Un-Orthodox 'sex life' smear
Brad Hamilton • NY Post
A Jewish woman from Brooklyn says she's fighting a "Scarlet Letter" smear campaign -- against a prominent rabbi who's allegedly slamming her with lies about her sex life.
"He said that I have an underground, sexually promiscuous lifestyle and exposed my kids to it," says Asia Teper, 33, of Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, a fixture in Flatbush and member of the Orthodox Union and Yeshiva Torah Vodaas.
The campaign began about two years ago just as Teper's ex-husband, Shagra Kohn, 34, was becoming ultra-Orthodox, Teper said.
He grew a beard and sidelocks and befriended influential members of the Orthodox community, including Belsky, she said.
The rabbi pleaded for donations for Kohn in a letter in 2007 to Lifestyle, a free magazine that focuses on religious issues and is widely read in observant circles in Brooklyn.
An accompanying article, using pseudonyms for the couple, blasted Teper's "descent into the abyss of immorality."
"Because Lifestyle is a family magazine, we will spare the details of [her] moral descent. Suffice it to say that without regard for her husband or children, she embraced a lifestyle that was, and remains to this day, the very antithesis of a Bas Yisraeli [daughter of Israel] and Aishes Chayil [woman of valor]."
Teper, of Marine Park, said Belsky went to her kids' school and handed out copies of the magazine, making it clear the article was about Teper.
"The school decided I wasn't religious enough, and now they won't talk to me. It's because I was dating someone. I wear pants and shorts when I go out jogging, and I don't cover my hair."
Teper confronted Belsky.
"I went to the rabbi and said, 'I'm just trying to raise my kids.' And he said, 'Your husband is more religious than you.' "
Teper said Belsky and other rabbis have raised thousands of dollars for Kohn, even though her ex has stiffed her out of $30,000 in court-ordered child support, court records show.
Kohn owns a catering company and has filed numerous motions against Teper since she got full custody of the girls, ages 10 and 12, in 2007.
During a deposition he admitted to cheating on his 2005 income taxes, and in July he was arrested for contempt after he yanked the daughters out of an upstate summer camp and disappeared for six days.
The kids were returned unharmed. Kohn is facing charges in Fallsburg, NY.
The couple, who were both born in Israel and came to New York as teenagers, met through friends and were married in a religious ceremony in 1995 and legally in 1998.
Though they are still legally hitched, Kohn remarried in a religious ceremony to his pregnant girlfriend, records show.
Teper, an insurance-claims adjuster, got remarried on Thursday to her longtime fiancé, also in a religious service.
Belsky and Kohn did not return calls seeking comment.
[Hat Tip: Malach Hamovies.]