Monday, September 11, 2023

NJ court rules in favor of woman who used social media to lobby for Jewish divorce

 Advocates for Jewish women who say their estranged husbands are abusing them by refusing to assent to a religious divorce are cheering after a New Jersey appellate court overturned a ruling against a woman in that state who used social media to advocate for her divorce.

A lower court ruled in 2021 that the woman’s social media posts constituted harassment and incitement. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey got involved in the case, joining several Orthodox women’s rights groups who had already been working on her behalf.

So the secular court says it is not harassment - but the resulting Get is problematic!


  1. “ Advocates for Jewish women who say their estranged husbands are abusing them by refusing to assent to a religious divorce are cheering” estranged husbands = By definition, the term estranged husband meaning is when the husband has completely disappeared from one’s life.

    Today’s daf hayomi Kiddushin 31a
    “A widow's son asked R. Eliezer: If my father orders, Give me a drink of water, and my mother does likewise, which takes precedence? Leave your mother's honour and fulfil the honour due to your father, he replied: for both you and your mother are bound to honour your father [This does not imply that the husband need not honour his wife (v. B.M., Sonc. ed., p. 352, n. 4) but that the wife must obey her husband, just as a son his father.]. Then he went before R. Joshua, who answered him the same. Rabbi, said he to him, what if she is divorced? From your eyelids it is obvious that you are a widow's son [The eyelids having fallen out with weeping probably not to be taken literally, but he sensed that the question was merely theoretical.], He retorted: pour some water for them into a basin, and screech for them like fowls [A sarcastic answer]!”

    Beautiful. R. Eliezer and R. Joshua both told the widow’s son the same answer that the father comes first before the mother. Seems the widow’s son was still weeping over his mother’s death. He is asking a theoretical question If a son had to choose between honor/respect to mother or father, who gets preference? Answer: the father.

    “A number of organizations in the United States, Israel and beyond have mobilized to press Jewish legal authorities to find a solution to the issue, which Orthodox women’s rights advocates consider a form of domestic abuse. Three Jewish groups filed legal briefs in support of the woman, including the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot, Unchained at Last and the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance.”

    What of children of estranged husbands and their abused wives, to whom should these children give preference for honor/respect: father or mother? From the plain reading of the Gamara looks like the father.

  2. “Advocates for Jewish women” Today’s daf hayomi Kiddushin 33b-34a: “ALL AFFIRMATIVE PRECEPTS LIMITED TO TIME etc. Our Rabbis taught: Which are affirmative precepts limited to time? Sukkah [Lev. XXIII, 42: Ye shall dwell in booths (sukkoth) seven days], lulab [The taking of the palm-branch (lulab) together with three other species on the Festival of booths; v. ibid. 40], shofar [The ram's horn, to be blown on New Year; v. ibid. 24; Num. XXIX, 1], fringes [V. Num. XV, 38; this is limited to time, because fringes are unnecessary on night garments],and phylacteries [V. Deut. VI, 8; the reason is the same as that of fringes]. And what are affirmative precepts not limited to time? Mezuzah [V. ibid. 9. Mezuzah, doorpost, and then by transference, the receptacle containing these words affixed to the doorpost], ‘battlement’ [Deut. XXII, 8], [returning] lost property [Ex. XXIII, 4; Deut. XXII, 1-3], and the ‘dismissal of the nest.[V. Deut. XXII, 6f]”

    Is the Torah a religion basically for men, a man’s religion? Thoughts? I suspect advocates for Jewish women not comfortable with all these leniencies for women Personally I want fairness equality equal respect and standing. The Court has not yet ruled on 2023-398 June 5, 2023.

  3. “NJ court rules in favor of woman” Today’s daf hayomi Kiddushin 35:
    “AND ALL NEGATIVE PRECEPTS etc. Whence do we know it? Said Rab Judah in Rab's name, and the School of R. Ishmael taught likewise, Scripture saith, When a man or a woman shall commit any sin that men commit [. . . then that soul shall be guilty] [Num. V, 6]. Thus the Writ equalised woman and man in respect of all penalties [decreed] in the Torah [Negative precepts involve flagellation]. The School of R. Eliezer taught: Scripture saith, [Now these are the judgments] which thou shalt set before them [Ex. XXI, 1]: The Writ equalised woman and man in respect of all civil laws in Scripture [This is not adduced as a source of the Mishnah, since it deals with a different subject, but as a parallel to the last statement.]. The School of Hezekiah taught: Scripture saith [Ex. XXI, 29], [but if the ox were wont to gore . . .] and he kill a man or woman [the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death]; the Writ placed woman on a par with man in respect of all death sentences [decreed] in Scripture. Now, it is necessary [that all three should be intimated]. For if the first [only] were stated, [l would say] that the All-Merciful had compassion upon her [woman], for the sake of atonement [The first refers to sacrifice for sin, and the woman is given the same opportunity of atoning as man]; but as for civil law, I might argue that it applies only to man, who engages in commerce, but not to woman, who does not. While if the second [alone] were intimated, that is because one’s livelihood depends thereon [Viz., on the protection afforded by civil law]; but as for ransom [The last law quoted treats of the ransom paid by the owner of the ox; vv.29H] , I might argue, it applies only to man, who is subject to precepts, but not to woman, who is not subject to them [Actually, of course, she is subject to certain precepts, as stated on 29a, but not liable to as many as man (Tosaf.)]. And if the last [alone] were intimated, since there is loss of life, the All-Merciful had compassion upon her [And imposed upon the owner the payment of ransom for the death of a woman as for that of a man]; but in the first two I might say that it is not so [Sc. that woman is the same as man]. Thus they are [all] necessary.”

