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Manipulators Aren’t My Sisters

From the COLlive inbox: A Crown Heights woman has strong words for the campaigners behind "Every Agunah is My Sister." Full Story

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Thank you for speaking up!
April 1, 2015 4:02 pm

There is a woman who has harassed one of our neighbors for nearly 5 years claiming to be his agunah. The Rabbinute last month declared her still married to the husband before HIM. She still needs a get from the OTHER man, even though our neighbor gave her a get. She destroyed his life …because she wanted attention and sympathy, and she still isn’t screaming about the man who has refused her a get for 6 years. Unbelievable.

to number 120
March 30, 2015 4:41 am

What if u didn’t have kids in that marriage would u still sit aside and do nothing about move on in life? Their are hundreds stuck in such a situation!

17 thousand agunas in NY State
March 26, 2015 12:49 am

look it up, its true 17 thousand, so even if half are lying, you still have 8.5 thousand recalcitrant husbands out there that need their respective heads bashed in (i am a man btw)

shout out to Rabbi Epstein We Miss You Gangsta!

Asking ourselves the question...
March 25, 2015 12:58 pm

The fact that there are so many agunahs within our jewish communities should have us seriously asking : what is it that we are doing wrong to raise young people with the attitudes that have contributed to this problem? Does his problem start when they are reared at home, in our communities , families, our schools, shuls etc ? Its serious and needs to be taken seriously. We want our children to be in decent and respectful and loving relationships where both spouses respect and work together with one another. What is it that we can offer or change to… Read more »

to #126
March 25, 2015 11:43 am

A pre-nup can specify anything to which the parties wish to agree. Therefore it can also specify that in the event of civil divorce the husband agrees to give a gett no later than the date the civil divorce is final.

Yaakov Krakow
March 25, 2015 1:01 am

This article is beyond absurd. It is a fundamental part of being human to want to have a loving intimate relationship with a significant other, and the guidelines by which the Torah allows this is in marriage. Even our sages acknowledge that, under normal circumstances, not being in a marriage (and of course that marriage being a loving marriage) is cause for depression and general unhappiness. For one human being to exploit the Torah’s rules on divorce to prevent another human being from being able to pursue that objective is the ultimate act of cruelty, coercion, and sociopathy. Such cruel… Read more »

To Sara Chana
March 25, 2015 12:48 am

Sarah Chana. Thank you for your articulate post. While I agree with your analysis of the article and that true agunos are in a bad situation and should not just resign to their plight, I do have some questions about the Get procedure you articulate; namely that the details of the divorce (custody and finance) should be dealt with after the Get. How many men do you know who have zero or almost zero access to their children, even AFTER giving the Get? I’m sure almost everybody knows at least one man in that sad situation. Refusing access to the… Read more »

What if it was your daughter?
March 24, 2015 10:25 pm

In cases like this I always offer people to try on the shoes of those whom they criticize. What if it was your daughter- the ungetted one. Would it be the same reaction? Would you tell your daughter ( especially without children) to move on and count her blessings when someone is deliberately robbing her of motherhood. It also could happen that by the time a woman gets the Gett it might be too late to have children.

Sarah Chana
March 24, 2015 9:29 pm

Thank you for writing the most intelligent comment I have ever read on COL.

It provided much clarity.

Aliza, Im sorry but you seem misguided. Perhaps it worked for you as a coping mechanism but to suggest that woman should stay with their tormentors is outright wrong.

Your tone was also condescending. Please work on a bit of humility.

Unfortunately this article is written from a perspective of disability
March 24, 2015 6:34 pm

The author has a disability in that she has never suffered to the extent she is unable to empathise with the sufferings of people less fortunate than she. Some of us have the G-D given ability to look beyond the pale of personal misfortune and to see brachos. However that should not make us arrogantly dismiss the real pain of a person tangled in the nets of personal misfortunates. Their vision clouded with inner anguish, they often are unable to appreciate or be aware of the blessings they have. We can empathise and try and guide that person to calmer… Read more »

Why Aguna
March 24, 2015 2:26 pm

in all these stories only one thing is annoying me -why is everyone calling these women “aguna”.Aguna – when you don’t know where the husband is or you don’t have proves that he died.It doesn’t apply here at all

A get is not a bargaining chip
March 24, 2015 12:57 pm

I have nothing to add after Sarah Chanah’s comment.

Thank you for taking the time to pen such an excellent response.

To the author, I have nothing nice to say, so I will stop here.

Sarah Chanah,
March 24, 2015 12:03 pm

Thank you for writing the most intelligent, articulate, and compassionate COL comment I’ve ever read.

Define Agunah
March 24, 2015 11:46 am

I think the word Agunah has been so watered down that it lost its meaning. I think today every woman who asks for a get and does not receive it that same day thinks she is an agunah. This is not the halachic case of agunah. A get is not finalized in one day just as a legal divorce is not finalized in one day. There is a process to everything. Someone who is refused a get or someone who the husband went missing is a real agunah. This is not the same as someone who is in the divorce… Read more »

Sholom Dovber
March 24, 2015 11:18 am

If a person no longer wants to be married approach Beis Din and ask that they contact your spouse to arrange a Gett.
If there are children to the marriage a simultaneous agreement will need to be reach as to the custody and visitation issues.
If there is property and other financial issues they will also need to be settled.

great article!
March 24, 2015 10:19 am

i believe aliza was completely misunderstood she did not mean that one should not try to get out of the situation she only meant to say going into a frenzy is killing your own chance to actually bring in some happiness from other areas in life. no shes not saying take it all in stride and smile. shes saying in the event that chas vshalom one is completely trapped- she should realize this is from Hashem and see which other areas in life she can actually feel accomplished from -that this is possible. and she didnt say this was easy… Read more »

