Stop mailing me!

‘Stop Involving Me’ writes:
Phshata Yid,
why was your letter sent to me?
I have no interest in knowing other people’s business. Is this case getting attention because there is 5 million dollars involved?

Pushita Yid says: If you (or anyone else) wish to be deleted from our mailing list, we would be happy to comply. Simply let us know who you are so that we can do so.

Wicked As Can Be?

A Friend writes:

I am going through a divorce myself with similarly very wicked people. My wife has made claims of child abuse which were found to be unfounded and has gone to arko’oys instead of bais din.

At least in Lakewood, people take halocho seriously. In Brooklyn one has these so-called botei din who side with the woman even if she goes to arko’oys. Hashem yerachem on this innocent man. The community needs to shun and ostracize these people and their supporters. Only this will help.

Our response:

We certainly sympathize with your situation. Going to arka’os is in itself a severe transgression, as the Shulchan Aruch articulates clearly in Choshen Mishpat 26:1. All the more so if false accusations are made to advance one party’s position.

Even so, we would refrain from terminology which implies passing judgment on an individual (in our case, Mrs. Ort) as being “wicked”. As is noted in the introduction to this website, one can never appreciate someone else’s Yetzer Horo in terms of background, pain, misguidance, etc. That is why Chazal have admonished us: “Al todin es chavercha ad she’tagia limkomo”. (Avos 2:4)

But you are certainly correct that these acts are grievous, cardinal aveiros as quoted above in Shulchan Aruch, and need to be addressed by the frum community in terms of supporting the actions of the Gedolim and heeding their call to action. May Hashem Yisborach help you to find emes v’shalom in a Bais Din shel Yisroel.

– Pushita Yid

A Friend responds:

If the Shulchan oruch deems these people wicked, then they ARE wicked! Destroying someone’s life is wicked. Raising a hand against the Torah is wicked, being mechalel sheim shomayim is wicked, being meyaker elillim is wicked, being oyver mesirah is wicked!!!

We respond:

You are asking: Since we acknowledge that going to arka’os is a cardinal sin, is wicked, is mechalel shem shomayim, as the Shulchan Aruch rules (ibid.), why do we still say we do not feel it proper to label the person who does so as wicked?

A very good question, which deserves a very good answer. We believe we have one: An act is defined only by the act itself. Therefore, if the Shulchan Aruch defines it as wicked, that’s what it is.

When you characterize a person, however, you must include in your assessment all factors and aspects relative to that person for your characterization to be accurate. Otherwise, it is like trying to draw a composite of someone’s face without knowing the details of all of his features: your facial sketch will be inaccurate.

So too when you attempt to draw a “sketch” of someone’s character quality. To be accurate, you must include all factors affecting their various nisyones, such as environment, negative influences i.e. misadvice, fear and/or stress resultant of background, etc., etc., ad infinitum. This is something that no mere mortal intelligence can claim to do. That is why only the Ribbono shel Olam is called “Hayodea yetzer kol yetzurim – The One who understands the temptations of all His creations”. (Musaf of Rosh Hashono)

Prime example: The Chazal quoted in the introduction to this website – “A person is not indicted for what he does when under duress” (Bava Basra 16B) was said in regard to Iyov having said “Ribbono shel Olam, perhaps you made a mistake and confused me with an enemy?” Is there any greater heresy than this? Chazal (ibid. 16A) unequivocally call this “blasphemy” (chireif), the exact same term the Shulchan Aruch uses on someone who goes to arka’os! Yet Chazal say that he was not blamed for this and the posuk refers to it merely as “unwise words” but refrains from calling it “wicked words” since he said it at a time of stress and pain. (Rashi ibid.)

We hope our position is now clarified. An act which the Shulchan Aruch terms as “wicked”, “chillul Hashem”, is exactly that, and we must do everything necessary that it not happen. Yet we cannot term any individual as “wicked”; that we must leave to the One and only Yodea yetzer kol yetzurim to decide.

Thanks, Pushita

Why Isn’t There Enough Money There?

