In 1994, 24 men were granted permission by Israel’s Chief Sephardic Rabbi Eliahu Bakshi Doron to take second wives.
The Hebrew daily Yediot Achronot reported that in most of the 24 cases, the women were mentally ill. In others, they were out of the country and could not be reached.
In a letter to the director of the rabbinical courts and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who also serves as Religious Affairs minister, Doron said that in the past year several dozen cases of “agunot,” women whose husbands have refused to grant them a get, or religious divorce, were also resolved.
In most of those cases, the chief rabbi wrote, the husband was out of the country and was convinced to grant the divorce.