- June 25, 2023
- Yoni Levoritz
What is a “Get” in Jewish Divorce Law
A guide by the Levoritz Law Firm
In Jewish Divorce Law, a “get” is the religious document that dissolves a marriage. It is considered a legal requirement for Jewish couples to obtain a get if they want to end their marriage in an approved way. The get is written in Aramaic, a language that was commonly spoken by Jews during the Talmudic period, and is signed by two witnesses. The get serves the purpose of releasing the woman from the marriage and allowing her to remarry within the Jewish community.
The concept of the get has its roots in the Torah. In the book of Deuteronomy, it is commanded that a man who wishes to divorce his wife must give her a bill of divorce, or a “sefer kritut”. This document signifies that the woman is now free to marry someone else.
The get is a more particular form of the bill of divorce. It is different because it is written in a particular language and signed by witnesses knowledgeable about Jewish law. The get is more binding as it must be given willingly by the husband, and the woman must accept it willingly as well. The get ceremony is also more elaborate than a traditional divorce, as it involves the husband giving the written document to the wife, accompanied by two witnesses.
It is important to note that the process of obtaining a get is not as simple as just signing a legal document. The procedure to obtain a get is quite complex and requires several steps. First, the husband must initiate the process by approaching a rabbinical court, or Beth Din, and formally requesting a get. Then, the husband must provide the wife with the get, either through a messenger or in person. If the wife accepts the get, then the process is complete, and the couple is considered divorced.
If the husband refuses to grant a get, it can create a difficult situation for the wife. This is because in Jewish law, a woman cannot remarry until she has obtained a get from her former husband. This inability to remarry can leave a woman trapped in a marriage even after the relationship has effectively ended.
There are several specific instances where a get is required in Jewish law. For example, if a man dies without leaving a get, his wife is considered to be an agunah, or a chained woman. This is because she is still technically married to her deceased husband but can no longer live with him due to his death. If a woman wishes to remarry under these circumstances, she must obtain what is known as a “get me’usa,” or a get that is retroactively given after the husband’s death. This allows the woman to be released from the marriage and move on with her life.
Another example of when a get is required is if a couple was not given the required supervision of a rabbi during their wedding ceremony. This can happen if the couple eloped or had an unorthodox wedding ceremony without a rabbi present. In these cases, the couple must obtain a “get samuchin,” which is a get that is granted retroactively and verifies that the previous marriage was valid.
In conclusion, the concept of the get is a vital part of Jewish Divorce Law. It serves as a religious document that legally dissolves a marriage and allows the woman to remarry within the Jewish community. However, the procedure for obtaining a get is complex and requires several steps. Failure to obtain a get can leave a woman chained to a marriage even after the relationship has ended. It is essential for Jewish couples to understand the importance of the get and its role in Jewish law.
Looking for Divorce or Family Law Assistance?
If you are considering a divorce from your spouse, or have questions about your divorce process, call the knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at the Levoritz Law firm today at 855.213.3104 for a free consultation.