A letter to the Dayanim selection committee: I am begging for my freedom

19 October 2021
A translation from Hebrew:
My name is M. I’m 38 years old and I’ve been trying to obtain a divorce for nearly two years.
In an ideal world, I would write this letter with my full name. Instead, I must write anonymously because I am afraid of the consequences if I reveal my full name. Really, I feel as if I have no other choice but to speak out and tell my story which is just one of many women’s stories.
My objective is for this letter to encourage you to choose new Rabbinical Judges.
I became a bride twelve years ago and have two children. A few weeks after the wedding, I discovered that my husband had a mental illness. Unfortunately in the last few years, things have gotten very bad and my husband became violent and abusive.
Eventually, our relationship was in such an unbearable state that he left home. I began divorce proceedings, but he doesn’t show at the Rabbinical court and finds excuses for not granting me a divorce. This has gone on for quite some time.
The emotional abuse has continued as I am humiliated by my ex-husband in front of friends.
Every divorce story is a story of destruction which we wouldn’t wish upon anyone.
I am writing my own personal story in order to say to you my freedom is in your hands.
I never dreamed that I would have to beg for something so basic and human – beg for my freedom.
And thus  I ask you, to begin the process of choosing Rabbinical Judges with much care and sensitivity.
You have the power to save women from another violent day of continual suffering.
Divorce should not become a tool for blackmail and violence. There is no excuse for ongoing delays due to increased caseloads at the court.  Meanwhile, I continue, as do many women,  to remain in a violent relationship.
It can’t be that if a woman wants to obtain a Get that she is forced to undergo needless questioning and ongoing investigations.
The court should be a place that saves lives and makes Jewish and Israeli society stronger and healthier.
What if this was your daughter, your sister, or your granddaughter?
As a religious woman, I want to be proud of my religious institutions and know that they will protect me and find a way to free me.
The original letter in the Srugim website.
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