Top rabbi reportedly admits he stopped a get which a man had agreed to give

Dayan Jonathan Hool alleged to have made the admission in a speech in shul


Ketuba- is a special type of Jewish prenuptial agreement. It is considered an integral part of a traditional Jewish marriage, and outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom, in relation to the bride. Nevertheless, there is no agreement in modern times as to the monetary worth of the ketubah, and in practice it is never enforced

A senior dayan at the centre of a furious row over Jewish divorce has reportedly admitted he advised a man to hold off from giving a get to his wife - even though the husband had agreed to do so.

Dayan Jonathan Hool was among the group of Federation of Synagogues rabbis who triggered a communal storm earlier this month when they released a statement saying it would be “halachically impossible” for a wife to be granted a get - or religious divorce - if she took legal action under the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

According to halachah, the rabbis said, a get has to be given of “free will”.  

A shul member told the JC they heard the dayan give a speech at Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue on Saturday in which he appeared to say he had dealt with exactly such a case himself, and that he had advised the husband “to wait”.   

“The man [told Dayan Hool] that she was threatening to take him to court using the coercive control law and he didn't want the expense or bother of fighting this case, so he was willing to give her the get.

“Dayan Hool then said that he told this man to wait because if he gives the get under these circumstances it could be considered forced and the get would not be valid,” the member said. 

The source, who did not wish to be named, said it was “absolutely outrageous to hear that he had apparently already stopped a get from going ahead which a man had agreed to give, literally causing the situation of agunah himself.”

A second source who had been in shul at the time confirmed to the JC the accuracy of this report.

Following communal criticism over their stance on religious divorce, the Federation of Synagogues said in a further statement this week it was seeking a “creative” solution in discussions with domestic abuse charity Jewish Women’s Aid and the group GettOutUK. 

Dayan Hool failed to comment. 

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