Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Don't know what a Get is? We recommend The Sopranos: Season 1, Episode 3. Or you could read this report in Saturday's New York Times. Basically, a Get is a document that effects the religious divorce of a Jewish married couple. Even though a couple might be legally divorced, the woman needs the Get before she can marry again in the Jewish faith. Some observant Jews would consider illegitimate the children of a woman who remarries without a Get.
The problem: some men are hard to Get. They don't want to be married, but they seek to extract money from the wife or her family in order to agree to the Get. That's where Tony Soprano comes in. But the wise guy solution is not always practical, as the Times notes by referencing this criminal complait from New Jersey. It turns out that paying someone to kidnap and assault your ex-husband is a criminal act.
The solution: according to the Times, the Beth Din of America, a leading orthoox Jewish adjudicatory body, has created a pre-nuptial agreement that is consistent with Jewish law (halakhah). Among other things, this kosher pre-nup provides that the husband will pay $150 (adjusted for inflation) for every day during which the couple is separated but not religiously divorced. The effect is to force the husband to support the wife until he agrees to give her a Get.
According to the Times, about 70% of rabbis now either require or encourage the parties to sign the Halakhic pre-nup before stepping under the chuppah (pictured). A new documentary, "Women Unchained" explores the topic in further detail.