Nov 6, 2018

gett refusal incurs heavy fine

A husband refusing to grant his wife a gett, essentially leaving her as an agunah, is a big problem. From what i have read, another major problem is the women who refuse to accept a gett from the estranged husband, holding out until demands are met. I have seen conflicting numbers on these matters so I do not know which is more serious, but the beis din can often find simpler solutions to the woman refusing to accept than they can when the husband refuses to give.

A case went before the beis din. The couple had married in 2010. In 2014 Mr filed for divorce. Two and a half years later the beis din ordered them to divorce after efforts towards reconciliation failed. Mrs does not want to get divorced, though her appeal to the Beis Din Hagadol was rejected. The beis din also decided that after such a long separation without any successful reconciliation, the divorce should be forced on her - sanctions should be imposed on her until she accepts.

Mrs continued to refuse the divorce. The beis decided that Mr had suffered years of abuse at the hands of Mrs and at the hands of her family and that is what caused him to despise her. They also decided that the reason she refuses to divorce and the reason reconciliation was not successful is her desire to control him with emotion and sometimes physical abuse.

The beis din has imposed sanctions on her, including not allowing her to leave the country, no passport or drivers license, among other sanctions. Her appeals were rejected.

Because she continues to refuse the gett, beis din decided to impose further sanctions under the category of contempt of court, or in this case contempt of the beis din by her refusal to comply with their orders. She will now be obligated to pay a fine of 165nis per day until she accepts the gett. She also will have to pay 40,000nis to her husband to compensate for monetary damages she caused him by her refusal over a period of our and a half years.
source: Takdin

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  1. I don't know why you wrote that there are conflicting reports. The data are clear: in Israel, there are more women who refuse to take a gett than man who refuse to give.

    As for Heter Meah Rabanim - that is not an option for two reasons: a) They are rarely given (maybe about a dozen a year at most in Israel) b) Very few women will agree to marry a man without a gett but with a heter.

  2. By the way, this is not only true in Israel, but actually around the world. See the following article:

    "The Melbourne beth din oversees about two getts a week. It works like this: a couple comes in. A scribe hand writes the gett. The couple stands, facing one another. The man holds up the folded gett, releases it, and the woman catches it between her fingers. They are now no longer married.

    The rabbi tells me something not mentioned at the agunah meeting. The woman can hold the man hostage by refusing to accept the gett. In fact, he says this happens more often than the man refusing to grant a gett."

  3. I heard from someone very senior in the Rabbanut who is familiar with the current situation, that it is true that the majority of Get Refusers are women; in many cases women refuse to accept a get as the husband wants to marry his girlfriend with whom he was unfaithful during the marriage so the wife is determined to do all that she can to prevent the husband from remarrying.

    However, when sanctions are threatened or imposed, the majority of women agree to accept the get, so the majority of long-term get refuses who have sanctions imposed against them or are sitting in jail are men.

    Currently all the get refusers sitting in jail are men. In recent years there was at least one case when the Rabbanut was close to imprisoning a woman who refused to accept a get, but she relented before entering prison.

  4. I have also heard what Michael said. Additionally, I have heard from activists in the field that a woman refusing a get is easy to define and the Rabbanut calls her a refuser fairly quickly. When it is a man refusing to grant the gett the batei din take a very long time to consider him a refuser. Thus, the numbers of women are higher than men just because the beis din gives the men more time before determining anything.


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