This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

November 18, 2009
Israel’s Orthodox women clamor for the right to divorce

In Israel, the rabbinical courts decide when couples can marry and divorce. Worldfocus correspondent Martin Himel speaks with Orthodox Jewish women who are protesting the Jewish law that states husbands must consent to divorce.

bookmark    print

Comments

8 comments

#8

@Yisroel Feldman: Kabbalistic nonsense, used to rationalize the misogyny underlying Orthodox Judaism.

@jgarbuz: I’ll be sure to convey your sentiments to all of the agunot who have suffered at the hands of the rabbinical courts for decades.

#7

In Israel, marriage is not a state function. In Israel civil unions between men and women, or even same sex partners are accepted. You can register as living together in common law, and that is accepted for legal, tax and subsidy purposes. But if you want to “marry” then that has to be done either by the Rabbinate, or the Muslim authorities, or Christian priests, pastors, etc. There is no civil marriage in ISrael. However, if you want civil marriage, you can go to nearby Cyprus, or to any other country that has civil marriage and get married there, and return. The Israeli state will accept that marriage certificate as valid for tax and legal purposes.
As for divorce, to get a Bill of Divorcement, you have to get it at the Rabbinate. OF course, Catholics forbid divorce. Muslims have their own laws.
If a man refuses to divorce his wife because she wants custody, and the house, or exhorbitant child support payments etc., or other terms he will not accept, the Rabbinate cannot force a divorce upon him UNLESS they are convinced that he has been totally unfair, abusive, or does not really want to reconcile. If he wants to reconcile they cannot force him to divorce.
There is no civil marriage or divorce in Israel as far as I know. However, if the couple mutually agree to divorce, then there is no problem if neither side was coerced into it.

#6

If this jewish law is based on old texts/ideology..it is not appropriate to a modern society. This is true of Christian and Muslim based ideology as well. Old rules should not apply to todays culture, no matter in which part of the world it is concieved. These type of old laws were created to fit the society of another time, another day. They were conspired to control people as a law of the times. We should reflect a modern society, where all freedoms and equality are excepted terms.

#5

When a man and a woman marry, they become one entity and one soul. Therefore, for them to break apart and divorce is an extremely terrible thing; it is much worse than the amputation of a leg, for it is the tearing apart of a soul.

However, the mentioned case of a leg is a good example: if, Lord Forbid, a leg is severely damaged and becomes gangrene and the gangrene poisons are threatening to spread to the rest of the body and kill the person, then, unfortunately, we have to cut off the leg. An amputation of a leg is certainly NOT a good thing — it is a very terrible thing! Only in order that this person will be totally destroyed, this amputation surgery needs to be done.

Similarly, there are many cases of marriages where, unfortunately, there is severe “gangrene.” In order that the terrible spouse does not totally destroy the other spouse, the surgery of amputation — called “divorce” — has to be done.

Now any surgery, and certainly a major surgery of an amputation, can only be done by a specially trained, certified, and licensed physician, who will thus use his training to properly perform the operation. So the even more sensitive “surgery” of a divorce, certainly has to be done by the properly qualified professional spiritual “doctors,” who will use their training to properly perform this operation.

It certainly has nothing whatsoever to do with, Lord Forbid, any discrimination or degradation of women. Rather, just like a physical surgery has to be done a certain way because that is the way a person’s body is structured, so this spiritual surgery of divorce has to be done in a certain way because of the spiritual structure of the entity.

#4

When a man and a woman marry, they become one entity and one soul. Therefore, for them to break apart and divorce is an extremely terrible thing; it is much worse than the amputation of a leg, for it is the tearing apart of a soul.

However, the case of a leg is a good example: if, Lord Forbid, a leg is severely damaged and becomes gangrene and the gangrene poisons are threatening to spread to the rest of the body and kill the person, then, unfortunately, we have to cut off the leg. An amputation of a leg is certainly NOT a good thing — it is a very terrible thing! Only in order that this person will be totally destroyed, this amputation surgery needs to be done.

Similarly, there are many cases of marriages where, unfortunately, there is severe “gangrene.” In order that the terrible spouse does not totally destroy the other spouse, the surgery of amputation — called “divorce” — has to be done.

Now any surgery, and certainly a major surgery of an amputation, can only be done by a specially trained, certified, and licensed physician, who will thus use his training to properly perform the operation. So the even more sensitive “surgery” of a divorce, certainly has to be done by the properly qualified professional spiritual “doctors,” who will use their training to properly perform this operation.

It certainly has nothing whatsoever to do with, Lord Forbid, any discrimination or degradation of women. Rather, just like a physical surgery has to be done a certain way because that is the way a person’s body is structured, so this spiritual surgery of divorce has to be done in a certain way because of the spiritual structure of the entity.

Now any surgery, and certainly a major surgery of an amputation, can only be done by a specially trained, certified, and licensed physician, who will thus use his training to properly perform the operation. So the even more sensitive “surgery” of a divorce, certainly has to be done by the properly qualified professional spiritual “doctors,” who will use their training to properly perform this operation.

It certainly has nothing whatsoever to do with, Lord Forbid, any discrimination or degredation of women. Rather, just like a physical surgery has to be done a certain way because that is the way a person’s body is structured, so this spiritual surgery of divorce has to be done in a certain way because of the spiritual structure of the entity.

#3

Religion drops the ball when it comes to women/men relations. Adam’s rib, Krsna’s wife, etc., they all fall to realize the foundation for social equality of the sexes. You would think that since religion loves to constantly toss around the word GOD that they would realize that this supreme progenagor is the foundation of social justice!

#2

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by worldfocus_org: In Israel, Martin Himel speaks with Orthodox women protesting the Jewish law that states husbands must consent to divorce http://ow.ly/Dws7

#1

As a man who was married in, and much later having gone through a divorce process in Israel, I only wish I had listened to the rabbis in the divorce process. Basically, my ex-wife, an Israeli social worker, took me to the cleaners. Without going through a sordid story, I simply want to say that there’s a father’s side to this story as well. I now support the rabbinical courts who protect unwitting fathers from being totally cleaned out as I was.

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Produced by Creative News Group LLC     ©2017 WNET.ORG     All rights reserved

Distributed by American Public Television