IBD Decisions

In a situation where a Jewish husband refuses to give a gett, there are certain proscribed conditions which may allow the beit din to void the marriage.

A marriage may be voided if there were no witnesses (eidim) under the wedding canopy who could testify that the act of kiddushin transpired, or the witnesses  present were determined to be halakhically invalid, or the officiating rabbi (mesadeir kiddushin) was not Torah observant.

Alternatively, the marriage may be voided if the husband fails, intentionally or unintentionally, to disclose to his prospective wife a major flaw (mum gadol) in himself.  Under these conditions, the marriage was entered into under false pretenses (kiddushei taut). Major flaws can include a preexisting personality or medical disorder such as bipolarity or  impotence; other major flaws include the refusal to have children, homosexuality, and criminal or mental dysfunction.

Finally, in contradistinction to kiddushei ta’ut which focuses upon the past, a marriage may also be voided retroactively when one invokes an umdana demukhah, an assessment of the wife’s expectations regarding her husband’s behavior after the creation of the marriage. For example, if the husband developed psychological problems after the wedding, it may be assessed that had she known that her husband would become mentally dysfunctional during the years of their marriage, she never would have married him. Under certain conditions, in light of this umdana demukhah, a beit din may void the marriage.

Listed below are various decisions rendered by our bet din in which we investigated the grounds for voiding the marriage. As you will read below, in certain instances there were grounds to do so.  However, there were also other situations where we were unable to offer such relief to the wife.

Prior to issuing a decision regarding the merits of voiding the marriage, we had obligated or recommended that the husband give a gett to his wife. In the event that he refused under certain conditions, we directed the community to isolate him religiously, socially and economically. These isolation measures are traditionally known as the harhakot of Rabbeinu Tam.

  • Case #101/2014
  • 21 March 2017
  • 23 Adar 5777

To preserve the confidentiality of the parties involved in this case, names and dates have been changed.
Batya Katz is an agunah. Batya initially requested a get from Abraham Katz, her husband, in December 2004. Batya separated from Abraham in January 2005. Although the Katz’s marriage was civilly annulled in the summer of 2007, to this day, Abraham has stated he will grant Batya a get only if she will pay him $300,000 and grant Abraham physical...

  • Case #105/2015
  • 16 October 2015
  • 3 Cheshvan 5776
  • Expanded Discussion

To preserve the confidentiality of the parties involved in this case, names and dates have been changed.
Our case deals with a wedding in which witnesses were not designated for kiddushin and in which only one possibly Torah observant adult Jewish witness, not halakhically related to the bride or the groom, was present under the huppah....

  • Case #111/2015
  • 04 February 2015
  • 15 Shevat 5775

To preserve the confidentiality of the parties involved in this case, names and dates have been changed.
The case deals with a wedding ceremony where there were no qualified witnesses present to testify to the Kiddushin....

  • Case #113/2016
  • 06 March 2016
  • 26 Adar I 5776

To preserve the confidentiality of the parties involved in this case, names and dates have been changed.
This case deals with a mentally dysfunctional husband and whether his dysfunctionality constitutes grounds for voiding his marriage....

  • Case #136/2016
  • 21 March 2016
  • 11 Adar II, 5776

To preserve the confidentiality of the parties involved in this case, names and dates have been changed.

Beruria petitioned the International Beit Din in December 2015 to release her from the chains of her ​igun.

Beruria (the plaintiff) and her husband Aaron (the defendant) were married in January of 1989 and were subsequently married civilly in November of 1989. ​From the very outset of the marriage, the couple had problems and they so...

  • Case #145/2016
  • 07 July 2016
  • 1 Tammuz 5776

The focus of our deliberation centers upon the wife’s argument regarding her husband’s refusal to engage in conjugal relations. In her presentation to this panel, she claims that her husband was incapable of ejaculation, generally there existed no intimate relations between her husband and at the end of the day, the husband desired t...

  • Case #147/2016
  • 14 April 2016
  • 6 Nissan 5776

To preserve the confidentiality of the parties involved in this case, names and dates have been changed.
The plaintiff, (hereinafter “Becky”) appeared before us, the International Beit Din, seeking relief from the tragedy that has befallen her. She is a young woman of 25 years old who married the respondent, (hereinafter “Avner”) four years ago....

  • Case #149/2017
  • 01 May 2017
  • 5 Iyyar 5777

To preserve the confidentiality of the parties involved in this case, names and dates have been changed.
Adam and Batsheva were married in accordance with Jewish law in October 2006. This was a second marriage for both of them. At the time of the wedding, Batsheva had four daughters and a son, ages fourteen, twelve, eleven, nine and seven, from her previous marriage. After the wedding, Adam moved into Batsheva’s house. In April 2009, Batsheva se...