Yaron Atias
Yaron Atiaspicture used with permission of Yaron Atias

Yaron Atias, a recalcitrant husband from Ashdod who was censured by the Haifa Rabbinical Court, finally granted his wife a 'get,' (religious divorce) after two years.

Atias came to the Rabbinical Court in Haifa, where he handed the divorce document to his ex-wife, Mazal Dadon Atias, in accordance with the court's ruling.

About a month ago, the Rabbinical Court in Haifa ruled that the name and picture of Atias should be publicized, and that the public should avoid him under 'Rabbeinu Tam's Distancing Rules,' a twelfth century ruling under which the Jewish community severs contact with a recalcitrant husband until he grants his wife a Get.

The court's ruling including a ban on speaking with Atias and with having any form of business or monetary arrangement with him. He was also not to be hosted or fed at anyone's house or visited at his own house. He was not to be allowed to join a synagogue or treated with the respect due to a member of the community.

Atias was jailed for one week for driving without a license after his driver's license was confiscated by the court. The judges clarified to Atias that if he continues to refuse to grant a divorce to his wife, his sentence will be increased and he will be sent to a long prison term until the divorce is granted.

On Thursday evening, Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut issued a decision approving the prison sentence. In her decision, Justice Hayut wrote: "After reviewing the arguments of the parties, I came to the conclusion that there is no basis for intervening in the decision of the court that exercised its authority. The severity of such behavior and the harm caused to the applicant need not be overemphasized, and it has already been ruled that the Rabbinical Court and the courts must fight this phenomenon through any means at their disposal."

On Friday, the couple engaged in intensive talks and contacts with the legal advisor and the Agunot department of the Rabbinical Courts' administration, in order to bring the parties to a divorce agreement and force the recalcitrant husband to grant his wife a Get. The Rabbinical Court in Haifa was already set up on Friday to arrange the get, but Atias continued to refuse to grant the divorce.

This morning Attias was accompanied by the Israel Prison Service from the Kishon police station to the Rabbinical Court in Haifa. After a discussion, a divorce agreement was signed and a divorce between the parties was arranged. Rabbi David Malka, the head of the Rabbinical Court, said: "I am happy that after much effort, the difficult story has come to an end and the lady has been released from her agony."

MK Yehuda Glick had tried to mediate between the sides during the past few weeks, and has received fierce public criticism after inviting Atias to a meeting in his Knesset office.

Following the invitation, Glick received a sharp public outcry, and when he went up to the Knesset platform for a speech, a number of Knesset members marched out of the plenum protesting his decision to invite Atias to his Knesset office.

Glick stated that he has been in contact with Mazal Dadon Atias and kept her updated on his discussions with Atias.