In Israel, religious law governs family matters.
For a Jewish divorce, an Orthodox rabbi oversees a ritual that begins with the husband placing a folded decree into the wife’s cupped hands. But that paper can be hard to get, because the husband can refuse to grant the divorce.
A new Israeli film playing in the U.S. shows how patriarchal Jewish divorce laws can trap even secular women for years.
The film is a drama called Gett: The trial of Viviane Ansalem. Viviane wants a divorce but needs her husband’s permission.
The scene is a small courtroom, one couple and their advocates in front of three Orthodox rabbis. In Israel, if you’re Jewish, even if you’re not religious, you have to be divorced by Jewish law.
But rabbi-judges cannot decree a divorce. Read more