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Good News for New Year 5777

Oct 05, 2016 — Categories: , ,

As I wish blessings in the New Year to Jewish friends and colleagues, there is also good news to celebrate. There is finally a solution to the problem of the get in Modern Orthodox Judaism. For centuries, women have suffered because a husband in a divorce refused to give the get, the agreement to divorce, to his wife. Orthodox Jewish wives, committed to Jewish law, could find themselves bound to a spouse for life which meant that they could not remarry. Many Jewish battered women have suffered from get refusal on the part of an abuser and even rabbinic tribunals have been powerless to force a husband to give a get. Now there is an answer: a halakhic prenup.

Good News for New Year 5777

Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune

As I wish blessings in the New Year to Jewish friends and colleagues, there is also good news to celebrate.

There is finally a solution to the problem of the get in Modern Orthodox Judaism. For centuries, women have suffered because a husband in a divorce refused to give the get, the agreement to divorce, to his wife. Orthodox Jewish wives, committed to Jewish law, could find themselves bound to a spouse for life which meant that they could not remarry.

Many Jewish battered women have suffered from get refusal on the part of an abuser and even rabbinic tribunals have been powerless to force a husband to give a get. Now there is an answer: a halakhic prenup.

If the couple faces divorce, the prenup sets in place the process and establishes the bet din [Jewish court] to oversee it creating motivation for cooperation between the parties and preventing the use of get refusal.

The Rabbinic Council of America has passed a resolution requiring member rabbis to use “a rabbinically-sanctioned prenuptial agreement” at any wedding where they officiate. Most couples who marry do not anticipate a future divorce and so if the halakhic prenup is optional, they probably would not utilize it. But if the rabbi is required to apply it to every couple, then it becomes a matter of course and a protection for all parties.

Rosh Hashanah

I am linking to the article written by our colleage, Rabbi Mark Dratch, Executive Vice President of the RCA. I encourage you to read it. Rabbi Dratch explains this new resolution from a very personal perspective. Two of his children plan to marry in the next year. He compares their marriage preparations to his own some 34 years ago. His perspective provides a valuable context for why actions like this are important in preventing domestic violence.

These small steps within faith communities are fundamental to the affirmative leadership necessary to change our dominant culture which has, for too long, accepted domestic violence as a fact of life.

This is cause for celebration!

 

Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune
www.FaithTrustInstitute.org
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Good News for 5777

Posted by toby myers at Oct 10, 2016 01:31 PM
Wonderful piece and so happy to hear news of Mark Dratch. Loved reading this and so happy to know progress is made in re eliminating plight of agunot.