Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Westreich: "The Right to Divorce in Jewish Law: Between Politics and Ideology"

Avishalom Westreich (Academic Center of Law and Business) has posted "The Right to Divorce in Jewish Law: Between Politics and Ideology" (forthcoming Int'l J. of the Jurisprudence of the Family) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

The paper discusses the deep, even emotional, debate surrounding no-fault divorce in Jewish Law. As the paper argues, moderate conception of no-fault divorce has a basis in the classic Jewish Law sources. In current rabbinical court decisions, however, it has become the subject of a keen debate. A possible explanation of the debate is a political one, as part of the inter-authority conflict between rabbinical and civil courts which characterizes the Israeli legal system in matters of family law. According to this explanation, some rabbinical courts have sought to expand their authority by limiting, or controlling, divorce. The paper, however, argues that the political explanation is not sufficient, and suggests an alternative ideological reason. Accordingly, a significant school of rabbinical judges rejects the right to no-fault divorce, and, using various legal and hermeneutic methods, claims that this right belongs to "the laws of the nations," that is, that it arises from non-Jewish sources and lacks roots in Jewish Law.


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I have to agree with the school of rabbinical judges who reject no fault a lawyer and a practicing Protestant Christian, I know the Old Testament backwards and forwards...there is no basis for no-fault divorce in traditional Jewish law as it is depicted in the Old Testament.

Now that being said, I understand that traditional Jewish law is much more expansive than just the Old Testament.

Posted by: Tulsa Divorce Lawyer | Jan 13, 2011 5:57:41 PM

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