Eretz Yisrael Time

Powered by WebAds
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
"There are Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics."

There are statistics that the public are constantly exposed to that are never held up to serious scrutiny or examination. They are held up at face value, and “defended to the death” by those who have a political interest in those numbers.

The most common “fact” cited is that 10% of the population is gay (or predisposed to it, or whatever). Total nonsense, but I expect the comments will rage here for even suggesting that this number is a complete piece of fiction.

And of course there is questioning Global Warming and how much is actually caused by humans and how much is part of the natural process of this planet. Bring out the skewers.

And more closer to home is there is an issue raging regarding Agunot - women whose recalcitrant husbands won’t give them a Get (Jewish divorce document).

They claim that the (evil) rabbinate is keeping thousands of women agunot and not finding them solutions.

First of all, I won’t minimize how lousy this situation is for someone who is trapped like that.

I know, because a good friend of mine falls into this category, but I doubt you will hear of any women’s groups coming to fight for this case.

You see, my friend is the husband, and his wife refuses to accept a Get for some 2 years now – simply by playing with the procedures and rules of the (civil) courts. (I won’t mention the visitation rights and money games she plays with him).

In response to claims by different groups attacking the Rabbanut, the Rabbanute actually went and counted all the cases before them that have been open for more than 2 years.

A wide enough definition of an Agunah for this arguments sake.

They counted 942 (not thousands of) open cases.

(Unfortunately the A7 article is a bit fuzzy on a few matters, but I will try to make sense of it.)

However, before you begin to say there are 942 chained women at the hands of the Rabbanute it would be best to first hear the breakdown.

(Either of 370 random cases checked, or from a total of 942 – this is where the A7 article begins to break down…)

Of those cases, 190 of them are where the women absolutely refuse to accept the Get from the husband. Only 180 of them are where the husband absolutely refuses to give the wife the Get.

The Rabbanute says that from the 180 women, only 69 have acquired the official Agunah status (see the Rabbanute site in Hebrew for the definition) the rest are in the status of husbands who have refused to divorce them (the difference seems to be that an in the case of an Agunah the location of the husband is unknown or unreachable).

So either the other ~500 are still in extended negotiations as one tries to extort the other, or the ratio above (190 chained men:180 chained women) can logically be extended with a good degree of confidence to the other 60% of the cases.

To put this further into perspective here are more stats. In the years 2005-2006 some 19,000 people got divorced (via the Rabbanute).

In 2006 the Rabbanute closed 76 Agunot cases from all around the world (24 the year before, and 13 so far this year) – remember only 69 remain.

Either way, while the situation is very bad for the person in it (male or female), the attempt to paint the Rabbanute as the epitome of evil when it comes to Agunot is a bit of an exaggeration and based more on politics than facts.

So am I letting the Rabbanute off easy?

I am sure they can do more. It is awful for the husband or wife who is trapped and extorted by their spouse (and surprisingly or not, I know far more men than women that are being extorted for things such as money and child visitation rights).

But now having (and knowing) accurate statistics on the subject it can perhaps stop being a political baseball bat to be swung at the Rabbis and instead the statistics can be used as a tool to help measure and ensure maximum results wherever possible.


Anonymous said...


I have a friend who has been homeless for several years because he is unable to work because his ex got an attachment on ALL of his income. This is in Israel. He also is prohibited from leaving Israel by court order. He came for his son's Bar Mitzva in January 2001 and has been stuck in Israel ever since.

Anonymous said...

You or any media outlet can play with numbers. The problem lies with the total failure of the rabbinute to address the system is broken. Force eveone to sign a pre-nupt before the wedding and fuc*ed the bastards who screw the system. Its the rabbinute fault for not fixing the system. The same rabbinute who has no problem taking State government money, but does not recognize the state. The same rabbinute who elects sons and brothers of Haredie families over Kippah sugra.

Anonymous said...

rafi: But they are addressing the problem. Step 1 is analyzing what the problem is, how extensive is it, and what needs to be done to repair it. And that appears to be what they are doing.

How much more effective is a pre-nup, when in reality the government can just as easily create a law with teeth to punish people (men or women) that don't give/accept a Get within a certain time period.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Powered by WebAds
    Follow the Muqata on Twitter
      Follow JoeSettler on Twitter
      Add to favorites Set as Homepage

      Blog Archive

      Powered by WebAds