Volume 23 Number 72
                       Produced: Thu Apr 18 23:30:24 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aguna Issue and Orthodox Woman
         [Cathleen London]
         [Steve Reichman]
         [David Simen]
Forced Get (2)
         [Avraham Husarsky, Michael J Broyde]
Makeup empowering?
         [Joshua W. Burton]
Skirts and Makeup
         [Esther Kestenbaum]
Slit Skirts and Makeup
         [Rena Freedenberg]
Slits in skirts, male chauvanists, etc.
         [Elisheva Schwartz]
Tzniut and Men's Ties
         [Louise Miller]


From: Cathleen London <londonc@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 1996 15:56:01 -0700
Subject: Aguna Issue and Orthodox Woman

Heather Benjamin wanted to know if she was the only Orthodox Woman who
cared about her sisters.  She is not.  Tara Cazaboun states that she
voted with her feet, and joined the Conservative movement.

I am an Orthodox woman who cares about the Agunah situation, I used this
issue (amongst others) to keep me from orthodoxy for a long time.  Much
of that has changed for me, and I do consider myself orthodox, but I
don't always have the time to answer - and besides, Heather, I don't
have anything new to add to the discussion!

For myself, I added a clause to our ketubah that obviates agunah (not
that I ever intend to need it!)

-Chaya London
Resident, Family Medicine
Oregon Health Sciences University


From: <stever@...> (Steve Reichman)
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 96 06:25:12 IDT
Subject: Agunah

 I have been lurking on this list for a couple of months. This is my
first post because I had nothing constructive to add. A month ago , the
issue of agunah was raised. Maybe 3-4 responses were elicited. I have
watched issues being discussed here from heavy philosophy to the
trivial, but until now, nothing on this painful issue. Men - "rachmanim
bnei rachmanim " - where are your hearts? A battered woman writes
anonimously , another woman is told by the bet din to shut up so her
bully husband can remarry , this causes only a little ripple of replies
here. Every man who read this and didn't reply(myself included) SHOULD
BE ASHAMED OF HIMSELF. These women are not only abused physically and
mentally, they are then abused by all of us by our INDIFFERENCE.
 I know, I have a 35 year old sister in Brooklyn with 5 children with
the same problem. Do you know what it is for my parents, both Holocaust
survivors ,to have to see this "nachas" on a daily basis? There isn't a
phone conversation when my mother doesn't cry bitterly about her.
 As far as forcing a get, after considerable hassles,she finally had a
psak from a very reputable beis din 3 years ago.Big deal ! Who's going
to enforce it?
 Everything Alana Suskin amd Heather Benjamin wrote is true. But if
there is no public protest and outcry , nothing can change. The Orthodox
rabbinate has so far failed miserably to help these women and only
public pressure will force them to action. Steve White's comment about
this being the ultimate chumrah is most valid.  Worse,people like Tara
Cazaubon are being driven out of Orthodoxy or forced to live " lo al pi
 Steve Reichman


From: <dcs@...> (David Simen)
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 1996 17:31:57 +0500
Subject: Apology

In a recent posting (my first to mail.jewish), I spoke ill about another
poster, suggesting that the possibility of his holding back on a get was
an issue in his recent divorce.  This was not a necessary addition to
the rest of the posting.

The original poster has contacted me and stated that there was no such
issue in his divorce.  He asked why I did not contact him before making
my statement.

I am making a public apology: to the poster, for writing negative
statements and further for doing so without even communicating with him,
and to the mail.jewish readership for subjecting them to my l'shon

I have also communicated my apologies to the poster directly.  I pray that
he will be able to bestow s'liha on me.

