Well, now the cat is out of the bag. In this video, the executive director of the rabbinical courts gives us a window into his troubling worldview: According to him, the get is a man’s bargaining chip, and that’s just the way it is.
So said Rabbi Shimon Yaakobi, executive director of the rabbinic courts, at the Knesset conference a few weeks ago on the topic of “the race to the courthouse” (a phenomenon in which couples “race” to secure jurisdiction for divorce-related claims in either the rabbinic or civil court).
It’s important to note that the majority of women seeking divorce are *not* considered to have sufficient grounds. To illustrate: if a woman wants to divorce because she no longer wants to live with her husband, that is insufficient grounds for divorce; if a woman wants to divorce because her husband financially abuses her, that is insufficient grounds for divorce; if a woman wants to divorce because her husband sometimes beats her, that is insufficient grounds for divorce (as ruled by the rabbinic court on a number of cases); if a woman wants to divorce because her husband cheated on her, that is not necessarily grounds for divorce either. In practice, most couples who divorce do not have sufficient grounds to do so. And even if there were, if the husband refuses to give the get, there can be no get.
In all of these cases, according to the executive director of the rabbinic courts, if the husband makes an unfair demand in court, the woman will “have to” give in to his extortion. If he demands that she waive child support or property rights in exchange for the get, she’ll “have to” accept. All with the backing of the executive director of the rabbinic courts.
And what happens in cases where a woman waives child support under duress to receive her get and then later, finds herself and her children in an unlivable situation, and sues for child support in the civil court? Rabbi Shimon Yaakobi warns that such an action would “seriously call the validity of her get into question.” In other words, if she dares bring claims to the civil court after receiving her get, the rabbinic court could invalidate her get, reverting her status to married and rendering any subsequent children of hers mamzers.
This only strengthens our mantra: Stay away from the rabbinic courts! All claims, other than the get itself, can be decided in the family (civil) court. When the get becomes a bargaining chip, one cannot expect a fair, just or equitable hearing.
Watch the video: **A woman who does not have sufficient grounds for divorce gives up her rights and her children’s rights in exchange for her get.**