A Special Report on the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot
In 2007,an outrage was committed where a respected TALMID CHACHAM was viciously and publicly insulted and defamed. As reported in the Jewish Press on Nov. 9, 2007, with the headline "Rabbinic Rally Against Alleged Get Abuse", a protest against a Brooklyn rabbi who is a respected TALMID CHACHAM was called by Rabbi Hershel Schachter of Yeshiva University and the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot (ORA).
Attending the rally were several rabbinic advisors and supporters of ORA including Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rabbi Kenneth Auman of the Young Israel of Flatbush, and Rabbi Hershel Billet of the Young Israel of Woodmere.
Torah law considers public humiliation to be akin to murder. Numerous witnesses at the Nov. 9 protest observed the respected TALMID CHACHAM being maligned with falsehood and attacked SHEH LO K'DERECH HATORAH by the vicious ORA protesters.
"He who publicly shames his neighbor ... though he may have Torah and good deeds, has no share in the world to come." (Pirkei Avos 3:11).
In early November 2007 a letter allegedly signed by Rabbi Hershel Schachter appeared on the website of the RCA rabbinic organization. Another letter, allegedly signed by Rabbi Hershel Schachter, appeared in late November 2007 on the RCA website. Both letters contained brazen SHEKER and MOTSI SHEM RAH against the rabbi and TALMID CHACHAM who is being targeted by Schachter and his feminist hench(wo)men.
In truth the rabbi and TALMID CHACHAM being targeted by ORA is one of the few remaining authentic rabbinic experts in GITTIN (Jewish divorce matters), and CHOSHEN MISHPAT. The said TALMID CHACHAM makes diligent and ethical efforts to resolve all divorce disputes AL PI HALACHA. ORA's true agenda is apparently to suppress and silence the few remaining rabbinic authorities who strictly adhere to authentic Torah law and values in Jewish divorce matters.
The protest mentioned above was shameful and disappointing and demonstrates how far some have traveled from the truth. It also demonstrates the tremendous feminization in many areas of of the Bais Din process and the process of obtaining a GET, and it exposes the Torah violations of those using ARCHAOS (non-Jewish courts), and those who are enabling them, two terrible transgressions. Rabbi herschel Schachter, Rabbi Green from Monsey and some other wicked rabbis are now campaigning against Rabbi Abraham and Rabbi Gestetner, both outstanding rabbis who follow the Torah principles as were given in Sinai, and once again are spreading false rumors about them.
ORA utilizes public demonstrations and other forms of pressure to coerce Jewish husbands to grant GITTIN to their wives. Mr. Joshua Ross ( Josh Ross ) and Jeremy Stern http://jeremysternfromora.blogspot.com/ of Manhattan are ORA's vice-presidents, and Rabbi Hershel Schachter of Yeshiva University is ORA's primary rabbinic advisor. http://www.getora.blogspot.com/
For some time many EHRLICH YIDDEN have been shocked and outraged at the wild, unscrupulous, and anti-HALACHIC tactics of ORA. At the protest against the TALMID CHACHAM, while a severely handicapped Jewish man was being assisted to enter the TALMID CHACHAM's home, the vicious ORA protesters shouted "FAKER" at the handicapped man. The Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) in Evan HaEzer considers such cruelty to be a sign of non-Jewish ancestry !!!
Josh Ross (a YU student in his 20's), Jeremy Stern and the ORA organization have inflicted unjustified abuse and harassment against a number of decent Jewish men who are dealing with marriage or divorce issues, but who are in compliance with HALACHA. It is truely outrageous that Rabbi Hershel Schachter, a person considered a Torah scholar in the "Modern Orthodox" world, would be involved in a protest disgracing and defaming a respected TALMUD CHACHAM. On a number of occasions various activists have informed Rabbi Schachter that Josh Ross and Jeremy Stern were involved in activities SH'LO K'HALACHA and SH'LO K'YASHRUSH. No apparent action was taken to correct their behavior.
Now we see the same kind of reckless irresponsibility, where false statements are being made that a respected TALMUD CHACHAM (the target of the protest) is allegedly issuing HETER MEAH RABBANIM. Upon careful investigation, we were unable to determine the name of even one man who had obtained a HETER MEAH RABBANIM from the TALMUD CHACHAM who was targeted by the protest! Yet Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag from Brooklyn is known to have issued Heter Mea Rabbonim see: http://www.jlaw.com/Recent/singer.html yet no one protests in front of his home!!! do you see the corruption!!
