British Chief Rabbi Shames Orthodox Husband Who Refuses Religious Divorce

For the first time, London’s main rabbinical court and Britain’s chief rabbi have published the name and photo of a recalcitrant husband, and are calling for him to be banned from synagogues and publicly shunned.

In a notice published in the London Jewish Chronicle, the London Beth Din calls for congregations to bar John Abayahoudayan, who has refused his estranged wife Rivka a get, or Jewish divorce, for 15 years, the Jewish Chronicle reported Friday. The ad also asks Jewish individuals to “consider whether it is appropriate for them to have social or business contacts with him until the get is given.”

The Abayahoudayans had a civil divorce in 2002, but the lack of religious divorce makes Rivka Abayahoudayan an agunah, or chained women, who is unable under Jewish law to remarry.

The Sephardi Beth Din said it supported the London Beth Din’s decision. Approached by the Jewish Chronicle, John Abayahoudayan refused to comment.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said, “The Beth Din and I would like to send the strongest possible message that when individuals abuse the halachic process in a way which causes deep emotional and personal pain and suffering, we will do everything in our power to try to stop that abuse and support those affected.”

According to the Jewish Chronicle, the Beth Din 10 years ago placed an advertisement criticizing a recalcitrant husband, but did not publish his photo or call for any action against him.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

British Chief Rabbi Shames Orthodox Husband Who Refuses Religious Divorce

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close