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Rabbis Arrested for Using Torture to Obtain Get

NY Times

The two rabbis offered an unusual service to Jewish women who could not get their husbands to agree to a divorce, according to the FBI. For a fee, they would convene a rabbinical court and authorize the use of violence to get a recalcitrant husband to agree to a divorce.

But that was not all, according to court papers unsealed Thursday morning. They were also willing to employ hired muscle, two men known as Ariel and Yaakov, to actually kidnap the man and torture him, until he pledged to divorce his wife, according a criminal complaint in Federal District Court in Newark.

Two men whom the authorities describe as rabbis – Martin Wolmark and Mendel Epstein – as well as a third man, Ariel Potash, have been charged in a kidnapping conspiracy according to court papers. In connection to the case, FBI agents carried out raids in South Brooklyn and Monsey, N.Y., in Rockland County on Wednesday evening.

In some Orthodox Jewish communities, a divorce is granted only once a husband provides his wife with a document known as a get. And stories of the frustrations and obstacles that women face in their quest to obtain a get are commonplace. While a woman can sue in rabbinical court to try to secure a get, some husbands do not comply with the court’s edict.

That, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is where the rabbis came in. “You need special rabbis who are going to take this thing and see it through to the end,” Rabbi Wolmark said in a recorded telephone conversation with an undercover F.B.I. agent posing as a woman whose husband would not grant her a get.

During the telephone conversation, on Aug. 7, Rabbi Wolmark referred the undercover agent to Rabbi Epstein, whom he described as “a hired hand” who could help. The fee was high, according to the court papers: $10,000 to pay the rabbinical court to approve the kidnapping and an additional $50,000 or more to actually carry out the kidnapping.

In a subsequent meeting at Rabbi Epstein’s home in Ocean County, New Jersey, Rabbi Epstein explained what he planned to do. “Basically what we are going to be doing is kidnapping a guy for a couple of hours and beating him up and torturing him and then getting him to give the get,” according to a recorded conversation that is described in the criminal complaint. Rabbi Epstein, according to the court papers, mentioned that his “tough guys” utilized cattle prods and other torture techniques that were not likely to leave a mark.

Should the husband go to the police, Rabbi Epstein said, it was important that there were no obvious signs of injury. Without such physical evidence, Rabbi Epstein said, the police were unlikely to probe too deeply into the affairs of the Orthodox Jewish community, which can appear impenetrable to outsiders.

“Basically the reaction of the police is, if the guy does not have a mark on him then, uh, is there some Jewish crazy affair here, they don’t want to get involved,” Rabbi Epstein explained, according to the criminal complaint.

The court papers, which outline the undercover FBI sting operation, do not describe instances in which the defendants actually carried out such kidnappings. But the authorities said that the evidence in the case includes a recorded conversation in which Rabbi Epstein “claimed that his organization kidnapped one recalcitrant husband approximately every year and a half.”

68 Comments

  • 1. shame on the fbi wrote:

    the fbi guy who signed on this is the same guy that signs off on all the investigations against the frum community, these rabbis were doing what the fbi should be doing making these men give their get

    these rabbis deserve a medal not to be taken to jail

    • 2. Milhouse wrote:

      The FBI cannot make someone give a get. Not only would it be illegal, the get would also be invalid.

      As for whether these “rabbis” were doing the right thing, it depends on whether they used valid halachic criteria to determine whether the husband was obligated al pi din to give one.

      As a general rule a husband has no obligation to divorce his wife if he doesn’t want to, and any so-called “beis din” that forces him to are resho’im, the get is invalid, and her children from any subsequent purported marriage are mamzerim. Only in specific cases where there is valid cause can a beis din order a man to give a get, and if he refuses it can hold him in contempt and punish him for that (not for not giving the get, but for the contempt of not obeying the beis din).

      In the case of these people, one has to suspect (and it is only a suspicion) that the only criterion they used was whether the wife was paying them. If the wife paid enough they would decide that the husband has to give a get. And if that’s the case, then all the gittin they obtained are possul, and all those women need new gittin, which no real beis din will order for them after what they did. Let them be agunos for the rest of their lives — they deserve it.

