web analytics
August 29, 2014 / 3 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



INTERVIEW

Rabbi Ben Dahan, Jewish Home: I’ve Worked Hard on Behalf of Women

"When positions opened, if there was a qualified woman for the job I was inclined to hire her."
Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan

Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan
Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90

I had to create a special unit to deal with these missing men because there was a big difference if they were found in Israel or in other countries. In Israel it was easy to bring the men to bet bin, but in other parts of the world I had to send special rabbis to seek them out and then convince them to give a get.

What did you do to help women whose husbands refuse to give a get, or as you call it, mesoravot get?

I revolutionized the system in Israel. In the past if the bet din ordered the husband to give a get, there was no way to enforce it. I drafted a law that gave the rabbinic court the power to sanction recalcitrant husbands until they obey their orders to grant a get. I worked very hard to get this bill passed in the Knesset. I lobbied all the MPs and eventually even convinced the head of the leftist Meretz party to vote for it. When it became law it made a very big difference to the women chained to a dead marriage.

What are some of the sanctions?

They range from large monetary payments to the wife until a get is granted to revocation of the husband’s drivers license and professional license to seizing a passport to prevent travel out of the country to putting a hold on their bank accounts.

In one celebrated case, a doctor in one of our hospitals refused to give his wife a get. Our office had his medical license suspended and the hospital suspended him. A get was given very quickly.

The sanctions can go as far as jailing the recalcitrant husband. And once in jail, privileges such as visits and canteen are removed as time passes, and finally the man can find himself in solitary confinement. My feeling is that his refusal to give a get takes away the wife’s freedom so it is only fitting that we take away his freedom as well.

I created a special bet din to deal with the most difficult mesoravot get cases, and this special bet din is the one that has gotten tremendous results. I checked each case and turned the really hard ones over to this special court. In fact, over the years if an Israeli citizen living abroad came to Israel for a yahrzeit or a family simcha or some other event, and he was on the list of those who were refusing to give their wives a get, we immediately notified the police and he was kept in custody until a get was granted. Unfortunately when I left my position this special bet din was discontinued.

I was also instrumental in the hiring of women toanot – rabbinic pleaders. In the past only men were rabbinic pleaders. I fought to change the law so that women could also be toanot. Rachel Levmore was the first one and I hired her to work for us.

Today women make up more than fifty percent of rabbinic pleaders and I have found that in many cases the women toanot are more dedicated than the men.

After our successes in Israel we were approached by rabbinic courts in other countries for help. I answered every call and made suggestions wherever applicable. Unfortunately, outside of Israel, religious courts do not have the same powers of enforceability we have in Israel.

What do you hope to accomplish as a Knesset member?

I have been lobbying to make get refusal an extraditable offense for Israeli men who ran away to the U.S. I met with Homeland Security in Washington regarding Israeli men who are wanted in Israel for not granting their wives a divorce and who are in America illegally. I was not successful. But from the Knesset I hope to push through a law on behalf of these women whose husbands ran away – and to have Israel officially request the extradition of any Israeli man living outside Israel who has been ordered by a bet din to give a get and has not done so.

I would also like to expand our registry of gittin given in Israel to include gittin given all over the world. If this could be accomplished then even if a woman loses her document stating she was divorced, we would have the pertinent information listed in our registry.

About the Author: Naomi Klass Mauer is associate publisher of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Rabbi Ben Dahan, Jewish Home: I’ve Worked Hard on Behalf of Women”

  1. Hadar Israel says:

    Leave Rav Ben Dahan alone!
    He has done A LOT for agunot and molested women!
    It's disgusting that he is attacked exactly by the party whose current boss did not even respect his own wife and publicly confessed on tv of cheating on her for years! Remember the shameful behavior by Netanyahu in 1991, at the time of the famous "hot cassette" story where David Levy made him look like the jerk he is claiming he had a cassette that did not exist, without saying with what in it, and Netanyahu, "LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE!", immediately felt guilty, lost it and confessed to the whole Israeli public that he had cheated on his wife. He thought that Levy has a cassette with his "hotel" exploits… ;-)

  2. Chaiya Eitan says:

    So glad I read this! The problem of these women not being given a get is a tragedy. What this man has done for these women is wonderful.

  3. D Weber Jones says:

    I am pleased to hear of someone so respected, fighting for women's rights in Israel.. after all, isn't Israel supposed to be the example for all the people, the world… Show everyone–this is the acceptable form of behavior…

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal in Gaza
Mashaal Vows Cease-Fire a Step to New ‘Resistance’ War against Israel
Latest Indepth Stories
TorahScroll AoT17

The congregants, Ethiopians spanning generations, were beaming with joy and pride.

Troodler-082914

The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip nine years ago did not enhance Israel’s security.

Eisenstock-082914

How does a soldier from a religious home fall in love with a soldier from a non- religious kibbutz?

Israeli-flag

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

We risk our lives to help those who do what they can to kill to our people .

Twain grasped amazingly well the pulse of the Jewish people.

The entertainment industry appears divided about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Israelis in Gaza border communities need to get out; who will help them?

More Articles from Naomi Klass Mauer
Mauer-080814-Nadia-Yehudit

After they saw what happened in Gush Katif in 2005, they understood Judea and Samaria could well be next.

Abusive men are usually on their best behavior before marriage. But they do provide clues.

“It’s the one time and place where so many people can come together and tell the world that we support Israel.”

The new soldiers received a gun and a Tanach, in which the “deed” to the land of Israel is found.

My involvement with Frum Divorce corresponds to a lot of the work I do at The Jewish Press helping agunot and others going through divorce.

Almost every year I am invited to attend the grand banquet of the International Shluchos Convention, the climax of a four-day weekend that attracts some 2,500 Chabad shluchos from all over the world – from Argentina to Australia, from Thailand to Kazakhstan, and from every state in the U.S. It takes place the weekend of Chaf Bet Shevat, the yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, wife of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, zt”l.

You have been a role model and an inspiration to us from as far back as I can remember.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/my-record-shows-how-hard-ive-worked-on-behalf-of-women-an-interview-with-knesset-candidate-rabbi-eli-ben-dahan/2013/01/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: