Oye. No one knows what is motivating Aharron Friedman to block his former wife Tamar Epstein from getting a Jewish divorce aka a "get". What we now all know, thanks to a vigorous social media campaign, is that Friedman is being very difficult. Unreasonable. Impossible. He's acting like a Sch%@#k.
While Friedman may never have imagined that his personal life would become the fodder of a national social media campaign, he hasn't been paying attention to the power of social media. Think David Carroll's YouTube diatribe against United Airline for breaking his guitar. Think Bank Transfer Day . Think Komen and Planned Parenthood.
Perhaps if Friedman worked for a small company, his personal life wouldn't be splattered all over the internets. But Friedman works for a U.S. Congressman- Dave Camp of Michigan. So supporters decided to go after Friedman via his boss.
After the failure of years of quiet efforts in the Jewish community — including a nonbinding request from D.C.’s rabbinical court for Friedman to consent to the get and a national rabbinical court’s “declaration of contempt ” against him — Epstein’s supporters have increasingly turned to more public methods, including openly pressuring the congressman to intervene.
The situation is awkward for Camp because it is rare that the personal lives of congressional staffers become political issues for members of Congress. But the influential committee chairman is being dragged into the highly unusual situation now that Friedman’s opponents have decided to thrust it into the public sphere.
No one likes to be embarassed. Especially bosses. Especially bosses who are elected officials. While it is too soon to tell whether or not Friedman will grant the divorce, it would be surprising if Friedman could now keep his job without granting it.
Regardless of what Friedman decides, this case puts everyone on notice that the game has changed. Think you are a nobody and nobody cares what you do in your personal life. Think again.
Want to be completely unreasonable in your personal life? Go ahead. Knock yourself out. But, just remember that if you annoy enough people, your boss will be hearing about it, via social media. And that, is a bad, bad, thing.