Nechama Esther Wasserman Still Has Not Received Her Get

POSTED ON August 09, 2018      BY admin

To all readers of Agunahandherget.com, First, we want to thank Agunah and Her Get for all the wonderful services they provide for Agunos throughout Canada, U.S.A and the world. Your work is needed in Jewish Communities everywhere. May Hashem bless everyone involved in your organization, with long life, health, nachas and Simchos in your families. Know that the Monsey, Lakewood and Flatbush Jewish communities support all you are doing. It is unbelievable how many people want to help. You have tapped into a groundswell of support that has been waiting to find a way in which to channel their pent up frustration with how Agunos are be

Israel To Promote Solution For ‘Chained-Wives’ Around The World

POSTED ON November 10, 2017      BY admin

Israeli rabbinical courts granted authority to rule in cases of 'chained wives' even if neither spouse is an Israeli citizen. For the first time in its history, the State of Israel will provide a solution for Agunot (women who are unable to remarry because their husbands refuse to grant them a religious divorce), as well as men who find themselves in a similar situation, even if they are not Israeli citizens. Today, the Israeli government issued a memorandum which grants the rabbinical courts international authority over cases of Agunot. Another issue which was dealt with is the issue of Jewish men and women, mostly from the fo

Does the Mizbeach Cry When an Abusive Marriage Ends?

POSTED ON May 11, 2017      BY admin

A recent conference call provided anonymous listeners with answers to the delicate question "Does the Mizbeach Cry When an Abusive Marriage Ends?" The call was co-hosted by the Sholom Bayis Taskforce, Crown Heights Jewish Community Council and the Adai Ad organization. Yiddishkeit emphasizes the importance of intact families and encourages working on the marriage. Yet, there are some people in terribly abusive marriages for which divorce is the only option, but it is always the last resort after all else has been tried. None of these people make this decision lightly. Mrs. Devora Krasnianski, organizer and moderator of the call, expl

Ode To A Broken Heart

POSTED ON July 22, 2016      BY admin

Rachel Bluth The Jewish Press.com She sits on the sofa, so ill at ease her moist eyes looking down at the floor, White knuckles, worn hands, twist a tissue to bits, "Please help me, I can't take anymore!" Her story unfolds, mixed with tears of great pain Her words come out haltingly hushed, Often she stops in mid-sentence for breath; She needs time and must not be rushed. The wall clock ticks time going by As I wait for her to continue to speak, So much grief etched into her pitiful face, She begins, in a voice soft and meek… "My name is Batsheva and I'm 40 years old, I have five young children at home, My

The Agunah Crisis: What Is The Answer?

POSTED ON May 31, 2016      BY admin

Esther M. Schonfeld, Esq. It continues to amaze me that not all couples are signing Halachic prenuptial agreements to eliminate the issue of Get-Refusal, especially in light of the growing Agunah crisis. When I meet with clients and ask why they did not sign a prenuptial agreement, the response is almost always the same—“I never thought this could happen to me.” Others have admitted that they were told it was not necessary. The newest dispute arises with the International Beit Din, which has been attempting to utilize two Halachic tools to resolve cases where a Get is being withheld or not accepted. The Rabbis use the mec

Get Refusal: Terrorism By Any Other Name

POSTED ON May 26, 2016      BY admin

Rachel Marks The Jewish Press.com During the recent Pesach holiday I had the opportunity to reflect on the freedoms we take for granted each day. In this country we are afforded a wide array of freedoms previously denied our ancestors, neighbors, and colleagues. While we may take it for granted, most of these freedoms were obtained through such measures as military action, widespread protest, substantial political maneuvering, legal action, and judicial intervention. When a woman is denied a Get following the disintegration of her marriage, she is denied her freedom. She is denied the freedom to separate herself permanently

Miriam’s Story

POSTED ON March 25, 2016      BY admin

Miriam, a former Agunah I finally got my Get. But I had to pay my ex $40,000. Here is my story of pain and extortion. I got married at 26 to Dovid, the son of a prominent NY family who owned a large medical supply company. After only a few weeks, the abuse began. He was physically and verbally abusive, and often threw me out of our apartment. At first, my parents pointed to the vast amount of money spent for our wedding and asked me to try to work it out. When the abuse escalated, they recanted and supported my desire to leave. I walked out seven months after I stood with Dovid under the Chuppah. I thought the Get pr

To Shame Or Not To Shame?

