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Polygamy: Why is it illegal, what do religions think of it? – explainer

18 October 2022

?Is polygamy legal in Israel

Technically, no. However, the actual truth is more complicated.

srael forbids polygamy explicitly, and the country’s marriage laws are backed by religious rulings. However, there are still two circumstances in which polygamy in Israel is possible. The first and far more commonly known one is polygamy among the Bedouins in Israel’s South…

The second way that polygamy in Israel is possible is somewhat more unusual. In this case, a Jewish man is technically allowed to marry a second wife in a very specific circumstance when he tries to give his first wife a get (a Jewish divorce document) but she refuses. Should this happen, the man can seek approval from the rabbinic courts and can get another wife, despite still being married – and living separately – from his first wife.  One recent example of this happening in Israel was with the case of Israeli haredi (ultra-Orthodox) actor Shuli Rand, who in 2021 married actress Tzufit Grant. This is despite Rand still being married, having split from his wife, Michal Rand, in 2016 without his get ever being accepted. This practice is called heter meah rabbanim and requires the approval of 100 rabbis.

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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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