Mar 24, 2015
Get Refusal is Domestic Abuse

Shlucha Layah Lipsker, who is active with the Boston Bet Din, says Get Refusal must be treated as a domestic abuse issue.

By Layah Lipsker, co-director of Chabad Lubavitch of the North Shore in Swampscott, MA

When I was a teenager, my father, Rabbi Yankel Kranz, OBM, told me about his concern for women who do not receive a Get after their marriage is over. "If I had money," he said, "I would print bumper stickers that said 'Get Your Get!"

As I took up his cause and launched a new educational website, getyourget.com, I began to hear painful stories of Get Refusal.

In my work as an advocate for these women, I now work at the Boston Bet Din, supporting women as they go through the painful process of divorce. The task of educating our community about Get Refusal is a sacred one and should be done with respect and compassion for those suffering. To that end, I want to share what I have learned through my work.

The word Agunah can itself cause confusion and strife. Although, technically, women who suffer from Get Refusal may not be classical Agunot, the outcome is the same. They cannot remarry under Jewish law.

Contrary to what was stated in the op-ed by Aliza BasMenachem, this is not a situation any women should be told to tolerate. Her suggestion that women who cannot remarry should accept their lot as G-d given is akin to asking infertile women to accept their fate and not seek treatment. It is a cruel statement and should have no place in our public or private conversations regarding Get Refusal.

Get Refusal is a domestic abuse issue and must be treated as such. A man or a woman, who refuses to give or accept a Get when a marriage is functionally over, is asserting the last bit of control he/she has left. It is often the last act in a long pattern of domestic abuse, both physical and emotional.

Our community must speak out against abuse in all its ugly forms. Get refusal is on the rise, with 35,000 open documented cases in Israel, where all couples must go through the Rabbinical Courts.

I work with compassionate Rabbanim who find creative ways to fight this form of domestic abuse. In Crown Heights, however, there is no Bes Din willing to take on the more difficult cases. Like all abuse, this is a communal problem and we must face it as a community.

The only long term solution that works 100% of the time is the preventative measure of signing a Halachic prenup or postnup (www.theprenup.org). We should be encouraging our Rabbanim to learn more about them and join the many who are insisting that they are signed after the Chuppah.

But this will not help women who are currently suffering from Get Refusal. Let's ask those women what they need and support them in every way we can. With Pesach approaching, there is no better time to discuss the journey towards freedom for those still in chains. It is not the time to take the easy path and tell people to accept their suffering.


RELATED ARTICLES:

+ In This Story, the Agunah Was Me
+ Manipulators Aren't My Sisters
+ March Held to Support Agunahs
+ Marching Doesn't Heal Hearts



Most Read Most Comments


Opinions and Comments
1
where are you Aliza?
Aliza why dont you tell them your intentions? You did not tell them not to do everything in their power to seek that get you just told them how to focus if it doesn't happen chas vsholom- you did write to do everything in their power to receive that get! how come they r misinterpreting what you wrote from the heart!! why don't u explain yourself after these negative comments towards your article.am i the only smart one that understood it?
(3/24/2015 7:18:28 PM)
2
Thank you
Thank you for this important article
(3/24/2015 7:18:58 PM)
3
A breath of fresh air.
Thanks Layah for bringing the truth to the surface.We need people with the passion like your father...Real people.
Thanks for sharing and shedding some light unto this plague of darkness blinding our community.
(3/24/2015 7:22:43 PM)
4
Yasher Koach
Leah I applaud your work -- I think we also need to recognize the many women in our community who don't get as far as the opportunity of a get because the rabbonim don't take them seriously. In particular, the women who don't have physical bruises to show for their abuse and thus are dismissed by rabbonim. The scars on the heart and the psyche count just as much. It's a chillul Hashem and chillul sheim Lubavitch that brave women are being told to go home to their tormentors. Some, like me, were actually laughed at to our faces. For women like me, the prenup would NOT have solved the problem. Continued Hatzlacha with your important work!
(3/24/2015 7:32:27 PM)
5
Yehudis Smith
THANK YOU. Great article. Thank you for paving the way for a real conversation about what we can do to eradicate the Agunah crisis.
(3/24/2015 7:33:49 PM)
6
BH AND WOW !!! ( ALL CAPS )
The march was just a few short days ago and here we have a very dignified article by a very qualified and compassionate Shlucha heightening awareness of these tragic issues. Again, only those who have - rachmonis - suffered from, been a witness to, or taken the time to really educate themselves about domestic violence / Gett refusal should be involved in these matters. If our local Bais Din is not up to honestly educating themselves then perhaps the Boston Bais Din - which seems more willing / able to be true communal leaders, will agree to be helpful to Crown Heights victims. This feels like we are actually starting to break out of limitations, please G-d for the sake of all concerned. From strength to strength !
(3/24/2015 7:36:12 PM)
7
GO LAYAH!!!
Thank you for this article!! Right on point! I hope everyone reads it and WE ALL ask ourselves what EACH OF US can do to help!
Chava Bolotin
(3/24/2015 7:39:05 PM)
8
Thank You
Thank you for taking part in raising awareness for this very serious issue in a well balanced and respectful way.
(3/24/2015 7:39:05 PM)
9
Trail Blazer.....
What a well rounded well spoken response..
I hope all those paying attention read and take to heart what Rebbetzen Lipsker has so eloquently written
Yasher Koach gadol !!

(3/24/2015 7:41:18 PM)
10
WOW...like father like daughter
What an amazing job Rebbetzin.Lipsker, the daughter of the Virginia shliach Rabbi Yankel Kranz o'h is doing for agunot. I hope her message will spread across every Chabad House until refusing a get is tantamount to abusing your husband and wife in courts of law.

Keep up the good work.

A fond admirer
(3/24/2015 7:45:07 PM)
11
Excellent!
Thank you! We must continue to educate the public!
And thank you for what you do!
(3/24/2015 7:45:18 PM)
12
Sholom Green
Mrs Lipsker is correct, there can not be any excuse for refusal to give a Gett and you the refusal to accept a Gett.
(3/24/2015 7:54:38 PM)
13
Layah for President!
There should be more people like you around. Good luck in all you do and thank you for your work and commitment
(3/24/2015 7:57:03 PM)
14
Srul Zalman Chaim
We all heard the story of the boy that screamed wolf and everyone came and tried to help, only to realize that it was a joke, then when the wolf really came nobody came to help him.

This campaign to help Agunos unfortunately was started here in CrownHeights by a bias group against one person.

The job of organizations is to make sure they rally up the community to help REAL AGUNOS!!! People are being manipulated..... And now won't have the patience to get involved where they are really needed.
After a man is Mesuraev Ldin, and the Batay din come out and say there is no 2 sides this lady is being Chanied and people must do all that's in their power to get a GET written that's when we all know to organize and march for the cause.

Sunday was a blood libel lynching that was instigated against a innocent person. And the numbers speak for themselves.
45 park slope Brooklyn Heights people attended. When it's for a real cause there will be 2,000 people or more. I look forward to that day.
(3/24/2015 8:00:21 PM)
15
thank u thank you thank you
I see a light at the end of the tunnel in this community
(3/24/2015 8:01:19 PM)
16
with Pesach approaching...
With Pesach approaching Agunas, or any single mothers for that matter need money, plain cash for all their needs. The Get is very important but more urgently is food on the table and clothing to wear for themselves and their kids. The Get can be dealt with again after Pesach.
I heard in a shiur divorced women (or long time Agunas for that matter) are considered equal to Almanahs (as far as tzedakah is concerned)
(3/24/2015 8:06:59 PM)
17
Well said!
Everything I wanted to say, but saved me from typing it!
(3/24/2015 8:07:13 PM)
18
Why do you think the rabbis dont know about the prenup they feel its to ify

By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, shlita, member of the Badatz of Crown Heights.

#249 Prenuptial Agreements

There is a discussion amongst contemporary poskim regarding prenuptial agreements. Sometimes a husband and wife have irreconcilable differences, which unfortunately lead to divorce.
Numerous solutions have been proposed over the generations to address the agunah scenario that occurs when a recalcitrant husband declines to give his wife a get voluntarily. According to Jewish law, a divorce is valid only if the husband places a get in his wife's hands of his own free will. In the past the term agunah was used to describe a woman chained to a marriage, unable to remarry because her husband had vanished without a trace, and there was no evidence of his death.

In today's day and age a different problem exists: Sadly, there are women today who are suffering as mesurovos get, refused a get by their husbands even after a Beis Din has ruled that the husbands must give a get to their wives. This phenomenon is relatively new, as nowadays the religious courts are not empowered to take justice into their own hands, and the effects of social or religious sanctions imposed by any given Beis Din are severely limited. (Technically, there can also be men who are “chained” to their marriage, due to the decree of Rabbeinu Gershom that a woman cannot be divorced without her consent. Indeed, there are a considerable number of men who are in this sad predicament. However, in cases of extreme need, men have a way out: they can arrange for a heter meah rabbonim, permission from one hundred rabbis from three different countries to remarry. Women do not have this option.) It must be emphasized that a man who withholds a get from his wife after being ordered by a Beis Din to give one, is in violation of very many Torah commandments and is considered a rashah.

There are countless sayings of Chazal as well as specific halachos attesting to the fact that our sages were extra diligent in attempting to assist Jewish women, agunos in particular. Of course, if in a particular situation the Torah rules that an agunah may not remarry, we are unable to change the law of the Torah in order to accommodate her in her plight; indeed any attempt to change Torah laws in any matter is foolish and borders on heresy. Many ideas promulgated by various activists and popularized on social media to an undiscerning audience, while perhaps done with the most noble of intentions, are absolutely unacceptable and have been condemned by virtually all gedolei Yisrael.

One form of prenuptial agreement under consideration, widely publicized in the USA, is an agreement where the future husband and wife both sign, prior to being halachically married, that if down the line for whatever reason they no longer have a shared common residence, the husband obligates himself to pay the wife a certain amount of money per day─as long as they remain married according to Jewish law. Since these conditions will be very difficult for him to fulfill, by signing this agreement the husband will, so-to-speak, be "compelled" to give his wife a divorce should she want one. While these efforts are very commendable and could help resolve the plight of many women, it must be ascertained that such a prenuptial agreement is according to halachah (aside from other theological and social considerations which need to be evaluated independently). There are various opinions about this matter which are beyond the scope of this brief article. Aside for the fact that the agreement has to be a valid one, it can have serious repercussions in the future as to the legitimacy of the get, since according to halachah the husband must give it of his free will, and not be “compelled” to do so. It is important to emphasize that any solution to this issue requires the full agreement of many gedolei hahora'ah after thoroughly having investigated all the issues.

The Rebbe warns that in our generation which is plagued by the "sickness" of publicity, where everyone has an opinion on everything, engaging in public discussion, even among Rabbanim, on this matter can pose a strong threat to the immutability of the Torah. This can lead to a situation where every individual, even those who have zero training in halachah─and are certainly far removed from knowledge in the intricacies of halachah relating to such a complex matter─will form their own halachic opinions how to "reform" and "adjust" the laws of the Torah in all the other 612 mitzvos, as well, in accordance with the current culture and weltanschauung. As is often in vogue lately, anyone who can be more creative in devising a heter becomes the leading voice. Thus, this subject is best left to the domain of seasoned Torah leaders.

Due to the complex and sensitive nature of the laws of gitin, it's very unlikely that any innovation would ever legitimately change the halachic dynamics, where the husband can have leverage with regard to the get. Many suggestions which have been floated are halachically unsound, and any change would provide a dangerous precedent for those who wish to find fault with halachah. Just as living a Torah lifestyle can be challenging in many ways, but we believe that it's for our own good, albeit beyond our comprehension; we must recognize that the same applies to the structure of gitin, even the aspects that may seem 'unfair'. Our focus should rather be on creating an environment where it's a given that it's absolutely unacceptable to withhold a get after a Beis Din has ruled that the husband grant it, and on mediating marital disputes to ensure that smaller conflicts don't escalate into lifelong vendettas.
(3/24/2015 8:09:02 PM)
19
to #1
I agree with everything Aliza wrote, shes on the ball.

She does NOT need to explain anything. She wrote very clear.

The haters see what they want, no amount of explaining will do. I'll go as far as to say that many didn't even bother reading from start to finish and just responded emotionally.

The reason they are afraid of Aliza article is that in-order for the leaders of this "sister-hood" to raise to power they need "victim-hood", in other words, they need useful idiots.

Aliza is stealing this victim-hood away from them and thus she is a threat that must be bullied, intimidated and harassed into silence.
(3/24/2015 8:09:39 PM)
20
Nice job Layah
Thank you for your articulate and compassionate article. We need more voices like yours to speak out on behalf of all those suffering from abuse in our community. The Rebbe would be proud.
(3/24/2015 8:11:28 PM)
21
Sholom Green
We need Chabad Botei Din including the one in Crown Heights to make a clear statement to the issue of pre-nuptuals.
(3/24/2015 8:11:32 PM)
22
like father like daughter
a real tribute to both rabbi yankel kranz of blessed memory and his daughter layah lipsker of swampscott!! get your get is a great name no matter who thought of it first....
(3/24/2015 8:11:35 PM)
23
Keep shining, Layah
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.Keep speaking truth.
(3/24/2015 8:15:40 PM)
24
Finally
The tide is turning
(3/24/2015 8:32:43 PM)
25
The message is GETTing through
Thank you Rebetzin Lipsker for the uplifting and encouraging words. There is hope after all!
(3/24/2015 8:34:30 PM)
26
REAL agunah
Kinda like saying Rubashkin isn't real Pidyon Shevuim case.
Or saying emotional abuse isn't real abuse.
Or saying today's civil courts aren't real Arkaos.
(3/24/2015 8:39:55 PM)
27
Chanie Cohen
At long lost there is a voice of reason being represented here on this forum. For all of those who were screaming about the silence of our community you should know this: we have incredible women who are working tirelessly (without megaphones!) to help individuals who need to move along with their life. I was in this situation for four long years; and then I met Bronya Shaffer who helped me to get to the right people for the right solutions. I'm saying this in response to all those who criticize our community for not being 'active' or 'educated' - please be aware of this: there are Laya Lipskers and Bronya Shaffers and many others as well who are sophisticated and intelligent and very up to date on all the issues. (Just look at the issues that the Nshei Newsletter tackles!) All of you johny-come-latelys invading our community, we don't need you and we don't need your 'guidance' and 'advice'. We are an open community, open to ideas and changes and just getting better and better (in fact there is no frum community who is more open to the problems of child abuse than we are! - thanks to individuals like Bronya Shaffer and Rishe Deitsch ). We have our good women, and men, and we will manage very well without your butting in, thank you. Go home, and take your megaphones with you.
(3/24/2015 8:42:25 PM)
28
I wish this was a solution
It would be nice if the Halachic prenup was a real solution. However it just simply isn't. Because according to some of the greatest Poskim (such as Harav Eliyashiv) a Get given because of a prenup, is invalid!
Meaning: a women who received a get because of a prenup and then got remarried, would bring children into this world who are possibly mamzeirim!
This position is the one accepted by most Chareidy Poskim, and is the position that the CH BD maintains.
Halacha is not something we can just "change". That is not how Torah works. Period.
(3/24/2015 8:43:41 PM)
29
Thumbs up!
Thank you for bringing clarity to this issue which some have been clouding with negativity. This is not an issue to hide from, nor should it become political! It is a halachic issue that is very straight forward. Hatzlachah with your work to help these women. I pray that the rabbonim in Crown Heights begin to take a more active and positive role in this area.
(3/24/2015 8:45:11 PM)
30
Thank you Layah Lipsker! Keep up your work!
THANK YOU!!! IN CAPS!! You're wonderful and you should continue your work. Proud to call you my sister in that you're doing work, I wish I could be doing, and fighting for a cause I feel for within the depths of my soul and heart.

