Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Israeli Agunah Receives Get From Moroccan Jail After Landmark Ruling


The peace agreement between Israel and Morocco has already led to one positive development. In an extraordinary scenario involving the Israeli rabbinical court, Foreign Ministry, prison services and security officials in Morocco and Israel, an Israeli woman received Tuesday her Get (divorce document) from her husband who is serving a prison sentence in Morocco.

The woman had married her husband in Israel, but he got involved in criminal activities and large debts and escaped to Morocco. There too he joined up with criminals, was caught and sentenced to a significant number of years in jail.

The young wife was left an Agunah (chained woman) and sought to receive a Get. The director of the Agunah department in the rabbinical courts, Rabbi Eliyahu Maimon, succeeded in locating the prison where the husband was serving his sentence in Casablanca, Morocco. In return for leniencies in his prison service, the husband agreed to grant a Get but this required three members of the Casablance Beis Din entering the prison together with a Sofer (scribe) and writing an “agent’s Get” which would enable them to be agents to bring the woman her Get. However the Moroccan authorities initially refused to let the rabbinical judges, scribe and witnesses enter the jail due to coronavirus restrictions.

Rabbi Eliyahu Aberjel, a former head of the Jerusalem Rabbinical court who has close ties with the Moroccan authorities, succeeded in persuading the authorities to allow one judge to enter the jail. He also published a landmark ruling which would allow the husband to make one judge an agent to transfer the Get to his wife. However when the rabbinical judge reached the jail, he was astonished to hear from the Muslim commander of the jail that according to Jewish law three judges are required and not one and therefore he should send for two more members of the rabbinical court in order to perform the Get.

Two more judges were summoned from Casablanca, the husband appointed the Sofer to write the Get and the Get was sent to Jerusalem where the woman received it joyously on Tuesday morning.

The director of the rabbinical courts, Rabbi David Malka praised Rabbi Aberjal and Rabbi Maimon for their efforts to help the Agunah and said that “the rabbinical courts will continue to act with speed, efficiency and determination to enable the release of Agunos and those refused a Get by their husbands wherever they may be.”


No comments: