What does Jewish law say about divorce?

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There is an entire Talmudic tractate devoted to issues of divorce, elaborating on the specific details related to the Jewish divorce procedure.

Jewish law requires the giving of a Get” (divorce document) when any marriage between two Jewish people comes to an end, whether or not there was a religious wedding ceremony.

Technically speaking, Jewish law provides for a divorce action initiated by the husband, since it was always the husband who “gave” the divorce. In practice, however, the Jewish court on occasion would force a husband to give his wife a divorce under certain circumstances.

There are a number of specific guidelines on grounds for divorce. For example, Jewish law provides that a man can divorce his wife if she refuses conjugal relations, if she has no children after having been married ten years, if she commits adultery, and if she is lax in religious observance.

On the other hand, the Jewish court could force a husband to give his wife a divorce if he refused her conjugal relations, if he was cruel to her, if he converted to another faith, if he was lax in religious observance, or if he refused her support (clothing, food, and shelter).

What does the Jewish divorce document look like?

Originally the get was a document of twelve lines, written in Hebrew and Aramaic in Torah script with a quill pen on parchment.

Nowadays heavy white paper is often used. The twelve lines on a Jewish divorce document correspond to the twelve lines of empty space separating the first four books of the Five Books of Moses.

Who writes the Jewish divorce document?

Any Jew is legally allowed to write a get. Since the get has so many complex rules, however, it has become customary today to have it prepared by a qualified Jewish scribe.

Nature of Jewish divorce proceedings

To a certain degree, the giving and receiving of a get is a kind of reversal of the Jewish wedding ceremony. The entire procedure may take up to two hours. Most of the time is taken up by the actual writing of the document by the scribe.

The document itself is retained in a permanent file. Official letters, called a release, are given to the husband and wife to certify that their marriage was dissolved according to Jewish law. Both are then free to remarry.

About the Author
Jack Y.M is a well known blogger in Israel, blogging mostly about Kabbalah and Judaism. Jack's acquaintance with the world of Kabbalah began somewhere on early 2000s, where he realized that Kabbalah is an ancient wisdom that empowers us to discover our purpose in our lives and strive to achieve the fulfillment we are meant to receive.
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