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Apr 17, 2018

interesting psak: releasing an aguna from Yemen

an interesting case came before the beis din in Tel Aviv of a Yemenite woman who could not get a divorce from her husband.

The story goes that this woman was forcibly married off to her husband as a child in 1993 in Yemen. The husband was a violent man and would beat her along with other violent acts against her. At some point in a complicated mission, the Jewish Agency and the security forces pulled off the complicated task of sneaking her out of Yemen with her 6 children. Initially they were taken to the United States and eventually to Israel. The only problem remaining was that she remained married to her husband back in Yemen and communication with him became very difficult due to the complicated security situation in Yemen. This husband had converted to Islam in Yemen and seemingly all hope of getting a gett from him was lost due to the complications.

The dayyan in Tel Aviv investigated the case and analyzed her kesuba and the details of her wedding speaking to family members and friends and others of the few Jews in Yemen.

The dayyan's conclusion was that the original marriage can be nullified due to a number of justifications to invalidate it retroactively. In a 250 page psak, Rav Aviran Yitzchak HaLevi details 19 halachic reasons to release her from the marriage, including the kashrus of the witnesses, the process of the wedding itself, the husband's eventual conversion, and the fact that she was married against her will, and more.

At the end of the psak Rav Aviran Yitzchak Halevi and the beis din declared her marriage annulled and declared her a single woman who could marry another man if she so desires.
sources: Behadrei, Haredim10, Kikar

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