      Of course it’s possible that they did their work honestly, and the money was to compensate them for the risk they were taking. Most rabbonim won’t do this even if it’s warranted, because why should they put themselves in danger? So it makes sense that one who is willing will charge big money. But only if he genuinely decides the case on its merits, and it’s hard to determine that even if one is trying ones best to be honest with oneself. Shochad is a powerful thing.

    • 4. Milhouse wrote:

      Did you even bother to read my comment before replying to it? How could you ask whether I’ve heard of it when I explicitly brought it up?

      But do you have any idea what it means, or are they just words you learned by rote, to repeat whenever you want to sound like you know something?

    • 5. YMSP wrote:

      To any get lunatics, those who destroy families, the YU who specializes in gets on demand and their supporters (even the well meaning ignorant ones, who should pick up a Shulchan Oruch instead of a Jewish Press): There is a True and Just G-d who runs the world and who will stop these crazy so-called rabbis who break and desecrate Jewish law and Jewish marriage. Feces like Mendel Epstein have been shown to the world to be inhumane and that even their motives are money and (false) power and not religious. In terms of religion:
      1) These so-called rabbis break Jewish law in the worst of ways. The Targum Yerushalmi on the verse “lo sachbol reichayim vorochev” states that a person who mixes in in a marriage or causes animosity between a husband and wife has no portion in the World to Come.
      2) Jewish law states that except in extremely rare cases such a “divorce” is invalid and the children of a future marriage are mamzerim – thank Mendel Epstein, Shlomo Weissmann and Michael Broyde for that.
      3) The above mentioned lunatics generally take women who are suffering from postpartum anxiety and convince to fight for divorce against all medical advice and against real rabbis who do follow Torah. They are inhumane and fight against humane rabbis who fight hard to save marriages.
      May they all be stopped soon by Hashem, just as Mendel Epstein, shem reshoim yirkav (may the names of evil people be blotted out), was.

    • 6. YMSP wrote:

      Milhouse I usually disagree with you (but I don’t think ever debated with you), but this time you’re spot on.

      To the person who wrote “kofin oisoi ad sheyoimar rotzeh ani,” have you ever actually read the section of Rambam that says this? (And the halacha here is not like, and stricter than the Rambam)?

      The Rambam quotes the cases from Yevamos and Kesubos in which a get can be forced. They are rare! Then he says “kofin….”

      Furthermore, he writes clearly that if there was kefiyah (force) in a get that one is not chayav to give, the get is invalid!

      Where the halacha is not like the Rambam is in the case of Maus Ali – the woman says that the husband is repulsive to her or acts repulsively, but not in the ways that a get is forced.

      The Rambam writes that you give her less money for 12 months and then if she still wants, you can force. All other Rishonim and Shulchan Aruch say that you can’t and the halacha is that such a get is invalid. In shaalos vtshuvos it’s brought down that they should each sit alone without outside interference and the husband will eventually give a get to move on or the woman will agree to save the marriage upon sober second thought.

      The get creeps at YU and the ignorant political rabbis like Schwei and Braun who do nothing to stop this destruction because it’s “politically incorrect” to do so, not only are responsible for making animals like Mendel Epstein, shem reshoim yirkav, but also for invalid gittin and shaalos of mamzerus for the kids of the second “marriage.” (Rabbi Osdoba, who cares about halacha, will back all of what was written above up if asked).

  • 7. Waited over 3 years for a Get wrote:

    So it sounds like the only problem the FBI had was the kidnapping part, yes?

    • 8. Milhouse wrote:

      Yes. Even if the wife really deserved the get (and generally that’s not the case) it’s none of the FBI’s business.

  • 9. Agunahs in general... wrote:

    Firstly, I’m not entirely convinced that the Agunah problem is so common. Most people can’t even name one specific case (I’ve asked many people).

