For Women, Divorce Isn’t As Easy
As a former agunah, I take great umbrage at Elliot Pasik’s article “Did We Just Divorce President Trump?” The story that Pasik recounts at the beginning of the article is deeply offensive to agunot and all those who care about equality in Jewish divorces, or gets.
In the story, the man requests a get, and as the tale continues, the rabbi didn’t even ask the obvious question “Why?” but simply said “Yes, I will draft the bill of divorce and arrange for the beis din.” Wow, how simple it is for this man to arrange a divorce! If only women shared this ease of moving on with their lives. I must confess that when the rabbi in the story demanded a precious Kiddush cup as a fee, I thought, “Yes! Finally a man can overpay for a get!” I was hopeful and felt that perhaps this parable would teach us that not only women could be held hostage for a get through means of financial extortion. Unfortunately, the story did not continue as I hoped. The man withdrew his request for a get, rather than pay the exorbitant fee. Yet strangely, the article continued to say that Jewish organizations “divorced” President Trump.
Politics aside, this is an extremely offensive analogy. Please understand that multitudes of women are held hostage every day by archaic, unfair get laws and just can’t walk away and “divorce” like the man in the story. The pain of being an agunah never goes away. We can live our best lives, but it still hurts knowing that we have been part of this unfair system. Please be more sensitive to our plight.
Standing Up for Friends
I have to give a big kol hakavod to Mr. Pasik for standing up for President Trump amid the cacophony of hypocrisy and cowardice by Jewish organizations, especially those representing the Orthodox community. President Trump is the greatest friend Israel ever had in a president and, moreover, America as well. America is still the beacon of freedom to the world because of regular “deplorable” Americans, in spite of the spineless elites of Jewish organizations, the legacy media, Democrats, and all the bigshots, loudmouths, and talking heads who no longer represent We the People. While they still try their best to deceive us, this election is still far from over. It’s time for a revolution of the people; time to walk away from the Party of AOC, antisemitism, and socialism, and join President Trump for four more years of American greatness, and the security of our greatest ally, Israel.
Phil Orenstein, President
Queens Village Republican Club
Writing on the Wall
Elliott Pasik’s opinion piece (“Did We Just Divorce President Trump?”) provides an inaccurate reading of Jewish organizations that had the audacity to congratulate president-elect Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris instead of waiting for each of President Donald Trump’s myriad lawsuits to run their course.
As the events of the past month have demonstrated, these organizations wisely read the writing on the wall, as each of Trump’s lawsuits was shot down at every level of the judicial system, culminating in their rejection by the Supreme Court, by the very justices that Trump had appointed. Trump then attempted to have state legislatures and members of the Electoral College decide the results in his favor. Again, he failed on both counts.
Pasik then makes a list of ten items in which Trump’s policies have benefited Israel and the Orthodox Jewish community, followed by polls published by Mishpacha and Ami magazines. The writer concludes his case by accusing the same rabbis who had expressed hakaras hatov to Trump earlier this year of being chutzpadik for congratulating Biden after the election.
To speak so harshly of nationally recognized rabbinical and communal organizations demonstrates the true impact of Trump on our nation—among his supporters and opponents, he’s brought out the worst in us. Name-calling, childish memes, and refusal to concede an election and ensure a smooth transition. Friendships have been shattered and marriages broken over arguments about Trump.
Enough! Although I voted for Biden mainly for his views regarding pandemic policy, immigration, labor, and the environment, I commended Trump for his support of Israel, religious education, and traditional definitions of gender and marriage. I am not a one-issue voter, and like the Jewish organizations mentioned by Pasik, I have hakaras hatov to the Constitution, democracy, and the rule of law.
The Chidushei Harim in this week’s parshah asks and answers a fundamental question. What was the sin of Klal Yisrael with the meraglim that they deserved to die in the Midbar? The meraglim were the “gedolei Yisrael,” the einei ha’eidah, and therefore we were justified to listen to them. His answer is paramount and fundamental to all of us. We must remember that even when our leaders speak against a simple and obvious Torah law, we must not obey them but treat them as neviei hasheker. After Hashem proclaimed Eretz Yisrael as a superb land, they had no business speaking against the land and it’s like speaking against the Torah! Klal Yisrael had no business believing them or listening to them! The last part of the chidushei harim is even more frightening as he states that “In the end of the days “we” will have similar nisyonos, meaning that our leaders will also say things against the Torah and we will be tested if we remain silent and agree with them, or if we protest. We must differentiate between the phony rabbis and the ones that speak the truth!.
For me it’s a simple matter of hakaros hatov, a fundamental Torah principle. On December 15, Senate Majority Leader McConnell and the leaders of Russia, Poland, and Mexico congratulated Biden. They waited until the Electoral College vote. They had more derech eretz than our own organizations.
Elliot B. Pasik is a graduate of Cardozo Law School, Yeshiva University, J.D.; and Clark University in Worcester, Mass. He is a practicing civil litigation attorney in Cedarhurst
Yochanan Gordon puzzles me. He is obviously a scholar with a good sense of humor and a keen sense of irony, a person I might like to have as a friend. Yet he perplexes me with his claims of a fraudulent election in which President Trump has been wrongfully denied a second term. He never questions his unexamined premise, even though judges from both sides of the political spectrum have failed to find one iota of truth to support it. Even G-d demanded proof from Abraham of ten righteous souls living in Sodom and Gemorrah in order to spare those cities.
I am not a matchmaker. I leave that to our wonderful Baila Sebrow. But I can’t help thinking that Yochanan and Dr. Gila Jedwab might make a perfect match. They are both sensitive and knowledgeable and could spend quality time together attending Trump rallies without having to use personal protective equipment and listening to a man who has refused to submit even his educational records let alone his financial records for examination.