There's been a development in the case of the Agunah we've been following for the past week or so. Apparently her counsel has resigned and apologized for 'the pain and the embarrasment' caused to the Dayan who resigned after the case received some media exposure. She also apologized for not understanding that the session to which the Dayan and his colleague didn't turn up would not take place last week -- although the Court clearly told her that morning that it would, and one of the three Dayanim himself turned up and actually issued an arrest warrant for the husband because he didn't turn up either. The Dayan has now agreed to return to the case.
Here's how I read the situation: the counsel and Yad L'Isha did the only pragmatic thing they could to get the Agunah's case resolved as soon as possible (the resignation would have meant months of delays while a new Dayan was appointed and got up to speed with the case). However, this does not mean they were in the wrong. As I've written before, after 4 1/2 years of getting nowhere, they were perfectly entitled to take this case to the media and make the details of the proceedings public. If everything had been above board and fair, the Dayan, like any judge, should have been able to handle the media scrutiny (which was limited, in any case, coming mainly from Ma'ariv). He should also have put the woman's interests first, however he may have felt about her counsel and indeed about the media reports.
His actions were, the way I see it, a crude attempt to reassert his authority over the counsel and Yad L'Isha who were not handling the case in a way which was convenient for him, who were slipping from his/the court's control, and who actually dared expose the shady goings-on in the court to scrutiny. It was part of a long-simmering vendetta against Yad L'Isha who are making the court's work more difficult by actually representing their clients and bringing their plight to the attention of the nation, rather than allowing the court to walk all over them without ever being held to account by anyone. By apologizing and giving in, Yad L'Isha have put this particular client's interests first, as they should, and salvaged a battle. Let's hope it's not an omen for the rest of the war.
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