David Simen


From: <hoozy@...> (Avraham Husarsky)
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 96 18:02:28 msd
Subject: Forced Get

>	In sum, a woman who turns to beit din for a get, and receives an 
>order from beit din mandating that she recieve a get (which is not 
>given) is not only an agunah, but is allowed to use remediees that include 
>coercion to FORCE the giving of a get.  Others, who do not turn to beit 
>din, may NOT use coercion and if they do, such produces a get me'useh, a 
>void coerced get and is also behaving improperly.
>	However, a wealth of halachic sources can be put forward 
>to support the proposition that any time the marriage is over and the 
>couple has no interest in remaining married, a get should be written and 
>the couple divorced.  One who withholds a get when they have no hope of 
>reconcilation is behaving improperly.
>Rabbi Michael Broyde

Paragraph A contradicts Paragraph B.  one can only be considered
"withholding" if they are ordered to by a beit din.  this will only
happen if the woman turns to a beit din.  basically what you are saying
in the second paragraph is that in a case where a woman turns to the
secular court the husband, acc. to certain halachic sources, should be a
nice guy and give the get anyways b/c the marriage is dead, and should
do this despite the possibility of a long protracted court case which
will certainly take the guts out of both parties, BUT that according to
other sources, this get is meusah.  the only way out of reasoning this
conclusion is to claim that pressure from the secular court system
doesn't render it meusah.  there are numerous poskim to the contrary.

basically, IMHO, if a woman turns to the secular courts and refuses to
adjudicate in the beit din, as long as the husband wants to do it in the
beit din she can't claim agunah status, even if the marriage is dead
from a relationship perspective.

Name: Avraham Husarsky         
E-mail: <hoozy@...>, ahuz@netvision.net.il

From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 1996 21:24:20 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Forced Get

One writer, in the course of discussing a problem of coerced get, states:

> BTW, the minchas yitzchak (dayan weiss) ruled that in a case where
> a woman who goes to the "ercaos" (civil courts) and then receives
> a get, the get is meusa.  

Although I am not a talmid of Rav Weiss, and thus am only familiar with
his published works, and not other opinions, I suspect that this
assertion is completely mistaken.  A close examination of the two
teshuvot that Rav Weiss published on the problems of get meuseh -- a
coerced get -- (found in Minchat Yitzchak 8:136 and 137) indicates that
the only case that he thought was a problem was when there was a penalty
provision in the civil divorce decree mandating the giving of the get,
or some other clear financial penalty imposed on the husband if he does
not give a get or related to the giving of the get.
	Even in such a case, a close examination of the teshuva (136)
indicates that Rav Weis was uncertain if the resulting get is void or
not, although he certainly thought that such was problematic (see
teshuva 137).
	One must be exceeding careful in these areas to summarize the
halacha correctly.  In my opinion, Rav Weiss maintained that there was a
significant halachic problem when a secular court ordered the giving of
a get, or otherwised used its authority to compel the giving of a get.
Mere attendance in secular court to settle the financial matters related
to divorce -- even if the asset division is different than the one
halacha would produce -- does not lead to a situation of get meusa
according to Rabbi Weiss.  

Rabbi Michael Broyde


From: <jburton@...> (Joshua W. Burton)
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 96 11:52:04 -0500
Subject: Makeup empowering?

I guess it depends on the styles with which one grew up.  People like
Mary Kay and Tammy Faye What's-her-name tell us that makeup makes them
feel good about themselves, empowers them as women, and so on, and I have
no reason to disbelieve them.  But all of my female friends from college
who were unfortunate enough to leave academia and have to find jobs in
the real world discovered that their MALE bosses required them to wear
makeup (which most of them would rather dip their faces in banana custard
than put on, if they had a choice) because WOMEN (never men) look more
`professional' when they are wearing makeup.  Never mind the fact that
eighty years ago there was only one `profession' in which women wore
makeup---as I said, standards vary with time and place.  My point is 
simply that it's hard to see how a women's dress code, mandated by men
without considering the women's taste and personal comfort, can really
be empowering to women.

   Why do they have |==========================================================
interstate highways |    Joshua W. Burton     (847)677-3902     <jburton@...>
in Hawaii?          |==========================================================


From: Esther Kestenbaum <kesty@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 96 09:22:16 PDT
Subject: Skirts and Makeup

I think that the entire airing of the skirts and makeup issue represents
a severe deterioration in the quality level of mail jewish. Most truly
serious jews don't give a hang about this stuff, and I'll bet ten to one
that what we really have here is a lot of guys and gals corresponding
with each other about legs, skirts, sex, flirtation, seduction, sexual
tension and attraction etc in the name of tznius.  Get a life folks! Or
better yet, a date!

Esther Kestenbaum


From: Rena Freedenberg <free@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 1996 08:50:39 +-300
Subject: Slit Skirts and Makeup

This is in response to Yisroel Rotman's comments:
<Question: why is everyone worried about the impropriety of a
<slit in a skirt below the knee, yet we don't worry about makeup
<(which is also designed to attract men's attention - hence the
<adjective "attractive")

There seems to be a vast amount of confusion about the issue of what
tzniut requires.  Tznius does NOT require women to appear ugly, chas
v'sholom, or to feel badly about themselves.  Actually, just the
opposite.  What dressing in a tzniut manner IS, is dressing in a way
that does not attract improper attention.  In other words, a slit is
like an open door, or an invitation to look at what is behind the slit;
makeup is generally not attention-getting unless it is not put on
properly, and then it is likely to receive negative attention in any
case.  Makeup is worn to make the wife look beautiful in her husband's
eyes, and is encouraged by chazal, not discouraged.  Jewish women are
princesses of Hashem, the King (Hashem loves us as a father, and the
daughter of a King is a princess) and therefore appear in public in
dignified dress.  The way that we explain it to our young children is
that when you see a picture of a mortal king or queen, you see him/her
in his/her royal dress; you would never see a picture of a King in his
underwear!  If mortal royalty is always dignified, how much more so
should we be as the children of the King of Kings.  We are the
representatives of Hashem and thus must always remember that we are the
children of the King and must dress appropriately.  What is appropriate?
 That which draws attention to our neshama and our words, not what we
are wearing.  Since it is very difficult in these times not to be very
confused by the (secular and goyish) world around us, guidelines have
been printed by the Gedolei HaDor as to which things are appropriate and
which are not.
 To list them would make this post much too long, however for those who
want them they are available.

---Rena Freedenberg


From: Elisheva Schwartz <yivo5@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 1996 09:02:54 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Slits in skirts, male chauvanists, etc.

Dear friends--
I have become increasing uncomfortable the the angry tone of some of the 
responses on the skirts, makeup and gittin issues.  I am a divorced 
woman, who comes from a secular background and has also been bothered at 
times by the behavior of individual Orthodox men. Be that as it may, I 
find the mud-slinging about men and Orthodoxy to be uncalled-for.  Hey 
folks, we're on the same side!  Yes, we're all human, and can behave in 
less than angelic ways, but I think that we have to assume (le-khaf 
zechus) in a forum such at this that we are all yirei shomayim and really 
do want to do what is right in the eyes of hakodosh baruch hu.  
   On the issue of tznius I think that there has been a basic 
misunderstanding of where it is "coming from."  Tznius is "das 
yehudis"--observances that _women_ have taken upon themselves.  I, 
personally, do not try to dress or act in  zniusdike way because of men, 
but rather out of self-respect.  Yes, I do what I do because it is the 
way of religious Jewish women since forever, but I also have found it to 
be very liberating not to feel on the meat rack the way I used to .  
(Face it, men--religious or not, Jewish or not--are going to give a 
non-tzniusdike woman a lot more unappreciated attention.)  I, for one, 
don't enjoy that.  So I sew up the slits in my skirts--rather than 
feeling put-upon it gives me a feeling of kedusha--as does znius in 
general.  To get to this point has taken a lot of working on myself and a 
major change of mindset--but it's really worth it.  
  In these days before matan Torah may we all be zoche to rise to new 
spiritual heights and understanding.

Elisheva Schwartz 


From: <miller@...> (Louise Miller)
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 96 09:57:55 PDT
Subject: Tzniut and Men's Ties

There is a disturbing trend in the frum community for men's ties to
become more and more colorful and extravagent.  I have personnally seen
frum men wearing ties with silly pictures and attention-grabbing colors.
Even married men seem to wear these types of ties with wild abandon.
Women, ESPECIALLY in shul, are subjected to these ties, which seem to
serve no other purpose than to attract their attention away from more
serious matters.

If the above diatribe sounded silly, imagine how the slit and makeup
thread sounds.....

Louise Miller (who once bought her husband a magenta tie!  Imagine
that,even after we were married!)


End of Volume 23 Issue 72