Women don't turn their back on women. Please continue speading your word!
(3/24/2015 8:46:10 PM)
31
Good article - misinterpreted Aliza
Sorry, but both this article and the one by Yehudis Smith have completely misinterpreted the article by Aliza. As a complete neutral observer, it is quite clear that you have not understood the positive intent and content of the original op eds. Try rereading it.
(3/24/2015 8:48:11 PM)
32
What about halacha?
There is something that I do not understand. When there is a Jewish divorce, if the couple went by strict halacha rather than the secular courts, wouldn't that basically mean that the husband gets everything, including the kids and the wife just gets whatever support is due her according to the agreement in the kesuba? YET, women seek halachic gittin yet seek justice for everything else in the secular courts, which give them property and custody that they would not otherwise be entitled to under halacha, yet they still want a halachic get. Don't get me wrong, I think they should get a get . I mean, staying spiritually chained to another person against their will is bad for all involved. However, I do not see my question ever addressed when there is a discussion about gittin. Any scholars out there want to enlighten me? The whole thing just baffles me, since the only explanation here is that these women want their cake and to eat it too...

(I am a woman, BTW, and I am looking at this as a pure scholarly discussion of the halacha and not a moral discussion.)
(3/24/2015 8:52:26 PM)
33
Response to #1
I agree - I'm still puzzling over where people picked up the "accept your faith attitude" in Aliza's article. All I read was empowering words, strengthening women. If a husband wishes to hurt a woman, why should she allow it to happen by becoming a victim? Written like a therapist, Aliza. Kol hakavod.
However, each person is entitled to their opinion. There is no reason to put each other down. Perhaps that's why Aliza is not responding. I admire that.
(3/24/2015 8:52:29 PM)
34
Wow
Can we get a psak or will we just go back and forth with the op-eds...
(3/24/2015 8:54:15 PM)
35
You're awesome.
For getting involved and for writing this.
(3/24/2015 9:06:27 PM)
36
AGREE WITH NUMBER 1 TOO
aliza did not say anything that contradicts anything any of the responses said back to her.

why is it that the sadder one is the more we want her to stay that way??

dont you all realize that one needs to feel like a human being eventhough they are unfortunately chained beyond their control?
your attitudes of "you are the biggest victim ever and should never be happy" is really not helping her....

(3/24/2015 9:13:14 PM)
37
What about men suffering?
Why don't anybody talk about the women who do not want to let their husbands ( fathers of their children) talk to their children and torture them for years.
where is the voices of the men who are suffering from abuse from cruel women, who want to suck every penny of their husbands. Not every woman is so innocent as you think. They like to put themselves in this situations.
I am very disappointed in Colive.
(3/24/2015 9:25:09 PM)
38
Kol hakavod
Hashem should bless you in your important work.
(3/24/2015 9:46:30 PM)
39
To the pro-Aliza commenters
Aliza was wrong in insisting that agunahs are all sitting around wallowing in victim-hood. They are not! They are carrying on with their lives but they still need to work on being freed!
(3/24/2015 9:49:09 PM)
40
snowbird
Thank you for this wonderful article.
This is a Jewish issue that needs to be addressed.
(3/24/2015 9:57:45 PM)
41
Thank you Layah Lipskier
For being a clear voice of reason.
(3/24/2015 9:58:08 PM)
42
#18
Thank you
your article is a complement to this op-ed and is truly well written
(3/24/2015 10:00:57 PM)
43
Gittin:
A Kesuba is enforceable in secular court as a "prenup". It allots 200 zekukim kesef [a monetary value] to a woman upon divorce. All other assets remain in the domain of the husband. Custody of children goes to the mother until a child is eight years old at which point custody transfers to the father 'kidos Moshe viYisroel'.

This is the legally enforceable agreement made at the time of marriage.

A woman who seeks to use the courts to rob her husband is a mosser and subject to killing according to Halacha even today, and any property (freedom) in the domain of the husband need not be returned.

Show me a man who is being asked to follow the terms he agreed to and I will iy"H bring you a compliant man.

Every woman who seeks to circumvent the agreed on terms at the time of marriage using secular courts is in the wrong. The man who treats her like a mosser and negates her "freedom" property is doing nothing wrong halachically.

It is only when he is being asked to comply with what he agreed to [200 zikukim etc] and refuses that he is in the wrong. Such a man is easily brought to compliance.

All women who go to court seeking more favorable outcomes than their kesuba allots them are unethical thieves and robbers and should be publicly excommunicated by Bes Din with or without a get.

And vis a vis this so-called "halachic prenup" business:
Besides for it based on the false premise that the women who try to use court to rob the father of their children are women who deserve their life (not according to Torah they don't)...

Financial duress is compelling (isn't that the whole point), and invalidates any "get" attained as attained under duress making future children of the woman mamzerim.

After all the get explicitly states it is being given "under no duress". Exorbitant financial penalties are duress and invalidate the get, as they would any other contract.

Furthermore, if a woman goes to court to extract more [than 200 zekukim] out of the man according to Halacha he needn't pay her the fines in the prenup as per mosser law 'kidos Moshe viYisroel'.


Let women either accept the terms that were agreed upon or start thinking ahead and negotiate a traditional "prenup" before getting married and have the kesuba modified accordingly.

To the above wife of a Shliach, it is worthy to suggest that you refrain from making public statements as to the Halachic aspects of Gittin and "prenups", in following the advice of The Rebbe that such matters be left not even to Rabbis (maybe your husband) but to Rabbonim who are experts in all the related far-reaching subjects.
(3/24/2015 10:11:35 PM)
44
Get the facts straight
I've been waiting for this comment, but noone seems to have written it so I will.

The notion that a woman being a refused a get is not an agunah is complete am ha'aratzus!

Look at the Gemara in Gittin, 33a and you'll see clearly that an agunah is a woman who is unable to get a divorce for WHATEVER REASON.

The Gemara is discussing why raban gamliel made a takanah that men cannot annull their gittin once they send them unless the woman or shliach is present. One of the reasons given is "TO HELP AGUNOS."

Rashi and others explain that she is CLASSIFIED as an AGUNAH, not because she doesn't know where her husband is, but because of his refusal to divorce her.

So yes, a woman being refused a Get is talmudically rendered an AGUNAH.

Unless you know better than rashi and many other rishonim.
(3/24/2015 10:16:57 PM)
45
What is with the "oppressed" men around here?
If you men think that, although the bottom line is that men have a solution and woman don't, you are also being jipped then by all means - join this plea for a solution. A unified decision and process set forth by a stable collective Crown Heights Bais Din would solve everyone's problem: men, women and most of all - the children who, through no fault of their own, have to go through this torture !!! If this issue was given due attention by Rabbonim and the people would actually listen, the Gett/Divorce process may actually possibly one day become (dare I say it) humane and fair to all. *lifting my hands up in prayer*
(3/24/2015 10:18:15 PM)
46
Think before you (talk) type: Have I walked their shoes?
That's it.
(3/24/2015 10:28:33 PM)
47
no. 44
i imagine aguna cannot be used when the wife is at fault for husband not giving the get , e.g.. he is denied to see his own children or is demanded a crazy unaffordable amount of money. If she is at fault why would she be called aguna- she can easily unchain herself.
(3/24/2015 10:28:39 PM)
48
Appreciate
Rabbi's insight and agree "Take your megaphones and find another neighborhood who are looking for noise!"
Much work to be done and empty vessels make most.......
they are not contributing to our healing!
(3/24/2015 10:30:50 PM)
49
To #44
Let me stop you there for a moment. How exactly do you define "refused"?

