender change operation. Suicide and regret remain the dark side of transgender life.

The media cover-up of regret and suicides isn’t a new phenomenon; it was in play 36 years ago. In 1979 Dr. Charles Ihlenfeld, who worked alongside the famous Dr. Harry Benjamin for six years administering hormone therapy to some 500 transgenders, spoke to an audience in New York about his experience: “There is too much unhappiness among people who have had the surgery. Too many of them end as suicides.”

The media was unwilling to report the unhappiness then, and ever since has downplayed any results that would raise the alarm about poor outcomes. Albert Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Thirty-six years of the insanity of ignoring poor outcomes and hoping they will go away is long enough.[...]

Transgender regret is not rare

The study commissioned by The Guardian of the UK in 2004 reviewed 100 studies and found 20 percent regret. Consider the findings of a 2011 Swedish study (not the study Ms. Costello used) published seven years after the 2004 UK review. It looked at mortality and morbidity after gender reassignment surgery and found that people who changed genders had a higher risk of suicide.[...]

My life story and the stories of those who contact me speak of regret over transitioning. Often, the stories include attempted suicide or suicide ideation.

I was a 4 year old trans-kid who grew up with gender confusion and underwent gender reassignment surgery at age 42. I lived for 8 years as a so-called trans-female named Laura Jensen. But no matter how feminine I appeared, like all transgenders, I was just a man in a dress. I was unhappy, regretful of having transitioned and I attempted suicide. Gender surgery is not effective treatment for depression, anxiety or mental disorders.

Astonishing evidence of other illness

According to several studies, the majority of transgenders have co-existing disorders that need to be treated. This helps to explain why regret and suicide are prevalent among transgenders. The following studies provide irrefutable evidence that transgenders overwhelmingly suffer from a variety of mental disorders. Neither CNN nor Carol Costello will report studies such as these. [...]

In all the rhetoric about gender change success you cannot find one sound bite from any media source that acknowledges that even one transgender suffers from a serious mental illness, much less reporting the 90 percent like Case Western Reserve University found, or the 61 percent that the survey of Dutch psychiatrists reported. The numbers are astonishingly high, yet no media reports it.[...]

believe that true compassion is shown by raising factual issues, based on scientific research, and having the best minds follow the evidence to provide the best care for this segment of our society that is suffering. Packaging the issue in the wrapper of political correctness or withholding the negative findings is not compassion. Political correctness hinders research and treatment of the medical conditions and muzzles a media that’s willing to participate in a false narrative. Who’s the loser? The transgender who regrets transitioning.

The White House plays politics with a vulnerable part of our population to score points with the LGBT but the risks of regret, suicide and untreated mental issues remain for the transgender population.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Why sex abuse charges against a Toronto teacher took 20 years to reach court

The Globe and Mail    The Service Ontario office on Lawrence Avenue West is the most public of places: public in its stream of passersby and public in the sense that it’s a conduit, bland and efficient, to the government.

That is where Joe Schacter sat down at a computer terminal in December and began looking at child pornography, police say.

Mr. Schacter reportedly appeared surprised when people were alarmed enough by the photos, allegedly of little boys in bathing suits, that they called police. The 55-year-old, a retired teacher at two private Orthodox Jewish schools, was arrested and charged.

That news, reported in local media, ended a 20-year internal battle for Adam, a North York man. He picked up his phone and asked to speak to a police detective. Joe Schacter, he said, had coached him into performing sex acts for three years of his childhood.

Adam was in his 40s and he says in every year of his adult life he had talked himself out of making that call. “‘I should go to the cops,’” he would say to himself. “‘I should go to the cops. I should go to the cops.’”

Then, always, came a second thought: “You could destroy your life. You could destroy your kids.”

Adam’s allegation that Mr. Schacter was a sexual predator was not new to police and certainly not to many in Toronto’s Orthodox Jewish community. According to documents obtained by The Globe and Mail and interviews with community members, Mr. Schacter has been accused multiple times over a 23-year period of sexually assaulting little boys. In the early nineties, criminal charges were laid, then withdrawn. A decade later, after more allegations, the Ontario College of Teachers ordered a disciplinary hearing. It was canceled and Mr. Schacter continued to teach until he retired in 2013.

There’s no documentation about why the cases were dropped, but in the close-knit community, it was understood that the children had recanted, their families unwilling to proceed.[...]

