A Jewish man in Israel who refuses to grant his wife a religious divorce after being ordered to do so by a rabbinical court can now face criminal charges and be jailed, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (November 15, 2016).
Under a new policy directive issued yesterday by the state prosecutor, Shai Nitzan, his office will seek a significant prison sentence for a husband convicted of violating the rabbinical court's order to give his wife a "get," or religious divorce.
A religious court cannot impose a get, and a man must give the Jewish religious divorce on his own free will.
A woman who is unable to obtain a get is known as an agunah, or chained woman. Under Jewish law, she cannot remarry. In the United States, only Orthodox Jewish women -- not Conservative or Reform Jewish women -- being divorced are required to obtain a get from their husbands in order to remarry.