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Rabbi Yosef Hopes War Will Not Leave Any ‘agunot’

Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said he hoped the Yom Kippur War would leave no ‘agunot’–women whose husbands are missing and may therefore not remarry under Jewish religious law. The Chief Rabbi disclosed that two months ago he initiated the establishment of a special rabbinic court to deal with war agunot. He heads the bet din, its other members are Army Chief Chaplain Mordechai Firon and his deputy, Gad Navon.

This court examines the file of each missing soldier and when it is duly satisfied that he can be considered halachically proven as dead, it pronounces him officially dead, and his widow may marry again. The court meets twice weekly. The army does not pronounce any soldier dead until the army chaplaincy concurs halachically in the pronouncement. Rabbi Yosef said he hoped no file would be left unclosed, and that all the aguna problems would be solved.