Friday, May 20, 2016

Chareidi boy who threw stones at fire fighters- goes to fire station to apologize

A worrying trend has started of chareidi boys who think fire fighters are legitimate targets for stone throwing. This case ended well with a written apology and a personal visit to the fire station with his father to ask for forgiveness - which was granted.

kikar HaShabbat

ילד חרדי שנמנה על זורקי האבנים והסלעים על כוחות הכיבוי בשריפה ליד העיר מודיעין עילית, הגיע היום (חמישי) לתחנת הכיבוי במתתיהו יחד עם אביו, והתנצלו על הפגיעה בלוחמי האש.

"לכבוד הכבאים שלום, אני מתנצל ומבקש סליחה על זה שזרקתי אבנים, האמת שלא התכוונתי לזרוק עליכם ובאמת זרקתי רחוק ממכם, ולא שמתי לב שזה מפריע לכם". הילד הוסיף: "חשבתי על זה ואני מצטער מאוד ומבקש סליחתכם".
מדוברות כיבוי האש נמסר כי "היום בשעות אחה"צ הגיעו אב ובנו לתחנת הכיבוי במתתיהו כשבפיהם התנצלות ומכתב לאור המקרה האחרון שהתרחש במודיעין עילית כאשר מספר נערים התגודדו והשליכו אבנים ואף דרדרו סלעים לעבר צוותי הכיבוי והמתנדבים שפעלו לכיבוי הדליקה".

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Well known yeshiva mashgiach charged with sexually abusing relatives - he told them he was doing special spiritual activities

Arutz 7    Rape case shocks Jerusalem haredi community

Jerusalem prosecutors filed an indictment against a rabbi who served as a mashgiach at a yeshiva in the city, for a series of rapes carried against a number of female relatives over the course of several years.

The accused began his horrific campaign of abuse when his first victim was just six years old, and continued abusing her and other female relatives by various means of coercion and manipulation.

According to the indictment, the regarded his young victims as mere playthings to satisfy his perverted lusts, and took advantage of their naivete and vulnerability to gain total emotional control over them.

The indictment describes how he abused his position of respect within the community, and the fact that he had supported the immediate family of his primary victim (known as "A.") financially in the past.

He had attempted to justify his actions by perversely claiming they were not only permitted under Jewish law, but mandated. In some cases he even went as far as to claim his acts of abuse served to "purify" his victims spiritually and atone for sins their souls committed in "past lives", or to cure them of physical ailments.

In one particularly extreme incident relayed in the indictment, the accused secretly recorded leading haredi Rabbi Chaim Kaniyevsky issuing a halakhic ruling on a totally unrelated subject, then played it back to the accused and claimed the rabbi was in fact endorsing the abuser's actions, in order to persuade her against speaking out.
Kikar HaShabbat

כתב אישום חמור הוגש נגד משגיח בישיבה בירושלים בגין שורת עבירות חמורות שביצע במשך שנים בבנות משפחתו מאז שהיו ילדות • "הפך את הנפגעות לכלי לסיפוק יצריו ותאוותיו" (חדשות, חרדים)

כתב אישום חמור הוגש היום (חמישי) אל בית המשפט המחוזי בעיר נגד רב ומשגיח בישיבה בעיר, בגין עבירות קשות של התעללות ותקיפות אכזריות במשך שנים בבנות משפחתו מאז היו ילדות קטנות.
יצוין כי מנזה מספר שנים שהחשוד אינו משמש כמשגיח בישיבה ועסק שם בעבודה אחרת. כתב האישום הוגש על ידי פרקליטות מחוז ירושלים, באמצעות עו"ד ארז פדן ועו"ד מרים בן גל.
על פי כתב האישום מעשיו של הנאשם ,שהינו דמות רוחנית מוכרת, החלו בהיותה של אחת המתלוננות כבת 6 ונמשכו במשך שנים ארוכות גם בבנות משפחה נוספות, תוך שימוש במצגי מרמה ומניפולציות מסוגים שונים.
הנאשם טען על פי כתב האישום באוזני הילדות כי המעשים מותרים על פי 
Kikar HaShabbat - discussion of his "spiritual" development abuse technique
Kikar HaShabbat - his shiurim are removed from Kol HaLashon

Burning the Torah for Lag B'Omer

Update: I noticed today that the saplings had in fact not been broken and taken for burning - perhaps the boys took their "avodah" elsewhere after I objected. If so then the claim that this was just a case of "boys will be boys" is obviously wrong.

As soon as Pesach is over, it is common to see groups of young boys – roaming the neighborhood looking for flammable material to add to their personal bonfire. It is truly amazing to see the cooperative efforts to drag heavy boards or tree branches a number blocks to where they construct the structure for their "medura".

While it would be nice to say they are budding kabbalists for whom the Rashbi is a major inspiration in their life or that they have parents who tremble when they study the Zohar – that is not really what is happening. The issue is more akin to the excitement of avoda zara and the once a year opportunity to be allowed to make a really big fire using material that they have exerted tremendous energy and ingenuity to gather.

