Court recognizes 'ketuba' rights of stripper wife

High Rabbinical Court rules that woman who stripped in public is still entitled to monetary benefits.

stripper 88 (photo credit:)
stripper 88
(photo credit: )
The High Rabbinical Court has ruled that a woman who stripped in public is still entitled to receive monetary benefits afforded her in her ketuba (marriage contract), the court announced on Monday. The court granted the woman a divorce because the couple repeatedly fought. In one instance, police had to be called after she tore down a photograph of her's husband's deceased wife that he insisted on keeping in their bedroom and the couple came to blows. According to Jewish law a married woman who acts in a gratuitously sexual manner with other men forfeits her rights under a ketuba because her behavior undermines the stability of the marriage and hurts family unity. However, in a case that came before a three-man panel of rabbinical judges, the wayward wife, who stripped naked before a group of men and women, including her husband, was awarded her rights under the ketuba. In their ruling the judges said that since the husband photographed his wife and hung the photographs on the couple's bedroom wall, he made it clear that her behavior did not bother him. Therefore, it could not be construed to be detrimental to the couple's marriage. The judges noted that the husband expressed no dismay at his wife's stripping. One of the judges, Rabbi Zion Algrabli, cited several cases from the Talmud to suggest that the wife was not entitled to have the ketuba enforced. One source, from Tractate Gitin, describes a woman who bathes with men. Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki (Rashi) suggests that such a woman should be suspected of infidelity. Algrabli argued that, prima facie, in the case of the stripping woman the same logic should apply. Nevertheless, he deferred to the majority opinion. A judge who spoke to The Jerusalem Post about the case but preferred to remain anonymous because he did not have authorization to speak with the press, said he was concerned that the public would get the wrong impression from the publication of the court's decision. "I don't want people who read about this story to think that we judges take lightly the behavior of this woman. We based our decision solely on Halacha." He said that in Jewish law lasciviousness was not the only reason a woman could lose her rights from a ketuba. "Courts have deprived a wife of rights under a ketuba for undergoing an abortion without the consent of the husband. We have also ruled in a similar way when a mother killed her severely mentally retarded son. "In all cases the guiding principle was that the wife's behavior undermined the family unit." The mandatory financial rights granted to a woman in her ketuba in case of divorce range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of shekels, depending on rabbinical opinions and customs, and the husband can add more ahead of the wedding.