A French man who refused to grant his wife a get (Jewish divorce document) for three years was caught recently, while in the company of a call girl in Israel.
He was turned over to the Rabbinical Court thanks to the testimony of the Jewish community rabbi in Lyon, his hometown.
After being located in a hotel in the Dead Sea and being served with a stay of exit order, the man agreed to the divorce.
For three years, Rabbi Yihye Tubul had tried to convince his community member to release his wife from the failed marriage, but to no avail.
The man refused to cooperate with the court led by the rabbi from Lyon, and did not show up for its hearings. In the meantime, he was spotted hanging out with women, leaving his wife chained to the marriage.
Tubul recently learned that the man was planning a vacation in a Dead Sea hotel with one of his escort girls. Although the divorce case is not being discussed in Israel, the rabbi informed the Rabbinical Courts Administration and asked if local religious judges could help.
“The woman is suffering from a serious state of aginut (being chained to her marriage) by her husband, and unfortunately we have failed to remove her from this state due to difficulties in France,” the rabbi wrote in a letter to Jerusalem’s Rabbinical Court.
“We have now found out that the husband is in Israel with a woman he desires, and are hereby asking the court to issue a stay of exit order against the husband until he grants the get.”
He added that “we have already discovered that this husband is committing adultery with several women, and is still refusing to grant his wife a divorce.”
The matter was handed over to the Rabbinical Courts Administration’s Agunot Department, but because the man’s accurate personal details were not known, it was difficult to check whether he had actually entered Israel.
Finally, following a strenuous investigation, the department managed to locate his passport number according to his first name and a testimony regarding the day the flight to Israel had left.
After it was verified that he was indeed in Israel, the Yad L’isha legal aid center, which provides abandoned women with free legal representation, stepped in. Adv. Moriah Dayan located the wife in France on behalf of the organization and asked her to board the next flight to Israel in the middle of the night.
The Jerusalem Rabbinical Court’s chief secretary, Moshe Biton, immediately opened the case and convened religious judges, who issued a stay of exit order against the husband. According to information obtained by the Agunot Department, the man was at the Dead Sea at the time and was planning to leave Israel two days later.
Meanwhile, Adv. Dayan managed to locate the man’s telephone number, informed him of the stay of exit order and invited him to come to the court, but he denied being in Israel. Several hours later, after he apparently realized that he had been caught, his lawyer contacted Dayan and informed her that the man was willing to divorce his wife.
The next morning, the husband reported to the Rabbinical Court and finally granted his wife a get.
Rabbi Eliyahu Maimon, head of the Rabbinical Courts Administration’s Agunot Department, concluded the operation: “The courts are making an effort to also help women who are not residents of the State of Israel, and I am glad that we managed to bring another grim affair to an end.”