On my way from shul today I witnesss the sight of trees moving very strangely. When I got closer I saw a group of about 10 eight year old yeshiva boys trying to break down a series of ten foot saplings that were growing by the fence that enclosed the grounds of an apartment building. I went over and told them to stop it – which they did. They were genuinely puzzled and asked what the problem was.

I asked them who gave them permission to destroy living trees. Is this your building? Did your parents tell you that you could do this? When they realized what was bothering me they called out enthusiastically in unison, "It's for Lag B'Omer!"

I said why are the laws of stealing or damaging public property being ignored?

Again they answered cheerful in unison, "It's for Lag B'Omer". Obviously they felt sorry that I couldn't comprehend such an elementary fact. But they respectfully and patiently answering the irrelevant questions of someone who simply didn't get it.

At that point I just left. They could not conceive that anything could stand in the way of a proper bonfire. It didn't matter that these young saplings would grow to be shade trees in a few years that would give pleasure on hot summer days. It didn't matter that the green saplings would probably not burn. It didn't matter that they hadn't consulted with the residents of the apartment building to see if it was o.k. All that mattered to them was that the saplings were made of wood and that their bonfire required wood. All that mattered was the exciting challenge of finding out how to bend and break these young trees relying entirely on their childish strength and youthful enthusiasm. Once a year they knew they could break anything that might be flammable without regard to whom it belonged to or what damage they were causing.

The Torah is being burned to celebrate Lag b'Omer.

New York City: Not using transgender pronouns could result in $250,000 fine

Employers and landlords who don’t use pronouns such as “ze/hir” to refer to transgender workers and tenants who request them — may be subject to fines as high as $250,000.
The Commission on Human Rights’ legal guidelines mandate that anyone who providing jobs or housing must use individuals’ preferred gender pronouns.
As the regulations, updated late last year, point out, some transgender individuals prefer to use pronouns other than he/him/his or she/her/hers.
Examples of less prominent pronouns that some transgender people may choose, according to the city, are: “ze,” which is the third person singular, such as he and she; and “hir,” which is the third person plural, similar to they.
The legal enforcement is in line with the city’s guidance on discrimination based on gender identity or expression.
“Gender expression may not be distinctively male or female and may not conform to traditional gender-based stereotypes assigned to specific gender identities,” the city advises.
An employer or landlord could be considered in violation of the guidelines if there is “intentional or repeated” refusal to use a person’s preferred pronoun after that person has made it clear which one they prefer.
Penalties of up to $250,000 can be imposed for violations that are deemed to be the result of malicious intent.
The idea of using pronouns other than “he/she” has come to light in the past decade as more people are identifying with “non-binary” gender roles, meaning not traditional male/female.

Roy Naim who sexually exploited underage boys, including one with brain cancer, sentenced to mandatory 15 years

A Brooklyn man featured in a Time magazine cover story on immigration reform was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison for sexually exploiting a boy with brain cancer and possession of kiddie porn videos.

Roy Naim, 32, faced life in prison without the possibility of parole under the federal sentencing guidelines, which Brooklyn judge Nicholas Garaufis called “incredibly excessive and irrational,” particularly in this case.

“Congress wants to make a show of their outrage, but they’re not doing justice,” Garaufis said, “and if the Sentencing Commission doesn’t want to do justice, they should all just resign.” [...]

Naim, an Israeli national who came to the U.S. as a child and overstayed his visa, was convicted by a jury in Brooklyn Federal Court last year.

He was charged with scheming with a sicko sidekick in Louisiana — who operated a Web site called BoysonWeb.com — to make sexually explicit videos of underage boys. The victims were duped into believing they were communicating with teenage girls.

One victim was a teen suffering from a brain tumor who attended a camp for children with cancer where Naim was a counselor.

Naim’s creepy cohort, Jonathan Johnson, was sentenced to 21 years in prison, but he cooperated with law enforcement in his case. [...]

Naim’s lawyers pointed out the unfairness that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who was a serial molester of boys, was recently sentenced to only 15 months in prison.

“No one on the planet Earth has ever said Roy ever laid a hand on them,” defense lawyer Arthur Aidala said. [..]

From IDF to Hollywood: The meteoric rise of Krav Maga

Krav Maga, the close-combat method conceived in secrecy by the Israeli army, has kicked its way firmly into civilian life and with Hollywood's help, has become the ultimate form of self-defense.

"The idea is to be able to quickly hit the aggressor's vulnerable spots and to defend yourself with whatever is available - a beer bottle or a stick," explains Elad Nimni, who teaches Krav Maga in the IDF.