‘Really?!?’ writes:

The documentation presented implies that right now, today, the family is the recipient of $11,000 a month in monthly support drawn upon the accounts in the names of the unmarried children. Is this true? Doesn’t this satisfy court ordered child support? Why is R’ Avraham (did I read correctly?) out of the country and unable to see his children. Is there a court order stating he must stay away from his children? Are armed guards around his children that prevent his seeing the children?

We respond:

We appreciate your raising this valid point, as others may have been bothered by this seeming contradiction too.

The answer is simple. Money or assets put in a child’s name as a tax shelter cannot be used by a parent to support that child. The court is permitting it, since R’ Avrohom has been divested of all his assets and there is no other means of supporting the children. But he is not considered having fulfilled his child support obligation since the money was legally considered as the children’s.

In layman’s terms: Even though the children are being supported by the over 3 million dollars that R’ Avrohom put in their name, he is still (legally) obligated to go to work to support them.

Perhaps this also clarifies why Mrs. Ort prefers the legal system over (l’havdil) the Bais Din system.

As to a court order stating that he stay away from his children, no, there is not. On the contrary, he still maintains joint legal custody of the children with Mrs. Ort (see court orders below). Unfortunately, the false impressions such as his having left them without “bread on the table” and many other such untruths are more effective in estranging them than “an armed guard”. When this entire matter is settled properly in a Bais Din, this too will be addressed and we hope to be zoche to vheshiv lev banim al avos.

Sincerely, A Pushita Yid

Court Orders granting legal custody of children jointly to Rabbi and Mrs. Ort:

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How Sad!

A fellow Jew writes:

So terrible a yid has to be forced to flee! If all of these documents are true, what’s going on? It doesn’t make sense how could this be?!

Our response:

We appreciate your sympathy for the situation. Yes it is terrible, and Yes, it doesn’t make sense. What does Mrs. Ort gain from forcing R’ Avrohom into golus for almost two years now, and forcibly removing the children’s father from their lives?

But all this does not affect the veracity of all the documentation which consists of court orders and rulings (which are also available for inspection at the Ocean County Courthouse and on the Internet). We hope that with more and more people being exposed to the facts, Mrs. Ort, whose actions we believe are more a product of bad advice than bad will, also will come around and do what is best for her and the whole family.

Why Don’t You Put Your Real Name?

Anonymous writes:

If what you say is true why don’t you sign your name too? My feeling is that you are not as impartial as you would like us to believe. My experience in the past has been that when a person hides behind anonymity such as yourself, they have something to hide. Please do us all a favor and really promote Shalom by stopping these mass mailings.

We respond:

I would tend to agree that sometimes people use anonymity because they have something to hide. In this particular case, I use anonymity because I wish to avoid any of the harassment that, unfortunately, others working on this mitzvah have been subjected to. You too seem to appreciate that anonymity often has a legitimate reason, as I note that you have not attached your name to your comment either.

– Pushita Yid

I’m Not Taking Sides…

Neutral Minded says:

I cannot take sides as I didn’t hear from Mrs. Ort’s side. I did speak to her friend, Mrs. S. who says that the case is not as it seems, and Rabbi Ort was very hard on his wife and kids and she had to get divorced for her sake and her children’s and that he still has plenty of money. Now I don’t know if this is true or not, but, I can’t take sides.

Our response:

Firstly, we commend your opening sentence. If only more people would realize how mistaken it is to formulate an opinion without hearing both sides, this website would not have been necessary.

However, if you have spoken to her friend Mrs. S., you have heard everything that Mrs. Ort would have to say, plus more.

Secondly, we are happy to hear that Mrs. S. said to you that the case is not as it seems, i.e. she acknowledges that the case does not seem well for her friend as per the documentation. We have invited her to present any documentation to contradict ours, or to support her claim that he has money. Thus far she has not responded.

As to her claim that Rav Avrohom was “hard on his wife and kids”, it is always a wise policy when you have been proven wrong on tangible claims which can be documented, to move over to those claims which by nature are difficult, if not impossible, to document.