    Secondly, people aren’t aware that it can sometimes go both ways, and a woman may refuse to accept a Get, and according to Halachah, you can only force her to accept in very specific circumstances. As for the Heter of 100 Rabbonim, that can also only be applied in specific circumstances (REM”A near the end of Siman 1 in Even HaEzer).

    NEVERTHELESS, it still remains an important issue, BUT there is a solution based on a famous document bought in the Nachlas Shivah, and what it is is basically a document forcing the husband to pay a certain amount of money a day for every day he refuses to divorce, thereby making it extremely expensive for him to refuse. In the United States, this has been made into a real legal document which requires him to pay by law (I believe it’s $150 a day). See http://theprenup.org/
    This agreement can also be made after marriage. Highly recommended.

    • 10. Milhouse wrote:

      It’s an asmachta. He signs it imagining that his wife will never leave him without just cause. Then when she does, if the amount is punitive then you basically still have a get me’useh.

    • 11. pesonaly involved wrote:

      I happen to have a coworker who is still waiting to receive her get and its already two years
      All the bills that she has to pay for lawyers and bes din would be the same as hiering those rabbis

    • 12. Agunahs in general... wrote:

      Milhouse:

      I don’t think you understand the whole process. The husband is only required to start paying if and when the Beis Din decides he has to (meaning they could decide not to – i.e. they may only do it if he starts acting like a menuval etc.). It’s a ‘just in case’ measure.

      You should really look it up in the Nachlas Shivah, it’s extremely interesting.

    • 14. Milhouse wrote:

      Unless the beis din acts honestly, it’s still an asmachta. He signed assuming that no beis din would order him to pay unless he had given cause. If three menuvolim calling themselves a beis din decide that he has to give a get just because his wife wants one, that wasn’t what he agreed to.

    • 15. Agunahs in general... wrote:

      Of course, nothing is foolproof. You hope for the best, and you try to do your best. As far as I understand, the Modern Orthodox Bet Din of America (which does the whole prenup thing) is highly reliable…

    • 16. YMSP wrote:

      Yes, there are a lot of women who yell they want a get without counseling, especially after a birth. The man says he demands counseling before any lifelong decision. She yells get and crazy YU rabbis, and the occasional insane shliach like Zalman Lieberow of Flatbush, will go on a defamation campaign against the husband. Every defamatory thing that is spewed in court for custody is repeated and added to by these “rabbis.” They are trumpeted as agunahs (lhalacha they have no standing). They eventually relent or she eventually gets a get (as no spite was intended) and ruin their lives. A lot of am haaratzim think that the Jewish Press, the most destructive paper to Judaism today, are right in this.

      Another case is when the woman refuses to let the child see their father. In most cases the husband is halachically allowed to withhold a get absent resolution, but the YU crazies (and their sycophants among the “rabbis”) know better.

      In general, if one party goes to arkaos (with the issurim of Chilul Hashem, Chilul Torah, etc.), the other has really no other halachic standing. Practically, speaking to both parties helps resolve the case, especially if saving the marriage is first encouraged (makes an eventual get easier if ch”v vch”v necessary).

    • 17. YMSP wrote:

      Why everyone thinks their a chocham is what’s destroying Judaism today.

      First of all, the “prenup” is 100% invalid except in cases of kofin (which are rare). A get obtained is a get meuso. Why the site would even publish this michshol lerabbim is beyond me, hopefully so that it could be refuted publicly.

      If one is too lazy to open a Shulchan Aruch, and see that a get obtained due to financial pressure is posul midoraisa, then one can at least read piskei din of rabbonim who actually source halacha on http://www.getamarriage.com or http://www.mishpattsedek.com.

      With the recent (20 years) invention of no-fault divorce, the prenup could also be used against a husband who wants counseling. The prenup would also take away the right of the woman, given to her as protection under Takanos Rabbeinu Gershom, to refuse a get if she wants to stay married.

      So the prenup is invalid, causes posul gittin (which means that the next “husband” “marries” an ashes ish, vechulu, vechulu) and takes away a woman’s right granted her by halacha.

