web analytics
March 1, 2015 / 10 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Longtime Agunah, ‘Chained Woman’ Freed for Passover

Numerous Israeli departments worked together to help free a "chained woman from an abusive husband.
Mahzor; “Lifting Seder Plate” illuminated manuscript (ca. 1490s).

Mahzor; “Lifting Seder Plate” illuminated manuscript (ca. 1490s).
Photo Credit: Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd, 2012

It’s taken 14 years, an ocean of sorrow and who knows how many trials and tribulations – but at the end an agunah, a “chained woman,” is free at last.

Here’s how it all it began:

Thirty years ago as a 15 year old girl the woman was married in Iran to a man with an explosive temper. Three children and 15 years later, the man’s father became ill. He was sent by his son to Israel for treatment in hopes that it would help, together with his daughter-in-law and granddaughter who suffered from diabetes.

The husband and their two sons remained behind in Iran. But alas! The grandfather died four months later, in the Holy Land. His son did not arrive for the funeral, and instead asked his wife to return to Iran with their daughter – which she refused.

Their two sons came to Israel to avoid the draft in Iran, but their father remained, visiting periodically, returning to Iran each time. At each visit, the husband verbally abused his wife and threatened her incessantly, demanding she return to Iran.

She finally opened a file requesting a divorce at the Rabbinical Court, and asked the Family Court for a restraining order against her husband, for times he would appear on his visits. She also asked for a court order to stop him from leaving Israel on his next visit so he could be forced into giving her a divorce.

But he fled on a false passport, evading authorities and efforts to force him to give his wife a Get – a Jewish bill of divorce. Without that document, a Jewish woman cannot remarry, nor can a man.

The effort continued – then three months ago, it was discovered the man was to return to Israel for the wedding of one of the couple’s sons, using a forged passport, via Turkey. This time, authorities managed to catch him despite the attempts of his children to intervene on his behalf. He was arrested and brought before the Rabbinical Court – where again he refused to issue a Get.

The Rabbinical Court in Israel (unlike elsewhere in the world) is empowered to impose sanctions, and so the rabbinical judges did. Placing the “chained wife” in a safe house where she could no longer be harassed by the husband’s family and their children, the Court jailed the husband.

When he figured out that he had no hope of leaving without issuing the decree of divorce, the husband at last came to his senses, agreed to terminate the marriage, and issued the Get to his estranged wife.

“We thank all the departments who worked so hard together, the Interior and Foreign Ministries, the security services, for their help in freeing this woman who has suffered so long,” said Rabbi Eliyahu Maimon, director of the Department for Chained Women in Jerusalem.

“This year at last she will sit at the seder table on Passover as a free woman.”

About the Author: Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.


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.

12 Responses to “Longtime Agunah, ‘Chained Woman’ Freed for Passover”

  1. Dan Silagi says:

    The time to institute civil marriage in Israel is long overdue. And it's time to make the "get" requirement illegal in Israel and everywhere else, and treat it as exactly what it is — extortion.

  2. THANK HASHEM! But, the fact that her children wanted to intercede on behalf of the father and that they, too, harassed their mother is extremely disturbing…

  3. Ohr Torah Stone is proud of our rabbinical court advocates in Yad L'isha: The Monica Dennis Goldberg Legal Aid Center and Hotine, who represented this woman throughout her ordeal, were responsible for notifying the Department for Chained Women and bringing them on board in her case, and who both arranged and subsidized her "safe apartment". We are gratified that this woman will finally be able to celebrate Chag HaCherut – the Festival of Freedom – in true freedom.

  4. Read the story again; it was the rabbanut that solved this one.

  5. Dan Silagi says:

    Jennifer Kowloop This is like saying that a team of doctors cured this person's polio completely, when had the person been vaccinated, he never would have contracted the disease in the first place.

  6. Dan Silagi Sorry, you aren't even making any sense. The woman in this case got married in Iran, and the husband lived in Iran. How would any amount of Israeli laws have helped?
    Just repeat after me: "I didn't read the article, I just saw the headline and went on a rant.