March 24, 2015 9:46 am

Yes, the UnGetted woman (although she’s still an agunah as far as I’m concerned) can put dignity into her life, and no, obtaining the gett need not be an obsession. Still, the articles merits don’t overcome its flaws. The author also says that an UnGetted woman can “choose to be a single woman without a Gett.” This statement fails on two counts. First, she will remain a *married* woman. Second, she doesn’t have a *choice* until she’s offered a Gett (she could opt to refuse it). I’m also disturbed by the statement, “… the husband is still only the agent.… Read more »

abuse and power
March 24, 2015 7:42 am

unfortunately this kind of manipulation and power play in gett refusal is just a symptom of many of the sick and abusive marriages that they are needed for. 1 in 3 women statistically are abused by a man in a domestic relationship. yes this happens in frum families, yes this happens in crown heights. and for these women, being told so just perk up and thank hashem for this bashert is just tantamount to victim blaming. for shame! can we please as a community put the balme where is belongs – on men who refuse to give gets. There is… Read more »

Completely Off the Rails
March 24, 2015 3:42 am

The author of this article starts by complaining about a lack of Ahavas Yisrael, yet very little if any is displayed in her writing. Her advice that women without a gett should move on and see the sunshine because Hashem runs the world reminds me that every lie must contain a little bit of truth in order to be believed. Unfortunately it seems that some people are identifying with the article because it contains a legitimate idea that the author has twisted and corrupted, using it in a way that is both misguided and misplaced. Misguided: In every other area… Read more »

March 24, 2015 3:14 am

if you want your sign to get noticed you use CAPS

Time for Prenaps
March 24, 2015 2:54 am

Lets all go to sleep!

oy vey
March 24, 2015 1:40 am

col commenters, you are so dramatic…. chillllllll its an OPINION
Take what you like and leave the rest
If you want to be heard too, send in an article too,
you’re entitled…
-a 19 yr old

Bottom line:
March 24, 2015 12:43 am

If a woman wants a get she has a right to that get. End of story!

Very upsetting!
March 24, 2015 12:30 am

You have no right to judge how another person deals with their pain. You have no right to tell a chained woman to get over it and move on. An Ehrliche yid has the responsibility to be Dan Lekav Zechus and have rachmonus on someone who is suffering.
All I can say is you need to work very hard on your Ahavas Yisroel. Hopefully you will never suffer what these women are going through.

March 23, 2015 11:50 pm

A career??????? Seriously?????

A fundamental need in ALL human beings is a stable relationship. These women want a chance to move on a build healthy lives.
Coming from divorced parents, where my mother’s career flourished but she…
I only saw her happiness return (thereby to me as well) when she moved on and re-married.

I’m a Rabbi and completely disagree with the author’s sentiment!

Ignorance about pre-nup
March 23, 2015 11:47 pm

Some of the comments display ignorance of the pre-nup. It obligates payment to support his wife even if he is separated; It is not a penalty for separation. It is legally enforceable in civil court but doesn’t force a get under duress; he can continue to remain married and support his wife according to his civil pre- nup agreement if he so desires; it’s his choice. He will have agreed voluntarily lechathilah and before the wedding to provide this support, so any get is mamish not given under duress because he has the choice to stay married and support his… Read more »

She's right
March 23, 2015 11:38 pm

when a creep knows the get is worth so much he will put a premium on it. Not caring is the only way to get the get. Maybe he will want to marry. The Halacha of gittin is very chauvinistic, anyway. In american law either side can give the divorce.

words of encouragement to Aliza
March 23, 2015 11:26 pm

This comment is not aimed at any of the previous scommenters’. It is for the author. After over a hundred negative comments, you are probably doubting yourself. that is natural. You might wonder, am i wrong? Maybe I am just horribly insensitive? etc. You have clearly been through an abusive relationship and sought out serious therapy. I did as well. You are 100% right in every word that you wrote. Perhaps you could have been a bit more empathetic… But it probably would not have affected the opinion of most people anyway. Remember there are 5 stages of dealng with… Read more »

Completely out of line
March 23, 2015 11:21 pm

You have no right to lecture about this subject in such a cold and condescending way! It blows me away to think that people can actually proudly say the things you have said!

so wrong!
March 23, 2015 11:19 pm

This article demonstrates such a lack of understanding of Torah, the Rebbe’s hashkofos and basic human empathy, I don’t know where to start. 1. our job in this world is to make a dirah b’tachtonim, not to tell people who are suffering to make the most of it as this is Hashem’s will! Even goyim have the mitzvah to establish law courts, to ensure we have justice in THIS world. Hashem says “tzedek, tzedek tirdof” and “lo sa’amod al dam re’echo.” Our community is obligated to help these women in need. 2. to compare a woman whose husband was snatched… Read more »

befriend an Agunah
March 23, 2015 11:01 pm

Hear her story, imagine living her life…We are all guilty if we do nothing…

Kudos to everyone who is taking a stance in any form

I am an agunah -
March 23, 2015 10:56 pm

There is a seruv against my x-2-b for refusing to give a gett, so I do qualify as a true agunah. However, I would NEVER, EVER, NOT FOR 1 MINUTE – caps intended 🙂 – give that man the pleasure of ruining my life! I raised my children together with the help of loving friends, family and community. I have a social life, a career (only after my kids were legally old enough to be home alone, as I was a full time mom and dad to them till then). Even their teachers didn’t realize they were kids from a… Read more »

March 23, 2015 10:11 pm

To # 118 you said it best!!!
to add one point, this is something one can demand of themselves, if they so wish, but this is not respectful to demand of others who are suffering!!!!!

I couldn't even finish reading this article, it was getting me so mad
March 23, 2015 9:47 pm

You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. Your article disgusted me. Even though most people who have posted a comment wrote similar things, I won’t hesitate to write it again. Worrying about whether or not they’ll get a gett can make some women stay in these abusive marriages, and the ones who have summoned up the courage to demand a gett have to deal with enough, such as friends, relatives, and rabbis telling them not to divorce and/or giving them horrible advice, plus the shame and embarrassment – they don’t need to be chained to the husband who… Read more »

Let my sisters go
March 23, 2015 9:14 pm

Let me tell you what it feels like getting a Gett after an abusive dysfunctional marriage.
Its like yetzias mitzraim.
It is pada beshalom nafshi.
I wish all my sisters agunos and those who are trapped in abusive marriages to be free in this month of Nisan.