Fraudulent Seruvim Against Decent Men
A valid SERUV under Jewish law is a document issued by a reputable and KOSHER rabbinic court indicating that a Jew has been found in violation of a rabbinic court order. Bogus and fraudulent SERUVIM are being wielded on a more frequent basis to justify the vicious harassment and abuse of various decent Jewish men. An unsuspecting Jewish public is not aware of the extent of the invalid SERUV abuses. The Jewish Press and the ORA organization have eagerly publicized a number of these so-called SERUVIM in an attempt to create an appearance of halachic legitimacy to their coercion and abuse against Jewish husbands.
In the Justice Denied section of this site, a number of these PASUL (fraudulent) SERUVIM have been exposed. Bogus SERUVIM may be invalid for a number of reasons. For example, a PASUL SERUV may lack the name, address, and phone number of a real Bais Din, or else a SERUV may be PASUL because the defendant was willing to appear before another Bais Din (not the one he was summoned to), or else a SERUV may be PASUL because the plaintiff in Bais Din was litigating in a non-Jewish court while attempting to use a Bais Din only to obtain a GET.
Numerous Jewish women have had valid and KOSHER SERUVIM issued against them after they had utilized non-Jewish courts against their husbands in violation of HALACHA. Yet it appears that neither the Jewish Press, nor the ORA organization, nor any of the "Modern Orthodox" pro-feminist organizations have EVER published the names of any of the numerous women who have had valid SERUVIM issued against them!!!
Using these kinds of "tactics" of publishing bogus SEIRUVIM (against men only) in the Jewish Press and on the ORA website is another example of unscrupulousness that makes people question the authenticity of various "players" in the BAIS DIN system today. In fact according to HALACHA the persons responsible for these tactics deserve CHEREM, not their victims.
"For 24 actions we ostracize a person ... (1) One who disgraces a Talmid Chacham ... (24) Those who ostracize one who has not incurred ostracizing ..." (Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law), Yoreh Deah 334:43).
In many cases women being assisted by ORA and the Jewish Press are utilizing non-Jewish courts in violation of HALACHA. Many of these women are or have engaged in MESIRAH against their husbands, one of the most serious AVEIROS in HALACHA, for which a Jew loses their OLAM HABAAH. Thus ORA and its rabbis and activists are protesting to champion the cases of certain women demanding GITTIN, even though these women may have the status of MOSRIM, and even though they are not conducting proper halachic BAIS DIN processes. These women and their supporters seem to figure - Why bother to appear before a BAIS DIN if we can obtain a bogus SEIRUV and scream AGUNAH?
There is certainly an increasing number of Jewish women attempting to dance at two CHASUNAS at the same time - by litigating in secular courts to get a better deal (K'NEGED HALACHA) and then attempting to utilize BAIS DIN only to obtain their GET afterwards. This unfortunately has been allowed in too many cases by spineless BATEI DIN who either due to profit motives or feminist influences take a very benign docile attitude in insisting that these women immediately withdraw from secular courts, stop the terrible transgression of MESIRAH, and cease throwing their husbands in jail with phony orders of protection. This whole system has caused various RABBANIM ranging from R. J.K. Bleich in America and New York to GADOLIM in Eretz Yisrael to question the validity of many GITTIN that are "coerced" in NY.
Coerced and PASUL GITTIN
No Jewish man is required to give his wife a GET just because the ORA feminists "paskened" that he is required to do so!
The fact of the matter is that one does not have to be a significant Torah scholar, (perhaps now with the feminist influences one does have to be a significant scholar) to know that just because a woman demands a GET, she is NOT entitled to break up her family and obtain a GET. This can only be decided in an authentic BAIS DIN setting that adjudicates the entire issue and rules that the husband is CHAYAV L'GARESHA (that the husband is required to divorce her). Anything less that such a ruling does not obligate a man to give a GET. EHRLICHE RABBANIM will say that its extremely important, lacking that PSAK, not to coerce the husband financially or socially, or to coerce him to give a GET as this will call into question the entire validity of the GET.
