Written by Rabbi M. L.
Just some ten months ago, we were informed by some news outlets that several dozen protesters marched down the Crown Heights Jewish community’s main thoroughfare one afternoon chanting slogans and holding signs in protest of men who refuse to unconditionally give their wives a ‘Gett’ (divorce document without which a woman cannot remarry according to Jewish law).
The protestors placed the fault of Agunos squarely on husbands, and insinuated that Rabbonim don’t care about women.
Some of the protesters carried signs with messages such as: “Abusive Men Abuse The Gett!” “Only Change Will Unchain!” “Real Rabbis Respect Women!” “It’s not a fight! It’s a woman’s right!” “Gett Justice Now” “Gett abuse = wife abuse” “Say Yes to the Prenup” “Gett a life!” and “Let My Sister Go!”
“Get refusal is a form of abuse,” said one famous “women’s rights” activist, while another women declared, no less, that: “I grew up thinking that Orthodox Jews were not good to women, I am involved in this movement to show that we (Editor: I.e Torah, Judaism) are good to women,” thanks but no thanks for the PR.
It would seem that the end goal justifies all means, which is why some of these “brave activists” proposed a “Halachic” prenup, a suggestion that has been rejected by almost 100% of all Gedolei Yisroel.
Fast forward to the recent news of a rabbi being sent to jail for ten years for his involvement in a plot to kidnap Jewish men in an effort to coerce them into granting their wives religious divorces.
Now, nobody is going to justify their misguided methods, however, suddenly these Womens Rights activists are silent. Where are their voices in defense of the chained women? One would think that they would, if not applaud, then at least sympathize with these rabbis, even without approving of the tactics, for their role in alleviating the plight of the women they unchained.
Yet, not a word.
So, to bash rabbonim, and men, and to go against Halachah is OK, but when some rabbis get up and do something, albeit misguided, about it, then they are silent.
The movement’s silence regarding these rabbis is telling, and exposes the true secularistic motivations of the “activists”:
The reason they are against these rabbis is simple: they don’t want to free Agunos or help those chained women at all, rather, their motive is to relegate the Halachic Gett process to the backwater of history, forcing it into oblivion and irrelevance. If their goal was to help women, then the rabbis currently in the news would be celebrated as “women liberators”, fighting the good fight.
Moreover, they see such rabbis and their tactics as a threat to their movement. If people were to harbor any sympathy with these rabbis then the Aguna “crisis” and the movement’s “solution” would lose followers, as people become less outraged, and see other options.
However, if a scenario such as these rabbis and their tactics are ruled out forever as an utter impossibility, then they Agunos Outrage movement can get back to furthering their real agenda – banishing any meaningful idea of a Gett, at best still observing the process and a mere formality and quaint, cute tradition.