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TRENTON, N.J. (RNS) Four Orthodox rabbis implicated in a torture-for-hire operation were indicted Thursday (May 22).


  1. These people distort Jewish law and are a threat to it. Since Takanas Rabbeinu Gershom, over 1,000 years ago, both men and women can refuse a divorce because marriage is sacred and should be protected. These are criminals and Rav Elyashiv Of Blessed Memory and now Rav Chaim Kanievsky, may he live long, and the Eida HaChareidis have ruled that such coerced divorces are invalid and the children of such second marriages could be mamzerim. Epstein is nothing more than a thug who has disgraced Judaism in ways that Judaism’s worst enemy could not. The Organization for the Resolution of Agunot and their leader Hershel Schachter have done similar things, in tandem with the Beth Din of America, both are being investigated by the FBI, together with a so-called rabbi in the South, Rabbi David Lehrfield, whose gittin have been ruled to be highly questionable and his conversions are not accepted. (the local rabbonim advise using Rabbi Mendel Senderovic, Rabbi Twersky’s Rosh Kollel, who travels to the South every month instead). Schachter and Lehrfield are facing similar investigations and have been derided as having broken the foundations of Jewish religious law.

    • I put a good deal of the blame on Haredim men being such d-bags when it comes to religious divorce. By using the power to grant a get (as entirely the right of only the husband) they use it as a means of leverage and extortion in civil divorce proceedings.

      Yes Epstein is a thug, but he would not have served a need if not for the raging problem of guys behaving badly by capitalizing on religious law. Given the general obnoxiousness of haredim men, I have a bit of sympathy for him.

      Marriage is not sacred enough to stay in it by coercion browbeating and peer pressure. Extolling marriage at all costs is just stupid and harmful. Just the sort of thing one expects from rigid adherence to religious dogma at the expense of human conditions.

    • Well, you are a little off. The men can refuse, and not release the wife, with a “get” in place. If the men want a divorce, the woman cannot object and say no. it is not up to the woman as long as the “get” is complied with. In these cases the woman where not being released from their “get’s” by their husband even though they were divorced in the civil court system. And without their “get’s” being exercised they are not consider a part of the religious community.
      Furthermore if the Rabbi’s are behind this, they in their wisdom see the men as not allowing the Get to be exercised as incongruent with the Halakha.

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