Rabbinical pleader Rivka Lubitch
Dr. David Abisror, a psychiatrist at a Florida hospital, has been keeping his wife anchored for 10 years.
The doctor and his wife went through a civil divorce in the United States but the honorable psychiatrist refused to appear before a court in order to give his wife a kosher get, or a Jewish divorce document.
The scoundrel managed to marry twice and divorce two other women and he is still holding his first wife in shackles.
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The problem for me’suravot get, (literally "refused a divorce") and agunot, women who are no longer in a functional marriage and whose husbands cannot or will not give them a Jewish divorce in Israel, is difficult, but the difficulty for women in these circumstances abroad, is much more apparent.
First of all, outside of Israel, a man can divorce his spouse in a civil court and continue his life even if he is Halachically holding his wife in a state of marriage.
In Israel, a dissenter can continue with his life but is prohibited from marrying another woman until he has released his wife.
Men’s desire to remarry is oftentimes the drive for giving a get. (This is the place to tell my dear readers that many a time I received a request to use an attractive woman’s services to drive a man crazy in order to make him give his wife a get. I am surprised by the amount of times Rabbis turned to me with this request because they have not yet found a solution to this painful problem).
Another reason this issue makes the lives of women who are not given a get abroad difficult is that the Rabbinical Courts around the world do not have legal authority.
The Rabbinical Court in Israel can at least, theoretically, solve the problem and demand that a case like this is heard and that the husband is fined for contempt of court.
The Israeli court can also, although rarely done, place sanctions upon the dissenting husband. However, abroad the woman remains completely dependent on her husband’s desires.
Perhaps this is the reason why the public and the community do more to assist women in this situation.
A solution existsThe US-based ORA - Organization for the Resolution of Agunot - helps women who are unable to attain a get.
Yeshiva-goers manning the organization act in accordance with the Halacha and in conjunction with the rabbis. They contact the dissenter or his family members and try to strike an emotional chord.
Afterwards, they publish announcements in the newspapers or advertise articles in the local Jewish media.
Finally, they organize demonstrations at the get-refuser's workplace and cause a ruckus around his home until he agrees to give his wife a get.
The whole process is carried out delicately and with moderation, but also strictly and adamantly. The women must be released!
In an e-mail sent to activists in Israel, it was reported that Dr. Abisror has family members living in the Israeli cities of Rehovot and Rishon Lezion under the last name, Levi.
Anyone with any information on the subject is welcome to contact me at: 04-8552871 and I will make sure to pass the information on to Ora.
One last question, where are the men and women of Israel? Why is their no “field” organization like Ora that initiates and holds demonstrations outside the homes and workplaces of get-refusers?
Rivka Lubitz is a Rabbinical pleader who works at the Center for Women's Justice