Divorce (illustration)
Divorce (illustration) iStock

The Israeli Knesset yesterday passed the Foreign Agunot Law.

The initiator of the law, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis and rabbi of Moscow, expressed his appreciation, saying: "Today brings good tidings for dozens of agunot around the world who until now have not been able to force their husbands to litigate before a court in Israel, or alternately to uphold the rulings of those courts abroad. There is a special symbolic significance in the fact that this event takes place on Hanukkah, and brings light and hope to the lives of the agunot in the Diaspora”.

"There is great joy in the fact that all the parties represented in the Knesset, from the haredi United Torah Judaism to the leftist secular Meretz party, supported this important law."

"Today, the people of Zion have shown their unity with Diaspora Jewry."

"The acute significance of the new law lies in the fact that from the point of view of civil law in the Diaspora, it is enough for a husband to provide his wife with a civil divorce to be considered to be divorced, even if the couple was married according to Halakha. As a result, hundreds of recalcitrant husbands, who went on to have new families kept their wives unable to get remarried. This extraordinary law gives Israeli rabbinical courts the jurisdiction to impose sanctions against such husbands, even though they are neither citizens nor residents."

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