Between Civil and Religious Law

The Plight of the Agunah in American Society

by Irving A. Breitowitz


Breitowitz focuses on Jewish law as it grapples with the disintegrative forces of twentieth century life: the problem of the Aguna, or stranded wife.

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Cover image for Between Civil and Religious Law

July 1993


Pages 448
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Politics, Law, and Government/General
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    Hardcover: £92.00/128,00€/A$187.00

.Breitowitz focuses on what many regard as the cutting issue of Jewish law as it grapples with the disintegrative forces of twentieth-century life: the problem of the Agunah or stranded wife. In addition, the Agunah issue raises intriguing questions about the impotence of religious law in a secular society and how the establishment and free exercise clauses intersect to facilitate or hinder the accommodation of religious interests.

All legal avenues available to secure relief are discussed, including the use of prenuptial agreements, the application of tort theory, and the rather exotic approach of the New York Get law, as well as the constitutional and common law impediments, to the implementation of these remedies. The text also includes comparative law material to illustrate how other legal systems, particularly the state of Israel, have handled this problem. As the most comprehensive book on the subject, it is invaluable to students of Jewish and family law and to practitioners of family law.

Table of Contents

The Nature of the Problem: Basic Dimensions and Contours
Halachic Responses
The Use of Contract Law (I): Express or Implied Promises to Execute a Get or Submit to Rabbinic Jurisdiction
The Use of Contract Law (II): Conditional Releases and Support Obligations
Interjurisdictional and Comparative Law Aspects of Civil Enforcement
The New York Get Law: Permissible Accommodation or Unconstitutional Establishment
Tort Law Theories
Current Developments in Church-State Law and Their Impact on the Agunah Problem
Case Supplement
Selected Bibliography
Table of Cases
Table of Statutes and Regulations

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