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Abused wife’s visit to social services reveals husband married to another woman

Immigrant who married an Israeli shocked to discover that he is married to another woman – who visited same social worker just days earlier.

Israel National News |  Feb 19, 2023

WhatsApp Image 2023 02 21 at 10.17.05 300x200 1Just over two years ago, C, then a very recent new immigrant to Israel, met D, a native Israeli man and the two began dating. Just weeks later, D proposed and convinced his fiancé that they should marry privately, outside of the authority of the Israeli Rabbinate – as required by law. Despite her initial insistence to proceed with the official channels, C eventually relented, and the marriage went ahead.

Already in the early days of the marriage, D began to abuse his wife, and the violence only intensified over time. About a year and a half ago, despite being in the latter stages of pregnancy, C realized that she couldn’t suffer any longer and needed leave the marriage. She turned to the local branch of social services for assistance.

To C’s great shock and dismay, after sharing her story with the office’s social worker, she was informed that another woman had approached the same office with an incredibly similar story. To everyone’s surprise, further investigation confirmed that D was in fact married to both women – having married both women in private, unofficial ceremonies.

“From the very beginning he said that he wanted to marry another woman, but I never believed he’d actually do it,” C said. “In retrospect, I can even point to the exact day that he got married. It was just before Chanukah, and he had gotten all dressed up, like a groom. He left the house and didn’t come back for a week. When he finally returned, he announced that from now on, he would only be spending every other week with me.”

With these shocking new details in hand, C contacted the Ohr Torah Stone organization’s Yad La’isha, the world’s largest, most comprehensive and experienced advocacy center for agunot. “Our first motion was to open a personal status file at the Rabbinical Court, to prove that C was indeed a married woman despite the fact that because of the private ceremony, she was still listed as single by the Interior Ministry,” explains Yad La’isha staff Adv. Dina Raitchik. “During the court proceedings, the man admitted he had a number of wives and even had the audacity to complain to the court that he wasn’t able to manage all of his marriages.”

In a hearing that took place last week, D conceded to quickly grant C a get, or traditional Jewish writ of divorce, freeing her from the marriage to begin a new life.

“The phenomenon of private marriages is a dangerous one that should be the source of considerable national concern,” stresses Yad La’isha’s Adv. Raitchik. “The government and relevant agencies need to increase their efforts to combat this trend and we need to work together to enhance enforcement so that innocent women like C can be spared such tragic consequences.”

Read this article on the Arutz 7 website


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