Women of the Wall did not decide to pray on [Religious Affairs Minister Naftali] Bennett’s sun deck (“A Kotel Platform for No One?” Oct. 25). We decided to negotiate with the government on the creation of a third section at the Kotel. This section will have to accommodate our women’s-only prayer group as well as egalitarian services.
When it comes to politicians meddling in people’s religious lives, the answer should be clear: Don’t do it! Neither members of Congress nor congressional staffers should be pressuring any individuals to adhere to any particular religious code. As obvious as that seems, sometimes it gets more complicated, as the case of Aharon Friedman reminds us. Friedman is a staff member in the office of U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, a Michigan Democrat. Friedman also is an Orthodox Jew in the midst of a messy divorce. Actually, from a civil standpoint, the divorce is over. According to the state, Friedman’s marriage to Tamar Epstein was terminated last April. Jewish law, however, says the couple is still married as Friedman refuses to give his wife a get, or a Jewish bill of divorce.
Rabbi Emanuel Rackman, a leading Orthodox thinker and an early champion of women's rights, died Dec. 1 in New York. He was 98.
The rhetoric on agunot contrasted sharply from that on other topics at the conference, where a sense of confidence bordering on the triumphant prevailed, owing to the substantial progress made in the decade since JOFA's founding.
Rachel R. endured three years of humiliation while seeking a civil divorce from her physically abusive husband in Iran during the late 1980s. Rachel, who asked that The Journal not use her real name, is now 52 and living in Los Angeles. But her divorce nightmare continues more than 20 years later.
When Rabbi Hagai Batzri remarried, on Feb. 5 in Los Angeles, his first wife, Luna Batzri, still hadn't received a get from him, a Jewish divorce.