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Ties that chafe: Israel’s stagnant marital system leaves thousands trapped

8 March 2022

“When Elina Bardach-Yalov, a Knesset member for the Yisrael Beytenu party, wanted to get remarried in 2009, she was shocked by the hoops she was forced to jump through by the Israeli rabbinate.

After all, she had married through the Israeli rabbinate in 2000 in a marriage that ended in 2006 with a religious divorce through a rabbinical court in the United Kingdom. Her first husband had already remarried in Israel without any problem, once their overseas divorce was ratified by the rabbinate.

But when Bardach-Yalov submitted a copy of that divorce ratification to her local Israeli rabbinate branch, she was told they needed the original. So she set off to the Tel Aviv Rabbinate to request the original rabbinate form that her husband had received approving their overseas divorce.

“And there I heard a sentence that I remember to this day,” the freshman MK recalled in a recent interview with The Times of Israel. “‘The fact that he divorced you still doesn’t mean that you were divorced from him,’” she was told. “It took me a minute or two to even comprehend that sentence.”

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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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