Leap of Bad Faith

And in the only-in-Israel department, Jerusalem streets were abuzz today with the news that a husband being held in prison for failing to give his wife a get – a Jewish bill of divorce- leapt from the bathroom window of the Rabbinic Court when he was brought there for a hearing.

Here’s the article as it appeared in the Times of Israel:

Dozens of police and Prison Service officers searched the streets of downtown Jerusalem on Wednesday for a man imprisoned for six years for refusing to divorce his wife who escaped from custody by leaping from a bathroom window.

Shai Cohen, 40, was brought to the capital to appear before the rabbinical court over divorce proceedings. During the hearing, he asked his warders to be allowed go to the bathroom, then made a break for freedom by jumping from the bathroom window, on the second floor.

Cohen was not handcuffed for medical reasons, and was not shackled on his ankles because he refused to enter the court under those circumstances.

Officials suspect the fugitive had an accomplice waiting for him outside as he had no money or phone and he left one of his shoes at the scene of his escape, Ynet said.

Cohen’s court appearance was scheduled to formally end his marriage. He had separated from his wife 12 years ago.

Under Israeli law, divorce procedures are handled by the rabbinical courts and a divorce can only be completed with the explicit agreement of the husband. If a husband refuses to grant his wife a divorce then rabbinical courts can attempt to coerce him into changing his mind by imposing various punishments, including imprisonment.

For those of you out there unaware of the problems around the get, I’ve written about these issues a number of times, for example here and here.

This entry was posted in Beit Din, Divorce, Life in Israel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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