No Daat and Less Torah Part I
I love the character assination that takes place around the Agunah issue. I am accused of being on ORA’s payroll, well I’m not. Accused being a part of the Epstein family(again wrong). Accused of trying to make a parnassa off of being a descendant of Rav Yaakov Abuchatzeira(have you seen my apt?). All of this is rediculous, as some of you who have contacted me for tikkunim and tefilot can attest.
Yes I do have vague memories of Tamar Epstein from when I was a mashgiach at the local kosher grocery, which was a part of the Safeway Food chain. Honestly I didn’t much care for most of the people in that particular community, mostly because they did their level best to get us mashgichim fired for any perceived slight. I was actually suspended for two days once for refusing to sell non-kosher chicken livers. It actually brought the matter to such a head that the kashrut organization pulled the hekhsher until I was permitted to return to my job. So any memories I have of the folks in Lower Merion, let’s just say that they are not fond ones.
So why do I speak out on this issue? Because no matter how I personally feel about another Jew(and honestly I do strive to love every Jew, even those I don’t fondly remember) I find it an affront to see one publicly smeared. It would be one thing if there were actual proof that any of the stuff that is being said about her and her divorce situation were true, then it would be more akin to setting the record straight. However, instead we are given just out and out distortions and fabrications. For instance on the “Daat Torah” blog we are given an excerpt from one of Tamar’s private journal’s that reads thus:
Why I love/like Aharon/what I respect:
respect: shmiras halashon
loyalty – I can trust will always be at my side when crises
makpid on kashrus and davening
idealistic – can also be tiresome/absurd
loving/sweet/ affectionate/gentle to me
lets me spend money – equal share
open/honest/real to me
doesn’t pressure me to go back to work
appreciates me – taking care of baby etc.
This is then used to “prove” that Tamar was in a perfectly happy marriage from which she simply decided to flee.
Here’s the problems with that. First we are given no context for this journal entry. After 10 yrs in the Rabbinate, and more time than that as a counselor, I have seen numerous battered women who, if you were to open up their journals, you would find similar things written, especially from the courtship phase of their relationship. In fact, I know personally, one woman who was repeatedly severely beaten by her husband, at times requiring hospitalization, who if you asked her to journal why she was staying with her husband, would have written a fairly complimentary list. He was a great guy, except except when he was beating her with a tire iron.
I would expect someone who has a PhD in Psychology to know this, and thus know if they are going to use a journal entry like this, for it to be anything more than just a smear campaign, context has to be given. I am baffled as to why a blog that calls itself “Daat Torah” would do otherwise.