Archive: 3/6/2013
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  3/6/2013, Adar 24, 5773

MK Ben-Dahan Calls to Jail People in Divorce Cases


Member of Knesset Eliyahu Ben-Dahan commented on the father who jumped out a second-story bathroom window in order to avoid being forced into a divorce agreement. The incident occurred Wednesday at the Rabbinical court in Jerusalem. MK Ben-Dahan was the head of the Rabbinical court for decades. He called for harsher prison terms in an attempt to convince people to agree to divorce arrangements. 
 
In modern Jewish law a man must issue a wife a divorce certificate and the woman must accept it for the divorce to be halachicly valid. Such a situation potentially can result in either side refusing to issue or accept the agreement because of monetary issues or child visitation rights.

A 2007 survey conducted by Rabbinical Courts Administration when MK Ben-Dahan was director listed that there were slightly more men whose wives have refused to accept the divorce then wives whose husbands were holding out. Historically an agunah, literally, anchored woman, was one who's husband was kidnapped, lost at sea or in other unknown circumstances. In today's world an agun or agunah mostly refers to unresolved divorce litigation and custody battles. Neither one can remarry according to Torah law unless officially divorced.