Rabbis Accused of Kidnap and Torture

Monday, October 14, 2013

Oren Yaniv, reporter for the New York Daily News, talks about last week's news that two local rabbis were accused in Federal Court of accepting large sums of money to torture men into providing their wives permission to divorce.



Oren Yaniv

Comments [24]

They live in NYC, USA.
So the laws that apply to all citizens, including marriage laws,
divorce laws, should apply to everyone.

Sharia Law, Halacha Law should not trump American Law.

Oct. 24 2013 03:35 PM
Donald J. Sepanek from Bayonne, NJ

Despite what a lot of apologists are saying, it is definitely NOT ok for women to pay rabbis to hire organized crime muscle to torture their husbands (or anyone else for that matter). In spite of the misleading information, women do NOT need a gat signed by their husbands in order to get a divorce - they are not living in a foreign country, they are living in New York and New Jersey. This may be a Hebrew custom, but it is not the law of the land - any woman in America can file for divorce with or without a "gat". So it boils down to one question: is it less moral to violate a cultural tradition than it is to engage in criminal behavior? Women need to be held responsible for the choices they make just like men do. What if, for instance, the husband signed a gat, but it wasn't accepted by the wife? Would it then be ok for him to hire some mob goons to work over his wife? Would this be understandable?

Oct. 16 2013 05:11 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

The Rabbis made the husbands an offer they couldn't refuse.

Oct. 15 2013 12:32 AM

The majority of opinions expressed here seem to center on the nuances of religious law; a subject I'm not qualified to comment on, except to mention that my sympathies are with anyone of either sex of any religion who feels trapped in what they consider to be an intolerable situation. However, the real and largely ignored subject was the use of torture for any reason.

Your first caller seemed to opine that it's was quite acceptable to torture in what he considered a good cause; and indeed, the current practitioners caught indulging in same - for money no less - should be commended.

That voicing reminded me of a television appearance several years ago by a certain professor during which he stated that it was quite acceptable to torture one person in the interests of hundreds of thousands.

The other side of the coin, not mentioned by the adoring interviewer is obvious: Then, according to that bizarre philosophy, in Hitler's Germany or Stalinist Russia it was therefore quite acceptable to torture hundreds of thousands in the interests of one?

No matter what flag or self-righteous cause wrapped in, when it comes to tolerating American use of tyrants' methods, everyone's well being is at stake.

Oct. 14 2013 01:06 PM
Elsie from Brooklyn


No, I hate stupid men who complain about how unfair the world is. There are plenty of great men who don't view women as you do. And there are plenty of great men who know that the world women have to navigate favors men, not women. The men who complain about how women have it so good and that men are discriminated against are the men I hate because they are deluded losers who don't want to take responsibility for anything in their lives, so they just blame women for everything.

Oct. 14 2013 12:56 PM
Sam Feldman from New York

Meant to say : there is not here one meritorious comment on any side of the issue.

Oct. 14 2013 12:53 PM
Sam Feldman from New York

Why is WNYC allowing these ridiculous comments to be published? Name-calling, anti-religious venom, hate? C'mon WNYC - get responsible! There is a meritorious comment on side of the issue.

Oct. 14 2013 12:51 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

@ Joel from Nyack: "The Hasidic and conservative orthodox communities are, in many ways, no different from the also paternalistic Muslim communities. Women are second class members of these communities."

Blatantly untrue. In the Jewish community, the women are in charge, but the men want it to look like they are.

In terms of the get, the kind of men who withhold them are the same kind who have serious jealousy issues, or would be otherwise abusive in the home, or would have engaged in murder/suicide if they had access to guns. They are rare, but volatile and withhold the get as punishment, not because it is helpful to them in other ways. The reason some women resort to these extreme rabbis is because it is not possible to reason with unreasonable or irrational individuals (their husbands) and they eventually reach the end of their ropes.

Oct. 14 2013 12:18 PM
jgarbuz from Queens


The only way "the system" can be fully changed is when children are produced in factories and no longer come from a female womb, and "marriage" has ceased to exist. As long as women can get pregnant, and men cannot, there can be no true equality. As long as children can be used as pawns in this power struggle, there can be no equality. Only when a "Brave New World" develops without marriage or pregnancy, can there be true equality between two competing genders.

Oct. 14 2013 11:59 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Wrong, Elsie, absolutely wrong, from my own personal experience.

