Get-refusing teacher expelled from class

For first time in court history: Restraining order against woman refusing divorce terminates her job as teacher and educator.

Mordechai Sones ,

Get refusal
Get refusal

For the first time in the history of the struggle against get-refusal, the Haifa Regional Rabbinical Court imposed severe sanctions against a female refusing to accept a get divorce writ who works as a school teacher.

The woman was suspended from teaching and removed from the classroom until she relents and agrees to the divorce. The more the woman continues to refuse, the more restrictive the court will be in imposing additional sanctions such as fines, shaming by publicizing her name, and even eventual imprisonment.

The husband filed his divorce suit more than eight years ago and since then has been asking, pleading, and begging to divorce his wife, but she maintains her unwillingness. The Haifa Rabbinical Court headed by Rabbi Yitzhak Oshinsky passed 285 decisions in this case, the vast majority of which revolve around the husband's requests for divorce and the woman's stubborn refusal to accept it.

Two years ago, after the woman vehemently refused to uphold the ruling requiring divorce, the court decided to impose restraining orders on her that were approved by the President of the Rabbinical Court as required in restraining orders for women.

About three months ago the orders came into force and include: A permanent stay order from leaving Israel, restriction on receiving a passport, restriction on receiving or holding a driver's license, barring from public office, restriction from occupation in a profession regulated by law or a business requiring licensing, and restricted-customer bank status.

At the end of the decision the Haifa Rabbinical Court appealed to the Education Ministry who employs the get-refuser, stating that "as the defendant is employed by the Education Ministry as a teacher, a copy of this decision must be transmitted to the Education Ministry, and they must report to the court within 14 days on the implementation of the sanction against the defendant."

Fourteen days later the Education Ministry announced it had decided to implement the restriction order on the teacher.

The Education Ministry's letter states "it is our duty to implement the restrictive order issued by the Rabbinical Court by virtue of its authority which is anchored in law, despite the economic damage involved in preventing her employment until such date that she upholds the court's decision."

The Education Ministry said "the woman will take unpaid leave from her work as a teacher and educator until a decision otherwise is made by the Rabbinical Court and by virtue of the obligation to carry out a judicial order given by the Rabbinical Court by its authority."

The Rabbinical Court in Haifa views the Education Ministry's announcement that the woman is suspended from her teaching job as an important step towards her consent to grant her husband the desired divorce.

As for the procedure's continuation, Rabbinical Court members Rabbi Yitzhak Oshinsky, Rabbi David Gruzman, and Rabbi Avraham Zarbiv decided "the woman may request a date for arranging a get without stipulating any condition. The restriction orders or the imposition of additional sanctions, such as imposing a monthly or weekly fine by virtue of section 7a of the Religious Courts Law or publication of her name in the public, and will consider imposing additional sanctions under the Rabbinical Courts Law, 5755-1995, that is to say, actual imprisonment."