Rabbinic Failure and the FBI
Yes, certain rabbinic sources say that it is permissible to “convince” a husband to give his wife a religious divorce until he says “I want to” (רוצה אני), but when it gets to the point that the FBI gets involved with investigating this phenomenon don’t you think that rabbis have to be halakhically courageous, or is that too much to ask. Luckily I belong to a religious community which has found within the halakhah solutions to this problem that don’t involve thugs.
The FBI descended late Wednesday on Yeshiva Shaarei Torah in connection with an investigation into a gang that pressured men into giving their wives religious divorces, a law enforcement source told The Journal News. The FBI told Ramapo police to follow them to the yeshiva on Carlton Road about 9 p.m. Authorities remained at the scene until early Thursday morning, when several agents were seen leaving the building, loading equipment into several unmarked cars with New Jersey license plates.
Read the entire article here. (HT from a friend on Facebook.)
Update: Is Jewish law so unable to deal with Jewish divorce that this is the only way that a woman can get a divorce?
“Mendel Epstein talked about forcing compliance through the use of ‘tough guys’ who utilize electric cattle prods, karate, handcuffs and place plastic bags of the heads of husbands,” said FBI Special Agent Bruce Kamerman…
The investigation revealed that for at least two decades agunot have been paying Epstein and Wolmark thousands of dollars to force their husbands to consent to a divorce, the complaint states. Two other men arrested, Ariel Potash and Fnu Lnu, known as “Yaakov,” court records said “assisted the rabbis in obtaining a get from recalcitrant husbands by means of violence,” frequently by hiring armed thugs to kidnap the husbands and beat them until they agreed.