A couple that lived in France experienced maritial issues, until such time the wife wanted a get. The husband refused, and relocated from Lyon to Romania, where he got married to another woman, a non-Jew. The husband has a child with the second wife, the non-Jew, while his first wife remains an agunah.
According to the exclusive Kippa news report, the head of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s Agunah Unit, Rabbi Eliyahu Maimon, insists the problem of agunos is far more serious than most realize. He explains outside of Israel, they lack legal authority and means to act against a recalcitrant husband as they do in Israel. The Chief Rabbinate does however assist in cases abroad whenever possible.
In this case, the call for assistance came from the Chief Rabbi of Lyon, Rabbi Yechiel Tuvol. He learned the husband was planning to visit Israel. It was also learned a French court ruled he must pay his first wife alimony and was even sentenced to three months suspended sentence in the event he does not make payment.
Last Thursday, the man in question landed in Israel and the Chief Rabbinate did not waste time. Shortly after his arrival a court order prohibiting him from leaving Israel was issued. He was then summoned to the beis din on Sunday. The man tried fleeing Israel on Friday night, albeit without success. He came to the beis din on Sunday accompanied by two French attorneys.
With the assistance of two additional attorneys present, Av Beis Din Dayan Shlomo Stessman ruled the husband must release his wife by giving her a get. The wife arrived in Eretz Yisrael on Monday at 6:00AM, and she already left beis din during the morning hours with her get in hand, a free woman!
Rav Maimon said in this case, Baruch Hashem it went well and she was freed before Yomtov when she saw no way out and believed she would remain an agunah forever.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)