Following the announcement of a special hearing by 13 Supreme Religious Court dayanim (religious adjudicators) about the possible revocation of a divorce that was granted two years ago (by Dayan Uriel Lavi) to an agunah ("chained woman") whose husband had been comatose for years, a meeting was held on the issue today by the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality. The Committee meeting was originally meant to address the possibility of the divorce being revoked, as well as the dayanim hearing itself, which was initiated by Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Rabbinical Court submitted a request to cancel the Knesset meeting, and actually announced the meeting's cancellation even before such a decision had been reached. Ultimately it was decided that the discussion would be a theoretical one about revocation of divorce decrees, without mentioning the specific case at hand. In any event, the Supreme Rabbinical Court representatives did not bother to ensure that mesoravot get or agunot would be present at the discussion, which was conducted mainly by women's aid organizations. Divorce revocation has myriad repercussions, on the personal, halachic, and moral levels.
The woman herself is caught up in a personal tragedy that goes beyond the suffering she experienced before receiving her divorce decree. Now, two years later, she is once again a married woman. The mere fact that a special forum with no legal mandate is convening for the express purpose of discussing and considering the possibility of cancelling the divorce is simply incredible! The rabbinical courts are trying to place themselves above the law and overstep the bounds of their legal authority – we need to sound the alarm!