Introduction to the Issue
Prof. Taylor (East Carolina University, Greenville NC) points out the two opponents underlying Rothenberg’s book – the first the puritanical (perhaps Christian) tradition, which regards sex as a sin, and the other modern, perhaps ‘feminist’ readings of canonical texts. While Rothenberg admits that these texts are “written by and for men,” warning that they must not be read anachronistically, he acknowledges that “it is possible, and even desirable to infuse the old sources with new and valid meanings” (p. 186). According to the reviewer, the book addresses “the feminist revolution” in a “cautious and oblique manner.”
R. Shlomo Riskin presents a halakhic case for religious Jewish courts of law to be permitted to annul marriages under extreme circumstances of refusal of a husband to grant a divorce. He proposes this annulment, called hafka'at kiddushin, as a solution to the problem of recalcitrant husbands. A debate between Rabbis Riskin and Jeremy Wieder can be followed in additional articles referenced on this page.
Reiss stresses the importance of resolutions adopted by the Rabbinical Council of America which establish certain default principles as to the appropriate time boundaries for a get to be given, or for a spouse to otherwise submit to a final determination of the beit din.
This website contains material about and for agunot, particularly aimed at British Jews. A prenuptial agreement offered by the Chief Rabbi of Britain is provided.
How has a legal tradition determined by men affected the lives of women? What are the traditional Jewish views of marriage, divorce, sexuality, contraception, abortion? Women and Jewish Law gives contemporary readers access to the central texts of the Jewish religious tradition on issues of special concern to women. Combining a historical overview with a thoughtful feminist critique, this pathbreaking study points the way for "informed change" in the status of women in Jewish life.
In this practical and informative session, two prominent attorneys will discuss how the beit din and civil law intersect in divorce law. How does arbitration affect the rabbinic courts and how are decisions of the beit din played out civilly? How do the civil get laws work and what kind of protection do they afford Jewish women? Are prenuptial agreements enforceable in a civil court of law?
This paper considers many of the arguments from the authority structure of the halakhah which are used to resist proposals for halakhic change, especially arguments relating to the need for stringency (often consensus) in gittin and qiddushin.
This article focuses on recent attempts to solve the aguna problem, including Get laws.
Three top scholars and activists examine Jewish womens efforts to resolve the plight of agunot and the struggle of Orthodox feminists to reconcile this issue with their adherence to halakhic lifestyles.
Rabbi Moshe Meiselman addresses the attitude of Jewish law to women and how the Jewish tradition views the contemporary challenge of feminism. He discusses in detail such current issues as creative ritual, women in a minyan, aliyot for women, talit and tefillin. The question of agunah is also given lengthy consideration. The author mixes current issues with scholarly ones and gives full treatment to other issues such as learning Torah by women, women position in court both as witnesses and as litigants, the marriage ceremony & marital life.
The film chronicles the individual struggles of women trying to obtain a Get from the rabbinical courts with the help of a group of female Orthodox rabbinical court advocates.
A Get Education Video and Guidebook,
The tri-partite agreement uses three separate elements to end a marriage independent of the will of the husband. The novelty of this approach is that one document incorporates three elements, each of which has significant halakhic support. Is this the solution we have been waiting for? What conditions must be met before it can get widespread rabbinic approval? Will this solve the iggun crisis?
Levmore offers various suggestions for Rav Soloveitchik's interpretation of the Amoraic assumption that women would rather be married to anyone than be alone - "tav l'meitav tan doo
This session examines the roles women have played in the process of developing proposed solutions to the agunah problem. It includes a first-hand description of Rachel Levmore's personal role as a Rabbincal Court Advocate
This session questions whether or not Batei Din represent all Jews equally and how we can ensure that women receive equal and fair treatment.
This session shares civil law strategies that agunah activists have adopted when the beit din system has been inadequate and ineffectual.
This session analyzes the state of affairs in regard to agunot, in both Israel and America while explaining proposed halakhic remedies.
The Orthodox Community's Responsibility for Agunot
In Israel, the Tel Aviv rabbinical court recently used a new tactic? the retroactive invalidation of a get ?because the court deemed that the conditions imposed on the woman (pertaining to the childrens? custody and visitation rights) had not been met by her. The use of this shocking tactic has been growing in recent years. Is this legal? Is it kosher? What is going on here and what does it portend for the future?
Can civil law act as a catalyst to change minority practices that discriminate against women? Theorists of gender and multiculturalism have argued that civil law can play a role in creating conditions that compel communities to change their norms into more egalitarian ones. This session explores this thesis, using the example of the Canadian Get Law to alleviate the plight of Canadian agunot. Has this law resulted in different norms for the issuance of divorce decrees? The development of novel solutions? A reinvigorated religious legal authority?
Why Some Agunah Problems Simply Cannot Be Solved
Halachic and Legal Aspects of the Agunah Crisis
What are the philosophical implications of the inequality of the kidushin process? How does this inform the ways that we support and advocate for agunot?
A Halakhic Analysis of Tav L'Meitav
This session analyzes four Halakhic solutions for dealing with the agunah problem: kiddushei ta'ut, annulment, conditional marriage and procedural invalidation of the marriage ceremony. Aranoff discusses the issues involved and and what grass roots Orthodox men and women can do to promote the acceptance of these solutions.
Years after the epidemic of iggun became a recognized phenomenon, we are still struggling to find a solution to this problem. This session will include activist advice on what the community can do to help free women whose husbands deny them their get and will focus on ways, including the use of halakhic pre-nuptial agreements, to prevent any more Jewish women from falling victim to this terrible fate.
The movie Mekudeshet is a sobering look at the state of affairs of agunot in Israel. This panel, made up of a US agunah activist, a former agunah, and the movie's director, will discuss differences between the US and Israeli systems, some personal experiences, and suggested solutions.