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Polish Rabbis to Oppose New Marriage Plan

Contract marriages of the sort proposed by the Rabbinical Assembly of America at its recent conference will be combatted by the Agudath Harabonim, the association of Orthodox rabbis in Poland, according to a decision adopted today by the association.

An appeal will be sent by the Orthodox rabbis of Poland to American Jewry to ignore the decision of the Rabbinical Assembly which would allow a deserted wife to obtain a divorce automatically if her husband deserted her for a period of more than three years.

The decision of the Rabbinical Assembly was met here with tremendous criticism among the Orthodox rabbis. Especially condemned was that part of divorce law change which recommends that, before marrying, Jewish couples should be asked to sign a special provision in the marriage contract which would give the wife the right to obtain a divorce if she has not been supported by her husband for a period of three years, or if her husband has deserted her for that length of time.

“Parties obtaining divorces under this provision are, according to the Jewish law, liable to excommunication from the Jewish community,” says the resolution of the Association of Orthodox Rabbis. The decision emphasizes that any woman who obtains a divorce under the “contract marriage” sponsored by the Rabbinical Assembly of America, will be forbidden to remarry a Jewish man.

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