Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Note on the Agunah situation

So, I know the whole agunah thing has been an isue for awhile now, and that there are rabbis trying to take preventative steps for situations like these - for example, encouraging pre-nup agreements (which is what the ketubah was originally supposed to be, it's just that now the monetary amount is no longer enough to really be an incentive.) But I was not aware that there are actually people in the world who work to actually put the heter mea rabbanim into practice. I can't imagine that there are actually 100 rabbis in the frum community who could support this sort of thing. However, such seems to be the case, at least allegedly. So I'm linking to Frum Satire's post here, bc there are more links there.


Blogger Nemo said...

Heter Me'ah Rabbanim is for extreme case of an incapacitated woman who cannot Halachikly receive a Get. Generally it will only be used when the woman must be insane or in a coma. Also, the Beth Din will generally require the man to give a Get along with the Heter so that the woman will be able to receive it when she returns to sanity or consciousness.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

halachicaly most of the reasons for which a woman might want a divorce she's entitled to one halachicaly, and the bais din is supposed to compell him to give it. (beating him, what ever.)

if he takes an odious job, if he "embitters her with words" if he hits her, if the this, if he that...

I mean, the problem is that the rabbis in the rabbinate are frie and refuse to follow halacha (and indeed have no respect for it when it doesn't follow their rediculous misogynistic idiocies), not that halacha creates this problem.

4:26 AM  
Blogger Nemo said...

To be frank, I don't think that any one of us should be so quick to cast judgment on anybody in the specific case, including this Rabbi Blumenkranz. I think we're all missing too many facts to make an objective decision on whose being abused and who is the abuser. I'm not coming to anyone's defense, I'm just saying that nobody here really knows what the cases are. And while I might sound like a hardline Charedi for saying this, we should not let the influence of the media or our own compunctions allow us to suddenly brand everybody as evil.

What is evident to me, IMHO, is that if everything the JP is telling us is true, then both the husband and wife in this case are both prepared to give and Get (pun intended :). A man would only go through the arduous process of Heter Meah Rabbanim if he was willing to give a Get but the woman would not take it. After all, this guy is looking to get on with his life and remarry. The fact that the woman is appealing to this group the ORA is evidence enough that she's willing to do anything just to get the Get. So if both of them are willing, why is there this hold up? Why wouldn't he just give it and settle the monetary disputes in court or Beth Din afterwards?

I'm just saying that there MUST be more to this than the media is reporting and that there are ALWAYS two sides to every divorce story.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Miri said...

you're right - the heter mea rabbanim is only supposed to be used in cases where the woman is unable for whatever reason to recieve the get. Which is why it would be wrong to administer this kind of heter when the woman desperately wants a get and the husband is just trying to torture her by refusing to give one. That was my impression of what the situation was. I may be wrong - the truth is we don't have all the facts. But that certainly seems to be the implication.
The side of this that you're missing is that the cases being described are cases in which the husbands are being intentionally cruel. In a situation where both people simply want to move on, then yes, it should be simple. But the cases described in the places I linked to imply that the point in withholding the divorce is for extortion, or general suffering.

12:19 PM  
Blogger Nemo said...

I just don't know for certain that it's the case and suddenly siding with ORA and all these YU Rabbis (whom I hold in the highest esteem) isn't so simple. Let's not jump to hasty conclusion because none of us really know what the story is, and the woman COULD also have some sort of manipulative financial agenda. Who are we to decide that just because this organization is working for women's rights that woman is innocent? After all, ORA also has an agenda*...

Deciding that these husbands are evil and that Blumenkranz is guilty is presumptuous. After all, 99 rabbis had to agree with him as well.

Let's just look at issues from all sides.

*although, not necessarily a bad agenda.

1:12 PM  

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