Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohnemail@example.com/845-578-1917
The following article appeared on my brother’s blog daattorah.blogspot.com.. I have printed here almost the entire article, underlined certain of its words, and put here and there my bold comments in brackets . My blog www.torahhalacha.blogspot.com contains 61 posts about topics of marriage and divorce and shows how widespread is ignorance about laws of Gittin.
Times of Israel by Rabbi Levi Brackman
In my fourteen years of practicing as a rabbi I have been asked numerous times to offer counsel and support to couples in failing marriages. Despite the fact that it takes two to tango, often the breakdown of a marriage is more the fault of one party than the other. Yet, no matter how the marriage ends and who is at fault, if the husband does not actively agree to give a Gett (Jewish religious divorce) immediately after the wife requests it he is always in the wrong no matter what. [ I disagree. Let us assume that a husband has ten children who will be destroyed by a divorce, and let us say that the divorce is being pushed by the mother of the wife, and the husband refuses it. Is he evil? Again, the idea that a woman can just get up and destroy the lives of the husband and children because of reasons that may be open to debate, has nothing to do with the Torah. To put it a different way. I have semicha from HaGaon Reb Yosef Shalom Elyashev zt”l to be a Rosh Beth Din in Gittin, and I have a very strong semicha from Reb Moshe Feinstein on my seforim in halacha. And I don’t talk the way this article talks. I don’t get up and pontificate about things that are not supported by the Shulchan Aruch. This entire article has nothing to do with the Shulchan Aruch, and the quotes that it makes have nothing to do with the laws of Gittin as we will explain.]
From a religious perspective, the Torah is very protective about the feelings and dignity of women — even more so than that of men. The Talmud warns men to never hurt their spouses feelings and or cause them to weep. It cautions men to be exceedingly careful about their spouses dignity and honor (Baba Metzia, 59a) and to respect and honor them more than they honor themselves (Yevamot, 62b, Maimonides, Ishut, 15:19). These guidelines are based on Biblical sources and have been codified into Jewish law. Furthermore the Talmud tells us that in matters of worldly and household affairs the women’s opinion takes precedence to that of the man’s (Baba Metzia, ibid). [These quotes are about married women and have nothing to do with women who leave the house taking the children.]
Clearly a man who refuses his wife’s request to give a religious bill of divorce for any period of time after it is made clear that from her perspective the marriage is over, is contravening these extremely serious sections of Jewish law in the most grievous manner possible. But refusing to give a Gett is also the mark of a man who lacks basic human empathy and common decency.[...] [Pure baloney. Why does the author of this article not quote the exact place in Shulchan Aruch that talks about a woman who wants out of a marriage? The answer is that he probably doesn’t know where it is, and secondly, if he does know, he also knows that it says just the opposite of what he is saying here. The statement in Shulchan Aruch about a woman who wants out of the marriage is in Even Hoezer 77 paragraphs 2 and 3. There, all of the commentators go along with the words of the Rashbo in a teshuva VII:414 that a wife who wants a divorce “if the husband wants he gives a divorce, and if he does not want he does not give a divorce” meaning, as Rav Elyashev explains, there is no obligation upon a man to give his wife a GET when the wife leaves the marriage. The Gro there #5 says that nobody disagrees.]
Some men hide behind Jewish law as a reason not to give a Gett. They argue that all aspects of the divorce needs to be settled before they are Halachicly (according to Jewish law) allowed to give the Gett. [I believe this is the pesak of HaGaon Reb moshe Feinstein zt”l that everything must be straightened out before the GET. Especially today, when after the GET the wife can go to secular court and get a gag order to destroy the husband, it certainly makes sense to delay the GET until everything is worked out exactly.]
They then proceed to make any settlement as difficult as possible, allowing them to continue their abusive and controlling behavior. Tragically there are some Jewish courts that allow men to behave this way. Happily, however, most of the larger reputable Jewish courts will not allow narcissistic men to use religion as a tool to further abuse and blackmail their wives. The most obnoxious Gett refusers, however, seem to avoid reputable Jewish courts. As pernicious, are men who tell their wife, who is desperate for a divorce, that they “want to work on their marriage” and therefore won’t give a Gett. Again this ploy won’t work at most reputable Jewish courts.
In the final analysis, the refusal to give a Gett by a husband, for any reason, will cause pain to his wife and therefore is not only contrary to the spirit of Judaism it contravenes the letter of the law as well. [What letter of what law?]
[We see here just one of many examples of people who never learned the laws of Gittin, who don’t have any great authority to quote, but who invent and distort to prove their invalid points. And from these “rabbis” many women will have broken families, invalid divorces, and now, a new thing, women told by “rabbis” to leave their husbands with no GET! And it just gets worse and worse.]