The Get process made shorter
On receipt of an application for a Get, our Beth Din invites both husband and wife to attend interviews at the Beth Din. The average duration of each interview is approximately fifteen minutes. In the course of that interview, the Dayan will seek to check the names and other relevant data relating to the writing of the Get. Applicants will be asked for details of their father’s English and Hebrew names.
The Dayan will also seek to ascertain if there are any problems that may give rise to difficulties at a later stage.
The Writing of the Get
At a second session, the husband will attend the Beth Din and will instruct the Scribe to write the Get. The Beth Din will present the husband with writing materials, which the husband will then give over to the Scribe so that he can write the Get on the husband’s own materials.
Before instructing the Scribe, the husband will be asked to give some indication or proof as to his identity. He will also be asked to confirm that he is giving the Get of his own free will.
Once the instruction of the Scribe has taken place (this takes about twenty-five minutes) the Scribe, together with the witnesses (Eidim) and the husband’s representative (Shaliach), (where appropriate) adjourn to a writing room. The Scribe then writes the Get. During the writing of the Get, the husband and wife may leave the premises, if they wish but must stay in London. The Get is usually completed, signed, witnessed and the ink is normally dry within a period of two to two and a quarter hours.
Once the ink on the Get is dry and the Get has been checked by a Dayan and the witnesses, it is ready to be presented to the wife or in the event that the parties do not wish to meet, to a Shaliach (the husband’s representative who is appointed by the Beth Din).
When the Get is handed over, the wife will be asked if she is willing to receive the Get. If she is so willing, her husband or (in the event that the husband is not present) his Shaliach, will recite a form of words at the request of the Dayanim, which indicates that he has in his hands a Get which will be given to the wife, receipt of which will free her from the marriage. The Get is then placed into the wife’s hands.
Once the Get is in her hands, the procedure will be as follows:-
- The wife clasps the Get between her hands (there should be no rings on her fingers, if possible) and lifts the Get above her head as a sign that she has required it for herself.
- The wife then tucks the Get into her pocket or under one arm, turns away from her husband or his representative and walks several steps away from him as a sign that she has asserted her independence of him.
- She then hands the Get back to the Dayan, so that it can be checked again by the Eidim.
The Get, once received into the hands of the wife, is the wife’s property. It is however standard practice to deposit the Get with the Beth Din, which has ample storage facilities. The wife is then presented with a certificate, in Hebrew and English, stating that the Get has been duly executed and that the parties are free to remarry under Jewish law. The husband receives a similar certificate.
Any husband or wife who feels that he or she is in need of moral support is welcome to bring a friend or family member with him or her to ease the strain and to provide some company. The Beth Din enjoys the services of a voluntary group of female Get helpers, who welcome wives to the Beth Din when they come to collect a Get and to provide valuable moral support when it is needed. These ladies are experienced in Get procedure and are helpful and sympathetic. The Get procedure is a religious ceremony and ladies will be expected to cover their heads.
Once the Get has been received by the wife, she is reminded by the Dayan that there are two restrictions upon remarriage. The first, which is biblical, is that a Cohen may not marry a divorced wife. The second, which is rabbinic, is that a period of ninety-two days should elapse before she can remarry. In due course, after full payment has been made and the Decree Absolute has been obtained, a Get certificate is normally issued to both the husband and the wife as evidence that they are properly divorced in accordance with Jewish law.
Where a remarriage is being contemplated by either party, they will need to obtain authorisation for this. The registration formalities involved include the presentation and, usually the surrender of the Get certificate. The Get certificate should therefore be retained in a safe place.
For more information please contact please contact our Rabbi and/or The London Beth Din, 305 Ballards Lane, North Finchley, London, N12 8GB – Tel: 020 8343 6270 – Fax: 020 8343 6257 – Email: .