In the Orthodox Jewish community, if a woman hopes to remarry within the Orthodox community, she needs more than a divorce from a family court. She needs a religious divorce, known as a “get”.
The challenge is that obtaining a get requires the Husband’s consent. And sometimes they just don’t want to cooperate.
The community can apply social pressure to such an uncooperative Husband. But sometimes that’s not enough either.
In such cases, one may turn to a a rabbi, a Jewish clergyman, to sway the Husband.
Sometimes it is alleged that the rabbi goes overboard in obtaining the Husband’s consent.
In such a case, a New Jersey rabbi and his co-defendants have been convicted in federal court of conspiracy to commit kidnapping … but not of kidnapping, as well as some other charges.
Among the allegations were torture with electric cattle prods and other implements.
The arrests were the result of a sting operation.
The trial lasted eight weeks.
The convicted defendants plan to appeal.
Read more in
- this CBS News article: Rabbi in forced-divorces case convicted of kidnap conspiracy
- this US News & World Report article: Rabbi accused of running divorce kidnap team convicted of conspiracy, acquitted on other count and
- this NJ.com article: Lakewood rabbi and 2 others convicted in kidnapping conspiracy; son acquitted .