“Imprisoned in Marriage Against Her Will”
by Pnina Omer
Jerusalem Post Op-Ed – 24/1/2017
Two agunot (“chained women”) made headlines this week, and I would like to offer insight as to the halachic (Jewish legal) thought process that led to these brave decisions and roused the attention of the general public.
The first is the “aguna from Safed,” a case which is unquestionably an anomaly in that a get (a Jewish writ of divorce) was awarded to a woman whose husband was incapacitated by a car accident, leaving her chained indefinitely in marriage. The rabbinical court, in a brave and unprecedented manner, put themselves in the husband’s shoes, took full responsibility, and gave a get in the husband’s name – releasing her to continue her life as a free woman.
The other case which resurfaced this week is known in the press as “the case of the tycoon’s recalcitrant son,” regarding a young woman whose husband abandoned her after a stroke and has refused to give her a get for the past 10 years with the support of none other than his father, a wealthy and influential figure. In an unprecedented ruling, the rabbinical court utilized its authority by means of instituting sanctions on the father, after it was proven that he is responsible for his son’s obstinacy. Unfortunately, until either the tycoon or his son is willing to grant the get, the woman in this case nonetheless remains an aguna, waiting with the bitter anticipation of a person who knows not when her salvation may come.
In both of these cases, the rabbinical court acted with creativity and decisiveness, without compromise, and did everything in its power to free the women from their chains… Click to read the full article on the Jerusalem Post website
Pnina Omer is the director of OTS’s Yad L’isha: the Monica Dennis Goldberg Legal Aid Center and Hotline.