Tel Aviv Beis Din Is Matir Agunah Whose Husband Was Murdered By Israeli Underworld

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The details of a complicated quest to matir an agunah in Tel Aviv were cleared for publication on Tuesday, according to a report by B’Chadrei Chareidim.

A 30-year-old man left his home in Tel Aviv in 2005, telling his wife that he was going out for a half-hour but never returned. Eventually, a prolonged police investigation revealed that the man, who owned several businesses for converting foreign currency, owed $57,000 to the underworld. That fateful day, he was lured into a “meeting” by the underworld and was kidnapped and murdered. The police did not succeed in locating his body.

In 2009, the woman turned to the Tel Aviv Beis Din to release her from the marriage but she had no proof of her husband’s death. She didn’t persist in following up and her file was eventually closed.

Recently, when the woman became involved with someone and sought to remarry, she discovered she was an agunah since she had no testimony or proof that her husband had died. The Tel Aviv Beis Din hurriedly began trying to release her from her first marriage.

The Beis Din requested that the police allow the investigators who handled the case to meet with them and provide testimony but the police couldn’t allow it due to the highly confidential nature of the case. The Beis Din appealed to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to permit the police to assist the Beis Din and permission was granted shortly later for the police and the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office to reveal details of the case to the Beis Din.

Last Tuesday, the police investigators testified to the Beis Din. The dayanim followed up with their own investigations and eventually paskened that the woman was free to remarry.

“According to the unequivocal assessment of the police based on police intelligence, the man was murdered close to the time of his disappearance,” the Beis Din stated. “In order to attempt to matir the young woman from being an agunah and after many and prolonged efforts, the police intelligence on the case was presented to the Beis Din. Following an extensive investigation, deep halachic discussions and consultation with Gedolei Torah, the Beis Din responded to the woman’s request to be released and paskens that according to din, she is permitted to remarry.”

Since the couple didn’t have children, the woman also needed to perform chalitzah which was arranged within two days. The wedding took place on Friday and the woman is now married k’das Moshe v’yisrael.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)




14 COMMENTS

  1. Joseph, the basis is obviously the secret police evidence, plus the results of the beis din’s own investigation. Obviously none of it is for publication.

    147, he died 15 years ago. She mourned long ago, and has already long recovered from her grief.

  2. She probably doesn’t have to sit Shiva because it’s a שמועה רחוקה (the determination being that he was killed years ago).

  3. > 147

    “sit Shiva”? If the decision came more than 30 days after the death, then the length of time to “sit Shiva” is literally the time it takes to take off her shoes as her sign of sitting.

  4. From what I was taught the Halachik basis comes from Rabbi Akiva. Originally, you needed two kosher adim. As Roman persecution worsened Rabbi Akiva lowered the standard. From what I remember (don’t quote me on it) it went to things like: 1 Kosher aid, a woman as an aid, if you can kind of see the face even though the nose is missing, and even if a Roman soldier passively (not actively because he might be lieing) mentioned someone was dead.
    Based on these standards Rabbonim dont have to 100% KNOW someone is dead. They just need to be very well certain that he died.

  5. georgeg – that question is actually explicitly discussed in the Gemara .(*end of Yevamos, fifth Perek of Berachos), and she may not remarry.