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Aguna receives get, able to divorce husband after 14-year battle

“No woman deserves to live in constant torture for 14 years waiting to be released.”

Vicky left) with advocate TamarA legal battle that spanned 14 years and two countries came to an end at last when an Aguna finally succeeded in getting a get to divorce her husband, the Jerusalem-based Yad La’isha organization of Ohr Torah Stone announced.

Vicky Tzur had moved to Israel with her husband from Argentina and had four children with him. Her husband filed for divorce in 2006. In the middle of the proceedings however, he returned to Argentina and refused to give his wife a get, which is necessary according to halacha to get a divorce.

An Aguna, translated as “chained woman,” is an ongoing Jewish legal (halachic) issue in which women wishing to get a religious divorce require the consent of their husbands, who may refuse. Combined with the inability of rabbinical authorities to force an annulment, that leads to the creation of “chained women” who may not remarry according to halacha without a get.

Tzur’s case was finally brought to the Chief Rabbinate’s Agunot branch in 2013, but the file was left virtually untouched until 2016, when the branch began trying to work with Argentina’s Chief Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich to arrange for a get.

However, even after Tzur made concession after concession to her husband, such as agreeing to erase any debts he owed her, she was still denied a get.

In 2019, Tzur finally came to Yad La’isha, an organization that helps women escape chained marriages. Attorneys from the organization sued Tzur’s husband for damages over a refusal to give a get, something many consider to be halachically permissible. She was awarded NIS 720,000 in damages, but it took another five months while the parties involved exchanged documents and negotiating while Tzur’s husband kept adding more and more demands.

The process was made worse as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which severely limited the ability of legal and rabbinic authorities to secure and transfer the proper documentation between Tzur and her husband.

However, the mounting pressure finally seemed to succeed, and Tzur’s husband signed the agreement last week, even being given permission to violate lockdown orders to do so.

Tzur received the get on Sunday after they were approved by a Netanya court, bringing an end to a 14-year battle.

“No woman deserves to live in constant torture for 14 years waiting to be released. Thanks to the incredible work of advocates Moriah Dayan and Tamar Oderberg and together with the collaboration with Argentina’s Chief Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich, as of today we are finally seeing this case resolved,” Yad La’isha director Pnina Omer said in a statement.

“This injustice is nothing less than a cynical exploitation of Jewish law. We will continue to fight for the freedom of women like Vicky in every way possible. We also thank the Agunot branch for their ongoing support throughout the years of negotiations.”

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.

Read this article on the Jerusalem Post website


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