Originally printed in In Jerusalem, October 25, 2017
“Don’t worry, I’ll break his legs.”
That’s what my 6’ 7” tall then-rabbi told me when I suggested to him (on advice from my future mother-in-law) that I sign a halachic prenuptial agreement before my wedding. Reassured by his blasé manner, and knowing virtually nothing of the phenomenon of get-refusal, I quickly forgot about the prenup.
Nineteen years, an intense experience of personal advocacy for a relative who had been refused her get for more than a decade, and a great deal of knowledge about agunot later, I rectified this mistake when The International Young Israel Movement in Israel (IYIM) held its second post-nuptial agreement signing in Jerusalem.
A couple holds up their Agreement for Mutual Respect
My motivation for signing was not concern for my marriage, but because with all that I have seen, and with personally knowing more than 10 women who were refused a get, (not counting the women I met through my advocacy) I believe it is incumbent upon us to ensure that the halachic prenuptial agreement (or post-nuptial, as the case may be) become the default among Jewish couples, so that those who find themselves in need of protection, have it.