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ex-ultra-Orthodox Jewish women calls religion a cult Dr.Phil


camdendayton
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On Dr. Phil tomorrow:

 

[quote name=from http://drphil.com/shows/]Pearl, a mother and wife-turned-model, says for six years she was trapped in an abusive, arranged marriage within an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, and now — five years removed from the community and battling for custody of her four children — she's speaking out. Pearl says past attempts to leave her husband were looked down upon, and fear of retaliation and losing her children kept her quiet for years. Are her worst fears about to come true? Now under fire from her former community for her new lifestyle, which includes wearing pants and acting in a manner the community considers inappropriate, will she lose her children? While she says she hasn't abandoned her Orthodox beliefs, Pearl says she won't conform to what she describes as its "cult-like" behaviors. Her boyfriend, Shauly, who also left that community, says he was forced to leave a child behind. Hear Dr. Phil's message to Pearl and to the father of her children. Plus, Orthodox rabbi, best-selling author and spirituality expert Shmuley Boteach and parents within the Orthodox community weigh in.

 

Edited by OnceUponATime
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She's getting a drilling on Failed Messiah. She was a member of the Samtar community in particular.

Thanks for the info! i'll be looking that up later if i get a chance.

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Failed Messiah is criticizing Deborah Feldman, not this lady.

IIRC, the issue was that she agreed to religious arbitration of the custody issue. In plain English, she signed an agreement saying that instead of going to court, she and her husband would have panel of rabbis, known as a Beit Din, decide the family law issues instead, and that their decision would be legally binding. The Beit Din gave custody to the father, and she is now asking the secular courts in New Jersey to overturn the Beit Din. She can claim that the Beit Din's decision was blatantly wrong even according to its own rules, or she can claim that she entered the arbitration agreement under duress, or she could even make a claim that the court has an inherent right to overturn a decision which is not based upon the best interests of the children.

Then, there's a separate issue as to how to determine what the best interests of the children are. Secular courts are not permitted to favor one religion over another, but they can consider how a particular child would be affected by a radical change from the religious background in which they were raised.

I'll be following the case, (and maybe asking some New Jersey family lawyers that I know about it).

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She did a good job of making her case, all things considered. However,that Rabbi Shumely is such a smug, sanctimonious twit. He actually accused her of being an Anti-Semite. He about lost his shiz a few times. You could just see the outrage at a mere woman talking about religious abuse. He can suck it.

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Just randomly turned on Dr. Phil...which I haven't seen in years, and this show is on. Just watching it now. Go Pearl!!! Her story seems to be pretty common in the frum community.

Also, I've read Shmueley's stuff before & really enjoyed it. It was very inspirational & spiritual, but to hear him speak on this issue....first, he looks like he's parroting the party line word-for-word. Secondly, he sounds like a total dick without an ounce of sympathy for Ruth.

Shmueley: "I am so sorry for your experience..."...as he continuously talks over Ruth. He's not even listening to her at all. Ugh! This guy disgusts me!! Schmuley seems to throw anti-semitism around left, right & centre when faced with Ruth's criticisms of the orthodox community. I thought questioning Torah was central to Judaism. This rabbi seems to have forgotten all about it when it comes to women. ARRRGH!!!! I'm annoyed!

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I appreciate the need to have a Rabbi on the panel but I wish they would have started the show with just Pearl.

Pearl's boyfriend explained how arranged marriage at 17 or 18 and having kids keep you in line, so that when you wake up (meaning decide you don't want to be in the community anymore) you can't get out.

Then Pearl discussed how it was important for her to leave to take care of her kids' mother. Then she talks about how the Rabbis in her community scared her into agreeing to being bound by a Rabbinical court decision.

Then the rabbi speaks. He doesn't address any of what Pearl said but instead jumps into his attack on her as being anti-Semmetic basically (from what I can tell) only because she is airing the dirty laundry of a Jewish community on national television. Then he says what was done to Pearl and BF were not Jewish.

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I appreciate the need to have a Rabbi on the panel but I wish they would have started the show with just Pearl.

Yes, I wish they'd done that. Also, I didn't think they made a distinction between regular Orthodox Judaism and the way out kind she was in. They really are like 2 different religions. That rabbi didn't seem to be familiar with the community she had been in.

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She is clearly making the point that the problem is not the religion but the people in the community. Rabbi Shmueley says he would like to talk to Pearl's parents. I think that would be great.

She clearly explained how women are marginalized to keep them from leaving the community.

Then there was a lot of quick back and forth that I'm having trouble summarizing...

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Pearl is now claiming that everyone in various NY and NJ towns deal with what she dealt with. That seems like a stretch to me.

I'm going to watch the rest of this Mon when they rerun it here. Time to get back to real life!

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That rabbi didn't seem to be familiar with the community she had been in.

What community was she a part of? Was she Satmar? If so, I'd be surprised if Rabbi Shmuley hadn't heard of them. He started out as a Lubavitcher himself, so I'd think he has a good knowledge of Hasidism. Even if it's a more obscure group, I bet he would know; whatever you think of Shmuley, he knows a lot.

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She's getting a drilling on Failed Messiah. She was a member of the Samtar community in particular.

The Satmars are not only total whackjobs, but also major scammers, from both government programs and private insurance. A huge chunk of the community is on some sort of government welfare. They set up jobs for members, particularly women whose husbands are perpetual full-time Torah/Talmud students, and make sure that the hours and pay are just a hair below the limit to qualify that particular family for welfare benefits. Some years back, there was also a lot of publicity about their medical insurance fraud schemes, in which one family will carry insurance and the community doctors will treat children from a bunch of other families and falsify insurance claims to make it look like the patient was from the insured family. And then there are all the times the police and ambulances have had to be called to break up fights and cart off the wounded from fights that break out between rival Satmar factions -- one of these brawls broke out when members of one faction literally invaded the synagogue of the other faction DURING WORSHIP SERVICES, and was only brought under control by a police department riot squad, with a couple dozen of the brawlers getting arrested. And they went apoplectic when the NYC Health Department tried to put a stop to a certain detail of their circumcision rituals, after 3 cases of neonatal herpes (one fatal, and one resulting in permanent brain damage) were traced to an infected mohel (ritual circumciser) -- it is absolutely non-negotiable that the mohel must suck the blood off the just-circumcised infant's penis with his mouth. Seriously, these people make the hardest-core ATIers look like nice, sensible, upstanding citizens.

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What community was she a part of? Was she Satmar? If so, I'd be surprised if Rabbi Shmuley hadn't heard of them. He started out as a Lubavitcher himself, so I'd think he has a good knowledge of Hasidism. Even if it's a more obscure group, I bet he would know; whatever you think of Shmuley, he knows a lot.

It was somewhere in NJ IIRC, but as far as what I saw I don't think they got more specific than that.

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Who forced these people to leave their kids? Until there's a court order, they had the right to take their kids when they left. What's working against them is they chose to leave the kids behind.

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Is it just me or was the issue of Orthodox vs. Ultra-Orthodox COMPLETELY ignored during the show? It almost felt like any discussion of the difference was edited out. I understand that Schmuley (sp?) was speaking of Orthodox beliefs/doctrine but it is fairly common knowledge that the ultra-Orthodox communities are distinct. (Hello?? Oprah specials recently on Hasidism??)

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Who forced these people to leave their kids? Until there's a court order, they had the right to take their kids when they left. What's working against them is they chose to leave the kids behind.

I haven't seen the show, but it's very possible their lives were in danger.

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