      Some solution.

    • 18. YMSP wrote:

      It should be noted that until 20-30 years ago, and all times before, rabbis wouldn’t proceed with a get unless the couple had tried counseling or allowing the rabbis to try to patch up the marriage (before formal counseling came around – and when the rov – who to be fair was then a real rov – did it, somehow there were far less divorces). Ask anyone who divorced over 20 years ago. They were all asked if they’d tried counseling and gittin were discouraged.

      A far cry for the screaming mimi rabbis who push for gittin on demand, care little for kids and have no regard for Jewish marriage, the foundation of stable Jewish life.

    • 19. YMSP wrote:

      The “modern-orthodox” Beth Din of America is recognized as may-as-well-be-slash-is reform in the Torah world. Their mazkir is Shlomo Weissmann, who’s under investigation for counseling a woman to pursue a false criminal charge against her husband, who only wanted counseling to save the marriage (and offered a get based on a set number of counseling sessions). They yell and scream aguna to collect money and are really the “fake-rabbi” arm of an aguna organization which openly boasts of causing false arrests and who’ve gotten women involved with them to lose custody because of their tactics.

      They were founded by “Rabbi” Michael Broyde, who was thrown off of their “Bait Din (sic)” for falsely writing about himself.

      In many momenus cases they’ve ripped off business owners and their tactics are reminiscent of Epstein. Sometimes this is through am haaratzus, as they allow every Young Israel “rabbi” to sit as a “dayan.”

      The real person who runs the BDA is Mordechai Willig. Google him and his involvement with the Baruch Lanner (another one of their organization’s rabbis, at one time) and then tell me that they should be used for anything.

      Their gittin are not recognized by those who do not recognize their prenups – which is basically the entire Yeshiva world.

    • 20. Milhouse wrote:

      No, they are not. They seem to believe that any woman who wants a gett is automatically entitled to one, just because, and the husband should give it without expecting anything in return. Any time the husband uses the gett as a bargaining chip, they think they have a right to order him to give it. Sometimes they’re right, of course; sometimes the husband has done something wrong and really should give a gett, but it’s not automatic.

  • 21. Sloppy and Stupid wrote:

    Very sloppy and stupid that they would do this type of thing over the phone. Also hard to justify why they were charging so much money if they were doing this lishma.

    • 22. Milhouse wrote:

      Well, it’s not hard to justify when you consider the risk they were taking. Even if they’re working lishma they’re entitled to be compensated for that. But you’re right that it casts a huge pall of doubt over their motives and methods. If I knew them personally to be yir’ei shomayim I’d be dan lechaf zechus. But I don’t, and this is very difficult to look past. If nothing else, the fact that they stand to make a lot of money must bias them in favor of kefiyas get, and that’s a problem. The only way I can see it working is if they are not the ones to decide; there have to be independent rabbonim, yir’ei shomayim who are not making any money from it, who make the actual decision. But then their names would have to be kept secret, to shield them from the legal risk.

    • 24. YMSP wrote:

      On a positive note. Many divorces unfortunately happen in the year after the birth of a child. There’s a frum postnatal organization called SPARKS http://www.sparkscenter.org. The absolutely fantastic Lubavitcher therapist Rus Devora Wallen is heavily involved in this organization. They’ve helped hundreds of women and saved hundreds of marriages. It’s also important that husbands learn and understand about both postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety and help their wives through it. The symptoms are very real and not recognizing it and not treating the person right ch”v can ch”v lead to drastic consequences, Hashem yishmor.

  • 25. Agunahs in general... wrote:

    I JUST WANT TO MAKE CLEAR

    I said that I’m not sure it’s so common, I meant to say, as common as people say it is. Of course it happens and even one case in the world is too many.

  • 26. Andrea Schonberger wrote:

    These poor ladies are obviously in desperate situations. If their husbands had acted decent and did the right thing this wouldn’t have happened. The FBI should concentrate its’ energies on capturing terrorists and other loathsome criminals.

