In a precedent, a rabbinic court sent to prison a woman who refused her husband a divorce

Jewish Connection – Israeli police, acting on orders from a rabbinical court, arrested and jailed a woman on Sunday for refusing to accept her husband’s divorce, the first time such punishment has been used against a woman, it was reported The Times of Israel.

“It’s strange. It’s the first time there has been imprisonment. But the rabbinical court came to the decision that there was no other option,” he said The Times of Israel the rabbi Elijah Maimonhead of the department of the rabbinic courts that deals with divorce refusals.

According to the rabbinic judicial system of Israelthe woman refused to accept a ritual divorce, known in Hebrew as Take itfrom her husband of 4 years after he won full custody of their two daughters after a lengthy battle in civil family court.

Maimon he said he refused to appear in court and rejected all plea deals that led to the prison order against him. She is currently sentenced to a year in prison or until she agrees to a divorce.

“We’re hoping she’ll say she’ll accept.” Take it today,” he said Maimon.

Although men are sometimes confined in Israel for refusing to grant their wives a divorce, this was the first use of imprisonment against a disobedient wife in the history of Israel.

Rabbinical courts have jailed women for other crimes related to divorce proceedings, including the woman in this case who served a day in jail for refusing to appear in court, but this is the first case of a woman jailed specifically for refusing a court directive to accept a divorce.

This is because the consequences of a man’s refusal to grant his wife a divorce are significantly different from those of a woman’s refusal to accept it, making sanctions against women less common.

For example, men whose wives refuse to accept divorce can and have received special permission to remarry in a rare but existing process known in Hebrew as Heter Mea Rabbanimin which 100 rabbis agree with the movement.

Women cannot obtain such a release under any circumstances and are instead “chained” to their husbands.

In addition, if a woman “chained” or Agunahas a child by another man, that child will be taken into account Mamzeror illegitimate, and shall be forbidden to marry in Israel, as well as all his descendants. The same does not apply to a man who has a child out of wedlock.

Yes, good Maimon acknowledged that these differences existed, said they were not applicable in this case because the husband testified that he would not be able to remarry even if he had rabbinical permission to do so.

“Not many women want to marry a man who is still married,” she said. Maimon.

The man and woman, whose names have not been released for privacy reasons, were married in 2000 and had two daughters, now aged 13 and 16.

The couple began experiencing “relationship problems” shortly after the birth of their first daughter. The couple began the separation process first through the civil family courts, which awarded the father full custody after the woman refused to appear at one of the hearings.

In 2018, the husband filed for divorce in the rabbinical courts of Israel. in Israelwho does not have a civil divorce, everyone Jewish couples they must go through the rabbinical court system for these procedures, regardless of their religious affiliation or lack thereof.

In addition, the woman initially refused to attend the meetings in Court rabbinical on I was petting Pumpkinon the outskirts of telephone Avivbut was forced to do so after the rabbinical courts ordered the police to take her away, according to a statement from the rabbinical courts.

“In subsequent hearings, the woman … insisted that she did not wish to accept a Take it and that she wanted to go through a process of reconciliation with her husband,” the courts said.

Over the past four years, The Rabbinical Court in Petah Tikva has imposed a number of sanctions against the woman to pressure her into accepting a divorce: taking away her driver’s license, freezing her bank accounts, etc.

In 2019, after a year of hearings, the court ordered the woman to meet with a psychologist, who “determined that she refuses to accept reality and release her husband,” the court said.

Maimon He said the court also worked with a social worker and “even had her workplace try to persuade her to accept the divorce”, but she continued to refuse.

“Given these circumstances, the court decided there was no other option but imprisonment,” he said. Maimon.

The court requires the approval of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lauwho serves as president of High Rabbinical Courtwhich he received “after a long discussion and repeated attempts by the rabbinic judges to persuade the woman to act reasonably, but she refused all their suggestions,” according to the court statement.

On Sunday morning, a private investigator working on behalf of the courts saw the woman on the street near her home. When he noticed, he ran home and locked himself inside.

“The Israeli police, who was summoned to carry out the decision of the rabbinical court, knocked on the door, but the woman refused to answer. Ultimately they were forced in,” the courts said.

According to Maimona representative of the court again tried to persuade the woman to accept the divorce, but she refused and was detained by the police.

The lawyer Moriah Dianewho works for the organization anger La’Isha which protects and provides legal aid to “chained” women, said The Times of Israel that he understood the reason behind the court order, although he believed that the policies of Israel regarding marriage and divorce cause this situation.

“The court did the right thing if it believed that this was ultimately the course of action that would produce the desired result.” But this whole debate comes from a twisted situation where people can ‘play’ with their ex-partners’ lives,” he said. Diane.

“I wish there was a way to handle this differently in the Israeli legal system. But that’s not possible right now, so those are the tools we have and we have to use them,” he said.

Israeli religious rights activists have advocated for years for a comprehensive overhaul of Israel’s marriage and divorce system. Israelthe latter of which is entirely controlled by rabbinic courts, with some calling for reforms to the current rabbinic system, while others advocate a complete overhaul of the system in favor of a secular, civil model.

The leader of a group calling for a full review, Center for Women’s Justicedenounced the woman’s imprisonment as a poor way to solve a serious problem, namely the inability of Israelis to divorce freely.

“We must stop violating human rights as a way to ‘fix’ our lack of human rights,” he said. Susan Weissexecutive director of the Center, do The Times of Israel.

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