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‘Matir assurim,’ a hostage by any other name: Agunot in the shadows of October 7

18 March 2024

For years, I thought about agunot who are mesuravot get, women trapped, held captive in marriages against their will, married to spouses who refuse to grant a get, not only on International Agunah Day, but each morning when I recited the blessing, matir assurim, to “free the captives”.

But, the world changed on 10.7.  Matir assurim has new meaning.

I never imagined I would be thinking about actual captives when I recite morning blessings.

As a scholar of religious divorce refusal, I have spoken to hundreds of women worldwide and never thought I’d be writing about ‘this type’ of aguna.

So on this Ta’anit Esther and International Agunah Day, let’s pay heed to the agunot in the shadows of October 7. Women locked into WANTED marriages, but locked in nonetheless.

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Mavoi Satum stands with Am Yisrael during this difficult time and prays for the safety of our soldiers and the quick return of all hostages. We also pray that women will not be left behind as agunot after the war.

We are doing our part to keep the homefront strong, committed to protecting women from further suffering and helping them gain freedom from marriage entrappment.

Join us in these efforts – couples can sign a halachic protective document to grant others’ power of attorney to give a get.


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