Friday, October 31, 2014

The Torah Position Regarding the Case of Meir Kin and the Travesty Wrought by ORA

By Yomin Postelnik
As religious Jews, we believe that Torah, the word of Hashem, contains the ultimate morality.  Political fads come and go, and most of them are seen in the end to be harmful. 

The case of Meir Kin is one such example.  He followed Torah law and, just as importantly, was willing to settle fairly, at one time offering a choice of four Rabbinical Courts in which to present his divorce case.  Those who trashed him did not follow Torah and, just as importantly, sought to wreak havoc for their own monetary and political gain - mostly at the expense of the woman who they feigned caring for. 
As Torah Jews, we do not have the right to trash people over disagreements, especially if they are following Torah law. As sensible people, we do not trash people in middle of divorces. Indeed, the actions of the activists have not only hurt Meir and his child, but have also caused a standstill that hurts the woman who the activists supposedly sought to help.
Get ORA (a criminal organization that self-styles itself the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot) is known as a group that has wreaked havoc in almost every divorce case that it has touched, often taking easy to resolve cases and making them impossible to resolve, all the while collecting money on behalf of their "work."  In other cases, they've gotten involved in custody battles, in clear violation of Jewish law.  Most despicably, they often seek to procure divorces in cases in which the husband seeks to save the marriage and insists on counseling or on an evaluation for postpartum anxiety, even when medical or therapeutic experts have called for same. 
Get ORA has also been involved in several violent acts and has been the subject of at least two documented police reports.  Their website boasts of having caused false arrests.  They work in tandem with an activist group masquerading as a Rabbinical Court that calls themselves the "Beth Din of America." Their leader, Hershel Schachter of Yeshiva University (a place where the open immorality of university campuses is all but encouraged and never stopped, yet which seeks to disguise itself as a religious institution), has encouraged despicable acts of violence and has been recorded doing so. He cares as much for Torah law as did Saddam Hussein in his time. And he cares almost as much for the wellbeing of the women whom he purportedly seeks to help.
In the Kin case, Meir Kin had offered 4 Rabbinical Courts that were acceptable at the getgo. All were refused as his wife received advice from GetORA and self serving rabbis from the Rabbinical Council of California.  This Council's members were excommunicated by a Monsey Rabbinical Court for their actions and then proceeded to issue a retaliatory "contempt" ruling from an ad hoc court that never before existed.  At no time did they have any jurisdiction in the case.  Obviously, such actions, and the trumpeting of such actions by violent activist groups like ORA, are shameful and represent a threat to Judaism. 
What's even more shameful is the human aspect.  These self-aggrandizers claim to be helping his wife.  They're doing no such thing.  Every divorce mediator knows to settle things down before there can be any negotiation.  Any divorce lawyer who cares for his or her client's long-term interests does the same thing.  Not so Get ORA.  Instead of working with any one of the four highly respected rabbinical courts that Meir Kin had agreed to, they wrought havoc in the case and made sure that it could not be resolved for years, all the while portraying themselves as great warriors who needed money to further harm the woman who they purportedly wished to save. 

Divorce cases are easy to resolve when people who care about both parties seek to calm things down.  Of course, people who truly care about both parties usually try to save the marriage, as did all sages and rabbis throughout all times.  Our tradition from Aharon HaKohen (Moses' brother Aaron) on, and replete throughout the Talmud, stresses the primary importance of saving marriages over all.  Sure, sages sought to help "agunos," women whose husbands were lost, or who had abandoned them.  Using this term in the full and traditional sense to describe someone who's lashing out at her husband and who refuses to adjudicate in a proper rabbinical court, or who refuses counseling sessions (which even non-Jewish courts often order absent a settlement agreement), is to rewrite the Torah.  We can't do that. 
Along those lines, when a Jew wishes to know what Hashem's ultimate morality dictates, he or she consults halacha.  Jewish law treats both parties fairly and does not sacrifice either of their rights.  The Shulchan Aruch, in Even HaEzer Section 154 outlines the cases in which some pressure may be applied by a religious court in a divorce.  Ninety five percent of cases in which activist rabbis, who openly admit that they care little for what the Shulchan Aruch says on the matter, don't fall into this category.  This isn't some side point in Jewish law.  The same Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 134 and 77) invalidate gittin (bills of divorce) that do not fall under the categories outlined in section 154.
Those who have found a new "morality" for themselves by falsely pitting men against women, attempting to deny fathers and mothers the rights to seek custody, encouraging divorce in all cases while preventing counseling, advising people to "do the get" first and then work on it later as a way of "ensuring" rights (and rendering marriage meaningless in the process, similar to how the baby killing crowd encourage abortion as some kind of perverse "right," with not totally unsimilar consequences for many of the children involved), have indeed supplanted Judaism's inherent goodness with their own wreckage.  But make no mistake, there's nothing Jewish about it.
And they care for no one.  Just ask Lonna Kin.  A decent person could have sat down with both parties.  Even people who are only interested in her side should have known better than to do everything in the world to make resolution for both impossible, all the while masquerading as her concerned friends who only aggravated the situation while collecting money for their continued destructive efforts.  They are true enemies of her, of the Torah and of Hashem, unless they are too dimwitted to see the clear effects of their actions. 
As to Meir Kin, he's done nothing against Jewish law.  In general it's always important to try to save the marriage (which today can also involve the necessity of ignoring screaming loons who care for no one and who have sacrificed many couples in the name of a very irreligious cause), and then, if that fails, to resolve these things. Yet at the same time, a father who poses no danger has a right to meaningful custody.  What is against Jewish law, and what has only prolonged this case and made settlement all but impossible, is embarassing him or humiliating him.  His case has nothing to do with those mentioned in Shulchan Aruch (EH 154) and listening to a retaliatory siruv (contempt finding) from a court that does not exist makes those who heed it guilty of sin and purveyors of nothing good for anyone. 

