Israeli Rabbis Force Ex-couple to Divorce Again Over Bureaucratic Error

Meir Asoulin and Merav Marili ended their 15-year marriage at Be'er Sheva Rabbinic Court two weeks ago, but had to go back to court, because of an error in signature of one of the witnesses.

Yanir Yagna
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Yanir Yagna

A couple from the south finalized their divorce on Monday - for the second time in two weeks, due to the rabbinical court's suspicion that a witness had not signed the divorce document properly.

Meir Asoulin and Merav Marili ended their 15-year marriage at the Be'er Sheva Rabbinic Court two weeks ago.

Bnei Brak’s ultra-Orthodox rabbinical court.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

"I was sure somebody was playing a practical joke on me when I got a call telling me I was still married and had to go back and do the divorce ceremony all over again. I hung up on them," Marili said on Monday.

But then Asoulin's lawyer called to say that the couple would indeed have to go back to court, because of an error in the signature of one of the witnesses.

"I can't believe I had to go through the whole traumatic thing again. I was shaking and couldn't stop crying ... I don't wish an experience like that on anyone," Marili said.

Rabbi Yitzhak Dahan, the head of the Be'er Sheva Rabbinic Court, said the court was under enormous pressure, handling 10 divorces a day, double the number of weddings every day there.

"The writing of a get (bill of divorce) is a very complex matter in Jewish law; needless to say one must not erase or add letters. In this case ... a question arose regarding the signature of one of the witnesses. Due to the very slight suspicion, the court decided to arrange a second divorce. The divorce was arranged yesterday to the satisfaction of the parties."

Dahan said the court did its best to prevent such errors.

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