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  • Technorati: graph / links

    ‘Chained wives’ in Jewish communities


    by Rumbold on 1st August, 2009 at 6:31 pm    

    The Independent has a summary of tomorrow’s Dispatches programme (7:00pm, Channel Four), which looks at how some Jewish women are unable to get religiously-recognised separations from their husbands:

    “Within Halakha (Jewish law) only the husband has the power to grant a get and if he refuses his wife becomes an agunah, or chained wife. Trapped in a marriage they cannot get out of, an agunah is often shunned by her community, which forbids her from remarrying and reminds her that any further children she has with anyone other than her husband would be considered illegitimate.”

    It seems that the practice is most prevalent in the Ultra-Orthodox community, with some Beth Dins (religious courts) siding with the husband all too often. This means that even if a woman gets a divorce under English law, some members of her community might still shun her.



      |   Trackback link   |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Cultural Relativism




    12 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. Edna Welthorpe — on 1st August, 2009 at 8:50 pm  

      If people find their confessional identity irksome, they move away from it.

      How many sub-species of Judaism are there? Three or Five or Twenty?

      Runaway ex-Jews can become Unitarians or members of the Universalist Unitarian Church, like Pete Seeger.

      Or High Tories and Anglicans, as a great many have!

    2. Cabalamat — on 1st August, 2009 at 10:01 pm  

      if a woman gets a divorce under English law, some members of her community might still shun her

      Then she should get new friends who aren’t religious bigots.

    3. Shatterface — on 2nd August, 2009 at 3:05 pm  

      One of the most frequently heard arguments used in favour of allowing Sharia courts in the UK is that we accept Beth Din courts.

      Clearly neither is compatible with a secular society which values men and women equally.

    4. Rumbold — on 2nd August, 2009 at 3:28 pm  

      Easier said than done Cabalamat. it takes tremendous strength of character to do so.

    5. Edna Welthorpe — on 2nd August, 2009 at 4:06 pm  

      This sounds like the sort of XXX video-saucy that Jacky Jackboots’ husband rented at public expense:

      Chained Jewish Wives #1

      Jewish Wives in Bondage #7

      Chained Jewish Wives in Torment #12

    6. asquith — on 2nd August, 2009 at 9:30 pm  

      Doesn’t this strike a blow against the claims of those who say that sharia law won’t be so bad because we have Beth Din & that works ok?

      The need is greater than ever to offer the protection of a secular state to those who feel trapped by the identities they have had thrust on them, & allow individuals to choose how to live their own lives.

    7. ali — on 2nd August, 2009 at 9:40 pm  

      asquith

      The need is greater than ever to offer the protection of a secular state to those who feel trapped by the identities they have had thrust on them, & allow individuals to choose how to live their own lives.

      Think youll find both religious Muslim and Jewish women choose to use Sharia and Beth Din courts because they want to follow the rules of their religion which may be different from the rules of the state eg for example they may wish to get divorced in the sight of God/religiously even if they have a civil divorce as they would never dream of still being religiously married then getting married again (as they would view it as adultery).

      The situation is a bit better for a Muslim woman than a Jewish one as she can obtain a khula/annulment from a sharia court if her husband refuses to grant her her right to divorce.

      For women who arent interested in what the religion teaches this is a non issue.

    8. Dalbir — on 5th August, 2009 at 1:57 am  

      Funny isn’t it. When there is some program concerning the abuse of Asian women due to culture, everyone wants to jump in and comment.

      When it is Jewish women, people aren’t so interested all of a sudden.

      Is this a classic case of “othering” as defined by Edward Said? I wonder.

    9. damon — on 5th August, 2009 at 2:24 am  

      Maybe people think that Jewish women are more emancipated.
      It’s a perception that I have (even though I don’t really know one way or the othrer).
      I know a few Jewish women and have visited Israel.
      That’s about it.

    10. comment — on 5th August, 2009 at 4:27 pm  

      Dalbir

      Funny isn’t it. When there is some program concerning the abuse of Asian women due to culture, everyone wants to jump in and comment.

      When it is Jewish women, people aren’t so interested all of a sudden.

      Its obvious why isnt it. Jewish people are white. Asians arent. Hence the outrage over the latter not the former.

    11. chairwoman — on 5th August, 2009 at 5:59 pm  

      “Funny isn’t it. When there is some program concerning the abuse of Asian women due to culture, everyone wants to jump in and comment.

      When it is Jewish women, people aren’t so interested all of a sudden.”

      Perhaps when it’s Jewish women nobody cares.

    12. ahmed — on 5th August, 2009 at 7:55 pm  

      chairwoman

      Perhaps when it’s Jewish women nobody cares.

      Hmmm.. do you think the Times, Telegraph , Mail et al run stories about opressed Muslim women because they care about them? The same papers which call for tightening/ending Muslim immigration?



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