    • 27. Double Standard wrote:

      So you want 2 standards of law enforcement. Doesn’t work that way.

    • 28. Milhouse wrote:

      How do you know the husbands are at fault? Maybe the wives are at fault, and if they had acted decently and done the right thing they’d still be happily married, or their husbands would have willingly given them the get? Or do you just automatically assume that in any dispute between a man and a woman the woman must be right?

  • 29. barry wrote:

    This ‘Agunah Crisis’ arises because of a failure in the secular court system.

    If a New Yorker transfers the balance in his bank account to a foreign bank in a jurisdiction which does not enforce New York Court judgments (such as the Serb Republic in Bosnia, or Turkish Northern Cyprus) to evade paying alimony, then the New York Court will not just throw in the towel and tell the wife there is nothing they can do. They will jail the man for contempt and keep him there until sufficient funds are brought back to the US to pays the wife.

    The same principles apply to Gittim. A New York civil court can no more a Beis Din to write a Get than it can force the Serb Republic to recognize its jurisdiction in Pale, however it can jail a man who is in New York for contempt.

    There is nothing unconstitutional in stating that if you choose to marry in a Jewish ceremony in New York State, then you owe your wife a duty to grant her a get when the New York court believes that circumstances justify the marriage being brought to an end and for the wife to be able to get on with her life. This is a matter of civil law only.

    It must be stressed that the reason why a secular court can order a man to give a Get is not because he is a Jew but rather because he chose of his own free will to be married in a Jewish ceremony and that decision gave his wife a right to receive a Get on civil divorce. If you do not like the possibility of a New York Court ordering you to give a get, then don’t get married in a Jewish ceremony or live as husband and wife in New York.

    Of course you will have the odd case of some stubborn husband who will spend years in jail rather than give a Get, but the vast majority of Agunah cases will disappear.

    Women have a right to divorce under US law so that they can get on with their lives and the US Courts are failing in their duties to enforce that right in ensuring that they can.

    • 30. Milhouse wrote:

      There is nothing unconstitutional in stating that if you choose to marry in a Jewish ceremony in New York State, then you owe your wife a duty to grant her a get when the New York court believes that circumstances justify the marriage being brought to an end and for the wife to be able to get on with her life. This is a matter of civil law only.,

      There may be nothing unconstitutional about it, but there’s something very unhalachic about it. Just because a New York court believes the circumstances justify a divorce over the other party’s objections does not mean that the halacha agrees. The objecting party may be 100% right according to halacha, and no beis din has the power to order them to give or accept a get. And a get given under such duress is invalid.

    • 31. YMSP wrote:

      Barry, There’s not enough GBs in the computer to adequately write a retort to your outrageous comments but
      1) the get would be invalid
      2) a person who did this would be a moiser
      3) a spouse cannot be thrown out of a marriage like a worn out shoe. If the woman wants to refuse a get, she can and no get can be procured. If the husband wants to save the marriage he cannot be forced not to (the exceptions in both cases are noted in Kesubos, Yevamos and Shulchan Aruch – the first two dealing only with the man, being that it was before Takanas R”G that gave the woman rights which you now wish to trample on.
      4) Prison r”l in divorce is barbaric
      5) Anyone who follows your advice is a moser
      6) Anyone who first goes to secular courts without cause actually, according to Judaism, has no rights in Bais Din. Of course, practically, both sides should still work to resolve everything.
      Your solution is immoral and a complete breach of halacha.

  • 32. declasse' intelelctual wrote:

    While not justifying the occurances here, this has been a consistent Hulull HaShem in the Orthodox community. I believe, if I remember right, the Rambam advocated throwing the man into jail and letting him stew there forever if necessary. It is unfortunately, one of the problems that Hallacha has been unable to resolve so far and like the child abuse issues, too many leading Rabbonim play Ostrrich

    • 33. Milhouse wrote:

      No, the Rambam says nothing about jail. The Rambam says the same as the gemara, that he is beaten at the beis din’s orders. Which is what these people purported to do.

