In the summer of 2004, just two months after receiving his Masters in International Relations from Tel Aviv University, Meherto Yosef disappeared.
Before he left the house for the last time, the father of two told his wife Tamar that he had a job interview.
Two days later, police discovered Yosef had left for Ethiopia to find work. Since then, Tamar, 37, has been struggling to obtain a divorce certificate [get] so she can start her life over.
On Sunday, it finally happened. The Tel Aviv Rabbinate authorized a document signed by Meherto a week ago in the presence of three religious Jews in the lobby of the Addis Ababa Hilton.
"I am free," said Tamar. "I prayed to God it would happen before Passover so I could celebrate the Exodus with all my heart. He heard my prayers."
Former Jewish Agency director of Ethiopian absorption Micha Feldman, a rabbinic delegation, the Yad Le'Isha organization for Agunot, Rabbinic Courts Director Eli Ben-Dahan and Leo Salomon, Israel's consul in Ethiopia were all instrumental in helping Tamar divorce Meherto.
But more than anyone it was Cloe Pelach, a social worker at Bar Ilan University, where Tamar is completing her studies in social work, who set in motion the events that led to Tamar's divorce. Pelach rallied the officials to Tamar's cause and supported her throughout the process.
Now Tamar wants to be on the giving side.
"When he left I felt so empty, like a flower pot without a plant, without soil. I had to find strength somehow to raise my sons alone.
"But now I feel that I am filling up again, that I can help the community." Tamar's warning to other women in troubled marriages: Keep relatives out of the fight.
"My good friend was killed by her husband because he was goaded by his family. When the family gets involved tragedies happen."
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