A man who ostensibly agreed to give his wife a divorce after more than a decade because the funeral of this mother was indefinitely postponed until he did so, has now gone back on his word and is once again refusing to terminate the marriage.
Despite his family having deposited a $20,000 guarantee to ensure he stand by his word, the husband has reportedly said that he does not intend to honor his promise, and said it was “all a lie,” that the Chief Rabbinate never spoke with him and that he never agreed to give the divorce.
The Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada (UOR) in New York issued a ruling on Monday to postpone the burial of the recalcitrant husband’s mother, who had just passed away, in order to pressure the husband to give his wife a divorce.
The mother’s burial casket arrived in Israel from the US during the course of Monday night, and after examining the details of the case, Chief Rabbi David Lau gave backing to the decision.
In light of that ruling, and so as not to delay the burial of his mother, the recalcitrant husband agreed to give the divorce.
Since the UOR could not hold a hearing to complete the formalities since the two spouses are currently in separate countries, the Chief Rabbinate said that the family of the husband deposited a guarantee of $20,000 to ensure he fulfill his commitment.
It is unclear with whom that $20,000 was deposited, with a spokesman for Chief Rabbi Lau saying that he did not know.
Lau’s office issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon, saying that “We are saddened that the recalcitrant husband who has for 14 years refused to free his wife from the chains of her aguna status continues to refuse to give a divorce despite the agreements that were reached.”
The article does not note that Meir Kin is happy to give his wife a divorce through the jurisdiction of a Beit Din in Monsey (which many Jews regard as a corrupt Beit Din). Lonna Kim apparently wants the divorce granted through the RCC (Rabbinical Council of California) in Los Angeles (which many Jews regard as a corrupt beit din). Lonna believes that she gets a better deal through the RCC and Meir believes he gets a better deal through the Monsey Beit Din.
This is a struggle between Meir and Lonna over the terms of their divorce, but it is also a struggle between two Jewish law courts. Many Jews would regard the discussion over which beit din is more corrupt as akin to arguing which New York mafia family is more corrupt.
As I understand it, Meir Kin never promised to deliver a get (divorce) to get his mom buried.