Beis Din In Petach Tikvah Rules On Cost Of Kesuva After 45 Years

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100,000 lira (pounds) is the amount a young chosson committed to in the kesuva to his wife, a young policewoman, as they stood under the chuppah in Lod many years ago.

After 45 years of marriage, the couple decided to divorce. The woman refused to give up the kesuva and asked the Petach Tikvah Beis Din to compel him to pay the kesuva as part of the divorce agreement.

According to the husband and his lawyers, a hundred thousand pounds is equivalent to only ten NIS and he is willing to pay, and even double and triple the sum. On the other hand, the woman demanded 238,000 NIS as written, explaining the amount is linked to the exchange of currencies and the cost of living.

Members of the beis din, Av Beis Din Dayan Rav Yigal Lehrer and dayanim Rabbi Menachem Hagar and Rabbi David Gruzman, were asked about the monetary issue stemming from the agreement and examined the significance of currency conversion and the relevance of indexation according to halacha.

In the judgment, the dayanim examined the issue of currency exchange and linkage in line with halacha. After lengthy halachic discussion and probing seforim, a ruling was issued based mainly on the rulings of the Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZT”L and Maran HaGaon HaRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv ZT”L. the dayanim ruled that 100,000 pounds is just that, and not 100,000 NIS.

However, in line with the ruling of leading poskim, including Rav Ovadia they are quoted explaining, the amount stated in the kesuva should be linked.

Since the husband and rav did not define the linkage at the time of the chupah, the dayanim decided that the fairest way, both halachically and substantively, is linkage to dollars. The dayanim examined and found that 100,000 pounds in 1974 were equivalent to 15,000 dollars.

The ruling states:
• The husband owes the amount of the kesuva
• The debt owed by him is one hundred thousand pounds
• The husband must actually pay fifteen thousand dollars

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)




6 COMMENTS

  1. Why in Israel is there a linkage to us dollars? This psak requires a whole lot of explanation as US dollars have no role in Israel or not any more a role than the Hungarian pengus or euros or japenese yen.

  2. Now that is a good article. Looking forward to more like this one. Sometimes the rabbanut publish their decisions in detail, I wonder if this one will be available.

  3. @Talmidchochom
    Actually, quite a bit in Israel is tied to the Dollar and Euro, for better or worse. Contracts – including divorce settlements – frequently contain clauses regarding amounts of money that are linked to the Consumer Pricing Index, that fluctuates much like the stock market, except in this case, is based on the purchasing power of the Shekel. That means anything based on the CPI is tied to the forex market, meaning the the Dollar and Euro exchange rates. That’s important because from my work experience as a translator, the sums paid for child support and alimony are typically tied to the CPI. I assume this is what the Dayanim were taking into account, as well as the fact that the Lira doesn’t exist anymore.

    @motchah11
    There are actually quite a few.