Chabad rabbi Velvel Butman (also spelled Velvl), refuses to give his wife a Get (Jewish divorce) and has kept her trapped in their marriage for approximately 5 years.
According to a recent New York Post article, he is a ‘deadbeat dad’ who has neglected to pay almost $80,000 in child support. Butman was held in contempt of court by a Brooklyn judge for failing to pay his child support obligation since 2013. His wife, Rachel Butman, currently lives with six of their eight children in Crown Heights. She provides for them by commuting to a job as a daycare worker in Westchester. Of four years of monthly payments of $2,000 each, Velvel has paid only two months worth.
He is the son of prominent Chabad rabbi and messianist, Shmuel Butman.
Below is a copy of ORA’s fact sheet on Velvel Butman.
Vaad Rabonei Lubavitch, the executive committee of Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbis which oversees Halachic and Jewish legal decisions in Chabad, has issued a psak stating that Velvl should give a Get to Rochel immediately.
Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag issued a letter stating that Velvl must give a get.
To view the letter in .pdf format click here.
It should be noted that some controversy surrounds Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag (who is not a Chabad rabbi). For background on that, see this June 30, 2015 post from Failedmessiah blog.