A woman who had been an agunah for 25 years is now finally free after her husband sends her a get on a plane headed for Israel.
The couple had originally moved to Arad, Israel from South America with their two daughters but just a year later after a failed business and marital troubles the husband flew back to South America to visit relatives and never came back.
When the woman realized what had happened she appealed to him through his parents to divorce her but he would not agree. She now had two daughters to care for and no money.
Even after their daughters flew to visit their father and ask him to give their mother a divorce he said he had obtained a civil divorce and had remarried and still refused to give a get.
The woman’s relatives in Uruguay tried to get a local rabbi to help who got the man to agree to a get as long as his old debts were paid. Shortly thereafter, however, he disappeared.
The Rabbinical Courts Administration’s Department for Agunot then took over the case and hired private investigators to try to find the husband. They soon learned that he had converted to Christianity and become a priest in a remote village in Uruguay. After negotiating with him he finally agreed to meet with a representative of the Uruguay’s Jewish community.
Local Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich met with the man and after months of this he finally agreed in principle to a divorce. When all the divorce papers had been translated into Spanish and approved by a notary, at his request, the get was sent to Israel and granted to his wife.
“The policy of the Department for Agunot is that cases involving agunot have no expiration date, and they remain open and active even if the couple separated many years ago,” explains Rabbi Eliyahu Maimon, head of the Rabbinical Courts Administration’s Department for Agunot.
“In this case, we saw it as a great privilege to help end the suffering of a woman who was abandoned with her two daughters by her husband, without any living means, while being deprived of the basic right to freedom and a relationship,” Maimon added. “I would like to thank Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich for his great patience and dedication without any return, which led to the end of this grim affair.”