Orthodox Lawyer's Refusal to Grant Wife a 'Get' Stirs U.S. Public Dispute

Hundreds of protesters across the country have joined demonstrations urging Republican tax lawyer Aharon Friedman, 34, to release Tamar Epstein, 27, from chains of marriage.

Aharon Friedman, a tax lawyer for the Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, has become the target of a public dispute in the United States due to his refusal to grant his wife Tamar Epstein a religious divorce decree.

According to the Jewish law, the husband must grant the wife a get, thus releasing her from the marriage bonds. If he does not agree, he leaves her an agunah, a chained woman who is not allowed to remarry.

Illustration of wedding
Avital Ashtal

Hundreds of protesters across the country have joined demonstrations urging Friedman, 34, to release Epstein, 27, from the chains of their marriage.

Apparently, Friedman refused his wife the Jewish divorce over his anger that a court granted his wife major custody of their 3-year-old daughter.

The New York Times reported that Friedman has been condemned by important rabbis, and attacked in a YouTube video showing hundreds of people protesting outside his Silver Spring apartment.

“Do the right thing” the crowd shouted, and “Free your wife.”

The NY Times added that in an unusual step even a rabbi wrote to Friedman’s employer, asking him to pressure him into granting his wife a get.