Friday, November 05, 2004

The rabbinic courts don't get it

Yad L’Isha, an organization which uses female advocates to represent women who are denied gets by their husbands in rabbinical courts, and runs under the auspices of Rabbi Riskin’s Ohr Torah Stone, recently celebrated 7 years since inception. Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, the director general of Israel’s rabbinical courts, interrupted an event marking the anniversary in order to deliver the following message:
“Recently Yad L’Isha has positioned itself as a fist/punch to the husband and a fist to the rabbinical courts... The day isn’t far when the rabbinical courts will boycott the organization. If Yad L’Isha turns Eli Ben-Dahan and the Dayanim into their great enemies – you will have wasted your work....”
In other words – 'you’re making life too difficult for us, it’s no longer as easy as it was to settle these cases by sacrificing the wives. We’re beginning to feel threatened – time to get rid of these feminists before they really start getting uppity.'
Unfortunately, some of these husbands have been denying their wives gets for 10 years or more, others are blackmailing them for thousands of shekels before they’ll produce the get – all with the rabbinical courts’ collusion. These husbands need a good metaphorical punch – and so do the rabbinical courts, which are notoriously bad for women. Rabbi Ben Dahan’s disgraceful threat to the women’s champions just goes to show one more time how arrogant and out of touch the dayanim are. Rather than representing justice and Torah, they represent... men. The Rabbinic Courts can boycott Yad L'Isha if they insist -- but if they don't wake up soon, the day isn’t far when the people of Israel will boycott the rabbinical courts as well.

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