Jerusalem rabbinical court orders bus company to fire driver who refuses wife a religious divorce


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Jerusalem Rabbinical Court ordered the Egged bus company to fire one of its employees because he refuses to grant his wife a religious divorce, called a get.

The court gave the company, which runs public bus lines throughout the country, 30 days to fire the man, who immigrated to Israel from India several years ago.

The husband had been violent towards his wife before they came to Israel, and he continued to attack her and their only child once they immigrated, according to attorney and Rabbinical Court Advocate Tehila Cohen of Yad La’isha: The Monica Dennis Goldberg Legal Aid Center and Hotline, a project of Ohr Torah Stone.

Cohen asked the Rabbinical Court to intervene under a law that allows a man refusing to grant his wife a get to be denied employment at a public agency. Egged qualifies, since it is subsidized by the state of Israel.

The court issued the order on Feb. 7.

“Like everyone else, my client deserves to lead a peaceful and happy life. We will not rest until she receives her freedom and can embark upon a new and secure life together with her son,” Cohen said in a statement.

The wife filed for divorce three years ago, but agreed to marriage counseling and later agreed to stay with him if he stopped abusing her and her son. He did not.

The Rabbinical Court first ordered the husband to grant his wife a get 10 months ago. He refused but said that he would agree to the religious divorce if she waived her share of their joint property.

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