David and Judy Wax, an Orthodox New Jersey couple, turned themselves into the FBI today after allegedly beating an Israeli man and claiming they’d bury him alive unless he gave his wife a religious divorce. Yisrael Briskman, the supposed victim, fled Israel without authorizing his wife’s “get,” or Orthodox divorce document that would allow her to get married again, and as a result was blacklisted by the High Rabbinical Court of Jerusalem, who barred Jews from being kind or doing business with him. In New Jersey, Wax and some goons allegedly jumped Briskman and threatened him with a body bag. “For you to get used to the size,” Wax reportedly told his tied-up hostage.
Wax then supposedly called Briskman’s dad in Israel and demanded $100,000 for the left-behind wife back in the holy land. “For you there’s a special gift. It’s called a bullet,” Wax said to Briskman’s father in a phone call that was allegedly recorded.
Wax’s lawyer admitted he knows Briskman’s scorned wife, but details are scarce.
Both David and Judy were released on $500,000 bond each. Hopefully the bullying was well rewarded.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 18, 2011