For eleven years, Dr. Tova Goldfine was an agunah, the victim of a recalcitrant husband who refused to give her a gett (a Jewish divorce), after abandoning her and their 2-year-old daughter. “Never in a million years did I think I could trust another man,” says Tova.
Abigail (Abby) Duman Baer nods in agreement with the pronouncement at the Chabad website: “In certain circumstances, it is permissible or even commendable to lie.” She then smiles and adds: “Still, I only told a white lie.” Matti Baer interjects: “Anyway, she didn’t fool me. I understood what Abby was trying to tell me, and I liked what I heard.”
Rebecca Stern and Jesse Wenger met in first grade. She was his first love and he was her first love. They were separated a year later when Jesse transferred to a public school in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and Becca remained at the Solomon Schechter in Elkins Park. Becca, 25, sometimes wonders what would have happened if they had remained in the same class through high school. Would they have ended up as a couple? “Probably not,” she concludes.
“It was just me and my cat,” says Michal Cohen Eckstein, when she was a 38-year-old religious single living in Jerusalem in 2012. But she didn’t give up hope and continued repeating her mantra: I will get married. She also decided to heed the Talmudic notion that if you change your place, you will change your luck.
"We were in the same crowds, but I didn’t see her,” says Tani Guterman. “It’s like Daniella was under the radar screen.” In the spring of 2012, Daniella Stein was a senior at Yeshiva University (YU) Stern College for Women, and Tani was a YU alum. They both came from Young Israel backgrounds – she, from Lawrence, New York, and he from Staten Island; and they both worked with children with special needs.