"Or, if you're doing military Krav Maga, you can use a gun instead of your body, because your body can get damaged and that hurts," he tells AFP, wearing military fatigues, his muscles rippling under a tight black t-shirt.

Although Krav Maga - which is Hebrew for 'contact combat' - borrows techniques from boxing, wrestling and jiu jistu, it differs from all other combat sports in one way: there are no rules.

Krav Maga is all about saving your own skin, and anything goes.[...]

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Behar 76 - Modern Slavery - Moral and Ethical Behavior by Allan Katz

Guest post by Allan Katz

The parasha talks about the Hebrew slave who sells himself to work for a 'master ' because of economic problems and poverty. The Hebrew slave was not a slave in the generally accepted sense of the word. He was rather an ' indentured servant ', who was not free to resign from his employment. Because the Hebrew slave feels degraded and has lost most of his self- esteem, the Torah forbids the master to work him like a slave, and subjugate him through hard labor. לא תעבוד בו עבודת עבד, לא תרדה בו בפרך ויראת מאלוקיך. You are not allowed to assign him degrading tasks that would be given only to a slave and that highlight his position as a slave like putting on his master's shoes or carrying his master's personal effects to the bathhouse. He is not allowed to give him futile and unproductive ' busywork ' where the goal is to keep him busy rather than productive , so he feels his servitude and it breaks his body and spirit just like the Egyptian slave masters acted towards the Hebrew slaves in Egypt. It could be simple tasks as boiling water where there is no need for it or giving tasks with no time limit such as keep digging around this tree until I come back. Even if your Hebrew slave thinks there is purpose in what he is doing, but your intention is ' busywork', you should fear God, because God will hold you accountable as He knows what is in your heart.

Although these laws do not apply today, there are many lessons to be learned that give us guidance and insight as how to interact over whom we may be allowed to exercise authority. The Hebrew slave himself teaches us that it is better to work rather than to take charity. The question is - how should we treat people – such as family members or poor people who live with us in our homes, employees, students and army cadets etc. . . . There is no question that forcing a person against his will to engage in hard and degrading work is not allowed except in the case of criminals. Rashi says that a king or prince must not rule over his people with rigor and coercion. However, where a person is willing to do the work, like in the case of an army cadet who wants to prove his obedience and compliance without having his body and spirit broken, hard and degrading labor would be permitted. He could always quit if he wanted to. The question is where a person is asked by an influential, public figure or a person who has authority, to do things for him, not in the scope of their working relationship. The person will usually comply with the request because he cannot say no and usually will feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or not at ease about the request.

Here , Rabeinu Yona in his work – Sha'arei Teshuvah , part 3:60 on the verse – and 'your brothers, the children of Israel you shall not subjugate him through hard labor ' – says 'that one should not subjugate a fellow man , and if they fear him or are ashamed to violate his word , he should not command him to do anything , great or small , not even to warm up a flask or go on an errand in the city to buy a loaf of bread unless it is according to their will and benefit. But a man who does not behave himself properly may be commanded as desired.' A person should not take advantage of his status, position or authority, impose on people and try to get people to do things not in the contractual context.

רבינו יונה – שערי תשובה ח:ג- ס 'ובאחיכם בני ישראל איש באחיו לא תרדה בו בפרך ' (ויקרא כה, מו). לא ישתעבד אדם בחבריו, ואם אימתו עליהם או שהם בושים להחל דברו, לא יצוה אותם לעשות קטנה או גדולה, אלא לרצונם ותועלתם, ואפילו להחם צפחת מים או לצאת בשליחותו אל רחוב העיר לקנות עד ככר לחם, אבל אדם שאינו נוהג כשורה מתר לצוותו לכל אשר יחפץ:

There is discussion whether Rabeinu Yona is saying that a person transgresses the negative commandment of not subjugating a fellow man  - ' ובאחיכם בני ישראל איש באחיו לא תרדה בו בפרך'
or is he only talking about moral and ethical behavior which in a sense is worse than merely transgressing a negative command. Here we are talking about character, compassion, morality, de'rech eretz = the right way to treat people which preceded the giving of the Torah.

The Rambam in his halachic work says something similar. He talks about the right to subjugate a heathen slave with forced hard labor where the purpose is to enforce discipline, absolute obedience and compliance, but if that is not necessary , one should be compassionate and generous in one's behavior and act in a wise and intelligent way, be merciful and just, not weigh heavily on him the burden of your demands , he should listen to the concerns of his slave and treat him well like Job ,so he will look up to you ' like the eyes of servants unto their masters' hand and the eyes of the maid unto her mistress' hand '– Psalms 123:2.One should follow the example of Abraham , keep the righteous and merciful laws of the Torah and try to emulate God who is merciful to all his creations.