All disputes between a husband and wife must be resolved according to HALACHA before a GET procedure is performed. Both husband and wife are prohibited from making any new claims against each other after a GET is provided in a Bais Din, and all the more so in civil courts. The Ramo in Evan HaEzer, Seder HaGet, paragraph 81, clearly proscribes this, and Rav Moshe Feinstein Z"TL says that for many centuries no GET is given until all fiscal and other matters are settled. A woman who litigates in civil court after she receives her GET may very well invalidate the GET.
The activities of the ORA organization, and certain other "AGUNAH" organizations are resulting in coerced and PASUL GITTIN, along with grave injustices against various Jewish men and their families. There have been numerous reports of various Jewish men being harassed and abused by ORA. These are cases of decent men who are NOT obligated under HALACHA to give their wives a GET.
At times the infirm and elderly relatives of certain men have allegedly been subjected to abusive protests by ORA. There have also been reports that ORA has allegedly contacted the employers of some Jewish men in order to pressure the men into giving GITTIN to their wives - see the NY State police report reproduced at the end of this article.
Until recently, on the home page of ORA's web site http://www.getora.com/, it stated that "An agunah is a woman whose husband refuses to grant her a Jewish divorce upon request." By this statement ORA revealed its true anti-TORAH, anti-family agenda. There appears to be no halachic source which can validate this fantastic claim. We consulted with a number of highly learned, senior rabbis, who specialize in Jewish divorce law. None of the rabbis we consulted were able to cite any source for ORA's definition of an "agunah" in any Jewish law texts. At least one learned rabbi this writer spoke with characterized ORA's definition of an "agunah" as being apikorsos.
The "Reformadox" Movements
ORA and other "agunah" organizations attempt to portray themselves as operating within the parameters of HALACHA, but they are clearly violating some of the most serious Torah prohibitions.
ORA could be characterized as a "Reformadox" movement - a movement which pretends to be adhering to Orthodox Jewish law by publicly practicing Jewish rituals like Shabbos and Kashrus, while privately promoting an anti-Torah, anti-male, new age feminist ideology.
As stated in the "Bitul Seruv" letter (in the Justice Denied - LA page of this site):
"... the "ORA" group - shamefully known for their disgraceful actions against the Torah - under the auspices of Josh Ross ( Yehoshua Ross AKA Yehoshua Zev), to whom many False and invalid GITTIN could be credited - which is causing the sin of ESHES EISH and ARAYOS to be allowed, as well as MAMZERIM B'MACHANEINU, [a Get obtained through such practices should be deemed highly questionable and most likely invalid PASUL, it makes one wonder why she would want a GET at all as required by the Torah, since they are violating many other severe laws of the Torah anyway!]
They (ORA) are following the crooked way of the Reform movement, as if in every conflict between husband and wife - the wife has to have the upper hand - to be able to force him to give a GET while depriving him of his rights, as well as in every detail of the conflict she has to have it all according to her wishes. And a husband who is willing to give his wife a GET, but insists on his basic human and halachic rights, is immediately being overwhelmed and publicized falsely as a (disobedient person) and is being shamed, humiliated and embarrassed as though he is a SARBAN (chaining) his wife, while quite the contrary, whereby the wife would only want a GET in a way that deprives her husband of his rights, it is only the wife that is chaining herself rather than the husband chaining her."
Several questions beg themselves: Why has Rabbi Schachter not spoken out about the numerous women using non-Jewish courts and committing MESIRAH, while being assisted by ORA? Is Rabbi Schachter in favor of forcing husbands to give GITTIN while their wives are in court and jailing their husbands? Can Rabbi Schachter's "Modern Orthodoxy" be considered authentic Torah Judaism or is it in reality a type of Reform in disguise?
A COURSE FOR THE ORTHODOX JEWISH COMMUNITY
We believe Torah law forbids assisting or participating in protests against decent, HALACHA observing rabbis and men unless and until a kosher, HALACHA observant, non-corrupt, non-feminist, and non-politicized Bais Din authorized such a protest.
No Jew who observes the Torah should support or assist in any way any persons or organizations which promote any violations of HALACHA, and especially severe violations of HALACHA.
We believe HALACHA requires that the Orthodox Jewish Community refrain from supporting or assisting ORA in any way, and HALACHA also requires Jews to refrain from supporting or assisting any other such organizations involved in coercing GITTIN, assisting MOSRIM, and publicly shaming KOSHER Rabbis and Jews.