Rabbinical court forces battered wife to meet husband


By Revital Hovel and Yair Ettinger | Aug. 28, 2014

The Jerusalem Regional Rabbinical Court forced a woman to speak privately with her abusive husband after the judges were allegedly swayed by fixers, or macherim, a complaint filed against the judges by the woman revealed.

According to the complaint, the macherim went to the rabbinical judges’ homes and affected the way the case was handled. The complaint suggests that this was not an isolated case.

The ombudsman of the Israeli judiciary, retired Supreme Court Justice Eliezer Rivlin, found the complaint justified. Another complaint against an almost identical panel, which alleged that the judges had refused to accept women’s testimony, was also found justified.

The complaint was filed by a woman whose husband used to beat her and her children. He was convicted of assault and sent to prison. When the woman wanted to divorce him, the rabbinical judges told her that macherim had spoken to them and suggested letting her husband have a private conversation with her for half an hour.

They said that if her husband failed to convince her to take him back, he would grant her the divorce.

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