    The Torah, man or woman, treated the same in 3 cases: 1) atonement of sinner, 2) civil law (stealing and such), and 3) death of woman.
    In these 3 cases the Torah adds words, "man or woman," to emphasize fairness, equality between the sexes. Beautiful.

  4. “NJ court rules in favor of woman” Today’s daf hayomi Kiddushin 38b
    “[Again], liberation of slaves is a personal obligation? I might have thought, since it is written, and ye shall proclaim liberty throughout the land [Lev. XXV, 10], it holds good only in the Land, but not without; therefore it is stated, it is a jubilee [bid,], implying, under all circumstances. If so, what is taught by the land? When liberation [of slaves] is in force in the Land, it is in force without; when it is not in force in the Land,[i.e., when there is no Temple] it is not in force without.”

    The Mishna says that only personal obligations are upon Jews living in NY as well as Jews living in Israel Kiddushin 36:

    Beautiful. I made aliya July 1991 from NY. Wow Israel watches with Google Earth and such 1) orlah, no grape Jews from plants under 3 years, 2) Kilayim, no planting other seeds next to grape plants, and 3) Hadash, no eating from new grain harvest until after the Omer.

    Wow on Succoth in Israel we don’t eat or sleep outside the Succah.

    R. Eleazar is lenient that Jews in NY can ignore orlah, Kilayim and Hadash. Yes big arguments among Tanaim that say the opposite, e.g. Kiddushin 38a:
    “It was taught: R. Simeon b. Yohai said: The Israelites were given three precepts18 on their entry into the Land,19 yet they are practised both within and without the Land, and it is logical that they shall be thus binding. If hadash, which is not permanently forbidden,20 nor is [all] benefit thereof prohibited,21 and its interdict can be raised,22 is [nevertheless] operative both within and without the Land;23 then kil'ayim, which are permanently forbidden,24 of which [all] benefit is prohibited,25 and the interdict of which cannot be raised, it surely follows that it has force both within and without the land; and the same logic applies to ‘orlah on two [grounds].26”

    Jews in NY, make aliya and do God’s mitsvot as intended as practiced in Israel. I remember I argued with a charadi fellow in NY about observing Hadash today. I support R, Eleazer’s leniency.

  5. “NJ court rules in favor of woman” Today’s daf hayomi Kiddushin 39b
    “MISHNAH. HE WHO PERFORMS ONE PRECEPT IS WELL REWARDED [lit., good is done to him], HIS DAYS ARE PROLONGED, AND HE INHERITS THE LAND [i.e., the future world], BUT HE WHO DOES NOT PERFORM ONE PRECEPT, GOOD IS NOT DONE TO HIM, HIS DAYS ARE NOT PROLONGED, AND HE DOES NOT INHERIT THE LAND. GEMARA. But a contradiction is shewn: These are the things the fruit of which man eats in this world [i,e., he is rewarded for them in this world], while the principal remains for him for the future world. Viz., honouring one's parents, the practice of loving deeds, hospitality to wayfarers [This does not occur in the Mishnah, Pe'ah I, whence the passage is quoted, and is omitted in MS.M], and making peace between man and his neighbour; and the study of the Torah surpasses them all [Thus, only for these is one rewarded in this world, whereas the Mishnah states this of any precept. To the Rabbis study was not only a means to religious observance (cf. infra 40b: study is great, as it leads to action), but a religious act in itself, — indeed, one of the most important, as is shewn by this and numerous other passages in the Talmud. Nevertheless, they were far from believing that religious sincerity might be replaced by mere intellectualism; v. M. Joseph, Judaism as Creed and Life, p. 360]. Said Rab Judah: This is its meaning: HE WHO PERFORMS ONE PRECEPT in addition to his [equally balanced] merits [i.e., his good deeds and bad are exactly balanced, and then he performs a precept, thus tipping the scale] IS WELL REWARDED, and he is as though he had fulfilled the whole Torah. Hence it follows that for these others [one is rewarded] even for a single one! [ Even if he has no other good deeds to his credit — surely not!]”

    Beautiful. Shows God to be a fair judge. Yesterday The NYS Ct of Appeals dismissed my 2023-398 June 5, 2023. I’ve been trying to free my pension 55% to Susan from early 1994 I paid for my pesnion professor 3 years Lehman College, 8 years Queens College, 5 years Fordham U etc. I made aliya July 1991 without Susan. I went to NY August 1992 to plead with Susan to join me in Israel as she promised. I sent Susan a get which she accepted before Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag 2/17/1993.

    As a Kohen I seek peace between man and his neighbor. Yes I have a right to claim my neighbor stole my ox, whatever, I’m getting only 45% of my pension, thank you God. As a Kohen I pray for peace throughout the world.


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