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WAVE: Agunot


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Attacking Prenups Is Bad For Jews Everywhere

Last week by Rabbi Zvi Tau added his signature to a yellowing letter, originally published in the 1980s, opposing the use of pre-nuptial agreements. In doing so Rabbi Tau, a leader of the ultra-conservation faction within Zionist Orthodoxy, added his name to a list of 44 rabbis similarly opposed. … Rabbi Tau’s signature is a dog-whistle to…
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Rabbis Deny Battered Woman’s Divorce Plea: Husband Only Hit Her Because She Wanted to Leave

Rabbinical judges in Jerusalem last week rejected a motion for divorce filed by a battered woman, saying that her husband had only resorted to violence because she wanted to divorce him. Accordingly, they said, his physical attack on her could not serve as grounds for divorce. … Despite the husband’s conviction of beating his wife…
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Opinion: Confusing developments in Israel’s rabbinical courts – Part 2

As reported, the president of the High Rabbinical Court will convene the court to rule on a two-and-a-half-year-old appeal. This is no ordinary appeal or ordinary convening of the court. […] Can legally divorced people ever feel and act in accordance with their new personal status, or are they wedded to the rabbinical courts forever,…
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Opinion: Confusing developments in Israel’s rabbinical courts

In the first seemingly forward movement, the office of the state attorney issued a new directive allowing rabbinical courts to determine that a recalcitrant spouse can be tried in a criminal case for refusal to obey a ruling of a recognized rabbinical court. Although the director of the rabbinical courts explained that this is applicable…
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Supreme Rabbinical Court poised to re-open agunah case

In an unprecedented step, the Supreme Rabbinical Court is weighing whether or not to allow a third party appeal against a divorce ruling that could lead to the revocation of a woman’s divorce from her husband who has been in a coma for the last nine years. Director of the Rabbinical Courts Network Rabbi Shimon…
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Israeli men could be jailed for refusing divorce

Aliza Gellis, head of the Yad L’isha centre that provides legal aid to women stuck in hopeless marriages, said her organization gets 6,000 requests for assistance each year. There are also a few rare cases of men who are “chained” because their wives refuse to accept a “get,” though for a man the Jewish legal…
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In New Directive, Israel Could Pursue Criminal Charges Against Divorce Refusers

A Jewish man who refuses to divorce his wife in defiance of a rabbinical court order to do so will be liable to face criminal charges in the future, according to a policy change announced on Monday by State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan. […] Under the new directive, in cases in which a husband is convicted…
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Israeli religious divorce refusal to be criminalized in certain circumstances

Batya Kehana-Dror, head of the Mavoi Satum women’s rights group welcomed the State Attorney’s measure, but noted that rabbinical courts themselves have had the ability to use various sanctions, including imprisonment, for divorce refusal, but which are rarely used. She also stated that the use of the “obligatory divorce” ruling by rabbinical courts, which is…
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Rabbinical court jails father for supporting son’s divorce refusal

In what has been hailed as a groundbreaking ruling, the Tel Aviv Rabbinical Court on Sunday sentenced a wealthy haredi businessman to 30 days in prison for supporting his son’s refusal to grant his wife a “get,” a Jewish writ of divorce. According to the Rabbinical Courts Administration, it is the first time a prison…
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In Historic Ruling, Israeli Rabbinical Court Jails Father for Abetting Son’s Refusal of Divorce

In an unprecedented move, the Tel Aviv Rabbinical Court ordered a man jailed for 30 days for abetting his son’s 11-year refusal to grant his daughter-in-law a divorce, calling the case “one of the harshest cases of igun [‘chained’ to a recalcitrant husband] the rabbinical court system has ever had to deal with.” The head…
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