BOCA RATON (VINnews) — As reported by VINnews on Monday, rallies are scheduled to take place in both Boca Raton and in lakewood this evening to urge Aaron Silberberg to give his wife Devorah a Get.
Many rumors swirled online over the past 24 hours, many of them spread by Aaron himself, that the Siruv from the Beis Din of America against him was cancelled, and that the rallies themselves have been cancelled.
On Tuesday afternoon, Rabbi Efrem Goldberg of Boca Raton sat down with Rabbi Avi Kahan, a well respected Rav from New City who deals with many Agunah issues. Together they recorded a video to dispel these aforementioned rumors, and to explain why the rallies are still very much scheduled to take place.
Rabbi Goldberg began by explaining the background of the events that led up to today.
Devorah Silberberg originally filed for divorce from Aaron on December 7, 2018. She filed for divorce in a secular court at the time, but it should be noted that Aaron did not respond at the time that he wished to pursue the proceedings in a Beis Din.
In Januray of 2019, Aaron was served with a notice of divorce. They began to work with a mediator that same month, and the motions were withdrawn with a willingness to solve everything in mediation. Attempts followed to resolve all matters both with a mediator, and with a Dayan in South Florida.
At first they actually reached an agreement. But soon after, Aaron contacted an attorney and walked away from the agreement without giving a Get.
Eventually, in October of 2019 Aaron sent a third party mediator from New Jersey for binding arbitration. Devorah immediately agreed to this. However, Aaron walked away once again.
Following this, the court ordered mediation between them. In this instance, Aaron was disrespectful throughout the process, so much so that he was excused from the Attorney’s office.
In April of 2020, the Beis Din of America sent Aaron its first Hazmana, to give him an opportunity to present his side and see why he would not grant a Get. However, Aaron chose not to represent his side by refusing to show up.
In July of 2020, the Beis Din of American issued a Siruv against Aaron.
In the next several months following the Siruv, Aaron communicated to his Rosh Yeshiva that he did not wish to work with Beis Din, as he does not trust them. Instead he requested to work with a layperson. Devorah agreed to this new request, yet once again Aaron backed out.
Aaron then told his Rosh Yeshiva he would like to work with a Rav. A Rav was chosen, Devorah agreed to work with him, and again Aaron backed out.
This was the status quo until late last night.
Aaron sent an email to Rabbi Goldberg last night that he had hired a To’en (an individual who pleads your case in Beis Din) and would now like to go to Beis Din. However he did not share an arbitration agreement. Rabbi Kahan shared that he spoke to one of the Batei Dinim directly, who claimed that Aaron did seem to want to work with them, but they did not have an arbitration agreement.
This would possibly appear to be not dissimilar to all the other times where Aaron acted as if he was ready to negotiate an agreement, only to walk away at the last moment.
Based on this information, Rabbis Goldberg and Kahan were faced with a quandary. Do they continue to endorse the planned rallies even though there is a remote chance that Aaron is serious, or must they put a stop to the momentum of a movement that was started by third party individuals, being that history shows that Aaron might not be serious.
In order to navigate this issue, they called 2 prominent Poskim, one in Eretz Yisroel and one in America. Both rabbanim wished to rename nameless, likely to avoid harrassment due to the delicate nature of the situation, but were adamant that moving forward with the rallies is the absolute correct way forward. Devorah should not be required to sign an agreement which would effectively see her give up her rights to everything she won in the court system, when there is no proof that she will even receive a Get out of this process.
Rabbi Goldberg notes that although it is not preferred generally speaking to ask people to rely on a Psak given by a Rav who is nameless, in this case the purpose of the Psak was for them personally to feel confident to move forward with the rallies, and they are comfortable based on the fact that they received the Psak directly.
To sum up, it is in fact true that Aaron sent an email expressing a willingness to go to Beis Din. But this email contained neither a signed arbitration agreement, nor is is it a Hazmanah on Devorah or even a response to the original Hazmanah sent to Aaron, as he sent this communication to Rabbi Goldberg, not back to the original Beis Din who summoned him.
Lastly, Devorah has signed a generous agreement that states that once Aaron grants her a Get, she will agree to an arbitration agreement that will allow Aaron to select a Beis Din of his choosing who will renegotiate all the financial disputes and even child custody disputes that have already been ruled in Devorah’s favor in the secular courts.
There is now no reason for Aaron to withhold a Get, as he has the oppportunity to readjudicate anything that he wants in a Beis Din that he has the opportunity to choose himself.
It is the fervent hope of everyone involved that Aaron will choose to grant Devorah a Get this afternoon, so that the rallies can be cancelled.
Despite rumors, the rallies today to encourage Aharon Silberberg to give a get are scheduled to take place as planned.
— Rabbi Efrem Goldberg (@RabbiGoldberg) March 16, 2021