POSTED ON March 25, 2016      BY admin

Yael C.B. Machtinger Ta’anit Esther, the Fast of Esther, marked International Agunah Day, the purpose of which is to publicize the plight of Agunot, “chained” women who are not able to obtain a Get, a religious divorce, from their husbands. The name “Esther” is related to the Hebrew word “hester,” meaning hidden. For nine years, Esther guarded the secret of her religious and familial heritage. As the Talmud notes, she “hid her words.” The Purim story heroine was thus kept silent. How does this connect to this International Agunah Day? Like Esther, the voices of Agunot have been hidden and silenced. Con

Israel: Beis Din Demands a Get Due to Harsh Psychological Abuse

POSTED ON March 09, 2016      BY admin

Yeshiva World News – Israel Desk, Jerusalem In what is being hailed an unprecedented decision, Rabbanut Av Beis Din Dayan Shlomo Shapira has ruled a husband must give his wife a get after it was proven he was guilty of harshly abusing his wife psychologically. The Beis Din said this type of torture is viewed no less seriously than physical abuse. The Psak Din states: ”הבעל התעלל נפשית קשות באישה ולדעתנו התעללות כזו היא אלימות קשה והיא אינה פחותה מהתעללות גופנית”. It is reported that to date, a Beis Din would not take psychological or verbal

Montreal Rabbi Releases Halachic Prenup For Canada To Address Problem Of Canadian Agunot

POSTED ON February 15, 2016      BY admin

Rabbi Michael Whitman South of the border, rabbis have been able to address the problem of Agunot – women “chained” to their husbands because of the men’s refusal to voluntarily grant a Jewish divorce – by promoting adoption of a prenuptial agreement that includes a stiff financial penalty for recalcitrant spouses. It might be effective, but that type of prenup isn’t enforceable under Canadian law, because courts here won’t uphold monetary penalties imposed by rabbinic authorities. With that in mind, a modern Orthodox Montreal rabbi has crafted his own agreement that he believes is halachically compliant, meets Ca

Groundbreaking Ruling For Jewish Divorce Out of Israel

POSTED ON February 15, 2016      BY admin

Allison Josephs The Torah on one foot according to Hillel is “what is hateful to you don’t do to your neighbor.” However, because the process of Jewish divorce, according to Torah law, gives the upper hand to the husband, men will sometimes abuse this power and use a Get (Jewish divorce document) as leverage against their wives in order to negotiate for a more favorable settlement for themselves. Many Orthodox rabbis have spoken out against this practice, declaring that using a Get as leverage is a form of abuse and therefore prohibited. But some rabbis condone this practice with the justification that “the wife was bei

Taking the Matrimonial Bull by the Horns for Jewish Divorcees

POSTED ON January 11, 2016      BY admin

SHOSHANNA KEATS-JASKOLL The Jerusalem Post Laws that already exist can also be utilized to prevent agunot, women chained to their marraiges. It seems that most of what we hear today regarding agunot is what cannot be done. From heads of yeshivot to the regular person on the Internet, organizational announcements, blog posts and Facebook statuses are filled with what is wrong, unacceptable and dangerous about freeing Jewish women chained to their marriages. Doors are closed before they can even be knocked on, and many women have nowhere to turn. The lack of options has led Jewish women to the national m

Withholding a Get is un-Jewish and Evil

POSTED ON October 30, 2015      BY admin

Rabbi Levi Brackman In Judaism, when a man refuses to give his wife a religious divorce he is taking away her most basic human right – her freedom to live and be who she wants to be. In my 14 years of practicing as a rabbi, I have been asked numerous times to offer counsel and support to couples in failing marriages. Despite the fact that it takes two to tango, often the breakdown of a marriage is more the fault of one party than the other. Yet no matter how the marriage ends and who is at fault, if the husband does not actively agree to give a Get (Jewish religious divorce) immediately after the wife requests i

With Jewish Divorce Rates at 30%, New York Orthodoxy Responds

POSTED ON April 02, 2015      BY admin

‘Rising From Divorce’ seeks to engage the insular community with concrete methods to ease children’s pain in the aftermath of an all-too-modern problem. NEW YORK – Coming on the heels of the North American release of “The Get,” an Israeli film about religious divorce in Israel, comes a new video targeted to the Orthodox Jewish community, “Rising from Divorce.” The short film, the first of its kind, stars real people and is designed to educate rather than entertain. “Rising From Divorce” casts no judgment on a couples’ decision to divorce. It doesn’t address the reasons for divorce or try to prevent it.

