I’m not certain what can be done; this is a halachic isssue. One idea might be to make prenuptial agreements a standard in Jewish engagements. We could never enforce prenups, but making it standard procedure might in itself help. I have no problem with coercing husbands, but that wouldn’t solve the problem.
Publicizing the names of husbands who refuse to provide a get might work; even better, these husbands should be ostracized. Community rabbis must get more involved in these matters. We need to alter the tanayim to include a clause for such a situation. We could also provide information to high school students about premarital counseling and prenuptials.
- Chana Berkovitch, pharmacist
Each community must deal with this conflict on an individual basis. We also need to expose both sides of the story – while we often sympathize with the woman’s side, we really need to hear the whole story. We could enforce cherem on the men, but it’s been tried and the men are still around and thriving.
We must get tough with this problem. Communities must get organized and rabbis must publicize who these men are. The Rambam said that it’s permissible in certain cases to force people.
- Reuven Averick, doctor