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    Divorce – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. What is the Jewish view of divorce?

    A. Judaism would of course prefer every marriage to be solid, stable and lasting, but it accepts that not every marriage succeeds, and in such cases it is better to bring the chapter to a polite and tidy end.

    Judaism cannot agree with the Christian idea that “those whom God has joined, let no man put asunder”. We do say, “When a couple divorce, even the altar in the Temple sheds tears” (Gittin 90b). But the Torah teaches (Deut. 24) that when divorce is necessary it should take place.

    A couple should keep working on their marriage and not lightly resort to the divorce courts.

    I have to say that have seen divorces happen when the couple should and could have worked harder on finding a modus vivendi. One of the tragedies is that people don’t always realise that they are unlikely to find the perfect partner, nor is anyone likely to be the perfect partner… but the marriage can still work. It takes time, tolerance (and maybe tears) to find and enjoy each other’s good points and learn to live with and rise above their less good points.

    Yes, there are still problems when a husband refuses a “chained” woman a divorce, but these issues are high up on the rabbinic agenda.

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