Rav Avrohom points out that is common knowledge that for twenty years he and the children had a close, warm relationship which was observed by the many people who had reason to frequent their home. This includes people of the caliber of Rav Aharon Boxer shlit”a and Rav Avrohom Lichtenstein shlit”a, renowned mechanchim in Lakewood. Naturally, after over ten years of being indoctrinated that their father left them and their mother “struggling to put bread on the table”, it’s quite understandable that they have accepted and will repeat that and many other false impressions too.

When, B’ezras Hashem, this entire matter is brought to Bais Din, hopefully these misconceptions can be addressed too.

Incidentally, we admit to being baffled as to what Mrs S. meant to “farenfer” with that comment anyway. Is it her opinion that in a case of someone who does have “plenty money” or is “hard on his kids”, it is therefore permissible to go to arka’os shel akum and steal his inheritance of over 5 million dollars?

– A Pushita Yid

Anon responds:

Do you have reshus to have this website and all this information backed by any Rav??? I can’t believe this website was permitted by any Rav. Whoever you are, “true friends of the Orts”, this is pure Lashan Haro, motzi shem rah and really no one’s business. Let the two parties deal with this on their own!!!

And to send these cards erev Rosh Hashana??

Our response:

Thank you for taking the time to respond. You seem to basically have three issues to address:

1) This is irrelevant loshon hora.

2) The two parties should deal with it on their own.

3) Timing; notices arrive right before Rosh Hashona.

We could not agree with you more on the second point. The two parties definitely should deal with this on their own. The forum which the Torah mandates for doing that is Bais Din (see Chumash Shmos 21:1 and Rashi ibid., “Lifnayhem”) and Mrs. Ort thus far has refused to deal with them.

Your second point needs some clarification. If, you as you seem to assume, our presentation does not accurately portray the situation and therefore constitutes irrelevant loshon hora, please explain on what basis you assume it to be inaccurate. If however, as believe we have documented, there truly was a gross injustice perpetrated against Rav Avrohom and his children, then that is everyone’s business to know so that they can try to help rectify it, as the Torah says: “Lo ta’amod al dam rayecho”.

And what better time for such a vital mitzvah than erev Rosh Hashona?!

– Pushita Yid

‘Anonymous’:

You are basically saying ‘Let Mrs. Ort kill Rabbi Ort and let’s just not interfere, but just mind our own business’. A sach seichel. I am horrified at the casual approach people take as long as they are safe!!

Our response:

We appreciate your strong expression of support. Just to keep things in proper perspective, remember that there is another side of the coin. The construction of this website, the mass mailings, and the many phone calls involved were the concerted effort of dozens of individuals who volunteered their time and efforts l’shem shomayim: to help a fellow Yid whom they saw needed help.

Also, remember the many Gedolei Rabbonim and Roshei Yeshivos shlita who took time from their overburdened schedules to thoroughly investigate the issues before signing and issuing letters for R’ Avrohom – especially the Lakewood Roshei Yeshiva who even went down to the courthouse to voice their conviction that this matter belongs in Bais Din. So when you feel frustrated by the callousness of some individuals, remember the Chesed of many more.

Also, don’t be sure that the people saying “don’t interfere” don’t really care. They may just be the same people who all these years were saying “interfere for poor Mrs. Ort, left penniless”. Now, with that myth exploded, they have no choice but to retreat one step and say “Well, don’t interfere”. A prime example is Mrs. S., who allegedly told everyone in Lakewood about her “penniless friend” and recently had to resort to excuses such as “Well, he’s got plenty money too”. (See previous comment.)

thanks, Pushita

This Site Manipulates The Truth

Someone writes:

It is obvious that this is a website that only manipulates the truth. It is far from being what it claims to be: ‘the whole truth’.

Why not include all the court papers so that we can see why they ruled against Mr Ort? We can then form an opinion on our own!!

Our response:

All the “court papers” as to “why they ruled against Mrs. Ort” are on display on this website. Even so, we will briefly summarize with documentation: The vast majority of the assets, all undisputedly having originated by R’ Avrohom’s family, were put in the children’s name. Mrs. Ort acquired control of all those assets by being appointed sole custodian. No written explanation for this appointment was given anywhere in the ruling, simply because it is standard legal practice that the parent with physical custody be custodian, for obvious reasons. (Rav Avrohom, in the best interests of his children, never sought PHYSICAL custody; he has joint LEGAL custody.) Their joint account, with an opening balance of $668,512.34 all went to Mrs. Ort through voluntary payments from Rav Avrohom during “reconciliation” and court-ordered child support. The fact that Rav Avrohom was left with zero by their ruling is summarized in the summary and Schedule II.

We did not post the rest of the ruling (over 120 pages) because it consists mainly of legal precedents and statutes of the civil code, which are supposed to be irrelevant to people who profess to live by (l’havdil) the Shulchan Aruch. If you are interested in learning more about the laws and statutes of the state of NJ, a trip to the archives at the Ocean County Courthouse at 118 Washington St. in Tom’s River will give you the opportunity to learn all about them, in R’ Avrohom’s case and many others.

Incidentally, you claim that “it is obvious that this website only manipulates the truth”. Can you give an example?

– Pushita

Who’s Money Is It Really?

From a friend of the ort family:

Message: I”m having a hard time understanding why its a problem for the married daughters to have “walked off with money put in their name”. Obviously, if it was put in their name it belongs to them!! Why should they not take money that belongs to them???

Our reply:

You seemingly are a sagacious Talmid Chochom, as it is “obvious” to you that halachically “if it was put in their name it belongs to them.” However, Horav Moshe Feinstein zt”l and Horav Yaakov Fisher zt”l (of the Badatz) deal with this same question in their responsa (Igros Moshe Choshen Mishpat I chapter 17, Even Yisroel chapter 101). Interesting to note that although they too are sagacious Talmidei Chochomim, they did not feel it to be so “obvious” as to you, but base their opinions on a lengthy discussion in Shas and Poskim. Also, their conclusion is quite different than your assumption. In fact they rule the opposite.

But your comment is greatly appreciated as it highlights the core issue here: It is not for you, or the Ort children, or just anyone to decide this shyla. As publicized in Eretz Yisroel by Rav Elyashiv, Rav Karelitz, and Rav Wosner shlita, only a Bais Din that heard all the claims from both sides in each other’s presence has that authority. Recently, that psak has been emphatically applied to Rav Avrohom’s case by psak of Horav Nissim Karelitz, Horav Chaim Kanievsky, Horav M.Y. Lefkovitz, Horav A.L. Steinman, and Horav Moshe Sternbuch shlita. (Click here for documentation)

This was very succinctly stated by the Rosh Hayeshiva, Horav Dovid Schustal shlita, when he said: “We are not saying that she is not entitled to the money that she took. We don’t know that. We are saying that she is not entitled to set herself up as the Dayan to decide that question by going to court and refusing to go to Bais Din.”

Thank you for providing our viewers with such a poignant illustration of the importance of heeding our Gedolim!

Siruvs

Shteibel Writes:

I think I saw recently 1 or 2 siruvs against Mrs. Ort. Does that have anything to do with this?

Our response:

A number of people have inquired of us concerning this matter. Allow us to clarify.

No, this siruv on Mrs. Ort is not a result of any action by Rav Avrohom, nor was it issued by the Baltimore Bais Din, the Bais Din which Rav Avrohom, (and in other cases Mrs. Ort), have consulted.

We have inquired of knowledgeable sources, and from what we are told, it seems that there was a property which Rav Avrohom was a partial owner of. His interest in that property was legally and Halachically acquired by an individual towards satisfying debt that Rav Avrohom had to him because he had loaned Rav Avrohom money for support over the many years of litigation when his assets were frozen. When Mrs. Ort was later awarded all Rav Avrohom’s assets and she attempted to take over this property among them, she discovered that it was no longer his.

