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Many years ago when I was helping my congregation write a new constitution, I submitted a first draft to an expert who had been involved in setting up new shuls. One paragraph read, “All matters of halacha (Jewish law) will be determined by the congregational rabbi.” Pretty straightforward, I thought.
When I recently wished a friend “Mazal Tov” on his daughter’s engagement, I broached the issue of prenuptial agreements in accordance with Jewish law. My friend, a rosh yeshiva, turned to me and said, “Of course they’re signing one. People who don’t sign halachic prenuptial agreements are stupid.”
Presumably, almost all the readers of this publication are Orthodox Jews – those that pride themselves on serving G-d through fulfilling His commandments. Keeping in mind the rabbinical edict, "A mitzvah that comes your way—don't miss it!" (Rashi, Bavli Megillah 6b), it would behoove the readers to know that an oft-missed mitzvah has come their way.
It began in the United States with the Yiddish newspaper the Forward in the first half of the 20th century. The galeriye fun farshvundene mener (gallery of vanished husbands) appeared regularly, listing names and photos of men who had disappeared leaving their wives as agunot, chained to a Jewish marriage. The Jewish Press followed in the latter decades of the century, launching its own weekly seiruv list.