ZC! Great to hear from you!
Dan (PE), Thank you very much for the article, etc.
May you have many blessing and only blessings. I wouldn’t have believed the depravity of some until experiencing it. That said, in a way I’m glad it happened. Please ask if I regret holding out for counseling, etc. I answer no. Marriage is valuable, she saw that I cared, I did what was needed for the kids and we’re able to work better as parents since she knows that I didn’t just walk away. Am working with serious rabbonim to help other who’ve gone through this.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe writes in letters how the largest concentration of darkness today is centered around destroying families. Although I’ve got to say, if you would have told me that the craziest of get-getters would wreak havoc instead of encouraging counseling and resolution I wouldn’t believe it. When she was about to agree to counseling the activists started yelling that that would be “caving” and abandoning “her rights.” Like the crazed abortion crowd, neither her best interest nor the children even factored in when it goes against their loony cause.
All that said, the most important lesson that I could have learned and that can be shared with others is that people should never let their marriages disintegrate.
I could also tell people that in a divorce, harming one’s (ex) spouse, the filing of a false charge as a custody ploy and all the other crazy things that third party activists or even some lawyers do, is terrible and can only harm the kids and one’s self. It affects the person who does these things far more than the ones on the receiving end. In general in life, whatever one does to someone, they’re really doing to themselves, and Torah discusses this in many cases. But when the ex spouse herself doesn’t want to cause harm, and third party activists step in instead, that’s a whole other level entirely.
Yeshiva University (the hotbed for this dangerous activism) is now as full of immorality and perniciousness as the most liberal/secular colleges are. Immorality destroys households (the Gemara and Rashi on Sota 3b talks about this specifically). It also gives them this viewpoint that marriage is irrelevant.
An old friend from high school/seminary reminded me that I had always had something against the modern orthodox. It’s one thing to not follow Torah. It’s a whole other thing to write your own Torah based on social-activism and not know the difference.
When I was 15 I met Moshe Tendler. It was during the time that he wrote a shrieking article against a religious newspaper that didn’t glorify Rabbi Soleveitchik (who the modern-orthodox revered, but who, to his credit, would quite possibly close down Yeshiva University today if he saw how far it’s gone) upon the latter’s passing. Tendler seemed like the most arrogant pseudo-intellectual that I’d ever met and everything a rabbi shouldn’t be. During the Bush presidency he made a fool out of himself and his movement by saying that “they’re trying to ban all this (stem cell) research” after GWB became the first president to fund any and rightly limited it to existing lines/already destroyed embryos. I’m sure that the Democrats couldn’t believe they’d found someone who actually bought their talking points wholesale.
Schachter makes Tendler seem good and is probably the most dangerous person in Judaism today. No wonder Netanyahu, who works well with religious/orthodox Jews but not with the modern orthodox (Bennett), can’t stand them. And it’s interesting to note that while Schachter was threatening Netanyahu for not being strong enough, his RCA was busy criticizing anyone who spoke out against John Kerry. Modern-Orthodoxy is indeed an absurdity that is doing itself in.
We need to stand up for what Hashem wants, for families, for saving marriages, against divorce and for sure against the tactics that lawyers or third party activists employ. There are very good rabbis out there and Rabbi Dovid Eidensohn is doing some amazing work in this regard.
It is my understanding that Religious Zionism is part of the Modern Orthodox spectrum. What is your assessment of it?