Photo: Shaul Golan
Photo: Shaul Golan
Rabbi Ben-Dahan
Photo: Haim Tzach

Poll: More women refuse divorce than men

Rabbinical Court combats claims that thousands of Jewish women are refused divorce; poll reveals there are only 69 agunot currently living in Israel

More Jewish women refuse to give divorce then men, a poll released by the rabbinical courts' management titled: "Why is the couple not yet divorced?" revealed on Tuesday.


According to the poll, there are 190 Jewish men refused divorce in Israel, which make up 20 percent of the open divorce files; as opposed to 180 women who are refused divorce, and constitute 19 percent of the open files. 


There are currently 942 open divorce files in Israel's rabbinical courts, and the survey was conducted among a sample of 346 of these files, which have been in proceedings for over two years.


The poll showed that there are 69 agunot (women refused/unable to divorce) living in Israel in 2007. Twenty-five of the men refusing to divorce reside in Israel, and 45 of them live abroad.


The rabbinical courts' poll also mapped out the countries in which divorce refusers live.


According to the poll, there are 24 divorce refusers living in Israel; 16 in the Commonwealth of Independent States; 10 in France and 10 in the United States.


Divorce refusers have also fled to other countries such as India, Egypt, England, China, Morocco and the Czech Republic.


'Halachically, refusers must be whipped' 

The rabbinical courts offer a paid service of private detectives to locate divorce refusers in Israel and abroad.


Private detectives were appointed in some 40 divorce cases, according to the survey, and in 44 cases a rabbinical court envoy was sent abroad to try and persuade the refuser to grant the divorce.


In 41 cases sanctions were placed on the refusers, which included hindrance of a driver's license and bank account.


In addition, dozens of refusers were arrested or detained and dozens of restraining orders were issued by the spouse so as to prevent the refuser from leaving the country.


Rabbinical Courts Director-General Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan said following the survey that "there is no factual basis behind claims that there are thousands of women refused divorce in Israel. According to the data that we have presented, there are only 942 open cases in Israel; therefore any other claim is fictitious."


Ben-Dahan added that as far as sanctions against the refusers go, he himself prefers the halachic treatment, which is illegal in Israel.


"Halachically, it is stated that a husband refusing to give a divorce when forced by the court, must be whipped. According to Israeli law, it is impossible to carry out this halacha," Ben-Dahan said.


פרסום ראשון: 06.29.07, 20:58
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