A 1st In History: Woman Who Refuses To Accept Get Is Imprisoned

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Photo by Ye Jinghan on Unsplash

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For the first time in the history of the Batei Din in Israel, the Nasi of the Beis Din HaGadol approved a prison term for a woman who has refused to accept a get from her husband for four years.

The couple married in 2000 and have two daughters, now aged 13 and 16. About 15 years ago, problems arose in the marriage and gradually worsened. In 2018, the husband opened a divorce case in the Beis Din. This was after the family court had deliberated the case and determined that custody of the minor children would be granted to the father.

The woman did not show up for any of the hearings held in the family court or the Beis Din, forcing the Beis Din to issue an arrest warrant against her. She was brought to the hearings by a police officer but she refused to answer the court’s questions and was released on bail.

The woman appeared for the following hearings but continued to insist that she is not prepared to accept a get.

Over the years, the court imposed sanctions on the woman, including the revocation of her driver’s license, freezing her bank account, etc., but to no avail. In 2019, after all the court’s efforts failed, it transferred the case to the Agunos Department, which recruited a psychologist who tried working with the woman for a long period of time. His efforts to convince the woman to cooperate with the court were unsuccessful and the psychologist reported that the woman refuses to accept reality and release her husband to begin a new life.

The woman continued to refuse to cooperate with the Beis Din and the court was forced to order her arrest again. The woman was in custody for 24 hours until her brother-in-law released her on twenty thousand shekels bail.

At that point, the court tried to influence the woman through her workplace, and this attempt was also unsuccessful. The court then referred the case to a social worker who issued a report informing the court that the woman would not cooperate with her.

As a last resort, the court requested the approval of the Nasi, Rav Dovid Lau, to issue an imprisonment order against the woman. After a long discussion and repeated attempts by the judges to convince the woman to act logically, the woman continued to refuse and Rav Lau approved the order.

On Sunday morning, after countless attempts to convince the woman to accept a get, a private investigator acting on behalf of the Agunos Department located the woman and followed her. The woman behaved as if she was running away, walking through narrow alleys and retracing her steps in order to avoid being tracked. Finally, she returned to her house and locked herself inside the house. Israel Police, who were called to enforce the court’s decision, knocked on the door but the woman refused to open it and they were forced to break in. The woman was asked one final time if she would accept a get and avoid going to jail but she again refused.

Rav Eli Ben Dahan, the director of the Batei Din, said: “The Beis Din made every effort to avoid using the means at its disposal to enforce the court’s decisions. Unfortunately, the woman refused to cooperate and insisted on imprisoning her husband in a marriage that exists on paper only. I hope that in the coming days she understands her situation and makes an appointment to accept a get.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

21 COMMENTS

  1. I have full confidence in the beis din, but just wondering aloud why the could not get a heter 100 rabanim?
    maybe israeli law does not recognize that?

  2. The Bais Din around world and specifically in US and Israel must address the mountain cases where women who are falsifying and accusing the husband of battery and as result they use arrest file to negotiate for child support, Get, and slew of other things that otherwise not coming to them.
    There are lawyers who train women to set up their husband and are known to be doing this.
    As I understand there are studies done in israel that show the high rate of men killing themselves since the police and justice system is extremely prejudiced against men and believe the women which don’t give the father visitation rights destroying children relationships just because mom want to use the system to get more money.

    The members of Bais Din in our area are aware of The lawyers and ladies who are abusing the system and destroying children’s lives but refuse to step in and stop the abuse since the lawyers donate money to the schools and organizations.
    As for community Rabbis, well they just don’t want to get involved.

  3. Doesn’t make sense.
    It would have been easier to simply get the husband a “Heter Meiah” allowing him to remarry and leaving her at a total loss. Imprisoning her is costly to the State and does nothing for the husband. Something is missing in this story.

  4. Long since overdue and Great move for this Bitch, as well as any other bitch emulating her.
    BTW I am available despite my exceedingly heavy schedule to sign the היתר מאה רבנים even before the High Holidays and even Gratis, as I comprehend how important this signature would be:- Even more important than my signature on a פרוזבל

  5. I don’t understand this. She’s only hurting herself. Let the husband get remarried and the woman can be alone for the rest of her life. Why throw her into jail?

  6. This is great, there should be many more courts & laws that enforces more sanctions against more sinners as well, and once again make following the torah laws great again.

  7. Philosopher
    A real philosopher would have looked it up. Source: 2017 Haaretz article (hardly a right wing paper). The rabbanut had 800 open cases at the time with approximately 450 of those cases being with the woman refusing to accept the get.

  8. For most of Jewish history a woman gained nothing by refusing a “get”. The husband was free to remarry and all she did was to cut herself off from the money she would receive from the husband. Having a modern legal system (even if he subcontracts part of the divorce processes to rabbanim) applying halacha can be expect to lead to absurd results – legal systems are designed to be internally consistent, not mash-ups of two different systems.

  9. To all those asking about a heter meah rabbanim:

    Since the intent of Rabbeinu Gershom in forbidding polygamy was to put men and women on an equal footing in a divorce, the heter meah rabbanim is used only when there is absolutely no other option – as when the wife is mentally incapacitated or does not relent over a long period of time to receive the get, after all other avenues have been exhausted. It is preferable to pressure her via all available means to accept the get rather than resort to a heter.