      But that is only when the beis din has determined that the circumstances justify ordering him to give the get. In a normal case he has no obligation to give one (nor, post-RGMH, does she have an obligation in a normal case to accept one).

    • 35. Milhouse wrote:

      Why should he? You know nothing of the circumstances, so why do you assume this is one of the unusual cases where he can be ordered to give one?

  • 36. "Almanah is better than a AGUNAH" wrote:

    What the rabbis should do is have the woman “title” changed from ‘Agunah’ to ‘Almanah”!!!

    • 38. YMSP wrote:

      What the rabbis should do is get you some help. Your bloodthirst is more acceptable in the Muslim faith. You may yet find your place.

  • 39. Sruly Clapman wrote:

    If a guy won’t give a Get you should do what the Rambam ( torah ) says to do KNOCK the LIVING daylighting out of him.

    • 40. soxfan wrote:

      In this instance, the Rambam should not be taken literally. Torturing a man with a cattle prod (and these things really happened – wait for the indictment because the arrest Complaint does not tell the whole story) is clearly illegal and immoral.

    • 41. Milhouse wrote:

      Sruly,. in a normal case the Torah (and the Rambam) say he has no obligation to give the get, and if she doesn’t like it tough luck. A wife is not entitled to leave a marriage just because they feel like it. And since RGMH the same is true for a husband; in a normal case the wife can refuse to accept a get, and he is stuck.

      Only if there are special circumstances, such as abuse, can the husband be ordered to give a get, or the wife to accept one.

      Soxfan, the Rambam should certainly be taken literally. It is never immoral to obey the Torah. It may be illegal, but so what? Since when do we care what the law says? Lubavitch is built on defiance of the law. All our rebbeim were outlaws. If the Torah says to do something, we do it and spit on the law. But only if the Torah does say, which remains to be determined in these cases.

  • 42. An Agunah wrote:

    I say the recalcitrant husband should receive what the Rambam says and more.

    • 43. Milhouse wrote:

      How about the wives? Should they receive what the Rambam says a moredes gets? Public shaming, and turned out on the street without a penny?

  • 44. Just Asking... wrote:

    What about if the wife doesn’t… etc.?
    Would they kidnap her?
    Cost? $50, grand? Do they except cash?!

    • 45. Milhouse wrote:

      If a beis din determines that the husband deserves a compelled get, and the wife refuses to accept it, the solution is much simpler: he can deposit the get with the beis din, and they can give him a heter mei’oh rabbonim. But again, this is only in an unusual case when a compelled get is justified. In a normal case, a marriage can only be dissolved by mutual consent, and either party has the full right to refuse consent or to demand whatever compensation they like for it.

    • 46. YMSP wrote:

      Milhouse, 99% of what you said is true and great, but one point here. Halacha forbids unjust compensation and there’s a teshuvo from R’ Moshe Feinstein about it. Of course, a Bais Din can’t hear the case if one party is breaking halacha and going to arkaos shelo kedin, so there are other considerations. But one cannot ask for unjust compensation for a get (if he was robbed in court that’s a different story and if he’s in danger ch”v, that’s totally different).

  • 47. A Question wrote:

    What kind of investigation did this Beis Din do before it agreed to proceed with what is alleged? This was a sting operation, with an agent who was not married at all. Did they produce a valid Kesubah? Did they meet with the husband? Did they talk to anybody else ie. rabbonim who know the “husband” before agreeing to proceed?

    The whole story makes no sense. This is very fishy.

    • 48. Milhouse wrote:

      It could be that they agreed to take on the case and investigate it, and then got arrested before they could proceed any further. Perhaps had they not been arrested they would have done a proper investigation to determine whether the special circumstances existed that would justify kefiyas get, and they would of course have found the truth. That could be. However, I share your skepticism.

  • 49. Aguna wrote:

    It’s not so uncommon either, I know of 3/4 people who were in that situation. Clearly cattle prods are wrong and illegal. The courts should enforce monetary penalties- large one too.