These are merely opinions
March 23, 2015 9:11 pm

Which I think most common sense people would reject and as we see from the comments.
What does have to happen is follow the absolute for every Jew.
That is Toras Moshe you go to Rabonim for any disagreements and the Rabonim have the last word. Not Kol Hayoshor Beainov Yaaseh. N.S.

March 23, 2015 9:09 pm

I think in case of prenap, the husband will be willing to give get because his money and his menuchas hanefesh is more important to him than piece of paper or his wife for that matter. Also his withholding of get has to do with money. So lets put money in good use via prenap. Win win

Amazing Essay, But.....
March 23, 2015 8:58 pm

Very well written and the author shows a powerful stance on this topic. However, this is just her opinion. Anyone can express their opinion any way they want. What I have a problem with is that the author claims some content in the essay to be factual without any sources to back her claims. Without the help of sources the author doesn’t have much credibility and anything could be disregarded as fallacies or just plain falsehoods.

March 23, 2015 8:50 pm

wow i am shocked by how people can read without understanding the authors point! dear author i agree with everything you wrote. she is NOT saying not to try to get a gett when you need one she did NOT say not to do whats in your power to free yourself she is not saying not to help others in need that all goes without saying- and there are dignified ways of helping… she is saying that when you are in a situation with absolutely no way out, or anything you tried has not worked, try to go above your… Read more »

March 23, 2015 8:38 pm

I find it very ironic that those criticizing the author for lack of ahavas yisroel keep saying the woman whose husband refuses to give her a gett has a right to the happiness she will find by re-marrying… what about those of us for whom it was not bashert to marry at all, are we supposed to sit and feel sorry for ourselves and think we have a “right” to be married and have a family and otherwise we can never be happy? I am already an old lady but if I had that attitude I would never have accomplished… Read more »

Reading is Fundamental
March 23, 2015 7:45 pm

I’m surprised at how many of the critics of the article seem to have misread or skipped certain key parts. For example, the writer very specifically said that the ungetted woman SHOULD make efforts to extract herself from the situation. Many writers criticized the author as if she advised women to just remain in bad situations. Many criticized her for lacking compassion, but I took her expressions of compassion at face value. Just because she advises against wallowing in pain and bitterness does not mean she lacks compassion. In fact, the most compassionate response is to help a person develop… Read more »

Great article!! Thanks!
March 23, 2015 7:40 pm

finally someone puts to paper what the silent majority of CH, indeed, of orthodox Jewry, believes. and behold, to no ones amazement, the protesters are shocked – SHOCKED to find out that there those who didn’t march with them are actually aware of their concerns and have an opposing opinion!
Like William F. Buckley observed about the Left, “they say they are for tolerating other points of view, and are then shocked to find out that there are any”…

this is a great attitude to have for YOURSELF!!!
March 23, 2015 7:25 pm

When YOU’RE the one suffering, excellent – have emunah.

but this is not an attitude we take when we see another person suffering! When we see another in pain it is up to us to do everthing we possibly can to help them! We do not sit back and say, well they should have emmunah and accept their situation! That is pure evil!

You’re suggested approach is completely opposite to the Torah way.

This is a discrace and I can’t believe this article was published here.

show some compassion
March 23, 2015 7:19 pm

Telling an agunah not to be upset and complain about not being happily married and to find a hobby or a career instead, is like telling a woman having trouble getting pregnant to stop going to fertility doctors and adopt a kitten instead

This is all neither here nor there...
March 23, 2015 7:10 pm

First of all: A get is only considered “refused” once all matters (custody, financial etc) are settled (in Bes Din or court). Even with secular marriage, a divorce is not granted until after matters are settled, until then the two remain “chained” to each other by law. The same applies halochically. Until matters are settled it is not time to give the get. Divorces in court can and often does take years to complete, especially when there is disagreement, and until such time as all matters are settled, a divorce is not granted. In the majority of “get refusal” circumstances… Read more »

the commentators have it all wrong
March 23, 2015 7:01 pm

this article is right on not like all the commentators seem to think. Aliza does have compassion for the aguna and is trying to help ease their pain . no where in this article will i think she does not care for their suffering etc. and doesn’t think they do everything possible to get their get. she is giving an alternative in case it takes too long or is not been given that get to ease their pain

Perhaps the author
March 23, 2015 6:56 pm

is not aware that along with no Gett there is no Psak and along with no Psak, there is no child support . So even though looking at the sunshine sounds sweet, it is a lot harder to do when basic needs ( including personal dignity ) are a constant struggle.

To 97
March 23, 2015 6:50 pm

Well said! you took the words out of my mouth

i think i understand
March 23, 2015 6:43 pm

But what if your life was horrific with your husband and you divorced and you can’t have more children. and your 48.Can you get re married? Just want to know? I will do Hashem wants me do.

Dear Aliza
March 23, 2015 6:36 pm

I am sure you heard the story of the person that was experiencing a flood in their neighborhood, and boats came by to rescue the family, but they said that they have Emunah in Hashem and he will rescue them. After the family perished, they asked Hashem why they were not rescued by Hashem, the response was that Hashem sent many boats to rescue them! Case in point; we are Hashem’s messengers. Hashem does state in the Torah that a couple can get the divorce, we are not here to judge on anyone’s marriage if it warrants a divorce or… Read more »

We need solutions that help, not harm
March 23, 2015 6:21 pm

Just one reason this article is good is because it’s putting the situation in the proper light and will lead to proper solutions that actually bring resolution to many instead of fanning flames. Rabbi Bolton, A big problem is that rabbis are tested only on kashrus (as is proper) and then speak about gittin without looking in Even HaEzer. I remember once speaking with Rabbi Osdoba and he wondered why shluchim don’t call him to ask about hilchos gittin. Reb Yoel is one of the few magidei shiur who mentions “ad sheyomar rotzeh ani” in its proper context. The Rambam… Read more »

it needs to be in bold and red
March 23, 2015 6:19 pm

barbecue it shows the urgency of this matter!

