Jerusalem woman finally gets Jewish divorce after husband fired from job, jailed

With help from legal aid center, Ilana, an immigrant from India, is granted a ‘get’ after sanctions by rabbinical court

Illustrative. (iStock)
Illustrative. (iStock)

JTA — An Indian emigre to Israel finally has her Jewish divorce after her husband refused for several years.

So why did the husband relent?

First he was fired from his job. Then he was arrested Monday and jailed overnight after failing to appear at a rabbinical court hearing in Jerusalem.

The following day he was brought before the rabbinical court in Jerusalem and agreed to give his wife a divorce, or get, according to a statement from Ohr Torah Stone. Its Yad La’isha: The Monica Dennis Goldberg Legal Aid Center and Hotline assists agunot, “chained women” whose husbands refuse to grant them a religious divorce, and thus they may not remarry under halacha, or Jewish law.

The rabbinical court had ordered the husband to grant the divorce some 10 months ago, though Ilana had originally filed for divorce three years ago. He refused to grant the get unless Ilana waived her share of their joint property. The court imposed several sanctions according to Jewish law but he still refused.

At the recommendation of Yad La’Isha attorney and rabbinical court advocate Tehila Cohen, the rabbinical court employed a law that allows a man refusing to grant his wife a get to be denied employment at any public agency. The man was employed by the Egged bus company, which is subsidized by the State of Israel and qualifies as a public agency for that purpose.

Egged recently fired the husband and, after he failed to appear at the rabbinical court hearing in Jerusalem, a warrant was issued for his arrest. On Monday, after information on his whereabouts was provided by a private investigation firm hired by Yad La’isha, he was arrested and placed in detention.

Ilana and her husband had emigrated from India several years ago with their young son.

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