    • 50. Milhouse wrote:

      If a genuine beis din, acting for just cause and according to the holy Torah, ordered him to give a get and he refused, then this sort of thing would be right and just, and it wouldn’t matter that it’s illegal. We must do the right thing regardless of the law. We follow a higher law.

      But all that is only if this was done properly and above board. Which I highly doubt.

    • 51. Anonymous wrote:

      That higher law means nothing to the laws of that country. Plus I think the FBI knows everything you just said.

    • 54. YMSP wrote:

      Makes the get posul (get meuso – posul midoraisa).

      The situation is out of control. A man wants to save the marriage and demands counseling, the woman refuses and yells agunah.

      A lot of time the woman has gotten an exorbitant amount in alimony, the husband has a choice of poverty or jail, then she yells agunah. Ari Schochet, a litvisher who gave a get without hassle, had his alimony case in all the papers. He lost his job and his ex has had him thrown in jail several times for not paying hundreds of thousands (when he doesn’t have 2 cents). Clearly, if he withheld a get, he would have been within his reasoning.

      There’s no chiyuv to give a get except in rare circumstances. YU loons, Young Israel and their supporters who demand gittin on demand are a relatively new invention. There’s of course a mitzvah not to be malicious but any force or even community pressure invalidates a usual get, is against halacha and doesn’t work.

  • 55. Sad to say, this is just the Beginning wrote:

    These are FBI agents carrying out Epstein’s computers & boxes full of old papers – I sure wouldn’t want to be one of his clients when they go through all of that with a fine tooth comb !!

  • 58. that is disgutstin wrote:

    this is why moshiach doesn’t come people ruin people lives why did they ave to say names that why we don’t have moshiach we don’t have ahavas yisroel!!!

  • 59. WoW wrote:

    This Epstien guy told my friend’s husband that despite the fact that he has moved in with his girlfriend already over three years ago, he should continue to withhold the get until she gives up the house. For him its all about money. Which ever way he is getting it. He should sit in jail for 3.5years, the amount of time my friend is in her agunah jail pf epstiens doing.

    • 60. Milhouse wrote:

      Why did your friend demand a get in the first place? If she had no grounds then she’s not entitled to a get, and he has the right to demand whatever he likes. If she wants a get let her give him the house. If he moved in with this girlfriend only after your friend left him, then it’s irrelevant.

      Only in an unusual case where there are real reasons why she can’t stay in the marriage is she entitled to a get, and in those cases a beis din has the power to order him to give one. And in such a case, if he doesn’t obey the beis din they have the right to force him by whatever means they think appropriate. But they have to be acting honestly and al pi din, not just because they’re being paid, or because they automatically side with the wife in any dispute.

  • 61. ginger breadman wrote:

    Looks like Epstein got what he deserves.
    next for FBI is why did his daughter Shevy Hersko end up winning $10,000 cash from Met council on Jewish poverty to represent an abusive parent?
    What is her releationship with Rappfogel?

  • 62. in the know wrote:

    Shevy Epstein Hersko was awarded many times, THOUSANDS of Dollars to represent litigents, from the Met council.

    I smell a rat.
    its going to be a domino effect.

  • 63. milhouse your soooooo bored wrote:

    do you really thing kidnapping and torturing people according to halachah is allowed you must go to one of these rabbis school fehhhh

    • 64. Anonymous wrote:

      I don’t think he is bored, he just has a lot of free time on his hands. Something I envy.

    • 65. Milhouse wrote:

      Of course it’s allowed — when the halacha requires it. Look in any halacha sefer.

    • 66. YMSP wrote:

      Whatever the case, kudos to Milhouse for pointing out the often ignored truth on this issue.

  • 68. Rabbi Yosef wrote:

    Be very careful about using the Beth Din of America for your GET or other religious issue. Rabbi Shlomo Weissmann and Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz both have seruv’s against them. Prior judges on this court have had a multitude of problems. Read more about it at http://www.thebethdin.com. Too many Beth Dins are corrupt and dishonest.

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