Who Initiates Jewish Divorces?

According to the Bible, divorce is accomplished through specific acts of the husband. But the Mishnah [an early rabbinic legal code] does provide that a wife was permitted, under certain circumstances, to request that a Jewish court compel the husband to perform the acts required for a divorce.

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Divorce 101

Divorce 101

Brush up on the basics of Jewish divorce.

Get (Bill of Divorce)

The get is the bill of divorce that the husband gives to the wife to release her from the marriage.

Exorcising the Get

The author created a ritual to exorcise the pain she experienced when she was required to receive her get with utter passivity.

Halitzah Ceremony

Halitzah is the ritual that releases a childless widow from levirate marriage, wherein her brother-in-law must marry her to give her a child in his brother's name.

Writing & Delivering Get

Writing and delivering the get (bill of divorce) is a complicated process requiring experts in Jewish divorce law.

Contemporary Issues

Contemporary Issues

Contemporary Issues

Power dynamics and the agunah issue are the biggest struggles in Jewish divorce today.


Divorce is meant to take care of the wife. But occasionally, a husband will manipulate the system.

Civil Divorce

The liberal movements who have held that a civil divorce constitutes a get, or Jewish divorce, are finding that on an emotional, religious level, it's just not enough.

Women Initiating Divorce

Under certain circumstances a woman may request that a Jewish court compel the husband to perform the acts required for a Jewish divorce.


Rarely do we see as clearly the tension between traditional Jewish practices and secular values as in the issue of annulment.




On the history and development of Jewish divorce proceedings.


Biblical divorce law provided some protection for women by setting limits on a man's absolute power to divorce.


Over time the rabbis increased the wife's power in a marriage, yet maintained the absolute right of the husband to grant a divorce.

Egalitarian Divorce

In addition to the traditional get (bill of divorce) granted by the husband, Reconstructionism offers a woman-initiated get and a mutual get.

Divorce Is a Mitzvah

This book by Perry Netter is a practical guide to Judaism's take on divorce, and how you can best move forward.

Personal Perspectives

Whirling Together out of the Darkness

Whirling Together out of the Darkness

A young American mother in Israel divorces her husband but decides the kibbutz is the best place for her kids.

Weekends Apart, Closer Together

The Havdalah ceremony takes on new meaning for parents with joint custody.

After the Divorce

A new mom finds love, a new husband, and a stepdad for her kids.

(Too) Frequently-Asked Questions About Separation

A divorced mom answers the questions she wishes people would stop asking her.

A Mock Jewish Divorce

One camp may have walked on uncharted turf as they performed what was likely the first mock divorce in Jewish summer camp history.

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