As Rabbi Avrohom S. Y. Gestetner (a dayan - qualified religious judge - who sees fighting the tactics of the get activists, and their attempts to change halacha, a core mission of his) wrote to a group of rabbis who sought to exact a get based on the woman's demands, against the opinion of poskim (true arbiters of Jewish law) and those of medically licensed experts (loose rendition): The Torah is no one's private toy with which to play games with and the sin of embarrassing one's fellow applies fully in such cases.  I'd personally add to his words that their tactics make no sense unless they purposely want to wreak havoc with the lives of all parties involved.

If the guidelines of Jewish law would be followed, far fewer divorces would happen and those that would would have been worked on to a point where coparenting is possible.  Meir Kin's case is a travesty and according to clearly stated Jewish law, and backed by a rabbinical court and many leading rabbis (not to mention clearly stated Jewish law), it is an absolute sin to participate in it.  From a standpoint of common sense, doing so only harms both parties, as is usually the case when one confuses Hashem's holy commandments that lead to peace with political posturing that has only lead to years of harm.  Anyone who can speak out against the self-aggrandizing activist havoc wreakers should be blessed, by both parties, as well as by G-d Almighty.   


Yomin Postelnik said...

I know this case and have spoken with rabbonim. It's a travesty and while there is reason to tell ORA to back off and get both parties talking, there is absolutely no reason in the world to justify the harassment of Meir Kin, his expulsion from shuls (which would compromise the validity of any get) or publicly smearing a man who has done nothing against halacha, nor are such sinful actions productive.

Sara said...

I know both Meir and his new wife Daniela. Both are fine people. Daniela loves Meir very much and doesnt believe what she hears about him. She reports to me that Lonna had recently obtained a court order to block Meir's unhampered visitation as another tactic to force him to give a GET. Her cruel acts show that after 10 years of separation, she still chooses the sadistic path of destruction to resolve her case. What good mother would use her son as "A human Shield" in her battles with her ex?

Shea said...

Yomin, kudos to you for a great article! The best line is that which you state That Meir has not violated any Halacha. The feminazis failed to state why he violated halacha, rather all they state is that he did not give Lonna a GET. Meir has been following the dictates of his Bais Din that asked him to deposit a GET until such time that Lonna appears for a Din -Torah for all her otracities that she had committed. Her response is "Extortion!!! I want to see her citing such a response if someone summoned her to a civil court!! Meir's Get has been deposited since 2008 with Lonna refusing to pick it up and citing that her crony rabbis in Israel invalidate those gittin from his Bais Din. Once again they dont cite a reason why the GET is no good. Meirs Bais Din gives him a "Heter" to remarry which is allowed in such circumstances, as Lonna is referred to as a "MOREDES" (a rebellious woman) and he remarries. Lonna and her ORA goons call Meir a "bigamist" where there is no such title in Judaic law and he already received a civil annullment. BTW, Ora is so hippocritical by announcing that Tamar Epstein Friedman was a "free woman" after receiving a bogus annullment and no GET and that appears fully acceptable to them, but Meirs HETER Mea Rabbonim does not? What a double standard! Sorry Lonna, but you are a loser as Meir has moved on with his life and You will remained glued to ORA and their values for eternity filled with hate and with war mongering into your old age. I support Meir and his right to stand up to his Torah given rights. had you Lonna been civil with him from the start, you would have received your GET 10 years ago as he did with his 1st wife who received her Get without ever setting foot in a civil court or Bais Din. They dissolved their marriage on their own and have lived peacefully thereafter. Lonna, your record of acrominous divorce with both husbands doesnt fare well for you. You may have succeeded in destroying Meir's reputation, but you did not succeed to bring him to his knees as he has the truth and the Torah behind him. He has moved on with his life and is happily remarried. The time has come for you to do the same.