Jewish law

Women to appoint rabbinic judges in Israel

By Zoe Winograd, June 11, 2013

The Israeli government has passed a bill obliging the committee that appoints rabbinical judges to reserve four spots for women.

The legislation was approved today at the end of a long Knesset meeting which began on Monday night.


Locking up abusers is not the answer

By Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet, March 4, 2013

Reports about child sex abuse in the Orthodox community seem to be emerging with ever increasing frequency. A recent high-profile prosecution in Australia and yet another in New York involve cases of child sex abuse that began many years ago. So why have they come to light only now rather than being reported by victims, or their families, around the time the offences were committed?


Jewish divorce ruled OK in landmark High Court decision

By Marcus Dysch, February 1, 2013

A landmark legal ruling has seen the High Court refer a Jewish divorce case to a Beth Din for arbitration for the first time.

The decision, the first of its kind in England and Wales, saw a get - a Jewish divorce - given by the New York Beth Din approved by Mr Justice Baker.


Introducing the halachah of hurricanes

By Hadas Haimov, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy has not just caused damage to buildings and amenities in the New York Jewish community, it has also raised religious questions about how Jews should deal with a severe storm.

The Crown Heights Beth Din in Brooklyn has published a set of halachic rules for those currently sitting out the hurricane, which has already killed 17 in North America.


Gay affair: Charedi jailed until he grants divorce

By Sahar Zivan, October 18, 2012

In a landmark decision, a Charedi man who has refused to grant his wife a get for the past ten years, since she caught him cheating on her with another man, has been sent to jail by the rabbinical court until he relents.


Germany approves law allowing ritual circumcision

By Toby Axelrod, October 11, 2012

Germany’s cabinet this week approved a law that will protect the right of Jews and Muslims to have their sons ritually circumcised.

The law can now go to the German parliament for debate and final approval, which is expected this autumn.


Must we always 'choose life'?

By Jonathan Wittenberg, September 28, 2012

"Who shall live and who shall die; who by fire and who by water?" These frightening words at the heart of the High Holy Days remind us that our life and fate are not within our control.


You can run but you can't hide

By Jennifer Lipman, September 21, 2012

As I have written before, if there is one area involving women and Judaism that seems stuck in a ghastly status quo it is divorce, and the requirement for a man to grant his former wife a get to free her from the chains of a failed marriage.


Chained to an outdated system

By Jennifer Lipman, July 5, 2012

The Altneu shul in Prague's historic Jewish quarter is famous for several reasons, not least as the home of the golem. It's also the oldest active synagogue in Europe; an imposing, gothic structure that could be mistaken for a church if you didn't know better.


Congressman urged to challenge aide on 'chained wife'

By Jennifer Lipman, February 28, 2012

More than 2,000 people have signed a petition calling for a senior aide to a US congressman to grant his wife a religious divorce.

Aharon Friedman, who works for Michigan Republican congressman Dave Camp, split up with his wife for good two years ago.