Tel Aviv Beis Din Demands Violent Alcoholic Husband Divorce His Wife

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A Tel Aviv District Rabbinate-affiliated beis din ruled that a man who is a violent alcoholic is compelled to give his wife a Get immediately despite the fact she was the one who left their home.

The couple in question have three children and have been married for 18 years. The woman told the beis din her husband is addicted to alcohol, which he regularly drinks in excess, and as a result, he has outbursts of anger and rage. According to her, he has used physical violence against her in the past and has even threatened her life with strangulation as he waves a dog collar in front of her. She told the beis din her husband does not support her.

The husband denies the allegations against him and has refused to give his wife a Get to date. In his words, it is the wife who acts with violence and aggression towards him, both verbal and physical violence, as well as often summoning police to their home after she was violent. He told the beis din that from time-to-time he would have a bit of alcohol, but he insists he is not an alcoholic.

Due to the contradictory statements and accusations made by the couple against one another, Dayanim Rabbi Refael Ben-Shimon, Rabbi Meir Kahane and Rabbi Aviran Halevi decided to conduct a thorough factual investigation by contacting Israel Police and obtaining court orders.

The dayanim found a paper trail of complaints to police by the wife against her husband. In some of the cases, it was the husband who complained against his wife, accusing her of being violent, which she denied, stating the use of her hands was for defensive purposes only. In one complaint, she accused the husband of breaking her makeup equipment, and in another, she explained he arrived home after midnight with cuts and bleeding from his hand. There are also mutual complaints filed by the in-laws against the in-law children.

The dayanim arrived at the decisions from a number of poskim, including from Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZT”L ZY”A in Yabia Omer, that the husband is viewed as repulsive (בעל מאוס) to the wife, and therefore, immediate divorce should be ordered. In addition, it is not the husband who is supporting the wife and children, yet additional grounds for a Get as well as the fact the husband drinks to the point of intoxication, all leading to the need for an immediate Get.

The dayanim felt entertaining efforts towards shalom bayis would place the wife in a life-threatening situation, and all of the above-mentioned facts including the husband’s violence towards the wife compel a Get, adding אין מאיס עלי גדול מזה since the situation has spun out of control.

All three dayanim agreed, that the husband must be compelled to give a Get immediately, and if the husband is not prepared to comply, the beis din will decide to impose sanctions aimed at changing his mind.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)




4 COMMENTS

  1. If Maran Ovadia, ZTL, actually paskind that “If the husband is viewed as repulsive to the wife, and therefore, immediate divorce should be ordered….”

    If we take this literally, I would suspect there will be a large number of bnos yisroel considering their life alternatives given how many believed that they were locked into relationships with men for whom they have long considered repulsive. I guess much depends on how the Rav’s standard of בעל מאוס is applied by a beis din in real-world situations.

  2. why were things allowed to go so far? if there is a “long paper trail” of complaints then this should have been sorted out long ago one way or another. Irrespective of who’s at fault they were obviously not managing for a very long time!

  3. Presumably this was at the wife’s request (if neither party wanted a divorce and they ordered them to divorce, that would be highly unusual). Why is this considered to be a “hiddush”? Is there any situation such as this (where the husband chases the wife away with violent behavior) where any Beis Din would not order him to give a “get”. Obviously there are issues of “fact” but once they are resolved with a determination that the husband has been physically abusive and has threated to kill the wife, and doesn’t support her, there really is a “legal” (as opposed to “factual”) issue.