The Rabbinical Court in Tel Aviv issued a fine against an American haredi businessman of NIS 5,000 ($1,370) for every day his daughter-in-law remains an Agunah (chained wife) and does not receive a Get (religious divorce). In addition, the court ordered the father-in-law to pay NIS 50,000 ($13,700) in court expenses, and his attorneys were charged NIS 10,000 ($2,740) each.
The fine was issued after the father-in-law petitioned the court against an order prohibiting his departure from Israel. The restrictions remained in place.
The businessman's daughter-in-law suffered a stroke several years after she married his son. As a result of her poor health, her husband abandoned her and fled to the US, leaving her alone with her two small children.
The son has worked in his father's business since fleeing Israel, and his father is believed to be responsible for the decision not to give his wife a divorce last 13 years.
Last year, the High Court of Justice rejected the father-in-law's petition to cancel the order prohibiting him from leaving Israel and the 30-day prison sentence imposed by the Rabbinical Court when he and his wife arrived in Israel for a visit.
The father-in-law, who has been called the "Chaining Grandpa," has attempted to prove to the court that he is not responsible for his daughter-in-law's status as an Agunah and that his son made his own decisions. However, the court remained convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the father-in-law was the one who made the decision not to grant her a Get.
Rabbinical Court Advocate Osnat Sharon of the Yad L'Isha organization of Beit Ohr Torah Stone, who represented the Agunah, stated: "he rabbinical court, headed by Rabbi Stasman, has once again proven that the release of an Agunah is a noble goal, and that they can exert pressure in any possible legal way on anyone who causes a woman to be chained, including not only the husband himself, but all those who help him."
"I see the heavy costs imposed by the court o both the father and his attorneys, and I and all the Yad L'Isha staff who assist her in this long and exhausting legal process hope that the ruling will divert the father from the method of belligerence which he has used so far and will lead him to a productive path and the arrangement of the desired Get," Sharon added