Rabbinical court shuns 'divorce refuser'
Panel of judges, rabbis issue ads condemning Jerusalem resident for refusing to grant his wife divorce for five years, asking public to refrain from allowing him to join any congregation, associating with him, or granting him lodging
In an unprecedented move, the High Rabbinical Court on Sunday called on the observant public to shun a resident of Jerusalem who has been refusing to grant his wife a divorce for five years.
The man, Israel Meir Briskman, fled the country despite a hold-departure order filed against him, and is presumed to be residing in the United States.
In ads published in Israel and abroad, a panel of rabbinical court judges calls out to the public to refrain from allowing Briskman to join a congregation or from associating with him for business or pleasure.
The judges also ask that the public refuse him any lodging, with or without pay, including patient visitation rights.
"The High Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem calls on the Israeli communities and the judges and rabbis of Israel wherever they may be to implement these rules of alienation and refuse the 'divorce refuser' Israel Meir Briskman any financial, physical, or legal aid until he carries out his sentence and grants his wife an unconditional, immediate divorce," the judges stated in the ad.
Briskman has been known to employ any and all tactics in order to evade the pending divorce. After the court granted his wife custody of their children, he announced that he would not allow for the divorce until he receives custody of his son. Later he made claims to property his wife's father was said to have promised the couple.
Briskman's sentence prevents him from receiving "permission by one hundred rabbis" to wed another woman, as the sentence to grant his wife a divorce has been forced upon him by the court. The court also sentenced Briskman to a prison term of up to one year, or until he grants the divorce.