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EMUNAH IMPACTS LIVES

emunah women get jailCurrent legislation allows the rabbinical courts to enforce divorce rulings and getts by imposing an array of restrictions on sarvanei get – men who refuse to grant their wives divorces. Forced imprisonment is considered to be the most extreme of the restrictive orders, but even inside prison cells there are sarvanei gett who dare to demand improved conditions or that they be granted conditions that will benefit them during their prison terms, such as participation in study frameworks offered to prisoners, receiving food with stricter (mehadrin) kashrut certification, or living in the prison's religiously-observant wing.

The Supreme Rabbinical Court expressed its opposition to these benefits and ruled that there is no justification for allowing (even religious) sarvanei gett to reside in religiously-observant prison wings, and that no effort should be made to prepare mehadrin food for these prisoners, so long as they do not fulfill their basic halachic duty of granting their wives divorces. The Court also ruled that sarvanei gett must be prohibited from all study frameworks offered in prisons, and that sarvanim held in isolation should be denied reading and writing material and access to media of any kind, to keep them from maintaining their intransigence regarding divorce refusal.

Emunah's bill seeks to empower the rabbinical courts to impose these restrictions on sarvanei gett who have been forcibly imprisoned, as a means of pressuring them and ultimately achieving the actual goal of the imprisonment – the granting of divorce decrees to the wives. It should be noted, as an aside, that although the number of imprisoned sarvanei gett is not large, the worsening of these men's conditions could deter other sarvanim from persisting in divorce refusal.

 

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