She promptly opened a new lawsuit in arka’os in NY to obtain that asset, claiming that it was all a “conspiracy” against her. This individual responded as a ben Torah is wont to respond, by sending her a hazmono to Din Torah by the Bais Yosef Bais Din in Brooklyn. Mrs. Ort responded as she is wont to, by ignoring the hazmonos. The Bais Din responded by issuing a siruv.

This is a correct overview of the situation as we heard from people who claim to know. Naturally we cannot personally vouch for it in every detail as none of us, nor Rav Avrohom, have any firsthand knowledge.

I Spoke To Mrs. Steinberg…

CK writes:

Message: I spoke to Mrs. Steinberg and she claims that Mrs. Ort suffered greatly in her marriage, and her ex husband is smart and manipulative so this is her only defense going to arko’yos akum, because the  bais din will side with her husband because he is a talmid chochom and knows how  to twist things to his favor. So I don’t think I can take sides on this issue and support Rabbi Ort, because I don’t really know what is going on.

Our Response:

Basically you are presenting three points:

1)      That you spoke to Mrs. Steinberg

2)      That Mrs. Steinberg justifies Mrs. Ort’s going to Arko’yos akum by saying that Rav Avrohom is smart, manipulative and a talmid chochom, so the bais din will side with him.

3)      You cannot support Rabbi Ort, because you don’t know what is going on.

On the last point we could not agree with you more. We too do not support Rabbi Ort, because we too feel that we do not know what is going on. This position has been clearly posted has been clearly posted on page 1 of this website since its inception. That is precisely the reason why this matter belongs in a Bais Din, as mandated in Shulchan Aruch. Only, and we repeat: only a Bais Din that has heard all the claims from both sides, and seen all the proofs that both parties present in each other’s presence, and carefully and impartially evaluates them, can “really know what is going on” and issue a psak accordingly. That’s why this website is needed: to help make that happen.

Your second point really needs no response, because it obviously is pure conjecture to which the other side will claim the opposite: R’ Avrohom is known as an honest person, and Mrs. Ort went to Arkoyos only because she knew that no Bais Din would give her the entire estate of over 4 ½ million dollars which undisputedly he inherited from his parents. Both are mere claims; a Bais Din focuses on proofs. That’s why it is the only fair and honest forum. That’s why all of the gedolim have signed statements to that effect. Thus far, Mrs. Ort is the party that refuses to go there.

We must admit however, that we are amused by the comment that you ascribe to Mrs. Steinberg. Is she saying that R’ Avrohom is so smart and such a talmid chochom that he can outsmart any Bais Din in the world? Can not Mrs. Ort find even one talmid chochom in the whole world to be her Borer at a Din Torah, who is as smart as R’ Avrohom and can show everyone “the Truth”? If that is Mrs. Steinberg’s opinion of R’ Avrohom, although it does not affect the issue, we find it quite flattering.

The only point we find disturbing in your comment is the first. You say you spoke to Mrs. Steinberg. This leaves us mystified. Mrs. Steinberg was Mrs. Ort’s best friend from first grade through post H.S. Also Mrs. Steinberg has made her name well-known by having spent the last ten years telling anyone who would listen how Rav Avrohom left his former wife “struggling to put bread on the table”, ”utilities being shut off” etc., etc. This needs no documentation, for we don’t believe that she left anyone in Lakewood who heard the name Ort that she did not solicit, to spin her tales of deprivation and poverty. Now that the truth has become common knowledge through the documentation and she has become somewhat of a laughingstock, she has had to switch to intangibles such as Rav Avrohom being “rough on the kids”, “Mrs. Ort suffering” and so on. Mrs. Steinberg has been described by people who know her as “someone who enjoys a good fight”.

This is where we do not understand you. So many renowned Rabbonim, Gedolei Yisroel shlita that have no previous connection to either party have issued their statements that this belongs in a Bais Din. The Lakewood Roshei Yeshiva shlita have looked into it from all sides, and even offered to take time from their busy schedules to sit down and discuss the issues with Mrs. Ort (she refused).

None of these people were worthwhile to you to speak to??

You couldn’t find anyone better that Mrs. Steinberg??

We are mystified. If you can enlighten us, you are invited to do so.

– A Pushita Yid