I like Judge Prus and have had a few cases in front of him. He is a reasonable man, very measured, even tempered, and fair. So it was with great interest that I read this afternoon (can you believe I’ve had time to read given this unrelenting heat wave that’s hit the city?) that he ordered a warring Orthodox Jewish couple to put up a dividing wall in their house pending the outcome of the divorce proceedings.
The New York Post tells the story of Pinchs and Nechema Gold, a couple married all of 21 years and now engrossed in a combative divorce battle in Kings Supreme, in front of Honorable Judge Prus. The wife accuses the husband of “spitefully blowing out her Shabbos candles” and the husband accuses the wife of being a religious fake. He claims, according to the Post, that if she was so religious, she’d get divorced in the Beth Din as opposed to a civil court.
Can this Orthodox Jewish marriage be saved? Probably not — but a wall down the middle of the Williamsburg couple’s house is a good idea regardless, a Brooklyn judge has ruled. Doing his best King Solomon imitation, Judge Eric Prus on Thursday ordered feuding couple Pinchs and Nechama Gold to split their 3,000-square-foot home in half as they go through a bitter divorce. The Golds have two weeks to agree on where the wall should go — or the court will decide for them.
Whatever the outcome of this case, Hon. Prus’ solution is hardly novel, but hardly uncontroversial. It is not as if the Golds have a huge house to begin with. It is a small house, only about 3000 square feet. That’s the size of the gym in a private house in Georgia!But, for New York, it’s huge. For Williamsburg it’s huge. The husband was even generous enough to give the wife and extra 700 square feet so that she can have the children living on her side of the divide. Nice of him. But once this divorce gets adjudicated, someone of them will likely have to buy the other out at some point. I can’t imagine that that divorce wall will be a permanent solution. Could it?