Get Refusal: When There’s Only One Side to the Story

POSTED ON March 10, 2015      BY admin

Keshet Starr The Times of Israel As a professional agunah advocate, if I had a penny (or actually, I’ll take a dollar) for every time someone told me, “but there are two sides to every story!” I would be a Jewish Bill Gates. In the many agunah cases I have worked on, I have seen get refusal in a variety of forms. Men who are no longer religious claiming they should not be required to give the get because they are not part of the Jewish community, and men who claim to be deeply religious who argue that it would be a violation of their faith to release their wives. I have seen some people abandon their children and insist th

Court Ruling Eases Jewish Divorce in Australia

POSTED ON March 09, 2015      BY admin

The Australian Jewish News A VICTORIAN magistrate’s decision could have an important impact on the granting of a gett (Jewish bill of divorce) if a husband refuses to do so. In Orthodox Jewish tradition, a woman who does not receive a gett cannot remarry within the Jewish community and is considered an “agunah”, a woman “chained” to her marriage. While Australian figures are not available, there have been 462 recorded cases of gett refusal in North America in the past five years. In a Victorian court last week, a magistrate broke new ground when she accepted a legal argument that withholding a gett constituted

An Agunah’s Story, Powerfully Told

POSTED ON March 01, 2015      BY admin

Dr. Rachel Levmore The Jewish Press.com With International Agunah Day approaching (March 4, Taanit Esther), there is yet another very public story of an agunah fighting for her get. Her name is Viviane Amsalem. Although Viviane is not married to a scion of a rabbinic family or a politically powerful figure, her case has made headlines. All around the world – not only the Jewish world – her dilemma is elucidated in detail, entering the minds and hearts of those who observe her travails. Yes, Viviane can be considered a figment of siblings Ronit and Shlomi Alkabetz’s imaginations, but she is, in a very importan

Judaism: Justice for the Agunah…Bais Din, the Sabbath and he who would withhold a Get.

POSTED ON August 13, 2014      BY admin

Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Saffran, Not every marriage is successful. Despite our desire for each to be perfect, we know the truth is that there are hundreds of reasons a man and a woman, once joined in love and joy, should no longer remain together. When that happens, Judaism recognizes the need to let the marriage come to an end in a way that allows both bride and groom, husband and wife, to grieve for what “could have been” but wasn’t, for promise unrealized, and then go forward with a productive and meaningful life. The Torah envisions the reality of our deepest relationships by providing both the road map for marriage – the

The Agony of the Agunah

POSTED ON July 29, 2014      BY admin

Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, I recently attended the International Agunah Day Event in Jerusalem. An Agunah (literally a chained wife) is one whose husband deserts her and refuses to give her a Get, thus preventing her from remarrying. The leading Rabbis in every generation have tried to find solutions, even far-fetched ones, for the distress of Agunot. Rabbi Akiva Eiger helped to release an Agunah with the explanation that, "The time is right to release a Jewish wife from being an Agunah, and Jewish women should not be Hefker (ownerless victims who are trapped and might be led to sin). Thus we are going to be lenient with an Aguna

Beyond The Pre-Nup: Training Orthodox Attorneys to Practice in Rabbinic Courts

POSTED ON July 17, 2014      BY admin

Esther Macner The Jewish Press.com All we need to do to solve the Agunah problem for the next generations is to ensure the widespread use of the “halachic prenuptial agreement,” right? Wrong. Pre-nups are agreements by which the husband, who is obligated by Jewish law to support his wife (mezonot), voluntarily obligates himself to give his wife a sum (usually about $200 per day) for every day he fails to appear before a bet din for purposes of giving her a get. Indeed, these agreements can be enforced in a court of law in the manner of any executed contract. The pre-nup, however, addresses only those cases where the hus