Every week, parshaoftheweek.com brings you a rich selection of material on parshat hashavua, the weekly portion traditionally read in synagogues all over the world. Using both classic and contemporary material, we take a look at these portions in a fresh way, relating them to both ancient Jewish concerns as well as cutting-edge modern issues and topics. We also bring you material on the Jewish holidays, as well as insights into life cycle rituals and events...
Divorce, in Jewish tradition, is seen as a tragedy, the end of a love story. It is, however, permissible, and takes place in every Jewish community. The act of divorce is, traditionally, in the hands of the husband - he divorces the wife, not the other way around - which can sometimes cause real problems, as when the husband chooses to use his power over the divorce process to extort financial or other advantages from the wife. Jewish courts attempt to combat this; a pre-nuptial agreement, which is very common in some Jewish communities, is a very useful tool in fighting this problem, and is highly recommended.
The divorce is effected by a bill of divorce, called a "get". The text basically names the couple and gives the wife her freedom, allowing her to remarry. The divorce is written in a "bet din" - Jewish court of law - and the process is overseen by a court of three Rabbinic judges. Once written, the "get" is given by the husband to the wife, freeing her from the marriage.