Haredi rabbis come out against prenups

Rabbi Sherman, ex-Great Rabbinical Court member, becomes latest to sign joint letter ruling prenuptial agreements to be invalid.

Chaim Lev ,

Rabbi Avraham Sherman
Rabbi Avraham Sherman
Eliran Baruch

Rabbi Avraham Sherman, a former member of the Great Rabbinical Court and a student of former haredi leader Rabbi Yosef Elyashiv, on Sunday joined those voicing opposition to prenuptial agreements.

The rabbi signed off on a joint letter recently published by a group of haredi rabbis strongly opposing prenuptial agreements, which in recent years have become common among modern Orthodox circles in the US such as the Rabbinical Council of America.

According to the haredi rabbis who signed on to the public letter, a get (divorce) given after a prenuptial agreement has been enacted is considered to be a get meuseh (a divorce granted against the husband's wishes), and is invalid.

The implications of the letter are that a prenuptial agreement before the wedding is liable to be highly problematic if the couple should later decide to divorce.

In the legal ruling, the rabbis wrote that "all obligation of child support or anything else intentionally done with a goal of coercing the get disqualifies the get, and it doesn't matter if they refer to the get openly."

However, none of the rabbis who signed off on the letter currently hold an official post in the Rabbinical Court system, and therefore there is great doubt as to whether their religious ruling will hold any weight for those requiring the services of the Rabbinical Courts.

Signatories to the letter included Rabbi Moishe Sternbuch, Ra'avad of the Edah Haharedit, as well as Rabbi Avraham Dov Auerbach who previously was head of the Rabbinical Court in Tiberias, the Chief Rabbi of the Gilo neighborhood in southern Jerusalem Rabbi Eliyahu Shlezinger, and Derekh Emunah chairperson Rabbi Baruch Efrati.