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In Groundbreaking Decision, Rabbinic Court Equates Lesbian and Heterosexual Relations

After four years of deliberations, a rabbinic court in Rishon LeTzion, Israel, awarded a husband a get (halachic divorce), and also determined that his wife’s affair with her female supervisor was tantamount to infidelity, and therefore rejected her plea for alimony, Mynet reports.

The couple had been married for more than 10 years and had 2 children. According to the suit that was filed with the rabbinic court, the wife at some point began an affair with her boss at work. Despite the fact that the wife denied the charge of an affair, claiming it was merely a friendship, the husband insisted on ending the marriage. Both the court and the wife asked that they start a “Shalom Bayit” (domestic harmony) procedure, to keep the marriage alive for the couple’s well being and for the sake of the children.

The husband, represented by Attorney Shaul Dabach, agreed to a trial compromise and the couple started attending marriage counseling sessions. But, according to the husband, despite those efforts to bridge the gap between them, the wife maintained her lesbian relationship. The husband gave up and started seeing another woman, effectively sealing the fate of the marriage.

After more than four years, in sessions that subpoenaed a long list of witnesses and very long discussions, the rabbinic court last week decided there was no point in continuing the effort to restore the marriage and finalized the couple’s divorce. The court also rejected the wife’s request to receive alimony, because of her affair with her girlfriend. With that, the court, in fact, determined that a lesbian affair constitutes halachic infidelity which is grounds for not receiving alimony.

Attorney Dabach told Mynet: “I am glad that after a lengthy and uncompromising battle, I was successful, through my professional efforts, to prove to the regional rabbinic court that my client’s claims are truthful and that there is no foundation to the wife’s counter claims, which have all been rejected.”

It is not clear what the full ramifications of the court’s decision might be – was it merely the court’s way of punishing the wife for reneging on her commitment to work on Shalom Bayit, or were the judges, in fact, considering a homosexual affair between women to have the same halachic weight as a heterosexual affair.

A rabbinic expert the Jewish Press consulted suggested the wife is likely to sue the husband in secular court for child support, if, indeed, the rabbinic court absolved the husband of financial responsibility for the children.

About the Author: Dovid Schwartz is an owner of JewishPress.com and chairman of the Karnei Shomron Likud branch.


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