What is a get in Jewish law

Rites and customs

Marriage, of course, is not always happy and successful. That is why there is also the institution of divorce (Geruschin) in Jewish marriage law. However, the procedure is complicated. A rabbinical college is required and a minyan (ten men), and the husband must get the wife made out with a letter of divorce (get). In order to prevent a man from indiscriminately divorcing on a whim, a number of rules must be followed meticulously: A ready-made form must not be used, but the get must be specially written at the negotiation. The paper or parchment, the ink and the quill must be the property of the man. The document must be written in Hebrew square script, the letters must not be joined together, it must not be erased, the entire piece must be exactly 12 lines, and the names of the witnesses appear as the thirteenth, which is divided into two parts.

For the Ashkenazi area, the consent of the woman has been necessary since the 10th century, i.e. that the woman expresses her consent by touching the divorce letter. The woman does not need to be present at the hearing. The get can also be delivered to her by a third party. If the woman accepts the get, the divorce is final; the document is torn as a sign of its validity and archived at the rabbinical court.

Since the divorce requires the initiative of the man who has to give the letter of divorce, however, considerable difficulties can arise. So it happens that the man is missing; For example, he went to war as a soldier and is considered missing, or the man has embarked on a sea voyage for professional reasons but has not returned. According to Jewish marriage law, this problem can only be solved if the man is aware of the danger he is running into and, as a precaution, has a get written that only becomes valid if he has not returned at a certain point in time. It is also conceivable that a man has simply left his wife and moved to a distant country without his whereabouts can be determined. A woman who waits in vain for her husband to return is called an abandoned woman (aguna). The competent rabbinical court has to deal with the case and will try to find a solution in the interests of the woman, but it will be a very difficult and lengthy process. In principle, the case of the aguna has not yet been resolved by religious law.

Out: Heinrich Simon: Leben im Judentum Verlag Hentrich & Hentrich and Centrum Judaicum Berlin, 2003