A judge from the Tel Aviv Rabbinical Court went to Ben Gurion Airport at 5:00 AM Friday morning in order to receive a 'get' (halachic divorce) on behalf of a woman, to whom he handed the get just a few hours later at his residence.
The saga began two years ago, when a young Israeli couple married. The marriage developed problems quickly, and according to the woman their arguments would become violent.
The woman decided to divorce her husband and obtained divorce papers from the Tel Aviv Rabbinical Court, but the husband went into hiding and his whereabouts were untraceable. As a result the woman could not obtain the divorce she sought, and was left saddled with debts the husband had accrued.
The Tel Aviv Rabbinical Court referred the case to the Agunot Department, which began gathering information on the husband's whereabouts. The court determined that the husband had fled the country to France, where he was learning in a yeshiva for Baalei Teshuva (newly observant). Agunot, literally 'chained women,' are women who are unable to remarry because their husbands refuse to grant them divorces.
The court contacted another rabbinical court in France, which summoned the husband to a special tribunal in Paris last Wednesday. The court persuaded the husband to sign the 'get,' The 'get' was then flown from Paris to Tel Aviv, where it was retrieved by a judge from the Tel Aviv Rabbinical Court to give to the woman.
The woman came with her parents to receive the 'get.' She said that being granted the divorce after being an agunah for so long was "a Hanukkah miracle."
Rabbi Shimon Jacobi, the director of the rabbinical court, welcomed the granting of the divorce and praised the court's handling of the case. "This case came to the rabbinical court less than a month ago. Through quick and efficient work, we were able to locate the man quickly and have the divorce granted by proxy. The exemplary devotion of the presiding judge, who drove to the airport to give the get to the woman on the same day" should be applauded, he said.
He added that the woman would now be able to "begin a new chapter in her life."