The Israeli rabbinate investigative department has nabbed a recalcitrant husband after he hid from his wife for ten years.
The story began when the couple, parents of four children, decided to divorce but ran into financial issues that were dragged out in civil court. Rav Eliyohu Maimon, head of the Rabbinate’s agunah department, said that the beis din eventually ruled that the husband must divorce his wife immediately despite the outstanding financial issues.
The husband disappeared, leaving no forwarding address for his mail.
“A year ago, the beis din handed the case to our agunah department so that we could locate him,” said Rav Maimon. “We hired a private investigator but it was very hard to find him. He hid himself effectively and had help from his family… After the first researcher ran into a brick wall we transferred the case to another private investigator who managed to find the recalcitrant husband.”
The husband was living in an unregistered housing unit in Givat Ze’ev under a false name, working as a photographer, and traveling by electric bicycle to avoid public transport.
“…At 1:30 a.m. we followed him as he rode his electric bicycle to his housing unit and he was arrested,” Rav Maimon said. “He was taken to beis din this morning and gave a get. This was the end of a decade long nightmare of a woman waiting for a get.”
Rav Maimon noted that the agunah department arrests thirty to fifty men a year. 95 percent of them give a get after a night in jail.
“In this case, the man gained nothing because all the financial issues remained open and the husband merely spent ten years underground,” he said. “Our message to everyone is that there is no point in hiding.”
At the end of 2014, there were 180 women in Israel deprived of a get by recalcitrant husbands and 190 men treated similarly by their wives.
David Steger – Matzav.com Israel