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An Affront To Rabbinic Autonomy

29 Tammuz 5772 – July 18, 2012
Many years ago when I was helping my congregation write a new constitution, I submitted a first draft to an expert who had been involved in setting up new shuls. One paragraph read, “All matters of halacha (Jewish law) will be determined by the congregational rabbi.” Pretty straightforward, I thought.

Getting Serious About Get-Refusal

22 Tammuz 5772 – July 11, 2012
It’s human nature to hide our heads in the sand. That may be because we are mostly optimistic. We believe everything will be all right even when we know we are taking a chance.

Will Your Children Sign a Halachic Prenuptial Agreement?

12 Tammuz 5772 – July 1, 2012
When I recently wished a friend “Mazal Tov” on his daughter’s engagement, I broached the issue of prenuptial agreements in accordance with Jewish law. My friend, a rosh yeshiva, turned to me and said, “Of course they’re signing one. People who don’t sign halachic prenuptial agreements are stupid.”

Demonstrations And Remonstrations On Agunah Day

7 Adar 5772 – February 29, 2012
Those who are subjected to emotional suffering tend to be kept out of society's line of sight. All the more so when society is either the cause of the suffering or can alleviate it and does not do so.

Unchaining The Agunah Problem

3 Tevet 5772 – December 28, 2011
In producing "Women Unchained," a daring yet dignified film about women who can’t get a get – a Jewish divorce – filmmakers Beverly Siegel and Leta Lenik have done Jewish society a favor.

Standing Idly By

9 Kislev 5772 – December 4, 2011
Presumably, almost all the readers of this publication are Orthodox Jews – those that pride themselves on serving G-d through fulfilling His commandments. Keeping in mind the rabbinical edict, "A mitzvah that comes your way—don't miss it!" (Rashi, Bavli Megillah 6b), it would behoove the readers to know that an oft-missed mitzvah has come their way.

Recognizing Shame On International Agunah Day

3 Adar II 5771 – March 9, 2011
It began in the United States with the Yiddish newspaper the Forward in the first half of the 20th century. The galeriye fun farshvundene mener (gallery of vanished husbands) appeared regularly, listing names and photos of men who had disappeared leaving their wives as agunot, chained to a Jewish marriage. The Jewish Press followed in the latter decades of the century, launching its own weekly seiruv list.

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