The Chief Rabbinate’s Beis Din Hagadol in Yerushalayim ruled that according to halachah and Israeli civil law, an American get refuser could be prevented from leaving Eretz Yisroel until he appears in beis din to resolve the get issues with his wife.
The story involved a chareidi couple from New Jersey who married and had three children. The husband moved to New York a year ago and left his wife an agunah. When the husband recently arrived in Eretz Yisroel for a short visit, his wife issued a beis din summons against him to give her a get and mezonos, and a restraining order against leaving Eretz Yisroel if he did not comply.
When the regional beis din subsequently accepted the husband’s argument that it had no authority to prevent him leaving Eretz Yisroel, the wife appealed to the Beis Din Hagadol, which initially suggested that the husband divorce his wife and leave the remaining issues such as alimony for an American or Israeli beis din to settle later. But the husband refused to cooperate. The Beis Din Hagadol then researched the halachos pertaining to the rule which generally requires the plaintiff to go where the defendant chooses, but proved from the precedent rulings of prominent botei din and lehavdil from verdicts of the Supreme Court that the husband could be stopped from leaving Eretz Yisroel.
The Beis Din Hagadol even demonstrated that the av beis din of the regional beis din which had accepted the husband’s appeal had himself issued a similar ruling while serving on a beis din in Tzefas.
In conclusion, the Beis Din Hagadol ruled, “The appeal has been accepted and a restraining order against the husband leaving Eretz Yisroel is being issued. The regional beis din in Eretz Yisroel will consider a claim for alimony filed by the woman and will consider the possibility to discuss the demand for a divorce.”
David Steger – Matzav.com Israel