Free Agunot
March 23, 2015 6:03 pm

I am disappointed that such a misguided and insensitive piece should be posted here.

No woman should be deprived of her freedom to remarry. The insensitivity of the writer to the desires of another woman is insensitive and ignorant.

No man should be able to hold a woman who desires to be free to make her own choices.

Horrible! Totally against Chassidus!
March 23, 2015 5:57 pm

For your own problems you have Emunah, for someone else’s you only have compassion and empathy!!

Important Point To Consider
March 23, 2015 5:55 pm

It is pretty obvious that the that the writer herself was an Agunah, and this is how she dealt with it. She must be a strong woman to have reinvented herself. BUT! Whatever terminology you want to use, a woman who wants a divorce from her husband should get it within a reasonable time frame. We have to realize that the get issue is relatively new as divorces were a rarity just a generation ago. But as we work on strengthening marriages, we must also work on this weakness of the Beis Din being unable to effectuate a get when… Read more »

Agunot are my sisters
March 23, 2015 5:47 pm

This article smacks of the modern-day radical feminism that leaves so many people thinking that Judaism is biased against women. I am a moderate feminist in that I believe in equal pay for equal work, breaking the glass ceiling, and being treated with respect and dignity. But I don’t need feminism to tell me that- I have the Torah. Judaism is a very family-oriented religion. Many of our mitzvot are all about passing Torah and mitzvot to the next generation. When children are born, we say a tefillah asking Hashem to lead them to Torah, CHUPPAH, U’Ma’asim Tovim. Yes, marriage… Read more »

Agunos who may be reading
March 23, 2015 5:45 pm

Please do not take this disturbed rant as representing the views of your fellow yidden. We want the best for you, for your get to be given with dignity and for you to be able to rebuild in the way you choose, including remarriage when you’re ready.
COL should be ashamed of themselves for printing garbage that will undoubtedly cause great agmas nefesh to people who are already suffering.

March 23, 2015 5:34 pm

how could u publish this, wow not letting a person have the right to marry isnt a big issue. it is a big issue.

Naivete Beyond Belief
March 23, 2015 5:28 pm

I wasn’t sure whether to add anything, since the commenters above did such a fine job expressing my views. The author seems to represent what is fundamentally wrong with the Chareidi world: they are still living in the shtetl. For the record: yes, there are manipulative women. And no, not every agunah is my sister. Yes, some women are vindictive; there are husbands, as well as wives, who are suffering from abuse. And no, I don’t support the feminist agenda implicit in yesterday’s march. Divorce is a painful and complicated matter, which must be done properly. However, this author’s simplistic… Read more »

March 23, 2015 5:26 pm

Thank you for writing this article – and showing how empty each of your own arguments are.
This article made me sick to the sthomach and finally convinced me the marchers were 100 percent right. If this is the argument against the march, then the march is totally right!
a shliach

March 23, 2015 5:25 pm

This doesn’t sound like it follows the directives of Torah.
A career is supposed to satisfy a woman?

R kolodny
March 23, 2015 5:09 pm

The writer has many good points. I believe she was writing to women who are in the long process of divorce. Such a woman is not an agunah. Yes, some divorces take years. This does not make such a woman is an agunah. Trying to claim to be an agunah only goes to minimize a true agunah who’s husband truly refuses a get. Not one who intends to give the get congruently with a civil divorce.

Are you kidding?!
March 23, 2015 5:06 pm

I might have thought the same way until I was actually first hand witness to an agunah who was refused a gett. You OBVIOUSLY haven’t been exposed to this ever because your opinion is ridiculously naive and I hope you should never know someone close to you going through this but your disregard for a woman’s right is honestly atrocious. These men who aren’t giving getts are NOT your average loving husband. Most of these men don’t want to let their wives go because they have emotional issues and need to have some control over the situation. I’ve never heard… Read more »

comment 58
March 23, 2015 4:58 pm

You couldn’t have said it better. Its means so much to see the truth put out there.

March 23, 2015 4:53 pm

I can’t believe collive published this as an article. I would like to assume that it was just for controversy of comments as opposed to this shared view. When the marraige is over, every single woman should receive her Get. Every woman/man deserves/needs the freedom to pursue a new relationship regardless of needing parnasah or not. Shame on this author.

March 23, 2015 4:52 pm


if you are not suffering what these women suffer. you cannot judge them or tell them what to do.

the only blessing someone can give is you the author. that you should be in their shoes and then we shall see how you write.

March 23, 2015 4:51 pm

This woman is a genius! By playing down the negative effects of gett refusal and encouraging victims to overcome and thrive despite their situation, she is denying recalcitrant husbands the satisfaction of using get refusal as a weapon against them!

Thoughts from my own experiences and counseling others in touchy situation
March 23, 2015 4:49 pm

Thank you Aliza BasMenachem Eisenberg for having the courage to speak her mind. To you, I say this: Every US President leaves a handwritten note to his successor. Reagan had stationary with turkeys on it and the line “Don’t Let the Turkeys Get You Down.” His note was (going of memory – something to the effect of) “Dear George, There are some days that you will need this stationary.” People suffer and caring people like you encourage what works – dialogue and discussion. Since we’re Jews, bound by Jewish Law, we must follow what it says in Shulchan Aruch EH… Read more »

March 23, 2015 4:45 pm

Very mature, healthy, and Jewish point of view and ikur – thank you, well written and thoughtful. When we stop giving our focus to our self and anger (the fire that consumes) – that we “deserve” and that we’re a “victim” – then we’re truly saying “Shelo asani aved”. Then we can instead defer our emunah to Hashem and ask what does He want us to do or learn. Also, I agree that it may seem “impossible” to “make the marriage work” – when it’s just you, your spouse, and a book on marriage. Hashem sends plenty of malachim and… Read more »

don't agree, BUT:
March 23, 2015 4:43 pm

I don’t agree with most of the author’s sentiments, but I do have to question the rush to remarry. Second marriages are almost never good for the kids, and in my opinion should not be done until the kids are grown and out of the house.

