Israeli woman receives religious divorce after 14 years with chief rabbi’s help

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi David Lau intervened to help a woman obtain a religious divorce after a 14-year wait.

The woman discovered 14 years ago that her husband was having a homosexual relationship with a Filipino caregiver. The woman immediately filed for divorce in the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court.


After 12 years, the rabbinical court jailed the husband for continuing his refusal to grant the divorce, or get. At the same time, however, the wife filed for damages in Family Court. The husband said he would continue to refuse until the wife withdrew the Family Court claim.

The Supreme Rabbinical Court then attempted to broker a deal under which the husband would agree to the divorce if she paid him 18 percent of a jointly owned apartment. The woman refused, according to The Jerusalem Post, insisting that she should not have to buy a bill of divorce from her husband.

In a hearing of the Supreme Rabbinical Court last week, Lau, who sat on the panel, over five hours convinced the husband to drop his claim to part of the apartment and to grant the bill of the get if the wife dropped her claim in Family Court.

The woman left the court in tears of happiness, Lau said in a statement on his Facebook page.

Lau reportedly has assisted in several other cases of women who have been chained to their marriages for long periods.