JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Rabbinical High Court said it did not know the whereabouts of a man who has refused to divorce his wife and called on the public for help in locating him.
The court on Thursday released a statement asking anyone who has seen Oded Guez, a physicist at Bar-Ilan University, in the last 48 hours to inform the Agunot Department at the Rabbinical Court, the Times of Israel reported.
An agunah is a woman whose husband refuses to grant her a religious divorce, called a get. Without a get, even if she has a civil divorce, she is unable to remarry.
The public appeal comes after Guez failed to show up for a court hearing this week and has not been seen. Guez has for years refused to divorce his wife; he reportedly recently said he would resolve the matter, which now is being seen as a delaying tactic, according to the Times of Israel.
It is not believed that he has left the country, the Hebrew-language Ynet news website reported.
In February, a rabbinical court excommunicated Guez, issuing a herem, or a writ of banishment, which said that he be was not to be honored, hosted, allowed to attend synagogue or even be asked as to his health or visited at home if he is ill, among other prohibitions, “until he relents from his stubbornness and listens to his betters and he unchains his wife and gives her a get.”
A week later he was fired from his position at Bar-Ilan.