Horrible! Totally against Chassidus!
March 23, 2015 4:39 pm

For your own problems you have Emunah, for someone else’s you only have compassion and empathy!!

to #52
March 23, 2015 4:35 pm

Why have you been denied a gett for 16 months? who asked for the gett in the first place? How much dirt have you thrown at you ex? I dont know the answer to any of these questions but not every devorcee is a agunah but only answering all the above questions and many more can one decide if about an agunah Some one who asks for a gett then smears their spouse with hateful lies then does not not let them see their children then waits for a gett for 16 months IS NOT AN AGUNAH RATHER SHE IS… Read more »

in the name of love
March 23, 2015 4:31 pm

Dear Author. I’m sure in your own very special way you mean well. You do, right? It’s not your fault is it, that you have been misguided and miseducated on what it means to have Ahavas Yisrael. However, we already do have an alternative to dealing with pain and we have a much truer way of having Ahavas Yisrael. It’s called opening up your tehilim and letting those words sore heavenwards. Ahavas Yisrael is not writing an article such as this one. It’s not diminishing the pain and suffering of our sisters because you don’t understand their pain. But, I’m… Read more »

this article is wrong in every way
March 23, 2015 4:29 pm

who are you to judge on how an aguna should lead her life? And fyi, every woman who does not receive a get is an AGUNAH. i am not sure why you think otherwise. p.s every agunah is our sister

This is a joke, right?
March 23, 2015 4:25 pm

Like, no one would actually believe that we shouldn’t advocate on behalf of agunot and that they should just “accept their position” and not bad-mouth their (abusive) husband? Especially given the sanctions that Chazal allowed to make recalcitrant husbands to give a get…

one more small point for one more small point
March 23, 2015 4:25 pm

“how vicious get nowers can be” are you kidding me? do you have a heart! OY MY POOR EYES!

March 23, 2015 4:23 pm

what about all the men stuck in a lifeless marriage?
All the nagging, kvetching, complaining constantly

Married 50 years
March 23, 2015 4:23 pm

Shame on the writer. How dare she expound on what others should feel and do with their lives!! Having never been in an Agunah state where do you get the chutzpah to judge others?
Nobody compelled you to help them….but where is your ahavas yisroel. Especially coming from a married writer, this hard-hearted exposition should have been trashed before publication.

plain truth
March 23, 2015 4:22 pm

great article you hit the nail on the head.
“that they are not real agunahs” .
some people are just bitter, and want to fight with their ex husbands then look to try and make everyone around them look at them and cry abuse

no heart
March 23, 2015 4:22 pm

Shame in you – you are one if the most cold hearted and unkind human beings I’ve had the displeasure to come across. Every person woman or man has the right to be happily married. Family is everything and everyone deserves that happiness. I really pray Hashem teaches you to show kindness to those who are suffering – and I pray that you do not have to Chas v shalom suffer to grow a heart.

March 23, 2015 4:15 pm

Until you are in someone else’s shoes do not judge. Every women that does not receive a get is suffered. Shame on you to talk about Ahavas Yisroel and not care about these women that are alone an struggling to make it work. Do you realize a lot of these women have children and are raising them alone in this community struggling everyday to pay rent food and have basic support? To write such an article and for it to get publish is an embarrassment. To make it clear a women is chained until she receives a get in every… Read more »

so sorry this was printed
March 23, 2015 4:09 pm

Big problem to see remarriage as an obsession. Rebbe always wrote to people and asked them to remarry. People who lost spouses need to remarry. That is torah
This article was written by someone who was never tested in shalom bais. Hashem asks us to not judge. I pray no one should ever have to suffer a divorce. I send love and strength to all those that are suffering. Wishing you all a second chance, a beautiful binyan Adei ad. Don’t pay attention to insensitive people.. love Hashem and your kids
Hashem will wipe away your tears

horrid and horryifying
March 23, 2015 4:01 pm

embarrassed that people in our community think like this person does. This article proves all the more why a march (and much more is needed).

One more small point
March 23, 2015 4:00 pm

The viciousness of the attackers shows
a) the truth of this article
b) how vicious and uncaring the get-nowers can be. Thank you for doing everything that you can to shed light on the problem of people taking a cause and twisting it into destroying marriage (how many decent salvageable marriages did they ruin for the cause of an immediate get with no second thought?) and usually unwarranted parental alienation.

rabbi Bolton
March 23, 2015 3:58 pm

You certainly have a point. We must always make the best of every tragedy and see the treasure hidden in overcoming pain and difficulty. But that is only for OURSELVES! We can never justify, minimize or belittle the pain and suffering of others.
Nor can we have mercy on husbands that refuse to give gets or spare any effort to ‘convince’ them to comply with Torah law….. ad sh’omer ‘rotze ani’.

Dont Judge
March 23, 2015 3:57 pm

Who are you to decide what is pain? !!!! And give comfort to agunahs r”l that there are plenty of unmarried single women. Hashem has created this world that marriage is what brings true fulfillment in the lives of people especially in the lives of Torah Yidden. The only right you have is to
choose a life of solitude for yourself. If you are not in that situation keep your insensitive senseless comments to your

Excellent, Wise, Thoughtful
March 23, 2015 3:54 pm

This was a very well thought out and commendable piece that will hopefully bring Ahavas Yisroel back to many. These are wise words. The people shamefully attacking it and the author just show what it says about the time before Moshiach is revealed. if anyone knew of her personal experience, her personal suffering and her wisdom, they would think twice before attacking.

March 23, 2015 3:52 pm

Dear Aliza Basmenachem,

You’re clearly misinformed and insensitive.

I wish for you that you never understand or know the pain of an agunah and the blatant insensitivity of your words.