רמב"ם הלכות עבדים ט:ח - מותר לעבוד בעבד כנעני בפרך ואע"פ שהדין כך מדת חסידות ודרכי חכמה שיהיה אדם רחמן ורודף צדק ולא יכביד עולו על עבדו ולא יצר לו ויאכילהו וישקהו מכל מאכל ומכל משתה חכמים הראשונים היו נותנין לעבד מכל תבשיל ותבשיל שהיו אוכלין ומקדימין מזון הבהמות והעבדים לסעודת עצמן הרי הוא אומר כעיני עבדים אל יד אדוניהם כעיני שפחה אל יד גבירתה וכרן לא יבזהו ביד ולא בדברים לעבדות מסרן הכתוב לא לבושה ולא ירבה עליו צעקה וכעס אלא ידבר עמו בנחת וישמע טענותיו וכן מפורש בדרכי איוב הטובים שהשתבח בהן אם אמאס משפט עבדי ואמתי בריבם עמדי הלא בבטן עושני עשהו ויכוננו ברחם אחד ואין האכזריות והעזות מצויה אלא בעכו"ם עובדי ע"ז אבל זרעו של אברהם אבינו והם ישראל שהשפיע להם הקב"ה טובת התורה וצוה אותם בחקים ומשפטים צדיקים רחמנים הם על הכל וכן במדותיו של הקב"ה שצונו להדמות בהם הוא אומר ורחמיו על כל מעשיו וכל המרחם מרחמין עליו שנאמר ונתן לך רחמים ורחמך והרבך:

As parents, spouses, teachers and employers we should be aware of the teachings of the Rambam and Rabeinu Yona and focus on cooperation, collaboration, inspiring others and supporting their autonomy rather than focusing on compliance and obedience, and treating people in a way maybe more appropriate for a heathen slave. We should solve problems in a collaborative way addressing both our and the others' concerns including the concerns of children. We should always ask ourselves if the tasks we give children are in themselves worth doing and important and are not perceived and experienced as ' busywork ' or unnecessary burden imposed on the child. The Steipler responded to his daughter - the reason I did not wake you up is that my job is not to impose on people , even though it is your job to help and honor a parent.When we bring kids into the decision making process and reflecting on what is needed to run a caring and efficient home or developing a love for learning, we will find allies to work with, rather than try to control and motivate them with carrots or sticks. We really have to ask ourselves if what we ask is really for their benefit and meeting their needs or are we more concerned with our need for control. Teachers should avoid asking kids for e.g. to do personal errands such as going to the kiosk for them. Homework is one area which is very problematic as the research, especially for junior school shows no benefits for homework, overwhelms struggling kids and as 'busywork' removes the joy of learning for high achievers. Even reading for pleasure loses its appeal when children are told how much, or for how long, they must do it. Treating kids with respect and taking them seriously is not only for them, but will impact on our efforts to emulate the ways of God.

The Rabeinu Yona and especially the Rambam whose words are brought in a shortened form in the Shulchan Aruch remind us that while we follow Halacha, what guides our behavior ,  informs our values and helps us set limits and boundaries are the guiding principles which the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch and of course the Torah share with us. Often, in conflict situations we focus on the din in the Shulchan Aruch and especially our rights and forget what Hashem really wants from us. R' Isaac Sher explains that the difference between going to a secular court of law , even if they judge according to Torah law , is that people go there to defend their rights and win , while people who go to Beit Din should go with the intention to find out how Hashem wants  them to behave in this situation. We are told that the Beit Ha'mikdash was destroyed because people followed the din of the Torah instead of going – לפנים משורת הדיו.  It is the ' guiding principles ' which enable us to go ' לפנים משורת הדין - not easy.

Saudi groom reportedly files for divorce after bride won't get off her cell phone

A groom in Saudi Arabia filed for divorce minutes after his wedding when his bride refused to put down her cell phone and pay attention to him, local media reported Tuesday.

The couple retired to a hotel room following the ceremony, where a relative said the unnamed woman rebuffed the man’s intimate advances. The bride said she wanted to respond to her friends’ texts and other messages congratulating them on their wedding, according to Gulf News.

“The groom asked her to delay the messages, but she refused and became angry,” the relative added. “When he asked her if her friends were more important than he was, the bride answered that they were.”

The argument quickly escalated before the groom demanded a divorce. A reconciliation committee agreed to take the case to see whether the husband and wife could resolve their differences. But the groom insisted he wanted the marriage to end.