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 abuse into consideration.
The couple in question was married for 15 years and they have a son. During the years the husband would avoid relations with his wife or was away at night or would ignore his wife, preferring to watch television. On Shabbos and Yomtov he would disappear as well, leaving her alone. He treated his wife disrespectfully and caused her great emotional pain and suffering.
After a number of sessions before the Beis Din, the Dayanim agreed that the wife was the subject of abuse for many years, in addition to threats made against her by her husband.
“התרשמנו כי אילו הבעל היה מפגין שמץ של יחס לאשתו האישה לא היתה מגישה תביעה לגירושין, אך דא עקא, הבעל רואה את אשתו כצעצוע וכרכוש השייך לו. הוא מתעלם מחובותיו, מתעלם מרגשותיה ולמרות האזהרות הרבות, התחינות של האישה והתראות בית הדין הוא אינו עושה דבר”.
The Dayanim explain that if the husband would have shown a hint of concern for his wife, she would not be seeking divorce but he views her as a toy and his property to do with as he wishes. He ignores his duties, her feelings and despite numerous warnings and pleas from his wife and the Beis Din, he does nothing.
The Beis Din added the essence of marriage is a life and not sorrow, and therefore it is ruling to compel the husband to grant her a get.
The report adds the position of the Dayanim is in line with rulings by many Poskim including Shulchan Aruch and the Rambam.
Dayanim Rav Avraham Meizles and Rav Ariel Oriel were of the same mind as the Av Beis Din.