Men love their children every bit as much as mothers do, and can do anything a mother does, except physically breast feed. But that is a role men were not allowed to do, or expected to do. That is anti-male bigotry. Men can diaper children. Men can bathe their children. Men can do it all, except breast feed. Children are used as pawns, especially by women against their fathers in the gender wars. That's all there is to it, a power struggle.

Oct. 14 2013 11:52 AM
Elsie from Brooklyn


You are absolutely correct. I am a woman and I am for women's rights. And the children live with the mother after divorce because the father usually doesn't want the responsibility of taking care of their children. Most men have no idea how to take care of children because they haven't spent much time doing it. That's "women's work" - right?

Women work ten times harder than men, and yet we receive 1/3 of your pay (and in the case of child rearing, we receive no pay at all). For men to complain about their "rights" when any semi-literate could see that the whole society is skewed to favor (white) men, is ludicrous. You can't have your cake and eat it too. If you want your wife to be an unpaid nanny and housekeeper, then you can't be surprised when your wife treats you like a wallet. If you don't like that, then you should help change the system so it is more equal for everyone, rather than whining about women having too many "rights". For you to believe we have more rights than men in a society where women still make .77 to a man's dollar makes you sound delusional.

Oct. 14 2013 11:32 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

TO Elsie

You are bigoted against men's rights in marriage. You are so totally for women's rights that men's rights can be walked over with impunity. Especially when it comes to men's rights to their children. Who do the children usually live with when there is a divorce?

Oct. 14 2013 11:20 AM
Mitchell from Rego Park

When religions have requirements that lead to torture, it's the religion that needs to be shut down. Bloomberg shut down an investigation of the the rabbi performing oral sex and an STD on babies not because it was considered a religious ceremony (sounds like a violation of the Penal Code to me) but for fear of offending the insane people who find this act reasonable. Maybe Jewish wives should wake up and stop allowing themselves to be ruled by fairy tales.

Oct. 14 2013 11:18 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

No coincidence, Sheldon.
Islam ripped off a lot from the Jews in the early decades. Islam is an Arabized form of Judaism. But a lot less evolved or liberal.

Oct. 14 2013 11:16 AM
Elsie from Brooklyn

In case Jews were under the impression that Jewish men thought more highly of women than Muslim men, please have a look at the misogynistic comments on this thread.

By the way, I'm a Jewish woman - so don't bother with the tired excuse of calling me an anti-semite.

And please, save the comments about men getting "cleaned out" by women during their divorce. It's just sad. Women take care of the children, men don't. If men want to start working both inside and outside the home but only get paid for working outside the home, then they can start complaining about women "taking advantage of men". Otherwise, stop whining - you sound like children (which is probably why your wives divorced you in the first place).

Oct. 14 2013 11:14 AM
Joel from Nyack

The Hasidic and conservative orthodox communities are, in many ways, no different from the also paternalistic Muslim communities. Women are second class members of these communities. Men run the show. Are these rabbis really motivated by a need to help women or money?

Oct. 14 2013 11:11 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Orthodox and Sharia law - similar !!! Shocking!!!

Oct. 14 2013 11:11 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I was married and divorced in Israel, and I know the real score on both sides of the ledger.

Oct. 14 2013 11:10 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Well, on the flip side, look at how many men are CLEANED OUT under civil secular divorce courts? Ask men who have been cleaned out by cunning wives with their lovers hiding in the wings.

Oct. 14 2013 11:05 AM

There were some Nj rabbis involved in black market organs
any connection?

Oct. 14 2013 11:03 AM
pina from So.Plainfield

I feel very sentimental to those man. At least they are helping women.

Oct. 14 2013 11:02 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

There are several issues here, one of which is that there are men who deliberately withhold the get from their wives in an attempt to punish them. This is wrong, and the beth din is often unable to solve this problem.

The issue of torture, however, is NOT acceptable under any circumstances. This is as illegal in Jewish law (halacha) as it is in secular law and the Geneva convention.

There ought to be some way to integrate civil law with halacha in order to persuade men to give their wives gets, if the wives are mentally competent and can sign an affidavit stating that this is what they want. In some ways, keeping a woman chained to an intolerable husband is as much a crime as the torture, but actual physical torture is no way to resolve this.

Oct. 14 2013 11:02 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

If I had listened to the rabbis in Israel, my ex-wife would not have been able to clean me out as she did.

Oct. 14 2013 10:58 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

In Halacha, or ancient Jewish Law, a woman can only divorce her husband if he is impotent or cannot give her a child. A man can easily divorce his wife if she is displeasing to him. Sharia law I think is more or less the same.

Oct. 14 2013 10:04 AM

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