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What is involved in the actual Jewish divorce ceremony ?

By: דיאנה שאלתיאלPublished on: 09 June, 2022
Jewish divorce is carried out by the writing of the divorce document which must be given to the wife by the husband – with both the giving and acceptance being by consent and free will.
It does not matter if the parties agreed to divorce – or whether the rabbinical court passed a divorce judgment after being satisfied that one of the parties had proved that grounds existed for ending the marriage under Jewish law. The procedure is the same in both cases.
The husband gives instructions to the scribe for the handwritten drafting of the divorce document ‘ in his name, in her name and in the name of the get’ using a quill pen . This is done under the supervision of the rabbinical court to prevent or minimize errors which could lead to the disqualification of the ‘get’. Only persons knowledgable and experienced in the task are allowed to be involved in the preparation of a ‘get’.
Great care is taken to write the exact wording required according to Jewish law and to ensure that the parties names are accurately recorded. Both official names and nicknames must be recorded as well as their fathers’ names. The date of the ‘get’ and the place in which it was written must be recorded. All this is to prevent mistaken identity – and possible later misuse of a ‘get’ .
Once the get is written and is signed by witnesses , the husband gives it to the wife who must accept it , in the open palms of her hands. The husband places the ‘get’ into the open , outstretched palms of his wife’s hands. The rabbinical court orders her to close the palms of her hands and to raise her arms, still holding the ‘get’. Sometimes the woman is asked to place the ‘get’ under her armpit , or even to walk towards the door or to the corner where the religious judges are sitting. All these gestures are designed to express that the ‘get’ is her property. Once the process is completed properly, the couple are divorced.

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