Order Of Contempt Issued Against Meir Kin

Meir Kin responds.

From GETORA.org:

To concerned members of the Jewish community:

A seruv (order of contempt) was issued this week against Meir Kin. This is a very significant development in the case of Meir and Lonna Kin. We, at the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot (ORA), hope that the Los Angeles Jewish community will take the necessary steps in order to convey to Meir his obligation to go to beis din and issue an unconditional get.

This is a very detailed case which, tragically, has been going on for many years. Meir and Lonna will mark their 10th wedding anniversary on July 4th, though they have been living separately – since January 2005 – longer than they lived together. Much has happened in the intervening five and a half years, including countless attempts at mediation and arbitration. Unfortunately, none of these attempts have been successful in reaching a final resolution and in convincing Meir to issue a get.

Both sides have claims against each other. That’s not the problem. The issue here is whether or not both parties are prepared to go to a beis din to adjudicate those issues. Lonna is willing to go to any well-recognized beis din or panel of rabbis for arbitration. Meir, unfortunately, is not. He insists that there is only one beis din in the entire world which he is willing to go to, and that Lonna must accept their jurisdiction in order to receive her get. The problem here is that Meir’s beis din, run by Rabbi Tzvi Dov Abraham of Monsey in association with Rabbi Avrohom Gestetner, has been internationally condemned for corrupt practices and not following halachic procedures.

This is not a case of my rabbi versus your rabbi. This isn’t about the Rabbinical Council of California (RCC) versus a beis din in Monsey. This is about the entire rabbinic establishment worldwide – from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, to the Rabbinical Council of America, to the Satmar beis din in Williamsburg, among many others – opposing two corrupt rabbis in Monsey who have made it their business to assist recalcitrant husbands in extorting money from their wives in exchange for a get. We have not encountered any other beis din anywhere which recognizes the rulings of Rabbis Abraham or Gestetner. To the contrary: every beis din we have contacted who is familiar with this Monsey duo has insisted on their status as personae non gratae within the rabbinic world. Put simply, a get from Rabbi Abraham is a tool for extortion and isn’t kosher.

On Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010, a seruv was issued against Meir Kin, signed by Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rabbi Nachum Sauer, and Rabbi Avrohom Union. Please click here to see a copy of the seruv, including an English translation. This is not the first seruv to be signed against Meir. The first seruv was signed in March 2006 by the Agudath HaRabbonim in New York, including Rav Yisroel Belsky. After Meir fled New York to file for divorce in California (and thereby avoid the New York Get Law), a second seruv was issued against him by the RCC in May 2007.

After two protest rallies which ORA organized in March and May of 2009, Meir informed the RCC that he is willing to come to the table to resolve all issues. The RCC suspended their seruv in June 2009, in a good-will measure in order to open lines of communication between the two sides. After 10 months of intensive negotiations, with two well-respected members of the L.A. community who were friends of Meir serving as the primary mediators, the RCC was informed by the mediators that Meir was intractable, cruelly withholding a get from Lonna and refusing to bring his claims against her to a respectable beis din. As the mediators wrote in a letter to Meir once negotiations had failed:

“Lonna is willing to go to a reputable Beis Din to adjudicate ALL issues. Your position that you want money from Lonna irrespective of what the Halacha is and that you should get it because otherwise you won’t give her a Get is nothing more than EXTORTION.”

Now that the seruv has been re-issued, we are going to restart our efforts to convince Meir to issue a get. Please visit www.MeirKin.com for updates. If you have any questions about this case, please feel free to call us at the ORA office: 212-795-0791.

We hope and pray that Meir will soon come to his senses, appear before a recognized beis din, and finally issue a get to Lonna. We thank you in advance for your support.

Jeremy Stern

Director, Organization for the Resolution of Agunot (ORA)

www.getORA.org

ORA is the only not-for-profit organization addressing the agunah crisis throughout the world on a case-by-case basis.

The Organization for the Resolution of Agunot (ORA), is a not-for-profit organization which assists divorcing couples in effectuating a timely Jewish divorce in accordance with the highest standards of Jewish law. ORA strives to eliminate the infliction of abuse within the Jewish divorce process. We work to ensure that a get (writ of divorce) is issued unconditionally and in a timely fashion by amicably facilitating the divorce process whenever possible, and advocating against the abuse which is perpetrated through get-refusal when necessary.

The Israel Fathers Rights Advocacy Council emails:

While we are on no ways involved in the immediate divorce in question,
it is imperative to take exception to the gross misrepresentations in
the ORA statement, and underscore the increasingly alarming behavior
of the ORA organization in propagating complete falsehoods in the very
mistaken belief that the ends justify the means.

The Monsey bet din in question is well accepted in Israel and
worldwide. The fact that they have stood up before to ORA tactics that
have crossed all boundaries of social behavior, law and Halacha in
their attempts to inproperly intimidate divorcing men from asserting
any fathers rights does not make them improper in any way. If
anything, they deserve praise for standing up in the name of Halacha
against considerable societal pressure to ignore all halachic
procedure and throw divorcing fathers under the bus for the sake of
societal expediency.

While we have not evaluated the seruv issued by Union, Sauer and
Schachter, such seruv would represent nothing but public relations
toying with a lay population ignorant of halachic procedure and both
court and bet din process. There are no lack of Rabbis willing to be
Whores of the Court for the very significant Big Business that divorce
has become in Orthodoxy. Until the population comprehends that none of
these Rabbis are acting as neutral parties, or as detached third
parties l’shem shamayim, further tragedies and chilulei hashem of this
kind will continue. Neither Jewish nor secular divorce provide a role
for neutral rabbis. Like divorce lawyers, they play an important role
in the process, but clearly represent only one side. The attempt to
hoodwink the public into a false belief that these Rabbis are somehow
neutral parties acting above the fray is simply disgraceful. And the
money rests overwhelmingly with supporting the woman, and the very
well funded Jewish Feminist lobbies. It is simple divorce math.

ORA literally has engaged in lynch mobs at this man’s family
residences by its own public relations. That this sort of Talibaning
of an educated professional population in Los Angeles can occur is not
simply a community tragedy but a dark foreboding of where the public
is permitting itself to be led by a profoundly conflicted, if not
outright corrupted, Rabbinic leadership.

Aside from their being absolutely no halachic nor legal requirement
for anyone to respond to every bet din that decides to insinuate into
existing legal proceedings before another bet din, we are profoundly
distressed at the assertion that Rabbis Schechtet, Sauer and Union
suggest any authority to issue a siruv, or even a joint statement, in
any topic whatsoever. There certainly is no regular bet din listed and
recognized comprising those three men in any capacity let alone as a
harkev diyun. They certainly are not listed at the Rannabut in
Jerusalem as dayanim at all, let alone as a standing bet din with any
authority to sit as a harkev and issues judgments about any topic
whatsoever.

…the Court, imposing a Taliban on Terror on an all too
willing community — just so long as it is not their family involved,
people tend to be unduly selfrightrous. The Yiddish term is being a
tzadik of yenem tuchus.

Shameful. There can be no place for this kind of Rabbinic misconduct
in a 21st century halachic, professional community. This behavior did
not even play well in the shtetls and ghettos of Europe two hundred
years ago. Schechtet in particular should know better after his being
required to issue humiliating public apologies in Riverdale not long
ago in similar circumstances.

We have no comment on this particular case, simply the Rabbinic
misconduct and public misrepresentations. Let the bet din with
recognized authority bang heads to a solution without others
insinuating themselves into the picture for considerable fame and
personal profit.

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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