Ohio Husband and Wife divorce. Sort of.
They are Orthodox Jews. And they were divorced by a secular family court.
But, being Orthodox, neither may remarry without a religious divorce, called a get. Under Jewish law, the Husband must consent to the get.
And, in some instances, the husband, like this Husband, refuses. Indefinitely. For no good reason.
Prompting some in the Orthodox Jewish religious community to try to intervene on behalf of the Wife who is, in effect, held hostage. Sometimes the intervention is private.
Sometimes it is anything but.
In the case of Wife, one of a very small, close knit Orthodox community in the Dayton area, a rally will be held to draw attention to the injustice against Wife, and others like her.
Husband reportedly abandoned Wife and their five children many years ago. At least one rabbi characterizes Husband’s conduct as domestic abuse, and a transgression under Jewish law.
In Israel, the Rabbinate issued a ruling that Husband must grant Wife a get … subjecting Husband to imprisonment there for his failure to comply. Metropolitan US rabbinates have confirmed the Israeli Rabbinate’s ruling.
It’s too late to help Wife, but her case also serves to highlight a relatively new and highly effective strategy to protect wives from just such situations: halachic prenuptial agreements. In halachic prenups, husbands agree in advance to grant their wives a get in the event of a secular divorce.
Halachic prenuptial agreements have been upheld and enforced consistently.
Read more in this Times of Israel article: Stuck in Jewish divorce limbo, Israeli woman wins viral support .