March 23, 2015 3:50 pm

Thank you family law attorney you said it so well. These women are definitely Agunot who are married to vindictive creeps who abuse the Holy Torah to destroy their wives lives after they were not able to keep on abusing them at home. The tragedy is that there is not much to do other than beating the Get out of the husbands and that avenue is illegal under secular law.

shamefull article
March 23, 2015 3:43 pm

You are telling woman that are aguna because of some man who has the ability to give a get (unlike the kgb story) to shut up
go to work and forget about ever having a family again is
shamefull, disrespectful at best
this is absolutely not how the Torah teaches us to treat woman
in need of help
very upsetting to see an article like this published

March 23, 2015 3:40 pm

I can’t believe this author. What a ridiculous article. So you are saying that a single woman who can’t obtain a get should just get over it, and occupy herself with work and other projects to find fulfillment. Yes, maybe in the interim she has no choice but to make the best of it and that can mean career or education, etc. but to say that’s it and forget about a partner in life, how insensitive. How would you like it if you were forced to live alone for the rest of your life. Oh just go out and get… Read more »

The purpose of the Kesubah
March 23, 2015 3:40 pm

Is to protect women. Unfortunately since the Beis Din no longer has the jurisdiction to enforce things properly the system is broken, as women are no longer protected as the Torah set out. What is our response as an Umah of Rachamanim? To “look at the bright side?” This is not a Yiddishe attitude, this is an obnoxious, bourgeois and cruel perspective that has no place in Torah. When somebody is suffering our job is not to preach, it is to help our fellow Jew! We must stand up and demand answers, we must not tire until not single Halachic… Read more »

Family Law Attorney
March 23, 2015 3:37 pm

I’m a family law attorney and I find this article to be shameful, at best. The author expressed an opinion – women should not victimize themselves and they should seek fulfillment in their lives outside of the need to find a husband. But this is not the Jewish way nor the frum way. Getting married is a mitzvah for a man; bearing children is a Godly gift that only a woman has the potential to fulfill. Men and women need each other to fulfill this role as spouses and parents of Am Yisroel. For the author to so blankly ignore… Read more »

domestic abuse and violence
March 23, 2015 3:36 pm

We need a major event about domestic abuse and violence in our community. People just don’t get it and need to be made aware of the suffering of people around them. Rabbonim need to be there too. I am shocked that someone would advocate for abused wives to keep quiet and smile and keep enduring the abuse. This is not frumkeit. It is not Chassidish to demean and devalue women. It is not “emunah” and “bitachon” to endure or promote abuse. We should be the first ones, on the frontlines, to end the domestic violence in our community. If unfortunately… Read more »

you've done a good thing
March 23, 2015 3:36 pm

You’ve distracted attention from the march (which people may be uncomfortable/ambivalent about) and back on to the plight of the agunah–which most people are rightfully sympathetic and outraged about.

Don't abandon your women
March 23, 2015 3:29 pm

Chaval. You have a frum education but no rachmonis. You think it is nothing to prevent a woman from marrying for her whole life. Chaval

i agree both ways
March 23, 2015 3:27 pm

yes, agunahs SHOULD NOT think of themselves as these ‘poor poor people’ who have no reason to live. there also does not have to be a huge campaign. But you should still sympathize with them and help them get a gett.

Do we really have the children in mind in this sitauation
March 23, 2015 3:25 pm

It is wonderful to see so many people come together to try an help each other. I have been reading all these articles and there are many points that people have to take into consideration. What if the husband refuses to give a get until the wife (and mother of his children) turns over the kids passports (as she has threatened to run out of the country and not tell him where she is) It’s just a thought… We recently had very close friends that this was the situation and being close with the husband and the wife it took… Read more »

Cannot Even
March 23, 2015 3:24 pm

I could not even finish reading this disgusting article. As a woman who was denied a Get for 16 months I can tell you that there is no way to ‘choose to live as a dignified single woman’. Choice implies that you can choose between 2 options. Women who do not get a Get do not have the choice to be single. They are still married to that person and their Neshama is still intertwined with that person. They are not Single, and free to move on with their lives. They are married without any of the benefits of marriage… Read more »

Caps Lock
March 23, 2015 3:21 pm

What does Caps Lock have to do with this? Maybe they just wanted the sign to be noticeable? That is what may advertisements do.

March 23, 2015 3:19 pm

So are you saying a woman should see the “sunshine” when she can’t remarry? She should focus on her career instead? I am sorry, but that is a lot to ask for.

There is a difference
March 23, 2015 3:18 pm

There is a difference between an agunah that has lost her husband in a war or ,in the case you stated, a hostile government kidnapping him and one being held hostage by a vindictive man either for spite or to blackmail her to give him the children,house,bank accounts,ect. One is a misfortune in life and the other is a vile,evil practice by petty,greedy men that wouldn’t know ahavat Yisoel from spit . Rabbi Hoffman makes it clear that his article deals exclusively with the kashrus of a get obtained by use of extreme force and delves into a debate among… Read more »

this is against halacha
March 23, 2015 3:17 pm

it’s against halacha. Rambam puts a lot of emphasis on the responsibility of the husband to do what’s right and give a get, -which as misguided and illegal as the coercion you mentioned in your article was – is the basis of “forcing” the husband to give a get. “koifin oiso ad sheoimer roitze ani” yes it is important for a woman to do her best to stay positive and have emunah etc. but to say that she essentially just move on is not in line with halacha or emotional reaction. “chachamim hizharu biddivreichem” all the more so if not… Read more »

Current Aguna
March 23, 2015 3:17 pm

If this is a subtle psychological trick to break silence of hundreds of agunas, it is perfectly played. I’ve been chained to a dead marriage for over five years. Yes, I have some wonderful things in my life and I am grateful for them but it doesn’t erase the constant pain of not being able to be free, to give my son siblings, or to maybe find someone who would love me. I also want to point out that an aguna such as myself is MORE chained than the historical aguna whose husband was possibly dead. We both have to… Read more »

March 23, 2015 3:08 pm

What???? Am I really reading that??? A woman doesn’t have a right to desire a husband and intimate relationships?? Who says?? You? Who are you to be so insensitive? This is not what torah is about!!! I have noticed that people who cannot emphatize with other’s people pain…end up getting the same pain….be careful not to “victimize yourself” at that time!