Sure, a woman whose husband REFUSES to give a Get is an Aguna, that much we know. But what exactly is "refusal"?

Let me help you with this one. "Refusal" is when a husband says he is absolutely not going to give a Get. THAT is refusal. If a man comes home from work one day and his wife says "give me a Get", and the husband says "Honey, let's discuss this please first, maybe we can talk to a Rav or a therapist and save our marriage", that does NOT constitute "refusal". He did not "refuse" anything, he simply asked that they try to come to terms or at least work something out that is best for both parties.

It is for this reason that ONLY a Beis Din may declare a man a "refuser", and only after establishing that he is indeed a "refuser", and not simply trying to rationalize with his wife.
(3/24/2015 10:33:32 PM)
50
anonymous
BS"D
not to distract from the seriousness of this issue but why never a word about the abused men who are dragged to court by their recalcitrant wives who refuse to go to Beth Din and some have even been held in contempt by the Beth Din- Mesurevis
(3/24/2015 10:58:18 PM)
51
Halachik Pre Nups
The Halachik Pre Nups has the endorsements of Harav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, Harav Osher Weiss and others! They are the leading Rabbonim in the Chareidi/Frum world.
(3/24/2015 11:01:42 PM)
52
Correct!!!
There is a serious problem we must find a solution.

Unfoertunetely the prenuptial agreement is a bad solution.

Most Chareidi rabbis agree that it is not a get , this is 95% of the charedi world.

Zalmen nechemya changed his mind about this and never permitted it.

The Tzemach Tzedek does not permit it.

I really don't understand how a charedi person would actually sign this thing!!!???

This is not fixing the problem it is reffering it to a much bigger problem.

"No deal is better than a bad deal"!


(3/24/2015 11:13:49 PM)
53
Former student of your father,
Your father Rabbi Kranz,OBM,was one of the first Chabad Rabbis I met. Together with the Rivkins of New Orleans, he ran the Chabad House at San Diego State. As a person who has had a civil divorce for over 13years your words are a comfort to me. There is no question that refusing to give a Gett is a continuation of the abuse that my children and I lived through. Layah thank you for your words and actions. They mean alot.We need to know that others can understand what we are going through.
Thank you Layah.
(3/24/2015 11:20:42 PM)
54
Increase in Acts of Goodness and Kindness
Number 1 person is to your spouse.

We need more love.
We need to be kinder to each other.
We need to talk softly to each other.
We need to be good to each other.
We need to care for each other.

We need more love.
(3/24/2015 11:22:25 PM)
55
to 51
you obviously don't know much about the chareidy world. the names mentioned (who are indeed big talmidei chachomim) are not the leading poskim in the chareidy world.
Rabbi Eliyashiv - the true leading posek of the chareidy world, was very against it.
RZN is known to have an open door, and when people tell him half facts he OK's it. it has happened many times that he has publicly retracted (in writing) things he had said previously - because he was misinformed on the facts.
(3/24/2015 11:30:21 PM)
56
Rabbi Shlomo Yaffee
Wrote a clear Halachik article on this topic. It should be published. Actually Rabbi Yaffee should probably be nominated as a CH Rov
(3/24/2015 11:35:17 PM)
57
what about when a woman wants to cut off custody for her husband
things are not always so simple
the man needs to be protected too
there are many women out there who act very viciously
(3/24/2015 11:50:24 PM)
58
Thank you layah!!!
Leah I applaud your work, you've always been an activist who is educated and does her research, I truly respect what you are doing!!!
(3/25/2015 12:11:01 AM)
59
Seriously
Are we going to advocate and decide serious and complex issues by internet (exactly what the Rebbe wrote against in that letter - that everyone who doesn't know the intricate halachos - let alone fame seeking rabbis - as opposed to "rabbonim" - who speak against clear Shulchan Aruch, will say their "deah)?

Anyone with a heart knows how a cookie cutter approach is dangerous.

Mrs. Lipsker, with all due respect and assuming that you have the best of intentions, not making sure to do everything to save a marriage, absent provable danger, is a travesty to both parties and is an abuse of children and their futures. Also, not dealing with parental alienation is wrong and not halachically or morally sound to ignore.

The Crown Heights Rabbonim are basing their decisions on Shulchan Aruch Even HaEzer 77, 119, 154 and 164. You can also see EH 134 for an idea of the severity of the problems. People should speak with Rabbi Dr. J. David Bleich of YU (one of the few there who will speak up) or Rabbi Mordechai Rindenow of Baruch College.

A get on demand at all times is not halachically sound or moral. It can cause huge problems. And the fomenting of hatred who disagrees with Young Israel philosophy in the face of clear halacha is a sickness.
(3/25/2015 12:42:26 AM)
60
Great Dane
When will someone come out against women who falsely claim child abuse against their husbands?
(3/25/2015 1:02:05 AM)
61
Amazing!!!
Great article!!! Feels like the tides are turning and people are slowly waking up to the sad facts. This is a major issue in our community and I respect you for speaking up so beaitifully about it. The all those supporting "Alizas" article, yoy must be joking. I cant for the life of me understand how you can be serious....
(3/25/2015 1:08:03 AM)
62
not necessarily motivated by desire to abuse
The premise of this article, which is that get refusal is always motivated by malicious intent, is deeply flawed. Here is another perspective: https://www.scribd.com/doc/256755739/Fair-Terms-for-Divorce-A-Halachic-Right
(3/25/2015 1:13:40 AM)
63
Defensive measure?
While I am still very hazy about prenup, I was always bothered by the implications. The couple seems to be entering the marriage defensively, as if each partner secretly has one foot out the door. Marriage should be built on trust. Divorce, while permitted, should be regarded as a last resort, not the "easy way out." I would want to enter a marriage fully committed to making it work. Of course, often it just doesn't, in spite of the efforts, so I do not dismiss the agunah situation lightly.

While no one deserves abuse, perhaps these situations might be avoided -- or at least, reduced -- if greater care is taken in dating. Most of the divorces I have seen involved people who should never have gotten married in the first place, let alone to each other.

Unfortunately, I have watched too many nutty shidduchim here. Many were treated too casually, probably because of all the cultural pressures, or based purely on emotion or need.

If you make any desperate or reckless decisions, be prepared to accept the consequences.
(3/25/2015 1:36:47 AM)
64
Great Article
But where are these compassionate Rabbonim you speak of? Not in NY, I can tell you that! The Batei Din here drey the woman a kop until they are at their wits end. They aid and abet the Get refusers. I know several women who said "to heck with Rabbanim who shlep and delay my get in favor of the man. I give up on frumkeit" and the responsible parties are the Rabbonim who did not expedite the get, and in some cases let the situation drag on for years. These are actual facts. Maybe the compassionate Boston Rabbonim can come to NY and teach the Rabbonim here a thing or two.
(3/25/2015 1:41:46 AM)
65
Menachem Roetter
Thank you rebbetzen lipsker. I spoke at the march on behalf of my mother, a 13 year agunah. She just informed me that ur father obm was one of the people who made her frum!
And now her son, me, is making ur father's vision a reality.
As we speak, car magnets are being printed for this cause (different wording and not a sticker, but close enough)
Thank you
(3/25/2015 2:44:37 AM)
66
Both the husband and wife are holy Jews who are suffering
And both Layah and Aliza make valid points. Yes, if we humbly accept Hashem's decrees we can decrease our own personal suffering, but also yes, we need to take whatever reasonable action is within our power to change our reality. Why does everyone feel they have to passionately take sides? Why do we seem to be incapable of empathising with both the woman who is feeling powerless and the man whose whole life has been shattered before his eyes, not to mention the poor children who are getting hurt from all sides. Please, I beg you, my brothers and sisters, rather follow the Rebbeim's directives and fight the internal battle against your own hate and fear, and instead reach out to all Jews in need without prejudice, out of compassion and with strength borne from humility. May Hashem in His mercy grant us abundant mercy in this formidable homestretch to the Geulah shlaimis haemitis.
(3/25/2015 3:54:43 AM)
67
Who is welcoming these women to their sedarim??
This article is eloquent & on target. And here is a woman actually doing something to help, not telling them to "get over it" or screaming like lunatics in the street.

But I ask: how many of you who shout and pontificate are practically showing your support? Where I live I am not aware of any agunot but there are many single moms whose ex husbands are deadbeat dads. How many have YOU invited for Pesach? We are having a childless almonah, plus I invited 2 single moms and their kids (one family accepted, the other said her kids want to stay home) plus a bochur who can't afford to go home for Pesach. And our doors are still wide open.

THIS is what you should be busy with - giving love and emotional & practical support to women who are alone for whatever reason. Make them feel wanted & appreciated, not like misfits or schnorrers.
(3/25/2015 3:55:56 AM)
68
no support from the BD
I'm living with a man who refuses to agree to a divorce and Get despite recommendations from the BD. He is financially and emotionally abusive and has crossed many boundaries. I'm under the impression that the BD support the men only and cannot judge a case on merit and choose not to get involved. Women are marginalised and neglected. One follows all the right halachic directives and gets no where. Good luck Rebbetzin Layah. I've already given up. ..
(3/25/2015 3:57:06 AM)
69
TO COLLIVE - perhaps this will enlighten #37 and those that question abused women....
Maybe this comment should be printed as an article so that the terrible shfichus damim stops and to avoid further tragedy R"L.
Maybe Layah Lipsker - through her work and insight, knows how and where - (no matter the attempted pretense by any abusers) this continues to break so many hearts.
Behind closed doors, while the abused woman is living with the abuser, she is often so terrorized, frightened, and so deeply ashamed.
She is actually manipulated by the abuser into this terrible shame and fear.
He threatens that she will suffer worse than she can ever imagine if she dares to tell anyone or consult a Rov etc.
She tries to continue to raise and protect her precious children in the best way possible while she cries into her pillow every night. For her innocent children, for her shattered dreams, for her failure, for all that is lost.
Outside she smiles as if all is perfect and manages to make lighthearted conversation.
As ironic as this may seem, when her husband goes into one of his violent rages, she prays that no one saw or heard the shame and humiliation in her home.
She even wants so badly to believe that this nightmare is not really going to last, that the man she married and wanted to love, is deep down a good man, and in spite of all the sadness - still attempts to protect her husband's dignity and hides any evidence of her pain.
At the same time she really wishes there was a way she could cry out for help without suffering family threats, disrespectful community gossip and public shame.
Tragically she begins to feel like an accomplice to a crime that she never commited!
The guilt that her husband uses and wants her to feel, keeps her quiet and paralyzed for years and years - even a lifetime!
How to begin to explain here why she has no real family support, why she was such a good candidate for this disturbing guilt and dreadful paralysis since her own childhood, what she was taught about pretending and helping to cover up, why she is so threatened, why she is is so so alone.
What happens if (and sometimes not bec. of any real outside help or constructive plan) the broken woman finally has some tiny door open in this sad darkness and hopes her children whether younger or more mature, will at least not be subjected to further confusing games, trauma, and dangerous manipulation by the man who also used, abused, and actually abandoned the very children in the most unfathomable manner while they and their mother silently suffered over the years?
Would she now be subjected to another form of abuse? - a most painful cruel judgement by heartless or ignorant people in our community who "thanks" to her silence and her husbands tactics for decades claim that the poor father is being abused and held back from talking to or seeing his children?
And now would it help if a name is signed under this comment?
Is there going to be any question about a woman's right to speak up?
Or is there now any question and accusation as to why this woman was covering up, letting the abuse go on for decades and "enjoying" victimhood?
How much worse can this get? AD MOSAI?? AD MOSAI??
AD MOSAI!!
After all the hidden and known sorrow - let there be revealed miracles - the greatest Nissim and the ultimate,
immediate Yetzias Meitzarim....
(3/25/2015 4:44:42 AM)
70
Go leah
So amazing!!!!
(3/25/2015 5:28:22 AM)
71
CH Resident
I agree with #1 and #19. Aliza was very clear. Continue to have goals and dreams and ambitions - beyond rushing under the next chuppah. Live your LIFE. Do what can and must be done, in a dignified manner, to obtain the get, but don’t let that one goal define you.
(3/25/2015 7:59:37 AM)
72
To precious #69
I've been there, Every awful word is true. Moshiach Now.
(3/25/2015 8:00:32 AM)
73
Very Proud of Leah Lipsker
Thank you Leah for this article and for all of your Holy work that you are doing for Am Yisrael!!!
(3/25/2015 8:21:56 AM)
74
To 63
The prenup merely enforced the Kesuba. Ideally the kesubah should stand alone but in the real world it is not enforced. The kesuba itself might imply divorce so are we going to stop signing them?
(3/25/2015 8:24:32 AM)
75
Beautiful
we need more people like Laya.
And I agree that there are men that get hurt in get and divorce battles and wonder what could be done to help them also.
(I am a woman)
(3/25/2015 8:55:52 AM)
76
PS for #69
And then, when this broken woman finally summons up the courage to go to her husband's Mashpia, or to a local Rav, to seek help she is further abused by their lack of interest, compassion, or just plain disbelief. And so begins another round of shecker. But one thing I can tell you - no matter how hard you try, the kids do see everything and hear everything and when they are old enough and strong enough, they know EXACTLY what their father is, as does the One Above.
(3/25/2015 9:08:44 AM)
77
to no 69
no one is indeed denying that there is no abuse or that anyone should live with her abuse in silence!! stop thinking that there are people who feel the abused are not being cared about even if they are against the march. it is just the approach and the generalization here that was taken out of context. No Jew should suffer!!!! Every single reader/comentator here agree to that! No one should suffer or accept abuse- no two ways about it!!!
I hear in bais din Montreal they are really on top of the situation when the guy doesn't want to give the get. Kol Hakovod to rabbonei montreal!!!
(3/25/2015 9:46:57 AM)
78
Dear #69
Your comment was so enlightening, so true, so heartfelt. I agree it needs to be its own article. You explain so clearly why women choose to stay with dysfunctional men--whether abusive or just reckless and irresponsible. We feel trapped either way in a situation not our choosing, and foremost in our minds is the desire to give our children the best childhood possible. Forget "normal"--there is no normal for us, now or ever, but at least we try to salvage whatever hope and dignity we have left. And after all that, all we get is the scorn and abuse of the community. For what? For not being perfect enough to transform our husbands? For speaking up? For not speaking up? For staying? For leaving? We make the best decisions we can while recognizing that we're dealing with a very difficult, heartbreaking and possibly volatile situation. If you don't know what it's like to be there, don't judge. Don't second guess us. Don't demean us for finally speaking out.
(3/25/2015 9:52:40 AM)
79
prenup
to number 18:

If money, forces the recalcitrant husband so much so that the gett giving is not considered 'willingly', then how could batei dinim beat him until he says rotzeh ani? well doesnt the rambam answer that..that deep down every jew wants to do the right thing. So, can someone answer this question? why would money commitment be considered forcing but beating him up is ok?
As for going into marriage on a defense, if both people want the best for their new spouse, they'll sign it. meaning "even if down the road we will split apart and I start to become a $$$###@, then this document helps that I won't mistreat you too badly and you'll get the gett."
(3/25/2015 10:44:36 AM)
80
The prenup is also a test
Abusers won't sign prenups. They want the power and control. That can be a red flag right there.
(3/25/2015 11:11:51 AM)
81
Mental illness
I believe that in a frum marraige, for it to get to divorce, there is most likely a high rate of mental illness. I speak from experience as a woman in the midst of going through a secular divorce. BH the court system has protocols for custody evaluations and such. Any man who will deny his wife a Get, must have personality disorders, which are a serious illness.
(3/25/2015 11:24:03 AM)
82
Work it Out
People who keep saying the rabbonim are right to tell the couple to work it out - of course people want to work it out! But when there is no other option, the rabbonim must recognize that and not send women back to abusive spouses! The step of actually going to the BD is not taken lightly and the rabbonim must learn to recognize and acknowledge domestic abuse, severe addictions and more.
(3/25/2015 11:29:35 AM)
83
Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe endorsed prenup to Shluchim
I was at a gathering of Campus Shluchim and Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe said absolutely that campus Shluchim who are officiating at weddings should use the prenup. This is especially important because the Shluchim are making sure people have a kosher wedding and if they don't get a Get then there will be mamzerus for sure. So...to all the posters who claim that there are no Lubavitcher Rabbonim who are for the prenup - speak to Rabbi Yaffe.
(3/25/2015 11:47:27 AM)
84
Prenup
Yes, there is often injustice done to/by both sides, but it seems to more often, be directed to the wife.
This just levels the playing field, and adds transparency to both sides, so neither can hide behind it.
And to all those who cry, that this is a form of coercion, and that it then invalidates the get, please pray tell, educate me, as to how this is any different than the physically violent tactics used by the most charedi, since time immemorial, to achieve consent? Talk about inconsistency...
If the "beating up thing" is illegal and unenforceable (it's also sad for those involved in that current court case...), then the prenup is the new-age solution, to that age-old problem.
And to all those who cry foul, that the Torah is not subjective to "time/place/people" changes, think again, as almost everything we do today, is based on subjective interpretation (Tzadokim, anyone?),
let alone, our abandonment of so many age-old practices (polygamy, anyone?)
Lastly, let's face the reality, that Battei Din have no power anymore, let alone an enforceable one, in any area today (besides the fact, that most parties won't even acknowledge the validity, of the same one).
The Rabbonim need to "man up" and get with the program/times, and make themselves relevant to the masses (in all areas). Then maybe they will actually have some credibility, like the days of old.
(3/25/2015 11:56:31 AM)
85
Even Rabbonim against it will end up accepting it
Let's get real. If a portion of the frum world (esp. MO) are using this prenup, then there is no way that Rabbonim even further on the right, are going to say that a get that was given when a couple had a prenup is invalid. Can you imagine the craziness that would cause? So practically speaking what is going to happen is that Lechatchila there are Rabbonim who will think it's a problem, but B'dieved, all the gittin that are due to the prenup will end up being fine.
(3/25/2015 11:57:29 AM)
86
answer to #67
Mrs. Bronya Shaffer conducts sedarim for women. If you know a single woman who would enjoy the experience of a seder with other single women you should contact her.
(3/25/2015 12:02:56 PM)
87
to 69
very very sad to hear the plight of this woman. the sad reality is that after a divorce, until the children are independant you are still connected with your "x" and there is still misery continuing. i hope she can get therapy to feel stronger and less affected from his abuse. the happier side though is that time flies quicker then we think, and in no time will the kids be independant and then there wont be anything holding her back from leaving the marriage. yes he might not give her a get but what are her choices- to stay under same roof and keep being abused or walk out and free herself to a great extent
(3/25/2015 12:48:47 PM)
88
Citizen Berel
Are you aware that the pre-nuptual arrangement is extraordinarly contentious? Does that make any difference or have any bearing on your advocating a particular stance on it as 'co-director of Chabad Lubavitch of the North Shore in Swampscott, MA'.

We have a vaad rabonnai lubavitch. Would your efforts not be better spent engaging them and advocating they take a public stance on the issue?

Or is advocating your halachic position in an on-line op-ed the way this type of issue really should be handled?

This is big issue and it's getting bigger since the devorce rate is sadly rising, so we need Torah guidance from Torah people.
(3/25/2015 12:49:58 PM)
89
any man...
any man refusing a get or refusing child support shows a history of control and abuse
(3/25/2015 1:17:47 PM)
90
to 43, you sound like a closed off abuser yourself
That's not what Rabbi Braun said regarding custody.

a) The children go to the parents that will give them the best education and beis din takes into consideration the best interests of the child.

b) support is according to the amount of the kids, the amount the husband makes, and their standard of living prior to the divorce, not 200 zekukim.

c) then there's the value of the kesuba which in todays age is $5000
(3/25/2015 1:23:05 PM)
91
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT - Aliza
The main reason I didn't answer until now, is because I just now became aware of this article. It already has 88 comments.

I want to thank the people, who understood what I wrote, for speaking up. I am sorry that this article misrepresents what I wrote. I suppose I could write the website and ask them post a correction. But I can also do that after Pesach.

I used CAPS to get attention. Not to intimidate. CAPS can be used for many things depending on the setting and the message.

Especially on FaceBook there has been a bullying campaign to stop me from empowering women without a GETT. The comments were not just false and hostile. They were vicious.
People who understood my article were afraid to support me on FB because it is not anonymous and they too would have been subjected to the verbal abuse.

Now we know the Middos of the people who are organizing marches. In many cases, the cause is a valid one, but it has been commandeered by vicious people.
(3/25/2015 2:13:27 PM)
92
The Truth of Disagreeing With Me - Aliza
After leaving my comment of THANKS, I went to another website to see if they also posted this article. I went back to my article and found a great comment. I hope collive doesn't mind posting something I found elsewhere.
Here it is:

Since so many disagree with Aliza, I’ve taken the time to state the opposite of what she has written. Women who have not received their gett:
• Have no choices.
• They should define their entire existence by this circumstance
• She should not work to support herself with dignity, only beg for Tzedaka
• She should have no outside interests, rather obsess over her circumstance endlessly
• She should have no dignity and allow everyone to treat her like a Shmatta, just like the husband
• She should stay stuck in her battle
• She should never spare an opportunity to bad-mouth the father so the children should really understand how horrible one of their parents are
• She should lose faith
• She should only go out at night lest the sunshine make her happy
(3/25/2015 2:27:22 PM)
93
To Citizen Berel 88
Vaad Rabonei Lubavitch will act faster when desperate to help shluchim start taking matters in their own hands. BTW shluchim are told that other non-chabad rabbonim should do gittin, chabad rabbonim are not involved in this matters. Also one the rabbonim from Vaad rabbonei Lubavitch told a woman in my community who was going through to divorce to do what needs to be done in order to protect herself and kids. This included going to secular court and getting all the necessary temporary orders etc. Since beis din is unable to enforce their orders and protect women and children from abuse.
(3/25/2015 2:54:57 PM)
94
What I know
I don't know who Aliza is and frankly I don't understand her way of thinking. She may mean well but the road to human tragedy is often paved by god intentions.

Some people believe in martyrdom for themselves as well as others. They try to justify or rationalize human suffering.
In this world we will not have answers to why people suffer.
At least not answers that would satisfy most of us.

But this I do know from up close and personal experience.; no woman should be chained to a man she does not want to be with. What is tolerable for one woman may not be tolerable to another. Who are we to judge another's pain, suffering, dashed dreams, hopes? A woman marries to build a home of love and devotion. Chai dus wants people to be happy with their lives, their marriages, etc. if she finds that her manage is intolerable and that life with her husband brings her misery , and only she can be the judge of that, then she should be able to get a Get. What decent man wants a woman who does not want him. He should let her go, freely, maybe not happily, but freely and then go on with his life and let her do the same. No Rav should tell her to go home to an emotionally or physically abusive husband. If she said she does not want an intimate relationship with her husband because he repulsed her would the Rav tell her , be with your husband anyway? No, that is not what the Halacha says. Whatever her reasons are for wanting out, she should be free from him. We were freed left slavery a long time ago,

My sister waited 8 years for a get from a Lubavitcher. No Rabbanim helped her. Her marriage lasted 1/3 of that time.

