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October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
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CAN'T DO THIS IN AMERICA

Court Imprisons Haredi Man for Refusing Wife a Get after He Dated another Man

They were married for more than five years, until she discovered that he was going out with another man. She caught him "red-handed."

wedding cake

Photo Credit: Yori Yanover

They were married for more than five years, reports Ynet, they raised two children, and generally lived a happy life together – until she discovered that he was going out with another man. She caught him “red-handed,” and immediately filed for divorce with the chief rabbinate, except he is refusing to divorce her.

On Tuesday, ten years after the initial filing of the case, the rabbinical court sent the husband to prison – until he gives in and gives a get.

The couple, who live in central Israel, are both Haredim. Their marriage snapped when it was discovered that the man has proclivities which he hid from his wife for years.

The Rabbinical Court ruled that the two should divorce, and ordered the man to give his wife a get. Then, for years, despite his refusal to give the get, the judges did not use their authority to impose sanctions on him.

The husband was trying to extort concessions from his wife, as a condition for granting the get – including foregoing the damages she was awarded by the court, and a better visitation arrangement with the children. But even after he got what he wanted, the husband continued to refuse the get.

At one point, the court was already processing a get on the husband’s behalf, with his consent, when suddenly he changed his mind, leaving his wife in the position of an aguna, making her unavailable to a new suitor.

Then, unexpectedly, on Tuesday, during a discussion of a side issue not directly related to the get, the judges unexpectedly responded to the request of the wife’s counsel, Executive Director of Mavoy Satum (dead end) organization attorney Batya Kahana-Dror, and ordered the arrest of the husband – until he gives the get.

A police car was summoned to the court and the cops arrested the husband on the spot. This is an exceptional move, possibly a precedent, on the part of the rabbinical court, to impose an arrest before lighter sanctions have been tried.

Attorney Kahana-Dror welcomed the arrest and said the wife had almost lost hope of ever getting a get through this court. She was even considering asking for an annulment of the marriage, on the grounds that she agreed to the marriage contract based on false claims, since the husband did not reveal his sexual deviation.

If successful, the wife would have still been considered married by the state, but at least halachically she would have been permitted to remarry.

Attorney Kahana-Dror said she regrets that “the court isn’t using jail more often as an incentive,” adding, “It’s illogical, unreasonable and contrary to halacha.”

She described the prison experience as the most effective means of convincing husbands to grant their wives a get: “95 percent of the get objectors are ready to give a get after a few nights in the Russian Compound (Jerusalem city jail) or in Abu-Kabir (Tel Aviv). It works great.”

About the Author: Tibbi Singer is a veteran contributor to publications such as Israel Shelanu and the US supplement of Yedioth, and Jewish Business News.


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30 Responses to “Court Imprisons Haredi Man for Refusing Wife a Get after He Dated another Man”

  1. Anastasia Klein says:

    So, the wonderful Haredi man goes against Torah and cheats on his wife with a man, and then he pulls the "you don't get what you want" card. What a schmuck. Just shows that all those who claim to be oh-so-observant and turn their noses down on other Jews, are the worst schmucks of all.

  2. Zemira Eli Natan says:

    Agree hundred percent!!!!

  3. Anastasia Klein says:

    schmuck was my Dad's favorite word..lol

  4. Anya Khan says:

    the worthless husband is an embarrasment to all real men.

  5. Anonymous says:

    All I can say is gay aveck and a feier zol I'm trefen.

  6. Rc Fowler says:

    Does anyone here see how sick this is–a so called but not orthodox Jew and a homosexual–its an oxymoron!

    This homosexual should be imprisoned for what he has done to his wife and children!

  7. why does it take the Bet Din so long to send him to prison?

  8. Roc Diaz says:

    it was my dads favorite word too until i used it on him. i kinda got smacked up for it though' regarding kleins comment, this fool was in the lowest of the .001% very few observant jews are actually getting it on with other men. you shouldnt be so critical of the observant community by blasting this one person just because you know in your heart that keeping shabos is the right thing to do and you dont want to do it.

  9. Anastasia Klein says:

    how the hell do you know what i do and don't do? PISS OFF

  10. Dr.Savage when He would get mad at a caller He would bust them with either schmuck or putz.

  11. JoAnn Morris says:

    Why does the husband make the "get" decision? If he is a homosexual, the courts should grant the get.

  12. Anastasia Klein says:

    i know, Charles..i love Savage.

  13. Grace Acosta says:

    While I agree with you in general, please don't paint all Haredim with the same brush. Not all ultra-orthodox "look down their noses" at people – as a matter of fact it is a small minority. Still, being judgmental is usually the sign of worse character traits that might still be hiding. In this particular case, the man is clearly a rasha, and they should throw the book at him. Shanda!

  14. Anastasia Klein says:

    Grace: I was merely saying that no one should look down their noses at other Jews, and since he is presenting himself as Haredim, he should live to a higher standard. I don't paint all with same brush, but do not insult me either. I have every right to show that those who are holier-than-thou are often lower than thou.

  15. Anastasia Klein says:

    Grace: one more thing: you yourself said they should throw the book at him, so you are also 'judging."

  16. Myriam Obadia says:

    I do think that every man who is actually living apart from his wife should be jailed if he refuses to grant a get. If he isn't doing a husband's duty, he shouldn't get a husband's rights.

  17. Myriam Obadia says:

    Contrary to the author of the article, I don't believe it is relevant that the husband in this case is gay or haredi (ultra-Orthodox). I think that no man had the right to refuse divorce to a wife with whom he no longer lives, that's all.

  18. A shocking situation, I feel sorry for the wife. This should have been dealt with immediately and not drag on for ten years. The whole thing feels utterly wrong.

  19. This case opens a can of worms. I agree that the major problem is how difficult it is for a Jewish woman to get a get from her husband.

    Some orthodox rabbis have tried to deal with this problem and with the problems of agunahs within the law, but have not been accepted by most Orthodox rabbis.

    Another problem is that most of the ultra-orthodox believe that sexual orientation is something that you can change with therapy.

    Actual studies of people who go through this type of therapy then marry members of the opposite sex show that it does not work.

    I hope that these type of problems will find a better solution than sweeping them under the rug for years.

  20. Myriam Obadia says:

    Jean Pierre, I agree that there is no cure for homosexuality anymore than there is for blue eyes at this stage of science (if ever). At any rate, blaming homosexuality will not solve the problem of women not obtaining a get from a revengeful ex-husband. The only way is to either put the man in jail until he grants it, or -even better- have the rabbinical court automatically grant a get after 1 year of separation. With the latter, no one is humiliated, and everyone is free and equal in front of the law.

  21. Astrid Palm says:

    inderdaad shocking !!

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