Dr. Oded Gez, Israel’s renowned get refuser, on Monday morning entered Hadarim prison in the Sharon to serve his sentence of 17 months plus six months’ probation and NIS 5,000 ($1,560). He was convicted of violating a restraining order issued against him by the Rabbinical Court.
Judge Amit Michaels wrote in his ruling against Gez: “The defendant should not expect the mercy of the court, after many years in which he did not have mercy on his wife.”
Gez fled Israel after a lengthy divorce process during which he vehemently refused to part with his wife. His last resort was to disappear. The rabbinical court had banned Gez from leaving the country, so he paid NIS 20,000 ($6,200) for a forged passport. He showed up at Ben Gurion Airport with the fake passport, disguised as a Haredi man, and flew to Hungary. His lengthy extradition process to Israel was unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, his wife, who had been an agunah for years, finally received a verdict from the Rabbinical Court that undid their marriage.
The Rabbinical Court ruled that although the woman was no longer an agunah after the annulment of their marriage, Dr. Gez could still be prosecuted for violating a court order.
Dr. Gez was not aware of that stipulation. After four years abroad, seeing as there no longer was a reason for him to stay away, he came home. And was arrested.
His ex-wife told the court that her plea for a divorce from the defendant was the result of the physical, verbal, and financial violence she had suffered. According to her, the defendant left her an agunah in a religious society, which meant she was being perceived as “non-existent.” She added that while the defendant was “set free,” she was “left incarcerated” and forced to live in severe loneliness, without the option of forming a new relationship.