She finally got the Get, no thanks to any help from the Lubavitcher Bais Din, and married a wonderful frum man.
But I know that in Israel the road of the agunah and th refusal of a get has created a real problem for women. Many women chose to live in common law marriages just to avoid having to deal with the Rabbanut there. They have children without benefit of a religious ceremony because they see what happens with recalcitrant men who refuse to give a get to a wife who wants out. Some women go to Cyprus and have a civil ceremony. Some frum women choose to leave frumkait altogether and live with secular men who do not care about the get or want anything to do with religion. What happens to the children born from these common law marriages. What will happen to our Jewish people in the coming generations?

This could be avoided if the man acted like a decent human being. If she does not want to live with you, find someone who does. Live your life in happiness and and let her live hers in happiness.
(3/25/2015 3:12:27 PM)
95
More Thoughts - Aliza
The third paragraph bashes me by name instead of naming the article I wrote. It goes on to bash a concept that I did not write.

If this article is sincere and really has a message - there is no need to bash me. Which makes me think the real purpose of the article is to bash me.

And that the rest of the article may be just as reliable as the false accusation against me.

I am pretty sure that in general the plight of women without a GETT is used to generate power to undermine Halacha. This article may - knowingly or unknowingly - be promoting that undermining.
(3/25/2015 3:16:52 PM)
96
What I know
43: are you for real? Are you a member of the Bais Din?

69:. Whether you write about yourself or you write about someone close you, we I feel the pain .

May every woman who finds herself chained in a marriage that brings her no joy and a man who does not know the meaning of loving kindness find the strength and courage to leave. Better to be poor materially and rich in peace and happiness
Hold your head up high and do not care what malicious people will say; they do not live your life, walk in your shoes nor pay your rent. Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself your regrets. You are human and we are all your sisters.
(3/25/2015 3:28:45 PM)
97
To Aliza
Do you know what onaas devarim is? Isn't it enough that you hurt so many women's feelings the first time you spoke out? How many more times do you want to be insulting?

Nobody is being vicious to you. I read the comments on your FB page. People are telling you you are being insulting, and now you go do it all over again.
Please, just stop.
(3/25/2015 3:42:53 PM)
98
To writers of #79 & #84
Good question. To paraphrase:
Why is the so-called "prenup" considered to be imposing (financial) duress invalidating the get? Isn't beating the husband until he says "rotzeh ani" the same?

What people don't seem to realize is that the approach to beat the husband can only be used if a hefty list of conditions are met. If it is used outside of those conditions doing so would also invalidate the get.

For a short list, it does not apply when:
he is seeking reconciliation for a reasonable time.
he complies with Bes Din.
she is turning his money over to the whim of the courts.
he is seeking custody of children over eight years old.
he is seeking to pay only what the kesuba says.

To illustrate:
It is only after reconciliation fails and the wife agrees to receive no more than the kesuba specifies, and she agrees not to seek more in court, and she agrees to offer him custody of children eight years and older, and Bes Din tells him he must now give a get, and upon not giving he is placed in siruv, or he is placed in siruv for neglecting to come to Bes Din and has had ample time to provide the get on his own and the wife has agreed to the above, only then may he be cornered and informed of where things stand (no reconcilliation, agreements the wife made etc) and he says he will not give a get that he must be warned that it can and may now be beaten out of him and they may commence beating him (only until he complies), for only then is it established that there 'cannot' be any other reason for not giving a get except for his yetzer hora since all kosher prerequisites and concerns regarding giving the get have been satisfied and it would only be his yetzer hora that is compelled, not his interest in a just resolution as agreed upon or protection from non-jewish courts etc.
Furthermore he may not even be threatened regarding getting beaten until he has fulfilled all the necessities that make it applicable, for the threat would constitute duress if all conditions have not yet been met and thereby invalidate the get.

Even were a "prenup" to include all these conditions, given he is actively bound in a contract that stands as a threat over his head, a get given before he is compelled would be under duress due to the actively lurking threat [presented by a the "prenup" looming over his head].

Yet the prenup does not include these conditions. It even precludes him from his rights under Torah law. And it gives no recourse in him protecting himself from being swindled in court for "settlement" money or custody that goes beyond the agreement in the kesubah.

It also does not put the same burden on women who refuse so that every day a man is subjected to her or his dating prospects are forced to live with the fact that he remains married to another woman (if he gets heter) he is not compensated.

Furthermore, even outside of NY, if one agrees in contract that when conditions are met that one will produce a certain bill (of get), a court can and will compel him to do so or hold him in contempt and possibly jail him.

Therefore it is clear that the choice in the placing of a monetary burden on the husband instead of a simple legally enforceable contract to produce a bill (of get) is crooked conniving forces at work at the very heart of the so-called "prenup" initiative.

It also does not allow for Halachic mandates that a husband and wife seek any applicable reconciliation.
It is a destroyer of families that may just as likely have remained together in happiness after the storm passed.
As many marriage counselors can tell you, couples come to them with one or the other stating they are ready for divorce and with a little time and attention they return to a happy marriage. This "prenup" precludes this option. It disregards and endangers the majority of marriages leaving women with having gone through a door during a lapse of judgment they may now feel unable to turn back through.

And besides for completely disregarding the Halachic rights and necessities involved in a get, it's only end is an invalid get and assisting in mesirah and robbery by a woman.

It is treif from every angle. Show me any knowledgeable and intellectually honest Rabbi who supports it and I will show him where he made his gravest errors in doing so. I can assure you he hasn't once considered mesirah as it applies here, or the psychology of couples and human beings who feel they have reached a point of no return (back to marriage) once they have crossed a threshold in a bad week, or have short lived money from exorbitant payouts over a couple of days it may have taken to produce a get that distracts them away from their error in judgment until it's too late for them to admit their mistake and turn back.

One thing is certain, all the ignorant people who speak on this matter with a comprehensive knowledge of Halacha and the nature of human beings in practice against the publicly stated warning of The Rebbe are risking terrible destruction on families and the Jewish community at-large.

Know that we will soon see a new statement added to future gittin by many Rabbonim that explicitly states that it was not given under duress (as it states now) or under the influence of an existing "prenup".
The children of second marriages will be avoided in shidduchim by many, and engagements broken off when investigation of a first get turns up stonewalling or the Halachic inconsistencies of the "prenup".
And with kiruv growing there is no telling how many women will be bringing untold tragedy to their future children as a result of this foolishness.

To conclude: The Tzemach Tzedek (for those who don't know, accepted by nearly all religious Jews [including misnagdim] as a Halachic decider) has rejected this prenup concept. Therefore no Chabad Rabbi or Shliach is allowed to support it... if only they knew what they are actually advocating for, i.e. neglecting the ruling of The Tzemach Tzedek, destroying salvageable families and creating mamzerim.

Hashem Yishmor.
(3/25/2015 4:07:00 PM)
99
#67
#86, we host singles at our seder (we are in Israel.) The point was, too many divorced or chained women (& men!) have no family & nowhere to go. Helping Agunot get free is essential, but so is keeping them integrated in the community, instead of being isolated & feeling shame, humiliation or like outsiders. Mrs. Shaffer is a very special and caring person.
(3/25/2015 5:12:40 PM)
100
Aliza
Nobody misunderstood you. You said the women should stop being victims. They are not sitting around being victims. They are going to work and raising their children. But they still have to fight for their get. And they still need financial help and decent housing. Your article was also very insensitive to the very natural need for companionship.

Nobody in the facebook group hurled abused toward you. People are just hurt. Own up to your words.
(3/25/2015 5:39:11 PM)
101
aliza
this is a HORRIBLE thing to say !!

