Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Congress’ Chained Woman

Friedman has been “held in contempt” by no less than the greatly respected Beth Din of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada, a rabbinic court that does not have the power to issue a get—only the husband can do that—but can try to compel the husband to do so. The organization has issued a Declaration of Contempt (seruv) against Friedman.
In addition, the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington, the body of Orthodox rabbis in the Greater Washington area, also known as the Rabbinical Council, issued a letter calling on the Jewish community to exclude Friedman from participating in prayer services, joining their institutions, and other elements of “membership” in the community. He has also been condemned by an array of Orthodox rabbis, among them Shmuel Herzfeld of Ohev Sholom synagogue in Washington, which bills itself as the National Jewish Synagogue, and Avraham Shmidman of the Lower Merion Synagogue in Pennsylvania.
At a rally in support of Tamar Epstein held in December 2010, Rabbi Shmidman said: “Aharon Friedman walks around Capitol Hill as a religious Jew … But this is not what a religious Jew does.” According to the New York Times, over a year ago Rabbi Herzfeld wrote to Jon Traub, the Republican staff director of the Ways and Means Committee, accusing Friedman of “psychological terrorism.

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