March 23, 2015 3:03 pm

great article you hit the nail on the head.
“that they are not real agunahs” .
some ppl are just bitter, and look to try and make everything around them look that way!

Horrible and insensitive
March 23, 2015 2:59 pm

I cannot believe Collive allowed such an insensitive post space on their website. It honestly has me wondering what type of community I am a part of. This writer is completely dismissive of a basic human need for intimate connection. Yes, a women can choose to do many things besides having an intimate relationship, but none of those things will be the same as having a partner in life to share life’s joys and challenges with. There is a time for emunah and there is a time for action. G-d bless these demonstrators for taking some action against the Gett… Read more »

March 23, 2015 2:57 pm

telling a woman she does not need a man is a slap in the face to hashem. Hashem created us to NEED a happy healthy marriage. We AREN OT COMPLETE untill we are in a happy healthy marriage. If YOU think we can be FINE without a happy healthy marriage, PLEASE take it up with GD, and have Him rewrite Torah to not include such passages showing us that we need happy healthy marriages.

shamefull article
March 23, 2015 2:57 pm

You are telling woman that are aguna because of some man who has the ability to give a get (unlike the kgb story) to shut up
go to work and forget about ever having a family again is
shamefull, disrespectful at best
this is absolutely not how the Torah teaches us to treat woman
in need of help
very upsetting to see an article like this published

to the author,
March 23, 2015 2:52 pm

Your words are perhaps better suited for a group of happy people getting together for a shiur in Emunah and Bitochen, and want to speak about these woman….however for someone that is suffering and lonely like many of the woman spoken about, you sound cold and self righteous.
I Maybe judging you as well for that I am sorry, but please…..people are hurting…..

March 23, 2015 2:52 pm

The author of this opinion piece is advising women who are waiting for a get to walk out the front door and see the sunshine. Really? I find the view represented here simplistic and condescending.

To #28
March 23, 2015 2:50 pm

You are wrong. Women should not be forced to pay huge sums of money to get a gett. They should not be forced to relinquish their rights in the kesuba. Why do we sign a kesubah anyway? We tout how progressive a Jewish marriage is because we have a kesubah that protects women–what a joke!!

Shame on COL for even posting this Ignorance
March 23, 2015 2:49 pm

On so many levels this is wrong.

The writer here seems to be ok with a woman having a career instead of a husband.

She (or he) lacks empathy for even the most basic basic of life’s struggles. Gosh, I feel for the children of this person. G-d help!

March 23, 2015 2:49 pm

It often revolves around custody as well. Fathers who demand full custody in exchange of a gett. That is NOT fair play.

is this a joke?
March 23, 2015 2:46 pm

Why does COL allow someone to post an op-ed like this under a pen-name? It is obviously inflammatory and insensitive, and the author is embarrassed enough by the subject matter that he/she is afraid to put a name down. Why can’t we as a community be more sensitive to the plight of the Agunah, instead of giving voice to an article like this? Meir C

Itta W R (A REAL person, that does actually exist and has a name)
March 23, 2015 2:45 pm

this article promotes abuse towards an already abused person. The ignorance of the relationship that the gett plays between victim and abuser is clearly shown here. I actually don’t believe that Aliza BasMenachem is a real person. Does anyone know her???????

March 23, 2015 2:44 pm

I understand people’s shock and hurt by this op-ed but I think it comes from emotions, not intellect. On an emotional level, these words hurt. They seem insensitive. They seem not to care. On an intellectual level, I believe there is much to appreciate. If I may interpret the writer’s words in a more sensitive way; we look around and see the recent tragedies in our community and others and don’t understand how the people affected can move on. We ourselves have a hard time moving on. But time and again we see the people affected giving US Chizuk, telling… Read more »

So according to your logic...
March 23, 2015 2:44 pm

Someone who’s in an abusive relationships shouldn’t try to get out of it because it’s all Hashem’s Will? I guess the abused woman should be happy that Hashem is giving her a tikkun through getting physically, verbally, and emotionally beaten by her husband.

Thumbs up!!
March 23, 2015 2:41 pm

I have not read such a good piece in years! I wish the whole world had the vision that you have.

Chana Z Weiss
March 23, 2015 2:40 pm

This article is disgusting. I can’t believe someone had the coldheartedness to put these words on paper.

TO #10
March 23, 2015 2:40 pm

#10, custody battles go to the secular court and not related to a gett

March 23, 2015 2:37 pm

# 1 no one but someone looking to nitpick would even notice the typeface.. #2 you are right they are not agunahs…an agunah is one who does not know if her husband is dead or alive. as many of these would WISH their husbands dead nebech, they are not agunot. #3 most of these issues revolve around one thing and one thing only MONEY..any woman willing to walk away without money can get her get in a moment. many times it is the parents/inlaws who are fault too. #4 no one says this is the worst problem in the world,… Read more »

March 23, 2015 2:37 pm

Stop contradicting yourself.

How can you preach ahavas yisrael and write like that?
March 23, 2015 2:36 pm

Seriously you are being mikatreget on beautiful people and you need to do tshuva in a huge way

n huber.
March 23, 2015 2:33 pm

you bring a lot of good points BUT IT IS NOT YOUR PLACE TO TELL OTHERS HOW TO HANDLE THEIR CHALLENGES! I am truly saddened by this article. The march was about ABUSE awareness that these woman have suffered and continue to suffer, and your lack of validation just made each woman suffer all over again! This article to me is the exact equivalent of a random person going over to someone who lost a loved one and telling them “haShem decided their time is up…if you have emunah, you shouldn’t be sad”….no one says that to a person mourning,… Read more »

an agunah for two years
March 23, 2015 2:29 pm

i am a strong woman and live by this advise daily but i still have a right to a gett and the shame is not on the exposure of not getting a gett but on the childrens father not giving the gett

March 23, 2015 2:23 pm

Women in abusive marriages don’t earn money because their husband takes all of it! Women in abusive marriages have no life or freedom because the husband makes her accountable for every step she takes, for every breath she breathes! Women in abusive marriages deserve a way out from their miserable situation, not to have to live with a creep their entire lives! Women in abusive marriages can not speak up because their husbands have also hijacked their voice! Author, whoever you are, you sound completely naïve. Either that or you are raising sons who feel it is their G-d given… Read more »

Don't judge another till you are in his shoes
March 23, 2015 2:23 pm

Do not judge your fellow till you are in his shoes. And tG you are not, (very obviously based on your letter)

Zeldy wilenkin
March 23, 2015 2:21 pm

Omg what are people made up of?
Do they even have a heart?

