Author Topic: Orthodox rabbis planned to torture man into divorce.  (Read 2006 times)

Orthodox rabbis planned to torture man into divorce.
« on: March 10, 2015, 03:02:10 AM »
Normally I would support any attempt to subvert Orthodox Judaism's sexist marriage laws, but in this case they miiiiight have gone the wrong route.
Quote
TRENTON, N.J. -- TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Two orthodox rabbis and eight other men were arrested in an FBI sting in New Jersey and New York on charges they plotted to kidnap and torture a man to force him to grant a religious divorce.

Rabbis Mendel Epstein and Martin Wolmark charged Jewish women and their families thousands of dollars to obtain religious divorces, known as "gets," from unwilling husbands, the FBI said.

"They didn't do it out of religious conviction," Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Gribko told a judge Thursday in a federal court hearing for the men. "They did it for money."

Marc Agnifilo, a lawyer for Wolmark, said it's possibly a case where religious law collides with federal statutes, where the crimes they're accused of can be punished by life in prison.

"It's a very complex case. The government says it's all about money, but I don't think that's quite right," Agnifilo said after the hearing, calling coercion and even violence to get husbands to grant religious divorces "an old tradition."

The rabbis and the 10 other men were arrested as a result of an undercover operation that began in August when two FBI agents, one posing as a woman trying to get a divorce, contacted the rabbis. According to an FBI complaint, Epstein spoke about forcing compliance through "tough guys" who use electric cattle prods and even place plastic bags over the heads of husbands.

The FBI said the price was more than $50,000 and a prosecutor said at Thursday's hearing that the organization involved in the alleged plot had been involved in up to 20 kidnappings over the years.

No pleas were entered Thursday and lawyers for some of the defendants sought to minimize their clients' roles in an effort to get them freed on bail or put on home confinement.

Magistrate Douglas Arpert ordered all 10 held in federal custody at least until hearings next week.

The investigation took place in Ocean and Middlesex counties in New Jersey and Rockland County in New York, and ended with arrests overnight Wednesday.

Four of the rabbis' associates were described as enforcers, or "tough guys," as Epstein called the men who helped coerce reluctant husbands.

The undercover agents, including a man posing as the woman's brother, met with Epstein at his Ocean County home in August, during which the rabbi spoke about "kidnapping, beating and torturing husbands in order to force a divorce," the complaint said.

"Basically what we are going to be doing is kidnapping a guy for a couple of hours and beating him up and torturing him and then getting him to give the get," Epstein is quoted as saying during the conversation, which was videotaped.

Epstein is also quoted saying he wanted to use a cattle prod to torture the reluctant husband.

"If it can get a bull that weighs 5 tons to move ... you put it in certain parts of his body and in one minute, the guy will know," he said, according to the complaint.

He said that his group did a kidnapping every year to year-and-a-half, and that the cost is $10,000 for a rabbinical court to approve the action and $50,000 to $60,000 for the enforcers.

The undercover agents wired him a $20,000 down payment, the complaint said.

Under Jewish law, if a husband refuses to grant his wife a "get," she has the right to sue in rabbinical court. The complaint said that a rabbinical court was held in Rockland County on Oct. 2 as part of the sting, during which the use of violence was authorized.

Offline SGOS

Re: Orthodox rabbis planned to torture man into divorce.
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2015, 06:03:00 AM »
The article says that the US assistant attorney said, "They didn't do it for religion.  They did it for money."  I'm trying to understand why this makes a difference.  Is this some kind of statement to ward off a religious backlash?  Would kidnapping and torture be OK if it's done as part of a religion?
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 07:30:29 AM by SGOS »

Re: Orthodox rabbis planned to torture man into divorce.
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2015, 07:22:42 AM »
Oy Vey.  :doh:

Offline Mr.Obvious

Re: Orthodox rabbis planned to torture man into divorce.
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2015, 07:47:46 AM »
The article says that the US assistant attorney said, "They didn't do it for religion.  They did it for money."  I'm trying to understand why this makes a difference.  Is this some kind of statement to ward off a religious backlash?  Would kidnapping and torture be OK if it's done as part of a religion?

It doesn't really make a difference. And to be honest I don't think they say it to say that it would be okay if it were done for religion. I think they're just trying to be 'politically correct' and not offend anyone and thus, as you say, avoid religious backlash. This way they try to say: It's not religion that caused these misdoings, but simple greed.
Of course this doesn't change the fact that those who hire them are asking their services for religious purposes.
E = Mc²

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Check your pocket for matches
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as fast friends and relative idiots.

Offline SGOS

Re: Orthodox rabbis planned to torture man into divorce.
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2015, 07:56:41 AM »
It doesn't really make a difference. And to be honest I don't think they say it to say that it would be okay if it were done for religion. I think they're just trying to be 'politically correct' and not offend anyone and thus, as you say, avoid religious backlash. This way they try to say: It's not religion that caused these misdoings, but simple greed.
Of course this doesn't change the fact that those who hire them are asking their services for religious purposes.
I think that probably explains it.

Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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Re: Orthodox rabbis planned to torture man into divorce.
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2015, 09:27:44 AM »
None of this has anything to do with Judaism, of course.

Offline SGOS

Re: Orthodox rabbis planned to torture man into divorce.
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2015, 09:38:44 AM »
I vaguely remember a Hollywood movie with Rene Zellweger where a bunch of rabbis from her temple intercede in her marriage by threatening/beating her husband.  I can't remember the issues involved.  I was cheering for the woman.  She may have been in an abusive relationship.  That just came to mind.  In light of this thread, my guess would now be that the movie was based on Jewish tradition, where rabbis rescue Jewish women using vigilante methods.

Offline SGOS

Re: Orthodox rabbis planned to torture man into divorce.
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2015, 09:42:15 AM »
Speaking of Zellweger, she recently did the Hollywood plastic surgery thing, and fucked up her most interesting and attractive facial features.

Re: Orthodox rabbis planned to torture man into divorce.
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2015, 11:16:56 AM »
I agree, she was unique looking in a good way. I loved her eyes and mouth. Now she is creepy looking, just like so many celebrities that look like they have a mask on from Botox with teeth that glow in the dark they're so bright and white. Solitary
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.