Action urged against rabbis who support abusive husband
Israeli women’s rights activist and lawyer Batya Kahane-Dror, above, has lodged a complaint against three rabbis who refused a victim of domestic violence a religious divorce, known as a get.
According to the Independent, the woman is married to an abusive brute who was jailed when he assaulted her after she said she wanted to leave him. Since then he has been charged with attacking her on two more occasions.
At the beginning of February a group of three rabbis – Yosef Goldberg, David Birdugo, and Mordechai Ralbag – rejected the wife’s motion to end the marriage. They said in a judgement:
Unquestionably, any harm the husband causes the wife is unjustifiable in any circumstances; any violence should be treated gravely and condemned, especially severe violence like that described in the indictment,
But on the other hand, there is also no doubt that the husband’s eruption was due to his difficult situation after his wife filed for divorce.
Despite the husband beating his wife on three separate occasions, the rabbi’s wrote that his behaviour had been an “aberration”, that he had admitted to his mistake and:
We can assume he won’t be repeating these deeds in the future.
In a letter to the Attorney General, Batya Kahane-Dror and lawyer Hadas Grossman wrote that the rabbi’s ruling empowers men to beat their wives if they want a divorce in defiance of the man’s wishes.
The two vowed to appeal the verdict, which they said further weakened the public’s faith in the rabbinical justice system.
In 2012 Kahane-Dror co-wrote a bill which led to the introduction of a new law that stipulates that rabbinical courts must to follow through on all divorce cases from when the judgement is handed down until the divorce itself has been finalised. The law empowers the courts to impose sanctions on a spouse who refuses to grant a divorce, including forbidding to leave the country, blocking the person’s bank account, denying a driver’s license, or imprisonment.
‘Be proud of your bruises’
Meanwhile, it’s reported here that one of Russia’s most popular newspapers has told women to be “proud of their bruises”, as the country partially decriminalised domestic abuse.
The article, published by Komsomolskaya Pravda, came ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin signing into law a new measure that will see offenders face fewer penalties.
Yaroslav Korobatov, a columnist for the paper, said:
For years, women who have been smacked around by their husbands have found solace in the rather hypocritical proverb, ‘If he beats you, it means he loves you!’
However, a new scientific study is giving women with irascible husbands new grounds to be proud of their bruises, insofar as women who are beaten, biologists confirm, have a valuable advantage: they’re more likely to give birth to boys!
The scientific study refers to research by Dr Satoshi Kanazawa, above, a controversial evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics.
In 2005 Kanazawa published an article titled “Violent men have more sons”, and three years later another titled “Why do some battered women stay?”, in which he stated:
Women may have been selected to tolerate a certain level of non-lethal violence in their mates.
He has also stated African countries suffer from poverty due to “low IQs”, and that black women are:
The move to partially decriminalise domestic violence in Russia has sparked worldwide anger.
The presidential action, which reduces the assault of a relative from a criminal offence to a civil one, has sparked fears it will send a signal that abuse is not a serious crime.