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Legal Information: Religious

Jewish Get Law (Divorce Law)

Updated : 
March 12, 2010

What kinds of actions might a community take against a “mesarev get”?

A beit din will often issue a decree, called a seruv, against a mesarev get, condemning (criticizing) him for refusing to grant his wife a get. Seruvim are taken very seriously in observant communities of all streams, though outside the State of Israel, they have no legal force under civil law.

Many Orthodox communities will place social or financial pressure upon a mesarev get to urge him to divorce his wife. Some communities will refuse to allow him to participate in the life of the synagogue; friends will cut off relations with him; and the members of many communities will refuse to do business with him. Jewish communities publish the names of mesarvei get in their newsletters, the local papers, and even on the Internet, guaranteeing that the man’s bad behavior is widely known. Often concerned members of a community will picket outside the home of a mesarev get or call for a boycott of his business or store. These tactics can be very effective.