No Eviction Before Conviction? Leader Rabbi Refuses To Vacate Home After Videotaping Scandal

Freundel-e1413317892667We have been following the bizarre case of the once leading national Orthodox rabbi and powerful local figure, Barry Freundel. Freundel (shown above from a YouTube clip), is now criminally charged with using a secret camera to film Jewish women engaged in the ritual bath known as a Mikva. There is now another front in the battles for Freudel’s future. He has refused to move out of a house owned by his former synagogue and will face proceedings in a jewish court or beth din.

He is viewed as one of the leading experts on Jewish law and ethics and “an intellectual giant” in the Jewish intellectual circles. Freundel headed the conversion committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and is vice president of the region’s Vaad, overseeing kosher dietary laws at Jewish institutions. He has a law degree and a doctorate and is affiliated with several area universities, including Georgetown University’s law school, the University of Maryland and Towson University, north of the Baltimore. He was part of a power couple within the Jewish community with his wife Sharon Freundel is the leader of Kesher’s monthly women’s study and prayer group as well as the director of Hebrew and Judaic studies at the Jewish Primary Day School. Sharon Freundel was in the courtroom with one of their three children for his arraignment but has since filed for divorce.

Freundel appears more helpful on divorce than on eviction. He has reportedly agreed to give his wife a “get” to allow her to divorce him under the Orthodox tradition. We have previously discussed how Orthodox men will sometimes refuse a get and keep their wives involuntarily in marriage. His wife certainly has good reason to seek a divorce, but the divorce could create another battle. The alleged victims could ask for restitution and a divorce can be used to try to shelter money in the estate from restitution orders. With a divorce filed, Sharon Freundel could claim that half of the estate is hers by priority claim while the victims could argue that they are given such a priority claim. Indeed, they could argue that the divorce is an effort to deny access to estate money for restitution or damages.

220px-joe_lieberman_official_portrait_2Kesher Israel synagogue members and their president, Elanit Jakabovics appear in a standoff. The synagogue includes many powerful Washington figures like Senate Joe Lieberman. Freundel was told to get out by January 1st but he has refused. The Kesher side told the Washington Post that they tried to reason with Freundel but that “they made unreasonable demands, and we walked away.” This could itself lead to some interesting litigation if Freundel tries to use the pro-tenant laws of the city rather than submit to the beth din. That creates a contractual question that could end up in secular court. Such cases often appear curious but they are not secular courts enforcing religious law as much as enforcing a contract.

Source: Washington Post

12 thoughts on “No Eviction Before Conviction? Leader Rabbi Refuses To Vacate Home After Videotaping Scandal”

  1. What difference does the court make if it does not rise above our constitutional rule of law? I’m an Independent as well Paul and I don’t have an issue with religious courts or the court of public opinion. If the synagogue believes they can resolve evicting this rabbi without violating civil law then how is that any different than any landlord giving notice and securing an eviction?

  2. ” He has refused to move out of a house owned by his former synagogue and will face proceedings in a jewish court or beth din.”

    If Muslims had their own courts, the Republicans would be screaming bloody murder.

    1. Anarchist 2.0 – I am an Independent but I have stated early on that this is one of the few times that I believe in the use of religious courts.

  3. We all agree that this is very bizarre behavior. Could be that the guy is ill. I wonder if he has seen a doctor recently.

  4. This is an abomination, seems that even the Jewish have perverts. I agree that religious law should be used here. This is one of the most intelligent and stupid men alive. And we have thought all along that it was just the Catholics who were perverts. ha Proves that if it is man, it can be enticed by evil thoughts that lead to evil practices. Adam certainly was weak and still is. What a piece of El Toro popo!

  5. Paul

    I understand, hit my thumb hanging a picture, just ranting. I don’t approve of it, only feel it happens to be the right thing, throw the bum out, intellectual giant or not.

    1. issac – with good luck you will recover the use of your thumb. At least let’s hope so. I do not know why thumbs are such handy targets for hammers. Now that is worthy of a $5m grant study. 😉

  6. issac – religious law enters because he is refusing to leave his religious post. This is the only time I approve of the use of religious law in the United States.

  7. The focal point pertaining to America, here, as I see it, is that any laws peculiar to any religion should all, without exception be subservient to the civil law that applies to all Americans.

    This intellectual giant is a giant pervert and should be jailed. Religious law should not enter into it in any way whatsoever.

    Someone held in a relationship to their loss in any way whatsoever, should have legal recourse against whomever it is wielding this or that ancient traditional law.

  8. Viewed as an expert in Jewish law and ethics; an “intellectual giant”. Hmm, sounds familiar. Imagine the number of victims had he the NSA at his disposal.

  9. This behavior has become quite common thanks to the advent of cheap, small cameras. There has been an explosion of landlords doing this to tenants and no one is being caught or punished. Law enforcement really needs to start making an example of scumbags who grotesquely violate the privacy of others I this way and start sending people to prison for long terms.

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