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Extortion Under the Rabbinate’s Aegis

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The president of Israel’s rabbinical courts, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, issued an unprecedented order Tuesday: not to bury a woman because her son has for 15 years refused to give his wife a divorce. “When all other options were exhausted, we had to inform the burial society not to bury the mother until the son provides a kosher divorce,” Lau explained.

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The problem of agunas, literally “chained women” — who are unable to obtain a Jewish divorce and thereforce cannot remarry — is serious, and an active, intensive effort must be made to solve it. Nevertheless, extortion cannot be one of the methods used to do so. Moreover, after the mother was buried, the son retracted his consent to the divorce in any case according to Lau’s office.

Delaying burial as a........

© Haaretz