Boteah Tries but Fails in his Perry Reich Advocacy
Rabbi Shmully Boteah famously promised to Pearl Perry Reich that he will personally intervene on her behalf in her custody battle. He was a bit tardy in following through on this promise, according to Ms. Reich, at first ignoring her calls. But he finally did come through to her.
Last weekend, he stayed in Lakewod over Shabbat at the house of an affluent and prominent member of the Lakewood community who happens to be pro-Sinai Susholz, Ms. Reich’s husband and adversary. He came to Lakewood specificaly to plead with leadership there to come to terms with Ms. Reich’s quest for custody rights.
As he well articulated on the Dr. Phil show, R. Boteah asserts that Orthodoxy does not condone forced marriages and it insists that children grow up with both their parents. After verifying that Ms. Reich was raising her children in conformity with general Jewish principles, he declared it against proper Orthodox practice to deny her custody rights over such trivial matters as wearing pants, not covering hair, etc…
And so on Saturday evening, he sat down with Mr. Susholz to try to convince him to agree to mediation of the custody battle. Unlike arbitration, mediators are not empowered to enforce any decision. It’s simply an affirmation by the parties to come together in good faith to try to resolve their differences.
But Mr. Susholz soundly repelled R. Boteah’s peace overtures. Mediation would merely have been a way for him to save face while accepting an arrangement that would more or less give Ms. Reich the partial custody she is presently trying to obtain through legal action.
Mr. Sucholz is adamant not to budge an inch. He even refuses to grant a religious divorce unless and until Ms. Reich completely renounces any intention to pursue custody rights. From the Facebook page established in his interest –though reportedly not run directly by him or his associates– it seems that his concern is mostly about the moral edification of the children. With a mom well-immersed in liberal secular culture, even high fashion, he fears that the children will not develop a healthy and coherent sense of proper and improper, right and wrong. He and his proxies insist that it’s not religion per se they’re concerned about, but the moral compromise evinced by a mom who brings home boyfriends late at night and struts around in high heels and mini-skirts.
However, in the aforementioned Facebook page, those who appear to be acting in his behalf have embarked on a campaign with a “Children need a stable home, not this!” theme, accompanied by a prurient picture of Ms. Reich. They, thus seem to be trying to defame her personally. Or perhaps it is a sordid and ignoble way of providing Kosher pornography to the masses, shrouded in the name of keeping the children away from the mom, all the while entertaining the masses with lecherous photos.
And where’s Mr. Susholz in this maelstrom? He seems aloof, content to allow his proxies to run the ad hominem attacks while pretending not to be cognizant of it, Aaron Teitelbaum style. If his children’s moral rectitude is of utmost priority to him, how does such a campaign play into it, we ask, when his children invariably discover it sooner or later.