In this day and age, this kind of thing is still going on?
- The coordinated use of publicists, Facebook, Twitter, donation sites, and rallies is becoming common for women like Rivky Stein who seek religious divorces from their husbands. Many Jews give little thought to the get, but in traditional Judaism only men can grant a divorce.
- Without one, a woman cannot date or remarry without carrying and passing onto her children what is widely considered in the Orthodox world to be a tremendous stigma.
- So, with few options in Jewish law, more agunot—Hebrew for “chained wives”—are embracing contemporary and high-tech tools to publicly shame men.
- …Although definitive numbers are difficult to find, a survey conducted by the Mellman Group in 2010-2011 found that there were 462 cases of agunot in North America during the previous five years. That number may be higher, considering there is no official registry of Jewish divorces, a standard definition for agunot does not exist, and many agunot are reluctant to go public.“There’s no place to go to count these things up unless you contact every individual rabbinical court,” said Jeremy Stern, an Orthodox rabbi and the executive director of the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot, or ORA, which is not involved in Stein’s case.
- …While shame and exclusion have worked for centuries, another tactic has raised a great deal of attention: violence. A recent (Link): article in GQ details allegations against Rabbi Mendel Epstein, who is referred to as the “Prodfather” for his use of electric cattle prods to coerce reluctant husbands. At 69 years old, Epstein faces 25 years to life in federal prison after an elaborate FBI sting operation led to his arrest and indictment on multiple counts of kidnapping.
- … But public shaming is, in some Orthodox quarters, a more drastic step than violence: It involves exposing a community’s dirty secrets to the gentile world.