Wednesday, June 12, 2013
In mid-May, lots of couples dressed up as brides and grooms went out to dance on Ben Yehuda Street in the middle of Jerusalem to the sounds of the song "Love and Respect". The dance was created as part of a campaign of two organizations Kolech and Mavoi Satum to support the Mutual Respect prenuptial agreements. These are dedicated to to insure that women who seek a Jewish divorce (get) will not encounter a “dead end” that results from insensitive legal interpretations and stringencies.
In Jewish law, a woman must obtain a bill of divorce from her husband before she is able to marry again. According to women’s rights groups, there are several thousand open cases of men refusing to give their wives a get, using it as a tool to extort more favorable terms in the divorce settlement.
Mavoi Satum is promoting what it calls “an agreement for mutual respect,” a document which, if the couple signs, legally obligates a partner to pay $1,500 a month or half of his or her salary, until he gives or she accepts a get. The penalty terms would begin six months after one party requests the request for divorce.
Not exactly Jewish humor, but it's encouraging to see some progress being made toward resolution of what has been a difficult issue in Jewish life for a long time.
And it's always nice to enjoy the sights and sounds of singing and dancing in the streets of Jerusalem.
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(A tip of the kippah to Sheila Zucker for bringing this video to our attention.)