Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Breslover forced underage marriages


This is the story of Iris (not her real name), who claims she was forced by Rabbi Eliezer Shick, a leader of the Breslev Hasidic sect, to get married when she was 16-years-old...
"It was clear to me from the start that it wasn't for me, but Rabbi Shick took me to his study, where I sat with him for two hours," says Iris, now 21.
"He pressured me and said the marriage must go forward, and that the rabbis had made their decision. He told me over and over this was a match made in heaven."

Iris was pressured into marrying another minor, also from the Breslev community. The couple divorced after eight months, but she had a child from the marriage, now three. They currently live far from Iris' ex-husband and she is expected to be a main witness for the prosecution when Rabbi Shick goes to trial.
Iris' father, also a member of the Breslev group, remembers the pressure placed on his family by Rabbi Shick to convince to agree to the marriage.
He says he and his wife had several heated conversations with the rabbi at the time.
"Our daughter went out with this boy three times and told us she didn't think he was for her. But Rabbi Shick wouldn't let up. He summoned her to his office and started to shout at her and at my wife, and told us that this was a match made in heaven, and it must go through.
"We had no choice but to agree, despite the fact that our daughter had already met another boy she wanted to marry. But the rabbi refused to introduce them and demanded she marry the boy he chose.
Rabbi knows best
“The rabbi kept screaming that he knows what must be, and that he knows who is appropriate for whom.
"The day of the wedding, Iris cried all day, saying, 'I'm getting married, but I don't want to marry him.' It lasted all of eight months, and they got divorced."
"The rabbi started pressing us to marry off our daughter when she was 14," says Iris' mother. "I refused, so he backed off. We opposed this match from the outset, but the rabbi forced it on us. He yelled and screamed at us that if the marriage falls through, we would have problems finding matches for our other children. Then I burst out in tears.
"Rabbi Shick is the nightmare of our lives," she says. "He destroyed our lives. Now, our daughter is divorced with a child, and it will be very hard for her to find a husband."...

Police say dozens of Breslev minors have been married off in Yavniel, Bnei Brak and Jerusalem, and say they have plenty of evidence that Rabbi Shick and two other Breslev rabbis have conducted illegal marriages, included signed marriage documents (ketubot) and wedding videos.

Rabbi Eliezer Shick of Boro Park was arrested days ago. (Original post: "Answer to shidduch 'crisis'?" )
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 11:25 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Waaaahh! I was forced!!


2:40 PM  
Blogger Yeshiva Orthodoxy said...

She obviously was not physically forced.
The legal question here is whether the rabbi participated,(brainwashed her?),
into the underage marriage.
I think the father too has culpability.

3:06 PM  

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