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Divorce by Video Conferencing In Israel

Technology has done a lot for us, some might say much of it is not good, but this is something new. The iPhone has allowed a beis din in Beer Sheva to be granted a divorce and no longer be an aguna after 8 years of retaining such a status.

I would qualify it a bit by saying that the get was not delivered by iPhone, rather, the iphone was used to facilitate the recalcitrant husband’s appointment of the beis din to officially grant the divorce.

Israel Hayom reported that a woman in her forties requested a divorce, claiming that her husband was a fraud and had defrauded money out of her and caused great financial loss to both her and her father over a number of years, and then he ran away to America abandoning her as an aguna.

This past week she received an email from a hospital in Eilat with the results of blood tests of her husband. She had not known he was in the country, but he showed up and at some point required medical care. the system sent her the results of the blood tests and she informed the beis din of his presence.

The beis din arranged with the police to make sure he would not be allowed to leave, and in the meantime they convinced him to issue the get to his wife. The get still had to be arranged, and it had to be done quickly, as any delay would give him an opportunity to change his mind. In such situations, beis din tries to get it done as quickly as possible before things can go awry and eave her to suffer more years of torture.

With him stuck in the hospital in Eilat and the beis din out in beer Sheva, they decided the quickest way to take care of this would be via video-conferencing. They needed him to appoint them to write and issue the get on his behalf. Often this might be done by either the beis din traveling to the location of the husband or working in tandem with a local beis din, if there is one, to take care of that end of it. Beer Sheva is not so far away from Eilat that the 2 hour delay should have been so significant, and Eilat does have a chief rabbi so he must have a beis din. So, I don’t know why they couldn’t use any of those solutions, but it seems they could not. They conferred with Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar who gave his approval to the video-conferencing being used for appointment of the beis din to write the get on his behalf, and they were off to work.

Shortly after that, the woman had her get, after 8 years of being an agunah.

The truth is that more than the iPhone getting credit for this, the blood results being emailed to her out of the blue is really the technological aspect that should be given the credit for saving her.

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Posted by on August 13, 2012. Filed under Jewish News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.