March 23, 2015 2:20 pm

There are plenty of women who are indeed victims. Victims of abuse whether physical, verbal, emotional and/or financial. Women married to extreme addicts. When these women find the courage to leave a dangerous situation they are indeed victims who deserve the support of the community. It’s not always feasible for a women with children to support herself right off the bat. Who are we kidding, even families with two working parents have a hard time surviving nowadays. And once these women have stabilized their lives they deserve a new happy and healthy marriage with more children if they so desire!

Started off on the right foot..
March 23, 2015 2:20 pm

Then this article went totally off.

Walk in their shoes!
March 23, 2015 2:18 pm

Nobody deserves to be trapped in a marriage they don’t want to be in. You keep talking about emunah…well, what about pru urevu? The sanctity of marriage? The honor of a ketuvah? If anything, this article simply glorifies the secular feministic belief that we don’t need a man to be fulfilled. I’ve never read a more deluded article in my life. We all deserve to be happy. And no, women who want out of an abusive marriage have every right to be heard. You talk about emunah and ahavas yisroel? Love a Jew enough to walk in her shoes and… Read more »

So much support.
March 23, 2015 2:14 pm

Thank you for focusing on the emet of this situation as with any that we find ourselves facing. Everything happens for a reason and may each of us find the strength not to blame others for what is a gift from Hashem.

You should be ashamed of yourself
March 23, 2015 2:13 pm

I am embarrassed for you that you think this was okay to think and vocalize.
You think that a woman who is being held hostage by her husband should focus on her career and so what if she can never remarry – what if shes 25 y.o. and wants to have more children?
and since when is career a thing in this community??

תעודת בטוח
March 23, 2015 2:13 pm

לא מרגישים אהבת ישראל מדבריך הארוכים
?יש לך תעודת בטוח שבת שלך לא תהיה עגונה. .

smells rotten
March 23, 2015 2:13 pm

Something smells rotten in your opinion, Hashem did say if your wife wants a get you should give her. No one would run from a great marriage. Or else there is absolutely a good reason why the husband should withhold the get he has to give it to her. She has the right to remarry.The torah says that he can be forced by all means, until he says רוצה אני. I only agree with you it should be in the proper Torah manner.

For real?
March 23, 2015 2:12 pm

I cannot believe this was actually written by a woman! What female could be so unsympathetic to another to not empathize with them in their ability to move on and create a family with another person, to have children, to find happiness. I’m not usually so shocked by opinions that people feel they need to share, but this takes the cake. To feel the need to sit down and explain in an op-Ed how the agunahs aren’t really agunahs and they should just accept their lot, which isn’t really all that bad if you look at it from an insane… Read more »

Wake up and smell the coffee
March 23, 2015 2:12 pm

I can’t even finish reading ur article!! A guess ur life is just wonderful that u can’t even relate to the concept of abuse!! That’s just unfortunate!!! Go get educated

wow, embarrassed
March 23, 2015 2:11 pm

Embarrassed to live in the same community as you.
Smug, self-righteousness.
This is Ahavas Yisroel? To keep agunahs chained for life? Do you know how many women are trapped with an abusive husband? Your response is to put up and shut up?
I am disgusted.

Oh my goodness
March 23, 2015 2:11 pm

I literally cannot believe what I am reading.

March 23, 2015 2:09 pm

I guess when we all stood on Kingston with signs to free R’ Rubashkin and held signs in caps we weren’t showing ahavas yisroel either….

Totally agree
March 23, 2015 2:08 pm

While many women are really waiting for a get for many years, and they deserve sympathy and support, many women caught in a bitter custody or divorce battle cry “agunah.” They may be suffering, but they are not Agunahs.

Everyone knows that most of these women are not real Agunahs."
March 23, 2015 2:07 pm


March 23, 2015 2:03 pm

so true, so sound, so intuitive, so rite!! thank you!!

I totally agree
March 23, 2015 2:03 pm

Thank you for a bit of perspective. Unfortunately the modern orthodox and so-called “Chabad-lite” are infecting even our own.
besides, why do these women define themselves with this? arent they much more than “victim” or “wife”?
I agree they should fight for their get and they deserve all our love and support, but its not WHO they are, its something they are going through.

March 23, 2015 2:01 pm

I’m sorry but your essay, while possibly well intentioned, is coming from a wrong place. Lo Tov Heyos Haadam L’vado….man is not meant to live alone. And neither are women. Why should a woman not want to remarry? To rebuild? To hopefully build the home that she’d craved the first time round?
I am B”H a happily married woman. I want that for my friends. I want them to taste what a good life can be like.

While I don’t think the campaign is going to achieve much, I have to say this essay is not correct.

March 23, 2015 1:59 pm

very well written and true!!

March 23, 2015 1:57 pm


Are you an agunah?
March 23, 2015 1:57 pm

your article is contemptuous to an extreme. You do not show any empathy or compassion towards them, your only purpose in writing this is to lecture, scold and dismiss.

bless you
March 23, 2015 1:53 pm

there is most certainly a silent majority in most situations
but thank you for breaking the silence
you said it all so eloquently!

this entire fiasco should never have become a “community” issue. It is a private martter and I resent that my children can’t stay innocent because some have a need t share all their private affairs.

thank you for taking the time speak up.

March 23, 2015 1:51 pm