  7. Dan Silagi says:

    Jennifer Kowloop I know they got marrried in Iran. But had there been civil divorce in Israel (which there is for non-Jews) this "get" BS wouldn't have mattered one whit. Her children wouldn't be considered "mamzerim" and she could have gone on with her life without the need of a beit din.

  8. Dan Silagi Sure, if she was willing to marry out of her halachic marriage, and if she was willing for her children to be halachic mamzerim.
    And I'm puzzled you presume that Israel would grant a civil divorce for a marriage that was entered into in another country, and where one spouse was still in that other country. Most countries wouldn't do that.

  9. Dan Silagi Outlaw the giving of gets? Well then NOBODY could get divorced! What a brilliant idea.
    Also, the US does not outlaw Santeria. They tried to in Florida, but it was struck down in Lukumi. You really don't know anything.

  10. Alana Ronald says:

    So happy this woman is free! She suffered enough. Bless whomever helped.

  11. Dan Silagi says:

    You can get divorced without the giving of a get. It happens every day. The get is a means for an orthodox man to extort money from his ex-wife, and should be outlawed, religious custom or not.

  12. I'm sorry but your lead paragraph — and the rest of familial references — is too muddy to understand. Maybe your editor's eye could've rested on these a little longer?

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Obama is facing double trouble - the Senate and Netanyahu.
Obama on Collision Course with Senate Bill on Iran Deal
Latest News Stories
Bilaam and Donkey in Orot Etzion

On Thursday evening, students at the Orot Etzion Boys Elementary School in Efrat reenacted different Biblical scenes as part of an interactive live art/Torah exhibition for the month of Adar. Every floor, corner, class and even staircase of the school (think Jacob’s ladder) showed off exhibits and models the students put together by themselves. In […]

.

The Israeli decision came, according to al-Jarida, in response to U.S. and Iran secret talks—behind Israel’s back—over Iran’s nuclear program.

Obama is facing double trouble - the Senate and Netanyahu.

A proposed law would require the Senate to approve the deal. Obama threatens to veto it.

Free speech is cherished, but hate displays on Sacramento home quite disturbing.

Democrats did not sponsor but also did not try to block the resolution.

The Left-Right division remains almost the same, but a National Unity government is also feasible.

Kerry called Abbas about “financial viability” of the Palestinian Authority and efforts “to prevent a crisis.”

“I Respect the President Barak Obama.” That’s what he said. We don’t know what meant.

Three car accident near Beit Shemesh on Saturday evening. At least 10 injured.

On February 10, Nemtsov wrote in a news website, “I’m afraid Putin will kill me.”

‘Double Gold’ awarded to 2012 Yarden Heights wine & 2011 Yarden Merlot Kela Single Vineyard.

The so-called “Zionist Camp” was accused of having “blood on its hands.”

Actor Leonard Nimoy, 83, “lived long and prospered” but on Friday moved on to explore the Next World.

Iran already has enough centrifuges for a nuclear weapon.

Learning lessons from Protective Edge, Israel is building an underground training field, and will train special units in tunnel warfare.

More Articles from Hana Levi Julian
Actor Leonard Nimoy in 1967, who was best known for his role as Mr. Spock in the iconic 1960s television series "Star Trek," passed away at age 83 on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015.

Actor Leonard Nimoy, 83, “lived long and prospered” but on Friday moved on to explore the Next World.

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner asserts next week’s speech to Congress by Israeli PM Netanyahu won’t hurt US-Israel relations.

Jordan and Israel signed an historic agreement Thursday to implement the Red Sea-Dead Sea rescue pipeline project.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice and US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power will represent the Obama administration at AIPAC next week.

A NYC jury has convicted Al Qaeda’s ‘minister of communications’ on charges connected to the 1998 bombing of a US embassy in East Africa.

Canadian leaders have condemned an anti-Semitic incident that left five cars damaged and their owners badly shaken in a Jewish neighborhood of Montreal this week.

Frightening anti-Semitic vandalism has arrived at a Montreal parking garage, and a Jewish neighborhood is deeply worried following damage to five cars and death threats.

Israel’s state comptroller has released a report on the nation’s housing crisis that has set off a firestorm of criticism against the government but few solutions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/longtime-aguna-chained-woman-freed-for-passover/2014/04/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: