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June 8, 2016 4:55 pm

Rabbinates to Launch Database of Husbands Refusing to Grant Divorces

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An Orthodox Jewish wedding. Rabbinates are working to set up a database of Jewish husbands who have refused to grant their wives a divorce. Photo: Wikipedia.

An Orthodox Jewish wedding. Rabbinates are working to set up a database of Jewish husbands who have refused to grant their wives a divorce. Photo: Wikipedia. – Israeli and European rabbinates are collaborating to set up a database listing the names and photos of images of Jewish husbands who have refused to grant their wives a divorce or who have gone missing amid their refusal. The database plan was discussed during the past week at a conference for European rabbinical judges in Brussels.

The database will help combat the phenomenon of Jewish husbands refusing to grant their wives a Jewish divorce, or “get,” which they must do in order for the wives to be free to marry again. In some cases, such husbands move away to other communities. The database will allow such communities to sanction the husbands, reported Yedioth Ahronoth.

The head of the Israeli Rabbinical Courts Administration’s Agunot (a term loosely meaning “chained women” in Hebrew) Department, Rabbi Eliyahu Maimo, who spoke at the conference, described earlier this month how in one recent case the rabbinate was forced to hire several private detectives to locate a divorce-refusing husband.

“We followed him as he rode his electric bicycle home. There he was placed under arrest, sat in jail for 24 hours—and this morning he gave the get,” Maimo told Israel National News.

“We arrest some 30-50 men each year for this purpose, and 95 percent of them give a get within a day of being arrested. In this case, the man gained nothing over these ten years, other than having to live underground for all that time. We would like to make it clear to everyone: A man who refuses to give a get, there is no point in hiding,” he said.

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  • David F Mayer

    This is totally unnecessary and makes the Jews look like the Muslim idiots.

    Marriage is a contractual relationship between two parties. As such, it specifies obligations of the husband.

    It is a universal principle of law everywhere that, when once side had breached a contract, the other party is freed of all obligations specified by that contract, and the contract becomes null and void.

    It makes no difference whether the obligations upon the husband are explicit or implicit. In such situations, the factors not specified in a contract (and there are always MANY) are inferred from custom and usage. They include support, presence in the home, proper decent treatment, sexual relations, and many others.

    In fact, several of these obligations are mentioned specifically in the Torah in this passage:

    Shemot 21:10 Orthodox Jewish Bible

    10 If he take him another wife, her [first wife’s] food, her covering of clothing, and her onah (conjugal rights) shall he not deprive.

    Hence, we learn that food, clothing, and conjugal rights are absolute obligations of a husband. Hence, these rights are implicitly included in any marriage contract.

    When a Jewish husband fails to perform his obligations (including, but not limited to those three mentioned in the previous paragraph), the marriage is dissolved and the woman is free to marry. Anything else is logically absurd. A husband who fails to provide food, clothing, and conjugal relations has violated the contract and thereby automatically ceases to be a husband to the woman. Therefore, SHE IS NO LONGER MARRIED TO HIM and is free to marry any other man whom she wishes to marry.

    Do we REALLY want to look like the domineering Muslims who treat women like cattle? Or do we want to show the World that the Jews are capable of interpreting the law in such a manner as to render the “agunah” impossible? The current situation is a Chillul Hashem.

  • Yaakov

    Why is it always husbands refusing to give their wives a get as opposed to wives refusing to accept a get from their husbands? What are the dynamics here? How often does the latter scenario occur, and why is the former so much more common?