Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wife divorced against her will - status bedieved?

One of the important changes in divorce law resulted from the decree of Rabbeinu Gershom that a woman can not be divorced against her will - despite the fact that she can be divorced against her will according to Torah law. Therefore in modern times if a woman refuses to accept a get - her husband can not remarry unless he gets a Heter Meah Rabbonim which indicates that decree of Rabbeinu Gershom does not apply in his case. The HMR isn't a divorce but an allowance for bigamy. There are also questions as to whether this decree was made for a limited time- and therefore is not applicable anymore and also that it was not universally accepted.

As we have been discussing the question of what happens if the halacha is violated and the husband is forced to give a get - is this get totally invalid or only on the rabbinic level - there is a similar question regarding forcing a get on a woman. Is the Get good bedieved or is the get invalidated? This is discussed at length in the Sdei Chemed.

The significance of this question is obvious. If a husband is fed up with his wife's extortion or use of secular courts - what would happen if he simply forced her to accept a get? Or alternatively if the husband uses the threat of a forced get to extort better terms from his wife - is it a genuine threat? What if he remarried after a forced get without a Heter Meah Rabbonim? Even more more problematic - what if she remarried after receiving a forced get? Would her children be mamzerim? Would she be forced to leave that marriage?

Shulchan Aruch (E.H. 119:6): A woman can be divorced against her will. REMA: Even if he doesn't have sufficient funds to pay her kesuba or dowry - that does not prevent the divorce from working. He should divorce her and then she should take him to beis din to collect what is owed her. All of this is according to the law of the Torah. However Rabbeinu Gershom decreed that a man can not divorce his wife unless she agrees and if he does he transgresses the religious law...So even if he want to give her her kesuba - he can not divorce her today against her will. If he transgresses this prohibition of Rabbeinu Gershom in modern times and then remarries he can no longer be called a sinner


  1. Unfortunately too many men are getting shafted by their wives using Secular courts to remove their children and extort monies. The Rabbis have been ignoring this too long and demanding that he give her a GET outright with no halachic due process. This has taken the Get process from a traditional man controlled process to 360degrees, and became a complete woman controlled process. I'm not advocating abusing the womans rights, however something is terribly wrong where the Bais Dins look the other way when the women commit serious Aveiras by pursuing actions in Civil Courts and only after achieving their gains , pursue their husbands in bais Din for a GET. When the husbands protest the Halachic violations, the Bais din calls the women Agunas!!! This is why The Bais Dins of Rabbi Abraham and Gestetner have steadfastly stood by the men not because they disfavor women, but rather disfavor those that violate Halocho and take a Man dominated process (namely giving of the GET with his consent),and turn it into an exclusively woman dominated process. You have to wonder if the Torah meant this to be this way? I therefore applaud their approach of depositing a GET at their Bais Din and they receive a HETER to remarry until such time that the woman abandon her court orders and subjects herself to a DIN torah. For all those of you that object to these Bais Dins, show me one other Bais Din that CONSISTENTLY follows Halocho and will not waiver towards women who go to the courts and will support the mans halachiC rights?

  2. 1) when you turn something by 360°, you land right where you started... Did you sleep through your trignonometry lessons? Or were they not on the curriculum? You mean 180°...

    2) I have the impression that those batey din who do not systematically ask for a get to be given once a civil divorce was pronounced worry most about their own power.

    I don't think there is any configuration where it would be legitimate to withhold a get in order to change a divorce settlement from secular courts.
    this amounts to pure extortion.

  3. Could 100 random Kollel guys (with smicha) issue a Heter Meah Rabbonim? If so, it seems pretty easy to get a Heter Meah. If not, why couldn't those random 100 issue it? Does the Cherem give criteria who can be part of the 100?


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