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Legal Information: Religious

Abuse in the Jewish Community

Updated : 
August 7, 2018

Who can give a “get?”

A literal interpretation of Jewish law says that only a man may start religious divorce proceedings, and he must do so voluntarily. A man would generally have a sefer k’ritot (scroll of severance) written to end the marriage. Some Orthodox authorities still hold strictly to this law, but Conservative, Reform, and even many Orthodox authorities agree that the wife may begin the process of the get by convening a beit din (rabbinical court). However, a woman cannot give a get, and she cannot force her husband to give her a get against his will.