U.S. Congressman Embroiled in Tamar Epstein Divorce Controversy

A grassroots campaign continues against Aharon Friedman, who has refused to give Tamar Epstein a Jewish writ of divorce.

More than 100 protesters in 2010, demanding that he give his former wife, Tamar Epstein, a Jewish writ of divorce, known as a get.

Two years later, Friedman still has not given the get. On Thursday night Epstein participated in a panel at Yeshiva University in New York, called “Fighting the Agunah Crisis." The discussion was streamed live online starting at 7 p.m.

[Get daily and breaking news email updates by signing up for free newsletters from Wheaton Patch.]

Without the get, Epstein’s religious status as an agunah prohibits her from remarrying or even dating within the Orthodox Jewish faith, even though her civil divorce from Friedman was finalized in 2010.

In the past few months Friedman’s employer, U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, has come under increasing pressure from the Jewish community, led by the New York-based Organization for the Resolution of Agunot. More than 5,000 people have signed a Change.Org petition calling for the Michigan congressman, who chairs the Ways and Means Committee, to “stand firmly against this abuse of women's rights by issuing a public statement condemning all forms of domestic abuse, including the refusal to issue a Get.”

Epstein’s supporters bombarded Camp’s official Facebook page in February, and his office subsequently disabled the public posting feature without giving a reason, Politico reported.

The Huffington Post reported in October that Camp had dismissed the matter as “gossip." Camp declined to comment for the Politico story.

What do you think? Should Rep. Dave Camp take any action? Tell us in the comments.

Norville Rogers March 30, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Yawn. Write something that people care about.
Mr CDT2 March 30, 2012 at 02:23 PM
I do not think employers should get involved in the personal family matters of their staff, such as a divorce. Even more strongly, however, I do not think Members of Congress in their official capacity should be involved in religious matters. This crosses the line separating church and state. Lastly, I just don't get how a member would choose to be bound to rules and power structures that disrespect the member. Declare them irrelevant, make peace with God, and associate with those who respect you. It is hard to have much sympathy for Ms. Epstein's crusade to make orthodoxy respectful of women's rights. Orthodoxy, by definition in any religion, does not place a high value on the rights and independence of women. Furthermore, social justice is not the goal of religion that must explain the mystery of God's justice that rains on the good and the evil alike.
JEP March 30, 2012 at 03:43 PM
This is a form of domestic abuse, even though it involves religion, it is a form of emotional abuse. Mr. Friedman is manipulating his religion to abuse Ms. Friedman, and the congressman should be sympathetic to a suffering individual.
jnrentz1 March 31, 2012 at 12:02 PM
What Congressman Camp needs to do is release HR2885, the E-Verify bill, so the bill can go to the House floor for a vote. Come on Congressman Camp, quit stalling.
Avi B. March 31, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Dan Thompson argues that "social justice is not the goal of religion." I don't know what religion Thompson is referring to, but in mine, we hold sacred the words of the Deuteronomist, when discussing the role of judges and officers of the government: "Justice, Justice shall you pursue so that you shall live and inherit the land that the Lord your God gives to you." Let us hope that Dave Camp wishes to inherit the mantle of justice that is befitting an officer appointed by his people to represent them in government.
Michelle S April 01, 2012 at 11:17 AM
While in many cases it may make sense for an employer not to meddle in the personal matters of their staff, let's not forget that this staffer is a public servant whose salary is paid with US tax dollars. As such, he deserves to be held to a higher standard. This behavior is indicative of a person who is lacking compassion and is highly vindictive. , among other negative traits. If I were a member of Congress, I certainly wouldn't want to be associated with a person who is publicly being shamed for posessing those characteristics...


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »