Social Justice vs. Halacha
One of the most fiery issues inside the Jewish Community is what has come to be known as the ‘The Agunah Issue.’ Like a large pot of water sitting upon a fire heated stove, this issue has has been seething for over 50 years and has suddenly reached its boiling point. And like a hot boiling pot of water that rages uncontrollably attracts spontaneous reactions, so has this issue attracted ‘spontaneous’ response from an outraged public.
Dwelling further on this analogy, when a raging fire threatens goes out of control, the public musters their resources to extinguish the flames. But we all know that only a competent ‘fire department’ can bring it to a successful conclusion. To be sure, this is no attempt to simplify an issue which will very likely plague us until the arrival of Moshiach. We must nevertheless understand that if there is any hope to control the rage and it’s impending spread, it can only come through the resource of our “MOST” competent experts in Halacha.
Social justice activism mirroring the secular ‘me too’ movement might help alarm ‘Masters of Halacha’ to intensify their activity, but we cannot ‘me too’ a resolution that could result in anything less than an absolute ‘kosher’ GET.
Recently there were three divorce cases in the Syrian community, Hirsch, Abtan and Hafif, which caused an uproar on social media. Groups of people protested in various public venues in support of three women who were unable to acquire there “Gittin“.
Social media was used to blast insults at the husbands, protests were held in front of the homes of the husbands and there families. Rabbi’s from the Syrian community also participated in some of these protests. The result, the divorces were finalized but not before an inordinate amount of pressure was applied to the husbands.
Was this an appropriate measure? Some might be emotionally inclined to cheer the women for having won the battle; applaud the people that protested on their behalf. Not so simple: The divorces obtained might not have been “Kosher.” A “Forced Divorce” (Get Me’Useh) is invalid according to most Halachic authorities. The consequences of these invalid divorce need not be spelled out.
We hope to present many interviews on this subject from various Dayanim around the world.