"I am pretty sure that in general the plight of women without a GETT is used to generate power to undermine Halacha. This article may - knowingly or unknowingly - be promoting that undermining."
(3/25/2015 7:55:05 PM)
102
Ambassador Aliza
I feel like it must feel to represent Israel in the UN.
Condemned by the majority for things I didn't do.
(3/25/2015 10:37:29 PM)
103
To 100
She said that while the women is doing everything she can to get her get, she should remain positive - instead of feeling depressed and sorry for herself.

Why is everyone missing this simple point? I dont understand. Perhaps you should READ ( Not skim and miss half the words) before you comment.
(3/25/2015 11:49:23 PM)
104
words
This article justifies the use of the name Agunah. The name generates the desired emotional response. But in doing so - it also reduces the status of the real Agunah. What about showing respect for the real Agunah, and honoring her pain?

The next term to be borrowed is domestic abuse. So that when the article comes around to saying that the Rabbis in the Beis Din - or as the author says it Bet Din - when she says they are creative. She does not use the term Gett refusal. She uses the term domestic abuse. But in reality she means they are creative with Gett refusal.

If Gett refusal was all about making people feel better. Hey! I get that. But when Gett refusal and being creative can result in the creation of mamzeirim. Its gets a little murky. So she was safer in using the term domestic abuse.

(3/26/2015 10:49:59 AM)
105
#103
They are missing it bec. the truth hurts. aliza's words were corrrect as u need Hashem in EVERY situation and Mrs. lipskar too as u need the keli. but why is there not one word from mrs. lipskar about Hashem? to me, she missed the WHOLE point which is shocking due to the fact she is a shlucha of the Rebbe as aliza went into details about how to approach the situation from a G-dly point of view. now for all those who are waiting for getts: if u have sons, make SURE u are there for them and giving them the proper chinuch for why should their future wife have to suffer because HIS MOTHER DIDN'T DO HER JOB and help them CORRECT their FAULTS BEFORE THEY GET MARRIED!
(3/26/2015 11:05:24 AM)
106
to 101 - by Aliza
I agree it is a horrible thing to say.
Have you heard some of the stories of abused children? They are also saying horrible things. So should they keep quiet?

Women without a GETT are often vulnerable and often feel alone. Their plight is being used by power mongers who want to put pressure on the rabbis to soften the Halacha. I may have given them the benefit of the doubt before - but now I have felt the extent of their lies and vicious attacks. The Yetzer Tov does not work with that level of energy and hostility.

My 'original' idea of bringing Hashem into the picture lessens the plight and takes some of the pressure off of the rabbis. The women and the rabbis still have to do what can be done - but matters will stay within reason.

Without considering that this situation is Hashgocha Protis it tends to get carried away with hysteria of a pain that no one can attempt to console because they are told they do not understand because they have not been there done that... and how would they like it to happen to their daughter. Everyone is afraid to speak up and try to reason with these people. I understand why. Who would want to take the verbal beatings I have been subjected to?

If the frenzy about this super-victim, untouchable plight continues to pressure the rabbis - the rabbis may soften the Halacha - at the risk of bringing mamzerim into the community.

There is something called the law of diminishing returns. It shows that most things have a turning point where more is not better. Things become exaggerated and have diminishing returns. It does not mean that any increase is bad. It means that originally promoting an idea is good - but if it gets too extreme - there will be diminishing returns. Like the rise of demands made to obtain a GETT can be the result of the fear in the heart of distressed women that has been generated by the claim of ultimate victim-hood. And the realization by her husband that he has leverage that might not be there otherwise.
(3/26/2015 1:09:32 PM)
107
Do they service Men whose wives refuse to accept a Get?
After my wife took me to court claiming all kinds of abuse (never to bais din mind you) I get a call one day by a woman who asks why I'm not giving my wife a Get.

I wasn't offended. I know they do good work-
I was just surprised my wife would stoop so low.

You see, my wife never even took me to even a rav, or bais din- Just straight to court. Why? She is a foreigner and she found out you can get free public assistance for five years if you can prove your husband is abusive.

But I never was!
So she set out to "Prove" that I am (was) through the courts and multiple false calls to ACS. These all backfired and when the court found out, I gained even more visitation.

In revenge, she called a Women;s Get organization to pressure me to give in, when it was she who took me to court to prove I am abusive so she can get free public assistance for five years.

I asked the woman on the phone: "Do you know that my wife took me to family court and not to Bais Din?" I offered to show her all the court papers from Day One.

That was the last I heard from them, thank G-d.

These organizations really do good work, but- If there were any Get with-holders in Crown Heights, they would have done better to go straight there and park their protest outside those homes!

They must do a thorough pre-screen to see if the woman is not using them to manipulate her husband to gain a court advantage. A lawyer has access and can look on line and see if any court actions are pending. With family court cases, it wont give details, but it will tell if a case is active.

They should ask a woman:
"Are you in Bais Din?",
"Which One?"
Then call the bais din and ask:
"Who took who to bais din?" "What are the issues?" and have her sign a release of information form so they can find out the truth.

Maybe he took her and she in revenge claims he is the protagonist? Maybe she has post-partum and is doing odd things? Its hard to lump all the cases into one pot-

The Sefardic community has a bigger problem than the Ashkenazic community since there is usually a lot of money involved. Worse- The familes are very strong and pressure both sides to either withhold or refuse a get for a house, payment (to pay back wedding expenses or some expensive gift), part of a business, etc (this was one case upstate recently). Plus, the Sefardim can marry more than one wife, so the husband is not under any great pressure to give a get.

There is a young man here, whose wife left Crown Heights over 10 years ago with the children and refuses to accept a get (there are two cases of this here). Initially she took the children to Israel refusing to divulge her location. (so he can't give her a get) Her family wanted him to give them a large sum and in exchange they would "broker" the get. In typical sefardic Get Torture fashion- this poor woman is being held hostage by her own family!!
The man wants to give a get, he just needs an address.

Meanwhile her family is torturing him for years claiming he won't give a get (They don't mention that it requires their help and a small "fee" of course) and at the same time demanding a ransom for her giving one. This has been going on for over 10 years. (If you know where Mrs. Gerlernter lives please contact Mrs Lipskier so she can mediate a peaceful ending. Your name will not be divulged)

Perhaps in the spirit of equality, GET organizations should step in to broker a GETs for men who want to give?
Rashi
(3/26/2015 1:18:07 PM)
108
Support For Couples In Distress!!
We seem to have a lot of avenues for escaping from a marriage, but very few options in Crown Heights for couples who have normal problems?

These normal couple problems go unresolved and boom! We have a divorce machine (a few of them) waiting to step in to "help out".

One is the Jewish Family Service. (Gasp! How dare you?) Well, its time you'all knew the awful truth.

JFS is the most referred-to resource but the most misunderstood at the same time. They are more a womens crisis center than any marriage resolution center. In fact it might well be said their their inability to provide proper marriage resolution services is a feeder for their women in crisis section.

When a couple has a simple crisis, it may need a few days of a few hours at a time to resolve for a week or two or three depending.

JFS is only allowed to give you ONE hour a week under their Mental Health Funding. (ask and yea shall find!)

So your one hour a week, when its not enough, turns your home into family feud quagmire (well of course) and when you or your wife express what that means exactly, you now find that they are also mandated to call ACS!

You may well find that your frustrations are now rewarded by being a candidate either for their women's crisis groups or family court where you have to explain to a judge why you didn't mean to say you "hit" your husband or your kid or your husband pushed you etc.

You might end up having to rescue your kids out of Ohel after the ACS is called because you said something in session at JFS. Why? Because they weren't giving you proper marriage therapy. Cause ONE hour a week is not enough, even for the most experienced therapists, which they don't get funded enough to hire. (oops- a freudian slip?)

We really need a home-grown Crown Heights Lubavitch answer for this. A hotline and volunteer couples who will go at any hour to hock a chaynik with a couple in distress.

I guess, like everyone else here with the exception of Rav Braun Shlit'a I too will also not be signing my name...
(3/26/2015 2:02:55 PM)
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