The 'Get'-Refuser

Why is Aharon Friedman still insisting on imprisoning his wife as a "chained woman?"

By
October 2, 2012 14:16
3 minute read.
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Regular people, Jewish or not, come up and say "I don't get it—why isn’t that guy giving his wife a get?" That guy being Aharon Friedman, advisor to Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee Congressman Dave Camp. For regular people view get-refusal as pointless; and dragging it on, totally irrational. That's in relation to a mostly private dispute when the spouses are more or less anonymous. Add to that unending publicity accompanying a high profile case of a get-refuser whose professional standing testifies to the fact that he must be intelligent; it is truly incomprehensible to the regular person – leading him or her to question the makeup of "that guy".

A full year has passed since the respected Rabbinic Court of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada issued a "seruv" ruling against Aharon Friedman—stating unequivocally that he was found to be in "contempt of Beth Din" for refusing to give a get to Tamar Epstein, thus turning her into an agunah. Once a ruling such as this has been handed down, it closes the rather futile discussion on which of the spouses is right or wrong. A get must be given irrespective of other issues and not held in ransom at any time of a divorce process —all the more so following rabbinic instruction.

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