Congressman's Aide Denies Giving Religious Divorce to Estranged Wife Tamar Epstein

Aharon Friedman Denies Report of Get, Source Says

Published December 20, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A source close to Aharon Friedman, the estranged husband of Tamar Epstein, is denying a report that he has granted his wife a religious writ of divorce, or get.

This week, the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot, or ORA, issued a flyer and fundraising call announcing that “Tamar is Free,” leading to an erroneous JTA report that Epstein’s case was resolved with the awarding of a get. According to Orthodox law, a divorce is not complete until a husband gives his wife a get; women whose husbands refuse them gets are known as agunot, or “chained” wives.

Though the couple was divorced in civil court years ago, Friedman, an aide to Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee, has been the subject of a years-long campaign by Epstein and her advocates to shame Friedman into giving Epstein a get.

On Friday, the source close to Friedman told JTA that he did not give Epstein a get and that ORA was lying or deliberately misleading the public. Friedman declined to speak on the record to JTA.

When contacted by JTA, Meira Zack, assistant director of ORA, pointedly refused to say whether or not Epstein had been given a get and did not explain why the organization considers Tamar “free.” Zack maintains that ORA was authorized by Epstein to make the announcement. Epstein could not be reached for comment.

“All I can say is that Tamar is now free and the case is resolved from our end,” Zack told JTA. “We are not in a position to share more information at this time at Tamar’s request. We have been very careful in saying simply that the case has been resolved. Any other suppositions that people have made have been their suppositions.”

Aside from the granting of a get, the only other means for freeing Epstein from her husband according to Orthodox law would be through an annulment of the marriage by a religious court — an extraordinary move that in Epstein’s case likely would be subject to dispute.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.