A Pity

Gadi Pickholz from the Israel Fathers Rights Advocacy Council emails:

It is a pity your reporting has been so inaccurate in the disputed Get case in LA.

Without getting into specific details, the reality of the situation is that the husband in this case appeared voluntarily before a recognized and approved Bet Din and provided a kosher Get. The wife has refused to accept this Get pending revaluation of the financial settlement package,

As Rav Ben Dahan, Av Bet Din of the Israeli government Rabbanut Bet Din reports in his recent annual report, the number of cases of wives refusing kosher Gets as a strategy to secure better financial settlements is now slightly surpassing husbands refusing to give Gets.

The behavior of the LA rabbinate in this case was particularly appalling. While the lynch mob they whipped into a frenzy from their pulpits may have been ignorant of both halacha and details of the case, the same cannot be said of the Rabbis involved. They knew they were wrong; they knew they were significantly misrepresenting both fact and halacha, and they knew they were directly intervening in an active civil divorce proceeding rather than acting as a voluntary arbitration panel accepted by both sides — which remains a criminal act in the United States.

Ultimately, the case underscores just how important a Big Business divorce has become, particularly in the more affluent modern orthodox world. This dispute, ultimately, came down to LA Rabbis objecting to another Bet Din receiving the financial fruits of a very wealthy divorce in their town, and an insistence that the LA Rabbis enjoy a monopoly on this very lucrative business.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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