Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Forcing wife beater to divorce wife


Binyamin Ze’ev (88). Concerning a husband who regularly beats his wife and she cries and groans from the abuse. How can the matter be corrected? You ask me my dear friend that since he doesn’t listen to the local rabbis whether the halacha is that he can be forced to divorce her if it can be shown that he is the instigator and not his wife? I found in the name of Rabbeinu Simcha who said in a similar case to force the husband to give a divorce since a woman marries for life not for suffering and every time he hits her he is committing a sin which is worse than if he was beating another man.  But it is best to make peace between the husband and wife by placing two or three people to mediate with them and ensure they keep their commitments to each other. If this doesn’t stop his abuse then it is agreed that the court will utilize non-Jews to force him to divorce her and tell him he must do as the Jews have said. Otherwise there is a problem that this will be an invalid divorce (get me’usa). Rabbeinu Simcha writes if nothing stops his abuse he is forced to divorce even through the use of non-Jews because in such a case the forcing is valid even though our Sages (Gitten) say that normally the use of non-Jews would make it invalid. But if they say “do as the Jewish judges have said” as we see from the Semag (50). Nevertheless the husband needs to say at the end of being forced that he is really doing it from his own free will. We can rely on this ruling of Rabbeinu Simchah to force the husband to divorce. .

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