« Baruch Dayan HaEmet: Aviva Lori | Main | Imprison Rabbi Mordechai Elon, Prosecution Tells Court »

October 10, 2013

FBI Raids In Brooklyn, Monsey, New Jersey; At Least 3 Haredi Rabbis Arrested, Many Others Detained

Haredi handcuffs black suit 2As FailedMessiah.com was the first to report last night, the FBI, often in conjunction with local law enforcement, staged raids in Brooklyn and Monsey on homes, synagogues and yeshivas belonging to haredi rabbis, making at least four arrests and detaining as many as six other people in a Jewish divorce extortion and kidnap ring.

 

Arrests In Brooklyn, Monsey Over Get Extortion
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

As FailedMessiah.com was the first to report last night, the FBI, often in conjunction with local law enforcement, staged raids in Brooklyn and Monsey on homes, synagogues and yeshivas belonging to haredi rabbis.

It confiscated equipment and records.

And now we know it also made four arrests and detained as many as six other people.

In the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, the target was Rabbi Mendel Epstein who, multiple sources told FailedMessiah.com last night, was arrested at approximately 8:43 pm.

In Monsey the main target was Rabbi Martin "Mordechai" Wolmark and Yeshiva Shaarei Torah on Carlton Road.

According to a report today on the Journal News website, at least one additional raid was staged in New Jersey.

ABC News 7 reports that Rabbi Mendel Epstein, Rabbi Martin Wolmark, Rabbi Jacob Goldstein and Ariel Potash were arrested and will be formally charged. As many as six others people were also taken into in custody but may not be charged.

That raid was most likely in Lakewood, home to the largest haredi yeshiva outside of Israel, Beth Medrash Govoha.

The raids and arrests are part of an ongoing investigation into extortion (and, perhaps, money laundering) centered around get (Jewish divorce) extortion.

The investigation is apparently based at the FBI's Newark, New Jersey headquarters.

Epstein, Wolmark and other several other haredi rabbis – allegedly including Rabbi Yisroel Belsky from Yeshiva Torah Vodaas and the Orthodox Union's kosher certification arm – use kidnapping, violence, threats of violence and other illegally coercive methods to force recalcitrant husbands to grant Jewish divorces to their wives who would otherwise be left agunot ("chained;" meaning they would be unable to marry another man or have sexual relations with another man for the rest of their lives – unless the Jewish divorce is granted by the husband).

At least one haredi man previously he was kidnapped by haredim working with this group, beaten and extorted.

However, Epstein – who portrays himself as a champion women – allegedly also helps husbands launder money and hide their assets from their ex- (or soon to be ex-) wives.

ABC News 7 reports that the FBI's investigation shows that for at least the past 20 years, many agunot paid $100,000 each to Epstein and the other haredi rabbis. In exchange, Epstein and the other haredi rabbis would coerce the husband to grant a Jewish divorce, "frequently by hiring armed thugs kidnap the husbands and beat them until they agreed."

 

Related Post: Exclusive – FBI Raids In Brooklyn And Monsey Ongoing; Rabbi Mendel Epstein Arrested.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Considering how this blog tends to lean, I would expect praise and accolades for the behavior of these Rabbis.......true feminists!

Of course the only solution is to amend the law of Jewish divorce to recognize that a woman is not property and that even if the husband does not wish to give a get, the woman can still be freed from her marriage.

Beating people up is a bit primitive. Genius Rabbis that would prefer thuggery to amending the Law to keep up with the civil society.

Pard.....define "civil society."

@bendinai

Had this group been doing this simply out of the goodness of their hearts, you would probably see some sympathy for them (but not their methods), but given that they were administering their beat downs for the low, low price of $100,000 per........

They are thugs - period. This story has nothing to do with feminism or Judaism beyond the fact that the thugs and their victims are Jew - and women.

Keywords here are extortion and money laundering.

Civil Society? Is that a trick question, bendinai? In broad terms, it means a society, such as in America today, in which all people are equal under the law, at least in theory, despite the imperfections. The idea that a man must give a "get" in order for a woman to be free, but it is O.K. to make him give that release through beatings is barbaric and uncivil. It is also an insult to the concept of a loving god to think that such behavior is preferable to some simple amendment to the law of divorce that would deal with the reality of modern day women no longer being property.

Keywords here are "$100,000".

Those Rabbis should be charged with attempted murder. Anyone who has ever actually fought knows that physical violence can easily become lethal. A beating is not a surgical procedure and it can easily cause death.

Perhaps the folks that look up to these leaders as suitable teachers of a tradition should question that assumption when the leaders have such awesome lapses in judgement.

Even those die hard traditionalists that will never dream of making men and women equal under the marriage law must recognize that attempted murder is not reasonable approach to divorce dispute.

LAC –

I did not use that 5TJT story or report on it then because I knew Epstein was a mafioso thug.

@ Rebitzman.....darn you for letting the cat out of the bag!

@ Pard....not a trick question, but you did step into it. "it means a society, such as in America today, in which all people are equal under the law, at least in theory, despite the imperfections." Being a former civic activist, and currently working in law enforcement, all you are actually offering is "theory," as very little of your definition is true in the actual execution. Torah law is real and "in the hood" so to speak. Also, you are trying to address a timeless and universal issue using American society as a guide point; and that is extremely narrow minded.

+++Torah law is real and "in the hood" so to speak. Also, you are trying to address a timeless ...Posted by: bendinai+++

yes, torah is the REAL thinking of men 2500 years ago. and we now see parts of it for what they are : cruel, barbaric and inhumane.

Agree with APC. Cruel, barbaric, inhumane to allow the torture of men to unwind a marriage and the enslavement of women in marriage.

I wish you well bendinai, but to embrace the traditions inherent in Jewish divorce law, you will just have to rely on your Faith to reconcile the obviously troubling issues with morality. There is no reasonable argument in defense of that tradition other than Faith, right or wrong, trumps basic human morality.

Many years ago, I asked a Rav/Dayab about physically coerced gets. He answered that there are shailahs as to their validity.

Hey, I know a few "families" in New Jersey who would "off" the dude for far less than $100K. Seems like a more permanent solution.

Just sayin'...

Luke.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

----------------------

FailedMessiah.com is a reader supported website.

Thank you for your generous support!

----------------------

----------------------

----------------------

Please Scroll Down Toward The Bottom Of This Page For More Search Options, For A List Of Recent Posts, And For Comments Rules

----------------------

----------------------

Recent Posts

----------------------

Tip Jar

Gelt Is Good!

Tip Jar

FailedMessiah.com is a reader supported website. Please click the Donate button now to contribute.

Thank you for your generous support!

Tip Jar

Gelt Is Good!

Tip Jar

-------------------------

Comment Rules

  • 1. No anonymous comments.

    2. Use only one name or alias and stick with that.

    3. Do not use anyone else's name or alias.

    4. Do not sockpuppet.

    5. Try to argue using facts and logic.

    6. Do not lie.

    7. No name-calling, please.

    8. Do not post entire articles or long article excerpts.

    ***Violation of these rules may lead to the violator's comments being edited or his future comments being banned.***

Older Posts Complete Archives

Search FailedMessiah

Lijit Search

----------------------

FailedMessiah.com is a reader supported website.

Thank you for your generous support!

----------------------

----------------------

----------------------

FailedMessiah.com in the Media

RSS Feed

Blog Widget by LinkWithin