A woman is suing Israel's Ministry of Justice, the parent body of Israel's Rabbinic Court system. What did the rabbis of those state-sponsored and endorsed rabbinic courts do? This:
A woman who has been refused a divorce for 18 years filed a negligence suit against the Justice Ministry and her estranged husband, Wednesday.
The Justice Ministry was named in the suit, since the Rabbinical Courts are under its governance.…The woman first filed for a divorce in 1976, citing domestic violence, but the rabbinical court ordered her and her husband to try and reach matrimonial reconciliation.
The violence, as she stated later, continued escalating, with her husband growing more and more abusive, raping her and threatening to kill her. She eventually left the couple's home, along with their six children.Both courts, said the suit, dragged on the hearings, overruled each other's decisions, failed to fine the
husband for missing court dates and worst of all – overstepped their authority by annulling the divorce, when it was finally obtained.
A case can be made that the Torah was enlightened at a time when wax candles were state-of-the-art cutting-edge technology. But that case cannot be made today, unless one separates the Torah from the rabbis who lord over it.
Clearly, for some people outside Israel this is a valid option. But Israelis are all agunot, are all abandoned and abused wives, and the rabbis are their recalcitrant abusive husbands who hold them in chains.
Divorce is in order but the rabbis control the divorce courts.
The solution is to evict the rabbis from their positions of state-granted power, erecting an unbreachable wall of separation between synagogue and state in the process.
This is unlikely to happen because Israel's fractured political system is also held in chains to the very same abusive rabbis.
One day, perhaps soon, something will give. That something may turn out to be Israeli democracy – or it may turn out to be the state itself.
Either way, for bad or for worse, rabbis will be the cause.